We need a new Luther. We need another revolutionary protest to reclaim Christianity. The Roman Catholic and Anglican churches are now firmly in the hands of people who are opposed to freedom and progress. Clifford Longley admiringly writes that, ‘Both (Francis and Welby) are outspoken critics of global capitalism and the concessions that governments tend to make to keep it happy, usually at the expense of the poor.’
Read that again, because, in Longley’s weasel phrases, there’s dirty work at the crossroads. Longley, like all his anti-capitalist kind, is guilty of what the Marxist philosopher Georg Lukacs called reification. He has turned a relationship between people into a ‘thing’. He says governments are nice to capitalism to keep ‘it’ happy.
Capitalism is the free exchange of services voluntarily rendered and received. It is a relationship between people, characterized by freedom. Adding ‘global’ merely indicates that governments have been less than successful at hindering the free exchange of people's services across national boundaries.
A ‘concession’ to capitalism, is a ‘concession’ to freedom. The authoritarian instinct of Longley and Welby and Francis is dressed up as generosity and big-heartedness … in particular a concern for the poor. But when we ask the question, ‘has capitalism (freedom) benefited the poor?’ no-one, with any knowledge of history, no-one except a lunatic or a scoundrel, could answer, without blushing, anything but, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
This attack on freedom does not help 'the poor' either materially (Socialism makes poor people poorer), or morally. The corrosive, dehumanizing effects of a sprawling ‘welfare’ state is now clear for everyone to see. It strikes at the very thing that makes us moral human beings, namely, responsibility for ourselves and invidual responsibility for others. As Bastiat observed, ‘To man responsibility is all-important. It is his mover and teacher, his rewarder and his avenger. Without it man is no longer a free agent, he is no longer perfectible, no longer a moral being, he learns nothing, he is nothing. He abandons himself to inaction, and becomes a mere unit of the herd.’
Welby and Francis may be ‘outspoken critics of global capitalism’, but Jesus was not. They are not following in his footsteps. I am told (by people who would defend them) that no matter what, they MEAN well. This counts for nothing. The most dreadful acts have been perpetrated, excused and overlooked, by people who mean well.
These ‘outspoken critics’ are enemies of freedom, and should be feared all the more because they are so humble (to an almost theatrical degree), because they are so ‘well meaning’ and because they claim to speak in God’s name.
Get out your hammers and nails and head for the church doors.
Two disturbing stories recently on the greens. First Spiegel magazine runs an article on the rise of extremist right-wing environmentalism in Germany. Then The Observer newspaper reveals that, in the name of preventing ‘climate change’, British aid money to India is paying for the forced sterilisation of poor people. These are shocking stories. But not so shocking to those familiar with the story of Nazi environmentalism. Let's step back in time.
Picture the scene. At the edge of a forest, German soldiers point their guns at rows of naked people who follow the Jewish religion. Among them are young mothers clutching their babies. The shots echo through the woods and the dead bodies fall into the ground. Down the road, while this is happening, their German army comrades are busy establishing nature walks and bird sanctuaries and planting trees. The Nazis conducted horrific experiments on children (I have seen footage so upsetting it can’t be shown on TV) but at the same time they banned medical experiments on animals. The same Nazi monsters who committed crimes of unimaginable barbarity also advocated vegetarianism, organic agriculture, forest preservation and homeopathic healthcare. How can we possibly explain this? What was the connection between the inhuman brutality of the Nazis and their gushing idealization of ‘Nature’?
The purpose of exploring Nazi environmentalism is not just to upset the greens. If environmentalism were a curious but peripheral aspect of National Socialism, it would be of no real historical interest. Environmentalists could be forgiven for saying, Ah well, it just goes to show, there’s a little bit of good in the worst of us. But environmentalist ideology...