In a recent speech, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that we only have 12 years left to save the Earth from climate change, and that the United States therefore should dramatically cut carbon emissions. At the same time, she wants open borders. Internet philosopher Stefan Molyneux replied that these two goals are mutually exclusive.
When a person lives in a poor country, he or she has a low consumption of fossil fuel and resources. However, when that person migrates to the U.S., his or her carbon footprint skyrockets. Therefore, if one truly believes in catastrophic climate change, as so many people on the left do, one should be first in line to reduce immigration, both legal and illegal, into rich nations.
The charitable interpretation is that they are just incompetent.
In fact, an inflationary monetary policy combined with deficit spending is a recipe for increased carbon emissions: Spending here and now, while sending the bill into the future for someone else’s children to pay. Anyone who was truly concerned about climate change would want to drastically cut government spending, get rid of inflation, and rein in budget deficits.
Why then does the Democratic Party push for mass Third World immigration and an ever-increasing government? Something does not add up.
Love is All You Need
The charitable interpretation is that they are just incompetent. They have a list of things they care about: poor people, migrants, climate change, and inequality. They might just be mindlessly spreading their love around, while not devoting much thought to whether their goals are feasible or make economic sense. Feelings don’t care about facts. Love is all you need.
Or in the words of Ocasio-Cortez: “I think there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”
The less charitable interpretation involves some psychology. Most people view themselves as good and moral people, and there is no reason to suspect that the Democrats harbor conscious evil motives. However, they may be influenced by unconscious desires and biases that bypass their moral scrutiny.
We cannot read people’s minds, but if we are able to observe a consistent pattern across many different topics and events, this is evidence of unconscious values and motivations that are influencing behavior. To identify these, we need to ask ourselves if there is some common factor between these highly disparate policies that progressives value – apart from love.
For instance, is it genuinely true that they care deeply about the destitute? No, most poor live in the Third World and there are billions of them, and open-borders activists show no evidence through action that they care about those impoverished masses. It is only those resourceful, lucky few who are able to cross the U.S. border that they care about.
So what do Third World immigration and dramatic climate change mitigation have in common? Both threaten the American system that was encoded by the Founding Fathers: a system of free market capitalism. Deficit spending and inflationary politics are also assaults on that system, and the same is true for increased government size.
So the hidden elephant in the room, the common factor that binds their values together, might be hatred of liberty. They tend to love things that by coincidence happen to destroy capitalism and the American way of life.
You should not expect most progressives to hold this view consciously, but the unconscious is a far more powerful influence in peoples’ value systems than most acknowledge. Therefore, next time you confront a progressive with the contradiction between their view on immigration and climate change, point out to them that if they truly cared about the poor in the Third World, they would promote capitalism abroad so that so many wouldn’t have to come to America.