New political ideology is needed



Opinion Columnist Mohammed Rawwas argues that new political ideology is needed to enact change.

MOHAMMED RAWWAS, Opinion Columnist

The standard liberal dogma suggests that the barrier to combating climate change is the fact that conservatives in the U.S., and especially Republican politicians, do not acknowledge the scientific fact that climate change is occurring and is caused by human activity. We are constantly being told that we just need to listen to the scientists and that conservatives’ denial of the truth is what is stopping us from acting on climate change.

Seems fair enough: acknowledging anthropogenic climate change is certainly a necessary precondition to combating it; however, it is most certainly not sufficient. Let us imagine that conservatives in the U.S. were to acknowledge the reality of the situation facing us: who is to say that they would reach the same policy conclusions (e.g. the Green New Deal)?

Just witness the short-circuit that occurs when the racist, proto-fascist, standard conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro acknowledges the fact that climate change might be happening, and might be caused by humans, in a 2017 incoherent rambling billed as a “lecture.” He states that even if this is the case, no action need be taken because people living in low-lying areas that will be affected by rising sea levels could just move and sell their underwater homes! What we see here is ideology at work: because Shapiro is not a liberal, he surely must be opposed to anything and everything that liberals support, so he has to draw some sort of distinction to differentiate himself from that which he is not.

Even though his statement has no logical coherency, he must hold it, because otherwise the cognitive dissonance would be too much “if ‘the left’ is right about this, then what else could they be right about?”

But this is only the most innocuous example. Take next the mass shootings at Christchurch and El Paso. Both shooters were self-declared “eco-fascists” that were worried about “overpopulation” and both shooters were partially motivated by overpopulation concerns to carry out the shooting (obviously, this is secondary to their racism). They have done what the liberals have been clamoring for: they have acknowledged that humans are causing climate change, and they are even willing to act to combat it! Yet this is clearly not the result that liberals want. But here is the fatal flaw in the liberal line of “accept the facts:” there are no facts that exist outside of ideology. Even if conservatives were to whole-heartedly “accept the science,” that would not make them allies in the fight against climate change. Instead, we would birth a resurgence in neo-Malthusian ideology and eco-fascism. Think of all the horrific policies that could be enacted under the name of “combating climate change”: eugenics, forced sterilization, cullings, reconcentration of power and increased authoritarianism, not to mention an increase in mass shootings as the situation worsens. The threat of climate change is not limited to the threat of climate change itself: as the situation worsens, people will become more and more desperate, and their reactions will depend on the ideology being posited.

Another exemplary case of there being no “objective” “neutral” fact that exists outside of ideology: the Washington Post runs a “fact-checking” apparatus that claims to be just that: objective, neutral fact-checking. Yet, they gave Bernie Sanders “three pinocchios” for stating that six people own as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population, because, although they acknowledged that the numbers were correct, they were “not especially meaningful.” They also gave Sanders three pinocchios for his statement that 500,000 people file for medical bankruptcy annually, despite the fact that the expert they consulted for the piece said that the statement was accurate, or even an under-estimate. These “fact-checks,” ironically, disprove the very premise upon which they are based. By claiming that Sanders is lying despite acknowledging that he is “objectively” correct in his assertion, simply because his statements fall into a different ideological framework than that of the author, the fact-check itself disproves the very possibility of a fact check as such. There are no facts that exist outside of ideology.

So, where does that leave us? Well, we must recognize that the right will never be convinced to act in moral ways. We cannot talk our way out of climate change. Even if they were to acknowledge reality, their policy prescriptions would themselves be another disaster on our hands. Which leaves us with only one choice: take power. Rather than rallying around “science” or “truth,” we need a clear political and moral agenda: leftism. And we should reject the underlying bipartisan logic structuring the idea that we just need to convince conservatives of anthropogenic climate change, at which point we can then work with them to combat it. The reality is that conservatives will never be helpful: they simply need to be defeated electorally so that we can enact out vision of the Green New Deal.