The use of fictitious necessity to rationalize human oppression is not new. Whether the justification is a putative lack of food (e.g., Malthus, 1817, “A great part of the [Irish] population should be swept from the soil”), shortage of Lebensraum (e.g., Hitler, 1941, “The law of existence requires uninterrupted killing, so that the better may live”), overpopulation (e.g., Ehrlich, 1967, “India . . . will be one of those we must allow to slip down the drain”), or global warming (e.g., Cafaro, 2013), the argument has always been the same:
1. There isn’t enough of x to go around.
2. Therefore human numbers, activities, or liberties must be severely constrained.
3. Those of us enlightened by wisdom must be empowered to do the constraining.
4. And having obtained such power, let’s make the best of it and stick it to those we despise anyway.