THE COLUMN: Hoax of the Millennium

Today, and each day for the next two weeks, will address the issue of "climate change," which like Covid-19 and "Russian collusion," is one of the great hoaxes of the modern era, maliciously concocted out of whole cloth by people who mean to harm western civilization and using the cudgel of "compassion" and "concern" with which to do it. Of the three, the "climate change" hoax, which threatens the foundations of civilized life, is by far the most inimical. Please follow our series as we debunk the claims made by the apocalypticists and their media allies.

To begin: the climate is always changing. Only an illiterate or a fool cannot understand this elementary concept. There is no need to delve into any scientific studies based on wildly or deliberately inaccurate computer "models" to know this. There is no need to be emotionally stampeded by tiresome, and always wrong, Jeremiahs of doom like Paul Ehrlich. There is no truth in the statistical manipulation that proclaims a full 97 percent of "climate scientists" agree that changes in the climate are the work of mankind. You don't have to worry about carbon emissions. The Last Days are not upon us.

Worked for a while, until it didn't.

Yet. But the "climate movement" bids fair to undo everything Western man has accomplished in the fields of science, technology, and religion and replace it with a savage new primitivism that is both inhuman and godless. It relies on the patina of science to promote a culture based on fear and guilt, with the goal of reducing and taming the human population under the aegis of a small group of self-appointed bonzes.

Our writers will tackle this topic and more in the coming fortnight, but one thing is clear: you are being lied to on a massive scale by a quasi-Marxist mass-suicide cult -- think Jonestown on a global scale -- in order that you lower your standard of living, rid yourself of all earthly possessions, abandon your expectations for the future, stop having children, cease all consumption, and disappear from planet Earth.

There are many reasons for the rise and ascendancy of this contemptible sect, including the demise of the educational system, the return of superstition, the prolonged assault via some form or variant of Critical Theory upon all the institutions of Western civilization and, now, upon the essence of that civilization itself. Such "theory" teaches that property is theft, profit is exploitation, consumption is rapine, and the nuclear family is a form of oppression: everything must be questioned, attacked, and destroyed. Western civilization is, in their eyes, the ultimate expression of "white supremacy," and therefore must be liquidated.

The decline of traditional Christianity, the cornerstone of the European-American West, has gone hand in hand with the rise of its prospective replacement, a perverted and obscene form of dictatorial nature worship, which has induced an entirely unnecessary guilt trip over real and imagined sins against other cultures that now use their very lack of achievements in the sciences and the arts as a j'accuse against the West. That would be the very same West that has provided them with access to technology, medicine, transportation, and the philosophy of Greece, Rome, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment as well as the Judeo-Christian bible that has -- imperfectly to be sure -- guided man's behavior for nearly three millennia.

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It is imperative that we break the stranglehold this new form of demonic possession now has on our society. "Demonic" is not too strong a word. In Holland, the leftist government is attempting to forcibly seize farmers' land in order to take it out of food production to appease this new Moloch. Meanwhile in Ireland its government of mediocrities has been captured by the Green Party, which now holds all its important ministries, and has decreed that some 200,000 heads of cattle be culled in order to meet its "mandated" emissions targets -- a report that instantly made the poor beleaguered country a laughingstock around the world, and from which Éire now seems to be backing away. The fact that, historically, cattle have been integral to the country's sense of itself -- viz. the epic poem, Táin bó Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), which dates from the seventh century A.D. -- and was the standard by which wealth was measured means nothing to the Eurocrats in Dublin who function at Brussels' behest. Expect more of the same across Europe, which even now is struggling with soaring energy costs and reduced access to dependable sources of power.

The cattle of Ireland salute the Greens.

The bugbear du jour is "emissions," a nebulous, one-size-scares-all excuse imposing an otherwise clearly insane policy on a body politic that has never once voted to starve itself to death. Our feminized culture has been so browbeaten by the Left's shameless propaganda that the very sight of a wisp of smoke or the hint of a fart now gives a manipulated populace the vapors. Worst of all are "carbon emissions," which have been dishonestly linked to "climate change" and have created a perfect storm of panic and fear among the gullible.

Here is the truth, which instantly gives the lie to every claim made by the "climate crisis" crew: we ourselves are carbon-based life forms. Indeed, life is impossible without carbon:

Carbon is the graphite in our pencils, the diamond in our rings, the oil in our cars, the sugar in our coffee, the DNA in our cells, the air in our lungs, the food on our plates, the cattle in our fields, the forest in our parks, the cement in our sidewalks, the steel in our skyscrapers, the charcoal in our grills, the fizz in our sodas, the foam in our fire extinguishers, the ink in our pens, the plastic in our toys, the wood in our chairs, the leather in our jackets, the battery in our cars, the rubber in our tires, the coal in our power plants, the nano in our nanotechnology, and the life in our soils.

