Against the Great Reset: 'China, Covid-19, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset'

Continuing today, and for the next 15 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 "China, COVID-19, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset," By Douglas Murray

It is a good rule of thumb that one should become skeptical—and perhaps also concerned—whenever everyone in a position of authority starts to say the same thing. Particularly when they also all do so at the same time.

Such a moment arrived in 2020 when nearly every Western statesman, and a few others who might aspire to that role, began to use the phrase “Build Back Better.” Boris Johnson claimed that he might have used it first. Joe Biden seemed to believe that he had. But they were hardly the only people to use it from the early days of the Covid-19 crisis onwards. Almost overnight, it seemed as though absolutely everyone was using the same words. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it down in New Zealand. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used it in Canada. Bill Clinton used it as he was campaigning for Joe Biden. And the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, used it as he was campaigning for himself. Even minor royals could be heard parroting the same alliterative pleasantry. According to Prince Harry, speaking from his self-imposed exile in California, the Covid pandemic “undoubtedly” presents “an opportunity for us to work together and build back better.”

The prince is no stranger to political cliché, as he showed there, managing to pack in two of them into just half a sentence. Yet nor did people far more self-aware than him at any stage seem to realize that the phrase sounded strange in the first place, never mind that they should all also be using it at the same time. A year and a half after the phrase was first being used, President Joe Biden was still struggling to get his Build Back Better bill through the U.S. Senate. The phrase became so ubiquitous that almost no one in a position of power stopped to ask the question that ought surely to have loomed.

Why should a global pandemic be seen as simply an opportunity? In the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus leaking out from Wuhan, China, millions of people around the world died from the effects of contracting that virus. The global economy contracted at an unprecedented rate. Government borrowing soared to rates unknown outside of wartime in order to furlough millions of people who would otherwise have been destitute. Entire economies—including a U.S. economy that was roaring in an election year—were suddenly forced to a halt. None of this looked like a source of optimism. Ordinarily, the mass laying off of the workforce, the racking up of unprecedented peacetime debt, and the ordered shuttering away of the citizenry in their houses would be a source of concern and fury before it was a cause for optimism and opportunity.

But with only a couple of notable exceptions, during the Covid era, Western politicians skipped the rage stage. Indeed, they even skipped over the blame stage. Just as the WHO and other compromised international bodies failed to get to the roots of the source of the virus, so most Western politicians spent zero time or political capital on the question of why the virus had been unleashed on the world in the first place. Instead, they jumped straight to the question of just how much could be achieved by the unprecedented opportunity that the virus had allegedly gifted us.

Within a little over a year, politicians themselves seemed to be laughing at the phrase, even as they could not stop using it. In October 2021, Boris Johnson’s office seemed to imagine that the British public had become so thrilled by the “build back better” tagline that it was time for some riffs on the theme. At this stage, somewhere between lockdowns umpteen and nineteen, Johnson released a number of videos on his social media pages in which the slogan build back better was posted on the screen. Johnson seemed to imagine that the British public was in a playful mood around the theme. The videos included one of him spreading butter on some pieces of toast and looking at the camera and saying “build back butter.” In a second video, with the build back better motif over it, the Prime Minister could be seen unrolling a packet of fish and chips. “Mmm” he says appreciatively, before looking at the camera and saying “Build back batter.” Terms like “pathetic” and “inadequate” would fail to do justice to such political moments.

The obvious comparison to make at this stage is with great plagues in history. And though most were of a degree of seriousness that far outweighs the effects of Covid, it is a sobering consideration. Who, for instance, viewed the so-called “Spanish flu” of a century ago as an opportunity? Who would have dared in the early months or years after that pandemic ravaged the planet to see it as an opportunity to rebuild the global economy in a different way?

There are two things that are most visibly disturbing about the political reaction to all of this. The first is the desire to leapfrog over the most obvious stage in the post-pandemic era. Which should have been a clinical, careful and failsafe analysis of how this novel coronavirus managed to come out of Wuhan. The second disturbing thing is that the leap should have immediately moved on to a restructuring of the global economy and of free societies that seemed already to be sitting there, ready-made.

The extent to which that first stage was leaped over has many reasons. But one of these undoubtedly had much to do with the incumbent in the White House when the “China virus” first came into the world. President Trump was in an election year and was understandably intent on not shuttering the U.S. economy ahead of an election. He was also keen to attribute blame toward the place where he saw the virus originating. Whether the cause of the leak was a Wuhan wet market (as was early on deemed the only permissible explanation) or the Wuhan Institute of Virology (as soon seemed likelier), Trump was keen that China got the blame for releasing the virus into the world. And there was much to be said for this. Even if the leak had been an accident, it was one that the Chinese authorities did nothing to contain, allowing flights out of the region even as the first knowledge of the virus made the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shutter flights and regions within Chinese borders.

But keen observers will have noticed that Trump was a divisive president and that what he said was the case was strenuously pushed back against by his critics when it was true as well as when it was not. Early in 2020, as Trump continued to talk about the source of the virus, his political opponents decided to claim that identifying China as the source of the virus would lead to an upsurge in anti-Chinese racism. And so Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for instance, not only deplored the president’s language but also implored Americans to demonstrate their contempt for the president’s “racism” in a practical way. Speaker Pelosi implored people to visit their local Chinatown and show solidarity with Chinese people. In Florence, Italy, the mayor went one better in the global game of grandstanding against Trump. On February 1, 2020, Dario Nardella urged Florentines to “hug a Chinese” person to combat racism. It is not known how many Italians contracted the virus through this demonstration of Sino-fraternalism.

