When All You Have Is a Hammer. . .

You almost have to have some sympathy for Rep. Raul Grijalva, given that he’s a slave to the crudely Marxist reductionist view that economic interest determines everything. It has been the fundamental driving principle of the left for a very long time. When all you have is a hammer. . .

By coincidence, as Grijalva was rolling out his Climate Blacklist this week, I happened to be rereading portions of G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man. Chapter VII, “The War of Gods and Demons,” begins as follows:

The materialist theory of history, that all politics and ethics are the expression of economics, is a very simple fallacy indeed. It consists simply of confusing the necessary conditions of life with the normal preoccupations of life, that are quite a different thing. It is like saying that because a man can only walk on two legs, therefore he never walks about except to buy shoes and stockings. Man cannot live without the two props of food and drink, which support him like two legs; but to suggest that they have been the motives of all his movements in history is like saying that the goal of all his military marches or religious pilgrimages must have been the Golden Leg of Miss Kilmansegg or the idea and perfect leg of Sir Willoughby of Patterne. But it is such movements that make up the story of mankind and without them there would be practically no story at all. Cows may be purely economic, in the sense that we cannot see that they do much beyond grazing and seeking better grazing grounds; and that is why a history of cows in twelve volumes would not be very lively reading.

Let me suggest in passing that a history of cows in twelve volumes would likely be better than much of the academic writing in social science today. But save that for another occasion. The history of the climate change campaign is going to be similarly tedious in the fullness of time.

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