I have long maintained that the liberal left’s conception of what the needs of poor people should be is based on unforgivable intellectual arrogance. The entire Green movement is based, I believe, on this type of socialist fantasy, and is not a little bit hypocritical. Top-down socialism rests on the premise that some or other elite (and implicitly moral, incorruptible) leadership bureau can best decide what’s good for you and me, and if we object, we ought to be ideologically restructured so that we see that the state and its government is the sole arbiter of what our needs are and how many of them should be ignored because they are simply manifestations of materialist greed. Co-founder of Greenpeace and now green sceptic, Canadian environmentalist Patrick Moore, is worth reading on the subject. He saw the direct Marxist transformation of proper environmental organisations like Greenpeace from the inside. The sequential demise of Soviet-led communism and rise of green socialism is not a freakish coincidence. It’s a case of the devil finding work for idle hands.
From Peter Foster’s Why We Bite The Invisible Hand, chapter 15: Global Salvationism –
“Sustainability had profound conceptual and practical problems quite beyond its implicit denial of any ‘natural order’ that might both create wealth and protect the environment. How could anybody possibly know the ‘needs of the present’, let alone the needs of the future? Indeed, how could anybody gauge the ‘needs’ of even a single individual, or compare those of any two? Moreover, although there is no way of measuring needs, we could be sure that not all present needs were being met, so why should those of the future? In fact, the sustainable developers believed that assessing needs wasn’t a problem; they would tell humanity what its needs should be.
“The word ‘sustainable’ was an Orwellian term designed not to clarify thinking but to block it. After all, who could support unsustainability? Friedrich Hayek had once identified ‘social’ as the ultimate ‘weasel word’ that sucked the life from nouns to which it was attached, often reversing their meaning. Hence ‘social democracy’ was a cover for a non-democratic agenda, ‘social justice’ a code for forced redistribution and ‘social market economy’ a term for an economy with crippled markets. Similarly, sustainable development essentially meant stopping – or severely constraining – development, at least in the advanced countries, while pursuing socialist-style, top-down programs in poor nations.”