Global Warming as European Imperialism
By James Lewis
The great Global Warming scare is only the latest eructation of European imperialism. Euro-imperialism used to be known as socialism. Before that, it was just called British or French imperialism, because those countries were very proud of it. There was no need to lie. The only reason today’s huge European effort to control the world isn’t called “imperialism” any more, is that its supporters hate that word. The reality of imperial control is fine with them.
According to one dictionary, imperialism is
“the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.”
That is exactly European policy today with regard to Global Warming.
But that’s only the dictionary. The media don’t follow the dictionary definition of imperialism. They follow Vladimir Lenin’s definition instead. For Lenin, imperialism had to be a capitalist plot. Only capitalists could exploit colonies for their resources; the fact that this is plain unvarnished nonsense was part of its charm. It’s like the slogan that Blacks can’t be racists. It makes no sense, but to certain people bigger nonsense means more profundity.
So Lenin told the world that a proletarian power can only conquer other nations to liberate them, not to exploit them. So it must be true that the Soviet Union was not imperialist, regardless of the Hungarian and Czech invasions, the wholesale carting of East German industries to Russia after 1946, and 70 years of the immiseration of Russia, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea (even today). Assuredly, Moscow’s centralized control of worldwide communist parties didn’t count as imperialism. Got that? The Soviet Empire could not be imperialist, no matter how it acted; US leadership was imperialist regardless of the facts. If you don’t get that, you’re just not thinking like a media clone.
Everybody in the media knows the US attacked Saddam in Iraq to steal the oil. That’s imperialism. It would have been a lot easier to keep our troops in Kuwait in 1992, because Kuwait has plenty of oil and is easier to control than Iraq. We could have cut a deal with Saddam and divided it in half. But thinking is not the strong suit for these folks.
There’s another little word missing in the Global Warming discussion: Europe.
All self-respecting capitals of 19th century Europe had their empires. There was the Habsburg Empire, Napoleon’s French Empire, Bismarck’s Reich (Empire – later the Nazi Reich). Queen Victoria reigned over the British Empire, on which the sun never set. The Dutch had an empire in the East Indies. The Belgians owned the Congo (and behaved brutally even by European standards). Even the Swedes and Danes had empires. The Russian Tsars were Emperors (the word “Tsar” comes from “Ceasar.”) The Turks had the Ottoman Empire. Spain and France tried but failed to get theirs in South America; and the Germans were just boiling mad that the British Navy ruled the oceans so they couldn’t get an empire in Africa. Poor disunited Italy had to wait until the 20th Century to catch up with its empire, too late for the respectable 19th century club . They all felt deserved their own colonies. Imperialism was in.
So the next time you tour Europe to goggle at the public buildings, the equestrian sculptures, the museums, the Eiffel Tower, Nelson’s Monument, the castles and the palaces, just remember one little word: “imperialism.” Many of those famous tourist spots are mementos of bloody conquest and violent domination of subject peoples. That will help anchor your Europhilia in reality.
Comes the Bolshevik Revolution in 1914, and suddenly no progressive intellectual wants to be an imperialist any more. But here’s the kicker: nothing changes but the words. Europe still sees itself as the center of the world and the most advanced human civilization. Each European capital has the right — nay, the duty — of imposing its language, its utter conviction of superiority, its educational system and its ruling class on properly obedient colonial peoples. Today that pervasive sense of superiority still inspires the European Union — the new empire-to-be — and it is a lifelong obsession among French politicians like Dominique De Villepin. French foreign policy is shot through with old-fashioned imperialist ideology. It’s why they’re so nasty.
Even though Moscow had all the trappings, the world-conquering mission, the bullying of neighbors, the goose stepping Red Army, the KGB, the worldwide espionage (which got Stalin his atom bomb), the egomania, the global export of self-glorifying ideology — it could not be imperialist because the USSR was not a nation, verstehen Sie? It was the harbinger of Peace on Earth. It was Socialism in One Country, until Stalin found it regrettably necessary to appeal to Russian patriotism to stop the Nazi Blitzkrieg. Russian peasants wouldn’t die for the Party, but they would risk all for Mother Russia. In any case, the True Believers never dropped the pretense that Soviet imperialism of the worst kind could not be imperialism, because the USSR was not a nation, but a hope.
Today’s European Union also denies being a nation. Like the USSR, the EU is something never heretofore seen. It is a Platonic Ideal realized in flesh and blood. It is the Transubstantiation of the Da-Sein to the Nichts-Sein. It is the socialist meme applied to Brussels rather than Moscow. And it’s something Americans better get straight, because we will be flooded with EU-propaganda for the next fifty years arguing that the European Union is not an imperial enterprise, contrary to all appearances.
Now Europe has two practical problems, imperialism-wise. One is that it’s pathetically weak and occupied with bitter arguments behind the scenes, between the French, the Germans, the Brits, the Low Countries, and now the Poles-Czechs-Greeks-Spaniards-Italians-Serbs-Austro-Bulgo-Hungarians. (See: Airbus, Concorde, German subsidies for French farmers, etc., etc., etc.). The EU is not a union; it’s a vendetta.
The second weakness is that Europe has relied on the United States for its real defense since 1946. And still does. So the European Empire can’t resort to the imperialist shtick of expansionist warfare. Instead, its tax money goes to universal health care, welfare payments for the fast-growing offspring of Muslim immigrants, the latest vote-buying schemes, plus sex, drugs and rock n’ roll to distract the people. The Romans called it “bread and circuses” — keep the common folk well-fed and staring at the boob-tube, and you can do whatever you want.
