A recent op-ed argues that the way to curb climate change is to invoke Malthus, or at least 20th century progressives like Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and economist John Maynard Keynes and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who all believed that retreating to the past was the only way to protect the future - well, the future for white elites, anyway.

The ultimate state control of culture in the name of progress was not the National Socialists in Germany or the Fascists of Italy, it was the Soviet Union under communism. Communists fought to gain ground everywhere, Mussolini fought them in Italy and won, Hitler fought them in Spain and won(1) but they succeeded in a lot of other countries, which ultimately meant failure.

Climate change would be no different. Leave it to a Millennial to know the past so poorly he botches it as a solution for the future. In "Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism", Kohei Saito, a philosopher (of course) argues that economic growth is bad - it creates scarcity. Since everyone in Japan has a cell phone I am not sure how he derived that but philosophers don't need math. 

Bottled water is one of the dumbest things on earth and yet capitalism has not caused us to run out of water. You don't need to understand logic or even economics to sell a book to dopey San Francisco dudes wearing Che Guevara t-shirts, you only need sentences like  by “terminat[ing] the ceaseless exploitation of humanity and the robbery of nature” and then tack on something supernatural and people will quote it.

If The State is allowed to control goods within a "realm of necessity" rather than people having freedom, the climate will win.

Well, maybe. Any time there is a worldwide recession or high energy prices, the climate wins - because people can't afford to heat or cool their homes. It's great communism but a terrible way for humans to live.


(1) But his victory was only military. As an ardent socialist, religion, which obeyed a higher power than the government, was a danger to Hitler but Spain is overwhelmingly Catholic and refused to ban it as Hitler had done.

"As an ardent Nazi, [Ambassador Wilhelm] Faupel disliked Catholicism as well as the Spanish upper classes, and encouraged the working-class extremist members of the Falange to build a fascist party. Faupel devoted long audiences with Franco to convincing him of the necessity of remolding the Falange in the image of the Nazi Party. Faupel's interference in internal Spanish politics ran counter to Franco's policy of building a nationalist coalition of businessmen, monarchists and conservative Catholics, as well as Falangists."

James S. Corum, "The Luftwaffe and the coalition air war in Spain, 1936–1939," Journal of Strategic Studies, (1995) 18:1, 68–90 quotation at p. 75.