The Angry Men
Over at The Guardian, George Monbiot claims that the “premise (of the Copenhagen summit) is that the age of heroism is over.” He mourns those who will not be, “constrained by taxes, gun laws, regulations, health and safety, especially by environmental restraints.” He denounces, “the angry men who seek to derail this agreement, and all such limits on their self-fulfilment” and proclaims this to be the, “age of accommodation.”
As one of the “angry men” who Mr. Monbiot answers, I feel called to offer a response: the hell with that. And you, George, can go straight to Hell.
In a single column, the man has managed to epitomize the things that I despise the most the movement with which the man is aligned. The doctrine of limits - a program of planned national and civilizational suicide - is the most dangerous promulgated in our age. It says that, having come this far, humanity should go no further. It embraces and seeks to impose upon the rest of us the essentially religious sentiment that humanity is at the service of nature rather than the other way around.
Men such as this would drain all of the glory and splendor from the world. Small men, petty men, they would seek because they do not have the stuff of greatness in them to deny that the possibility of such a thing exists or, insofar as they cannot deny it, to stigmatize, denounce, and destroy it.
Such men cannot comprehend the wonder of Churchill in that magnificent May of 1940 as Britain stood alone. They cannot imagine the beauty of the parade of the victorious Army of the Potomac. They do not look upon Apollo 11 breaking the bonds of Earth with wonder and poetry and imagination.
What they would have for us is a smaller, grayer world. They would place the petty concerns of peons ahead of the greatest achievements and joys of man.
Can you imagine if such men were to truly get their way? A soft-focus world of weak men and ordinary lives? The man proposes to create purgatory on Earth.
The soft, quiet, totalitarian-by-necessity world that Mr. Monbiot envisions (and, after all, how does one force the rest of us to live with such restraints as he wishes, except by means of some sort of Gestapo apparatus?) is, as he says, no world for heroes. And such a world - with no heroes, no glory, no wonder, no splendor - isn’t a world I care to live in. I, and the other angry men he fears, will never, so long as any of us live, consent to live in such a place. We will fight forever and ever and, if Mr. Monbiot is sincere and truly does seek to use the most extreme measures to stop and oppress us, I wish to assure him that there shall be no length, no means of resistance of which we shall not avail ourselves.
People like this man proclaim that, having come so far as this, we ought to stop and slow ourselves to the pace of the slowest and the lamest. Their fantasies of a brighter-sharing-caring world make me sick, not because they’re evil, but because they’re so very dangerous. You stop and die in the mud if you like, George, but the rest of the world will not do the same. Your doctrine runs contrary to human nature and is thus false. All you can do is to destroy all that a thousand generations that came before us built.
Therein lies the danger. Because, even if Mr. Monbiot speaks for the elites of the West (and I fear he might), he doesn’t speak for the world. Any nation, any civilization, that embraces his doctrine won’t be saved - it will be crushed underfoot by some stronger and more vibrant one. He would condemn us to slavery.
And that is why I and the angry men are so very, very angry. Not because we’re reactionaries who can’t accept that we have reached our limits - but because we’re the forward-thinkers who can see what happens to us and our entire heritage of liberty if our people follow false prophets.
Here, it would seem - to borrow from Mr. Reagan - is a man who would have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the Pharaohs. Who would have had Christ refuse the cross. And therein lies the danger because, should he convince enough - and he and his ilk have convinced man - of this, then our children will live in slavery and we shall never be saved.
In his rant against “expanders”, he ignores or forgets one key point: this isn’t the only planet that we have. This is not the last frontier. We have the technology to go to other worlds. We have the technology - or are within reach of it at any rate - to transform other words to suit our own ends. And it will happen, whether Mr. Monbiot wants it to or not. We can go to Mars. We can transform that planet. We can transform this planet. We have the technology. If we don’t, then someone else will.
Think on it for a moment. Even assuming that he was right, do you think that the rest of the world would follow? If we accept this all we do is ensure that the future belongs to someone else and make it so that all that our fathers did was create the technology that let other people transform the world, the Solar System and, God willing, one day the universe itself.
And that, my friends, is why we - the angry men and I - ought to haunt George’s nightmares. Because, by his very words, he has exposed himself as weak, as accommodating. He warns that, “there is no end to this fight, no line these people will not cross.”
And, on that point, he’s right.