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Why the left should always be on Team Human

The pseudo-radicals cheering on killer whales for attacking boats have truly lost the plot.

Nick Tyrone

Topics Science & Tech World

Just off the coast of southern Spain, near the Strait of Gibraltar, a strange phenomenon has become a lot more prevalent of late. Orcas, aka killer whales, have begun attacking small sailing vessels. While thankfully no one has died or been seriously injured yet, the orcas have managed to sink several boats this summer.

There are now plenty of theories circulating as to why the orcas are doing this. Some claim that this behaviour pattern was started by one particularly traumatised orca (who has even been given a name, ‘White Gladis’) and is now being copied by other orcas. Others speculate that they are just having fun and will eventually find something else to amuse themselves with.

But more important than the cause of the killer whales’ behaviour is the reaction to it from ‘progressive’ types. It seems that quite a few Western lefties, keen to burnish their green credentials, have put themselves on ‘Team Orca’. They are actively cheering on the sinking of these boats by killer whales. What’s more, they think that anyone on ‘Team Human’ is morally suspect. As one prominent American left-winger put it last weekend, we shouldn’t be ‘valuing a boat over a living creature’. ‘The question we should be asking’, she continued, is ‘why is wildlife pushing back against us?’.

The prioritisation, protection and betterment of human life should be at the centre of left-wing politics. But no more, it seems. Over recent years, ‘progressive’ thought, shot through with environmentalism, has become increasingly pro-nature and anti-human. So, as a result, the sight of orcas attacking humans at sea is actually being celebrated by sections of the left, with #OrcaUprising trending on Twitter complete with anti-capitalist memes.

From the perspective of today’s environmentalist left, humans are the problem – we are a plague upon nature. These green lefties imagine that Earth would be much better off without us. This outright anti-humanism is not only immoral; it also undercuts the historical ambition of left-wing politics. After all, in a politics that prioritises nature over the wellbeing of humans, there is no space left for the old left-wing ambition to improve human life, to emancipate us materially and politically. Environmentalist leftism is a thoroughly misanthropic ideology.

Ironically, the Team Orca outlook could only exist within a technologically advanced society, one that is able to shelter its citizens from the harshness of nature. After all, for most of history human societies have had to endure a daily battle with the natural world. To our ancestors, the idea of championing that which threatens you on a daily basis, be it crop failure or killer whales, would have made no sense.

Obviously, our technological advancement has generated environmental challenges. But they are challenges we must overcome, not bow down to. We need to improve our environment for our own sakes, rather than for some sacred idea of Mother Nature.

None of this is to suggest that we must slaughter the orcas, of course. Being anti-nature is just as imbecilic as being anti-human. But it would be nice if the Western left could at the very least become part of Team Human again.

Nick Tyrone is a journalist, author and think-tanker. His latest novel, The Patient, is out now.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Science & Tech World

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