The point is that from the earliest stage of the virus, the opportunity to point fingers appeared to have been queered by the fact that one of the only people in the world pointing fingers was a person who most of the political class around the world were ostentatiously opposed to. Even to speak of lab leaks or Chinese culpability in those days was to sound Trump-like, a fact that played very well indeed into the public relations campaign orchestrated by the CCP.

The effectiveness of that PR campaign was visible from the very start of the virus, and showed the extent to which a swathe of the scientific, media, and political establishments in the West were already literally or figuratively in the pocket of the CCP...

Next week: an excerpt from "Sovereignty and the Nation-State" by Roger Kimball. 

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.

THE COLUMN: Dead on Arrival

At the opening of the 1950 classic film noir, D.O.A., Edmund O'Brien strides purposefully into a big-city police station, proceeds down long, endless corridors, and finally arrives at a door marked Homicide Division. "I want to report a murder," he says to the head detective. "Who was murdered?" asks the cop. "I was," replies O'Brien.

In this, year two of the dreadful administration of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., we Americans know just how he feels. From the moment this blustering blowhard of a United States senator of no accomplishment from a meaningless state took office in January 2021, he has been busily poisoning the country for the simple reason that he can, he wants to, and there is no one to stop him.

The beneficiary of the hinkiest election in modern American history thanks to the illegal changes in balloting occasioned by the unnecessary Covid panic, and given the narrowest possible margins of control in both the House and the Senate, the superannuated chief executive has done everything in his power to show his contempt for the American people, to damage our patrimony, and make our lives increasingly miserable. 

And yet, like O'Brien, we're not quite dead yet, and still staggering around trying to catch our murderer before time runs out. Barring the hand of God, the first opportunity we'll have to put Biden out to pasture won't come until November 2024, and while the congressional elections this fall could possibly remove both houses of Congress from the geriatric clutches of the bibulous Nancy Pelosi and the baleful Chuck Schumer, that can only stanch but not stop the country's internal hemorrhaging. Like the hapless Frank Bigelow, desperately searching in his last hours for the psycho killer who poisoned him before the "luminous toxin" kills him, we're unsure whom to trust, with both friends and foes suspects alike. 

"This can't be happening," we think, but it is. Under the cloak of Covid "emergency"—the punitive lockdowns, the destruction of our education system, the loss of social contact, the delusion that our fellow humans were carriers of a deadly disease who needed to be shunned or even imprisoned—Americans' constitutional freedoms were summarily abrogated without a shot being fired, and we were consigned to effective house arrest (and worse in places like Australia and Canada). Our freedom of movement—essential to life in a country as large as the United States of America—was drastically curtailed and our transportation system deliberately wrecked. Meanwhile the "climate change" canard continued apace, and the push for electric vehicles was intensified, even as the nation's electric grid was tangibly collapsing.

Since Robinette took office, gas prices have more than doubled, part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been emptied, our hard-won energy independence achieved during the Trump era has been frittered away, and we've been reduced to begging erstwhile enemies like the "kingdom" of Saudi Arabia to do the jobs Americans just can't be allowed to do. If this looks like a conspiracy to you, don't worry: it is. And one that the conspirators have been quite open about for decades. They're a suicide cult, hell-bent on killing us as well as themselves:

Analysis has now shown that the carbon embedded in existing fossil fuel production, if allowed to run its course, would take us beyond the globally agreed goals of limiting warming to well below 2˚C and pursuing efforts to limit to 1.5˚C. The global carbon budgets associated with either temperature limit will be exhausted with current fossil fuel projects, and in fact some currently-operating fossil fuel projects will need to be retired early in order to have appropriately high chances of staying below even the 2˚C limit, let alone 1.5˚C.

Therefore, we, as over 400 civil society organizations from more than 60 countries, representing tens of millions around the world, call on world leaders to put an immediate halt to new fossil fuel development and pursue a just transition to renewable energy with a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry.

The first step in this effort is a simple one: Stop digging. No additional fossil fuel development, no exploration for new fossil fuels, no expansion of fossil fuel projects. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Just about every word in this screed is either a false premise or an outright lie. The notion of keeping global temperature increases to under 2℃ is purely arbitrary, while the idea of carbon being a pollutant is anti-humanism at its most pernicious, since we are carbon-based life forms who breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide—the very stuff of life for the green trees and fields the Left constantly celebrates, the concept of symbiosis being apparently beyond them. The unsightly forests of Brobdingnagian windmills currently uglifying landscapes around the world testify to the success of their monomania. 

Their blatantly dishonest attempts to link "climate" with weather, however, have had their intended effects on public opinion, pushed largely by propagandistic media outlets such as NPR and the New York Times, which has a whole "hub" devoted to the subject as well as a regular section on "climate and environment." It's important to note here that the Times's reach extends far beyond its direct readership, since its news judgment sets the table for every other media outlet in the country, while your tax dollars subsidize NPR's increasingly deracinated fixations on "climate change," race, and trannies. And naturally you know who's on board with the whole thing:

So those high prices for gasoline and the long, chaotic lines and canceled flights at the airports are not a bug, they're the lynchpin of the whole scheme, which is itself part and parcel of the entire Great Reset project (about which much more tomorrow; watch this space). In order for the Lords of Davos to control you they must first curtail and control your freedom of movement, and what better way to do that than to make the price of oil prohibitively expensive? First your cars stop moving, then the trucks that deliver almost everything of value, including food, to the stores. An inability to move freely and without government oversight will vanish as computers take over your automobiles and which, when they are fully electric, can be disabled at will. As they like to say: You'll own nothing, and you'll be happy
 
What better metaphor, then, for the parlous state of our national affairs than the sight of Biden on his keister after toppling off his bike over the weekend. This frail, thoroughly nasty man with some very peculiar tendencies and an immediate family that might best be described as Caligulan in its behavior, not only embarrassed himself but the country he pretends to lead. "I'm good," he said after his tumble, which may be his biggest and most brazen lie of them all.
 
