(Last) Weekly Roundup: The Church Of England Edition

I apologize for the slow pace of posts around here. It’s not that I don’t have some great work on deck by Ronnie, John Marks, and others — rather, it’s the fact that I went on an eight-day trip without my personal laptop.

Part of that trip was to London, to visit my tailor and see the sights. I’m the Anglophile son of an Anglophile mother, and I majored in 18th-century Brit Lit, so I always experience mixed emotions when I visit the City. It’s no longer the same place it was twenty or even five years ago. In 2011, the census showed that only 44% of London’s population was ethnically British; it has to be much less than that now. This is something you can temporarily forget on Jermyn Street or Savile Row, but a couple of hours spent as the only white face on the “Tube” reminded me of the fact sharpish, as they say.

Which is not to say that the UK is required to avoid change; after all, the nation was essentially founded by an act of hostile immigration in 1066. There is, however, something profoundly sad about the collapse of European populations and cultures. Like the dodo, we are basically just going to stand there with a stupid expression while remorseless human predators hunt us to death. Maybe this is simple karma, or one long act of voluntary self-immolation in penance for the Triangle Trade or the atomic bomb or indoor plumbing or Garth Brooks.

Alternately, it’s something far more sinister, which brings me to the books on the table above.

I read something recently along the lines of “Every single aspect of American monetary, economy, or immigration policy can be perfectly understood if you look at what it does for the home and retirement-portfolio values of Baby Boomers.” For me, that was like that moment at the optometrist when they finally settle on the correct prescription and everything becomes razor-shop all at once. Which is not to say that the Boomers have had everything their own way; they missed out on everything from proper medical knowledge regarding the cost of smoking to the latest release of Fortnite. When we say “Boomers” we really mean “middle-and-upper-class Boomers”. But you cannot deny that all of them had a historically unprecedented chance to build wealth, and much of that came from allowing them to buy homes at an inflation-adjusted! tenth or less of what they fetch now, not to mention an investment market that skyrocketed during their prime earning years.

Those two neat tricks were accomplished very simply; by dramatically increasing the competition for homes, and investments, after the year 2000. I don’t think people understand just what online trading did for the market; it was like what eBay did for the value of the old books and coins in your basement, multiplied by ten. Meanwhile, the economy was manipulated in such a way as to destroy location-dependent jobs in manufacturing, replacing them with fungible jobs in service, and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) segments. This caused a massive migration to cities in general and “first-tier” cities in particular, even as the country as a whole started relocating to warmer weather. And just to make dead sure that the housing prices went up in desirable locations, our legislators brought thirty million people in from Mexico and five million “high-skills” workers from other countries. Now you’re bidding for that house against the same fellow who took your job; at the same time, the Boomer selling you that house is using cheap labor to bolster his profit margins.

The system will likely collapse around 2030, because there will be more people selling homes (and investment instruments) than there are people willing to buy them. So if you have your eye on that luxury home in Phoenix, or that ’50s Stratocaster, you might want to wait a few years. As a Gen Xer, I won’t be able to take full advantage of it, but my son probably will. So there’s no sense getting too worked up about the Boomer Transformation of America. It will have a few permanent effects, like providing a permanent center for radical terrorism within American borders, and probably the eventual separation of California from the Union, but I’m willing to bet that a single-family home in most parts of the country will be about as affordable in 2040 as it was in 1980. And once the dollar collapses we’ll even get a true manufacturing economy back.

Unless, that is, we deliberately stifle economic and manufacturing growth in the Western World — and that’s where Greta Thunberg and her book come in. It’s all over London, and if they aren’t giving it away on the street like they do with the Koran it’s only because there’s still some money to be made on the retail side of this particular grift. Ms. Thunberg is no less a manufactured product than, say, the Spice Girls were — and she is no less impactful for being so.

The UK takes climate change extremely seriously, which is hilarious to any reasonable individual. The island isn’t in the top ten of CO2 producers, not by a long shot. It’s #16, producing an eighth of India’s carbon emissions and about half of the emissions produced by the world traffic in container ships. The Union of Concerned Scientists says that the UK accounts for about one percent of global CO2. Which means that the country’s various schemes to reduce carbon can never amount to anything beyond a rounding error. Yet you can’t travel ten feet in London without being confronted by some claptrap about climate change.

This irrationality has all the characteristics of a religion. It has saints (Saint Greta!) and tithes (the carbon taxes levied against automobiles) and churches (the various meetings and institutions devoted to climate change) and an apocalypse myth. And as with many religions, it has no shame about killing for the faith. A bizarre and unjustifiable change to UK company-car regulations a decade ago made it virtually impossible to own a gasoline-powered car in London; the resulting move to diesel was lauded as a necessary step to reduce CO2 emissions. We don’t yet know if the gods were appeased by this sacrifice, but we know what we sacrificed: 150,000 premature deaths since the taxes were implemented. To put this in perspective, the UK press and government is currently obsessed with “knife crime”, which kills 200-300 people per year. The distinguishing characteristics of the people holding the knives are, tactfully, omitted; we punish the knives but look the other way at why people use them. The company-car CO2 tax kills thirty or forty people for every “knife crime victim”. Well, if you want the gods to look on you with favor, you gotta stack bodies on the altars. Ask the Aztecs.

