Can unbelievers summon up the devil? Before answering the question, let’s digress.
For many years, the Third World has functioned as the sump of toxic Western ideas. Ideas too dangerous for any sane person to actually try were boldly exported there. Years ago, a Bavarian friend remarked that the most destructive German export of all time was Karl Marx; far more catastrophic in effect than that perennial rival for ideological malpractice, Adolf Hitler.
There’s something to this. Marx’s disciples like Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and the Kim family have between them killed many more people than perished at the hands of Adolf. Yet after each catastrophe, the intellectuals would go back to the drawing board and try again with the highest hopes, since the inhabitants of Africa, Asia, and South America seemed perpetually ready to be sacrificed on the altar of “scientific” socialism.
One of the characteristics of Leftism is that it always works best for the “masses.” The Vanguard are somehow always exempted from its strictures, as they have important work to do. Individuals who sincerely decry “carbon footprints” see nothing wrong in flying by private jet to denounce the use of fossil fuels. The bigger the private jet, the more credible the environmentalist.
Marxism is full of schemes that are beautiful at a distance, but only at a distance. Four years ago the Daily Mail noted how Chinese industrial areas were poisoned in the process of producing “clean” wind turbines for the First World:
On the outskirts of one of China’s most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn.
Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world’s legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.
The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the “green” companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.
Vast fields of waste were generated so a delighted environmentalist could watch a windmill go round and round. Regrettable, but it was the spectacle that mattered, like those electric cars charged from power plants burning coal. You saw the car and forgot the coal.
Somewhat better known than rare-earth pollution is the irony of ship-breaking industries. The West sends old ships to be recycled to the Third World mud flats, where swarms of impoverished laborers take them apart with hacksaw and cutting torch:
Ship breaking allows the materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled and made into new products. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore and reduces energy use in the steel-making process. Equipment on board the vessel can also be reused. While ship breaking is, in theory, sustainable, there are concerns about the use of poorer countries without stringent environmental legislation. It is also considered one of the world’s most dangerous industries and very labour-intensive.
In 2012, roughly 1,250 ocean ships were broken down, and their average age is 26 years. In 2013, Asia made up 92% of the tonnage of vessels demolished, out of a world total of 29,052,000 tonnes. India, Bangladesh, China, and Pakistan have the highest market share and are global centres of ship breaking, with Alang being the largest boat “graveyard” in the world.
Some Pedro, Kwame, or Abdul ultimately picks up the pieces. But we don’t see him and he never says nothing unless he’s dancing at some cultural festival. “Guantanamera! Umgowa! Umgowa!” From countries destroyed by coca production to support cool drug habits, to populations decimated by malaria because of the Western phobia for DDT, to countries doomed to live under hideous but fashionable totalitarianisms in order to keep alive the adolescent student fantasy of some upper-class drone, the Marxist feast needs low-paid waiters to clean up after its dreams.
The poster-couple for this kind of vicarious idealism are probably Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers, who were as close to American aristocracy as it was possible to get.