More War on the Boers

This past summer we reported on the tensions between the farmers of the Netherlands and that nation's government. The latter, at the behest of the E.U., had enacted various overweening environmentalist regulations, including a plan to slash the emission of gases like nitrogen oxide and ammonia by 50 percent by the end of this decade. These regulations were aimed squarely at farming, which is a sizable portion of the Dutch economy. They've already implemented nitrogen licenses, which are required for any new activity -- including the expansion of existing farms -- which emit the gas, and are pushing significant livestock reductions.

Dutch farmers have been understandably upset at these impositions, feeling that their livelihood has been unjustly targeted. They've undertaken mass protests, including blocking agricultural distribution centers and dumping milk rather then sending it to market, to force the country to acknowledge what life without their produce is like. In rowdier moments they've even sprayed manure on highways and used tractors to "slow-walk" roads, leading recently to what The Telegraph referred to as "the worst rush hour in Dutch history with 700 miles of jams at its peak."

Unfortunately the government, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has refused to change course. It has recently unveiled plans to "buy and close down up to 3,000 farms near environmentally sensitive areas." They insist that farmers will be well-remunerated, and unconfirmed reports suggest the government's purchase price will be around 120 percent of the value of the farms in question. One thing that is confirmed, however, is that they're not asking:

“There is no better offer coming,” Christianne van der Wal, nitrogen minister, told MPs on Friday. She said compulsory purchases would be made with “pain in the heart” if necessary.

It is worth pointing out the characteristic utopianism of environmentalist public policy at play here. For one thing, these anti-farming mandates come at a time when the war in Ukraine has created significant disruption in the global food supply. In fact, as The Scroll's Clayton Fox pointed out, increased food insecurity is something that the Dutch government has recently acknowledged in another context:

On Saturday, in a jaw-droppingly ironic video commemorating the Holodomor, Stalin’s deliberate starvation of millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933, Prime Minister Rutte committed $4.1 million to the World Food Programme, saying that the Netherlands was glad to support not only countries in need of food, but also Ukrainian farmers. It appears that the Netherlands is subsidizing beleaguered Ukrainian farmers while bribing their own to shut down forever.

Has it never occurred to him that "countries in need of food" might benefit even more from an increase in the supply of food? Money is nice and all, but you can't eat it.

But there's another aspect of Leftist utopian tendencies that this lays bare -- their disdain for their own nation, its customs, and its people. The Netherlands is the world’s second-biggest agricultural exporter, after the United States. Anyone who has spent time with farmers knows that the work is more than a job for them, and that is especially true for Dutch farmers, who have tended to carry the way of life with them wherever they go. As we wrote in our last post,

The Dutch are proud of their farming prowess, and it lives on even when they've left home. The United States and Canada are home to scores of ethnically Dutch farmers whose families made their way west to escape the great wars of the 20th century, and much of modern South Africa was built by the Dutch farmers, or Boers, who arrived there in the 17th century. Farming is in their blood.

But Mark Rutte and the E.U. want that way of life to come to an end. It is as shameful as it is short-sighted.

Enemies of the People: Klaus Schwab

AGAINST THE GREAT RESET: 'You Will be Made to Laugh'

Resuming today, and for the next five weeks, The Pipeline is presenting excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, which was published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now at the links. 

 

Part IV: THE PERSONAL

Excerpt from "You Will be Made to Laugh: Humor under the Great Reset" by Harry Stein

There’s a joke that used to make the rounds in the Soviet Union. It was about a judge seen chuckling as he walks out of his courtroom.

“What’s so funny?” asks a friend.

“I heard a great joke.”

“Tell me.”

“Can’t, I just gave someone ten years for repeating it.”

If we can still laugh at that, it is surely not with the smug self-certainty we once could—not given the regularity of the assaults on free thought in today’s America and the brutality with which they are everywhere enforced, from the newsroom to the boardroom and, yes, on late night television and comedy club stages. Indeed, at this point Hiram Johnson’s famous adage might well use some updating: in the culture wars at hand, truth may be the first casualty, but its sidekick, humor, blindfolded and smoking its last cigarette, is just a split second behind.

Things have been trending this way for quite a while, of course. For a good fifty years, conservatives have watched in horrified stultification, seemingly helpless, as the cultural barbarians rampaged through the institutions, overturning fundamental understandings of decency, equality, and human biology itself. While we’ve argued policy, and occasionally even won, temporarily, progressives have traded in feelings, usually hurt, and have twisted reality to their ugly purposes. While we’ve embraced our history as affirming timelessly noble principles and ideals, they’ve ever more brazenly redefined the past as irredeemably squalid and shameful.

How have they gotten away with it?

It is only recently, and even then only dimly, that many of us have gotten the message that a large part of the answer has been the Left’s near-absolute domination of mass popular culture—music, film, TV—all of it thoroughly infused with values and assumptions that reflect their warped worldview and are inimical to ours. Directly, or more often subtly, they have been able to define, unimpeded, to a vast audience interested in nothing more than entertainment, what is fair, moral, and just—and what is unjust and must be changed.

Little wonder that to most in the generations with the annoying names—X, millennials (aka Y), and Z—the Left is reflexively seen as compassionate, forward-thinking, socially just, while the Right is backward and hateful. Everything they’ve heard in the classroom is echoed, ad infinitum, by academia’s glamorous twisted sister, mass entertainment.