Some of the climate change religion’s popularity is due to simple hysteria, like Jonestown. Some of it is due to people wanting to make a positive change but being unable to personally effect any change that would make a true difference. Everybody knows how to drop CO2 to safe levels; you turn off the container ships while forcing China, the United States, and India to regulate their carbon consumption. Making a Marshall-Plan-style push to global nuclear power and electric transportation would pretty much accomplish the goal all by itself.

Here’s what won’t make any difference: eating bugs instead of meat, giving up your car, or changing your consumption habits to a “low-carbon lifestyle”. So why is everyone so focused on these meaningless non-solutions? Well, that’s characteristic of organized religion, which has often smiled on war and slavery even as it chastised people for not eating fish on Friday. But it’s also a dead giveaway to the actual purpose of climate-change hysteria, which is to preserve the established economic order, at all costs.

Much is made of the hypocrisy displayed by Leonard DiCaprio and other climate-change “activists”, but to read their carbon-chomping behavior as hypocritical is to stupidly miss their point. DiCaprio never said that he was going to cut his carbon consumption; he said that you had to cut yours. Greta rides on a multi-million-dollar solar yacht — but her crew flies commercial to meet it. The point isn’t for Greta, who was recently photographed with her parents in a room that contained $25,000 worth of furniture and musical instruments, to cut her consumption. It’s for you to cut yours.

Similarly, much of the world’s pollution is caused by the Third World — but DiCaprio doesn’t want them to cut back on diesel minicabs and catalyst-free scooters. The point isn’t to regulate the behavior of the lower class; it’s to regulate the behavior of the middle class.

Why does the 0.1% want to dictate how the 10% consumes? This, too, is easy to understand: every time we have intramural regime change on the planet, the push comes from directly below them. Communism was the brainchild of a disaffected and highly-educated middle class. Every change in monarchy throughout European history relied on support from the fellows who had small castles and just a few serfs. The men who kicked King George out of the United States were upper-middle-class planters and merchants. If you want to maintain your control of a country, you don’t need to worry about the poors. You need to worry about the independently wealthy man with a mind of his own, because the poors might listen to him.

When Orwell wrote 1984, he created a blueprint for a Party that would never yield control to the next revolution — and the Party made that stick by rigorously controlling access to everything. In particular, the Party created artificial shortages and scarcities. Doing so allowed them to control the middle class, because the middle class would bow and scrape to get those artificially scarce goods. Well, that might have worked for Airstrip One and INGSOC, because it was a nation of factories and hand labor. In 2019, however, we are deluged with cheap crap from the Third World. Everybody has access to a cell phone and the Internet and basically free clothing sewn in Bangladesh and consumer products that cost nothing. This unearned wealth creates dissent.

It also creates social mobility and considerable opportunity. Anyone can develop an app or come up with a clothing reseller. A fair number of people can open restaurant chains and car dealerships. Others can build commercial real estate enterprises. These people are dangerous, because they are unpredictable. They might not believe the Party line. They might not be willing to wait their turn. That’s how you get situations like the Cliven Bundy thing, where wealthy ranchers have gunfights with the US Government.

Our ruling class has pulled up the ladders behind them in every way they know how — by turning public schools into indoctrination centers, by filling top universities with low achievers, by flooding young people with debt, and by ensuring that every potential new business is crippled by Byzantine regulations even as the already-successful private companies are browbeaten with endless demands to take on dead weight for the sake of secular virtues like “representation”. They have made it harder than ever to join their ranks. If you’re not a legacy admission or a 1000-SAT moron, you won’t see the inside of Harvard. If you don’t meet a bewildering array of identity-politics regulations, you aren’t going to get on anyone’s board of directors. The game is rigged like never before.

But it’s not enough. You still have these ranchers and drywall contractors and maverick attorneys and airline pilots and all these people who haven’t yet bent the knee. And you’ll never fully crush them because they have some money and they have some independence. You have to destroy them, flatten their standard of living, forcibly shove them back into the ranks of the proles where they belong. How do you do it?

Why, it’s simple. You create a new scheme of taxation and rationing that makes the $300,000-a-year lifestyle identical to the $30,000-a-year one. You do it with carbon credits or some other similar concept. You raise the price of these credits until only the super-rich can afford to set their own direction in life. And you make those carbon credits part of your religion, because people will argue against legislation but they won’t argue against religion, even an atheist religion like climate change. In doing so, you don’t just destroy the ability of the middle class to rise — you destroy their incentive for doing so. Why work harder when your home and car and clothes are determined not by your income but by your carbon allowance?

Having done that, you then begin to distribute the carbon allowance on a social credit basis, the way China is starting to ration public transportation. Now it’s not your income that puts you on a jet or behind the wheel of an SUV — it’s your political reliability. Maybe you get carbon credits for denouncing racists, or for destroying books, or for merely parroting the party line. It doesn’t matter. The power is now firmly in the hands of the Party, from whence it can never leave. Because people will risk death to change a political system, but they won’t risk having their families trapped in eternal carbon-credit poverty.