In the the meantime, we keep rushing around in the dark, trying to figure out why this happening and who is doing it to us. We know the answer, but feel there's nothing we can do about it. Like Bigelow, we'd like to see the man in charge, but nobody is, not really. We can breathe and we can move, but we're not alive because we took that poison, and nothing can save us. We know who the psycho killer is, half our fellow countrymen voted for him, and the murder is taking place in full view from sea to shining sea.
 
Unless a miracle happens, we're D.O.A. and our final destination is dead ahead. 

Canada's Freedom Convoy Still Paying Dividends

Some good news out of Canada -- the Trudeau government has announced that it will "suspend" vaccine mandates and testing requirements for domestic and outbound international travel. Mandates will also be suspended for unvaccinated federal workers, all of whom have been stuck on unpaid leave.

Canada, of course, has lagged behind the rest of the Western world on relaxing Covid-19 related mandates, and even these changes are comparatively slight -- unvaccinated Canadians will still be required to isolate for 14 days after returning home, even if asymptomatic, and the word "suspend" suggests an intention to reimpose the mandates when there is a case spike in the Fall. Still, in the Trudeau era, frustrated Canadians will take what they can get.

But why now? After all, Trudeau just struck a deal with the N.D.P. to protect him from facing the electorate until at least 2025. And in the run-up to the suspension, as Tristin Hopper pointed out, "the Trudeau government was mounting an all-out campaign to convince Canadians [that the restrictions] were a critical necessity, and that to claim otherwise was reckless or anti-science." So what gives? Ezra Levant has laid out a theory on Twitter, which you should read in full.

"And then some big bad men scared Daddy..."

Levant goes on to discuss the recent viral video of hockey-player-turned-journalist Ryan Whitney complaining about the madness of Toronto Pearson International airport in the Covid-era, the "worst airport on earth." Notes Levant: "Like all insecure Canadians, Trudeau cares more about what foreigners think than what we think. Especially someone cool like a former pro hockey player, now a viral journalist." And then there's the fact that prime minister has violated his own Covid policies on numerous occasions, including just this week.

But above all, it was the truckers who demonstrated to sane Canadians that they weren't the only ones who opposed the lockdowns and proved to the government that there actually was a breaking point.

God bless those guys.

Somewhere Near Davos, Hanging from a Cleft

The direction of the future can never be predicted or plotted with certainty; as the saying goes, man plans and God laughs. The turmoil that characterizes political affairs at the present time is a practical illustration of this proverbial truth. The array of contending variables on the contemporary national stage seems a veritable rat’s nest of identity crises and transition paradigms: civil disintegration, conservative revivalism, populist uprisings, autocratic leadership, and Globalist systematization. Which of these factors will prevail is an open question—a question which can be reformulated in terms of the distinction, lately widely discussed, between core countries and cleft countries.

A core country enjoys a stable central government, strong institutions, and a reasonable sense of unity, bound by ties of custom, economy, and heritage that allow for relative cultural harmony and political accord. One thinks of Japan. A cleft country, by contrast, is defined as a nation with cultural groupings sufficiently large and separate from one another in origin, faith, language and/or political convictions as to create profound or insoluble tensions. One thinks of worst-case scenarios like India or Yugoslavia splitting into territorial belligerents, or currently of Ukraine. Ivan Katchanovski’s Cleft Countries, written mainly for regional specialists, treats of the concept with specific reference to Ukraine and Moldova.

Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order deals with the subject on a larger, if controversial scale. According to Huntington, cultural tensions inevitably arise in “cleft countries… when a majority group belonging to one civilization attempts to define the state as its political instrument and to make its language, religion, and symbols those of the state.” The Clash of Civilizations proposed that a new kind of conflict, one centred on cultural identity, would become the focal point in the field of international relations. At the same time, cultural disparities and politically charged loyalties can and have become the focus of high-stress domestic relations as well.

The center cannot hold.

The phenomenon is treated from a somewhat different scholarly perspective in Immanuel Wallerstein’s compendious World-Systems Analysis. (See also his premonitory 2003 The Decline of American Power.) Writing from a Leftist orientation, Wallerstein provides a detailed if somewhat clotted overview of the complex mechanics of what is now called "globalization" spread across diverse fields of knowledge and practice, including professional disciplines, economic arrangements, “race, sexuality, geopolitical structures and relatively open frontiers.”

Referring to the “spirit of Davos,” Wallerstein maps and effectively endorses the globalist-inspired replacement of the nation-state in a vast, interlocking system encompassing a new kind of social and political reality. But his account of the fraught maneuverings in the international realm as it “reconfigures the world economy”—or, in the words of a WEF panelist, “recalibrates” the structures of governance, trade, finance and permitted discourse—may also be applied to the intrinsic sphere of the nation-state. As Wallerstein writes, “The moral constraints traditionally enforced both by states and by religious institutions are finding their efficacity considerably diminished.”

