In Ukraine, Cold War II Meets the 'Great Reset'

Luckily for humanity, the outbreak of the Second Cold War has hampered the Great Reset project by fragmenting the international order on whose concerted coordination it is premised. The international order is split anew. For the first time since the end of Cold War I, Russian oligarchs were not welcome at the annual World Economic Forum gathering. "Russia’s absence at Davos," write Fidler and Simmons at the Wall Street Journal, "marks the unraveling of Globalization... The Davos meeting ... came to symbolize the era of globalization... Now, many participants are convinced that the era is over, its demise accelerated by the war in Ukraine."

Even before Putin's armies actually crossed the Ukrainian frontier, it was clear that an important part of the global world order had broken down. At a speech before the Munich Security Conference on Feb 19, 2022, three days before the invasion, British prime minister Boris Johnson said "we have to steel ourselves for the possibility of a protracted crisis, with Russia maintaining the pressure and searching for weaknesses over an extended period, and we must together refuse to be worn down. What Europe needs is strategic endurance, and we should focus our energies on preserving our unity and on deepening trans-Atlantic cooperation... After a generation of freedom, we’re now staring at a generation of bloodshed and misery."

Four months later, during a visit to embattled Kyiv, Johnson confirmed his prediction based on battlefield events. "I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war, as Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality... the U.K. and our friends must respond by ensuring that Ukraine has the strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack... Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine's side."

Time running out for Plucky Little Ukraine?

Historians in the future may well regard Boris Johnson's "strategic endurance" speech as the equivalent of Churchill's Iron Curtain warning, when the unity of the anti-Nazi coalition collapsed into the first Cold War. "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent," the old lion warned less than a year after Nazi Germany surrendered. It took a little longer after the fall of the USSR to happen, but Russia and China are also building a separate world.

Foreign Affairs puts the date the split formally began as Feb 4, 2022: "There they were, meeting in Beijing on February 4: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shortly before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the two leaders released a remarkable 5,300-word joint statement about how the partnership between China and Russia would have no limits: "the existing world order, which aspired to build a global commonwealth, had already been failing." Twenty days later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

Yet neither the Davoisie nor the Biden administration saw it coming. Instead of recognizing the pandemic that China covered up as the death knell of the global world, they saw it as a chance for its fulfillment. Up until the outbreak of the war both Europe and America were obsessed with "climate change," so when Russian oil and Ukrainian wheat went off the world market Washington was caught completely off guard by the energy crisis and threat of famine that ensued. Biden, reports Politico, is racing against time to unlock Ukraine’s trapped grain. "The Biden administration is desperate to find ways to move as much grain as possible out of the war-torn country. They estimate the blockade is holding back more than 20 million tons of grain from the world food supply, driving food prices and world hunger to near-crisis levels." The current world clearly has higher priorities than the diversity, inclusion and environmentalism envisioned by the Great Resetters. It needs in the first instance, simply to eat.

Time for a volte-face?

There are no quick fixes. The fuel crisis has forced Biden to wrench his energy policy into reverse. But even those desperate reversals, says the New York Times, "which environmentalists and many Democrats oppose because they would retard efforts to combat climate change — would have little immediate impact because it takes months for new oil wells to start producing and pipelines can take years to build." Bill Maher ripped Biden for getting off fossil fuels without a replacement and with the president now begging Saudi Arabia for oil. "But the truth is that when people get off fossil fuels before they have a replacement, they wind up going back to even worse fossil fuels," Maher added, "Germany said, 'We don’t want nuclear power anymore,' which is the cleanest, and what did they have to go back to? Coal."

Coal is what China and India have never stopped doing in a big way. "If you think the world is moving beyond coal, think again. The post-Covid economic rebound and surging electricity demand have resulted in big increases in coal prices and coal demand. Since January, the Newcastle benchmark price for coal has doubled. And over the past few weeks, China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year. For perspective, U.S. coal production this year will total about 600 million tons." Edward Grey's famous remark from August 3, 1914 comes to mind. "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

But today Grey might add that the oil would keep the lamps burning in China. Few realized that at best renewables would take decades to implement; that it would take trillions to revamp the grid and other infrastructure before wind and solar could be depended on to any major extent. Biden and the Western Europeans failed to account for this, or assumed that the Woke West could surreptitiously make up the difference from Russian imports indefinitely -- and are now paying the price.

A British military think tank  argues that if the West is to have any hope winning the new long war against Russia and China -- acquire strategic endurance in Boris Johnson's words -- it must reindustrialize immediately. "The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own."

