By Rusere Shoniwa
You can find more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com
In Should we care about the cognitive dissonance of criminals? (Holding the Line, 19th September 2022) I argued that the pattern of one failed gamble after another by senior decision-makers in government was not a series of blunders but part of a mosaic of deliberate destruction. Since March 2020, ‘experts’ and senior civil servants have hoodwinked the public with bad science, dodgy data, specious arguments, industrial-scale censorship and wartime propaganda, as they continue to plunge the West into economic collapse and hurtle towards direct (as opposed to the current proxy) military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. Never in the field of government incompetence have so many catastrophic policies been packaged and delivered so cackhandedly as to guarantee such widespread misery.
If the incompetence theory is not supportable, then there must be some method to the madness. The Ukraine conflict has precipitated a sanctions war with Russia in which the EU has cut itself off from Russian gas to teach Putin a lesson. Can we attribute the damage from this decision to stupendous incompetence or is there some evidence of psychopathy and, by implication, a method behind the madness?
First, let’s recap on how teaching Putin a lesson is progressing. In Russia, the rouble is holding up well, food prices are down and energy prices are a fraction of what they are in the UK and EU. Meanwhile, in the UK, soaring energy bills are threatening to put six in 10 British manufacturers out of business amid the very real prospect of civil unrest as consumers are plunged into poverty by a more than doubling of household energy bills.
So, what drove the West to draw two revolvers, take careful aim at both feet and pull both triggers with gay abandon? The Daily Sceptic offers two explanations which invoke the maxim frequently applied to assessment of government failure – don’t attribute to malice that which can easily be explained by incompetence. One explanation put forward by The Daily Sceptic is that our politicians are simply stupid – they weren’t “thinking through the consequences of their actions”. The other is that the sanctions were expected to be so effective that they would quickly bring the Russians to the negotiating table and then be used as leverage in negotiations to roll back whatever territorial gains the Russians may have made in what was presumed to be a short-lived military excursion.
The problem with these explanations is that they involve mind-reading. The Daily Sceptic imposes on itself a strict requirement for evidence to support a malign conspiracy. Fair enough. But why waive the requirement when arguing for benign causality? The explanations also ignore the overwhelming evidence that NATO wanted a proxy war with Russia and remains fully committed to drawing out the conflict regardless of the cost to either Ukraine or ordinary citizens in the West. How can we know this? Because NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said so:
“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years …We must not let up in supporting Ukraine, even if the costs are high, not only for military support but also because of rising energy and food prices.” [emphasis added]
That was NATO’s position in early April, repeated in June and again at the end of August. As far as political positions go these days, it’s remarkable for its consistency. Nor are these the words of a warring party that believes it has miscalculated. In his own words, NATO’s chief has stated that the suffering of millions is not a ‘mistake’; it’s baked into the plan. If NATO allies miscalculated the length of the war and therefore its cost to Western citizens, then they are now doubling down on their error, and to hell with the flattening of Ukraine or fuel poverty across the West.
Repeatedly doubling down on errors isn’t necessarily psychopathic per se, but it is psychopathic if you’re well aware that doubling down is inconsequential to you but harmful to everyone around you. And here we see an unequivocal statement from NATO’s chief that rising energy and food prices, which must necessarily impoverish a huge number of people in the West, must not be allowed to interfere with NATO’s proxy war against Russia. The kindest thing you can say about his stance is that it’s psychopathic in nature.
Proxy wars are, by definition, dirty wars: NATO doesn’t have sufficient justification for direct conflict with Russia so it’s using Ukraine as cannon fodder to inflict damage on Russia.
The huge cost to ordinary citizens is totally unjustified because this is not a war of self-defence. Gambling with people’s lives by fanning the flames of a conflict that could have been averted by negotiations, the terms of which were both well understood and reasonable for both sides, is sickening enough. But the determination of leaders, who aren’t going to suffer the consequences of their decision, to commit their electorates to hardship in the name of an unnecessary proxy war ought to be regarded as criminal.
As bad as soaring energy bills and food prices are for those already on the margins, these consequences don’t properly convey the full potential horror of the energy squeeze that NATO allies have chosen to inflict on the populace. To get a sense of the terrifying implications, listen to this conversation between Dr Jordan Peterson and Michael Yon. Yon is America’s most experienced combat correspondent, having travelled and lived over half of his life abroad in more than 80 countries. He is a self-taught scholar of war and famine.
