Liberals claim to fear “zombie viruses” emerging from the frozen ice in a scene straight out of The Thing, but their real agenda is remaking the world in a socialist image. Why else would solving global warming require social media governance and state set value propositions?
“Never let a crisis go to waste,” so said then Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, about newly minted President Barack Obama’s approach to the 2009 financial crisis. What happens when you have 3 crises at once? In that case, you try to remake the whole world in your image if you are a liberal. Really, I’m only exaggerating a little bit here, but first, what are the three crises?
“Capitalism is facing three major crises,” explains Mariana Mazzucato writing for The New Republic, “A pandemic-induced health crisis has rapidly ignited an economic crisis with yet unknown consequences for financial stability, and all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a climate crisis that cannot be addressed under the rubric of business as usual.” How, precisely, Ms. Mazzucato knows for sure that these crises can’t be addressed under “rubric of business as usual” is entirely unclear, a statement without evidence as they say, among many others.
This, however, doesn’t prevent her from plunging ahead. “This triple crisis has revealed just how unprepared we continue to be—and how our model for sustainable capitalism must change.” She continues, “Critically, the health crisis, the climate crisis, and the economic crisis must be viewed together. Otherwise, we will simply be solving problems in one place while creating others elsewhere.”
Ms. Mazzucato’s short-term concerns center around whether or not the trillions in stimulus governments are spending finds its way to the economy. In her opinion, the 2009 financial crisis “flooded the world with liquidity without directing it toward good investment opportunities. As a result, the money ended up back in a financial sector that was (and remains) unfit for the purpose of directing truly productive investment.” Though it’s yet bold another assertion without evidence, she quickly concludes that, “Thus, this time around the liquidity and recovery funds (including bailouts) must not only find their way to the real economy, but also solve problems there.”
It’s a fair enough concern, obviously we should all want to make sure the money we are spending generates meaningful results. This is not what Ms. Mazzucato has in mind, however, her goals are far more ambitious. She envisions a “broad ethos of shared sacrifice” and a “dramatic shift in familiar routines of work and leisure” that will ultimately “repair the deep-seated flaws in our economic structures.” She, like many others in the enlightened class, sees the opportunity offered by the government’s response to the coronavirus and wants even more of the same. To her, a year of lockdowns has been essentially a pre-trial run for what comes next.
Ms. Mazzucato even says so herself, “think of the many ways that the signal failures of the social response to the Covid emergency are a kind of dry-run illustration of the weakened institutional and social commitments that we are seeking to deploy to roll back climate change at the eleventh hour.” Of course, in order to tie the two together, she must stretch the truth, repeating yet another climate change claim without any evidence whatsoever. “The destruction of biodiversity (as witnessed in the Amazon), the cruel treatment of animals (in settings like the Wuhan market and the American meatpacking industry), and the melting of the permafrost all contribute to the arrival of new viruses humanity is not used to.”
Amazingly, this “permafrost” canard has become standard ideology in the global warming crowd. Though no new virus has ever come from permafrost, it’s now taken as fact we’re only a little ice melting away from another plague.
NPR reported on the new trend last year. “In the past few years, there has been a growing fear about a possible consequence of climate change: zombie pathogens. Specifically, bacteria and viruses — preserved for centuries in frozen ground — coming back to life as the Arctic’s permafrost starts to thaw.” In fact, so-called scientists already claimed this happened when an anthrax outbreak hit Siberia in 2016. At the time, Scientific American reported that “Scientists are witnessing the theoretical turning into reality: infectious microbes emerging from a deep freeze.”
Of course, the story was nonsense. The key researcher wasn’t even an expert in humans viruses or bacteria, and anthrax, in fact, often lives in the ground, rising up out of the soil. The French even had a name for it, champ maudits, literally “cursed fields.” John Carpenter even made a movie about it, The Thing.
Perhaps, needless to say, this hasn’t prevented the fanciful idea from spreading, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The seed was planted early on. For example, The New York Intelligencer declared last April that “The Coronavirus is a Preview of Our Climate Change Future.” Even as they noted “COVID-19 is not a climate-change pandemic,” they had no problem launching into a fact-free diatribe about how it’s a “terrifying harbinger of future pandemics that will be brought about if climate change continues to so deeply destabilize the natural world: scrambling ecosystems, collapsing habitats, rewiring wildlife, and rewriting the rules that have governed all life on this planet for all of human history.”
Early on the pandemic, it was unclear exactly how far governments would go or how long the restrictions would last, back when we started at merely 15-days to slow the spread. Today, however, we find ourselves in a world where the President of the United States thinks nothing of delivering a prime time address from the White House to dutifully inform the citizenry that we might be allowed to have backyard barbecues by the Fourth of July. He’ll let you know for sure on his timetable. Lest you have any mistake about how he feels about you going rogue and, gasp, inviting whoever you please, he warned, “we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track, please, we don’t want to do that again.”