This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war.

Even achieving stalemate in Ukraine would mean re-shoring industry and reducing dependence on China/Russia. That would mean the end of the global world, and for the moment at least, a halt to the dream of Davos and the Great Reset. While this would be a cruel disappointment to the Left there's no help for it. The West will need vast quantities of everything Woke doesn't make to win Cold War II: food, energy, freedom, healthy demographics and testosterone. It is possible to win Cold War II or be Woke, but not both. This is the fundamental choice Western politics must wrestle with in the coming years.

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.

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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.

Against the Great Reset: 'Introduction'

Starting today, and continuing for the next 17 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 Introduction: "Reset This," by Michael Walsh

What is the Great Reset and why should we care? In the midst of a tumultuous medical-societal breakdown, likely engineered by the Chinese Communist Party and abetted by America’s National Institutes of Health “gain of function” financial assistance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, why is the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF) advocating a complete “re-imagining” of the Western world’s social, economic, and moral structures? And why now? What are its aspirations, prescriptions, and proscriptions, and how will it prospectively affect us? It’s a question that the men and women of the WEF are hoping you won’t ask.

This book seeks to supply the answers. It has ample historical precedents, from Demosthenes’s fulminations against Philip II of Macedon (Alexander’s father), Cicero’s Philippics denouncing Mark Antony, the heretic-hunting Tertullian’s Adversus Marcionem¸ and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s Nietzsche contra Wagner. Weighty historical issues are often best debated promptly, when something can yet be done about them; in the meantime, historians of the future can at least understand the issues as the participants themselves saw and experienced them. Whether the formerly free world of the Western democracies will succumb to the paternalistic totalitarianism of the oligarchical Resetters remains to be seen. But this is our attempt to stop it.

So great is mankind’s perpetual dissatisfaction with its present circumstances, whatever they may be, that the urge to make the world anew is as old as recorded history. Eve fell under the Serpent’s spell, and with the plucking of an apple, sought to improve her life in the Garden of Eden by becoming, in Milton’s words, “as Gods, Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.” The forbidden fruit was a gift she shared with Adam; how well that turned out has been the history of the human race ever since. High aspirations, disastrous results.

The expulsion from the Garden, however, has not discouraged others from trying. Indeed, the entire chronicle of Western civilization is best regarded as a never-ending and ineluctable struggle for cultural and political superiority, most often expressed militarily (since that is how humans generally decide matters) but extending to all things both spiritual and physical. Dissatisfaction with the status quo may not be universal—timeless and static Asian cultures, such as China’s, have had it imposed upon them by external Western forces, including the British and the Marxist-Leninists—but it has been a hallmark of the occident and its steady civilizational churn that dates back at least to Homer, Plato, Aeschylus, Herodotus, Pericles, and Alexander the Great, with whom Western history properly begins.

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, assaying the inelegant Koine, or demotic, Greek of the New Testament in Beyond Good and Evil, observed: “Es ist eine Feinheit, daß Gott griechisch lernte, als er Schriftsteller werden wollte—und daß er es nicht besser lernte”: “It’s a particular refinement that God learned Greek when he wanted to become a writer—and that he didn’t learn it better.” Nietzsche, the preacher’s son who became through sheer willpower a dedicated atheist, was poking fun at the fundamentalist belief that the Christian scriptures were the literal words of God himself (Muslims, of course, believe the same thing about the Koran, except more so). If something as elemental, as essential to Western thought as the authenticity of the Bible, not to mention God’s linguistic ability, could be questioned and even mocked, then everything was on the table—including, in Nietzsche’s case, God Himself.

With the death of God—or of a god—Nietzsche sought liberation from the moral jiu-jitsu of Jesus: that weakness was strength; that victimhood was noble; that renunciation—of love, sex, power, ambition—was the highest form of attainment. That Nietzsche’s rejection of God was accompanied by his rejection of Richard Wagner, whose music dramas are based on the moral elevation of rejection, is not coincidental; the great figures of the nineteenth century, including Darwin and Marx, all born within a few years of each other, were not only revolutionaries, but embodied within themselves antithetical forces that somehow evolved into great Hegelian syntheses of human striving with which we still grapple today.

Wagner, the Schopenhauerian atheist who staggered back to Christianity and the anti-Semite who engaged the Jew Hermann Levi as the only man who could conduct his final ode to Christian transfiguration, Parsifal. Charles Darwin, ticketed for an Anglican parsonage but mutating into the author of On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and all the way to The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms. Karl Marx, the scion of rabbis who father converted to Lutheranism and, like Wagner for a time, a stateless rebel who preached that the withering away of the state itself was “inevitable”—and yet the state endures, however battered it may be at the moment.

