Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Better than you

In the wake of Eliot Spitzer's sudden retirement from the New York state government due to an abuse of office we're going to hear a lot about how power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Of late, liberals have outnumbered conservatives in turning that phrase against George Bush and his "illegal war" in Iraq, or wiretapping, or prison detention, etc. To protect against hypocrisy some of those folks will now be forced to admit that axiom must also apply to Spitzer (although that's only about sex). But how many will be willing to take it another step and say it might also apply to the global warming establishment?

It's clear the governor felt himself above the law. Nothing unusual--even the smallest of small-town police officers have been known to feel similarly, which is why we need competent oversight. But where is the oversight on the climate change brigade? Many of them fly around in private jets pretending their carbon footprints aren't the size of bigfoot due to phony-baloney cap and trade formulas while lecturing the little people on how we'll soon have to 'change the way we live' lest the world perish.

Czech president Vaclav Klaus, an economist and vocal critic of climate alarmism, recently pointed out the potential dangers of unchecked power in this debate:
I am afraid there are people who want to stop the economic growth, the rise in the standard of living (though not their own) and the ability of man to use the expanding wealth, science and technology for solving the actual pressing problems of mankind, especially of the developing countries. This ambition goes very much against past human experience which has always been connected with a strong motivation to better human conditions. There is no reason to make the change just now, especially with arguments based on such incomplete and faulty science. Human wants are unlimited and should stay so. Asceticism is a respectable individual attitude but should not be forcefully imposed upon the rest of us.
This coming from someone very familiar with a communist regime. Does it mean those who wish to reduce CO2 output are communists? Certainly not. But like the Spitzer situation, it does suggest the power vs corruption argument can apply anywhere there is absolute power, regardless of the rationale.

ht American Thinker


Anonymous said...

Mr. Spitzer represents a point somewhere along the continuum that starts with that guy down at the coffee shop who runs for school board, continues through the Kennedys, and then ends up somewhere around Saddam Hussein and Iosef Vissarionovich. Not everybody who goes into politics possesses a narcissistic personality type, but the profession does seem to draw heavily from their ranks. The question is, does a narcissist become progressively more malignant with tenure and power, or does he accumulate power and tenure because of his malignancy?

A.C. McCloud said...

Don't know either, but I do know that getting too much enjoyment watching them being hoisted by their own petards can itself be perilous to the soul.

Anonymous said...

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

~~Lord Acton

Anonymous said...

Lord Acton went on to say, "Great men are almost always bad men." Of course, he was referring to Pope Pius IX and the doctrine of papal infallibility (something that as a Baptist, I have a problem with, too).