This is exactly the kind of command and control liberals like Ms. Mazzucato seek to take advantage of in the fight against global warming, hence it is essential that the multiple crises be seen as one and the powers granted to these governments are never truly rolled back. Of course, these sorts of unprecedented powers are what they’ve desired all along to address a laundry list of issues.
What are the issues they want to tackle? Amazingly, it’s hard to even find many directly related to climate change. She targets the “current structure of finance” and how it “fuels a debt-driven system and speculative asset bubbles.” Countering this trend requires “public banks” and other “public finds” and changes to “tax policy” to favor “long-term finance.” Ms. Mazzucato believes the entire economy has been “financialized” and that profits aren’t funding “new capital investment, research and development, and worker training.”
Of course, no evidence is provided for these claims. Do you see a pattern here?
Capital investment, in fact, accounts for over 20% of GDP. To be sure, the figure has been higher in the past. In the 1970’s and 80’s, it has been as high as 25%, but the average over the past 10 years has actually gone up. Moreover, in terms of absolute dollars, the money being spent today dwarfs decades ago. The highest level recorded is 1979 at 25.11%, that translates into about $658 billion in real dollars. In 2019, the US devoted 21.01% to capital investment, $4.5 trillion in real dollars, meaning we are currently spending more on capital investment than our entire GDP 50 years ago, a lot more.
Therefore, the real complaint is we aren’t spending the money where Ms. Mazzucato wants it to be spent, but don’t worry, she’s got a plan for that as well. The underlying problem, apparently, is “corporate governance” that is “obsessive” in its focus on “maximizing shareholder value.” Instead, we need “a fuller sense of the range of stakeholders who need to take part in the creation of a greener, safer model of social enterprise.” Even that might not be enough though, we really need to reimagine “what value is created in the first place” and then create a new “way of working along the entire value chain to produce it.”
What does Ms. Mazzucato have in mind for her new definition of value? “These could be designed to reward companies that lower their material content, that increase gender parity, and that pay workers a living wage.” Anything else? Well, it’s going to “require a fundamentally different way for business and the state to interact.”
Where have I heard this before?
The World Economic Forum’s Great Reset quite coincidentally has the exact same goals in their effort to remake the world economy, an effort supported by President Joe Biden I might add. In fact, they note that “The second component of a Great Reset agenda would ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability.” They too urge the creation of a new system, “one that is more resilient, equitable, and sustainable in the long run,” and that would include “incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.”
Isn’t this absolutely amazing? It just so happens that the pandemic was the perfect opportunity to do what left-leaning, democratic socialists haven’t wanted to do all along. Who could have imagined that they could apply the same tired logic of global warming to a once in a generation pandemic and come to the conclusion that their totalitarian ideas were in fact the right answer from the very beginning?
The only difference is the scale. The government’s newfound powers under coronavirus and the resulting restrictions on your movement simply aren’t big enough to handle global warming. According to Bill Gates, a sponsor of The Great Reset, “the relatively small (10%) reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions that global lockdowns produced showed that behavioral changes like flying or driving less are nowhere near enough.” Therefore, we should all get ready for more, much more, government that is.
Returning to Ms. Mazzucato, she believes that the entire relationship between the government and the market is unsalvageable . “Our system cannot be bandaged up,” fixing it requires “a more creative and aggressive approach to shaping markets, in which the state itself is seen as the co-creator of value.” To be honest, I’m wasn’t quite sure what that even means, but then I read further and it certainly doesn’t sound good: “the capability to adapt and learn; the capacity to innovate and invest in areas of relevance to citizen needs; the ability to align public services and citizen needs; the resourcefulness to govern resilient production systems; and the savvy to govern data and digital platforms.”
At this point, you might be asking yourself: What does any of this have to do with global warming? For example, why is the government’s skill governing Facebook essentially to fixing the environment? The answer, of course, is precious little. Global warming is not, nor was it ever, the end game. The end game has always been socialism, a complete remaking of the private sector and private citizen’s relationship with the state, with the state completely in charge.
They will, of course, claim otherwise, but if the state is setting values, it’s running the entire show. In other words, why else does the government need massive powers to shape markets and invest in areas of relevance to our needs?
For decades, they’ve been telling us that global warming is caused by carbon and other greenhouse gases. To the extent it is a major problem, the solution has always been to reduce the amount of the gases in the atmosphere and emit less overall. This is primarily an innovation challenge: The cheapest forms of energy come from fossil fuels that emit more greenhouse gases. Therefore, new energy sources or some means of carbon capture are the keys to solving the problem.
Well, not any longer, apparently. The establishment has now decided they need to remake every aspect of our lives, implement changes more radical than coronavirus, and reengineer the entire economy in order to prevent a small temperature increase a 100 years from now. Perhaps more frighteningly, they are willing to lie and obfuscate to see it done, promoting fanciful science fiction like mutant viruses emerging from the permafrost and connecting completely unrelated issues like coronavirus. Never let a crisis go to waste, indeed.