It’s fitting that the “Great Reset of capitalism” is the brainchild of the WEF, which hosts an annual conference in the Alpine village of Davos—the site of the tuberculosis sanatorium to which the naïf Hans Castorp reports at the beginning of Thomas Mann’s masterpiece, The Magic Mountain. Planning to visit a sick cousin for three weeks, he ends up staying for seven years, “progressing” from healthy individual to patient himself as his perception of time slows and nearly stops. Castorp’s personal purgatory ends only when he rouses himself to leave—his Bildungsreise complete—upon the outbreak of World War I, in which we assume he will meet the death, random and senseless, that he has been so studiously avoiding yet simultaneously courting at the Berghof.

Central Europe, it seems, is where the internal contradictions of Western civilization are both born and, like Martin Luther at Eisleben, go home to die. And this is where the latest synthetic attempt to replace God with his conqueror, Man, has emerged: in the village of Davos, in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland: the site of the annual meeting of the WEF led by the German-born engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, born in Ravensburg in 1938, the year before Hitler and Stalin began carving up Poland and the Baltics.

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Once more into the breach, then: behold the present volume. In commissioning sixteen of the best, most persuasive, and most potent thinkers and writers from around the world to contribute to our joint venture, my principal concern has been to offer multiple analyses of the WEF’s nostrums and in so doing to go poet Wallace Stevens’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” a few better. Then again, given the surname of the WEF’s chief, perhaps a better, more potent literary citation might be Margret’s little ditty from the Büchner/Alban Berg expressionist opera, Wozzeck (1925): In’s Schwabenland, da mag ich nit—"I don’t want to go to Schwab-land.” Nor, as Hans Castorp’s journey illustrates, should anyone wish to visit Davos-land if he prizes his freedom, his possessions, and his sanity. To the Great Resetters, we are all ill, all future patients-in-waiting, all in dire need of a drastic corrective regimen to cure what ails us.

In these pages, we shall examine the Great Reset from the top down. The eminent American historian Victor Davis Hanson begins our survey with “The Great Regression,” locating Schwab’s vision within its proper historical context. He is followed by Canada’s Conrad Black and America’s Michael Anton and their views of capitalism and socialism, with not a few attacks on conventional, osmotic wisdom that will both surprise and enthrall. Britain’s Martin Hutchinson outlines the contours of the Reset’s “Anti-Industrial Revolution,” even as the American economist David Goldman confronts both Schwab’s notion of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and China’s immanentizing its eschaton in real time, along with the Red Dragon’s commitment to the upending of Western civilization and its own Sino-forming of a post-Western world.

American writer, editor, and publisher Roger Kimball tackles the implications of a neofascist Reset in his essay, “Sovereignty and the Nation-State,” both of which concepts are under attack in the name of “equality,” its totalitarian successor “equity,” and the political consequences of our re-embrace of Rousseauvian concepts as applied to governments. British historian Jeremy Black discusses the misuses toward which the study of history has been and will be put to by the Resetters. The late Angelo Codevilla contributes what alas became his final essay, “Resetting the Educational Reset,” to sound the tocsin about the dangerous left turn of the once-vaunted American educational system, now reduced to a shrill, sinistral shell of its former dispassionate glory.

From Down Under, the Philippines-born Richard Fernandez twins two eternally competing faiths, religion and science; the American-born, Australian-based political sociologist Salvatore Babones contributes a remarkably clear explication of the kinds of transportation feasible under the “green energy” regimen the Reset seeks to impose upon us, and its practical and social implications. Writing from Milan, Alberto Mingardi, the director-general of the Istituto Bruno Leoni, gets to the heart of the Great Reset’s deceptive economic program with an essay concerning faux-capitalist “stakeholder capitalism” and its surreptitious replacement of shareholder capitalism in the name of “social justice.”

The Great Reset, however, is not strictly limited to matters financial, pecuniary, or macroeconomic. Social and cultural spheres are of equal importance. James Poulos looks at the Reset’s unholy relationship with the predatory Big Tech companies that currently abrogate the First Amendment by acting as governmental censors without actually being commanded by an act of Congress or, increasingly, an arbitrary presidential mandate. From British Columbia, noted Canadian author and academic Janice Fiamengo weighs in on the destructive effects of feminism upon our shared Western culture while, on the lighter side, Harry Stein examines the history of American humor—which in effect means worldwide humor—and how the leftist takeover of our shared laugh tracks has resulted in a stern, Stalinist view of what is and what is not allowed to be funny.

