According to the old saw, the problem with socialism is socialism, while the problem with capitalism is capitalists. The latter half of this quote is widely attributed to Herbert Hoover, which perhaps is one indication of why this statement is backwardly wrong. Capitalists may be greedy, but they can’t compel people by force to engage in commerce with them (unless they get the government to compel people to buy their product, but that’s crony capitalism . . . or Obamacare). Real socialists are much nastier people than capitalist roaders.
As C.S. Lewis memorably put it:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Well guess what, mom? Turns out new research shows that while most people hold sympathy for environmental causes, it turns out they don’t much like environmentalists. Or feminists. And it may have the effect of reducing people’s efforts (I’ll resists saying compliance or submission—more accurate terms in many ways) with the idealism of the mother-earth-saving mothers. (I mean, if you really want to stare into the abyss, just contemplate environmental feminists.) I know a lot of people who disdain recycling, even when it makes resource and market sense, simply in healthy reaction to the relentless moral hectoring of environmentalists.
From the news story, “Environmentalism? Perhaps. Environmentalists? Ewww.”:
Why don’t people behave in more environmentally friendly ways? New research presents one uncomfortable answer: They don’t want to be associated with environmentalists.
That’s the conclusion of troubling new research from Canada, which similarly finds support for feminist goals is hampered by a dislike of feminists.
Participants held strongly negative stereotypes about such activists, and those feelings reduced their willingness “to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted,” reports a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir. This surprisingly cruel caricaturing, the researchers conclude, plays “a key role in creating resistance to social change.”
This is one reason I never like being called “green conservative” (though I have been many times); I don’t much care for the company I’d have to keep.