Bottom line: Europe needs the United States but despises us. Not because of anything we do — anti-Americanism goes back long before we were a power to reckon with. It’s a major historical theme. You can see it in European literature — in the Sherlock Holmes stories, for example, where a disproportionate number of its sex-obsessed villains come from the American West and the colonies. Thomas Jefferson as Ambassador to Paris was outraged to hear that the French intellectual class was convinced that American animals are invariably smaller than European ones — because they were degenerate offspring of the Euro originals. That conviction of innate superiority has always been part of the European psyche, and nothing has changed today.
So Europe needs to control America in order to carry out its imperial mission. Don’t ask why; that’s the wrong question. Europe needs to control us because they do. The explanations change from time to time. Today the explanation is that the US is just not as peace-loving as the hopelessly weak and gutless elites of Europe. In the 19th century it was the opposite: The US was not warlike enough compared to the Prussians, the Russians, the French and the English. Europeans felt sure about it. They were the proud aristocrats. We were their weakling rejects, remember?
So how does one control America from Brussels? One way is to shout at us until we give in, a method pioneered by the Soviets and other bullies. A closely related method is to apply all the principles of agitprop, learned during the Soviet phase, from spontaneous popular demonstrations (these days it’s polls) to the voices of “world renowned scientists” to put their stamp of approval on the Global Warming scam. Give Al Gore a Nobel Prize, and stack international gathering spots like the UN and Davos with party members.
We can’t forget how close the European Left came to exporting Eurosocialism to America: Harry Hopkins, FDR’s closest advisor, turns out to have been a Soviet source, perhaps an agent of influence, perhaps a spy. (It’s hard to know exactly.) Ronald Reagan turned against Stalinists when he saw how they tried to control the unions in Hollywood. Henry Wallace was almost elected Democrat candidate for President over Truman. Al Gore Sr. was a close friend, ally and financial beneficiary of Armand Hammer, the millionaire KGB paymaster in the United States, who boasted of owning his personal US Senator from Tennessee.
(Al Gore Jr., the leading American agitator for Global Warming, was therefore raised to become a member of the American ruling class, and president some day. Which is why the Florida recount came as such a shock to poor Al; it wasn’t supposed to be that way. He was fated to rule America. He’s still shell-shocked. The Nobel Peace Prize, the OscarTM, even worldwide acclaim as the Goracle of Global Warming will never be good enough.)
And then the Soviet Union, through Castro’s Cuba, almost managed to provoke Marxist rebellions throughout Latin America, with the enthusiastic help of our Democrats — leaving a legacy of anti-American hatred that still pervades the chattering classes South of the Border. Those were all different aggressive salients of European Imperialism.
Americans are prone to ask “why do they hate us?” A good answer is that we’re the leading pop culture of the world — which is why teens all over the world imitate American rock music, wear torn jeans, and cuss in English. Europe is elite-driven, and elites despise ordinary people; it’s their main source of self-esteem. So today they say they hate us because of Global Warming, but for many years they hated us for the West’s failure to help the Soviets and Chinese become high-polluting industrial giants. It used to be not enough pollution; today it’s too much.
The underlying psychological drive hasn’t changed. Imperialism has always been primarily driven not by greed but by a lust for glory: The self-glorification of elites with fragile egos. When you do the math, some scholars aver, the British Empire under Queen Victoria cost more pounds than it earned for Britain, but that wasn’t the point. The Empire demonstrated the superiority of the British ruling class. Today, substitute the “BBC Class” for “British upper class,” and you’ve got the same thing.
The BBC Class considers itself internationalist, socialist, and Green (and not just with envy). The Greens are of course Reds with camouflage paint. After the USSR fell of its own internal contradictions around 1989, the Left needed a new shtick. They could not admit that free markets and democracies worked better than their engrained ideology. So they found a different set of reasons to do the same thing. The old way was European imperialism à la Karl Marx. The new way was European Imperialism à la Al Gore.
The big problem with the Global Warming riff is that China and India will never accept it, and they are quickly outpacing the West in carbon dioxide emissions. China was tyrannized in the most horrific way by European Socialism, first as the “Chinese melon” carved up by the European powers, and then under Mao Zedong, killing tens of millions of his people. India never had a Communist revolution (though it was tried), but instead adopted Jawaharlal Nehru’s British Public School Socialism, which Nehru had learned in London. It ruined the Indian economy for decades.
Having been burned badly by Europe’s ideological imperialism in recent history, will India and China swallow the new version, a.k.a. Global Warming? And sacrifice their own growing prosperity to avoid a disaster that never will be? When even Europe itself is just pretending to be lowering CO2 emissions?
India and China would be utter fools if they fell for Europrop again. How many decades of ruin do you need, before you begin to suspect the snake oil salesman?
So watch for Al Gore to run out of steam in a couple of years. Soon the Greens will be looking for another false alarm to scare the chickens with. What will it be? Asteroids crunching the earth? Aliens from outer space? That old stand-by, the international Jewish conspiracy? Regardless, you know who will be wearing the White Hats and the Black Hats. Because the story always stays the same. Only the details are changed.
James Lewis is a frequent contributor to American Thinker, and blogs at www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com