The British writer Douglas Murray has a go at the permissible future of Realpolitik under the panopticonic supervision of the Reset, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Covid hysterics, while the American journalist John Tierney lays out the road to civilizational serfdom that the unwarranted panic over the Covid-19 “pandemic” has triggered during its media-fueled run between 2019 and 2022. My contribution, in addition to this Introduction, is an examination of the Reset’s—and, historically, elitist tyranny’s—deleterious effects on Western culture: the very thing that gave birth to our notions of morality and freedom.

At its heart, the Great Reset is a conceited and self-loathing central-European blitzkrieg against the cultural, intellectual, religious, artistic, physical, and, most of all, moral inheritance we have received from our Greco-Roman forebears. This has been latterly shorthanded, with the rise of “wokeness,” to “white” culture. Typically racialist, if not outright racist, the cultural Marxists behind wokeness insist on reducing humanity to its shades of skin color and then claiming that although all skin colors should achieve in exact same proportions to their share in a given population, some skin colors are better than others and any skin color is preferable to white. It’s a deeply repellent principle that masquerades as a perversion of Judeo-Christianity but is in fact a simultaneous attack on individuality and merit that seeks to roll back the scientific and cultural advances of the past two millennia, wielding both science and culture as weapons against our shared technological and moral heritage.

The goal, as always, is power—the eternal fixation of the socialist Left...

Next week: an excerpt from "The Great Regression," by Victor Davis Hanson.

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. 

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.

The WHO's Pandemic Power Grab

Despite a temporary setback at the recent meeting of the World Health Organization in Geneva, the Biden administration wants to give the WHO unilateral authority to declare public health emergencies in the United States regardless of the wishes of the American public.

During his administration, president Donald Trump reduced U.S. funding of WHO and gave notice the U.S. would withdraw from the organization, but Joe Biden, who apparently is fine with gutting American sovereignty, is enamored of it. Biden wants to strengthen the WHO and increase its power in world affairs by changing the language of an international pandemic treaty to promote the so-called Great Reset, which would dissolve national borders and empower radical super-elitists like Klaus Schwab.

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The push to surrender America’s control over its own destiny to an unaccountable, Sinophilic U.N. agency that lied repeatedly about Covid-19 and its origin came as negotiators gathered last week to decide the fate of the world at two globalist conferences in Switzerland.

The first  was at the plutocratic World Economic Forum in Davos, and the second, more relevant to this story, was a few hours’ drive away at the U.N.’s 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. Against this idyllic alpine backdrop, monkeypox has conveniently appeared on the media’s radar, providing fodder for endless fits of pandemic paranoia as the Wuhan flu fades away.

One-worlders will be disappointed to learn that Biden’s betrayal of American interests will have to wait because he experienced a setback when thirteen proposed amendments to the treaty were unexpectedly rejected. Despite support from Australia, the U.K., and the E.U., countries such as Brazil, Brunei, India, and Russia reportedly weren’t onboard with the amendments and that was enough for the process to grind to a halt. The meeting wrapped up May 28.

The package of amendments the U.S. pushed in Geneva would “give WHO the right to take important steps to collaborate with other nations and other organizations worldwide to deal with any nation’s alleged health crisis, even against its stated wishes,” according to Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist by training, a former U.S. Public Health Service officer, and former National Institute on Mental Health consultant. He writes:

The power to declare health emergencies is a potential tool to shame, intimidate, and dominate nations. It can be used to justify ostracism and economic or financial actions against the targeted nation by other nations aligned with WHO or who wish to harm and control the accused nation.

The WHO, for example, pushed the disastrous COVID-19 lockdowns, even managing to use them to promote "global warming" pseudoscience. “Countries must set ambitious national climate commitments if they are to sustain a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization claimed in October 2021, adding that “air pollution, primarily the result of burning fossil fuels, which also drives climate change, causes 13 deaths per minute worldwide.” There's more:

The IHR [International Health Regulations] would be a legally binding agreement among 196 countries –including the U.S.— that provides “a framework for coordinating the international response to events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern.” According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the treaty specifically requires countries to have the ability to: “make sure surveillance systems and laboratories can detect potential threats”; “work together with other countries to make decisions in public health emergencies”; “report specific diseases, plus any potential international public health emergencies, through participation in a network of National Focal Points”; and “respond to public health events.”

