Best of 2022: 'Forget Guns, Whatever Happened to Men?'

The year of Our Lord 2022 was a good one for us here at The Pipeline, having seen the launch of our weekly Substack column; the release of our first book, Against the Great Reset: Eighteen Theses Contra the New World Order; and the publication of a lot of excellent content from our wonderful group of contributors. Our final selection proved to be one of the most-clicked articles of the year, and seems as timely now as it was then, if not more so. 

Forget Guns. Whatever Happened to Men?

Michael Walsh, 31 May, 2022

The Uvalde school shootings, coming as they did just before Memorial Day, have thrown into high relief one of this country's most vexing problems. No, it's not guns, even "military-style" guns, to use a term that has no meaning except apparently to journalists—who should also brush up on the meaning of "semi-automatic" while they're at it but probably won't. Guns have been a part of American society since the Pilgrims shot their first turkeys, and have served the country well throughout its history. That some of them have been used in the commission of crimes by criminals hardly outweighs their usefulness to the founding and maintenance of the Republic. Just ask Sergeant York.

The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. A disarmed domestic society is not something devoutly to be wished for. In any case, what the gun-grabbers are really aiming for is not "gun control" or "common sense" gun laws but confiscation and abolition. And with nearly 400 million firearms in the country, and gun ownership widely popular, that is not going to happen as long as the Second Amendment is the law of the land. In the meantime, see what just happened in Canada, which is now completing its post-Covid descent into a fascist tyranny:

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the introduction of new legislation to further strengthen gun control in Canada and keep Canadians safe from gun violence. Bill C-21 puts forward some of the strongest gun control measures in over 40 years. These new measures include:

  • Implementing a national freeze on handguns to prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and from buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country.
  • Taking away the firearms licenses of those involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.
  • Fighting gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, providing more tools for law enforcement to investigate firearms crimes, and strengthening border security measures.
  • Addressing intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and self-harm involving firearms by creating a new “red flag” law that would enable courts to require that individuals considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to law enforcement.

Luckily, here in the U.S., "shall not be infringed" has a meaning that is clear to everyone who speaks English, even Supreme Court justices and emotive half-wit Connecticut senators who shamelessly exploit dead children for their own political purposes. Gun confiscation from overwhelmingly law-biding legal gun owners makes about as much sense as locking down the healthy during a relatively minor viral epidemic. Oh wait...

No, the fault, to paraphrase Shakespeare, is not in our guns but in ourselves, and specifically in our men. For half a century masculinity has been under concerted attack in this country—fish, bicycle is one of the more benign forms, although still passive-aggressively hateful—until today it has been deemed "toxic" by the harpies of fourth-wave feminism and their very strange bedfellows in the QWERTYUIOP+ brigades. The unsurprising result has been the diminution and removal of genuine masculinity from the public square— even in the military, which now prizes women and trans-wokeness over men—and its replacement with sundry culturally unacceptable substitutes.

Chief among the missing males have been fathers: real, biological, spiritual, emotional, disciplinary fathers. Not "baby daddies," to use the ghetto term that has percolated its way up and into the larger culture. Not transient sperm donors, who wouldn't exist in the first place without trampy women to enable them. Not semi-functioning biological males embedded in the transgressive woke community who take an "X" for the team. But real men, who not only take responsibility for their children but impart responsibility to the next generation, especially to their sons...

AGAINST THE GREAT RESET: 'Then Fall, Davos'

Published today by Bombardier Books in conjunction with Simon and Schusterthe-Pipeline.org is proud to present Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order. Edited by Michael Walsh, our distinguished contributors are drawn from across the Anglosphere, and include Victor Davis Hanson, Douglas Murray, Roger Kimball, the late Angelo M. Codevilla, James Poulos, Conrad Black, Michael Anton, David P. Goldman, Janice Fiamengo, John Tierney, Harry Stein, Salvatore Babones, Martin Hutchinson, Alberto Mingardi, Jeremy Black, Richard Fernandez, and Michael Walsh.

What is the Great Reset and why should we care? What are its aspirations, prescriptions, and proscriptions, and how will it prospectively affect us? Why is the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF) under Klaus Schwab 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?

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.

Please join us in our crusade.

Against the Great Reset

On sale today. Please order at the links above.

