Hugh Morgan: an "Interesting" Quote

Managing director of Western Mining Corporation, Hugh Morgan:

from: `God's Earth - Religion as if Matter Really Mattered', by Paul Collins
1995, Harper Collins Publishers, pages 33-34.

Environmentalism versus development?

It is certainly unusual for the captains of industry to put themselves forward as the defenders of western civilization and culture. But that is the role in which the Australian Hugh Morgan, managing director of the Western Mining Corporation, has cast himself. In a newspaper article he describes himself as defending civilisation as we know it against a demonic force which has replaced communism as a major threat to the economic prosperity of the west. He makes it clear that he considers that "economic prosperity" is coterminous with social stability and the maintenance of the cultural fabric of western society.

Environmentalism, Morgan says, is now the main threat to western capitalism - and as a consequence, to western civilization. He argues that ecology is a "religious movement of the most primitive kind, nature worship, coupled with extreme distaste for the human race which in a short space of time has established a dominant position among a powerful and influential group in Western society." He identifies this group as the "chattering class," the talkers and intellectuals, who, he says, "staff the media, the education industry, the churches and has very great influence in our political parties ... bureaucracies and industry." He credits the greens with extraordinary potency: "Contemporary environmentalism, in its pure form, is as radical and uncompromising an attack on the entire structure of Western society as can be imagined."

Morgan argues that at the heart of environmental theory is profound opposition to building things. Speaking of the desire to build he says:

"It is a very important part of the Western tradition, which is based on classical Greek values and on the Old and New Testaments, to want to build things - great cathedrals, opera houses, magnificent bridges, railway stations, and even large dump trucks and front end loaders. These things are the result of carrying out the injunction given in the first chapter of Genesis, verse 28, to "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it"". (The Age, 30 December 1992, p.11).