The CDC adds the treaty also “includes specific measures countries can take at ports, airports and ground crossings to limit the spread of health risks to neighboring countries, and to prevent unwarranted travel and trade restrictions.”

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Biden’s draft amendments to the treaty would bestow on newly re-elected highly radicalized WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the power to declare a public health emergency in any country on earth. Among the amendments, one would remove a current requirement that the WHO “consult with and seek to obtain verification” from officials in a country where a health crisis is suspected before issuing any public declarations. Another provision would require WHO to create “early warning criteria for assessing and progressively updating the national, regional, or global risk posed by an event of unknown causes or sources.”

Yet another would require the WHO, when faced with a country with a suspected problem, to take action if the country doesn’t cooperate with it within 48 hours. The WHO would be allowed “when justified by the magnitude of the public health risk, [to] immediately share with other [nations] the information available to it.”

The Epoch Times reported last month that the proposed amendments echo a White House fact sheet from February indicating the U.S. “will continue to advance health security and pandemic preparedness abroad, including through strengthening WHO, working with partners towards targeted IHR amendments.” The Biden administration supports “global threat detection innovations through a globally connected network of public health surveillance systems that optimizes disease prevention and health promotion as we strengthen surveillance initiatives to provide necessary actionable data before, during, and after a pandemic.”

Leftists are patient , however, and Biden will no doubt try again to promote his amendments or push his internationalist agenda in another way so it’s worth looking at what he tried to do. Biden still has plenty of time to bribe foreign leaders with foreign aid and other goodies to win their support. His WHO defeat is likely only temporary.

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. 

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Circling

I kind of can’t believe I am finally headed back to Davos after a two-year hiatus. We cancelled and rescheduled, and cancelled, and rescheduled, then moved location…and cancelled anyway. All because… don’t even make me say it—the dreaded you-know-what. All of which I found both maddening and embarrassing. Here we are, the smartest people on the planet… coming together to save the planet and… oops… let’s just cancel, and cancel, and cancel. Like schoolteachers saying there’s no need to teach. I know on this point I depart from my colleagues but let’s be honest; there isn’t a six-year backlog for Gulfstreams because we all sat home.

But never mind any of that… I picked up the slack. One of the projects of the World Economic Forum was to scale-up production of alternative protein sources… otherwise known as bugs. They had committed land and resources to this worthwhile endeavour—the proof of which was meant to coincide with our Singapore conference. But Covid had other plans and neither the conference nor the project got off the ground. Based on stories (with pictures!) from the WEF website, I had planned a series of high-end cocktail parties to introduce these mega-proteins to the glitterati. And only when I went to order, did I find the project had gone bust. It was a near-disaster, saved only by clever little farmers in Thailand and China who had apparently been farming and eating the critters for years.

Deep cleansing breath… and we move on. This year’s conference is so packed full of great ideas—I’m sure this is the reason I can’t get onto the website. I am needing to research because I am receiving one of the Schwab Foundation Awards, and all I can find is a news article saying we have collectively impacted the lives of 100 million people. Hmm. Impressive but truth be told I wanted to see how my picture looked on the site. Also I wanted to see just how many of the 100 million lives the other awardees have impacted.

Hostess with the mostest.

I surfed my inbox for the invite that praised my ‘dedication, and compassion to serve the most marginalised populations of society'. And then it hit me like a sock to the gut: how had I not seen that? The MOST marginalised populations?? Oh boy. Images of me on the cover of Paris Match flashed through my mind. St Tropez is only dwarfed by Monaco. Not exactly marginalised. This was bad. I rang Daddy in sheer panic.

"Yes, Jennifer’, he answered. "What—'

‘Never mind all that…’ I said. ‘I’m in a pickle, I’m getting an award for something I didn’t do’. 

‘Hmm. As a parent… imagine my shock’. 

‘Daddy!’ I yelled. ‘Not helping!’ 

‘Jennifer’ he shot back. ‘Helping! Anyway, what are you supposed to have done? I thought you were an environmentalist. Aren’t you saving the world every single day?’

‘Yes, but no. I’m a social innovator now’.

‘I see. So you’re a jobs creator then. Problem solved. But does it really matter what you say? The WEF offers so few details, it leaves little to oppose’.

Ugh! He had a point. ‘Okay, but we are the trustees of society’, I said, trying not to sound full-on wobbly.

‘Listen, sweetheart, call it what you like, but everyone over there has a planning mentality, and to those kind of people the natural order of the world seems irrational. So they will ram their ideas down our throats and into our policy but in truth, they often do the things before we need them’.

