|Summit or Swamp?||Frank Kimbal Johnson comments on the Gimme, gimme, gimme chorus|
The volume of pious gas issuing from the so-called Earth Summit at Johannesburg polluted the intellectual climate too much for any sensible debate of the real issues. With thousands of Third World delegates attending, it was entirely predictable that the only consensus would be that the gap between rich and poor countries must be closed by siphoning off resources from one to the other. In short, it's back to the old Marxist agenda: the redistribution of wealth from the high achievers to the low achievers.
The brutal reality today is that most Third World countries are grossly over-populated and are seeking western aid on a we-breed-'em-you-feed-'em basis. All the waffle about sustainable development in these countries is merely wind in the sails of the millions of would-be immigrants now converging on western societies. It ought to be plain enough by now that the if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em attitude is the most attractive option for deprived populations everywhere, goggling at television images of otherwise unattainable western luxuries. Meanwhile, like polite conversation that studiously ignores the elephant in the middle of the drawing room, summit declarations contrive to avoid mentioning that the planet cannot sustain its present population, let alone the projected three-billion growth rate this century. And are we supposed to deplore the fact that the Third World has a far higher death rate than elsewhere.
What about birth control?
But to paraphrase a grizzled Rhodesian of my acquaintance, when the natives stop fornicating themselves into famine we can start talking about domestic economy. Birth-control is the central overriding need in the Third World (a fact even communist China has been obliged to recognise); and failure to face up to this cancels out everything else on the Earth Summit agenda. The least-educated householder knows perfectly well that on a relatively fixed income, let alone a precarious one, larger families become poor families.
Some fifty-odd years ago, a panel of experts was reported as saying that our own country could not support a population much in excess of thirty five million and still meet its socio-economic targets. The increase in car-ownership alone would rapidly prove self-defeating for urban populations, property prices would escalate beyond the reach of more and more people; and education, health and social services would be unable to meet public demands. And still, fifty years later, we have a government and official opposition accepting over a hundred thousand immigrants a year while promising to improve living conditions on the back of the latest budget and Queen's Speech.
More and more in pursuit of less and less of the untrampled world can only result in universal squalor. Accordingly all the self-righteous tin-rattling of Oxfam and allied agencies is calculated to magnify the disparity between supply and demand which it affects to be ameliorating.
The bleeding-heart liberals will naturally express outrage at the aspersion on their professed philanthropy; and, as the psychiatrists might say, there's little hope as long as they remain in denial. But there's an old Bedouin saying that, in the desert, water is thicker than blood; and this ominously summarises the hazards attending a world where demand for the bare necessities is exceeding supply. Likewise, the German expression - Erst das Essen, denn die Morale - meaning that we need to eat before we start philosophising - is a pithy reminder that economic reality must take precedence over liberal philanthropy.
So it should be clear by now that all we were ever likely to get from this Earth Summit was a Third World chorus of condemnation directed at western societies for being so much better developed, plus the usual demands for cancellation of Third World debts and for increased western aid. Our own politicians dutifully donned their sackcloth and ashes throughout the proceedings and returned to our mass media with the usual mind-numbing homilies and the we-are-all-guilty fatuities immortalised in the Daily Telegraph's Peter Simple column.
Needless to say, you will not hear the banks or other financial institutions declaring their readiness to cancel domestic debts in this country when house prices deflate well below mortgage commitments, or to deal with redundancy. Good gracious no; unlike the disadvantaged Third World, we British must be seen to behave responsibly, fulfil our obligations, live within our means and pay the price of our own follies. And when the wells of our own liberal hospitality have been hopelessly polluted or exhausted, why then - the most advantaged members of our political and business establishments will be taking the waters at luxurious resorts elsewhere, with occasional letters to The Times to protest at proletarian racism, flagellating an apathetic and cynical electorate and celebrating the global economy.
On present evidence, optimism about the future of the planet and this country is about as sensible as insisting, in the middle of a desert, that your water-bottle is half-full instead of half-empty.
Needs of white survival
We are entering an era where the politics of racial and national survival must sweep aside all the pettifogging party political differences and dominate the public consciousness just as much as in World War II. If our race and nation can survive and prosper, then - as history demonstrates - substantial benefits will accrue to the rest of the world; for it is a truism of economics that the poor cannot be helped by penalising and impoverishing the wealth-creators. Liberal democracy in the form we see around us today is a luxury this country cannot afford. It turns common sense on its head by importing Third World poverty and ignorance instead of exporting surplus resources and capabilities. Indeed, we now hear the Westminster coalition saying that the flood of Third World immigrants will benefit our country! What - even more than the countries they are so desperate to leave behind? One might as well argue that indigent squatters you discover in your home one day have a holy mission to enhance your life-style!
We should, of course, play our part in protecting the natural world for everybody's benefit and observe the morality of taking no more out of this world than we are able and willing to put into it. That is as much a guiding principle for the Earth Summit as it is for any household or individual. And if that amounts to fascism in today's climate, we can't have too much of it!