George Will, the masterful voice of intellectual conservatism (and almost libertarianism), turned to energy in a recent Washington Post column. In Ringing in a Conservative Year (December 30), Will considered the underlying economic reality that will help shape 2012 politics. Obama or not, Will sees technological/economic trends as powerful if not controlling.
Will’s essay draws upon a startling fact: “In 2011, for the first time in 62 years, America was a net exporter of petroleum products.”
He continues with a play off of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto:
For the indefinite future, a specter is haunting progressivism, the specter of abundance. Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people and because progressives believe that only government’s energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing — by them — that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans’ behavior.