‘Which is a good thing!’ I said.

Saving the planet, one private jet at a time.

‘No', he replied, 'it’s a planning mentality. Flying came before airports. It could not have been the other way around, but if you’re Klaus, sitting around a table designing something, you might think you need airports first. Uber was meant to be a carpooling app… groups of people piling into a van to share one ride. But now we see Uber drivers actually need small cars that fit only one or two passengers. Some places are just now installing telephone cable—because they paid for it, and planned for it, but everyone is already using cell phones as cables are stretched beneath their feet’.

This was making my head spin. I had to ring off. Daddy had made some good points but I was committed to the planet, and to making a good representation for myself and my clients. Plus my dinner was served.

I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until I realised we were circling—some security issue and we couldn’t land. We had been warned security would be tighter than ever with a record $20 million being spent and more than 5,000 armed forces personnel on guard. The delay was something about safeguarding airspace that had us circling for the last hour. I glanced outside—it looked like an anaemic-airshow.

Just then my phone buzzed. ‘This is Jennifer’. I answered even though I knew it was my father.

‘Maybe delete your tweet complaining about circling for the last hour, sweetheart? It’s not the best look for the carbon-conscious…’

UGH!

‘You see? Helping!’ he said.

‘Yes, Daddy, helping. Thank you.’

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Panelling

Without much research I agreed to participate in a women’s environmental conference earlier this week.  I made only two conditions…I would not talk about my clients, nor would I sit in front of an image of the product 'Fit Pit Love'. Turns out one of the conference sponsors is a company called The Green Woman (not sure what they were thinking), and they actually have a product called ‘Fit Pit Love’.  It’s exactly what you would think it would be—a deodorant—except it’s made out of coconut oil, and beyond that I don’t want to know.

Separately, it was an impressive panel that included female mayors from many cities, including the Mayor of Rome whom I’d met once before and would enjoy connecting with again.  Going over the articles on the other participants, I quickly became confused as to why when women join together to save the planet, it becomes feminism-green. I mean—why feminism at all? And why do we have to be so angry? We can’t very well save the planet if we all get cancer.

Along with the pile of articles, they sent over a lot of swag—lots of low-tech balms and natural products in recycled gift wrap. I was about to throw the lot of it in the bin when I spied an Aspinal’s box. YAY! Scarf? French wallet? No. It was a Social Responsibility Diary and it was clear to me it had replaced the much-coveted Aspinal Social Diary that they stopped making a few years back.  Mummy had called several times, hoping to persuade them to publish it again but eventually she gave up.  This wasn’t going to make her happy either. It had no social events whatsoever, only pseudo holidays like Whale Shark Day and Vulture Awareness Day. Really Aspinal? This is your customer base? Women sporting crocodile bags with a concern for vultures?

Have you kissed a whale shark today?

I rang downstairs for some lunch and decided to watch an episode of Ab Fab to get my mind off of this. If anything, I hoped to bring a breath of fresh air to the conference, some sun to go with their moon, and some balanced discourse to their rants. I’m always going to work tirelessly to save our beloved planet but we can’t be seen as harridans if we expect anyone to listen to us. Otherwise we looked like the grown-up versions of what Daddy calls ‘that Swedish troll’. I decided too, I should give him a ring, just to see if I might be missing anything and luckily he picked up. 

‘Hello Jennifer, how’s Marbella?’

‘It’s great, just having lunch, but I might be leaving soon to be on a panel.’ I said. 

‘A solar panel?’ 

‘No Daddy! An actual panel!’

‘So not the ones you have deteriorating on your house in California.’

I decided to let that comment go and began again. ‘So it’s an all-woman panel, and I’ll just be talking about what I love—the planet.’

‘Do you think that's a good idea just now? Women talking about their fantasy version of the world when there’s a war on?’

UGH! I hadn’t thought about that. ‘Do you think I need to cancel? I asked.

‘Goodness no.  There’s not a chance you could offend anyone watching. That’s what you green-niks do isn’t it? Just go around expecting everyone to see things as you do?’

‘Not exactly, Daddy.  You know I’m trying to be the voice of reason while saving the planet.’

‘Do I? Last I heard you were grousing about Davos being cancelled… you know… the event where everyone flies in on a private plane to discuss climate change?’

‘Yes, I’m very clear you’re not a fan, but please try to think about all the good they do.’

‘Yes, well… that should keep me busy well into my old age.’ He laughed and rang off. 

Vultures, vultures everywhere.