Yon theorises, not implausibly, that we are heading towards a global famine, in no small part due to the disruption to the supply of Ukrainian wheat and fertilizer. Peterson cites estimates of 150 million people coming under food pressure this winter. This could place a mass migration pressure on Europe that would dwarf anything that has come before it. Peterson summarised the relationship between energy prices and poverty:
“I’m going to lay down a proposition here … if you are a friend to the poor, the oppressed and the hungry, the number one thing you want to do is drive the energy prices as low as they can possibly be on every front … That bloody well includes coal, petroleum and natural gas and we could add nuclear to that. And if you want to throw in renewables for the tiny percentage they account for, you could do that too. But because energy is equivalent to work and because work is equivalent to food and shelter, if you make energy expensive you starve the poor and you don’t have to starve them very much before they become desperate, and things fall apart.”
Of course, the globalist utopians are doing precisely the opposite, with the Canadian Finance minister “quasi-demonically”, as Peterson bluntly put it, actually celebrating the high cost of fuel.
How do you solve a problem like urea … and skyrocketing energy bills?
An article in The Conversation provides a useful explainer of fertiliser economics and the pressure that the conflict in Ukraine is putting on the food supply:
- Fertiliser inputs (such as urea and ammonium nitrate) are one of the largest single variable costs in crop production, and good crop yields rely heavily on nitrogen fertiliser inputs.
- The process of producing fertiliser is extremely energy intensive and thus directly linked to the cost of fuel. In March alone, the price of UK ammonium nitrate rose from £650/tonne to £1,000/tonne.
- To break even under these conditions, crop production must increase by 67% just to cover the additional cost of fertiliser inputs.
- Russia and Ukraine together export 28% of fertilizers made from nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as potassium.
- Not only will the price of food skyrocket, but the conflict will exacerbate already existing supply chain disruptions caused by the global shutdown of the economy through lockdowns. This will create shortages that in turn drive up prices even further.
Now, the article is useful for its presentation of these facts. However, The Conversation is founded and funded by universities which are fully bought and paid-for peddlers of the Net Zero agenda, itself a well-oiled vehicle of global corporatism. So, what are the solutions proposed by the wise academic authors of The Conversation’s article? They half-heartedly moot the idea of “an immediate government intervention to the market” but write it off as highly unlikely because “government budgets are severely stretched after COVID, leaving little room for direct monetary support”. After hastily abandoning any serious consideration of this short-term pain mitigation strategy – why fuss over all this disgusting pain and suffering in the here-and-now? – the authors swiftly gaze into the future for their medium-term strategy:
“to transform our food system, using more green energy [and] … encouraging more sustainable diets, which contain fewer grain fed animal products”.
No surprises here. Absolutely nothing can be done about the suffering that has already begun, but at least we can hope for a better world in the future!
What’s really surprising are the remarkable similarities between this thin gruel from the world of academia and another source of commentary that I thought would be grounded in real-world pragmatism. The Daily Sceptic, positioned on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, is no less ridiculous in its display of scant consideration for maintaining a decent quality of life for those on the margins – the majority of the planet. It’s crucial to understand the starting point on which the pillar of its simple proposition is predicated – the root cause of the crisis is scarcity, and “Europe will simply have to use less gas.”
They reject Truss’s proposal to cap energy prices at £2,500 per annum for the next two years. Recall that the academics also rejected immediate government intervention in the market, and they both have similar reasons – it’s fiscally unsound. The Daily Sceptic can’t stomach the idea of the taxpayer having to foot the estimated £170 billion bill for a bailout of consumers, which they eschew as a form of unwanted pain-sharing – they helpfully point out that consumers and taxpayers are one and the same thing. No kidding? And they’re not in favour of burdening younger Britons, who will end up footing the bill for the older ones. This is a specious argument because all taxation – whether it’s for the £179 billion lifetime cost of Trident nuclear defence or energy price caps to bail out the poor from the decisions of warmongers – is predicated on the young working age population shouldering the burden of that taxation. That’s what the state pension is predicated on too. So, what’s their solution:
“…leave the energy market intact, while providing financial support to households and businesses. This way, there’d still be a strong incentive to economise.” [emphasis added].
Allow me to paraphrase. Just let the price wander as far north as the totally fair and unrigged market will permit it to, and if people can’t pay the price, then they can’t expect to warm their houses or cook food – that’s your “incentive to economise”. Recall, we will “simply have to use less gas.” To be fair to our Daily Sceptic pals, they did suggest “providing financial support to households and businesses”, but this only indicates confusion on their part – isn’t that fiscal support and isn’t that what a price cap would do? The answer is, not quite, because you have to read between the lines to understand what they’re really saying.
“Providing support” is code for setting up a hellishly difficult scheme that will require the resilience and fortitude of a well-fed academic, bureaucrat or well-to-do entrepreneur to get to grips with, and that in itself will ration the ‘support’ down to an amount that our Daily Sceptic pals can live with. But the implication seems to be that the poorest and most needy should just do the decent thing and quietly die.
