A Treatment for Political Insanity   Leave a comment

Just trust them. Hillary Clinton would like it if you would just trust her to know precisely how much energy each American ought to use, where it should come from, how it should be generated, how we should get from here to there, and the effects that her plan will have on the global climate decades from now.

Image result for image of gary johnson on energyNo, she’s not a scientist and she’s driven around in chauffeured limousines, but she’s an “expert” who knows so much more than you do. If you embrace her energy plan, you will embrace “science,” “reality,” “truth,” and “innovation,” “our children,” and “the future.” If you refuse to comply, you reject all those good things AND you are probably also a “denier,” the catch-all slur for anyone doubtful that Hillary Clinton is actually an expert on this subject or many others or that she and her advisers know better than the rest of mankind how to manage our energy needs into the future.

Listening to her talk reminds me of reading F.A. Hayek. A brilliant economist, Hayek spent wrote many books over a 50-years career. Hayek explained that the greatest danger humanity faced throughout history has been a presumption by intellectuals, politicians, and bureaucrats that they know better than social forces on just about any given topic.

Sometimes that presumption might be presented as science but that’s really just propaganda. Civilization arises from, is protected by, and advances through the dispersed knowledge of billions of individual decision makers and the institutions that arise from them.

Society needs to know how to use scarce resources, how to navigate a world of uncertainty, how to form rules that turn struggle into peace and the individual’s who compose society can only do this if they are free to make decisions based on on-the-ground circumstances. No ruler, scientist or intellectual can substitute for the evolving process of decentralized decision-making based on trial and error.

That’s not good news for Hillary, who embodies the American version of “liberalism”. This ideology is anything but liberal, because it totally rejects liberty and strives for more top-down control. If you look around at what is good in the world today, it becomes a tough sell to say that government is among the good. Governments are responsible for every failing sector from health to education to foreign wars.

People like Hillary Clinton are stuck in an ideological vortex with no escape. They’ve embraced government planning and refuse to recognize its failures. They keep beating that drum, even when it makes no sense whatsoever, such as the claim that government can know everything necessary to plan the entire energy sector with the aim of managing the world climate.

Why should someone who cannot ensure the proper use of a single private server be trusted with the colossal power necessary to design and to oversee the remaking of a trillion-plus dollar sector of the U.S. economy (a sector, by the way, in which this person has zero experience)? David Bourdreux (economist)

Of course, Clinton is a hypocrite. She (and to be honest, her opponent) travel around in private jets that use more fuel in one hour of flight than you or I use in a year. We could also, in the interest of honesty, recognize that the American military that she wants control over is the single worst polluter on the planet. If we really believed that human-caused climate change is such a danger to the world, we’d start by cutting back US military operations. That isn’t in Hillary’s plan. Government gets to do what it must do. The rest of us are supposed to pay the price, bicycling to work and powering our homes with sunshine and windmills. By the way, wintertime in Fairbanks Alaska – two hours of sunlight a day and average wind speeds of less than 2 mph.

When I first read about her energy plan, I saw images of Mao’s China and remembered Lenin’s first speech after he took control of Russia’s economy. Why would any self-interested politician make the need for reduced living standards a centerpiece of her campaign?

Sure, most people tell pollsters that they favor renewable energy to stop climate change. Nobody wants to be called a “denier”. Clearly very few people really care enough to forgo the benefits of modern life, which is probably what will save civilization itself from plans like hers. It’s encouraging that nobody seems to put much stock in her plan for our future.

Do you ever stop to marvel at how quickly the political class has leapt from simply monitoring the weather (and getting forecasts wrong more often than not) to the absolute certainty that extreme and extremely specific application of government force is the way to deal with it?

“The sacralization of climate is being used as a great loophole in the rule of law, an apology for bad science (and even worse economics), and an excuse to do anything and everything to have and keep power.” Max Borders

Let’s be honest about our history. Everything done as public policy in our lifetimes has yielded little more than unpayable debts and unworkable programs, while creating an apparatus of compulsion and control that robs society of its inherent genius. Try to do anything in the United States that is truly innovative. Come back to me in several years after you’re done filling out the paperwork for the environmental impact study.

As Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” We ought to know by now that it doesn’t work, but the power-hungry elites just move on after every failed attempt, finding a new rationale to sustain a failed model of social and economic organization.

If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible.

He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.

There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success”, to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will.

The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.  FA Hayek’s Nobel speech in 1974

Image result for image of gary johnson on energyWe seek to become tyrants because that is something awful in human nature. Call it a product of the Fall, if you like. We are all infected with it, though some of us struggle against it, while others embrace their meglomania. Which is why it is dangerous to give too much power to those who seek to be tyrants and who claim for themselves an ideology that aims for total control over society “for our own good.” We ought to have learn from the past mistakes found in history and recognize that millions or billions of people making individual decisions that balance and counter-balance one another is a much safer method of organization than the will of one person backed by similarly-minded tyrants imposed upon the world.

If I make a bad decision, it affects me and a small circle of my friends and family. If the president of the United States makes a bad decision, it potentially affects the whole world.

Gary Johnson is a libertarian who must live in the world that we have currently. Therefore, he has energy policies, but take a look at what those policies are and see if you can find a big difference between him and his opponents? Yeah, he favors allowing the individual decisions of Americans to power the energy decision rather than forcing people to walk in lockstep over a cliff.

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