In short, Shearman and Smith argue that liberal democracy – considered sacrosanct in modern societies – is an impediment to finding ecologically sustainable solutions for the planetThe author is Dr. David Shearman. His bio is impressive:
Professor David Shearman, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences and Law School. Professor Shearman was an Assessor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report and the Fourth Assessment Report.Unfortunately, Dr. Shearman does not seem to read this blog, as it would have helped him avoid some common n00b errors:
Chapter 9 will describe in more detail how we might begin the process of constructing such real universities to train the ecowarriors to do battle against the enemies of life. We must accomplish this education with the same dedication used to train its warriors. As in Sparta, these natural elites will be especially trained from childhood to meet the challenging problems of our times.Dr. Shearman, I pointed out here that you really can't rely on Plato, since he didn't really understand the actual Sparta of his time:
Plato based the governmental structures of The Republic on the system of Sparta. This was a brutal, rigid system, perhaps more easily recognized in a time when National Socialism had just been defeated in a terrible war, and a new Cold War was breaking out with International Socialism. But Sparta was already collapsing when Plato wrote, and he was ignorant of or ignored the work of contemporaries that saw the Spartan system more clearly. Plato was wrong. Russell again (p. 118-119)Sure, but this time, it'll work!
Apart from war, the reality of Sparta was never quite the same as the theory. Herodotus, who lived in its great period, remarks, surprisingly, that no Spartan could resist a bribe. This was in spite of the fact that contempt for riches and love of the simple life was one of the main things inculcated in Spartan education. ... We are told that the Spartans were inflexibly patriotic, yet the king Pausanias, the victor of Platea, ended as a traitor in the pay of Xerxes.Let's see, a grand theoretical foundation of centralized, elite rule, justified by equality and fairness, but based on a romanticized system that fell apart during Plato's own lifetime. That's the theoretical basis for the elite's claim to power.
[Aristotle] goes on to accuse the Spartans of avarice, which he attributes to the unequal distribution of property.
Dr. Shearman, the flaw in your argument has been known for a half century or more, even in Adelaide. But thanks so very much for playing! Your take home prize is a quote from Samizdata, offered in a different context, but strangely applicable to your neo-fascist scheme:
The problem I have with this whole discussion is that it grants what is a monstrous totalitarian perspective a polite hearing rather than the sort of response it truly deserves. It strikes me to just dignify the proposition "the state should spay women and castrate men" with "wouldn't it be better if we just find a way to reduce the fuel we burn?" is to in effect tolerate the intolerable. A far better response, and dare I say a more ethical one, would be "your policy will indeed reduce the world's population because people like me will put a 10mm hole between the eyes of totalitarian scum like you."Substitute "establish a Global Fascist Eco-Government" for "spay women and castrate men" and you've got just about the right words, and music.
And the last comment to Dr. Shearman is that he is very likely to be a poser, lacking the courage of his own convictions. I doubt very much that we will see your sort at the head of Brown Shirted battalions enforcing your proposals. You're just mugging for the cameras, playing the Bad Boy to impress the chicks. After four or five decades of this sort of thing, we'd expect you to grow up a bit.