And now comes the Great Reset, which would be the final nail in the free-thought coffin. Nothing less than a frontal attack on capitalism and its underlying values, taking the pandemic as “a unique opportunity” to “build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being,” it is a scheme of such grandiose evil it might have been designed by a DC Comics archvillain.

One need not ever have set foot on a college campus or even watched Fox News to hear the tocsin in the blizzard of buzzwords in the declaration that emerged from Davos in 2020. Inequality. Climate change. Social justice. Diversity. The language of permanent victimhood—only now nuclear-armed by the elite of the elites.

While entertainment media is not explicitly cited in the chilling manifesto, Klaus Schwab, the German executive chairman of the WEF who even looks like Lex Luther, blithely notes that “every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed.” Indeed, nothing is so sobering as to scroll down the seemingly endless list of the institutions and corporate entities signing on as partner/enforcers and note (though with something other than surprise), that it numbers not just the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook but also NBCUniversal and Sony.

Needless to say, in this potent new crackdown on dissident thought, American media companies have a healthy head start. By now, we’ve long since taken it for granted that, for instance, there’ll never be a feature film celebrating the young Clarence Thomas like 2018’s hagiography about the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg; let alone a tale of injustice with a happy ending about the Duke lacrosse case. And it is equally a given that in what passes for comedy in traditional mainstream venues, conservative attitudes and beliefs are fair game while progressive ones are an ever-expanding herd of sacred cows.

Against the Great Reset

Now on sale.

For far too long, our failure to counter the Left’s stranglehold on popular culture, or even fully appreciate it, has been among the other side’s most conspicuous assets. Rarely has a maxim been so often repeated, yet so seldom acted upon, as the late Andrew Breitbart’s truism that politics lies downstream from culture.

Still, in this realm as in others, the Great Reset—this massive, coordinated effort to label who we are and what we believe illicit by definition—should serve as a belated wake-up call. Indeed, potent as contemporary progressivism is, as remorselessly vicious and punitive, its very self-certainty is also an opportunity. Never has it been more wholeheartedly detached from reality, which is to say, more readily exposed for the colossal sham it has always been. It is no accident that the Davos manifesto so faithfully reflects the remorseless humorlessness of professional victimhood: among its implicit objectives is to ensure, whether via social censure or by punitive statute, that human beings not be permitted to mock that which is deemed unmockable, belittle what merits belittling, puncture pomposity, or otherwise call idiocy by its rightful name.

The question is, can we make of this gift what we should? Can we at long last begin to establish in the general public’s mind that our foes are not merely dangerous, but even more fatal to their hopes (conveniently enumerated in the Great Reset) batshit crazy?

With that in mind, this essay will focus on how comedy, so key in defining cultural norms, became an almost exclusive preserve of the Left. The short answer, to paraphrase Hemingway on bankruptcy, was gradually, then all at once. Only the bankruptcy in this case was moral.

But let’s begin with this. That we have been so slow to recognize the extent to which popular culture has been weaponized against us, and the stakes, in one sense does not speak badly for us; though, as far as that goes, the same might also have been said for Neville Chamberlain. I recall a speech twenty or so years ago by the lapsed radical David Horowitz, the son of literally card-carrying Communists, at one of his annual Restoration Weekend conferences, in which Horowitz gently chided the audience of prosperous conservatives, a fair number of whom would now be termed “influencers,” for failing to grasp the nature of the enemy.

Having grown up on the furthest reaches of the Left, and then been an editor at the slick radical magazine Ramparts, Horowitz observed that on moving rightward he’d been taken aback by how terribly “nice” everyone was; “nice” being a polite—conservative—way of saying woefully naïve. What they were up against, he warned, were “gutter fighters,” those so deeply committed they would stop at nothing to achieve their nefarious ends; and who, in fact, were already well on their way to complete dominance over the culture.

Next week: an excerpt from "Green Energy and the Future of Transportation," by Salvatore Babones. 

Your Papers Please, Comrade

We are seeing the beginning of the end - or is it the end of the beginning? – of the CCP (the Climate Covid Party) "emergencies." For those who may have doubted these were linked, I give you the G20 summit. It seems the G have decided that Covid digital passports are to be required to move freely about the planet. For those who wondered what Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab were doing speaking this week to a meeting of national leadership: now we know.

Because the G20, with the exception of China, are at least putative democracies, an objective observer would assume this is the result of what the people wanted. One would be wrong. No one voted for or against this; it's never been presented for the approval of the representative governments, or citizens or subjects of the G20, or the people of any other nations.

We know these passports have nothing to do with the spread of this manufactured virus. Just last month BigPharma testified to the European Parliament that these injections were never tested for their ability to repress or stop the transmission of Covid-19. If an injection won't stop transmission, which has been the stance of the CDC for months, the purpose of getting a "vaccine" to travel, would be... what, exactly?

Yup.

At the same time as G20 is COP27, the annual boondoggle of those so worried about the climate that they all take private jets from around the planet (spewing millions of tons of "greenhouse gasses" along the way) to consume vast quantities of exotic foods (flown in from around the planet) cooked (with GHG) and served to them as they meet in air-conditioned ballrooms to discuss how we, the workers and families of the world—the productive classes—are destroying the planet with our transportation, stoves, and HVAC.