Carbon is life. It exists in every organic life form. Life is impossible without it. When combined with water, it forms sugars, fats, alcohols, and terpenes. When combined with nitrogen and sulfur, it forms amino acids, antibiotics, and alkaloids. With the addition of phosphorus, it forms DNA and RNA, the essential codes of life, as well as ATP, the critical energy-transfer molecule found in all living cells. The carbon atom is the essential building block of life. Every part of your body is made up of chains of carbon atoms, which is why we are known as "carbon-based life-forms." Chemically, we're just a bunch of inert compounds. What breathes life into us? The answer is the relationship between the molecules of energy and nutrients, fueled by carbon and water.

No, it's not.

Carbon, to put a theological point on it, is the breath of God that animated the clay of Adam and turned him into a man. To attack "carbon" as an evil is to attack yourself; to eliminate carbon is to eliminate humanity. And make no mistake: this is precisely the goal of the "climate-change" movement. 

There is a word for what is happening. Evil. And evil is never to be combated idly or half-halfheartedly but with the force of one's strength, mind, and body, fueled by the now-derided virtue of righteous anger. Which is to say: hatred. As I wrote in my 2015 book, The Devil's Pleasure Palace:

At multiple moments in our lives, we are forced to choose between good and evil – indeed, we are forced to define, or provisionally redefine, both terms, and then choose.

The terms have been defined. The battle is joined. You are hereby called to arms.

A.I. — It's People All the Way Down

The World Economic Forum website has an entire section dedicated to the subject of artificial intelligence, which describes it as the glowing future, yet is fraught with peril. To avoid the danger WEF recommends – of course –governanceIt's important to note these governance guidelines come, not from the machines themselves, but from people. This is ironic because people caused the ethical problems that need to be governed in the first place. A.I. itself is not theoretically bigoted. But humans are, and AI systems are designed and programmed by humans reflect those biases.

To understand why people are both the source of problems and remedies of A.I. it is necessary to explain how the technology works. Contrary to popular belief, the Chat-Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) and similar engines now in the news don't really think. Only something that doesn't yet exist, Artificial General Intelligence (A.G.I.), is capable of learning and reasoning across different domains like a human. Nobody knows if it can ever be built.

As the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (A.I.) has become clearer, so too have the risks posed by unsafe or unethical A.I. systems... Recognizing this, actors across industry, government and civil society have rolled out an expanding array of ethical principles to guide the development and use of A.I. – over 175 to date. While the explosive growth in A.I. ethics guidelines is welcome, it has created an implementation gap – it is easier to define the ethical standards a system should meet than to design and deploy a system to meet them.

As of 2022, AGI remains speculative. No such system has yet been demonstrated. Opinions vary both on whether and when artificial general intelligence will arrive.

The A.I. that the media talks about, like GPT, mimics the reasoning process, but it is very much a human creation. It is trained on large amounts of text data, using probabilistic models to classify its patterns and structures. It then generates new data that shares similar characteristics, so that the new fits the same pattern as the old. By this means it generates images, text, music, and video alike to its training set. When you interact with a GPT, it is reflective, like a mirror, but on a monumental scale.

To get some idea of its scope, ChatGPT-3 has 175 billion parameters in its model based on 45 terabytes of data scraped from the Internet. But ChatGPT-4 will have 100 trillion parameters, approximately 500 times the size of its predecessor. This engine must contain all of the relevant information needed to solve the giant model and derive the pattern and the amounts required are stupendous.

The ability to produce creative mimicry has made Generative A.I. useful for a wide range of applications such as content creation, data augmentation, and simulation. However, this also threatens the status quo because it could create fake or misleading content, with counterfeits of real people or subtly doctored narratives. This is unsurprising because creative imitation is exactly what it is designed to do by extending old patterns into new input data. But A.I. can be directed through governance rules via a combination of software engineering techniques, machine learning algorithms, and human oversight to perform only certain, pre-approved acts.

One recent example of human oversight, applied to social media (though the principle is the same for A.I.) was the revolving door between Democrat Deep State and Big Tech at Twitter. The employees responsible for “resolving the highest-profile Trust & Safety escalations” in Twitter—the very definition of governance—were connected to the CIA or FBI and took political sides. Governance.

With this background it can be seen that perhaps the most misleading words in the WEF framework are the phrases "unsafe or unethical A.I. systems" and "A.I. governance." They suggest the locus of the problem resides in the technology; that it is an independent agency that must be kept from running amuck. But in reality it is a distinction without a difference. Ethical problems originate in humans as do the proferred governance solutions. It's people all the way down.

