But let us look in the left-wing British press, too. Stephen Hawking wrote an essay about wealth and Brexit:
Hawking speculates that life outside the EU could be possible. His analogy suggests that he believes that the life outside the EU is similar to life with the ALS disease! Prof Hawking, are you really serious? I know that for you, it has become easy to live with the ALS. But it would be extremely hard for most others. Relatively to that, Brexit represents virtually no change. Every sane person must agree with that.
The main point of Hawking's essay is an easy one. The money is good only if it is the money of the kind redistributed by a government. So the money paid for healthcare, science etc. is great. And he opposed Brexit because some British scientists won't be eligible for some EU grants – a rather egotist, material reason, indeed. But the money he could use to buy a horse or Ferrari is useless for him.
He says that the money was important for him when he was at risk of losing life – so the subsidized healthcare is important from his viewpoint. Fair enough. But if one looks at his whole life, it becomes obvious that his viewpoint is nothing else than a reflection of his left-wing prejudices. Much of the money and technology that allowed him to live rather comfortably was due to the extra wealth and fame he could have accumulated as a famous disabled scientist.
The pre-existing attitudes don't disappear in the people's interpretations of their experience. While in Santa Cruz, California, my insurance bought for New Jersey turned out to be useless. I wanted to get out of similar bureaucratic nightmares even if I had to pay some money – e.g. for the dentist. It was de facto impossible. I was literally stuck in an over-bureaucratized socialist healthcare system. So even though I needed a dentist from January, I could really solve these issues only in July in Czechia – which turned out to be very fast.
Clearly, Hawking wants a greater amount of the government redistribution than the average Englishman. The Britons arguably want less socialism than the average EU nation. If they wanted the same amount of redistribution, there would be the same amount of redistribution and spending for science or healthcare etc. and the Brexit wouldn't play a role. And if the attitude of the Britons seems like a serious problem to Stephen Hawking, maybe he should move to a different, more socialist country than the U.K.
Now, Hawking obviously likes the public spending for science. So do I, pure science seems like a natural part of the nations' shared budgets. Well, it should have some reasonable limits, too. He compares the people who like to build experiments etc. to the builders of the cathedrals. Fair enough. But he contaminates the talk about science by various hardcore political themes – especially the leftists' catastrophic talk – and I think that even from a viewpoint of a logical alarmist, every other part of his logic is just totally wrong. For example, we read:
...I hope and believe that people will embrace more of this cathedral thinking for the future, as they have done in the past, because we are in perilous times. Our planet and the human race face multiple challenges. These challenges are global and serious – climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans. Such pressing issues will require us to collaborate, ...There are no fatal "serious challenges" in the current era. The climate has always been changing and the present climate is very nice, people were always producing food comparable to what they need and they still do – which means and it always meant that a decrease of food production could make many people starve. We produce more food than we did at any moment in the past. The problem of overpopulation is another nonsensical myth (and I think that all the fearmongers talking about the threat of overpopulation have been proven to be ludicrous, mostly insane clowns, and it's sort of shocking that Stephen Hawking is willing to pay tribute to this complete crackpottery); the Earth will clearly have no trouble to harbor tens of billions of people.
Similar, the epidemics are much less urgent than they were a few centuries ago (plague etc.). The acidification of oceans represents some decrease from 8.1 to 8.0 in a century, a change that is virtually undetectable. And the diversity of species sadly decreased in recent centuries when the industrialization exploded but it's questionable whether this dramatic trend continues. There are still lots of species and the composition and diversity of species were changing in every era of the Earth's history as well – to deny this claim means to deny Darwin's theory of life.
So like most leftists who like this kind of fearmongering, Stephen Hawking is simply full of šit when it comes to (almost) all the examples. But this is not my main complaint against the paragraphs I have quoted. My main complaint is that according to Hawking, we need the cathedral thinking to survive because we're just facing all these alleged apocalypses.
But the correlation works exactly in the other way around.
People were building cathedrals – and people are building the analogous things to the cathedrals – when and because they felt or feel that they don't have to worry about their survival, because they feel that there is a significant overproduction and this excessive work and wealth may therefore be invested to something grandiose like cathedrals or the LHC!
If people were facing some truly existential problems, they wouldn't be building cathedrals or particle colliders! They would struggle to survive – for example, they would have to work hard to produce enough food or enough lime to increase the oceans' pH or anything like that. This basic principle must be completely obvious to any group of people that has collectively faced existential problems. The very fact that Hawking is unable to see that "we build cathedrals when and because the basic material issues look OK" is a proof that he doesn't actually believe that we are facing existential problems. All the talk about global warming, overpopulation, and other existential threats is just a package of left-wing lies and I think that by his failed logic, Hawking has proven that he knows that it is a package of lies. If he believed these existential threats, he would know very well that one has to abandon luxurious things such as cathedrals and colliders when his kin's survival is at stake!
Centuries ago, people were building lots of cathedrals because the climate was warm and nice, the agricultural yields were generous, and people could focus on luxurious things not necessary for survival such as cathedral. Similarly, the world is nice and warm and prosperous today which is why people have enough money to build colliders and spaceships and many other things. Too bad Stephen Hawking doesn't understand or doesn't want to admit this logic.
As recently as years ago, I thought that when it came to social issues and political intelligence, Hawking was better than a rank-and-file leftist. Sorry but I no longer think so.