The Dangerous Lunatics At the Top

The World Bank is a powerful global institution. It should be able to select and hire only the top talent for its top positions.

I’m sure that’s what the people in the World Bank think they do. They actually provide power and prestige for madmen.

To take one example who recently published an essay on how we might have “sustainable development” in the future: consider Herman Daly.

Daly is not some weird crank using blogspot to publish his views. He is a respected scholar. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University in 1967. He was professor at Louisiana State University in the seventies. He has taught all over the world. He is now a professor at The School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Daly was Senior Economist in the Environment Department of the World Bank from 1988 to 1994. According to Wikipedia, he developed guidelines for “sustainable development.”

Daly now has an operation called the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. Here we find he has written an essay on “The Populations Problem.” It shows us what kind of dystopian madness is taken seriously by our global “leaders” (emphasis added):

 “[A] car that lasts longer and gets better mileage is still a dissipative structure, but with a more efficient metabolism that allows it to live on a lower rate of throughput. Likewise, human organisms might be genetically redesigned to require less food, air, and water. Indeed smaller people would be the simplest way of increasing metabolic efficiency (measured as number of people maintained by a given resource throughput). To my knowledge no one has yet suggested breeding smaller people as a way to avoid limiting births, but that probably just reflects my ignorance. We have, however, been busy breeding and genetically engineering larger and faster-growing plants and livestock. So far, the latter dissipative structures have been complementary with populations of human bodies, but in a finite and full world, the relationship will soon become competitive.”

 Seriously. This has actually been proposed before in the form of a fictional novel. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World portrays a society in which many humans are manipulated into dwarfs so that they can serve efficiently and not waste resources. (Huxley’s novel is often portrayed as a warning like George Orwell’s 1984, but it was nothing of the kind. It was written to convince people to submit to that future as the only possible one.) But to see it come out of our global academic ruling class as a literal suggestion is nauseating.

Daly teaches that we can know the limits of the future and must curtail growth to meet those expectations. In other words, he is a Malthusian and a depopulationist (Thomas Malthus was an economist who taught that population always outgrew food supply). Daly’s offer of turning us all into midgets is offered as an alternative to population reduction.

Ironically, people actually used to be smaller due to diseases and starvation. Now, through freedom, property rights, and production, have developed new resources that were undreamed of in the past. But the Malthusians always insist that they know the future and how all future possibilities are limited.

Daly is a part of the phenomenon I call “the Religious Left,” saying that we need a crisis and a change of values. We need to want to be smaller, poorer, and with fewer children.

I don’t consider the fact that Daly exists that noteworthy. But the fact that he is a product of and an authority in our global academic government-industrial complex tells you that we are being led by madmen.

We do need a change in values. We need a world where Daly is just a crank with a blog, not someone with international academic respectability.