These two approaches from opposite ends of the cultural and economic spectrum actually share a lot more similarities than differences:
- They both reject immediate fiscal intervention aimed at alleviating pain to consumers and small businesses on the margins.
- They both implicitly accept that restoring normal gas supplies by brokering a peace settlement is a non-starter.
- They both implicitly accept the lie that there is “less gas”. The total global supply of gas has not decreased. Russia has simply re-routed it because the EU sanctioned itself from Russian gas in the hopes that it would hurt Russia more than it hurt the EU. The gas is definitely there if you want it.
Are The Daily Sceptic and woke academia two sides of the same coin? Discuss!
Seeing as both sides have offered simple one-sentence solutions to this colossal problem, I feel perfectly entitled to throw my own pragmatic and shoot-from-the-hip offering into the mix. I’m pretty sure it would be backed by most builders, plumbers and farmers because, as Jordan Peterson says, “they have a sense about how the world works that’s practical … that the pin-headed academic globalists lack entirely and are often incredibly jealous of”. And, I would add, they can see through this entire energy scam partly because it will affect them more than the Zoomocracy but also because they aren’t morons whose IQs have been drained by years of staring at meaningless PowerPoint slides and spreadsheets. So, here’s my 10p’s worth: what if NATO were to negotiate for peace, end the war and turn the spigots on the gas pipes back on? In a half-sane and semi-principled world, that’s what would happen. But it won’t, for reasons I will speculate on shortly.
You see, the omission of this option by both The Daily Sceptic and woke academia blinds you to the fact that there is another obvious choice that can be made – peace negotiations and ending the conflict. To be clear, ranking the choices from best to worst:
- End the war and resume normal supply and prices.
- Carry on with the war and introduce price caps.
- Carry on with the war and invite consumers to be “incentivised” by the market.
One final point to make about the effect of this global energy shock: it’s just another wealth transfer in the long list since time immemorial. Covid lockdowns alone sucked $5.1 trillion into the coffers of 2,755 billionaires, taking their total net worth from $8 trillion to $13.1 trillion, a 64% increase. While Big Pharma and Big Tech made out like bandits, the global shutdown meant that demand for oil tanked and Big Oil sullenly stood by wondering when they would get to play catch-up. The cost to the taxpayer of the price cap is estimated to be £170 billion, but with or without the price cap, that money is going into Big Oil’s pockets. And it’s all thanks to Ukraine, which has miraculously come to the rescue of the impoverished oil oligarchs who are now making up for lost time and money.
In addition, as Big Oil rings the till from obscene energy prices, more small businesses will go under and their patronage will be transferred to corporate behemoths. So, you get yet more wealth consolidation by the corporate oligarchy. When energy rationing becomes a fact of life, I somehow can’t imagine the lights going out in Amazon warehouses. The thing to keep in mind is that these sorts of crises simply would not happen if they were inimical to the interests of the global conglomerates that call the shots.
Many people naïvely assume that the hardship and suffering of ordinary voters couldn’t possibly be an integral part of a political strategy because political leaders are supposed to do their best to maximise the welfare of the people that vote them into power. To the extent that suffering happens, it must surely be a ‘mistake’, right? Well, the NATO chief has made it clear that European and UK elites want war and that your suffering is baked into that objective. Peace is in fact the furthest thing from their minds as the NATO chief warns you to be prepared to hunker down for years. If you’ve been thinking that ‘blunder’ after ‘blunder’ since March 2020 has all been a series of terrible mistakes, don’t you think it’s time to reconsider this naïve stance?
What’s really going on and who are the winners and losers?
If we take Stoltenberg at his word and accept that NATO’s strategy is to prolong the Ukraine conflict regardless of the pain inflicted on European electorates, then we must go a step further and question what the end goal of NATO’s sadistic strategy is. Remember that Russia posed no threat to Western security before the invasion of Ukraine. On the contrary, it was Russia’s security that was threatened by NATO’s encirclement of Russia through its insistence on extending NATO membership to Ukraine. Crossing that red line was the trigger for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and NATO knew full well that those were the stakes.
Does NATO believe it could win a proxy war against Russia? If, in Stoltenberg’s words, “it could take years”, what does winning mean at the end of years of blood-letting and hardship? In broad terms, it must mean that more pain is inflicted on Russia than is borne by NATO as a bloc. But this is precisely where we encounter a problem. Neither NATO nor any Western leader has articulated what a relative ‘win’ actually means – what benefit will accrue to NATO states in the wake of all this suffering to be endured through the death and destruction of war, fuel poverty, food shortages and possible blowback from the pressure of migration caused by global famine? What’s more, given the comparative scorecard to date – heavy losses borne by EU, UK and US taxpayers in military support and economic impoverishment (and we haven’t even begun to see the worst of that) compared with the relative absence of any significant cost to the Russian economy thus far – why are NATO and Western leaders doubling down on behalf of their beleaguered citizens?
