Anger and the Bees
about what scientists are now discovering may be the true cause of the mystery of the disappearance of honeybees--a fungus and a virus--is interesting. It is interesting because it brings to mind the hysteria that has dominated previous media reports on the subject that centered mainly on suspicions that the die-off might be caused by pesticides and increased radiation in the atmosphere from cell phone usage. And this points to the default position of some well-meaning but, perhaps, too conventional and angry environmentalists who assume that mankind is the root of all environmental evil. If one is a well meaning person and a lover of natural beauty and phenomena, it should not be difficult for the rest of us to understand why such a person holding to this default view (i.e., that mankind wreaks havoc upon the object of his affection) becomes a little . . . um . . . mad (and angry too).Jonah Goldberg
writes a good piece today picking up on that sick 10:10 campaign in Britain and the insular group-think that propels people clinging to that kind of anger to produce an ad as noxious as that and imagine it salutary and beneficial to the public good. It's not so simple as to say that these folks are barking mad--for the cause of their madness is more instructive than this kind of dismissive judgment allows us to imagine. For people who study politics, it is worthwhile trying to come to grips with the kinds of things that motivate angry people. That's because this kind of propensity toward fascism is not, of course, limited to enviros any more than it is characteristic of all environmentalists. Among environmentalists, it does seem to be limited to those who don't particularly like human beings and would like the world better if most of us weren't around. Jonah's point is well taken that the numbers of that kind of environmentalist appear to be a good bit higher today than many would like to believe.
Anger in politics can be useful. But when it is not managed by reason--sweet reason--it proves itself a costly master. Everyone interested in politics ought to examine the bad examples of anger in politics from time to time and, of course, to remember NOT to allow oneself when thinking or commenting upon politics to be propelled exclusively by it.
2:06 PM / October 8, 2010