The concept of the “state-nation,” as opposed to the “nation-state,” has also gained some traction of late. In Crafting State Nations, Alfred Stepan et al. isolate a class of political entities characterized by “geographically concentrated ethnocommunal differences.” The attempt to weld these diverse identities into a single national unit or structure leads ultimately to internal political conflict. State-nations are volatile and subject to dissolution, in part like Huntington’s cleft countries and Wallerstein’s frail nation-states whirled asunder by the centrifugal forces of globalization. Admittedly, the difference between these state entities may appear to be more a question of terminology than of substance, although the issue here entails the forcible amalgamation of unassimilable groups and sectors. State nations are historical tinderboxes.

The situation is complicated by the rise of populist movements, such as the trucker convoys in Canada, the U.S. and other countries, which oppose both the surge of sectarian divisions and civil decay within the state as well as the drift toward globalist consolidation under the rubrics of the W.H.O., the U.N.’s Agenda 2030 and the Great Reset. Such patriot movements are intent on the restoration of cultural unity and national coherence rooted in scripture, common law, the constitutional tradition, the family and local government. The effort to build Galt-like parallel societies and “earthship” communities appeals to a growing number of people with pastoral sympathies, but remains a fringe development. Parallel digital networks and crypto currencies may contribute to the strengthening or rehabilitation of conservative traditions and institutions. At the end of the day, populist movements of a national stripe represent the only significant alternative to the breakup of civil society and the offloading of national responsibility to international organizations and agencies.

Hang on, little Eva.

This argument is brilliantly expounded by Yoram Hazony in Conservatism: A Rediscovery, which defends “economic liberties and other kinds of individual rights and freedoms,” in short, “the traditional pillars and cornerstones of Anglo-American civilization.” Hazony is aware of Huntington’s thesis—who isn’t?—and understands the fissiparous threat of violent disintegration posed by cleft countries, which can only be countered, he believes, by a “freedom-loving religious nationalism.” He would vigorously protest the dissipation of the nation state à la Wallerstein to non-local centers of power. “Reassigning the powers of government to international bodies,” he sagely asserts, “inevitably tend[s] toward arbitrariness and autocracy” rather than “protect[ing] the particularity of the nation and its traditions.”

In the light of these considerations, I am particularly concerned with developments in my own country, which, to quote Michael Walsh, “is now completing its post-Covid descent into a fascist tyranny.” Canada is no longer the proximately coherent nation it once was, despite its origin in two founding peoples and occasional secessionist rancor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have been correct when he claimed that Canada has “no core identity,” that it is a “post-national state” (to which he is accessory), which is to say that it is no longer even recognizably intelligible as an integral country, ruined by failed leadership like Trudeau’s own, digital surveillance of citizens, cowcatcher immigration policies, class divisions, ruinous economic policies, tensions between eastern and western provinces, and competing cultural, tribal and political internal groups. It has become a textbook cleft country, provoked and embittered by the sidelining of the Constitution and a derecho of draconian measures, such as vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, information censorship, punitive carbon taxes and the like.

The U.S. has also devolved into a cleft country marked by an open border, millions of illegal refugees, ethnic voting blocs, artificially stoked racial hostilities, irregular elections, media censorship, administrative incompetence, political dystrophy, and domestic terrorists setting cities aflame. The Financial Times foresees the possibility of civil war. National tensions are at their highest level since the 1860s. The country’s motto might as well be E Pluribus, Multi Plures.

Obviously, with only few exceptions major nations with large populations are almost inevitably to some extent cleft, divided by hierarchical levels of political and economic structures. The danger is that social and cultural fissures—“fault lines” in Huntington’s terms—are always in danger of widening. When the “core,” the common set of beliefs and customs, begins to dissolve, the constituent groups that make up the nation’s census, regardless of power differentials, then become not partners in a common project but antagonists in a culture war no one can win—except, perhaps, the cleftocrats.

Hurtling toward the abyss?

As former Canadian provincial premier Brian Peckford said in a speech delivered on the steps of the British Columbia Legislature, “A system that sees our society being run by the four horsemen—big government, big press, big pharma and big tech,” will inexorably destabilize the cohesive nation-state and render the individual vulnerable to a cabal of international unelected bureaucrats and conscienceless power-brokers. The concept of individual autonomy in functioning democracies is plainly under siege. “Unless we take matters in our own hands and move forward with new paradigms,” he avers, and pursue the struggle against “the brutal reality of a failed existing system,” it will be game, set, match. Peckford is right, of course, but so is Huntington. 

“The nations of the West are hurtling toward the abyss,” Hazony warns. Democratic institutions are increasingly at risk and the bonds of social unity in nation after nation are fraying. The dilemma for many of us is that we are living in uncharted territory without a compass to provide direction. Here be dragons. A great decoupling of the historical tenses seems underway as past, present and future have begun to feel disconnected and temporally unrelated, unamenable to reflective extrapolation for guidance and understanding. History does not always repeat itself. As founder and president of the Brownstone Institute Jeffrey Tucker writes of our cultural moment, “it is hard to find historical examples.” Something unprecedented seems to be emerging.

The fact is, we are living in a cleft world. May God help us.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Davosing

Hello Davos at long last! It feels a little weird—being here in summer, and also like the prom date who's been stood up four times. but Davos is on, and there are 1,500 private planes here to prove it. I’d hired an assistant named Mila for the conference because I couldn’t very well be seen setting up my own meetings or trying to get myself into parties. I had several invites already but you never really do know which ones will be the hot ticket until you get here.  I’d also set her to the task of sorting out a driver.

A summer conference meant summer clothes, and I refused to be clomping around in wedge-sandals just because modern pavement hadn’t met old Europe. This is among the things Americans find particularly galling and I am starting to agree with them. Hotels never advertise the abysmal water pressure, the inability to use a hairdryer in bathroom, or the two children’s beds shoved together and presented as a king. 

