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Brain fire on urban tyranny over rural areas August 16, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism, Liberal Hypocrisy, Politics.
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It happened quite some time ago, but the Seattle City Council back in 2000 passed a resolution demanding that four hydroelectric/irrigation dams on the lower Snake River -over 300 miles from downtown Seattle- be removed in the hopes that salmon runs would recover.

The resolution left a very bitter taste in my mouth, for a host of reasons:

  1. I happen to live very close to these dams. To remove them would seriously harm numerous farmers in the region, a people I naturally have grown fond of. The Council could not have cared less. Fish yes. Farmers over 300 miles away? Doesn’t affect them at all. Soulless, bastard bureaucrats. . .(but I’m getting ahead of myself)
  2. It would play hell with power rates. (It is interesting to note that the council finally dropped its idiot idea once the Enron-inspired California brown-outs occurred, thereby sapping our power surplus and consequently jacking our rates, including Seattle’s. Once the City Council over there in Moscow-on-the-Sound got their asses bitten through their pocketbooks, they discovered that maybe the salmon weren’t so important after all)
  3. The research that the Council was basing its resolution on is decidedly uncertain. There were numerous, apparently sound studies that suggested dam breaching would do nothing. And as I recall, either 2003 or 2004 enjoyed a huge, record run of salmon that still is not explained.
  4. Most importantly, I was grossly offended that a bunch of effete, Cappucino-swilling urban moonbats over 300 miles away had the gall to even attempt to interfere with the life and well-being of what amounts to a very different culture. The arrogance of their resolution was breathtaking, even when observing it at a distance of 300 miles. It wasn’t as if they didn’t have their own fish to fry in Seattle, beginning with the Seattle School District, the chronic congestion of the area’s roads, and repairing the damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct. But why bother with local problems when you can meddle in other people’s business? Especially when those other people can’t vote you out of office.

And I would have simply left it there. This occurred long before I started committing my rants to the ether in this blog. I never would have written about it, until I came across this little analysis of the urban arrogance of people in towns like London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool in England who decided to outlaw foxhunting.

Note the parallels:

A recent study has revealed that more foxes have been wounded rather than killed by the new culling methods adopted since hunting was banned, resulting in the animals suffering long, agonizing deaths. A survey of six hundred sheep farmers has shown that shooting and snaring has replaced hunting as the means by which farmers control the fox population. The result, as the pro-hunt lobby predicted, is that genuine animal welfare has been sacrificed for a political victory over hunt supporters. This is a fact that needs emphasizing because, for all the rhetoric about “animal rights,” the campaign to ban hunting was motivated more by class hatred than by a desire to protect foxes.

So, “research” claimed foxhunting was bad for the fox. Turns out the opposite might be true. (Point #3 from above)

The urban proletariat and its Labour Party representatives perceived hunting as a preserve of the rich and as an archaic throwback to the days of feudalism and privilege. In fact, hunting is enjoyed by all social classes in rural England and is an expression of the community spirit that still survives in the countryside, even as it has long since become extinct in the cities. This fact was made glaringly obvious by the sheer enormity of the size of the pro-hunt demonstration by the Countryside Alliance before the ban became law.

Hmmm. Arrogant, pecksniffian urban shysters telling those benighted rural hayseeds that they don’t know what’s best for them. (Points 1 and 4)

The central issue is connected to what the Catholic Church has termed “subsidiarity.” The principal objection to the banning of hunting is that the urban proletariat had no right to override the wishes of the majority of people in the countryside to pursue their ancient traditions unmolested. No foxes are hunted in Hampstead or in Birmingham. No stags are pursued through the streets of Liverpool or Manchester. What right, therefore, do the people of these areas have to dictate what the people of Much Wenlock or Moreton-in-the-Marsh can or can’t do in the fields surrounding their villages? Why should the tradition-oriented folk of the English shires be forced to conform to the conventions of what Evelyn Waugh described “as our own deplorable epoch”? Why should the civilized remnant of England be forced to practice the new barbarism of our modern cities? These, as I say, are the key questions raised by the banning of hunting.

Point #4 from above. In spades.

The author of this little analysis, Joseph Pearce, then drives the point home:

And, my most revered American friends, in case you have not grasped the connection, the seemingly insignificant issue of foxhunting has ramifications that go to the heart of the future of the United States also. If there are two Englands, rural and urban, there are two Americas also, the red heartland and the blue coastal fringes. The traditional heart of America is threatened by the radical fringe and there may come a time when the Heartland Alliance will be forced to parade by the hundreds of thousands on the streets of Washington, D.C., to protect its cherished way of life from the encroachments of compulsory modernity. To a degree, this is already happening, as can be seen by the annual right-to-life demonstration in D.C. on the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling. And, of course, it says a great deal about the intolerant “tolerance” of “progressive” liberalism that there is a right to choose to kill an unborn baby but no right to choose to hunt a fox.

His last point is particularly grotesque when one considers the absurd fight over foie gras in Chicago and Olympia.  By all means, outlaw foie gras.  I’ll back PETA on this.

As soon as they pull their heads out of their backsides on abortion first, I personally will wear a “SAVE THE WATERFOWL!!!” shirt to every Republican black-tie ball I can find.

Now, I am sure that there are some canard-hunters out there who will object that I cannot compare dams -massive Federal works projects that impact millions of people over thousands of square miles- with fox hunting, which is essentially a purer fight between groups over a much more limited area and scope. And they would be right, as far as the material comparison went.
Nevertheless, those canards do nothing to address the main point: At what intersection in urban/rural dialog does the urban tyranny that comes built in with its population base stop lording it over small-town America? How much power can it wield in justice? The Seattle City Council to the best of any knowledge I can find talked to exactly ZERO people in the Eastern part of the state that would be most disrupted by the removal of the dams. They were exercising urban tyranny over the rural portion of the state.
One cannot hide behind voter registrations: The thought and philosophy divide between the battle lines as Pearce has accurately drawn them is already quite divergent and is showing signs of becoming ever moreso. To then claim that it is simply a matter of voter might as a means of addressing this growing gulf is little better than institutionalized tyranny. Even the founding fathers recognized this, insuring the presence of a Senate -and even giving preferential powers to it- that was immune to the tyranny of urbanization.

Foxhunting and Snake River dams. Who would have EVER thought these things would have anything at all in common?

Factor in urban -and therefore, liberal- arrogance, and it suddenly all begins to make sense, doesn’t it?

The question demanding attention is where will it end?

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