Against the Great Reset: 'The Great Regression'

Continuing today, and for the next 16 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links. 

 

PART I: THE PROBLEM

Excerpt from "The Great Regression," by Victor Davis Hanson

The Great Reset was first concocted at the World Economic Forum in Davos by its founder Klaus Schwab as a way to assemble together global success stories like himself. His idea apparently was that grandees who have done well for themselves could do even better for the rest of us—if these anointed could just be unbound and given enough power and authority to craft rules for nearly eight billion of the planet’s ignorant.

A word of caution is needed about the pretentious and supposedly benign signature title of the Great Reset project. Assume the worst when the adjective “great” appears in connection with envisioned fundamental, government-driven, or global political changes. What was similar between Lyndon Johnson’s massively expensive but failed “Great Society” and Mao’s genocidal “Great Leap Forward” was the idea of a top-down, centrally planned schema, cooked up by elites without any firsthand knowledge, or even worry, how it would affect the middle classes and poor. So often, the adjective “great” is a code word of supposed enlightened planners for radical attempts at reconstruction of a society that must be either misled or forced to accept a complete overhaul.

When “great” is applied to a proposed transnational comprehensive revolution, we should also equate it with near religious zealotry. “The Great Reset,” after all, in all its green and “woke” glory, with all of its credentialed and “expert” devotees, is still a faith-based rather than scientific effort. Its spiritual predecessor was perhaps the eighteenth-century “Great Awakening” of Protestant evangelicalism that swept the eastern seaboard of colonial America in reaction to the secularism of the Enlightenment. But this time around the frenzy is fueled more by agnostics who worship secular progressive totems such as Al Gore or Greta Thunberg.

Given the Davos elite’s cosmic ambitions, “great” also conjures up a messianic reference to God’s “Great Plan” that should from on high reorder earthly life under a few trusted religious authorities. It recalls the notion of Alexander the “Great” of a brotherhood of man, which supposedly was to fuse conquered peoples into one vast and enlightened east-west, Persian-Hellenistic empire—albeit after, rather than before, eastern tribes were conquered, and sometimes slaughtered, in efforts to achieve a common, centrally planned purpose.

To reassure a shared brighter post-Covid-19 path ahead, Schwab drops most of the familiar globalist names that resonate power, money, seriousness, and wisdom. And the Great Resetters are now quite familiar: the world’s third or fourth richest man, Bill Gates, coming off his denials of palling around with the late Jeffrey Epstein; Jack Ma, the Chinese multibillionaire and Alibaba CEO apparently now “forcibly disappeared” by the Chinese communist government for too many candid speeches; the septuagenarian Prince Charles whose long anticipated monumental accomplishments apparently must still await his ascension to the British throne; the polymath Dr. Anthony Fauci who has laced his 2020 “noble lie” assessments of wearing and not wearing masks or achieving and not achieving herd immunity in terms of climate change, race, Chinese cooperation, and global progressive expertise; John Kerry, one of the multilateralist architects of the Paris Climate Accord and Iran Deal; and the usual rotating leaders of the U.N., IMF, World Bank, and the European Central Bank.

In its post-Covid-19 global comprehensiveness, the Great Reset has ambitions to be our greatest “woke” project yet. On examination, it is a kitchen-sink mishmash of agendas that incorporate the U.N.’s long stale “Sustainable Development” plan (“Agenda 21”), the Green New Deal, tidbits of Black Lives Matter sloganeering, critical race theory, “stakeholder” capitalism that often champions ESG, or forced corporate embrace of “environmental and social governance” over shareholder profitability, open-borders rhetoric, and boutique redistributionism dumbed down from Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Reset offers us a global Fabian socialist future, repackaged as a European Union-like top-down diktat. But above all, the agenda incorporates the pop insights of various half-educated corporate billionaires. All now find themselves in a secure enough position to dabble with Trotskyite ideas—to be foisted upon others not so fortunate and lacking their own exemptions from the toxicity of the elite’s theories.

On sale Oct. 18: pre-order now at the links above.

The same linguistic suspicions hold true of the use of the noun “Reset.” It assumes a year-zero arrogance that all that came before was flawed. And all that will follow, we are assured, will not be so defective. Such absolutism is reminiscent of former President Barack Obama’s grandiose promise on the very eve of the 2008 election: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”—a transformation that birthed the Tea Party revolt just two years later, during the 2010 midterm elections, one of the greatest conservative political pushbacks of the past seventy years.

We remember that just four months after Obama’s promises of transformation, the romance of fundamental change went international with the idea of a foreign policy “reset” that focused on a new détente with Vladimir Putin. The idea was inaugurated in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the assumption that Putin’s past territorial aggressions had arisen from an absence of dialogue and ecumenical outreach from the prior “unilateralist” George W. Bush administration. Bush supposedly had wrongly sanctioned Putin for his 2008 miniature war with Georgia that resulted in the Russian absorption of South Ossetia. And the go-it-alone “cowboy” Bush apparently had also unduly polarized Putin and thus wet the ex-KGB operative’s beak for additional irredentist acquisition.

