Has there ever been a less consequential person picked to be Person of the Year?
Who better than a finger-wagging teen bereft of accomplishment, or any comprehension of basic economics or history, to be Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019? Greta Thunberg’s canonization is a perfect expression of media activism in a deeply unserious time.
Has there ever been a less consequential person picked to be Person of the Year? I doubt it. I mean, Wallis Simpson, 1936’s Person of the Year, got King Edward VIII to abdicate the throne. Thunberg can’t even get you to abdicate your air-conditioning.
These days we celebrate vacuous fire and brimstone. “Greta Thunberg”—the idea, not the girl—is a concoction of activists who have increasingly taken to using children as a shield from critical analysis or debate. She’s the vessel of the environmentalist’s fraudulent apocalypticism-as-argument. Her style is emotion and indignation, histrionics and fantasy. She is a teenager, after all.
How dare you attack a poor defenseless child who suffers from Asperger syndrome!
You’ll notice that, on one hand, Thunberg’s champions demand that the world take her Malthusian crusade seriously, and on the other, they feign indignation when you actually do. The argument that young people, because they will inherit the future, are also best equipped to comprehend it is as puerile as any of Thunberg’s positions.
Perhaps a better question is this: What kind of parents, editors, producers, or U.N. officials would thrust a vulnerable child, with Asperger syndrome, no less, into a complex and contentious debate? I have great sympathy for her. It’s her ideological handlers who have stolen her childhood.
Surely, we should be allowed to consider the positions of Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year? Because the problem with Greta Thunberg—the idea, not the girl—is that she proposes not only that the people of her native Sweden abandon modernity but that billions of people in Asia and Africa remain in destitution. Thunberg, unlike many of her ideological allies, does not hide the truth of modern environmentalism. She believes that wealth and economic growth—modernity—are the problem.
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