Monday, July 21, 2014

Decreeing Utopia

It didn't work for Lenin.
It worked even more poorly for Stalin.
Mao killed sixty million Chinese and it still didn't work.
Pol Pot? Are you BLEEP!ing kidding me?
The Eurocrats have failed as well.
Who's left?

Perhaps that last should have been "Who's Left?" But I digress.

These clowns are left:

End global hunger and all forms of malnutrition and poverty by 2030, along with all urban slums around the world. Halve the number of deaths from road traffic accidents globally (an estimated 1.24 million in 2010, according to the World Health Organization) by the same date—and “reduce levels of violence and halve related death rates everywhere” by then too. Make sure that the income of the bottom 40 percent of the population in all countries grows faster than the national average. Achieve “global resource efficiency,” and try to separate economic growth from “environmental degradation and resource use” everywhere over the next decade and a half.

All of those lofty, ambitious –and for critics, improbable and not-very-closely-linked—objectives, as well as many more, are currently being bundled, massaged and repackaged at the United Nations, to be formally unveiled in September as the ”sustainable development goals,” the centerpiece of the latest multi-trillion-dollar U.N. bid to reshape the planet along largely socialist or progressive lines.

Are you surprised in the slightest, Gentle Reader, to learn that Obama supports this "initiative" -- or that his envoy to the soiree is John Podesta?

Well, it does keep them off the street, at least. And inasmuch as U.N. types contribute mightily to downtown Manhattan traffic and parking problems, that's no small thing. But should the Obamunists manage to commit us to this "big container of verbal fudge" (William Easterly, formerly an economist at the World Bank), it will be the end of anything even resembling a free market in these United States.

I've argued before that smart people have no place in government. It's always smart people who chisel around the edges of their authority when in office. It's always smart people who "baffle 'em with bullshit." And it's always smart people, when their houses of straw catch fire, who mutter to themselves that "nobody understands or appreciates me." Unwillingness to accept his limitations -- or limitations that arise from the nature of Mankind, for that matter -- is the hallmark of the "intellectual" in office.

Please don't misunderstand me. There are plenty of smart people who are humble enough to stick to what they truly know and can do well. But he who seeks a public position of authority has two strikes against him for that reason alone. An intellect significantly above the norm adds a million more. Worst of all is the man who believes himself both above average in intelligence and ethically qualified for a position of power, and is wrong on both counts. I could make a good case for immuring such individuals in lifelong solitary confinement as soon as they display their plumage.

Time was, there was a common rejoinder to the man with too many opinions and too little sense of his limitations: "If yer so smart, why ain'tcha rich?" It was far better aimed than many of its wielders knew. The typical aspirant to political power has never achieved anything on his own hook. That's part of why he wants his hands on the levers of power.

But should he get there, this supposed intellectual will believe himself capable of re-engineering Mankind. He'll craft "policies" that directly contradict the most basic drives of a sentient creature. When his schemes fail in practice, he'll call for immense enforcement mechanisms with draconian powers. He'll blink in incredulity when black markets arise to countervail his intentions. He'll bellow in rage when he discovers that such markets are ineradicable...and that among the most enthusiastic participants in those markets can be found some of his closest, most trusted lieutenants.

The United Nations regularly convokes such intellectuals and asks them to redesign human society. There's never a shortage of eager attendees. There's usually a lot of crisis-shouting and mutual genital fondling. There's often a complete lack of hard sense.

This latest gathering appears to be aiming for some sort of ultimate grand prize. As columnist George Russell notes, everything from the elimination of poverty to the reduction of traffic fatalities appears in the "zero draft." No one's pet peeve has been omitted. Nothing is said about costs or the implied incursions into individuals' rights. Evidence of logical coherence is entirely absent. Yet the draft claims as its overarching principle..."sustainability."

The one and only thing the United Nations could do for the people of the United States is to relieve Manhattan of its load on the borough's streets. I shan't hold my breath waiting for them to do so.


lelnet said...

The great beauty of the United Nations is its ability to collect the cream of such people, from all over the world, into one place, where they can engage in their mutual genital fondling, and imagine that they matter...while the rest of us get on with our lives.

As long as they're at the UN, all they can really do is tie up New York traffic...which frankly wouldn't exactly be a picnic even without them. If they moved to Washington (as altogether too many of them already have), we run the risk that they'd end up in positions where dudes with uniforms and heavy weaponry would feel obligated to obey their orders.

And we certainly don't want _that_.

pdwalker said...

Has the UN ever accomplished any good?