This is not clearly understood by the public. When researchers at IE University’s Center for the Governance of Change "asked 2,769 people from 11 countries worldwide how they would feel about reducing the number of national parliamentarians in their country and giving those seats to an A.I. that would have access to their data... 51 percent of Europeans said they were in favor of such a move." Some felt 'a situation where A.I. has all the power would be ideal so long as the A.I. is programmed correctly."

Time for a Data Proxy app?

But it is not A.I. which has the power so much as the people exercising governance over it. Who are these governors who will receive the power transferred from national parliamentarians? The WEF framework recommends they consist of stakeholders from industry, government, academia and civil society. Nobody you know or voted for personally. This represents an enormous transfer of power away from the public, and their imperfectly elected representatives to faceless, anonymous "stakeholders."

Oscar Jonsson, academic director at IE University’s Center for the Governance of Change, told CNBC that there’s been a “decades-long decline of belief in democracy as a form of governance.” This is certainly one way to put democracy out of its misery. Perhaps the desire for a benevolent dictatorship is why 75 percent of those surveyed in China supported the idea of replacing parliamentarians with A.I., while 60 percent of American respondents opposed it. The Chinese don't mind dictatorship; they've always lived under one. For most of the 20th century and a chunk of the 21st the progressive ideal was a "benevolent dictatorship" in which a vanguard would rule over the primitives. Now A.I. can make that benevolent dictatorship a reality, except the vanguard can pretend to be ruled by the machine like everyone else. "Pretend" because they can continue to rule indirectly, from behind the interface.

Once human elites see the danger to their power posed by A.I. they will bend every effort to institutionalize their values and privileges through the algorithms, data access rules and audits to ensure it never gives the "wrong answer." In a world unlikely to be dominated by a single system but rather multiple competing ones, individual organizations are going to create their own A.I.s with a mixture of public and proprietary data sources to maximize their influence and profit. Each will carve out its empire of machine omniscience. 

Google is now offering a software development kit companies can use to build their own A.I. You can start with a "foundation model" and go from there by adding your proprietary algorithms and data on top of what is available in open source, from the base of the tower to the heavens. The new task for organizations as Google puts it is: "Searching and understanding large, internal datasets that span many sources." The race to create this brave new world has only just begun.

The F.B.I. for example, can extend the "foundation model" with its own internal data and governance rules. The banking system can collect everyone's digital currency expenditures as private data, as may the police track cell phone movement. It will be a race for data resembling the Gold Rush. At each step in the process the public will be reassured the A.I. is programmed correctly and ethically governed while they are sliced, diced and processed.

Nor are the dangers confined to Western institutions spying on their publics. China can also use A.I. technology to deduce the activities of rival institutions by inference. Since data signatures are no different from electromagnetic, thermal or visual signatures, if the adversary can see your data then he knows what you are doing. It has proved possible to follow U.S. military deployments by analyzing the data from their fitness watches. Imagine what can be done with 100 trillion parameters and bottomless data. A.I. has allowed us reduce the amount of hidden information in what would otherwise seem a random system. There's an energy cost, but if China pays that, it can deduce a huge amount that would otherwise obfuscated.

Since who sees data is so critical perhaps the next administration should enact a Data Proxy Act, so individuals can use a software agent to mediate or register all requests for user data from applications, in the way an attorney represents a client. A Data Proxy application could ironically by powered by A.I. technology to infer who is spying on you, turning the tables on the watchers.

But most of all the public should insist that the Constitution, not "stakeholders," be the last word. Everything should be above board. Pace Shelley, there should be no unacknowledged legislators of the world. The ideologue, though he might think himself a visionary, must never as a "stakeholder" be allowed to masquerade as the oracle of the gods.

Fancy This: Biden Leaps to 'ESG' Defense

President Joe Biden has issued his first veto to protect a rule the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced late last year that would permit investment fund managers, known as fiduciaries, to use the environmental, social and governance (ESG) construct when selecting retirement investments like 401Ks, and when exercising shareholder rights, including proxy voting. Increasingly understood  to be a political device intended to redirect investor capital toward political and social objectives deemed important to the Neo-communist agenda, Congress had passed a bill earlier this month to block the new DOL rule.

The bill was an effort by Congress to protect investors from ESG consideration because the scheme violates the legally codified obligation fiduciaries have to investors. Known as the sole interest rule, it is a well-established legal principle that requires investment fiduciaries to maximize shareholder financial returns rather than promote political or social agendas. Proponents of the DOL rule assert that ESG factors could affect investment risks and returns and therefore should be taken into account by fiduciaries. But the disregard of legal principles aside, the data itself reveals contradictory evidence to their assertion.