I walked through the Partner’s Lounge after checking in with hospitality and could see there were very few women, in addition to a thousand fewer attendees than in previous years. It was hard to know if the drop-off in attendance was rising anti-elitist sentiment, or Putin's war in Ukraine, but many of the A-listers weren’t coming at all. Not Biden, or Boris, or Macron, or Prince Charles or even Greta. And not even Jamie Dimon, which was a double blow because Jamie’s always liked me, and it meant no JP Morgan Chase-hosted suite. Boo! In its geographic place this year is the Covid testing area, to which we all had to submit upon arrival.

Welcome to the World Environmental Forum.

Mila arrived on foot, and with a local bus map mumbling something about Line 4 (Flüelastrasse). Bus? This wasn’t going well. I was going to have to skip the second half of Xi Jinping to get ready for the India Today party.  It’s just as well, it was hard for me not to focus on the singular-plural mismatch by Xi’s translator. Also I wasn’t happy Klaus opened with Xi. I know we are the World Economic Forum but let’s be honest, the environment is our focus and I won’t give China any credit in that department. Detractors may find us duplicitous (we really should be called the World Environmental Forum) but they don’t grasp how important it is to do our fine work by any means necessary.

India Today went all out for the party, even if it wasn’t terribly exclusive. India itself had the biggest presence at the conference and they wanted to make sure everyone knew it. They had a hundred CEOs and a dozen government leaders. They insist its ‘India’s Century’, that they have the talent pool, and that they played a critical role in vaccinations. Did they? I seem to only remember Donald Trump saying he personally saved two million lives with his vaccine. But tonight I am to accept that India contributed the most. Maybe. But the planet is my passion and as for India… it was #2 on my environmental offender list, and I didn’t have a #3.  

Also missing from this year’s conference were every single one of my clients. It was just as well because the theme seemed to be bullseyes on the billionaires. And I was having a tough time squaring this because everyone that I work with is committed to zero carbon emissions and doing what they can to save our planet.

Day two came both bright and early. Perhaps one too many Mumbai Mules. The last I remembered was a back-and-forth between California’s Darrell Issa and England’s Nick Clegg.  I don’t know anything about Mr Issa but the most interesting thing about Nick is his wife and he turned up without her. Separate from that, I’ll never understand why he thought it smart to tell GQ he had bedded ‘not more than thirty women’ but I think he will always be remembered for his failed attempt to reform the House of Lords. All of this escaped Mr Issa, an American congressman who used to chair something called ‘The Oversight Committee’. That kept me laughing most of the night. 

Klaus Schwab

And the winner is...

Today I get my Schwab Foundation Award! I wanted to wear an asymmetrical Armani knit but I was afraid it wouldn’t photograph well so I opted for a sustainable label. No sooner had I stepped off the stage, I was rushed by a pre-pubescent prat sporting the dreaded orange (press) badge. UGH! He wasn’t here to congratulate me either. He launched into a rant against Barclays (the presenter of the awards). Seriously? How dare you! I’m the bug hostess, and my efforts may just make the difference between saving the planet and not! Plus I was kind of hoping I might parlay this into a stakeholder position with Barclays. ‘By the way, Barclays—you idiot—just set aside £17m for a sustainable impact programme’, I said, moving away from him. ‘…and they provide menopause support to retain their top talent!’

I think the last bit shocked him but he yelled back, ’Barclays' renewable energy banking chief has served on the board of the Sierra Club!’ 

‘Well yay Barclays!’ I retorted, really trying to lose him this time. Why is everybody so cranky post-Covid?

He wouldn't stop. ‘But the Sierra Club has been killing off nuclear plants around the U.S., while taking money from renewable energy companies. Turns out it’s a very lucrative business’. 

UGH! He had me and I knew it. Nuclear is by far the safest way to make reliable electricity and its particulate matter is insignificant compared to the particulate matter from fossil-and biomass-burning homes, cars, and power plants, which kill more than eight million people a year. I said nothing and left the room. It was day three and I was sure to let security know one of the orange tags had slipped through and harassed me. Orange Man Bad! as the saying goes.

I decided to interview a few folks myself, to discuss the things I wished to discuss and was heading straight for Henry Kissinger when Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of UNAIDS thrust herself into my mic. Oh Lord. Keep it light I thought, as she jumped right in. ‘Extreme inequality is out of control, it’s undermining our economies, and fueling crime’, she said. 

‘Thank you’.  I said. I'd heard her speak earlier. She thought if anyone has any more than another, it qualified as inequality and someone was cheating. ‘We don't want countries to simply come to Davos, we want them to put the burden on companies and rich people'. She used the example that in 1970 the top  tax rates were around 62 percent and that today they've been 'negotiated down by rich people’. 

‘Do you know I work with poultry workers in the richest country  in the world?  The United States?  And the poultry worker I spoke to has to wear diapers because she is not allowed to go to the bathroom.  These companies pay their CEOs well and cheat workers down the line’. 

Of course I didn’t know any of this, nor did I believe it,  but she wouldn't shut up so I googled it on my phone to find that the average salary of a poultry worker is $29,000 a year or about $14.10 per hour. No mention if that included diapers. ‘Do you know that $170 billion of profits, every single year, does not  get taxed? Think about that, $170 billion a year that is not given to others to support themselves', she banged on.

No diapers and 14 bucks an hour too!

There was no point explaining to her that all profits were not owed to someone else, and that if every country that came to Davos was forced into 'the burden of high taxation' no one would come here. This she called inequality. And  she went on about how 'jobs were not enough… people need dignified jobs'.  Fascinating really. This woman from Uganda, now making a quarter of a million dollars a year, was telling me that American jobs were not dignified--enough. And failure to hand over profits was stealing.  'Not dignified enough',  she insisted.  

