Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Game of Thrones provides a political archetype for the ages

I don't watch much television. In fact, I watch no broadcast TV at all, finding it so execrable these days that I would rather tear out my fingernails with pliers than sit through any of the dross that passes for content on the main networks. I am, however, a serial monogamist when it comes to online streaming, watching just one series from beginning to end at any time.

Most recently, I have enjoyed Season 8 of Game of Thrones. Well, 'enjoyed' might be too strong a word because, like most reviewers, I think the writers of Season 8 literally lost the plot. I blame George R R Martin, the author of the books on which the series is based, because he fell behind the storyline of the dramatised version with his books, leaving it to some second-rate Hollywood scriptwriters to imagine how the story might end.

Even if you're not a Game of Thrones aficianado, by now you'll know how the story played out. The Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, Queen of the Andals, etc, turned out to be not quite the benevolent monarch that she originally appeared.

Daenerys started out as the unwilling bride of the chief of the Dothraki, a sort of Mongol horde in the eastern continent of Essos, and after the death of her husband and being cast out of the tribe, she builds a loyal following and sets about freeing the slaves in various realms, deposing brutal and corrupt leaders and settling ancient disputes. She presents herself as a kinder, gentler leader, who is only interested in the welfare of her people, not unlike some of the progressive leaders around the world today.

Of course, history tells us the road to political hell is paved with the good intentions of progressive leaders, and so turned out to be the case with Daenerys Targaryen. Her final goal was to conquer and set to rights her ancestral homeland of Westeros, the land where the titular game of thrones is played out. No sooner had Daenerys conquered Kings Landing, the capital of Westeros, and its evil Queen Cersei, than she decides in a fit of pique to exterminate every man, woman and child in that city - in other words to commit genocide.

I am not sure whether it was intentional, but the writers of Game of Thrones created in the character of Daenerys the perfect archetype of the benevolent leader-turned-tyrant. Rising to power with overwhelming public support, particularly from the downtrodden, such leaders soon begin to equate the people's interests with their own. They believe only they know what is best for everyone else and they see any threat to themselves as a threat to the people. They regard any resistance to their increasing authoritarianism as an evil that must be expurgated from their domain, and soon pass draconian laws, which inevitably lead to shootings in the streets and ultimately to the mass killing that was the resort of Daenerys Targaryen.

The lesson is never trust a kinder, gentler leader.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Real Zombie Apocalypse

The so-called Extinction Rebellion protestors, the Swedish child who is the figurehead of the school strike for climate movement, Greta Thunberg, the extreme left-wing of the Democratic Party led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Green Party activists here in New Zealand, have been shouting loudly for a zero carbon emissions target within ten years. They claim that if we don't do this, mankind faces extinction. This is the exact opposite of the truth.

Dr. Patrick Moore, a biologist and environmentalist who was one of the founders of Greenpeace (notwithstanding that the organisation now disowns him), recently spelled out to American podcaster, Tom Woods the real implications of a ten year zero carbon emissions target:
It would cause an immediate collapse of the agricultural system worldwide...and that would result immediately, beginning the in centre of the large metropolises, with starvation and death, and cannibalism no doubt as it spread outwards, to end up with only a few subsistence farmers surviving in the wilds.
It would immediately result in mass death.
If we quit fossil fuels tomorrow there wouldn't be a tree left on the planet in a very short time.
He then poses the question, is this the future we want for human civilisation?

Moore's prediction is realistic. It is not climate change that poses the greatest threat ever to human beings but the policies proposed by these lunatics. Here in New Zealand, the government is already committed to a zero-carbon economy by 2050 and, as I have written before, the government's own economists have said that this will reduce our GDP by up to a quarter, so it is not difficult to envisage what adopting the same policies in less than a third of that time would do to our economy.

I am sure that some of those calling for for a ten-year zero carbon emissions target are simply naïve. Clearly, the autistic Thunberg falls into that category and perhaps even Ocasio-Cortez too (she really doesn't seem very bright), but there are others like our Green Party politicians who I know are not stupid. I believe they understand exactly what they are calling for. Their aim is the destruction of Western civilisation and its replacement with a Marxist agrarian autarky along the lines of that practiced in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. That experiment resulted in the deaths of up to half the population of Cambodia in just four years.

It is ironic that the theme of a zombie apocalypse has become so popular in movies and television series at the same time as these calls for the destruction of the world's energy systems, because the scenes in World War Z or The Walking Dead are a fairly accurate prediction of what will happen if the Green New Deal policies are enacted. Except it won't be zombies roaming the Earth, it will be the starving, cannibalistic survivors of humanity.