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Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism (New Atlantis Books) Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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Robert Zubrin’s masterful study makes for riveting reading. Merchants of Despair is a cautionary tale of what happens when powerful, unprincipled elites are not only alienated from the mass of their fellow men, but come to see them as a barrier to imagined social, evolutionary, or environmental progress.” Steven W. Mosher, President, Population Research Institute
Merchants of Despair is an extraordinary and important book .This fascinating volume carefully traces developments of the Malthusian hypothesis right up to the present: through eugenics to population control and genocide; through the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth and extreme environmentalism to climate change and the myth of global warming apocalypse. Robert Zubrin has my nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.” S. Fred Singer, Chairman, Science and Environmental Policy Project, Author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years
I believe no one to date has so clearly explained the thread of the antihuman movement throughout history. To read this book is to become a warrior in the battle against it.” Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute
The most devastating account and refutation of antihuman environmentalism ever written.” Gregory Benford, Author of Chiller
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Top Customer Reviews
So this book--well worth reading--is to me a parable about what a critical mass of people can be hornswoggled into believeing.
I've also read other reviews that deny Zubrin's premise that continuous growth and expansion is good or even possible. They want to align him with "Greedy Corporate Capitalists", who are another enemy of the power-hungry. [too bad there are enough capitalists who are actually amoral to make their accusations seem plausible]. They have not grasped that the future for humanity is beyond the earth, and that the galaxy is large enough for millenia of spreading out.
The true crux of this is whether the visionaries can wrest the mind of humanity away from the elitists who deceive.
He presents a wealth of historical data to support his case.
I'm very thankful that Robert Zubrin wrote this book.
He shows that the “Merchants of Despair” win converts because:
1. They are convinced of their good intentions.
2. They subscribe to the fallacy that human life is zero sum.
3. They believe that humans deplete resources when in fact it is human ingenuity that creates resources from previously useless stuff.
I’ll add two corollaries:
4. They have what David Dennet calls the “intentional stance”: i.e.: that all life must be consciously controlled from above: either by gods or the state or both.
5. Humans are very susceptible to a belief in collective guilt. (egg: Original Sin.)
So we face a painful irony: the vast majority of people fall for this snake oil because it is deeply embedded in the evolution of the human mind.
(Before the enlightenment and the industrial revolution, human life was very close to zero sum, resources were very limited, and kill or be killed was a useful survival strategy.)
Which makes the despair self fulfilling.
It’s enough to make an optimist despair.