The reactive makeover that followed from the Obama-Clinton “reset” was unfortunately an utter failure. Its pompous declarations and talk of “listening” and “outreach” ended in fresh Russian aggressiveness, most notably in the 2014 Russian invasions of both Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Such appeasement created the original seeds for Putin’s eventual spring 2022 catastrophic Russian invasion of most of Ukraine and attack on Kyiv. In addition, Russia earlier in 2013 had reentered the Middle East, on Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2011 invitation, after a three-decade hiatus. Then followed Russia’s informal partnerships with both Iran and China, and Moscow’s much greater and more comprehensive crackdowns on internal dissidents. In all talks of the Great Reset, we should then recall that Vladimir Putin apparently interpreted “reset” as American laxity to be leveraged rather than as magnanimity to be reciprocated. In cruder terms, Americans speaking loudly while carrying a twig was no way to “reset” Putin.

The telltale noun “Revolution,” of course, also makes its appearance frequently in Great Reset rhetoric, specifically in connection to Klaus Schwab’s 2017 bestselling book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. In it, Schwab makes the now familiar argument that the internet, computers, electronic communications, artificial intelligence, and the new global interconnectedness of the prior “Third Revolution” have at last synchronized into wonderful harmony.

The supposedly never-before-seen, never-imagined fusion of the paradigms of economic, social, cultural, and political life offers us a once-in-a-lifetime—or, rather, last—chance to exploit them—even if most of us are not sufficiently equipped to appreciate the opportunity. Yet Schwab makes the fundamental error that these new technologies act as independent drivers of the way people behave and think, rather than as accelerants that nonetheless have not changed ancient fixed and predictable human behavior.

In Schwab’s way of thinking, imagine that a modern computerized high-tech pump sends forth two thousand gallons of water a minute, and therefore its essence, “water,” is now likewise “new” and different from what emerged for millennia at a rate of a gallon a minute from preindustrial hand pumps. Again, we fools outside the Davos agenda would apparently mistakenly believe that greater volume had not much altered from antiquity water’s molecular structure, chemical properties, and use in the natural world.

A glimpse of the idea that Davos-like elites can gather to discuss reset planning in an age of paradigm-changing technology is popular at the national level. A good example is the invitation-only conference on entertainment, technology, finance, and communications held each summer in Idaho at the Sun Valley Resort, hosted by the investment bank of Allen & Company. In 2021, the usual corporate and media globalist suspects showed up, among them Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings, ViacomCBS (now Paramount) chairwoman Shari Redstone, Disney chairman Robert Iger, New York City’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg, GM CEO Mary Barra, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, and film and television producer Brian Grazer. The premise was Platonic. A meritocracy—chosen by the metrics of either acquired or inherited wealth, influence, celebrity, or a corporation’s ability to influence millions—immune from private bias and guided by reason, should be given latitude to override the dangerous emotions of the masses.

So there are plenty of linguistic reasons alone to be suspicious of the grandiose notion of a top-down, international, and fundamental transformation of the way the world is supposed to work...

Next week: an excerpt from "China, Covid, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset," by Douglas Murray.

Great Moments in Schadenfreude

At CNN, Cherry-Picking Hurricanes

You know a story is probably 100 percent baloney when its apocalyptic lede -- hailing a "new study," of course -- is written in the passive voice and published by CNN:

It is becoming increasingly evident that hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones worldwide are becoming stronger and potentially more deadly as the globe warms due to the climate crisis, according to a new study. The study, released on Monday by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), looked at nearly 40 years of satellite data of global storms.

Let's unpack this pompous bit of journalistic water-carrying, The words in bold above expose not only the study's biases, but also those of the reporters -- Judson Jones and Brandon Miller, who both appear to still be in knee pants -- blathering on about the "climate crisis" while hedging their bets with the weasel word, "potentially." Further, a study that uses "nearly 40 years of data" to make projections about the future is by definition pure propagandistic bunkum, leaving out (among other things) the Galveston hurricane of 1900, the great Miami hurricane of 1926, the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, and a series of blistering storms in 1955. So a time span of "nearly" forty years is worthless.

The new research builds upon previous studies that showed a likely increase in stronger storms as global oceans had warmed, but the data did not go back far enough to confidently asses the increase was due to man-made global warming and not natural cycles that can span decades. The latest findings add another 11 years to the data set, which allows for statistically significant trends to become clear.
Yeah, right. This is what cherry-picking looks like.
While human-caused warming is likely fueling the increase, there are also natural cycles at play as well, which can increase or decrease storm frequency and intensity varying from basin to basin and from year to year, such as we see with El Niño and La Niña. "Like all aspects of climate, there is an element of natural variability at play," Kossin said. "Our study does not formally disentangle the natural causes from the human-activity causes, and the trends we found are most likely due to a combination of both."
Come back when you're serious, CNN.

CNN Blames 'Climate Change' for Evolutionary Extinction Events

Worried that your favorite plants and animals might be going extinct, right before your very eyes? Gonna miss those little buggers when they're gone? Blame climate change!

