Posted by: Grant | October 22, 2012

Celebrated French Philosopher

Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

” …Subtitled Sauver la Terre, punir l’Homme (Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings) the book rails against a peculiar Western malady. Yes, concerns about the environment are legitimate, Bruckner asserts, but catastrophisme is transforming us all into children “put in a panic in order to be better controlled”.
It is a feistier-than-usual polemic for Bruckner, a leading member of France’s “new philosophers” who emerged from the 1970s left with searing critiques of Marxism. Later this year, it will be published in English as Fanaticism of the Apocalypse by Polity, Cambridge, translated by Steven Rendall.
As the Jesuit-educated philosopher sees it, extreme climate change alarmism, with its warning bells chiming “The end of the world is nigh, repent ye”, represents a worrying new doctrine of ideological purity that even has totalitarian overtones. Worst of all, Bruckner argues, these “political commissars of carbon” have “betrayed the best of causes” and turned the discourse of ecological terror into the “dominant ideology of Western society”…. “

” …The author’s special “passion” is, he says, Western guilt. Tears of the White Man, published in 1983, explored culpability regarding our colonial past, and in The Tyranny of Guilt, published in 2006, Bruckner examined the burdens of contemporary “penitence” about Western power and influence. But as Bruckner judges it, a panic is now gripping Western elites, as they rapidly lose power amid the rise of countries like China, India and Brazil.
“Since we no longer dominate the world, we live in a permanent terror film and every day they [ecologists] explain to us that it is a miracle that we are still alive.
“The absurdity of this propaganda of fear – which recalls that of [former US president] George W. Bush regarding terrorism – is that we have never lived so long. “We are living in a post-technological Middle Ages.
Our mentality is that of the medieval peasant serf who sees maleficent forces in nature. “Everything is dangerous. Simply to live has become an impossible task. “We are afraid of everything – of mobile phones, of food, of dummies, of nappies, of antennas. We are living in a society which has a horror of risk and therefore is afraid of its own shadow.”
Intelligent responses to environmental degradation are therefore required rather than radical “belt-tightening” and “privation” in the form of a retreat from nuclear power and even domestic heating. “There is this famous notion defended by the ecologists of ‘negawatts’: the best energy is that which we don’t expend,” the philosopher almost sneers…. “

FINANCIAL REVIEW
Scorning the propaganda of fear
PUBLISHED: 20 Jul 2012 00:03:00 | UPDATED: 20 Jul 2012 13:19:45
http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/scorning_the_propaganda_of_fear_35NPhGM05z5vuBNPRHVobI

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: