New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman on Friday suggested on HBO that scientists should get together and lie to the public about a threat of alien invasion in order to create a crisis that will force the public to agree to big government projects.
To quote him:
I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And the, once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, there were no aliens.” But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.
After you have finished laughing at this fool, think more seriously about what he has said. He is proposing that it is a good thing for our elite intellectual, scientific, and political class to lie to the public in order to get what they want. Moreover, he is so certain that his proposals, such as high speed rail, are right that he is will to do anything, “whatever it takes,” to achieve them.
In fact, this is exactly what the climate scientist community has been doing, manufacturing a lie that we are all going to die from global warming and then demanding endless funds and draconian laws to deal with the fake crisis.
Sadly, this kind of unethical behavior never leads to the utopia these ideologues imagine. Instead, it gives us a Hitler in Germany, a Stalin in Russia, a Mao in China, and the Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. In the end, instead of a utopia all we get is a nightmare of death, murder, oppression, and genocide.
I am sure that Paul Krugman has nothing by good intentions. He truly believes that a high speed rail system will somehow solve our energy problems. He also truly believes that we can spend our way out of poverty, even when the government is on the verge of bankruptcy and literally has to print trillions to pay its bills.
But then, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It horrifies me that Krugman doesn’t see this.
Update: Let me add this little excerpt from The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. As I wrote back when I first posted this on Behind the Black on July 16, 2010:
One of the best television science series ever produced was The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. Rather than simply describe science and knowledge, Bronowski instead pondered the nature of humanity. The best episode of the series was Knowledge or Certainty, in which Bronowski compared the humane uncertainty of science with the terrible consequences of dogma. As Oliver Cromwell said, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”