I wanted to ask if she knew there were nearly ten million slaves in Africa but I did not.  But more than that, I wanted her to shut up. Apparently she had checked with the IMF and they told her, companies could afford to pay more. And in her mind that translated to must. This she explained, would fight climate change because apparently with more money, the first thing people  do is become passionate about their carbon footprint.

I tried to interject, and eventually I said:  'As I haven’t the occupational garments of those poultry women… I really must excuse myself.’ Suddenly, I was thankful for Mila and her bus schedule. 

The Global Pandemic Treaty: A Diabolical Plan

As should be common knowledge by this time, the Covid-19 pandemic was a godsend for the political Left. It allowed democratic governments to bypass Charters and Constitutions guaranteeing freedom of speech, worship, assembly and mobility, and to assert authoritarian control over their citizens—all under the cloak of protecting people from future outbreaks of pestilence.

A key player in what is nothing less than a paradigm shift from democracy to despotism among the nations of the West, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) is proposing and, indeed, engaged in enacting a Global Pandemic Treaty intended to coordinate emergency response to whatever pandemic may lurk on the horizon. New Omicron strains, Bird Flu, Monkeypox and hemorrhagic smallpox are only the latest pathogenic candidates, and more are sure to come. The plan envisions total political control over medical initiatives, censorship of “disinformation,” restrictions on travel, discretionary imposition of lockdowns and masking, and the issuing of digital vaccination certificates, in effect forming an Orwellian Ministry of Health whose arbitrary authority will dictate how governments are to act and react whenever a threat to public health is declared.

"We must not allow memories of this crisis to fade and go back to business as usual."

But there is more to the scheme than at first appears. It comprises nothing less than an existential peril to the sovereignty of nations and constitutes the central plank in the Globalist platform associated with the so-called Great Reset, namely, the dismantling of national borders in the interests of a putative New World Order with its capital at Davos, to be overseen by the plutocratic Left. The plan has been in operation for some considerable time: the deliberate absorption of millions of immigrants, refugees and economic migrants from third-world countries, as if the host nations were essentially borderless, and now, in the U.S., the intentional opening of the Southern Gate to additional millions of fugitive hordes of “asylum seekers.”

This contemporary species of Volkswanderung, vast caravans of invasive supplicants and interlopers permitted willing entry into the homeland, represents only the physical aspect of the operation. As we see, it is now complemented by a proposed legislative apparatus ensuring the dissolution of  the concept and practice of Westphalian statehood and its replacement by a presumptive one-world government dominated by a global cabal of wealthy oligarchs and administered by an immense organization of unaccountable bureaucrats.

As Dr. Peter Breggin writes, “This threat is contained in new amendments to W.H.O.’s International Health Regulations, proposed by the Biden administration [that] will empower WHO’s Director-General to declare health emergencies or crises in any nation… The same threat looms over all the U.N.’s 193 member nations.” These regulations and amendments are a “binding instrument of international law [that will] strengthen WHO’s ability to unilaterally intervene into the affairs of nations merely suspected of having a health emergency.” The notion of borders circumscribing a coherent and independent political entity will have been “cancelled.”

As to be expected, the plot thickens. Chinese exile Dr. Li-Meng Yan claims on Two Mikes that the bogey of "climate change" is also in the mix. Climate change will be held responsible for pandemics to come, as well as for food shortages and many other critical issues, giving the World Health Organization and its affiliates increased control over national policy. The Pandemic Treaty, as noted, is the vestibule to promoting the objectives of the Great Reset, hinging on the pretexts of pestilence and climate, as even the language in which the strategy is formulated makes clear: “the World Health Assembly also requested the W.H.O. Director-General to… facilitate the participation of other United Nations system bodies, non-state actors, and other relevant stakeholders in the process to the extent decided by the INB(Intergovernmental Negotiating Body).

The operative term is “stakeholders,” World Economic Forum (W.E.F.) Chairman Klaus Schwab’s lynchpin phrase elaborated in minute detail in his recent Stakeholder Capitalism, advancing a scenario of governance predicated on disempowering democratic structures and provisions and establishing a collective of unelected “stakeholders”—private/public enterprises, major corporations, technological/political partnerships—in their place. “And they have real-world implications,” writes Ivan Wecke in openDemocracy, “for the way our food systems are organized, how big tech is governed and how our vaccines and medicines are distributed.” Wecke concludes with a warning: “If you value your right to public health, to privacy, to access healthy food or to democratic representation, be wary of the words ‘stakeholder capitalism’ when they pop up at the next Davos summit.”

Moreover, when one considers the principal proponents and organizers of the takeover, the Ethiopian communist and CCP sympathizer Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus—just re-elected to a second five-year term— and the W.E.F.’s ineffable Klaus Schwab with visions of autocratic grandeur, along with world leaders who have adopted the real-time conspiracy, the sequel is much to be feared.

"No one is safe until everyone is safe."

In short, the Global Pandemic Treaty espoused by the W.H.O. in alliance with the W.E.F. is intended as the means by which national borders will be demolished and nations will eventually disappear on the world stage, representative democracy will become a short-lived historical experiment, and a privileged managerial class of elite “stakeholders” will assume the reins of power, realizing the totalitarian dream of the political Left. 

At any rate, that’s the plan, a viral contagion if ever there was one.

'Greenslide' in Oz Dumps Scott Morrison.