As we've discussed here before, this virus was most likely man-made. No trace has been found of it or a progenitor in nature in well over two years of investigation or the testing of over 50,000 animal subjects. Once Dr. Fauci admitted the “possibility” of its creation in a lab and covering emails began showing up, that jig was up. The "vaccine" was created and patented ten days after the first sequence of the Covid genome. This simply is not possible unless both were concurrently designed and manufactured. And, yes, the "vaccine" was designed; it is not from an inactivated virus, as all other,genuine vaccines have been in medical history. It's an artificially-created DNA map.

Various studies based on governmental databases of adverse events show that these "vaccines" may have killed as many as 600,000 Americans, and perhaps, millions, worldwide. While these numbers may or may not be high, the numbers of adverse events are so high that many countries are recommending against vaccinating people under 30, and Big Pharma, belatedly, has decided to investigate whether their injections are causing myocarditis, a term in common use today of which few of us were aware in the Before Times.

Which brings us to Klaus Schwab. Herr Schwab, of course, leads his WEF creation, a cohort believing that the global population must be reduced to under one billion souls from the current eight-plus billion. “We just don’t need the vast majority of the population,” in the words of WEF Advisor/Historian Yuval Noah Harari, because most of us, evidently, are “useless eaters.” An invented virus that kills millions, an injection killing millions more and inducing infertility to reduce future populations are but two steps on the road to the goal of our elites, those running the Covid & Climate scams.

[The accuracy of the documentary linked above, which has been of course banned by YouTube, has been questioned by the usual suspects in academe, the medical establishment, and the media. A sample:

Members of the anti-vaccination movement and of its media arm excel at portraying themselves as “those who care.” The rest of us—scientists, doctors, politicians, journalists—are represented as either apathetic or simply evil. The latest “documentary” to emerge from this movement, Died Suddenly, is an exercise in reframing compassion. It also represents the apogee of conspiritualist ideas, where grand conspiracy theories surrounding vaccines are painted on a canvas so large, they involve a Biblical war between the forces of absolute good and those of pure evil.

Who are portrayed as ringing the alarm for Armageddon in Died Suddenly? Embalmers... The problem is that embalmers and funeral directors are not medical professionals. Don’t take it from me, but from the National Funeral Directors Association in the United States, whose representative told me as much, and from Ben Schmidt, a funeral director and embalmer with a bachelor’s degree in natural science. Schmidt wrote a detailed explanation of what is happening here. Clots can easily form after death, as the liquid and solid parts of blood separate and as formaldehyde and calcium-containing water used in the embalming process catalyze clotting. Refrigeration can also be to blame, especially when a rapid influx of bodies due to COVID necessitates longer stays in the cooler as embalmers make their way through their backlog.

[Watch it and decide for yourself.]

Another step down the road to perdition is digital "money." If I must have a digital passport to travel, why not just digitize my money as an added convenience? And since Schwab has told us we "all" will be chipped one day, coding "our" money and vaccine passport into an injected chip that automatically access “our” “money” at the Fed (banks will be useless and so closed; think of the taxing advantages!) and provides our "vaccination" status to a digital reader, perhaps even as we just walk past a sensor entering a store or airport or transit station, would be convenient, no? Hello, Bill Gates.

President Biden has decreed via executive order, without presentation to representative government or to the citizens of the United States (perhaps it is now "subjects") for our approval, that the Federal Reserve explore the creation of a “Central Bank Digital Currency,” “CBDC,” or digital “dollar,” and MIT is working it out.

President Biden will sign an Executive Order outlining the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology. The Order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation. Specifically, the Executive Order calls for measures to:

  • Protect U.S. Consumers, Investors, and Businesses by directing the Department of the Treasury and other agency partners to assess and develop policy recommendations to address the implications of the growing digital asset sector and changes in financial markets for consumers, investors, businesses, and equitable economic growth. The Order also encourages regulators to ensure sufficient oversight and safeguard against any systemic financial risks posed by digital assets.
  • Protect U.S. and Global Financial Stability and Mitigate Systemic Risk by encouraging the Financial Stability Oversight Council to identify and mitigate economy-wide (i.e., systemic) financial risks posed by digital assets and to develop appropriate policy recommendations to address any regulatory gaps.
  • Mitigate the Illicit Finance and National Security Risks Posed by the Illicit Use of Digital Assets by directing an unprecedented focus of coordinated action across all relevant U.S. Government agencies to mitigate these risks. It also directs agencies to work with our allies and partners to ensure international frameworks, capabilities, and partnerships are aligned and responsive to risks.
  • Promote U.S. Leadership in Technology and Economic Competitiveness to Reinforce U.S. Leadership in the Global Financial System by directing the Department of Commerce to work across the U.S. Government in establishing a framework to drive U.S. competitiveness and leadership in, and leveraging of digital asset technologies. This framework will serve as a foundation for agencies and integrate this as a priority into their policy, research and development, and operational approaches to digital assets.
  • Promote Equitable Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Services by affirming the critical need for safe, affordable, and accessible financial services as a U.S. national interest that must inform our approach to digital asset innovation, including disparate impact risk. Such safe access is especially important for communities that have long had insufficient access to financial services.  The Secretary of the Treasury, working with all relevant agencies, will produce a report on the future of money and payment systems, to include implications for economic growth, financial growth and inclusion, national security, and the extent to which technological innovation may influence that future.
  • Support Technological Advances and Ensure Responsible Development and Use of Digital Assets by directing the U.S. Government to take concrete steps to study and support technological advances in the responsible development, design, and implementation of digital asset systems while prioritizing privacy, security, combating illicit exploitation, and reducing negative climate impacts.
  • Explore a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by placing urgency on research and development of a potential United States CBDC, should issuance be deemed in the national interest. The Order directs the U.S. Government to assess the technological infrastructure and capacity needs for a potential U.S. CBDC in a manner that protects Americans’ interests. The Order also encourages the Federal Reserve to continue its research, development, and assessment efforts for a U.S. CBDC, including development of a plan for broader U.S. Government action in support of their work. This effort prioritizes U.S. participation in multi-country experimentation, and ensures U.S. leadership internationally to promote CBDC development that is consistent with U.S. priorities and democratic values.

