by Tim Kirby
Norway’s governmental incentive policy to force the populace to buy emission-free vehicles has recently been exposed as a “fraud” and a form of taking taxpayers’ money away from them in order to bribe them into proper behavior with it. This, much like California’s plastic straw banis a form of environmental technocracy driven by the irrational fears of trendy individuals with too much time on their hands and a position in power. The absurdity of making incremental bans and incentives to somehow lead to a grand scale change in the environment should not shock us as our political system does not provide any other option.
For most or possibly all of our lives (depending on our age) we have been fed the unflinching narrative that humans are bad, we consume too much, there are too many of us and we are destroying the planet.
In X number of years due to Global Warming or Climate Change or something else we are all going to die if we don’t change our bad behavior. This has been repeated so many times that it is now an unquestionable fact. If you ask most politicians in the West if they agree with this narrative they will passionately say “yes, we must save the environment” or something of the like while belching out platitudes to the audience. But what do they actually do to save it? They make tiny haphazard incremental changes.
If the Norwegian authorities were so sure that the internal combustion engine will be the death of us all, why did they choose to create an incentive based program (that has ultimately failed, as the incentives lead many Norwegians to buy two cars, one gas and one electric) to gently push the population towards buying electric vehicles for perks with things like free access to toll roads, free use of ferries, free parking etc.?
So there is a massive trendy push for environmentalism, but the system does not allow for the sweeping changes that some wants, this contradiction leads to what I refer to as the “Technocratic Approach”.
The Technocratic Approach is when lawmakers attempt to set up a system of carrots and sticks in order to force the population to change behavior towards a desired result.
If we go away from environmentalism we can see anti-alcohol legislation in Russia doing the same thing. Alcohol is forbidden from being purchased at night in most of Russia. This has partially lead to the decreasing alcohol consumption in the nation that nearly drank itself to death in the 90s. However, by what right can the government ban adults from drinking alcohol? Why is alcohol suddenly illegal at certain times of day? If alcohol is so awful why is it legal at all? The technocrat sees no need in addressing any of this logic, alcohol is bad, banning it at night reduces drinking, there for what is legal at 10:59 is illegal at 11:00.
This Technocratic Approach eliminates any form of reason or discussion, it is just simply done to harshly make change on a microscale be it alcohol, electric cars or plastic straws. It is scary to think about it but this nit-picky small-minded approach to making change in society is becoming the norm.
A Technoc sees people simply as numbers or statistics that needs to be shifted by carrots and sticks and nothing more.
Although the Technocratic Method does work (electric car sales did increase in Norway, there is slightly less plastic garbage in California, and Russians are drinking less every year) its attitude towards to population as mindless cattle is certainly felt and creates mountains of contempt. This is a mechanical spiritless way of thinking that does not work us humans.
The intellectually insulting Technocratic Approach is a key part of our Liberalism, which combined with its many other negatives makes one think that we need a new approach, and one that is far more human, one that gives a reason not to drink, or rallies us to buy a different type of car not under the whip of bureaucracy and fines but free will.