Republicans and the Climate

Yesterday the Republicans won in the elections for the U.S. Congress. One part of the Republican agenda is the radical rejection of worrying about everyone else, worrying about each of our “co-human beings.”

The message of the tea party is the (failed) attempt to recover the central idea of the “founding fathers,” the idea of radical Calvinism in which the good people are those chosen by God and the rest are sinners whom no one need worry about. Since the chosen were those who fit in the five mini boats that arrived in Massachusetts, the rest of the world fails to be of any interest.

Therefore, there is no need to worry about the sick or the poor (in the doctrine of radical Calvinism, the poor are sinners already condemned on Earth by a merciless God), much less worry about the environment or even the weather.

According to this doctrine, the only existence is the whim of the human being, independent from everyone else; most importantly, the wealthier the human being, the better. After all, wealth is a sign that one has been chosen by God, it is deification based on the misinterpreted texts of Saint Augustine and Saint Paul. It is pure, hard egotism.

In Spain, we do not have Calvinism, but we do have the tea party disguised as many other things. We have the vanity of the chosen, not by God but rather by society; we have the well chosen nobles, properly voted for, who only care about the rest of their kind (that is if they are politicians, the rest of the politicians, either from the right or left since both are “nobles,” or rather, chosen) while the rest exist alone, having been placed there by God or by the immutable laws of history (which in this case are one and the same) for his service and enjoyment.

The economic fiasco in the U.S. isn’t Obama’s responsibility. The Americans have already forgotten who created it: Mr. George Bush, the famous figure of radical republicanism. But it is his (Obama’s) responsibility for not having, as we say in Spain, “what it takes” to start the dynamic revolution that would have given jobs to millions of Americans. Instead, in the style of Keynes, he has settled for giving money to dig ditches and then cover them up, believing that the wealth is indeed “there” and that it only has to be distributed in order to stimulate spending. All the while, he is ignoring the fact that, for lack of intellectual capability, before serving the cake, one has to first make the batter and bake it in the oven.

In Spain, the economic fiasco is the responsibility of two political parties: the PP and the PSOE, both of which are fanatical lovers of the get-rich-quick culture and of the acquisition of virtual wealth by means of the old wives’ tale of false appraisals; not of work, effort and invention, but rather of converting the country lot into something that can be built upon. In order to do that, they need four million additional workers who, when the lot returns to its original value, become leftovers in the face of the indifference of these well-bred nobles. The nobles, that is to say those who have been chosen by the votes of a people who don’t know what the war is for, then abandon themselves to irresponsibility, as do all elected officials.

Both the new U.S. Congress and the Spanish party system have elevated the idea of insolidarity to doctrine: There is the insolidarity of today, defined by giving up on generating work and substituted in Spain by paying alms to the strikes, while in the U.S. it is defined by the rejection of the poor. Then there is the insolidarity of tomorrow: leaving our common home, the environment from which our children and grandchildren will have to draw resources, to rot in light of their total indifference. Just one example will suffice: The minister of the environment would be as unmoved if the red tuna disappeared as she would be if it suddenly stopped raining.

The kind and charming readers of this blog tell me that I am a catastrophist without a motive and that we live, as Pangloss, in the best of all possible worlds.

But I disagree, and I suggest time and time again the need to leave behind the ideas of the tea party, of Calvinism and of the arrogance of self-selection. Instead, we need to put ourselves to work, to generate productive employment, to take care of our co-citizens of today and our co-citizens of tomorrow. We need to do both things at the same time: generate energy and distribute it in order to create jobs and take care of our environment.

The only real wealth is the energy that we use day to day. We incorporate part of this energy into buildings, cars, clothes and objects. Since the sum of this incorporated energy is much greater than the daily flow, we believe ourselves to be rich because we buy and sell the same quantity of energy while always coming out even.

However, real wealth is not what we buy and sell, but rather the excess of energy we have on a daily basis. And this energy has to be seized day to day. By doing so, work and wealth are made available to each person, rather than concentrating it solely on an individual or area.

In order to create jobs, we need to increase the energy we make available while drastically reducing the dissipation of this energy.

But only those who live with and among the people understand this. Those who have moved into palaces and look at their “co-people” from the penthouses of the Castellana or from the bullet-proof windows of their limousines no longer understand this obvious truth.

Insolidarity has triumphed. We can change this next time here, and the Americans there.

Shall we do it?

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