Jack Kerwick

It won’t surprise readers of this column to learn that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCG) insists that unless “global warming” is addressed, the planet promises to suffer all manner of evil. Courtesy of “coastal flooding” and “storm surges,” “urban populations” especially are susceptible to “the risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods [.]”

To a far greater extent than any other issue, that of Global Warming reveals what makes the leftist mind tick.

That the leftist aches from the very marrow of his being for the consolidation of power and authority in a central government is a no-brainer. While there are ways in which governments use their power to which he objects, the leftist has never known a limit on the amount of power at a government’s disposal with which he could rest comfortably.

So, the leftist has always wanted Big Government. And this insatiable lust for unlimited government is inseparable from his disdain for the nation-state and its concomitant, “nationalism”: national boundaries impose a limit on the extent to which government can expand. The logic of Big Government has a life all of its own, pointing beyond the nations in which it takes root toward the rest of the planet. It is self-perpetuating, much like a disease that can’t desist from moving from host to host until it dies.

There is no issue short of a conflict with an extraterrestrial race that better serves the global aspirations of Big Government than that of Global Warming.

The conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott contrasts two fundamentally different models of a modern (“nation”) state. On the one hand, modern states have been looked upon as “civil associations,” associations of human beings doing their own thing and bound together by nothing more or less than the law. The latter, in turn, doesn’t tell associates what they must do, but only how they must do, or refrain from doing, whatever it is that they choose to do. Since laws are not policies designed to bring to fruition some grand master plan or vision for the nation, government, from this perspective, is not visionary or activist.

Rather, government serves the function of an umpire or a referee: it exists solely to insure that the rules (laws) of the association are observed by all of its members.


Jack Kerwick

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at jackk610@verizon.net or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.