One common theme among the right is that well-to-do Progressives, while expounding their typical cant, will, when their personal stakes are important enough, act contradictory to their ideology. This is most commonly illustrated by Progressives’ choices in where to live and where to send their children to school, and in certain jurisdictions how they police crime. Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart documents how America’s liberal upper classes live traditional bourgeois lives, while refusing to recommend the lifestyle to their lower-class countrymen. Lawrence Auster called these examples of tacit acceptance of reality Unprincipled Exceptions. This obvious and endemic hypocrisy in the Progressive worldview makes it much easier to escape the progressive egg.
But sometimes Progressives, in defiance of all reason, warning, instinct, and common sense, take themselves seriously and get stranded in Antarctic ice while on a PR junket to demonstrate how Antarctic ice is extinct.
Look on Global Warming ye mighty and despair!
But, despite the schadenfreude, there is the question about why the Progressive hypocritical impulse failed here. This was a well funded adventure supported by the usually savvy mainstream media. I don’t think that the people planning the expedition were ideological outliers.
In his article about New York City’s crime strategy, Handle says:
The leftist hopeful dream is one of a society which could be full of rewarding, positive carrots and completely devoid of the sticks of negative experience.
And I think this is the ultimate explanation for the credulity shown by the passengers on the doomed ship. They really had no idea what the Antarctic sea was like.
So one question I might ask is whether there are any other issues where Progressives blindly follow their ideology where an Unprincipled Exception would be easily excused.
As an aside, here’s the Guardian’s dishonest spin:
Research ship trapped in Antarctic ice because of weather, not climate changeThe predicament and subsequent rescue of 52 passengers – both tourists and scientists – on the Russian ship Academik Shokalskiy has gripped media around the world. The smooth rescue was impressive and a great relief, although the vessel itself and its crew are still stuck – and now one of the icebreakers sent to help in the rescue, the Chinese ship Xue Long, is itself stuck in the ice.Some commentators have remarked on what they describe as the ‘irony’ of researchers studying the impact of a warming planet themselves being impeded by heavy ice. With some even suggesting that the situation is itself evidence that global warming is exaggerated.In fact, the local weather patterns that brought about the rapid build up of ice that trapped the Academik Shokalskiy tell us very little about global warming. This is weather, not climate.