Which now brings the climate scam into the discussion. What has digital money to do with climate? Lots.

If I've consumed my "climate allotment" of gasoline this month I could be prevented from using “my” digital “money,” to fill my tank. You didn't think a "climate lockdown" would be voluntary, did you? The jet set wouldn't trust us to stay home, even after so many millions of us voluntarily did so for "two weeks to flatten the curve," wore one mask or two, and agitated against, and sometimes attacked, our fellow human beings for not going along with the crowd.

So you were on your way to Yellowstone and now neither can continue nor return home with the kids? Sorry! Buy a steak for supper tonight? But you had one two weeks ago! Your commute uses so much gasoline you'll need to move to an apartment near a mass transit station in the inner city? It's for the common good. You run a feedlot and can't buy feed for your hundreds of heads of cattle? Oh, well. You need to restock your ammunition? LOL.

They're coming for us, too. Once we all are chipped and our travel and spending controlled, the “emergencies” will be over. None of this has ever been about a virus or the weather. It's always been about destroying the middle class, our representative governments, and the liberty have convinced ourselves we have. We don't.

"Papers, please!" to travel our world, and needing the government's permission to spend our own money—the fruits of our own labor—are but the end of the beginning of global totalitarianism. These are why we are, and why you should be, Against the Great Reset.

'I've Really Put You Through a Lot, Haven't I?'

Everybody's favorite Bond villain, Klaus Schwab, is back, taking his carbon footprint on the Road To Bali to advocate once more for a fascist takeover of the world, let by a combination of oligarchs and their puppets in "democratic" governments. All that's missing is the scar and the pussycat.

Klaus Schwab kicked off this year’s B-20 meeting in Indonesia Monday by calling for a wholesale “restructuring” of the world’s economic, political, social, and ecological systems. During his call for a global overhaul, Schwab – a German economist who serves as chairman of the World Economic Forum – said the restructuring will not only take “several years” to accomplish, but will likely include suffering for ordinary people. 

“If you look at all the challenges, we can speak about a multi-crisis, an economic, political, social, ecological and institutional crisis. But actually, what we have to confront is a deep systemic — and structural — restructuring of our world. And this will take some time. And the world will look differently after we have gone through this transition process,” he said.

How much more of this monster does the world need to see before the alarm bells go off? Even scarier is this thought: maybe this is what everybody really wants. If you're not one of them, fight back with this.

America 2022: Threat Level, Critical

When threats reach a scale that cannot readily be processed, lethargy sets in. People begin to reject investigating calamities so big they cannot understand them, problems so large and so broad that even admitting their existence collapses the senses, and with them any idea, plan, or nascent strategy of dealing with the threat. It is far easier to just accept whatever it is the "experts" are saying and go along with the crowd.

People give up and accept whatever they are told by those holding the threat over their heads. They pretend it will all be over soon, and jump on the collectivist virtue bandwagon, the bandwagon that crushed 100,000,000 human beings last century. Because these issues are so big, and our reliance on experts so complete, we wind up in messes like the ones in which we find ourselves today. When individual status is based on getting along, critical thinking vanishes and society goes along, regardless of the consequences.

Hi! My name's Herbert.

We have at least three of these threats hanging over our heads across the West today as the Baby Boomer “Summer of Love” Marcusian cohort of 1967 ages off history’s stage. Having as their life’s goal the destruction of America, the evil half of the Boomers will not go gently into that good night. Their aging explains the acceleration of the attacks on our freedom and our families of the past several years, and why these attacks on what we and millennia of our common forebears see as fundamental rights will continue to accelerate.

The three principal threats we face now are: the hoax of "climate change"; the manmade bioweapon of Covid-19 and its accompanying, perhaps even more lethal "vaccine"; and virulent, Democrat racism being used to attack both private and public sectors of society, our education, and the military. All are existential threats to freedoms and liberties that only exist in the West, and against which these threats have been created to extinguish.

These made-up crises have one goal, a goal that is a threat so big most seem unable or unwilling to process it: the destruction of the Western middle class: our liberty, freedom, prosperity and the futures of our children, Covid was a bad flu to older people and a minor flu to younger, there is no “anthro” in "climate change," and America is the least-racist society in history. Marxism is the goal of Western elites; they have neither time nor interest in those of us making the world go. We are today's Kulaks. Our mere presence is anathema to them, mucking-up their plans and authoritarian demands.

Each of these crises is based on a lie. Take "climate change." Even the U.N. is honest about its goal:

We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore.

