by Henry Oliner
Law professor and blogger Glenn Harland Reynolds posits an axiom of politics “that the more a government wants to run its citizens’ lives, the worse job it will do at the most basic tasks of government.”
I would suggest a corollary that the less specific and more general and the grander its objectives the more it distracts from real problems that are actionable, and easier to hold one accountable.
I will add my own Rebel Yid Law: that the more hyperbolic the reaction the less likely that the problem is understood. The more that dissent is demonized, the less credibility the argument has.
‘Virtue signaling’ is a relatively new term that describes an action that is meant more to make a moral statement than to solve an actual problem.
‘Scientism’ is another new term that attempts to imbue scientific credentials to an argument of values. It can also be defined as the replacement of skepticism with belief and acceptance. It is used to extrapolate conclusions from scientific facts that are not supported by the facts themselves.
We need a scientific debate that is absent of the demonization and intellectual McCarthyism that demonizes legitimate questions. The pursuit of science is stilled when the word ’denier’ is unsheathed.
The United States has reduced its carbon footprint more than any industrialized country, not because of Obama’s policies but despite them. Regardless of your position on AGW, the Paris Accords did very little to change the course of climate and did much to transfer wealth from one source to another. When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can generally count on Paul’s approval.
Clean air, clean water, better food and medicine for the world’s poor are aims that are in need and well worth pursuing. They require measurable and accountable action. Virtue signaling and scientism serves the elite moral supremacists, not the needy of the world.
A final lesson on the Paris Accord: process counts. When you work with a pen and a phone and bypass debate and consent, it can be just as easily undone. If it is a treaty then go through the process. When you refuse to respect the process, do not expect your decision to be respected.