As the world’s largest asset management firm in the world, it was a surprise when BlackRock’s former Chief Investment Officer for Sustainable Investing, Tariq Fancy, expressed doubt about ESG being used for investment consideration: 

Our messaging helped mainstream the concept that pursuing social good was also good for the bottom line. Sadly, that’s all it is, a hopeful idea. In truth, sustainable investing boils down to little more than marketing hype, PR spin and disingenuous promises from the investment community.

Larry Fink explains it all for you.

Fancy’s analysis proved prophetic when BlackRock made history last year for sustaining the largest losses of any asset management firm ever in the first six months of the year. The ESG strategy that led to some of the losses was promoted by BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink. Fink’s often cultish focus on ESG is likely rooted in his affiliation with the World Economic Forum (WEF), the godfather of ESG that began in 2000.

Regarding Fink, a WEF Trustee board member and Agenda Contributor, many have speculated whether ESG was a concept Fink brought into BlackRock to garner control of the capital markets, or whether BlackRock shaped the WEF’s understanding of how they could use the financial sector to re-orient the capital markets and promote what has proven to be a mechanism of control. In either case, it is bad for investors.

But beyond BlackRock’s poor market performance being evidence of a contrived and misbegotten pretense, a 2022 study published by Review of Accounting Studies reveals even more about ESG. The authors discuss that while historically there may have been some indication that ESG-centric funds delivered higher equity returns, by 2022, returns on average were negative. The study concludes, “ESG funds appear to under perform financially relative to other funds within the same asset manager and year, and charge higher fees.” The authors also note, "ESG funds’ portfolio firms, on average, exhibit worse performance with respect to carbon emissions, in terms of both raw emissions output and emissions intensity (i.e., CO2 emissions per unit of revenue).”

ESG funds, it turns out, do not appear to deliver on promises for either "stakeholders" or shareholders. So: farce or a fraud?

Beginning with a 2018 White Paper entitled, Agile Governance: Reimagining Policy-making in the Fourth Industrial Revolution the WEF begins to lay out how democracy will need to be re-imagined in order to achieve control of their Fourth Industrial revolution.

As traditional policy development processes lag behind the rapid pace of technology innovation, citizens increasingly expect the private sector [tech companies] and other non-government entities to take on new responsibilities and develop new approaches to support the diversification and speed of governance. The Fourth Industrial Revolution requires the transformation of traditional governance structures and policy-making models… In this paper, we define agile governance as adaptive, human-centred, inclusive and sustainable policy-making, which acknowledges that policy development is no longer limited to governments but rather is an increasingly multi-stakeholder effort.

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As one reads their subsequent treatise on regulation, one quickly understands “regulatory agility” to mean government centralization and deconstruction of democracies. So central is the need for government regulation in the WEF-envisioned world, they authored an addendum in 2020 entitled, Agile Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Toolkit for Regulators. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for speed. Across the globe, governments have been forced to fast-track changes to regulation to enable innovations… to help their economies adapt to  disruption.

So as investors and states have begun to reject the very idea of ESG, the Biden administration clearly now sees regulation as its last stand in America. While it is unlikely that Republicans can garner the requisite two-thirds of votes needed to overturn Biden’s veto, ESG investing faces unprecedented challenges on both legislative and legal fronts across the country. States have proposed bills in local legislatures, similar to the one just vetoed, and attorneys general from 25 states have filed a lawsuit against the DOL claiming that the department has overstepped its statutory authority.

As the fight continues, Americans should recognize that we are not only fighting domestic vetoes, but also international villains.

Bride of Pfizerstein

The “vaccine” fable took a turn recently with Pfizer’s "Director of R & D – Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning" boasting that Pfizer is mutating coronaviruses to create new mRNA “vaccines.” As an R&D Director he is aware of the dangers in doing so:

You have to be very controlled to make sure that this virus [COVID] that you mutate doesn’t create something that just goes everywhere. Which, I suspect, is the way that the virus started in Wuhan, to be honest. It makes no sense that this virus popped out of nowhere... Covid is going to be a cash cow for us for a while going forward. Like obviously.”

Pfizer, which recently paid the largest-ever fine, $2.3 billion, for false claims, is calling these claims "false."

How could these two things not have been co-designed? That's the purpose of the synergistic pharmacological R&D Pfizer is doing. When you're Frankensteining a virus and a "vaccine," doing both at once increases efficiencies, allowing one to insist work is being done “at the speed of science.”

Die, humanity, die.

Why would government agencies spend time increasing the lethality of viruses? In addition to a $31-trillion national debt, America has unfunded future social welfare (Medicare, Social Security) liabilities over $180 trillion. Years ago Christopher Buckley published a light-hearted look at the future-liability problem in Boomsday. In his novel, the government promises to pay $1,000,000 to the estate of Baby Boomers willing to commit suicide before age 75, to reduce that liability. Is Covid Boomsday?

China is the fastest-aging society on earth, with a fertility rate of 1.3. Italy has the fourth-lowest fertility among sovereign states – and the third-oldest population in the world. Who will pay for Italy’s and China’s aging populations? Which were the two countries hit hardest and first with Covid? Is the “vaccine” simply another weapon in the arsenal of globalists intent on reducing the global population to "sustainable" levels while ensuring that fewer people live to drain national treasuries as they age – a twofer? You decide.

Now that more injectees of the vax are dying from Covid than non-injectees, it seems those deciding against the “vaccine” have proved prescient.

Those aware that vaccines normally require over a decade of development and testing, that previous mRNA technology proved “difficult” (in some tests all the animals died), and that the creators had to be taken to court and forced not to hide their test results for the 75 years they demanded, were not surprised. Who hides success?

The Great Resetters next want to “vaccinate” our food supply (and ourselves) with toxic mRNA alchemy. Initially suggested with comments about putting mRNA into our salads, they’ve progressed to discussing mRNA concoctions in beef . Do we really want to take that risk?

Your Credit Score Please, Comrade

Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) held its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Known as a globalist influencing operation, it is funded through membership fees from a cross-section of the elites from the private and public sectors, including CEOs, diplomats, celebrities, media personalities, government officials, religious leaders, and even union representatives from around the world. With attendance this year encompassing 52 heads of state and government and nearly 600 CEOs, the disconnect between the social and political objectives of the attendees and the best interest of the citizens and communities from which these WEF members hail, is widening.

From Sri Lanka to Belgium and from Main Street to Wall Street, the policy proposals and social change the WEF promotes and funds have by now been repeatedly rejected, legally challenged, and roundly criticized by the people these policies are purportedly intended to help. WEF policy prescriptions caused the collapse of the government in Sri Lanka last year, the degradation of the farming sector in Belgium, the destruction of the social fabric in New Zealand, the freezing of citizens’ bank accounts in Canada, higher fuel prices in Europe, the neutralization of the US. Energy sector, the funding and promotion of totalitarian policies similar to those in Communist Chinese, the support of border collapse, and perhaps most relevant to Americans, the creation, of the reporting and scoring scheme known as environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Poisonous to every living thing on the planet.

While WEF policy failures abound, and the ESG apparatus is being met with increasing legal and market challenges, the construct has nevertheless already had a significant negative impact on some industry sectors. ESG was created as a reporting and scoring system used to justify re-orienting the capital markets toward the social and political objectives important to WEF members, and their philosophical eco-system of non-profits, NGOs and financial sector partners. Though in defiance of the "sole interest" principle and fiduciary obligations codified in U.S. law to protect investors, the outsized influence of the financial sector, which has fully embraced ESG, has delivered a particularly strong blow to the U.S. oil and gas industry.

Because of the importance of capital in the scaling and management of many businesses, creating capital pressure through the ESG scheme has been one way ESG progenitors believe they can affect the growth of certain industries. Energy companies have had to look harder to find capital to finance oil and gas assets. This attempt to impede capital has led to supply constraints and higher energy prices globally. According to WEF literature, industries including agriculture, steel and concrete will likewise begin to be attacked which will drive prices across the economy even higher.

This year’s WEF theme of “Cooperation in a Fragmented World," was an ironic choice since the policies promoted by its members seem to reflect cooperation intended to create a fragmented world. The podium and panels overflowed with quips from elites from the United States to the United Nations, all seeking to sound more relevant than the person next to them. Their very attendance revealed their desire to financially enrich themselves, even if at the expense of those in their own countries or of society more broadly. With fear-filled descriptions of the imminent destruction of the planet unless their solutions, however dystopic, be accepted, it was a parade of anti-market misfits and international villains keen to strip you of your personal liberties while entrenching their own privilege and economic benefit. 

Central to their success is the continued fomenting of fear about "climate change." According to their narrative, all problems in society emanate from this chimera. According to their logic, ESG therefore must necessarily be more deeply integrated into all business and society at large, not just corporate boardrooms. "Climate" is the pretense and ESG the mechanism from which to hang all of their liberty-defying policies and society-killing changes.

While initially focusing their ESG scoring scheme on the board rooms of publicly traded companies, WEF members and ESG advocates ultimately intend to also wrest control from private companies and even individuals. With societal control as an important strategic endpoint—think of  the social credit scoring system used in China—the WEF highlights technologies and promotes companies whose sole purpose is in some way to track and surveil members of otherwise free societies. Always couched as an effort to improve one’s life, of course.

In the WEF-inspired world, your privilege will emanate from your social credit score. Use public transportation and your score goes up. Have children, and your carbon emission score goes down. Buy products deemed environmentally acceptable and your score goes up. Use too many fossil-fuel inspired luxuries like computers and private automobiles and your score goes down.  If you have the correct colored check mark on your phone, you will be permitted to access to particular products, services, and experiences. Everyone else is relegated to the existence they are granted by their overseers.

Atop the sinister Magic Mountain, dread Klaus lies scheming.

Some of the mounting evidence: as first reported by True North during last year’s WEF’s annual meeting, an executive with the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba revealed that the company was working on an individual carbon footprint tracker. “We’re developing through technology an ability for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint,” president J. Michael Evans said at the time.

Meanwhile, Mastercard already provides a CO2 emissions-tracking card, developed with technology from the WEF-promoted Swedish company, Doconomy. In May 2019 Doconomy launched its credit card that monitors the carbon footprint of its customers—and cuts off their spending when they hit their carbon max.

Then last fall, the Canadian-based credit union Vancity announced the introduction of Canada’s first-ever carbon tracking Visa card. It is available beginning this year. “The Carbon Counter will help Vancity card holders understand the carbon footprint of their purchases as well as provide advice on what they can do to reduce their emissions footprint.” a statement by Vancity read. In the case of Visa’s credit card technology, developed by Ecolytiq, it too provides “education and behavioral nudging.”

How long before one isn’t even permitted to have a credit card because one’s purchases don’t comport with the values of these arbiters of the acceptable? That day is coming, unless we stop it. 

'A Revolution in Civilization'

If this is an improvement on several millennia of human urban living, I'd hate to see what a diminution would look like. Called "The Line," this great leap backward in urban development is the brainchild of an outfit called NEOM, derived from the Ancient Greek word for "new" combined with the letter "M," an abbreviation of Mostaqbal, an Arabic word meaning "the future" -- and also the first letter of the first name of "Prince" Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

How would you feel about moving into a vertical city, where the lives of nine million people are contained in a building spanning over 170km in length, 500 metres in height, and 22 metres in width? These are the dimensions of The Line, and drone footage over north-western Saudi Arabia has shown it’s already in construction.

To some it’s a futuristic utopia, where a five-minute walk can take you to all of your daily needs, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the city’s stadiums, opera houses, and perfectly manicured gardens. To others however, the strict Sharia laws combined with the high levels of surveillance The Line enables makes the city seem straight out of a sci-fi horror.

No roads or cars will be seen in The Line, and since it will run on 100% renewable energy, the city will have a zero-carbon footprint. The planners also promise a perfect climate year-round, access to all facilities within just a short walk, and a high-speed rail service to enable rapid transit to the other neighbourhoods known as “modules.”

“95% of land will be preserved for nature [and] people’s health and wellbeing will be prioritized,” making this city the perfect home for “the best and the brightest,” the site exalts.

So what could possibly go wrong?

"New Mostaqbal." That sounds vaguely familiar. Sort of like "New Seoul" from Cloud Atlas. And wasn't that a peachy place?

And when you combine futuristic technology with a 7th-century moral system from a dark and savage part of the world that has brought humanity almost nothing but trouble... well, there's a heck of a lot than go wrong.

The top concerns regarded the lack of natural light in the lower levels of the building, the noise and reverberations that the high-speed rail will create, and the estimated 1.8bn tonnes of carbon dioxide required to construct the “zero-carbon footprint” city. Beyond the worries related to the building itself, many fear the consequences of building such a structure that enables high levels of surveillance and control within a country governed by an “exceptionally murderous and repressive regime.”

Ah, but to the fascists of the World Economic Forum, one suspects that last bit might be a feature, not a bug. As the Davoisie says: "2023 will be a year of action," so buckle your seatbelts and get ready for a bumpy ride.

Enemies of the People: Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.

Go Sell It On A Mountain

A Who's Who of the world' great if not good is converging on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023. In addition to presidents, ministers and other bureaucrats, 116 billionaires, none of them Russian, will be at Davos, not to mention celebrities, advocates, media personalities, etc. The Business Insider describes how hoteliers are preparing to receive an Olympian throng that will include the likes of Bill Gates:

We emptied almost half of the hotel in order to set up for all of the events and prepare for the guests... no one will have access to the hotel without their badge. We have X-ray machines and metal detectors, and each and every person has to go through these to enter the building. It's almost like an airport. Davos itself is like a military zone, where you have limited access and everything is cordoned off.

Greenpeace disapprovingly noted that hundreds of ultra-short private jet flights converged on Davos, as global leaders headed to the World Economic Forum in a rush to save the planet from asphyxiating in carbon. But there is more than climate change on the agenda. Banking, finance, cryptocurrencies, racism, artificial intelligence, workplace robotics, global governance, and cybercrime are probably going to be up for discussion. It is so wide-ranging one may think of it as the first draft of tomorrow, a glimpse of a future you are going to be part of, whether you like it or not.

The return of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

This wide-ranging character is why the Davos call to action is known as the "Great Reset." Like the familiar reboot of your computer, everything you have ever known will go away and after a moment's blackness (you may be conscious of a spinner as it restarts) all will be replaced by a new OS, interface and architecture you're sure to love. It will be like you've died and gone to atheist heaven. What it will be like is hinted at in a phrase since removed from the WEF’s website. “Welcome to 2030,” read the headline to an article by a Danish member of parliament, “I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.”

It reminds the world that Wokeness, which has points of similarity with the great religions, also has its own eschatology. There is a a hazy belief in a singularity, after which like Communism's 'withering away of the state', everything will be different. Thus the elect gather on a Swiss mountain to bring on the end of the old world and midwife the new. But while the Davos conclave has borrowed many traditional religious forms and metaphors from the great religions, there is something uniquely contemporary in its character which sets it apart.

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Davos might be described as the Woodstock of power. Like its namesake, it is a new nation. In the past, the presidents and billionaires of the world were kept socially apart by distance, language, and localism. Once those barriers had been dissolved in the acid bath of air travel, the Internet, and universal English, the great men realized they were more alike than not. To a not-insignificant degree, people at the pinnacle of power have, as I like to put it, all "gone to the same school together," sometimes literally, and share more in common with other Big Guys than the unwashed in their respective national slums.

The men on Davos are a tribe; and it would be impossible to understand the nature of the Great Reset without grasping the tribal nature of this enterprise. These are the most narcissistic people on the planet. Of course they know all the answers. Why else would they be presidents and billionaires? John Kerry said it best: "it's so almost extraterrestrial."

Yet ironically the new word out of Davos is "polycrisis," meaning "multiple concurrent economic, political, and ecological shocks are converging to rock the globe in the next decade, and the world is playing catch-up to address them... Only 9 percent of respondents saw the world returning to a state of 'renewed stability with a revival of global resilience.'" This glorious world, whose leaders have gathered at 5,118 feet in the sky to congratulate themselves, is presently suffering from a kind of multiple organ failure. In the next two years, according to a WEF report, we might expect: a cost of living crisis, natural disasters and extreme weather, geoeconomic confrontation, widespread cybercrime and insecurity, large scale involuntary migration to name only some -- unless we hand over the keys now.

Of course the world must 'act together.' The WEF article on polycrisis continues:

Solving climate change is the ultimate team sport. It isn't just coming from one sector. It has to be governments, it has to be business, it has to be the finance sector to work together to really address these complex and systemic issues.

Yet in that approach may lie part of the problem. According to the Cascade Institute, a polycrisis occurs when "multiple global systems become causally entangled in ways that significantly degrade humanity’s prospects," as when the world is wired up like an electrical circuit in series, like a line of dominoes. When components in a system are critically dependent on chains, as for example a Christmas tree with 100 light bulbs in series, if one breaks down, all of them may stop working and it will be difficult to find out the damaged one and replace it.

All hail the New World Order!

The globalization project is nothing if not a recipe for entanglement, and Davos prescribes more of it. Yet central planning by the elites may have caused at least some of the instability we are in the midst of. The men of Davos cannot pretend to stand outside the system, in which they were the leading actors, as if they had nothing to do with anything; that the polycritical world was just an unfortunate event they encountered along the road, for which they bear no responsibility. They should consider, if only hypothetically, whether they are part of the problem.

Perhaps Elon Musk, the billionaire who is not going to the WEF meeting, hit the nail upon the head. The danger isn't that the world won't hand control over to the Elect in time, but that the saviors of the planet will get in over their heads and create more monsters than they slay. "My reason for declining the Davos invitation was not because I thought they were engaged in diabolical scheming, but because it sounded boring AF lol," Musk tweeted. He added that Davos is "not some illuminati plot to destroy humanity, but rather an extension of the well-meaning environmental sustainability movement that has gone too far."

How far is too far? What comes after 'polycrisis'? And do we really want to find out?

The Political and Social Significance of Sam Bankman-Fried

Over the last few weeks, Sam Bankman Fried, having been extradited from the Bahamas, flown to California first class, and granted bail on a 250 million dollar bond (which allowed him to sit comfortably in his parent’s Palo Alto home instead of in some grubby jail cell), has now pleaded not guilty to the many charges against him. There’s been some populist indignation over the apparently indulgent terms of his pre-trial detention. But it’s difficult to be too indignant about what is at best a stay of execution.

Most white-collar criminals avoid prison until convicted. By now SBF is probably too famous to make a successful run for it. And given that his two top accomplices, one his former girlfriend, are apparently singing like Maria Callas to the prosecutors, he faces the realistic prospect of several decades behind bars. He might escape justice by committing suicide but that could be justice of a more uncertain kind.

