In 1 Timothy 6:10, the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil (not money itself, as many mistakenly believe). PJ Media’s Bill Whittle makes the case that the love of theory is the root of all modern evil, as he explains in his new Afterburner. And he has a pretty good point, at least over the last 100 years. Dedication to theory at the expense of evidence and fact has borne malicious fruit in that time, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions around the world.
I’d only quibble with Bill on one point, which is whether the theories themselves were really the end games at all. They certainly weren’t for Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, or any of the other bloody tyrants of the age; it was the centralization of wealth and power into the hands of the few or the one. Theories such as Marxism and fascism were a means to an end, not the end itself. In all of these systems, and perhaps most honestly in fascism, the entire premise is based on a leader elite dictating economic choices by force to a captive population, couched in a proletarian veneer that allowed the leader elite to seize control. The only people who prospered in those systems were the ones who didn’t take the theories too seriously. The true believers — Leon Trotsky comes to mind — tend to end up dead.
In this case, Bill’s not talking about theoretical systems of government or economics, but of climate change. This still applies, though it’s not as dire as the above examples. Some of the AGW crowd are true believers; more, though, are motivated by the expropriation of private property and redistributive justice. In fact, during the climate-change conferences, much of what gets discussed relates to “climate justice” and the disparities between wealthy nations and developing nations. It’s not really the theory that people love — it’s the wealth and power they can grab by exploiting the theory.