The above video is an interview of Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist at the University of Toronto, by Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and pundit. I don’t expect that the reader take time from other pursuits to watch it, but if you do, it is informative. Peterson talks about how far afield the gender identity movement has gone.
Over the past months I have become familiar with Steyn, and enjoy his writing and speaking style. He is a climate change skeptic, and at one time called Michael Mann’s hockey stick “fraudulent.” In response Mann sued Steyn.
The case now rests in the DC court system, and it will be years before resolution. That part of our legal system is dysfuntional. Steyn took it to that venue because DC has an anti-SLAPP law, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, and in his view Mann’s lawsuit was designed only to make him shut up. It all has a theatrical feel about it, however. I wonder if both sides are players.
Peterson brought to mind how far I have traveled from liberalism. That’s why I put the video up. He speaks mostly about gender identity, how absurd it has become. In my own family, I last saw one of my grandsons wearing a dress … the absurd proposition behind it being that kids don’t know their real gender in early development, and need to be given time to gravitate toward the real one. It’s one of the monstrous deviations of our times that rather than helping kids achieve man or womanhood, we confuse them. (This blog is a safe place, and I can speak freely. My kids do not follow my work.)
My focus here, however, is not gender politics and its laughable pretensions. Rather, it is liberalism. First, indulge me in a bit of my own background. Skip ahead to the words “OK, pick up here” if you don’t want to suffer through it.
I was born in raised in very religious Catholic and conservative home. I feared Communism and the bomb, believed that there were infiltrators in government and our other institutions. This lasted well into my thirties, by which time I had achieved self-employment (I was a terrible employee, and me as my own boss was my only option), and at last had time and money to start exploring the world. At first I was merely reinforcing my upbringing, but my obsession was about JFK – who killed him? One day I was reading a book called The Fish is Red, since renamed Deadly Secrets, by Warren Hinckle and William Turner. In it I stumbled on a passage describing a master plan by Fidel Castro to overthrow the Argentinian Frondizi government. A defector turned documents over to Miami Cuban exiles. The Argentinian and Cuban governments claimed those documents were forgeries.
The crux was that the U.S. State Department claimed that after exhaustive study that the documents were genuine. In fact, they were crude forgeries. For me, it for the first time exposed American duplicity in international affairs, bald-faced lying. Worse yet, the Cubans had been telling the truth. This was a revelation. In my black/white world, Americans were honest, Cubans liars. That one short passage, pages 129-31 in the book, fired a Cruise Missile in my dike of certainty.
It was not long to follow that the dike collapsed as I saw American dishonesty at every turn in international affairs, and eventually domestic. I experienced what I now call “The Bounce,” wherein upon learning that one side was corrupt, I assumed that the other side was not. I became a flaming liberal.
During my liberal fling I met many people and joined many groups, the nadir of my journey being the Ralph Nader presidential campaigns of 2000 and 2004. One man I met and admired was Steve Kelly, now a writer here at this blog. I have some unkind things to say about environmentalists, but Steve is different. His cause is pure, his methods honest, his energy boundless. He seeks preservation of wild lands, and I support him in this. We have enough timber and minerals so that we don’t need roads in every forest. Some areas of our land are best left alone. Grizzly bears need a place to live too, somewhere where “man himself is a visitor.”
The group I joined and worked through in that same endeavor was Montana Wilderness Association. It still exists and over the years has gotten fat on grants from groups like the Pew Charitable Trusts (the Sun Oil fortune), and is now thoroughly compromised and discredited. They have a huge staff compared to when I was with them. It is now just an industry front group, nothing more, a group that Senator Jon Tester runs to for “environmentalist” support when he attacks Montana’s remaining roadless lands. MWA is a disgrace.
OK, pick up here. What about environmentalists who are not Steve Kelly or the various groups he is affiliated with? Either I could not see clearly, or they have moved far afield of their original charters. The most recent manifestation of their corruption is known as the Green New Deal, described in this post.
In my post-conservative years, I have, after the bounce, gradually returned to my conservative roots. I have many issues with those calling themselves that, as I believe markets need to be, to a certain degree, regulated; that our health care system is corrupt; and that all business naturally gravitates towards monopoly as its nirvana. As Dwayne Andreas of Archer Daniels Midlands so aptly put it, “The competitor is our friend and the customer is our enemy.”
But the conservative philosophy otherwise preaches against unwarranted intrusion in our lives by government, against excessive taxation, in favor of maximum personal freedom and the exercise of caution in making major changes in our public policies. None of us, after all, is wise enough to know the twists and turns that will result from rash moves. I am now also aligned with conservatives on anthropogenic global warming, and comfortably so.
After my initial alliance with liberals and mainstream environmentalists, I became disenchanted. I saw what happened to Montana Wilderness Association, and resigned after a long tenure, including years of service on their executive committee. I found most “big green” groups to be reliably aligned with power. I found the Democratic Party to be cynically corrupt, even unapologetic about it. And now I find an unholy alliance among Democrats, most environmentalists, and the Big Green groups about AGW. The agenda is not about climate. It is about command and control, a sinking of our economy and lives into a totalitarian state where government bureaucrats will tell us what we drive, where we live, what we eat, and how we get what little unreliable power from the grid that solar and wind can provide.
That is the essence of the Green New Deal and the type of people behind it. They are little dictators. They belong more in Orwell’s 1984 than Paine’s The Rights of Man. At this point they are lying about AGW, and most at the top of that pyramid know it. Climate and CO2, however, were never the issue. It was always about personal freedom. CO2 is the stalking horse for their attack, nothing more.