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September 14, 2015

YALE PROFESSOR EXPLAINS HITLER’S MALTHUSIANISM, THINKS THERE’S SOMETHING TO IT: In contrast, as Bob Zubrin writes at NRO, “The real lesson of the Holocaust for our time is this: We are not threatened by there being too many people. We are threatened by people who say there are too many people:”

The fundamental question boils down to this: Are humans destroyers or creators? If the idea is accepted that the world’s resources are fixed, with only so much to go around, then each new life is unwelcome, each unregulated act or thought is a menace, every person is fundamentally the enemy of every other person, and each race or nation is enemy of every other race or nation. The ultimate outcome of such a worldview can only be enforced stagnation, tyranny, war, and genocide.

But if we choose instead to have faith in the power of unfettered creativity to invent unbounded resources, then every new life if a gift, and every person, race, and nation becomes ultimately the potential friend of every other, and, rather than suppression, the fundamental purpose of government must be to protect human liberty at all costs.

Only in a world of freedom can resources be unlimited. Only in a world of unlimited resources can all men be brothers.

But as Thomas Sowell once told an interviewer:

There’s something Eric Hoffer said: “Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.” There always has to be a crisis — some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.

Malthusianism provides the perfect mechanism for what William James dubbed at the start of the 20st century “The Moral Equivalent of War” — or war itself, in the case of post-Weimar Germany.

UPDATE: “L’Shanah Tovah! New York Times Compares ‘Climate Change’ to Holocaust,” Michael Walsh writes. But this is actually breaking news from 1989, when the Gray Lady allowed Al Gore to publish a self-serving op-ed there titled “An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen.”