Rough Diamond

2006-03-16

While reading the latest policy paper from PERC -- an essay by Kendra Okonski on the state of the environment in Montana -- I came across a revealing quote from Jared Diamond's book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Diamond argues that Montana is in dire environmental straits because Montanans are "reluctant to accept their new need for government planning and for curbing individual rights" (Collapse p. 432).

Isn't it fascinating how intellectuals almost unanimously argue for more government planning and fewer individual rights? Granted, all that planning would be done by the intellectuals and their proteges (or so they think), so you can understand why they would want governments to have more power and for individuals to have their rights stripped away. But the unmitigated hubris of the intellectuals never ceases to amaze me. And folks wonder why most Americans are anti-intellectual! What a bunch of guano -- especially when you realize that Diamond plays fast and loose with the facts regarding Montana's environment, which leads me to think that he is more interested in increased government planning and weakened individual rights than he is in scientific truth or societal success.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal