In the past seven days the Green Trolls have attacked me for being a tool of the Koch Brothers, called me stupid and a sock puppet, told me to stick my tongue in a light socket, said I’m a pushing Satanic propaganda, and told me my opinions were nothing more than bull puke.
As so often happens when vacuous ideologues become hysterical, the fingers that wrote these gems did so before the cerebral cavity of the writer was engaged. Aside from the entertainment value these verbal bowel movements provided, they are indicative of the deep and concerning undercurrent of radicalization that the environmental movement has taken.
None of the allegations made against me are true. I do not work for any industry or the Koch Brothers. As a freelance journalist I enjoy the liberty of free speech and I believe healthy, critical debate is long overdue and warranted. The above diatribes show that the Green Trolls have indeed emerged from the sewer and, one must say, they are living up to their reputation.
So this is what adult political discourse has descended to in the United States of America. The past week’s events have proven without a shadow of a doubt that the Green Trolls have firmly entrenched themselves under the bridge of free speech, where they lie in wait ready to pounce at a moment’s notice at anything and anyone who does not agree with their narratives. Unable to communicate in a rational, articulate manner, they resort to name calling, hurling baseless accusations, and generally senseless rants. As with other nihilistic movements unable to gain credibility, the school yard bully replaces reason with harsh words and violence.
In the Internet milieu the term “troll” is derogatory and meant to denigrate someone who is deliberately provocative to produce the maximum amount of disruption to the other parties’ goals. Nobody on the Internet likes to be called a troll, especially those who know that’s what they really are. Since this is the accepted, de facto terminology I’m going with it, albeit with some reservations.
Stickler as I am for the correct use of words in the English language, in my opinion the term “ogre” might be a bit more appropriate for these folks, though it is less musical to the ear and not part of the current vernacular. But to call the dubious denizens of American news forums “trolls” is, quite simply, giving them too much credit. In literature and mythology, ogres are known as being large, hideous, cruel, and monstrous. They are obtuse, obstinate, and cannot be reasoned with. Trolls, on the other hand, are dangerous, cunning, capable of magically cursing people, and eating them when it suits them. Trolls can be intelligent and are considered to be more reasonable than ogres.
It is this last part with which I take issue because the Green Trolls who inhabit the virtual halls of public debate are anything but reasonable. They are all for freedom of speech, except when that speech is contrary to their beliefs. Their rhetoric is canned. They cower in the face of statistics or actual facts. They are strangers to logic and treat the very existence of alternative points of view as a direct personal attack. It is virtually impossible to change a Green Troll’s mind about political issues because their mindset goes like this: Only they are credible sources of information. They are closed-minded and impervious to any information that might undermine their beliefs.
Green Trolls are all about appearances, not outcomes. What matters to Green Trolls is how something makes them FEEL about themselves. Practical concerns are all but irrelevant, much less notions such as logic or reason. Green Trolls are insular, whereas contrarians are not. Contrarians at least are regularly exposed to the Green Troll viewpoint whether we want to be or not. This is why Green Trolls react with such histrionics when someone poses a viewpoint that is opposite to what their insular world has influenced them into believing.
Anyone who ever cherished the illusion that today’s environmentalist movement is anything other than a Trojan Horse for a revival of yesterday’s Communism no longer has any excuse to hold onto that belief. Despite scandals such as “Climate Gate,” in which scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit cooked the books and excluded data that was contrary to their preconceived notions of the pseudo-scientific religion of climate change, the believers hold on to their fantasy like a dog with the proverbial bone.
The climate change narrative has unmistakably degraded to the Communist purge attitude of the early 20th century. This was recently made apparent by no less than the Chief of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christina Figueres, who praised Communism by saying “democracy is a poor political system” and “Communist China is the best model for fighting global warming.” The same sentiment is echoed by commenters who condone “tossing the Kochs in prison for their crimes against humanity, as guilty as they so obviously are.” Such comments serve only to try, convict, and sentence people for exercising their own right to freedom of speech without any due process of the law. Comments such as “It would actually take an iron hand communistic type of regime to make a dent in all of the despoilers' polluting ways” are even more alarming because we now have someone espousing a return to the dark days of Communism, which failed so miserably in the Soviet Union and other nations where this horrid social experiment was forced on the citizenry.
Does the irony of such comments escape everyone but me? Do the commenters not realize that it is the free speech enshrined in our Constitution that empowers them to put forth their hate-filled drivel? They do not seem to understand is that if their beloved Communism were ever enacted their very right to speak freely would evaporate. No longer would they be able to speak their mind without fear of reprisals by the government. They are truly so deluded as to believe that they can/should be able to silence others without someday being silenced themselves.
Margret Thatcher put it best when she wrote, “I never had any doubt that the Communist system was doomed to fail. I believed this simply because Communism ran against the grain of human nature and was therefore ultimately unsustainable. It was committed to suppressing individual differences; it could not mobilize individual talents, which is vital to the process of wealth creation. It thus impoverishes not just souls but society. Faced with a free system, which engages rather than coerces people, and so brings out the best in them, Communism must ultimately founder.” Her words ring so true, as it was our God-given free will that finally overtook the evil institution of Communism. Good overtook evil. And the world is a better place.
Sadly, the commenters who are so enraptured by Uncle Joe’s failed utopia have probably never set foot outside this Land of the Free. Were they to have done so they would surely be singing a different tune. And if they ever learned of the Communist atrocities in school, they have obviously forgotten the lessons taught. But we cannot forget. To forget would be catastrophic. As George Santyana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Those who long for the Communist “good old days” are, at best, looking at the past through their green/rose-tinted glasses; at worst they themselves are living monuments to human ignorance. In their quest for collectivism and one-sided discourse they choose to ignore the murderous purges of Stalin, which resulted in millions of people killed – only for having contrarian beliefs. Cheerleaders for neo-Communism have never visited a Gulag in Siberia or had to queue in the depths of a Moscow winter for food. This author recalls vividly doing the latter, in 1990 during the death throes of an ideologically, politically, economically, and morally bankrupt system.
Romantics longing for the “good old days” should be required to take a tour of Moscow’s old KGB Lubjanka Prison, right in the center of Moscow. This is where, in the 1930s, Uncle Joe’s secret police used an industrial mine stone crusher to dispose of approximately 10,000 executed bodies. Stalin’s secret police, from the NKVD to the KGB, had to use the crusher because the bodies were piling up and the neighbors begun to complain about the smell.
This begs the question of whether the neo-Communists have any clue about the truth of the political system they long to impose on others. Sadly, the answer seems to be yes. These “neo-Comms” are fully aware of the past (and ongoing, for that matter) atrocities committed by Communists the world over. But with all the hubris of their kind they believe that if THEY are in charge they would avoid such pitfalls.
Attempts by the Green Trolls to stifle free speech on the Internet are, thank heaven, not likely to cause bodily harm to an author with whom they disagree. Contrarian authors like myself can take comfort in this because the vitriol that is spouted by the Green Trolls who disagree with us would otherwise be alarming. We should count ourselves lucky that we can operate in an environment where we are protected by the anonymity (if we so choose) of the Internet and that those who would silence us are thankfully (for the time being at least) as impotent as they are senseless.
Contrarian authors should take encouragement from that icon of free speech Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802-1837), journalist, newspaper editor, and abolitionist, who was murdered by a pro-slavery mob during an attack on his printing warehouse. In Lovejoy’s immortal words, "As long as I am an American citizen and American blood runs in these veins I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, and to publish whatever I please on any subject."
I intend to do the same.