The middle class wants freedom, liberty, law and to live our lives with the fruit of our own labor. The rulers cannot have this, just as they cannot have us point out that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix have no clothes and that their “vaccine” for a pathogen that escaped from their labs is increasing infection rates wherever it goes, or that not one single un-corrupted global temperature data set supports the fantasy of “Climate Change.”

We are not going to agree that 2+2=5. Ever. They cannot allow this. Getting us to say “five” is behind these crises, as it is behind the most-expensive-and-under-prosecuted riots in our history, behind the idiocy of the unnecessary war in Ukraine, and behind the coming Ukraine-war-driven destruction of global food supplies and of the dollar as the global reserve currency. Think inflation is bad now?

The Netherlands and Canada seem intent on replicating the Holodomor, and it's coming next to America. Predictably millions will die at the hands of collectivist leadership, just as the last time. Leftists never learn; more accurately, they learn to kill better next time. Stalin only murdered 34-49 million people in the 1930s; 30 years later, Mao murdered 80,000,000. What will be the Reaper’s toll from Davos Man?

Against the Great Reset

Read it and prepare for the worst.

As for Covid? Requiring a “vaccine” that, somehow, was patented ten days after the Covid genome was sequenced for the first time, a “vaccine” that prevents neither infection nor transmission, but that global data show reduces natural immunity across-the-board, that may be killing in huge numbers, and that destroys fertility, would seem to normal people to be counterproductive: 2+2=4, always and forever.

Those not starved to-death in the Third World by our rulers via ineffective and "more harm than good" Covid lockdowns and by the destruction of global food supplies for "climate change" amelioration will be far more docile than those of us in the West who, uniquely among global cultures, outlawed forced labor centuries ago. Which is why they are vaxxing us, and not them.

A fourth crisis, in fact, exists. Yet another threat so big that just conceptualizing it is problematic. And that is the fact of these elites, rulers and governments, themselves.

We will never give them their “5.” In America, we will not give them trucker strikes and manure sprays. Perhaps America’s destroyers will not give us our very own Holodomor because, we, alone among nations, have the ability, the means and the temperament to fight back.

In the face of the largest communist empire in history—so far—an empire dedicated to destroying family, religion, freedom, liberty, law, prosperity – sound familiar? – one man stood firm. He wrote:

I dare hope that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history.

And:

When one is already on the edge of the grave, why not resist?

That man was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who knew a thing or two or four about communism.

What does 2+2 equal in your calculations?

 

 

'What an Artist Dies in Me!'

This week, the-Pipeline.org has published the first of what we plan as a series of timely but well-considered "Againsts"  concerning various aspects of the current crisis: Against the Great Reset, published by Bombardier Books in cooperation with Simon and Schuster. Edited by myself, the roster of writers includes Michael Anton, Salvatore Babones, Conrad Black, Jeremy Black, Angelo Codevilla, Janice Fiamengo, Richard Fernandez, David P. Goldman, Victor Davis Hanson, Martin Hutchinson, Roger Kimball, Alberto Mingardi, Douglas Murray, James Poulos, Harry Stein, and John Tierney. What follows here is a brief excerpt from my essay, the final one of the book, "What an Artist Dies in Me!" 

Or so the Emperor Nero was supposed to have said, just before one of his freedmen helped him drive a dagger through his throat in the year 68 A.D. Too afraid to die a noble Roman by his own hand, declared a public enemy by the Senate, his castrated transsexual catamite, Sporus, by his side, the last of the Julio-Claudians went to Hades piteously declaiming what a loss to the world his death would be.

We remember Nero today primarily as the man who fiddled, or rather played upon the lyre and sang, while Rome burned as he pondered some architectural improvements. As the man who murdered his own mother (Agrippina the Younger, the model for all scheming momsters), as well as two of his wives—Octavia, the daughter of Emperor Claudius, and the pregnant Poppaea, who formerly had been married to one of his closest friends, Otho, who later briefly succeeded him as emperor. And as the man who threw the early Christians to the lions, when he wasn’t covering them in pitch and setting them ablaze as human torches, according to some hostile accounts.

Dining by Christian candlelight.

But we remember him still, despite his notorious reputation as a sexual deviant, even by Roman standards, a matricide, an uxoricide, and the unworthiest descendant of the line of Mark Antony and Germanicus, a category that also includes the stiff competition of Caligula. He considered himself, however, a great poet, musician, singer, and actor, who spent much of the period 66–67 A.D. in Greece, where he competed in the Olympic Games as both an actor and a charioteer. And his last words, more poignant and delusional than most, tell us how he saw himself. He was not just the emperor, a demigod, and the absolute monarch of a still-expanding empire: he was a bard and a singer.

The nexus among art, religion, and power is an ancient one, dating back to the wellsprings of humanity. To the seer and the shaman were given tribal standing; the man of insight and ability won leadership. The talent to conceive and draw big game on the walls of caves—three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional space—was tantamount to summoning them to the slaughter. To evoke the as-yet-unborn Schopenhauer, the world was both will and representation, and it would take millennia of scientific and philosophical advancement to try—imperfectly—to separate them.

The path from reification to the middle step of representation—objectification—led, perhaps paradoxically in the eyes of modern “feminists,” to more abstract concepts of beauty, with their attendant webs of nuance, recollections, desires, hopes, dreams. Writing in his book, Beauty, the late Sir Roger Scruton noted, “Metaphors make connections which are not contained in the fabric of reality but created by our own associative powers. The important question about a metaphor is not what property it stands for, but what experience it suggests.”