Anthony Albanese of the Labor Party has won the Australian election as polls said he would. While the convoluted compulsory preferential voting system will keep some results hanging for some days, it’s likely (as I write 24 hours since the polls closed) that Labor will gain 76+ seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives. And, therefore, will be able to govern in his own right, without the help of independents or Greens.

I’m queuing to vote. A middle-aged chap in a Kylea Tink tee-shirt approaches me. Do you know anything about Kylea Tink, he asks? Yes, I do, I say, she has insane climate policies. He reminds me of recent floods and bushfires. You mean like the ones we had in the nineteen thirties; I respond. Resignedly, he beats a retreat and moves on to the young couple standing behind me. More receptive ears. I wonder. How does a man of his age become completely delusional? Young things, OK. They know no better, and have been brainwashed on social media.

On reflection, judging by the overall election result, the weight of the voting population across all age groups has become delusional. A cultural degeneration, perhaps already in waiting, has been given impetus by "climate change" and Covid. Irony. Australia is one of the few countries to meet its Kyoto commitment. It has a covid death-rate one tenth that of the U.S. Unemployment has just fallen to 3.9 percent; its lowest level for fifty years. And yet…

Ms Tink, who won the seat by the way, was one of thirteen so-called “Teal” independents, opposing “moderates” (more correctly, wets), among the governing Liberal (conservative) and National (rural centre-right) parties. All in blue-ribbon inner-city seats. Backed by the son of a billionaire with interests in renewable energy, these well-heeled women, in well-heeled electorates, are climate activists. In each case their Liberal or National opponent scores more votes. But preference sharing among the Greens and Labor gets (as it stands) six of them elected. Oh, for first-past-the-post elections...

Incidentally, they and their supporters deceptively wear teal-coloured tee-shirts as a sign that they are a cross between green and Liberal blue; presumable to appeal to conservative-minded voters. In fact, they’re more aptly “watermelons.” Or a cross between green and red, which make an unattractive brown when mixed and wouldn’t do on shirts.

Unfortunately, we now have a Labor government committed to a 43 percent reduction in emissions by 2030, with up to twelve Greens and green-minded independents in the parliament who think much more ambitiously. They variously want something between sixty and seventy-five percent. Meanwhile the Liberals are tortured. Should they try to outbid the Teals next time to get those blue-ribbon seats back?

Hold on, there’s no outbidding the Teals. Should they then try for those working-class outer-suburban seats, which they’ve never won, by going back to traditional conservative values and common sense? A Trumpian strategy. Seems farfetched. There will be no path back for the Liberals, while "climate change" is the cause du jour.

Feeling Panicked? Look Under Your Feet

Is there anything sadder than living in the past? I thought of that the other evening when viewing an Australian government ad still desperately pushing Covid boosters and vaccinations for children (aka, child abuse). Those of even modest sense can no longer see the rotting carcass of the Wuhan plague in their rear-view mirrors. To medico fascists, government busybodies, and rapacious big pharma; it’s over, get used to it. You’ll soon think of something else to keep the plebs tremorous. Unless, of course, the climate-change “crisis” is thought sufficient for the day.

Mencken nailed it more than a century ago: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” And, truer it's become, since the application of common sense became unfashionable. Around what time did that happen? Hard to say, but the establishment of the United Nations' IPCC in 1988 was a watershed moment. Shortly after that, if you recall, the scientific methodology of Karl Popper was completely discarded.

The onerous hurdles entailed in rejecting the null hypothesis became infra dig among establishment climatologists and other scientists. Hocus pocus prevailed. The alternative hypothesis that industrial emissions of CO2 were on course to cause catastrophic global warming became settled science. Irrefutable science. Geocentrism revisited.

Mencken: scourge of the booboisie.

Simple minds; to be kinder, blinkered minds; to be unkinder, paid-for minds, reduced the unfathomable complexity of climate variability to the alluring simplicity of statistical correlation; hid within technobabble; the modelling equivalent of bafflegab. Up goes man-made CO2, up goes atmospheric CO2, up goes temperature. Hence the first causes the second and the second the third. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

And by this circuitous route I come to my tale. Imagine Isaac Newton in his day discussing his ideas with friends in one of those new-fangled coffee houses in London or Cambridge. Little did they likely know what scientific revolutions were afoot. Imagine Albert Einstein on his lunch break at the Swiss patent office in Bern talking about speeding trains or accelerating elevators. The gravity, so to speak, of such musings might have gone right over the heads of those in his company. In any event, we know nothing of the everyday companions of famous scientists, unless they too discovered something. History is not about ordinary people.

I have a friend who’s a scientist. Professor Emeritus Ivan Kennedy of Sydney University. His principal field is agricultural science; his speciality, soil science. I’ve mentioned him before on this site in context of his hypothesis that wind turbines cause turbulence and drying in surrounding areas. Possible outcomes: more (warming) water vapour in the atmosphere, less agricultural productivity, and foliage more susceptible to fire. How significant are these effects is indeterminate at this stage? He has a prospective paper in Wind Energy Science. Perhaps that will prompt empirical testing. Perhaps not. His conclusions aren’t within the zeitgeist.

To the larger point, he is presenting a paper in July at the quinquennial National Congress of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute on the effect on atmospheric CO2 of exporting agricultural produce from rural to urban environments. The scientific detail is beyond me, though he's taken time to explain it, but the substantive hypothesis is plain enough. Modern agricultural practices rob the soil of alkalinity, as waste products are not returned to the soil. The resultingly lower pH levels (more acidity) in soils means less net CO2 absorption.