SBF: "Effective altruism" in action.

As for the purely criminal aspects of the fall of SBF and his crypto-currency exchange empire, FTX, Andrew McCarthy, an experienced federal prosecutor, has already established a key point: that FTX frauds had nothing to do with the “opaque” character of crypto-currencies as such but was instead a plain old-fashioned Ponzi scheme. SBF simply diverted crypto funds entrusted to him by investors into his other failing enterprises.

If the “opaque” character of the “crypto” world was irrelevant to the operation of SBF’s fraud, however, it was vital to its social and political success. The crash of FTX should have been easily foreseeable not only by investors but also by the financial pundits, the organizers of financial conferences, the political parties that accepted his massive donations, the business and style pages of the mainstream media, and above all by the corporate global leaders of the World Economic Forum that meets annually at Davos in Switzerland. After all, the company had been offering very high fixed rates of return in a notoriously risky market less than a decade since Bernie Madoff had demonstrated the inevitable collapse of such enterprises.

Yet only weeks before the inevitable happened, SBF was an icon on the style pages of business as well as mainstream media, a panel member photographed alongside former president Bill Clinton and former British prime minister Tony Blair at investment conferences, the second largest donor (after George Soros) to the Democrats in the 2020 campaign, and he was a rising star in the world of the WEF—FTX was touted as a partner on its website, SBF himself was a speaker at its conference last spring, and if the recent unpleasantness had not persuaded the WEF to scrub these references from its website, he was odds-on to be added to their pantheon of Young Global Leaders.

How could the Great and the Good of our world get it so wrong? One reason, of course, is that crashes (both of the system and of particular enterprises) occur at fairly regular intervals because both market participants and official regulators come to share the same intellectual error: usually that, unlike all previous such occasions, the worst won’t happen this time because we know enough to prevent it. The worst then happens.

What's the worst that could happen?

On this occasion the tendency to believe in SBF and FTX was encouraged by the factor mentioned above: namely, the opaque nature of crypto-currencies. A great many people, including “experts,” relied on the general sense that no-one really understood how crypto-currencies worked to justify not investigating how SBF was accomplishing such miracles. If they had done so, they would have discovered—as McCarthy points out—that he wasn’t investing in crypto-currencies but merely acting as the middleman between those who wanted to buy and sell them and, in the course of this modest arbitrage, siphoning off large amounts his customers’ assets to keep his other failing enterprises afloat. But they didn’t investigate what seemed to be a very good thing.

Unfortunately, not looking too closely at something that either benefits you or appeals to your emotions in some way is a very human quality. Just as financial journalists were led astray by the hocus-pocus of SBF’s crypto-economics, so the same result was achieved at a slightly higher level by the hocus-pocus of Modern Monetary Theory. MMT—an agreeable fairy story that governments can print money indefinitely without causing either inflation or any other discernible harm—persuaded some governments, some financial agencies, some business magazines, and even some economists tired of being “grim” all the time, to dismiss the rising fears of rising inflation—until inflation happened and we all have had to tighten our belts.

My own theory is that both trust in FTX and SBF and the inflationary policies of Western governments inspired by MMT spring from the same psychological sources: optimism, market or bureaucratic groupthink, and submission to what G.K. Chesterton called “mystagoguery” or the technical demagoguery of the sophisticated that misleads those too timid to differ with experts or even to question them if something they say smells fishy.

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And, finally, there is the personal factor. SBF presented himself as someone who incarnated all the utopian virtues of the progressive age that the WEF under its founder Klaus Schwab hopes to introduce under the slogan “Build Back Better.” He lived an austere personal life (he didn’t); he was making money to give it all away (he was allegedly stealing it to keep his businesses afloat and to buy political influence); he was putting into practice a sophisticated method of philanthropy called “effective altruism” (about which his guru now confesses to second thoughts); he gave donations mainly to Democrats (noble, idealistic) but also to forward-looking Republicans (the necessary price of virtuous influence); and he had a particular commitment to funding the kind of bureaucratic health-cum-lockdown campaigns that the WEF touts as the vehicle for launching its global post-democratic technocracy under the firm direction of the Great Reset.

You can and should learn more about the Great Reset. In the meantime SBF provides us with a parable that supports its critiques: It’s not hard to build a world of global social equality—steal a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking effective philanthropy.

Best of 2022: 'Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Davosing' by Jenny Kennedy

The year of Our Lord 2022 has been a good one for us here at The Pipeline, which has 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. As the year comes to its close, we thought we would spotlight some of our best work, chosen from our most clicked articles.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Davosing

Jenny Kennedy, 29 May, 2022

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...