This was the next step in the creation of art (throughout this essay, I will be using the term “art” to encompass all the arts, not simply painting and sculpture), because at root, art is about beauty and nothing but beauty. No matter how brutal the art may be, how coarse and even nihilistic, beauty in a free society is always present by its absence, the standard against which the emptiness of evil is measured. The corruption of art is therefore an act of the purest evil. Small wonder that totalitarian movements such as the Great Reset fear its power and must co-opt and destroy its independence.

The Greeks had Mount Parnassus, sacred to both Apollo and Dionysus and their attendant arts, and perhaps the home of the Muses as well. Later, pedagogues developed the notion of the Gradus ad Parnassum, denoting the steps to mastery novices must take as they ascend to the peak of artistic attainment. And, as noted in my Introduction, the great German novelist Thomas Mann synthesized these themes and many more in 1924 his masterpiece, The Magic Mountain—located, as fate would have it, in Davos, Switzerland, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, which also happens to be the locus of the World Economic Forum’s annual celebration of obscene wealth and unbounded ambition—a fitting locale for our latter-day emperors.

However, instead of encountering Mann’s indelible cast of characters at the Berghof sanatorium—the scalding intellectual Naphta; the rationalist, secular freemason Settembrini; the seductive hot kitten, Clawdia Chauchat of the Kirghiz eyes; and the despotically exotic Mynheer Peeperkorn—we find waiting for us instead the clinical dispassion of Klaus Schwab, as Teutonic in mien and accent as the character of Dr. Szell in Marathon Man. We half expect him to ask us, “Is it safe?”

*****

In the year 1643, in France, the Sun King assumed the throne. The Age of Exploration was well underway. The English civil war raged. The Thirty Years’ War was nearing an end. And in the sovereign state of Venice, La Serenissima, the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi premiered the last of his works in a new art form called, fittingly, opera (works). Its name: L’incoronazione di Poppea. Its main characters: the beautiful Poppaea Sabina, soon to be called the Augusta, whose favorite saying was that she hoped she would die before she got old; and the man born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and ended up as Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus—or, simply, Nero.

Its final, ravishing duet, “Pur ti miro” (“I adore you, I embrace you, I desire you”), Poppea and Nerone (performed today by a woman or a countertenor, castrati being largely unavailable, except among the progressive gender dysphorics) sing of their undying love. No matter that Nero has killed his mother and made his marriage to Poppaea possible by eliminating the prior Mrs. Nero, Claudia Octavia. No matter that we know the marriage will last only three years, when Nero will kick Poppaea and her unborn child to death in a fit of pique, and then marry again, taking not only Statilia Messalina to wife but an emasculated boy made up to look, and function, exactly like the dead Poppaea.

We know the tragic ending but they don’t—and it doesn’t matter. In this radiant moment, one of history’s greatest monsters is resurrected as a lovesick hero, transformed not by dramatic fiat but by the otherworldly power of Monteverdi’s music, which makes us forget history and be carried along by an alternate reality we briefly prefer to believe. The artist Nero fancied himself is thus given immortality—but not absolution—in the field in which he most desired it.

Art, like the Christ figure, has conquered death. This is its power, which cannot be reset. This is why religious and secular authorities fear it, seek to diminish it, try to co-opt it, reduce it to a grubby economic transaction, send it to a prison camp, hang it. Like Boccaccio’s Decameronians, holed up in a fashionable villa to avoid the Black Death but with absolutely no storytelling ability, they await and encourage the collapse of contemporary civilization so that they might improve it, along with their own fortunes. That artists subscribe, consciously or not, to the Nietzschean doctrine of eternal recurrence never seems to occur to them; even if they’ve never read Cloud Atlas, perhaps they should harken to the sextet by Vyvyan Ayrs.

Artists neither mourn nor celebrate their subjects; rather, they exhibit their own power to resurrect the dead or summon the nonexistent to squalling life, whether their characters are sacred or profane. Profoundly indifferent to morality, yet completely human, art exists on its own terms, open to all to inspect, embrace, imitate, or reject. From the Roman Empire to the seventeenth-century Venetian court; from the Zauberberg a hundred years ago to Davos Dorf today, many have tried to geld it or beat it into submission, but art and artists will always have the last word. There is no Reset, neither by gods nor bonzes, but there is always rebirth. And that is forever the province of the glory, jest, and riddle of the world—Man.

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.

THE COLUMN: DEI, Monster, DIE

Who would have thought that the essence of our modern cold (so far) civil war would not be capturing the radio stations and newspaper offices to proclaim the revolution but rather the acronyms, abbreviations, and contractions—the language itself? During the Eisenhower administration, the newly coined term "bafflegab" was often employed by the pro-Democrat media to describe Ike's often circumlocutory way of speaking. They thought Eisenhower, the victorious Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, was "stupid," especially as compared with their poorly shod wonderboy, Adlai Stevenson, whom Ike beat twice. Little did they know that Eisenhower was deliberately obfuscatory, to keep his real intentions and meanings private.

Milton A. Smith, assistant general counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the inventor of the word, defined it as: “multiloquence characterized by consummate interfusion of circumlocution or periphrasis, inscrutability, and other familiar manifestations of abstruse expatiation commonly utilized for promulgations implementing Procrustean determinations by governmental bodies.” Today we recognize it as the lingua franca of the bureaucrat-educator class, especially those involved in mid-levels of government and those studying for their master's degree in education. A casual glance at the academic writings of Michelle Obama and "doctor" Jill Biden will immediately grasp its essence.