I arrived at the conference and the scene was pretty tense. It was as if we were needing to decide the sentence of a very guilty man. Maybe I was too relaxed, having spent the last week at the Marbella Club, so I said my hellos and took my seat on the dais.

The first question was directed at me: ‘Given your recent setback at Swanscombe are you happy that in the end the peninsula is going back to nature?”

‘Hello and thank you for that question' I replied. 'No I am not in the least happy with the setback, I signed on to see that the project was managed in the most responsible manner possible, but to your point, the peninsula is not “going back to nature”. Clean-up is needed. Responsible clean-up. And abandoned mills don’t just become wetlands if left alone.’ 

She interrupted, ‘But surely that doesn’t necessitate building an amusement park on the preserve.’

‘OK, as a point of reference it is not a “preserve", it is a toxic dump, and the beauty of the project is that what is currently harming the ecosphere will now be funded by the developer, and repurposed for many to enjoy. Thank you for your question.’

My phone buzzed. It was a thumbs up from my father.  Oh boy. If he was happy, I wasn’t doing well with this crowd. The next question was also directed at me: ‘How will you be utilising the research and analysis that shows dyslexia could help humans adapt to climate change?’

What?? My phone buzzed again, it was my father again. “WEF asserts Dyslexia fights climate change’. Before I could respond she fired again: ‘As a supporter of the World Economic Forum do you deny that people with dyslexia could use their higher-level strengths to tackle climate change?’ 

How could I deny it? I didn’t even know what the hell she was talking about.  No text from my father either. Ugh. Then— a single text from Daddy: ‘Klaus does!’

It's all about "complementary cognition," you see.

WUT? UGH. I took a deep breath and began again. ‘Thank you for your question, but if I may, and before we delve too deeply into research trends, I just want to say I would like to ask all of you, to dedicate a moment of complete silence, to pray, or to meditate for peace, and for the souls of those who have already been killed, and for those who may be killed in the Ukraine'.

I was wracked with guilt. Not because I didn’t care about the Ukraine, I did. A great deal. But I felt bad that I’d used it at a time when I was also in a pickle. We took a break and I read the article on dyslexia and climate change. It was insanity—worse than insanity. I asked for my coat and texted my driver. They were going to think I was too upset over the war but I couldn’t help that. Anyway the whole venue stank of coconut and hemp and it was making me sick. The planet was going to have to wait for another day.  And Klaus was going to get a phone call in the morning. 

THE COLUMN: From Behind the Unreasoning Mask

Thus spake Captain Ahab:

All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? 

So now the mask slips and the truth is revealed: it was never about masks, or Covid, or "the science" at all. It was always—and always will be—about power. The Long March through the Institutions, the hallmark of the Frankfurt School's assault on the Western democracies, has now claimed its latest and thus far biggest prize. 

Who had the collapse of Canada as a functioning democracy on his bingo card? It was disheartening enough when Australia (with a "conservative" prime minister) fell, and that disarmed and benighted nation quickly transformed from the land of Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee back into the British penal colony it always was. 

But Canada? Granted, what became in 1867 the Dominion of Canada was comprised in part by American loyalists who rejected the separation from the motherland in the late 18th century and moved northward. Canadians also rightfully resented American incursions into their territory during the War of 1812 (a war much celebrated in Canada and totally ignored in the United States as the embarrassing mess it was). But since then, Canada has been America's closest ally. Canadians have long distinguished themselves in war, especially during World War I, where their service at Passchendaele, Ypres, and the Somme has become the stuff of military legend. Until the pestiferous arrival of Justin Trudeau as prime minister, no two countries were closer or had a more amicable relationship than Canada and the U.S.

Who is that masked man, really?

Now, in the blink of an eye, that relationship has been imperiled by Trudeau's abrogation of representative, parliamentary democracy via his mini-Machtergreifung last week. In this outrageous and disgraceful action he has been aided and abetted by his deputy prime minister (and finance minister) Chrystia Freeland (Harvard, Rhodes scholar), whose journalist grandfather was reportedly a Nazi collaborator during the war. Coincidentally  she is married to a reporter for the New York Times, and is a former journalist herself.  Of Ukrainian descent on her mother's side, the steely, multi-lingual Freeland has emerged as She Who Brings Down the Hammer:

In her remarks following Trudeau's act of nation-destroying pique, she said this:

Around the world, liberal democracies have been facing serious and sustained threats. We may have thought – we may have hoped – that Canada would be spared. Over the past two and a half weeks, we have learned that it is not. This occupation and these blockades are causing serious harm to our economy, to our democratic institutions, and to Canada’s international standing... That is why our government is taking action. We are resolute and determined. These illegal blockades must and will end. What we are facing today is a threat to our democratic institutions, to our economy, and to peace, order, and good government in Canada. This is unacceptable. It cannot stand and it will not stand.

