The Watermelon Summit

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Recently
by Thomas DiLorenzo: Rethinking
America's Supreme JudicialDictatorship

 

 
 

An "environmentalist"
is a totalitarian socialist whose real objective is to revive socialism
and economic central planning under the subterfuge of "saving
the planet" from capitalism. He is "green" on the
outside, but red on the inside, and is hence appropriately labeled
a "watermelon."

A conservationist,
by contrast, is someone who is actually interested in solving environmental
and ecological problems and protecting wildlife and its habitat.
He does not propose having government force a separation of man
and nature by nationalizing land and other resources, confiscating
private property, prohibiting the raising of certain types of animals,
regulating human food intake, etc. He is not a socialist ideologue
who is hell bent on destroying capitalism. He does not publicly
wish that a "new virus" will come along and kill millions,
as the founder of "Earth First" once did. More often than
not, he seeks ways to use the institutions of capitalism to solve
environmental problems. There is even a new name for such a person:
enviropreneur. Or he may call himself a "free-market environmentalist"
who understands how property rights, common law, and markets can
solve many environmental problems, as indeed they have.

In light of
the distinction between an environmentalist and a conservationist,
"Watermelons of the World Unite!" should be the theme
of the upcoming "Earth Summit" in Rio that begins on June
19. The meeting will be devoted to endless conniving about how to
go about creating a centrally planned world economy (under the auspices
of United Nations bureaucrats) in the name of the latest euphemism
for socialist central planning, "sustainable development."
This doesn't mean that the Watermelons of the World will be successful;
only that they are as numerous as flies on a herd of cattle, and
will never give up on their pipe dream of a centrally planned, socialist
world economy, no matter how much of a nightmare socialism has been
for millions of people all around the world.

The watermelon
strategy was announced and encouraged by one of the gray eminences
of academic socialism, the late economist Robert Heilbroner, in
a September 10, 1990 essay in The New Yorker entitled "After
Communism." Written in the midst of the worldwide collapse
of socialism, and the realization that socialist governments during
the twentieth century had murdered more than 100 million of their
own people as part of the "price" of establishing their
"socialist paradise," Heilbroner's essay was a huge mea
culpa (See Death
by Government
by Rudolph Rummel). He even wrote the words,
"Mises was right," about the inherent failures of socialism,
referring to the writings of Ludwig von Mises in the 1920s and 1930s
that explained in great detail why socialism could never work as
an economic system (See his book, Socialism).

After admitting
that he had been dead wrong for the previous half century during
which he devoted his academic career to promoting socialism in America
(the veiled purpose of his The
Worldly Philosophers
, that made him a millionaire), Heilbroner
sadly bemoaned that "I am not very sanguine about the prospect
that socialism will continue as an important form of economic organization
. . ." While much of the rest of the world was wildly celebrating
the demise of this diabolically evil institution, Heilbroner was
crying in his soup over it.

Rather than
facing the reality of the inherent evil of all forms of socialism,
Heilbroner intoned that "the collapse of the planned economies
has forced us to rethink the meaning of socialism." (Writing
in The New Yorker, Heilbroner naturally assumed that all
of "us" readers were socialist ideologues like himself).
After all, he continued, "socialism is a general description
of a society in which we would like our grandchildren to live."
But "what, then, is left" of "the honorable title
of socialism," asked Heilbroner.

The man was
obviously depressed and dejected that history had proven his academic
career to have been a complete fraud, but he was not about to admit
that fact, or to give up on perpetrating the same fraud that he
had perpetrated for at least the previous half century. A new subterfuge
must be invented, he said, that will fool or lull the public into
acquiescing in adopting socialism. This might take a while, he said,
and if "we" are successful, "our great grandchildren
or great-great grandchildren may be prepared to acquiesce in social
arrangements that our children or grandchildren would not."

Heilbroner's
suggested subterfuge was explained by him as follows: "There
is, however, another way of looking at . . . socialism. It is to
conceive of it . . . as the society that must emerge if humanity
is to cope with . . . the ecological burden that economic growth
is placing on the environment." "We" socialists must
all become watermelons, in other words. If enough members of the
public can be hoodwinked with this subterfuge, then "capitalism
must be monitored, regulated, and contained to such a degree that
it would be difficult to call the final social order capitalism."
That is exactly what will be discussed at the upcoming "Earth
Summit" in Rio.

June
9, 2012

Thomas
J. DiLorenzo [send him mail]
is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the
author of The
Real Lincoln;
Lincoln
Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe

and How
Capitalism Saved America
. His latest book is Hamilton's
Curse: How Jefferson's Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution
— And What It Means for America Today
. His next book is entitled
Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.

The
Best of Thomas DiLorenzo at LRC

Thomas
DiLorenzo Archives at Mises.org

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