Ah, but such sesquipedalianism and deliberate obfuscation is rapidly going out of fashion, mostly because the TikTok generation can barely speak English, much less comprehend words with Latin roots. Among the young, Ebonics has combined with elision to create a whole new cant, slang, patois and vernacular designed to be understood solely by its adherents and meant to mask its real meaning. But rather than use long, real words, they now create new ones by means of contractions , abbreviations, acronyms, or simple neologisms. If, for example, you don't know what "Yeet the Teet" means, you could look it up. Indeed "transgenderism" will open a whole new linguistic world for you.

Acronyms, of course, date far back—think of Gerald Ford's WIN campaign, "whip inflation now"—but one of the most recent, and insidious, is DEI, which stands for "diversity, equity, and inclusion," the latest totalitarian assault on professional standards. For a time it stood for "diversity, inclusion, and equity" until one of the few non-illiterates on the Left realized that its acronym spelled out DIE," which after all is what they really want us to do. (It reminds me of the scene in Dr. Strangelove, in which Gen. Turgidson wonders what kind of name that is, and gets this response: " He changed it when he became a citizen. Used to be Merkwürdigliebe." To which Turgidson, played by George C. Scott, replies: "a Kraut by any other name, huh?")

Maybe they should have gone with IED, for improvised explosive device, which is really what the whole thing is: a Strangelovian domestic terrorism bomb, which we've learned to stop worrying about and instead love. In any case, here's what they want:

Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective.  Populations that have been-and remain- underrepresented among practitioners in the field and marginalized in the broader society.

Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.  Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed.  Inclusion outcomes are met when you, your institution, and your program are truly inviting to all.  To the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within an organization or group.

I've bold-faced the bald-faced cultural Marxist argot of their terms so you might see through the benign mask of caring and sharing and see the nasty monster's puss beneath it. You will notice that exactly none of these things contributes anything to the advancement of the enterprise; they're simply more Marxist revanchism for the Lost Cause of their beloved Soviet Union, which died of incompetence in 1991, and for which they have never forgiven the Russians.

One aspect of the horror show is, of course, the oligarchic World Economic Forum and its Great Reset, headed up by Klaus Schwab, who in fact is a kraut by actual name. Another is the ascendant, now-institutional Left, which has captured the high ground of the U.S. government, higher education, Protestantism and Reform Judaism, much of mainstream Roman Catholicism, and a good deal of corporate America, which should know better.

Recently, Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at New York University, announced that he is resigning from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, thanks to a new DEI prescription that anyone presenting professional research must push "equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals," the word "anti-racism" having become the new, pro-active version of simple "diversity," seeking to replace one form of "discrimination" with another. "I believe that the conflict between truth and social justice is likely to become unmanageable," he said.

As Newspeak has grown in reach, it's become obvious to those who would wish this country ill disguise their harmful intentions with the language of therapeutic Christianity (strange bedfellows indeed). The diabolical Saul Alinsky made this clear with Rule No. 4 from Rules for Radicals: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” As Alinsky famously noted: "You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."

If, say, a faith preaches "thou shalt not kill" then pester it with questions about war and capital punishment. If the religion preaches equality, they turn it into "equity." If its adherents have fostered a culture of professional excellence, challenge it with "inclusion" regardless of intelligence, skill, or aptitude. And when a business or institution claims to want diversity of thought, accuse them of racism; you really can kill them with this. DEI thus becomes the perfect Marxist weapon against the past, against custom, against family, against societal homogeneity, and against cultural self-defense. In this way does Critical Theory attack the very foundations of Western civilization.

The neo-Marxists' favorite weaponized word, however, is "tolerance." Alinsky-like, the Left has perverted this word from its original meaning, "endurance, the ability to bear pain or adversity; patience, fortitude," and has now come to mean "welcoming diversity, inclusion, and equity"—or else. That is to say, a word that means "acceptance" only in its most dire, involuntary sense, is currently transmogrifying into celebrating vibrant differences until your cooperation and acquiescence is no longer needed in the fundamental transformation of your society. Like the radioactive meteorite  on the Witley estate in the 1965 Boris Karloff film (based on H.P. Lovecraft's story, The Color Out of Space), their assault on the language poisons everything with which it comes into contact, eventually causing the grotesquely disfigured host to burst into flames and burn down the entire house.

So DEI, monster, die: this means you. There's nothing baffling about this gab, and they're not kidding when they say DEI, even if they spell it wrong.

THE COLUMN: Virtue Über Alles

For first time since the end of the Second World War, continental Europe is facing shortages: of food and, crucially, of energy. During the war, as the tide inexorably turned against National Socialist Germany after the disastrous battle of Stalingrad in 1943, the Third Reich was ground to powder by the Stalinist U.S.S.R. and the Western allies, principally the United States, with some help from a reeling Great Britain. The brutal winter of 1944-45 saw the Germans reduced to salvaging firewood from the wreckage of their principal cities and eating the animals in the zoos in order to survive.