"Our democracy," indeed. A dedicated leftist, Freeland is a member of the board of trustees of the World Economic Forum, the most dangerous threat to real democracy and freedom in the world today. Led by Klaus Schwab, whose Strangelovian accent would make Laurence Olivier's demented dentist Dr. Szell blush, the WEF is the force behind the Great Reset, a cross between the dystopian visions of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as run by Daddy Warbucks and Dr. Evil.

Like SPECTRE, Schwab and his Resetters (whose numbers include, of course, Britain's Prince Charles, the scion of a family of anglicized Germans who trace their lineage back to the houses of Hanover and Saxe-Coburg und Gotha), seek nothing less than global power and influence—and in fact have already achieved it:

The punitive reaction to the Freedom Convoy was only unexpected in its timing. While most Western governments have been relatively silent regarding Trudeau's sudden coup, the media has generally cheered, reflecting their Ivy League loathing of the working classes and their lip service to republican democracy. Just as they celebrated the fiery, "mostly peaceful" BLM and Antifa riots during the summer of 2020, so they've (baselessly, to use one of their favorite words) depicted the truckers as racists and Nazis, taking their cues in that regard from Trudeau himself

The Wall Street Journal naturally opposed the move: 

Protests aren’t emergencies, and Western leaders had better get used to handling civil disobedience firmly without traducing civil liberties. Mr. Trudeau criminalized a protest movement, deputizing financial institutions, without due process or liability, to find and freeze personal accounts of blockaders and anyone who helps them. These extraordinary measures are a needless abuse of power.

When the Emergencies Act was first passed, critics were assured “emergency powers can only be used when the situation is so drastic that no other law of Canada can deal with the situation.” In abusing these powers for a nonemergency, Mr. Trudeau crossed a democratic line. Canadians wanted the blockades to end, but it never should have come at the expense of the rule of law.

Amazingly, and to its credit, so did the editorial board of the New York Times, meekly defending the right of peaceful protest, something Trudeau, Jr., had once claimed to champion:

We disagree with the protesters’ cause, but they have a right to be noisy and even disruptive. Protests are a necessary form of expression in a democratic society, particularly for those whose opinions do not command broad popular support. Governments have a responsibility to prevent violence by protesters, but they must be willing to accept some degree of disruption by those seeking to be heard. The challenge for public officials — the same one faced by Minneapolis and other cities in 2020 during the protests after the murder of George Floyd — is to maintain a balance between public health and safety and a functioning society, with the right to free expression. Entertaining the use of force to disperse or contain legal protests is wrong. As Mr. Trudeau said in November 2020, in expressing his support of a yearlong protest by farmers in India that blocked major highways to New Delhi, “Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest.”

One of the obstacles to understanding the malign intentions of the Davoisie and its fellow travelers in this mésalliance of corporate leaders and government officials—one of the textbook characteristics of Fascism, along with the employment of private militias to subvert the democratic process—is the highly successful campaign the international Left has waged since the collapse of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact under exigent circumstances in 1941, mostly via the media, to convince you that National Socialist Germany and the international Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were somehow antithetical, when in fact they were two sides of the same hellish coin. The nickname "Nazi" (almost never used by the members of the NSDAP themselves) derives from the first two syllables of the German word for "national," and was used to distinguish National Socialists from the "Sozis" in common parlance. 

Today, the bonzes of the WEF hide behind their ostensible capitalism and stupefying wealth to deflect any notion that they are aligned and allied with the international Left: how can we be both pro-capitalist and pro-communist at the same time?  (Maybe they should ask Davos regular and former Nazi collaborator, George Soros.)

The sad and sobering part is that some two-thirds of Canadians approve of the Trudeau government's curtailment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association. But as in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the U.S. Canada's major media are strongly pro-government (as long as that government tilts left) and will not brook any opposition to their love of internationalism. If that means rights have to be shelved "for a limited time," well you know the old saw about omelets and eggs. It only took two years to end "two weeks to flatten the curve."

As Ahab says in the passage quoted above, from Chapter 36, "The Quarter-Deck," of Moby Dick: "If man will strike, strike through the dumb mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall?"

How indeed? Especially when the wall strikes back.