Sunday, June 19, 2005

Book Review: State Of Fear

Author: Michael Crichton

This book created a lot of controversy, which I assume was the actual intention of the author when he sat down to write it. Crichton, famous for such books as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park", has always mingled hard science with imaginative fiction. Make no mistake - this book is fiction. It is however, more than that, it is a warning. The world is in dire straits, but it's not because of global warming which Crichton admits may indeed be happening, but because of agenda driven science, the politics of fear and media manipulation.

Ideologues on both sides of the global warming issue have used this book to bludgeon each other. I did not get the impression that Crichton was soon to be announced as the keynote speaker for the Republican Convention and I'm fairly certain the DNC wants no part of him.

The main premise of State of Fear is that since the dawn of civilization we have always been controlled by our fears. Kings, dictators and presidents have used fear to advance certain agendas and there is no reason to believe it won't continue this way for the forseeable future. A case can be made that it is sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. Who could argue that the fear of Nazism fostered in America and Britian during the 1930's was bad? Conversely, who in today's world would say that eugenics, the fear of what immigrants and so-called inferior races would do to the gene pool, pushed in the early 1900's was good.

When one "threat" wains something else steps into its place to consume the public with fear that then allows the establishment, be it government, media, industry or even, perish the thought, environmentalists to try to exert control. World War II was followed by the Cold War which shaped everything we were as a society for decades. When the Berlin Wall fell something else had to be erected to take its place. That something eventually manifested itself as global warming and the "crisis" of climatic upheaval. Scary stuff. In 2001, for a time, even global warming took a backseat to the threat of global terrorism, and can anyone seriously doubt that 9/11 wasn't expertly used to breed fear. (Again, fear can be a healthy thing, too).

As a work of fiction this book is not going to go down in history with the great works of literature, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The characters were, as some critics have noted, fairly one dimensional, but the pacing and action sequences left little room for deep, reflective insights into their souls. The bad guys in State of Fear are the environmental cults. His critics have proclaimed this proves that Crichton is in the back pocket of right-wing industrialists. Yes, but the bad guys in Jurassic Park were scientists and businessmen... What does that prove? He goes out of his way several times in the narrative to say that industry buys the data and statistics it uses just as much as the environmentalists do.

I really can't argue with the point Michael Crichton is trying to convey with this book. He clearly believes that the crisis of global warming is a sham and he believes the captains of the envronmental movement do too. He seems to think that most people who would call themselves environmentalists are decent if not wholly misinformed people. No one, including myself believes that we should wantonly pollute and disregard the damage unchecked human activity can produce, but the environmentalist movement at its core is anti-western civilization, anti-development and frankly, anti-human. They would and do deny to the undeveloped world the very things that have made us in the west richer, stronger, healthier and happier.

Their tactics are clever, viseral, effective and often immoral. If you haven't paid attention you should. Watch how they have managed to get everyone in the media to attribute every concievable natual disaster to the global warming effects of human activity. It's no accident that the crisis driven media is aiding their cause.

Americans are often portrayed as rubes and unsophisticates in the opinion pages and the popular culture, but I contend we know bullshit when we see it. I won't pretend to believe that the leaders of Europe and Asia who have bought into this are anything less than socialist partisans whose real agenda is an anti-capitalist, anti-American conspiracy.

They don't fear global warming, they fear a second American century.


I am as guilty as the next guy at trying to breed fear to highlight a certain point of view. One has to look no farther than the article that precedes this one. I have a fear of China. I have used "feelings" and certain facts that advance my belief in order to get you the reader to believe it too. Is this bad, disingenuous and hypocritical? Not neccesarily, remember fear can be a healthy thing too. Until it is proven otherwise I will continue to see China as a threat to the freedom of the world...


Timothy Birdnow said...

Amen! Liberalism, in particular, is about the use of fear to advance their agenda. Fear of losing your job, the fear of old people that they will wind up destitute, fear of environmental collapse, fear of pollution, of the military, fear of corporations, etc.

Cricton is 100% right!

You`ve had some great posts! Keep at `em!