The situation is patently hopeless for the West, and any rational actor would now be looking to cut their losses while working out how to save face in the process. Unless of course the losses listed are deemed to be a price worth paying for achieving the real objective of the whole Ukraine war charade. That’s the only way to make any sense of the apparent madness – to find some ‘method’ in it. If ‘winning’ against Russia is not the goal (it hasn’t even been defined), then what is? As I’ve speculated in a recent piece, the West’s debt ponzi scheme was entering its final death throes in the autumn of 2019. Everything that has followed, including covid, is a controlled demolition of the existing financial order combined with an attempt to impose a sinister social order that will ensure impunity for mismanagement forever.
The global financial oligarchy’s mouthpiece and policy coordinator, the World Economic Forum (WEF), has informed us in no uncertain terms that a Great Reset began in March 2020 and that it is quite proud of the role its “penetrated cabinets” in governments across the West and beyond have been playing in helping it to ‘build back better’. Lockdowns, mass coerced ‘vaccination’, fuel poverty, food shortages, replacing real meat with fake meat, brainwashing us to accept a diet of bugs and exotic Brazilian tarantulas, even putting cannibalism on the table – this is all really just a more sophisticated version of the Shock-and-Awe treatment that was meted out to Iraqi citizens during the invasion of 2003. But the aim is the same – you are being broken and brought to heel. This time they’re playing for keeps. They want to make sure there’s no going back and 2030 is the deadline they’ve set for the reset to be substantially irreversible. The endgame is neo-feudalism; a top-down technocratic dystopia run by AI, digital ID, QR codes and a global oligarchy writing the rule book.
The strategy of laying the blame for economic collapse at the feet of Russia and the Ukraine conflict is not without its risks. Chaos is being created in the belief that it can be controlled, but as the conflict escalates following the recent successful Kharkov offensive by Ukrainian forces, the war will increasingly take on a life of its own. Will escalations spiral out of control? Undeterred by this incalculable risk and operating under the maxim to never let a good crisis go to waste, the masters of the universe intend to use the fog of war to press ahead with garnering more power for elites. And another long Cold War has much utility in providing a further pretext for tighter social and monetary controls over the population; for resetting the currency and tethering new shiny digital coins to digital ID’s that can track and trace you like livestock.
But it should be plainly clear that all the key actors driving events right now – NATO, the global oligarchy and Russia – are getting exactly what they want out of this energy squeeze catalysed by the Ukraine conflict. Russia stops Ukraine from entering the NATO alliance. The West knew this entry couldn’t happen, but it was a useful pretext for goading Russia into invading. Russia’s economy is holding up well, and Putin now enjoys an approval rating of over 80%. The military industrial complex and Big Oil are making a killing. NATO gets Cold War II to enhance its raison d’être and funding. Western elites get to use Cold War II, economic collapse, climate hysteria and virus hysteria to rule by permanent state of emergency. Governments in the West get to use the energy crisis and economic collapse to reset the broken financial system while simultaneously throttling democracy.
I despair at commentators who see Russia and China as knights in shining armour riding in to forestall the Great Reset. China has huge problems. It has built up a real estate ponzi scheme whose implosion is threatening to derail its banking system. The continuing brutal lockdowns there are probably being used to stifle a mass run on its banks. Whatever the real reason for them, you can’t possibly think the CCP believes in the efficacy of lockdowns as an NPI any more than the West’s WEF puppets? China is in deep trouble and so might relish a standoff over Taiwan as much as the West does. War is always a good distraction from gross economic mismanagement.
It’s looking increasingly as though both the Western and BRICS blocs are pursuing parallel Great Resets. The Ukraine war heralded a fracturing of the global reset into a race in which both believe that they must have their populations in the grip of totalitarian control to maintain an uneasy equilibrium. Cold War II is the perfect alibi for both blocs to get what they want, with each perceiving that a relative loss of control over its population will concede power to the other bloc. I welcome a multipolar world because, in theory, it ought to decentralise power but I’m under no illusions about the beneficence of Russia and China. A Great Reset arms race could simply give humanity two nooses to choose from – NATO or BRICS.
So far, they’re all winning except us – NATO, global oligarchs and their puppets in government want us to travel less, eat less, wear more jumpers to stay warm, get more toxic ‘vaccines’ during the annual ‘pandemics’, show a QR code to leave the front door and censor our thoughts and words to conform to the official narrative. What do we get in return? The privilege of eating bugs and fake meat. Bon appetit!
You can find more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com