Mugged by Reality, Result = Fascism

Peter Smith18 Apr, 2024 4 Min Read
Lifestyles of the poor nobodies.

Good looks and intelligence, talent and ingenuity, strength and vigor, daring and drive are not equally distributed. What a boring place it would be if they were. And if the equal distribution was of average attainment what an impoverished place it would be. We depend on those of exceptional abilities.

The trick for society’s wellbeing is to get the best out of the best. Luckily for us, God-given free-market capitalism answers the call. By rewarding excellence it automatically steers resources, human and material, into productive endeavors. Production and incomes grow, the capacity to save grows, innovation-imbued investments grow. The result is prosperity for many and freedom from penury for many more.

There is an alternative way to do things. It’s called socialism. Equal shares sums it up. Sounds fair. But equal shares of what? As it turns out, of not very much. A system which does not turn on hitching rewards to contributions is rudderless. Enter the commissars. Resources are steered by fiat. The result is prosperity for the commissars and their hangers-on and impoverishment for the many. How can such a system survive? By force of course.

No velvet glove required.

Socialism stunts progress. People recognize that and rebel. Those in charge either admit they were wrong and bow out, or use force to keep themselves in power. Bank on the latter. Bank on it whenever those in charge set a course which is against the natural order of things. Apropos the replacement of reliable and affordable energy with unreliable and unaffordable energy.

Among my small retinue of conservative friends there is a view that a tipping point will shortly be reached when renewables plus storage fail to cope. On windless nights in heavily populated areas, impossibly humongous and financially ruinous batteries would be required. The arithmetic is compelling. It’s the political outcome which is in dispute.

One outcome is that climate cultists in government admit they were wrong and change course. Is there much experience of that, I wonder? Okay, there’s Gorbachev I suppose, but his approach has not swept away the standard despotic order of service, as dissidents in North Korea or Venezuela might attest. Admitting error is not a common characteristic of despots, whether they are of the old-fashioned socialist type or the newly-minted climate-cult type.

The path is set in Australia. The pipedream of net-zero is being mugged by reality. Repression is the response. In the socialist republic of the state of Victoria, long reigned over by Daniel Andrews of Covid notoriety, and now by his leftist disciple Jacinta Allan, they have banned gas connections in new homes, and intend fast-tracking wind and solar eruptions to override objections from pesky farmers and rural communities.

Don’t want electric vehicles, we’ll tax the bejesus out of ICE cars until you do. To wit, the federal government’s progressively tightening tailgate-emission rules. Announced, like this, straight from the Ministry of Truth:

The Albanese Government is delivering more cars that are cheaper to run, giving motorists choice by introducing a New Vehicle Efficiency Standard for Australia.

Not those kinds of cars, comrades.

Virtual power plants are an interesting proposition. They feature prominently in the Australian Market Energy Operator’s (AEMO’s) plans for keeping the lights on when coal is gone. Draining power from home and business batteries and EVs, via smart meters, is the shakedown. It’s voluntary (they say) until it certainly won’t be.

How about those increasingly frequent requests from politicians to dial up air-conditioning when the going gets hot. When smart meters are most everywhere, expect the requests to turn impolite. Interactive AI will detect when individuals are using too much electricity and power down the anti-social wretches lickety-split. Think it won’t happen? It will when there is a need to square two gigawatts of demand with one gigawatt of supply.

Then there’s load shedding. A euphemism for cutting off electricity when the power supply runs short; also known as power sharing or rotating outages. Ausgrid, the largest distributor of electricity on Australia’s east coast, explains that such events often happen at very short notice at the direction of AEMO. Ausgrid advises affected households as follows:

Turn the fridge off and leave the fridge door closed as much as possible to keep food fresh. Consider putting the most commonly used items like milk and drinks in an esky or tub filled with ice…If it's happening at night, leave a light turned on so you'll know when power in your area has been restored...Have fresh batteries available for torches and radios…Take care if you're using candles.

As John Donne almost put it: Therefore, send not to know for whom power cuts apply, they apply to thee. We are glimpsing the future and it doesn’t work. Just ask the old Soviet Union, if you can still find it.

After a career in economics, banking and payment-systems management, Peter Smith now blogs on the topics of the day. He writes for Quadrant, Australia’s leading conservative online site and magazine. He has written Bad Economics, of which, he notes, there is much.

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One comment on “Mugged by Reality, Result = Fascism”

  1. But Australians keep voting for this enthusiastically. Last time I checked, ALP controlled the federal government and those of all six states. Gooder and harder, Australia.
    Not to gloat, though. The US is headed in the same direction.

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