Extinction Rebellion, more hindrance than help

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Wed 9th Oct, 2019

As Extinction Rebellion (XR) takes to the streets of various capital cities around the world, one can't help but wonder on their true motivations and consequent usefulness. As protests go, it is well organised, composed of a wide cross section of society and lacking (for the moment) the dire left wing violence of Antifa-esque/far-left tactics. Yet, for all its obvious good intentions, the movement reeks of hypocrisy, self-indulgence and narcissism.

Such as how the feminist envy movement patronises and accidentally infantilises women by claiming they are all victims of the imaginary "patriarchy", Extinction Rebellion aims to pull off a similar coup using climate change as their moral high-ground - we are all victims of corporate greed don't you know (let us just ignore the fact that we provide the money for these corporations to exist, which collectively gives us power to control them to a degree).  Yet who do they think they are educating - and what gives them the right to act on their arrogant, condescending opinions. We are all aware of the risks of climate change, do they really think they are telling us something new?

Some of us are also all aware of the risks of pushing the government to encroach on our civil liberties, even at the expense of action on certain critical issues. We must not throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes. Democracy and capitalism go hand in hand, but by threatening business disruption and hinting at violence, these protestors are effectively campaigning against rampant capitalism, but also the very institutions which govern the country. For this, we need to be careful. Many of these street protests in recent years stem from left-wing Marxist ideologies, and we know from many countries' histories how that ended up. By claiming to be the self-appointed moral guardians of human responsibility to its environment, XR justifies its existence, and like religious zealots who believe their god gives them the right to use force to achieve their "holy" ends, we are now faced with yet another self-righteous rabble blocking our roads and claiming it is for our benefit.  After all, they have Mother Nature on their side, or is it Zeus, or God, or perhaps even Batman.

Have the members of this group not realised that we live in a democracy, indirectly (some say directly) semi-governed by capitalism? If we want to protest, we do so with our wallets and individually changing our lifestyles. Stop paying companies or using services which you believe help contribute to the climate situation we are faced with. Vote accordingly. That is far more effective than demanding government action by force - and we all get to continue going to work, doing our bit for society without facing a hoard of self-righteous campaigners who protest peacefully, but ever so slightly hint at the prospect of stepping up this campaign to something more confrontational. 

That is not to say that protesting is not useful and valuable for society. However, one needs a clear goal and a plan to achieve it. These protestors have little on hand but moral indignation - what is their economic/engineering/political solution to climate change that won't leave us living as cavemen (or is that cavepeople, or cavex - how many genders do the Left allow our prehistoric ancestors to have)? Yet, in my experience, there are few as immoral as those who fight using morality - they find a noble cause to justify their behavior, an outlet for whatever irks them and their lives. If these people truly cared, they would be educating themselves on solutions to this complex issue and working on those solutions, not trying to coerce us into subservience to their ideological blueprint.

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