Natural Gas NOW
Let’s be honest. Much of fractivism today is motivated by a hatred of capitalism and represents nothing more than modern-day Marxism with a new face.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time reading this blog knows I frequently refer to the fact fractivism is radical and, at its roots, is anti-capitalist. I don’t think I’ve ever actually called fractivists Marxists, but it’s time to be totally honest; much of fractivism today is simply modern-day Marxism. It represents an ideology of contempt for all of modern society, an animus toward the values of Western Civilization that it believes to be oppressive, largely because its adherents aren’t in control and at the mercy of envy. Like, Marx himself, they live off others and the system that enables them while calling for its destruction of that system. It’s time we called out the opposition for exactly what it is.
Obviously, not every opponent of shale gas development is a modern-day Marxist. Some are motivated by genuine concerns and have open minds or, even if they’ve made up their minds, have rational perspectives. After all, a NIMBY is rational to the extent he or she at least acts in their own interest. We might say their case represents “economic man” at work. NIMBYs, though are not the heart of fractivism. Rather, they’re just along for the ride because it serves their interests. True green fractivism, by contrast, is an ideology of utopianism that demands, first of all, destruction of what now exists so that something new and wonderful that just happens to put activists in charge can be forged from the twisted metal of the ruins.
Fractivism can also be distinguished from environmentalism as it was originally conceived and still practiced by many. Real environmentalists who see opportunities to reduce pollution, fight global warming or tackle some other actual or perceived problem don’t wallow in hyperbole and histronics and don’t ignore opportunities to make a difference. They don’t demand 100% agreement with their own views and pose threats of banishment from the movement or worse for failure to agree. They get about the business go getting things done. Groups such as the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Environmental Defense Fund come to mind. They take many positions I dislike but they’re not stupid or blinded by their ideology either. They seek to move forward without first scorching the earth in front of them. They talk with at least a modicum of reason.
Fractivists aren’t much interested in talk. They’re committed to destruction as their first objective and that begins with polemics against capitalism or, more likely, their favorite proxies, which allows them to attack from the side so as to obscure the real target. That’s why fossil fuels are such a convenient stand-in bogeyman. Fracking is an even more enticing figure toward which they can direct their wrath. The phonetics of this slang term appeal to every rebellious teenager-in-mind, of course, but there’s also the supposed mystery of it all as if it were some laser weapon in the hands of a Darth Vader. The imagery is addictive to the fractivist mind, ever on the look for ways to denigrate what they imagine is a corrupt and oppressive modern industrial society.
No member of the fractivist set is long able to suppress or obscure their real intent. We have a pitch-perfect example in a letter appearing on the New York Times this past Friday. It’s by Ellen Cantarow, a writer for The Nation, Aljazeera, Truth-Out and Mother Jones, among others (and a member of Modern Language Association of America its “Radical Caucus”). Not being a regular reader of The Nation (which also publishes drivel such as this), I don’t follow Cantarow much. Her name pops up from time to time, though, when she takes time from advocating for other radical causes (e.g., attacking Israel and even Elie Wiesel) to join up with Ithaca fractivists to opposing things such as Crestwood’s propane and natural gas storage project in Watkins Glen, falsely portraying it as a battle of locals against big oil or something. The reality, of course, is far different, but that’s another story told in-depth here and here.
The reality is irrelevant to Cantarow and like-minded fractivists – nothing more than a cover story intended to deflect from the fact they care not a whit for the rural residents for whom they say they speak. They couldn’t care less, in fact, about the economic welfare of rural areas or the energy needs of the region. They are, rather, obsessed with a vision, their vision, which is one of destruction of the existing order and its replacement by something they suppose is superior, something designed and implemented by them and their elitist comrades roaming the halls of Ivy League institutions such as Cornell. It’s a profoundly Marxist vision and Cantarow, in a moment of honesty, reveals it in her New York Times (emphasis added):
Many thanks for your thorough and hard-hitting investigation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its advocacy for Big Tobacco, led by the chamber’s chief executive, Thomas J. Donahue. You call this “American style” capitalism. In fact, it is simply capitalism in its most brutal form.
Consider not only Big Tobacco but also the fossil fuel industry: In a country bereft of effective and wise government leadership attentive to citizens’ needs, this unchecked economic system is wrecking our country and destroying the planet.
Yes, it is capitalism that Cantarow ultimately opposes. It is capitalism that is her real chosen enemy. She hides it most of the time by suggesting it’s all about everything else, but when the anger takes over, the truth comes out; it’s about destroying capitalism but whatever means available. She slanders the natural gas industry by linking it to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the tobacco industry, as if the fracking debate was about corporatism and hiding health impacts when the truth is precisely the opposite. The corporatism is to be found in the funding of fractivism by the wealthiest of all special interests; the Rockefeller family, the Heinz family, the Haas family and the Ithaca-based Park Foundation who she writes for when she authors pieces for Truth-Out and Mother Jones, for example (which are both funded by the Park Foundation).
Her’s is a special form of corporatism; one that relies upon the sons and daughters of capitalism to fund an attack on it, secure in the knowledge nothing will touch them. That is the nature of modern-day Marxism. It seeks to destroy everything around it in a desire to recreate a society where it is more firmly in control than ever. Fractivism is about denying economic and energy independence to other Americans and keeping them under its thumb. It hates all ideas but its own, denies any innovations but its own and seeks to squelch any power but its own. Fractivism is nothing but recycled Marxism, the failed ideology of spoiled children in the mold of its namesake.
And, by the way, if you think Ellen Cantarow really gives a damn about fracking you should know this: she doesn’t. It’s a head fake. How do I know? Well, check out this photo from a site called Houzz, which allows kitchen designers and homeowners to share their ideas on the perfect kitchen. Ellen Cantarow offered her ideas in this post and here is one of the seven photos depicting stoves, all of which were gas ranges.
Marxists are, by definition, hypocrites.