Human Exceptionalism

Radical Environmentalist Admits Human Exceptionalism

The War On Humans Book Cover

The New York Times often publishes articles and columns denigrating of human exceptionalism.

But its anti-human meme sometimes crashes with its focus on convincing us to cut off our noses to spite our collective faces in order to “save the planet.” On such occasions, our unique duties as humans come out of the advocacy drawer demanding that we sacrifice ourselves–a core capacity of human exceptionalism–on the altar of the earth goddess Gaia.

Latest example, a radical environmentalist philosopher claims that we are committing crimes against humanity and the planet in our environmental practices. From the interview with Adrian Parr:

This is a crime against what makes us uniquely human — the creative agency that comes from a combination of reasoning, imagination and emotion. We may all have different capacities and opportunities through which to realize our agency, but we share the same ability to collectively and individually realize our innovative potential. 

That, my friends, is a statement in support of human exceptionalism. I am shocked it wasn’t edited out!

I don’t want to get too deep into the woods with this–my The War on Humans delves into the anti-humanism infecting the environmental movement. But I think we should ponder how the professor’s perspective would add to human destitution and misery.

The fight against global warming is as much about anti-capitalism as making the planet greener. Parr lets some of that garbage out of her leftist bag:

Because human activities cause this environmental damage, our species is culpable for a crime we are committing against ourselves.

But in our defense, humanity is largely trapped by the political form of liberal state power, which facilitates the smooth functioning of global capitalism — the source of the problem. 

Baloney. Communist countries have always been the worst polluters.

In contrast, at least since the end of the 19th century, the free market and democratic West has (mostly) sought to improve environmental practices and tread more lightly on the land, particularly in the last fifty years.

But we do want to thrive and prosper. If people like Parr were in charge, we would cease promoting economic growth: 

The idea that we can “green” a capitalist economy without radically rethinking the basic premises at the heart of neoliberal economic theory is truly an example of misplaced politics.

The system is premised upon a model of endless growth, competition, private property and consumer citizenship, all of which combine to produce a terribly exploitative, oppressive and violent structure that has come to infuse all aspects of everyday life. 

Well, that’s rich: A well-off professor living off of the huge endowments contributed by capitalists past at Taft, advocating policies that would devastate our standard of living and add exponentially to the destitution and misery of the developing world.

That would be a true crime against humanity.


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