Thursday, March 31, 2005

So He's A Comedian

John J. Miller, aside being NRO's (wildly inaccurate) Francophobe, is also its saturday morning comedian:

DEATH BY TRADE [John J. Miller]
This just in from the halls of academe: Free trade killed the Neanderthals.

What does this tell us about anti-globalization protestors?


Let us pause now as crickets chirp and a tumbleweed or two languidly bounce by.

Okay, then.

The reference is this article, a vaguely cultural-materialist analysis of admittedly scant information.

Now let us answer Miller's question while pretending it was not a witless sneer. Perhaps it tells us that anti-globalisation protestors don't want any species to become extinct? Biological diversity -- like cultural diversity, a horrible thing indeed to preserve, in the opinion of Repug-Neoliberal-Libertarian nutjobs like John J. Miller who are often, ironically, the most crass of Darwinists when it comes to remorselessly exterminating "lesser" species and "lesser" cultures, but decidedly anti-Darwinists when it conflicts with their own brand of batshit fundamentalism.

For what it's worth (and I naturally think quite a lot), here's the closing stave of Alfred W. Crosby's classic The Columbian Exchange:

The Columbian exchange has included man, and he has changed the Old and New Worlds sometimes inadvertently, sometimes intentionally, often brutally. It is possible that he and the plants and animals he has brought with him have caused the extinction of more species of life forms in the last four hundred years than the usual processes of evolution might kill off in a million. Man kills faster than the pace of evolution: there has been no million years since Columbus for evolution to devise a replacement for the passenger pigeon. No one can remember what the pre-Columbian flora of the Antilles was like, and the trumpeter swan and the buffalo and a hundred other species have been reduced to such small numbers that a mere twitch of a change in ecology or man's wishes can eliminate them. The flora and fauna of the Old and especially of the New World have been reduced and specialized by man. specialization almost always narrows the possibilities for future changes: for the sake of present convenience, we loot the future.

The Columbian exhange has left us with not a richer but a more impoverished gene pool. We, all of the life on this planet, are the less for Columbus, and the impoverishment will increase.


Amen to that, Dr. Crosby. Anti-globalists are against the "future-eaters", those nuts like Miller and so many others across the political spectrum who are perfectly content to play God biologically (and culturally -- the same rules and consequences apply) "for the sake of present convenience".

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