Green hypocrisy and low horizons

In: Uncategorized

8 Aug 2008

Anything that winds up George Monbiot, the Guardian’s most high profile environmental columnist, is worth looking into. He wrote a comment entitled “Hypocrites unite!” in response to a new book by Julie Burchill, a well known British writer, on hypocrisy. Monbiot deployed what could be called the standard hypocrisy defence. In addition to admitting to being a “posh git” (his father was deputy chairman of the Conservative party) he goes on:

“Sure we are hypocrites. Every one of us, almost by definition. Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions. Greens have high aspirations – they want to live more ethically – and they will always fall short. But the alternative to hypocrisy isn’t moral purity (no one manages that) but cynicism.”

This conveniently absolves him of any need for consistency but it is also untrue. Greens are characterised by their low expectations rather than high aspirations. It is their glum view of humanity that leads them to elevate the idea of natural limits to human action. It is hard to imagine a more cynical outlook.

Those who want a more considered critique of green elitism and double standards should read James Heartfield’s book on the subject (see 17 February 2008 post).

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