Take a moment to cherish your plants and appreciate the animals you see around you. In 50 years, a third of them may no longer exist. Using data from surveys that studied 538 animals, insects and plants from 581 sites across the globe, researchers John J. Wiens and Cristian Román-Palacios from the University of Arizona found that approximately one in three plant, insect and animal species could face extinction by 2070. However, things could be even worse if emissions continue to rise as rapidly as they have in recent decades. In a worst-case scenario, that number could rise to over 55%.

Wow, that sounds pretty bad, right? Every time a human being exhales, another snail darter bites the dust, or whatever snail darters bite. Wait -- it gets worse!

"Of the 538 species studied, 44% of them have already experienced an extinction in a particular local area. The researchers found that local extinction sites had larger and faster changes in the hottest yearly temperatures than those that did not... researchers found that the key to predicting whether a population will go extinct is the maximum annual temperature, as opposed to the average yearly temperature. This is notable because average temperatures are typically used as markers in measuring climate change.

In other words, a heat wave can polish off legions of weak-sister species. Who knew? But everything will be just peachy keen if we only... live up to the Paris climate agreement and keep that darn "global warming" below 2 degrees Celsius above "pre-industrial" levels. "Based on our sample of 538 species, we projected a loss of 30% of the species under a more extreme warming scenario, but only about 16% if we stick to the Paris Agreement," Wiens told CNN. "So, think in 1 in 6 species, not 1 in 3."

Pretty scary, huh? But hang on... what's this?

Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events.

We may be in the middle of another mass extinction event, but biologists aren't pinning it on "climate change." During a PBS round-table on the subject, Peter Ward, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, noted:

Geologists, I think, see this in terms of time scales that most of us probably don't think of. We think of the next 100 years or the next 300 years as the overall time scale over which much biotic impoverishment may take place. But I've spent my life looking at the past mass extinctions. Certainly the fastest we have on record was the end of the dinosaurs, the so-called K/T extinction, but over the last five years we've looked in great detail at what happened at the end of the Permian and what happened at the end of the Triassic, and neither of these were events that took place in, let's say, a 100-year time scale or a 300-year time scale. I think in the past, if we use the past as a record, 100,000 year intervals of mass extinction are certainly what has taken place.

My view of the current mass extinction is that it has been going on for 15,000 years. The loss of the mega-mammals, to me, was really the opening shot of what's going on, and it is now filtering down to ever-smaller animals. The current mass extinction has been unfolding for millennia, and unlike the greenhouse effect, global warming, or the hole in the ozone, it is visible without sophisticated imagery or complex computer modeling. It is real, and it is happening to a greater or lesser degree all over the globe; it is most apparent, however, in the tropics. It will not eliminate life from the Earth; no mass extinction does that. But enough species will die that the nature of life on the Earth will be forever changed.

In other words, species' extinction is not an anomaly brought on by cow farts and SUVs but part of the natural cycle of life on earth, stretching back hundreds of thousands of years. Darwin even wrote a book about it! (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.) Climate hysterics like CNN's Allen Kim, who wrote the piece cited above, aren't arguing science at all, but merely cherry-picking data that serves to prove their utterly falsifiable thesis and, as an important byproduct, are simultaneously reaching into your pants pockets and stealing you blind. And all the while, they're out to terrify you with their predictions of Apocalypse Now.

"In a way, it's a 'choose your own adventure,'" Wiens said. "If we stick to the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, we may lose fewer than two out of every 10 plant and animal species on Earth by 2070. But if humans cause larger temperature increases, we could lose more than a third or even half of all animal and plant species, based on our results."

Note the hedge: "we may, we could." The fallacy of this kind of thinking should be obvious, but as long as it convinces suckers to diminish their own lifestyles and transfer money to the global-governance crowd, propagandists will keep pushing it. in the meantime, who misses the 99.9% of species that have gone extinct? We don't even know today how many species of anything there actually are, or were, or will be. Let's give the last word to ecologist Ariel Lugo, director of the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico:

I think certainly we are grossly underestimating the number of species on Earth, and the more we look, obviously, we're going to find a lot more than we think we have. And the destruction of habitat is why we are so scared about the potential for huge extinctions. The problem is that we also need to rely on models to relate the extinction rate to the destruction of habitat, and we don't have, I don't think, sufficient information to define the relationship between habitat loss and species loss, mostly because the complexity of nature is just absolutely huge, and our understanding is very primitive.

And most of the controversy, I think, comes because we're naturally cautious -- it's obviously better to err on the side of caution -- but nevertheless, we don't seem to give credit to nature's resilience and to the ability of organisms to cope with change. And to the degree that the models do not incorporate resilience mechanisms -- I'm referring to the trick of relating, for example, rate of deforestation to rate of species loss -- to the degree that those models don't take into consideration the possibility that species recover from changes in the habitat, to that same degree, our estimates of the numbers of extinctions may be too high. So I would assume that we're grossly underestimating the diversity of the world, but we're probably overestimating the rates of extinction.

In other words, the science is not settled. Don't let them tell you otherwise.  And keep your wallet in a safe place.