Germany and Britain now face another tough winter, but this time the crisis is of their own making. Deluded by their Leftist parties, including the so-called "Greens" (like watermelons, green on the outside, communist red on the inside), and frivolously stampeded by a cataclysmic earthquake/tsunami in a country 5,600 miles away, the panicked Europeans suddenly abandoned their nuclear facilities while simultaneous pivoting away from reliable sources of energy in order to pursue quixotic fantasies of "renewable" energy that will never come true. What did socialists use before candles? Electricity.

Atomische Narrheit.

Europe is in the middle of an energy crisis. Uncertainty over the flow of natural gas owing to Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused a spike in prices. The price of natural gas has soared to as much as $500 per barrel of oil equivalent, 10 times the normal average, fueling fears of winter shortages and cold homes.

Key commodities have already been affected. Fertilizer production, which requires large inputs of natural gas, is being shut down due to high prices. Manufacturers are hoarding glass in anticipation of future shortages. Climate change has made the situation worse, as a historic drought is drying up Europe’s rivers and cutting into hydroelectric capacity. The rising cost of energy has driven a spike in inflation in the United Kingdom, while Germany has suffered the worst inflation since the 1970s energy crisis.

What happened? The quote above from Foreign Policy partially explains how they got here (and, if things continue, the U.S. will not be far behind), but the real reason is: prosperity, combined with virtue-signaling neo-Luddism. The dreadful toll of death and destruction of the war, combined with the success of European reconstruction under the Marshall Plan, which saved the devastated economies of western Europe, left Europe with two debilitating by-products: the rise of pacifism as an anti-nationalist force and the abjuration of war as a means of foreign policy; and a false sense of economic security, under which they were free to chase their own chimeras of "soft power" and "progressive" living without any heed to reality.

The Europeans should have learned from their own history, but of course they never do. The Oxford Union's "King and Country" debate of 1933, a fateful year in European history, turned out to be one of the high points of British pacifism. Having been bled dry by the Somme and other horrific battles in World War I, and also having lost the cream of their manhood in the process, the Union passed the motion that "this House would not in any circumstances fight for King and Country." Winston Churchill who never saw a war he didn't want to fight, knew that war with Hitler was unavoidable, and was aghast at the surviving, whinging chaff of England's crop, the sons of the cowards, conscientious objectors, and those otherwise unfit to serve. Six years later, however, they were doing exactly that.

26th June 1945: perfidious Albion.

After the war, with Germany in ruins and Britain fully emasculated, the kinder, gentler, socialist side of the European character immediately came to the fore. Churchill was chucked out of office just a few months after VE Day. Pulverized and bifurcated, Germany abandoned militarism and undertook its Wirtschaftswunderor "Economic Miracle." (Now foolishly replaced by the Energiewende, or Energy Turning Point.) France, under de Gaulle, went its own idiosyncratic, Gallic way. Nobody wanted to fight any more: it was cheaper and easier to let Uncle Sam, in the form of NATO, to guarantee the defense of Europe against the emerging Soviet bear. 

As Europe rebuilt it found itself with serendipitous upgrades in its 19th-century infrastructure, including modern electrical grids, fossil-fuel home heating, widespread adoption of automobiles (called PKWs in German, for Personenkraftwagen). Within a span of less than three decades, Western Europe was probably the nicest place to live on the planet, with modern conveniences nestling side-by-side with ancient monuments, high culture available to all thanks to government subsidiaries, and food prepared by the great chefs of the old Continent. In such a lotus land, there were no consequences to living as if there were no consequences.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had become bogged down in Lyndon Johnson's War in Vietnam, race relations steadily worsened, crucial provisions of the American constitution were abrogated by an act of Congress, blacks rioted anyway, cities burned, whites fled, unprivileged boys died in rice paddies, prominent political figures were assassinated, the borders were thrown open, and the feminist movement—in its deleterious sociological and economic effects, the American equivalent of the Euro-pacifist movement—took firm hold both of the workplace and the ballot box. Thus were the consequences of living as if there were no consequences from fundamentally transforming the country from the victor in World War II into a pitiful, helpless giant.

As America foundered, Europe prospered. But now that the Rev. Wright's chickens have come home to roost, the great Republic is now just a shadow of its formerly muscular and confident self, brought low by the cultural sappers of the Frankfurt School and the winds of social change from the backsides of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Some may, and do, see this as a good thing (and indeed the Obama/Biden administrations have been predicated on it). Others, now being demonized by an increasingly demonic Robinette, do not. Those people, in case you haven't noticed, are now enemies of the state.

And as in Europe, those opposed, Iago-like, to safe, secure, ever-cleaner, cheap, and reliable energy are striving for the upper hand in the U.S.A. They know it's the death blow against the hated enemy: the land of their birth, the land that gave them shelter from Hitler, the land that opposed both national and international socialism. So watch your food prices soar, watch them outlaw your private gasoline-fueled cars and mandate electric vehicles with a limited cruising range that can be circumscribed by the flip of a switch at Government Central, and which can't be powered at all when the grid fails. Watch them herd you into high-rise ant-farm collectives, into which you can be confined at Washington's whim, and where ants are very much on the menu. Watch them laugh as you forage for roots and berries and bust up your pianos to burn in your fireplaces, should you be allowed to have a fireplace. Welcome to the Great Reset, comrade!

And watch yourself voting for them, again and again and again until they don't need you to vote anymore. Sure, it makes you feel good. But it makes them feel even better, and that's all you really need to know. Credo in un dio crudel. You've been warned.