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...But much of the control of energy consumption will be through despotic orders, through compulsory "rationing" by government, and not simply by higher prices driven up by taxes. "Gas-guzzling" cars are to be especially taxed, insulation will be subsidized or mandated, "efficiency" will be required, etc. New boilers in industry will be prevented from burning natural gas or oil; instead coal will have to be used; and existing coal-burning boilers will be prohibited from shifting from coal to oil or gas. Prohibited, that is, without special permits from the federal bureaucracy...
...Jimmy Carter's plan for energy socialism must be resisted and defeated. Libertarians are particularly well equipped to lead in this task, for, unlike conservatives, we have no enthusiasm for the alleged virtues of order, discipline, and sacrifice. And unlike both conservatives and liberals, we have no enthusiasm either for war or for the moral equivalent of war; we don't want a healthy State and a sick country. One of the best symbols of the Carter brand of economic militarism has been dug up by that indefatigable muckraker Alexander Cockburn (Village Voice, April 11). Cockburn focused on that living symbol of right-wing social democracy cum liberal conservatism, of the military-intellectual complex, Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington. Huntington, the inventor of strategic hamlets in the Vietnam War, advocate of winning the war by herding the Vietnamese peasantry into the cities, and fellow member with Carter and Mondale of the Trilateral Commission who has deplored the "excess of democracy" in the Western world, is now working for the National Security Council in the Carter administration.
In a book some years ago, a book that seems uncannily prophetic of Carter's "moral equivalent of war" in energy, Huntington contrasted the town of West Point with neighboring civilian town of Highland Falls. Of Highland Falls, the professor wrote of its "tiresome monotony and the incredible variety and discordancy of small-town commercialism … lacking common unity or purpose…."
In contrast, for Huntington, was the nearby military academy of West Point:
On the military reservation … there is ordered serenity. The parts do not exist on their own, but accept their subordination to the whole. Beauty and utility are merged in gray stone … The post is suffused with rhythm and harmony which comes when the collective will supplants individual whim … behavior of men is governed by a code … The unity of the community incites no man to be more than he is. In order is found peace; discipline, fulfillment; in community, security….
And Huntington concluded,
Is it possible to deny that the military values — loyalty, duty, restraint, dedication — are the ones America most needs today? … America can learn more from West Point than West Point from America…. If the civilians permit the soldiers to adhere to the military standard, the nations themselves may eventually find redemption and security in making that standard their own.
And are we not seeing this drive for order, discipline, and sacrifice now imposed on us through energy fascism, albeit by a former graduate of Annapolis rather than West Point?
The choice before America is clear: it is abundant energy at a market price, or government-contrived shortages; it is free markets versus bureaucracy, and even above all that, it is individual freedom and diversity as against socialization through economic militarism.