According to an essay by historian Matthew White, the Enlightenment was the great “Age of Reason” where exploration, individualism, tolerance, and scientific endeavors helped create the modern world.
Well, it was nice while it lasted.
Welcome to the Unlightenment.
As reported by Fox News, the regressive Left’s war on the Enlightenment and its concomitant Industrial Revolution continues apace. As is so often the case with leftist policies, the poor and the financially marginalized will become the collateral damage as wealthy, credentialled, cosseted Democrats foist the irrational tenets of their post-modernist civil religion upon society.
To wit: Long a symbol of personal ideation and American ingenuity (of which no one has ever accused President Joe Biden), the incandescent lightbulb is being banned, and the administration, congressional Democrats, and environmental special interests are ecstatic.
According to Fox News:
The regulations, which prohibit retailers from selling incandescent light bulbs, were finalized by the Department of Energy (DOE) in April 2022 and are slated to go into effect on Aug. 1, 2023. The DOE will begin full enforcement of the ban on that date … Under the rules, incandescent and similar halogen light bulbs will be prohibited in favor of light-emitting diode, or LED, alternatives.
The administration claimed the ban would “save consumers an estimated $3 billion per year on utility bills and cut carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next three decades.” This may or may not warm the cockles of the affluents’ hearts, but it surely comes as cold comfort to lower-income households who do not have 30 years to await the savings and salvation from Goddess Gaia’s capricious climate consequences.
According to the survey data, LEDs are also far more popular in higher-income households, meaning the energy regulations will particularly impact lower-income Americans. While 54% of households with an income of more than $100,000 per year used LEDs, just 39% of households with an income of $20,000 or less used LEDs.
As is its wont, the upper class-led Left has unilaterally determined that ever loyal, lower-income voters struggling to survive amidst the Democrats’ inflationary economy must be compelled to toe the party line regardless of cost and consequences. As Fox reported:
A former senior DOE official previously told Fox News Digital that the Biden administration’s actions would inevitably result in higher costs for consumers.
“Their philosophy is energy efficiency at all costs or energy efficiency no matter the cost,” the official said. “That means we are going to see, as a result of their efficiency standards, higher-priced appliances. It’s that simple.
“The reality is that we are not talking about saving huge amounts of energy from these new regulations.”
Implacable in their febrile ideological zeal and calloused to the plight of the poor, the Biden administration and other well-heeled Democrats refuse to let the marketplace offer every type of bulb and let consumers decide. If LED bulbs are, indeed, better and ultimately cheaper in terms of cost and energy efficiency, people regardless of socio-economic status will buy them.
But such individual agency by others is not part of the Left’s collectivist agenda. Democrats do not trust their fellow, poorer members of their coalition to make their own decisions, and, instead, are willing to cast them aside as economic collateral damage to “save the planet.” Doubtless, however, when the poor’s outrage manifests itself, the Left will call for a program to provide low-income consumers with an incandescent bulb buyback and free LED bulb programs.
If implemented, these programs will not stand alone for long, as the Democrats’ war on appliances and the people who use them continues apace. According to Fox’s report, “Over the last several months, the DOE has introduced a series of energy efficiency regulations impacting various home appliances including gas stoves, ovens, clothes washers, refrigerators and air conditioners.”
If only the Biden administration and Democrats spent as much time thinking about China’s People’s Liberation Army as they do about your personal appliances.
But what else can one expect from the Left? The philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, the ideological cesspool of Leftist thought, rejected the Enlightenment. His entire noxious screed was designed to regress humanity back to a primeval state of nature—one freed from the corrupting influence of civilization.
It therefore makes sense that his ideological heirs who, in claiming to be guided by reason and science, actually only selectively adopt them when advancing their abiding, irrational embrace of the tenets of their civil religion. In the present instance, that’s climate change.
As Brent Bennett, a policy director at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, observed: “There’s an element of a kind of religious fervor against fossil fuels regardless of what the actual impact is. So, therefore, it’s viewed as if it’s electric, it’s better, and not really looking at it any more deeply than that.”
Further, as a consortium of free-market advocacy groups have noted, the Biden administration’s arguments in favor of the incandescent bulb ban are “speculative, assumption-driven, and prone to bias in the hands of agencies with a regulatory agenda.” True, yet this matters not to the Left.
For the Left, using the power of government to ban and bully into birth the Unlightenment is not a matter of science. It is an article of faith—one for which the most marginalized among us will suffer the most. And one which Lisa DePasquale, founder of the conservative-populist daily email newsletter BRIGHT, succinctly argues, “I think it’s time we follow the format of media’s cliche headlines of ‘women, minorities hardest hit’ but do so honestly, as the data indicate.” For if we do not, we fail the poor and the entirety of our free republic’s sovereign citizens. In unforgiveable sum, we abet the Age of Unlightenment.
With its ban on incandescent bulbs and its designs to eliminate offending appliances, the Left is rushing down the regressive path of abstraction, not toward a hypothetical world solely powered by “renewable” energy. Those on the Left are regressing back through the Enlightenment beyond a medieval world governed by plutocrats and elites and, ultimately, back to a primitive world ruled by might and superstition—and lit only by fire.
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