- the utter stupidity of the worthy individual proclaiming his/her goodness
- how the Establishment has managed to harness this stupidity to fleece people and advance its totalitarian agenda
I am so embarrassed to live in a nation that has done so little to wage war on climate change. I recently sold my automobile because I wanted to make better choices for the Earth, but if I still owned my car, I would not be complaining about this tax - I would be rejoicing about it. Stop killing the future by trying to save a few dollars today.
This line of thinking offers a rather chilling example of the two factors mentioned above. It begins with a mandatory expression of guilt and loathing for one's country and people, which then neatly slips into the first declaration of individual righteousness.
Perhaps the person making this statement really did sell his automobile out of some belief that the action would better the environment, but my gut tells me the sale was probably inspired by finances. That is, the holy individual making this virtue signal probably could not afford a car anymore, but is now presenting this financial step backward as an incorruptible sign of high-mindedness.
Even if the person did sell his car to save the planet, it is rather callous to assume others are in the position to do the same or that they would welcome the tax on fuel. A car is not an optional luxury for most people, but a necessary means of transport. This holds especially true in Canada where urban sprawl has become the defacto urban planning model of choice.
The first declaration of environmental righteousness is immediately followed by a sentence in the second conditional. The signaller sets up an unreal hypothetical situation and then goes on to describe how he would behave within its framework.
I find it difficult to believe this person would actually celebrate being taxed out of 500-600 dollars a year, which is the estimated amount the carbon tax will take away from the average individual/family annually. Five hundred dollars is a lot of money, enough to cover the signaller's annual vanilla soy latte budget; I can't imagine our beloved signaller would take such a thing lying down. Yet, the sweetest virtue signals are those that emanate from things that will not affect you. Five hundred dollars equals ten pairs of children's shoes or three/four grocery shopping trips for an average family, but this is of little concern to our valiant environmental saint. Thus, as the tax gouges others out of their hard-earned money, our noble soul will still be happily sipping away at his soy lattes.
Feeding and clothing children reflect short term thinking - one must consider the long term - think of the future, comrade! The last line is by far the most vitriolic and scornful. The signaller equates resistance to the tax with short-term greed and pettiness. The sentence has a definite, "how dare you be so narrow-minded" tone to it. The individual is essential pointing to the future like some angular figure from Soviet Socialist Realist painting, demanding sacrifice today for the promise of a brighter future tomorrow.
Of course the signaller does not, not for a microsecond, raise even the slightest expression of doubt regarding the effectiveness of the government's carbon tax plan or how the money raised will be used to fight climate change. As far as I can tell, the tax is a punitive - it punishes people for having the audacity to drive. Like all punitive taxes, the carbon tax seeks to influence behavior by getting people to drive less. The problem is the existing infrastructure makes this "choice" impossible. What the government will do with the extra money it raises is a mystery, but this matters not to our esteemed signaller because everyone knows the government is here to help.
In the same source, I noticed other signallers challenge objections to the carbon tax by claiming the government would issue tax rebates to most families affected by the new tax; the rebates will, apparently, match or exceed the amount of tax paid. This raises a question. If the government plans to give back the taxes it collects, why would it impose the tax at all?
In any case, to get back to the main message of the virtue signal. Climate change is real and we have the power to stop it. The government is going to fix it. Don't be a greedy bastard and get with the program. You're a selfish, deplorable creep if you think otherwise.
When I encounter this kind of thinking online, I regard it as a demonstration of how quickly and seamlessly our possible slip into totalitarianism might actually be, assuming we are not there already.