414. The army (IV)
I glanced through a document written by Roger Hallam, founder of Extinction Rebellion; the document, written in HMP Wormwood Scrubs (“the Scrubs”) when Hallam was in for a plot to disrupt Heathrow Airport with drones, represents an appeal to young people. It reveals much as to Hallam’s psychology. Hallam is nothing more or less than an old doomsday preacher; ironically, he actually mentions “the children’s crusade” in the document—he is the very type to lead a children’s crusade. The end is nigh: leave the fields untilled, for the judgement is at hand…
Hallam has thought the world is about to end all his life; he started in “the peace movement”—i.e. the campaign against nuclear weapons. Back then, he thought we would all die in a nuclear holocaust; today, he thinks we will all die due to climate change—he claims the world is already a giant gas chamber. The thought behind Hallam’s worldview is this: we are all going to die in this terrible event; therefore, we must dismantle every extant social structure or face death. It is the hostage-taker’s logic: do what I want or everyone gets killed.
Hallam has an external locus of control: victim mindset. From his youth, he set out to be arrested for so-called civil disobedience; for Hallam, it is virtuous to be a victim—and he has led a life where he is a victim and turns others into victims. When he gave up on his activism against nuclear weapons he became an organic farmer; he claims he had to abandon the farm because “extreme weather” made it untenable—so instead he did a PhD in, of course, activism. The farm failure is not his responsibility; it was climate change—and yet we know he is predisposed to turn everything into a political issue.
In a revelatory paragraph, Hallam outlines the world post-climate collapse: starvation, pestilence, and violence stalk the land—Hobbes is invoked, brutishly. Hallam claims roving bands of youths will break into your house and rape your mother, sister, and girlfriend—they will force you to watch, claim that you enjoyed it, and then burn your eyes out with cigarettes. So you better become a climate activist…or this will happen to you. Really, Hallam, as a masochist, finds this vision appealing; he would relish the opportunity to play victim if the above scenario unfolded; and he would get a quasi-sexual thrill if someone raped his relations and said, “You enjoyed it, didn’t you?”. Hallam wants to play the woman’s role, the passive role; it is the man who talks dirty in bed and whispers,“You like it, you dirty slut.” Hallam’s vision has nothing to do with putative post-apocalyptic marauders and everything to do with his need to be a victim.
Hilariously, Hallam claims to be “very academically gifted” and to have turned in “the best PhD my supervisor had ever read”. The subject was activism. Funnily enough, although he wants to dismantle all current hierarchies, Hallam is not against hierarchy per se—he has some very definite ideas about “inclusive” hierarchies. Fancy that. I wonder which “academically gifted” person who, by his own account, has devoted his life to the study of optimal political organisation would lead in these new, inclusive hierarchies…
Hallam is an irresponsible person with an external locus of control who has never produced anything of value; he tries to gain control through threats—nuclear war or climate change—because for him big bad events “just happen” and nothing can be done. He views humans as brutal zero-sum actors who can only be controlled with threats; and if he had his way we would live under a hierarchy that would create victims—since Hallam thinks victimhood gratifies. Reality: man is devilish, but if he acts responsibly he can cooperate with others—and this, actually, happens more than not after a natural disaster; people, especially the traditionally religious, work together—a few miscreants become marauders; and it is these people Hallam, victim-worshipper, would venerate.