With governments around the world still refusing to entirely let go of some Covid-19 restrictions on liberty, we herewith present an excerpt from "The Shape of Things to Come: the Tyranny of Covid-19" by John Tierney:

The Great Resetters have got one thing right in their manifesto at the World Economic Forum: the Covid-19 pandemic has indeed provided a “unique window of opportunity,” although not the kind of window they have in mind. They mean it’s a chance to “build a new social contract,” entrusting the governance of society to globalists and technocrats blessed with “vision and vast expertise”—i.e., themselves. But before we sign away our future to them, we should consider what they’ve done, and the pandemic offers us a unique window into the world they wish to create.

They have used Covid to conduct a trial run of the Great Reset. It has been the most radical public health experiment in history, conducted on the entire population by scientists and bureaucrats granted unprecedented authority to deploy their “vast expertise.” At the start of the pandemic, even Dr. Anthony Fauci doubted that Americans would submit to a lockdown like China’s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s long-standing plan for dealing with a pandemic didn’t recommend mask mandates, school closures or any shutdown of businesses. But the plan was cast aside by leaders who claimed the power to close anything for as long as they deemed fit.

Their new social contract banned or restricted commerce, education, recreation, travel, dining, and meetings—even family gatherings for weddings, holidays, and funerals. The CDC became the national landlord by forbidding any tenants from being evicted. The Four Freedoms famously declared by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941 were suspended. Freedom of speech was limited on social media platforms—today’s public square—by censoring those who questioned the opinions of Fauci and his colleagues. Freedom of worship was restricted to Zoom. There was no freedom from want for those who lost their jobs and businesses, and no freedom from fear for anyone who heeded the daily doomsday pronouncements from public officials.

Americans and people throughout the world were frightened into surrendering their basic liberties, and what did they get in return? Worse than nothing. There has never been convincing evidence that lockdowns reduced Covid mortality anywhere except possibly on a few islands and in other isolated spots that sealed their borders. The places that eschewed lockdowns and mask mandates, like Florida and Sweden, did better than their locked-down peers in preventing Covid deaths over the course of the pandemic. Meanwhile, there is no doubt that the lockdowns have caused large numbers of excess deaths from other causes and will likely prove more deadly than the coronavirus because of the long-term medical, social, and economic consequences.

One in three people worldwide lost a job or a business during the lockdowns, and half saw their earnings decline. Children, never at serious risk from the virus, in many places lost a year or more of school—and of normal childhood as they were confined to home or forced to stare at one another behind masks. Worldwide, the rate of hunger rose dramatically as the economic fallout of the West’s lockdowns pushed more than one hundred million people in developing countries into extreme poverty.

The one great technocratic triumph—the rapid development of Covid vaccines—was achieved by the private sector in America, the nation ritually denounced by progressives for not shackling its pharmaceutical industry with price controls (like the ones that drove the industry’s most productive researchers from Europe to America). The vaccines were subsidized by taxpayers, but they did not require rewriting the social contract. It’s clear in retrospect that there was
no need during the pandemic for any sort of reset, great or otherwise, and that the extraordinary powers granted to bureaucrats and politicians produced an unparalleled public-policy disaster. Except during wartime and possibly the Great Depression, when else has the ruling class in America inflicted so much needless suffering on the entire populace?

Schwab: "you will own nothing and be happy."

Yet the response to Covid is now being hailed as a model for dealing with climate change and the rest of the Great Resetters’ agenda. Their chutzpah would be laughable if it weren’t for their success in persuading so many people—a majority in surveys—that their mandates have been necessary and effective. If they continue to hide their mistakes from the public, they will exploit that window of opportunity to seize more power. We all need to see clearly what went wrong in their trial run—and why the Great Reset would be still worse.

The Great Reset is being sold as a bold innovation, a novel strategy employing a grab bag of emerging technologies called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But it’s not new. Strip away the Davos jargon, and the Great Reset is Plato’s dream of a philosopher king society. Intellectuals have always yearned for a world run by intellectuals, and politicians have always found reasons to give themselves more power.

The pandemic panic was the worst example yet of a phenomenon I call the Crisis Crisis: the endless series of alarms fomented by a codependency of politicians, technocrats, activists, and journalists. This crisis industry is a long-standing problem—the ruling and chattering classes have always exploited crises, real or imagined—that has worsened exponentially with cable news and the web. These fearmongers don’t need to worry about accuracy—or the damage when the panic leads to a cure that’s typically worse than the disease. By the time they’re proven wrong, their false alarms will be forgotten, and journalists will be seeking their wisdom on a new crisis... the tyranny of Covid should be a lesson in what not to do and whom not to trust.

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.

On sale Oct. 18; pre-order now.

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.