November 25, 2009

Arthur Silber: Global Warming, Fantastic Hypocrites, and the Fatal Corporatist Problem

Closing paragraphs of Silber's article:

It may be that Gore is sincere in his beliefs, and that his sincerity and honesty are reflected in his investments. But we will never have anything close to sufficient information to make that determination. If you are prepared to simply take his word on this question, or the word of numerous other people who reap massive windfalls from particular decisions and policies of government -- if you are prepared to set aside every issue and question set forth above (all of which could and have been expanded to many books, with endless examples of the same general phenomenon) -- then you are missing every issue of importance.

The complex, intricate operations of our corporatist system, of the dizzyingly numerous interconnections between "private" business and government, are the bedrock on which policy decisions are made in every area. If you look to government to solve the problem of global warming and climate change, however you may conceive that problem, it is this system that you are trusting to make the "best" judgments and the "best" investments -- with, it should always be remembered, your money.

So the question for you is: Do you trust this system? Do you? I would offer one further point: the degree to which you think global warming is a genuine crisis requiring urgent action, is the precise degree to which you should trust this system even less. If you think the entire globe faces a frightening crisis of truly unprecedented proportions, do you trust a system where decisions are made on the basis of friendships, alliances, connections, "influence" and doing "favors" for those one prefers, for whatever reason? No matter how sincere some individuals may be, do you trust a system which invites and encourages the participation of people who aren't sincere in any measurable degree, but are primarily and sometimes solely concerned with increasing their own wealth and power?