Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Totalitarian Two Step

The EPA,
is completing a rule requiring large polluters to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that they release into the air. Those emissions can exacerbate asthma and other breathing problems.

The rule would require companies to install better technology and improve energy efficiency whenever they build, or significantly modify, a plant.
(We'll pass over the absurd claim about asthma, which not even viro activists have pushed. It's an Associated Press story, after all.)

Having taken control of the health care financing of every individual in the country, the Federal Government is now engaged in Step Two of establishing a totalitarian dictatorship in America.

To be sure, it has the appearance of a benign dictatorship, more like Denmark's today than that of Italy in the 1920s. So, of course calling it that will inevitably garner a few reactions charging wingnuttery. So be it. It's not so extreme a description in this case. The ability of (or at least the quasi-legal framework for) the government to control every action you take — since all of them produce CO2 — is the definition of totalitarianism.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the rule applies only to large polluters such as power plants, refineries and cement production facilities that collectively are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
These things are never static. Expect a gradual defining down of 'large' until it reaches the level of the Feds worrying about the smoke from an outdoor BBQ grill. After all, if the EPA can worry — as it already has — about a farmer's stream on his own land, it will sooner or later get around to that. As Mises discovered generations ago, controls breed more controls. Even the relatively smaller ones today will have a hobbling effect on an already overburdened energy sector.

Still, money cost is actually the least troubling aspect of the ruling. It is just one more way, and not a small one, in which an unelected bureaucracy sets rules that have no useful purpose, solve no real problem, and expand Federal control over individuals and their Constitutionally guaranteed ignored property rights.

And, to tie this into other recent events, this is all the result of a Supreme Court ruling three years ago. (Combined, of course, with decades of environmentalism poisoning the culture.) For those who believe SCOTUS is like some gentleman's club that has no relevance to the day-to-day life of every American (no SL readers, I'm sure), here's proof positive of the reverse.


madmax said...

If you want to see an explicit advocacy of totalitarianism, read the linked article below: a leftist calling for a "department of information."

Jeff Perren said...

Thanks for the link. Interesting that, when called on it (comments on MinTrue, etc) he laughs it off and says he was "just being ironic."

But I note his irony, and his lament, said nothing about how to clean up the Augean stables that is modern journalism. He also fails to mention that the market is actually doing that all on its own, with blogs, online magazines, etc.

Clearly, he mistrusts the market to do that, mistrusts 'democracy', i.e. that people will exchange information freely and that - in this hurly burly - the facts will emerge.

Despite his facade of longing for objectivity, he's clearly looking for someone to tell him what is true in some authoritative way so he has to use no discernment and favors the government performing that role.

Warmed over Sunstein, and one of the reasons I have called that guy the most dangerous man in America.