Professor Kennedy’s view is that in normal course man-made CO2 would be absorbed back into the land and oceans and cause no problem. Thus, according to Kennedy, it’s not CO2 emissions per se that is causing increased CO2 in the atmosphere but the reduced ability of low pH soil to absorb it. He notes, on the basis of his “crude estimate,” that this effect “is very substantial, perhaps a major part of the atmospheric increase since the early 1800s.”

Scorched earth? No: parched earth.

Back to statistical correlation, upon which all models, however fancy, are based. Since 1800 the world’s population has increased from about one billion to close to eight billion today. Food production has more than kept up. Cropping has become more extensive and intensive, with closed-system production and use ever declining. I dare say this development correlates pretty well with increased atmospheric CO2. But if it’s not in the models, and it’s not, it won’t be picked up.

My purpose is not to promote Kennedy’s theories. I’m no scientist. On the other hand, they are plausible and certainly demonstrate the appalling naivety of fixing immutably on just one flimsy theory to explain complex phenomena. Who knows, I might be sharing coffee each week with a scientist whose theories will upend the world. Rid us of wind turbines and reinstate coal. Like my made-up chums of Newton and Einstein I will rate no mention in history books, yet I was there. Unlikely? Perhaps.

The delicious irony of the answer lying in the soil is that achieving net-zero industrial and household emissions will be of no avail in reducing atmospheric CO2.  Meanwhile, feeding the growing world population, on course for, say, 10 billion or 11 billion, will go on lowering the pH of soil and thereby increasing atmospheric CO2.

The insufferable irony is that Michael Moore (Planet of the Humans) might be right. Reducing the world’s population is the obvious solution, if indeed reducing atmospheric CO2 is the goal. Can we speedily reduce the population to the one billion of pre-industrial times? Easy-peasy. World government led by an El Supremo (Herr Schwab perhaps). One child per family; that is, only provided they have sufficiently high social-credit scores. Illegal babies aborted. The elderly cajoled into euthanasia, Soylent Green style. Recall, the movie made in 1973 was set in 2022. Somewhat prescient.

And, to go back to my start, this idea of food production causing “catastrophic warming” is a lot scarier than the current theory.  It gives the powers that be enormous scope to control human behaviour at its reproductive dawn and at its degenerative dusk. If only they had the benefit of this theory in 1988. What havoc they could have wreaked. Mind you, there’s still time for them to transition from one big scare to an even bigger one. It might be best to keep shtum about Professor Kennedy’s theory. But there it is, I’ve let the cat out of the bag.

April Fools, Redux

Two years ago, we at The Pipeline reported on Justin Trudeau's bizarre decision to go ahead with a planned doubling of Canada's Federal Carbon Tax -- on April Fool's Day, no less -- despite the fact that the entire world was in the midst of a rapid economic downturn brought about by government imposed lockdowns intended to slow the spread of the then-extremely novel Wuhan coronavirus. Trudeau's defense of this move was more ludicrous than the decision itself. He said,

We know that it is important that we put more money in the pockets of Canadians at this point when they’re stressed. Our plan on pricing pollution puts more money upfront into people’s pockets than they would pay with the new price on pollution. We’re going to continue to focus on putting more money in people’s pockets to support them right across the country.

That is to say, Trudeau held that Canadians would be better off having their carbon emissions taxed -- "price on pollution" was at the time a newly developed p.r. consultant phrase whose object was to convince Canadians that the tax would be paid by Captain Planet villains rather than themselves -- because they would actually be getting more money back on the tax rebate than they'd paid in the first place.

There's a sucker born every minute.

This deal sounded too good to be true at the time, and it turns out it was: just last week, Yves Giroux of the Parliamentary Budget Office issued a report which found that "most households in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario will see a 'net loss' resulting from federal carbon pricing." The National Post reports,

As the carbon pricing increases, lower income households should continue to receive rebates, but middle-class and upper-class households should be expecting to pay hundreds, if not thousands [of dollars per year] according to the P.B.O., depending on their carbon consumption. In Alberta, the PBO expects that lowest-income households could expect to receive up to $246 back in their pockets this year, but highest-income households can expect to pay up to $1,925. In the end, Albertans will end up paying $507 per household on average. In 2030, the PBO calculated that these same households in Alberta could be receiving $660 or paying up to $7,402. The net loss on average would be $2,282 per household.... In Ontario, this year, lowest-income households could get back $150 this year and the highest-income households would be paying $1,137. In 2030, lowest-income households could get back $460 and those with a higher income could pay up to $4,866 for carbon.

These numbers are shocking, even to those of us who said at the time that the Liberals' math didn't add up.

Nevertheless, and despite the skyrocketing price of oil and record-breaking gasoline prices instigated in part by another international crisis, the Trudeau government is again pressing ahead with a carbon tax increase on April 1st. The new price will be $50 per ton of carbon emitted, a 25 percent increase on the present number. Dan McTeague of Canadians for Affordable Energy, in a post written before the invasion of Ukraine, pointed out what this increase will mean for Canadians:

A fool and his tax dollars are soon parted.

Of course, Putin's war means that those increases will come from a higher baseline than they otherwise would have. And all in the service of hitting impossible emission reduction targets. As McTeague explains in a more recent post, the Trudeau government's stated goal is to cut Canadian carbon emissions by 40 percent over the next eight years, despite the fact that they've only succeeded in cutting them by 1 percent over the past fifteen years. And that was achieved via the low-hanging fruit of transitioning away from coal and towards natural gas.

Which is to say, at a perilous time for the world economy, Justin Trudeau and Co. are putting their ideological obsessions ahead of the welfare of regular Canadians.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and the April foolishness continues.