And here’s the best part. This system does nothing to address man-made climate change, assuming such a thing is real! In fact, it probably makes it worse. So the problem gets worse and worse as well. The sea level rises, and the best new homes are controlled by the Party. If you want to move from frying New Mexico to cool Michigan… you need to ask the Party. We’re all eating bugs, because the cows died — except for the cows in Alaska, which are on Party-controlled land. So DiCaprio gets his steak anyway. Fixing climate change would defeat the purpose. And the purpose, of course:

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.

I hope an optometrist’s lens clicked for you today. Thanks for reading.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about my very low-carbon Milan.

Brother Bark wrote about used Mustangs.

33 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: The Church Of England Edition”

  1. Avatarrambo furum

    Interesting theory, but it contains the usual blind spot that is so common for economic (as opposed to spiritual) conservatives. I think E. Michael Jones has a much more perfect explanation.

    Reply
  2. Tom KlockauTom Klockau

    In other news, I took my V8 Town Car on a 40-mile round trip to meet my aunt and uncle for Tanqueray and surf and turf at a fine dining establishment in Geneseo. I imagine if I did that in England, there’d be a BOLO out on me, if not an APB.

    Congrats on the Signal Orange Miata, by the way. Looks good.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      To do what you did in he UK, you would have to be wealthy enough that nobody would care. If you did happen to create a stir with the woke, you could always point out that you bought carbon offsets to keep others impoverished for the good of the planet.

      Reply
  3. AvatarJohn Matrix

    That million dollar boomer house is only worth that much if it is sold. Then the boomer has to find somewhwere nice to retire and that doesn’t come cheap. Then when the boomer croaks his millenial or gen-z heirs will get a nice windfall of free money. I think that this climate emergency is nothing more than an ingenious revenue tool using guilt and people’s natural instinct to protect their land and family.

    Reply
    • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

      In the suburbs of Chicago, a lot of those boomer dream homes are taking a beating. My boomer parents house is down 30% over the last 10 years. It’s a very nice home but no one can afford a million plus house and the people who can want to build their own brand new million dollar homes. The current trend in my neighborhood is to tear down older perfectly good homes and replaces them with eyesores that are too big for the land they’re on. Good for my tiny homes property value but I’m going to be the poorest person in my neighborhood.

      Reply
  4. AvatarMopar4wd

    So I drank a bit tonight but here are my thoughts.

    Greta is being used but I’m not sure she’s an actual tool. I think she honestly believes what she says, and she really is trying to do things right. And I think she may be right as well. The problem, is we can’t always make the most effectual change so we make the change we can make. Now some people are using Greta for there their own gain or company gain or political gain sure, but it doesn’t diminish the basic idea that the youth agree that the earth has issues caused by man kind and we should do something. Greata really did try to do the right thing by sailing and she has inspired thousands to flood cruising message boards with others looking to travel by sail so it may have some effect yet.

    Now on the shadow government thing I say that depends on your view point. Yes lots of private lobby groups are pushing to fix climate change by going after easy targets (duh). But that’s not a left wing conspiracy that’s just the political system our dumb asses created.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m not alleging a conspiracy; I am claiming a set of motives. There was no conspiracy to overthrow the Tsar.

      Greta herself is the kind of damaged child you get when your parents are extreme narcissists.

      Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I thought that was a good idea on his part because I don’t believe Wes is mentally healthy enough for another human being to depend on him.

      Reply
      • AvatarJDN

        That is the one silver lining with people who are adamant about reproducing for bullshit reasons. If you think the best thing you can do for the world is to end your genetic line’s contribution to its future – who am I to argue. Just don’t expect anyone to buy into your virtue signalling.

        Reply
  5. AvatarWhiskeyRiver

    Geologist Ian Rutherford Plimer: “Over the past 250 years, humans have added just one part of CO2 in 10,000 to the atmosphere. One volcanic cough can do this in a day.”

    If he’s anywhere close to the truth then man’s carbon footprint is minuscule to the extreme.

    Reply
    • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

      I had professors say the same thing in the early 90’s – back when engineering schools could have libertarian and conservative professors.

      Reply
  6. Avatardejal

    Don’t know how much Youtubin’ you people do, but last week most videos were opening up with a UNICEF ad featuring “Greta the Hateful”. I’m sure Pol Pot and Mao are looking up from Hell and thinking “If only I had 10,000 of her. Of course I’d have to get rid of her after a while, because she’s a deranged pit bull, but she would have moved the program forward”.

    Reply
  7. Avatarhank chinaski

    Great topic.
    London, eh? Was that you wielding the narwhal tusk?

    Roughly half of the federal budget is dedicated to servicing the boomers (and indirectly by servicing their parents) via Medicare and SS. Another quarter ensures the force behind keeping the USD as the reserve currency of the world, letting the ponzi continue unabated. Related, if dated, boomer humor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t28ZB1t6gg8

    Another angle for the carbon religion: carbon credits traded like indulgences by the cathedrals on Wall Street. Trump missed a massive political opportunity by not framing the trade war as an environmental issue. Still, I can’t imagine anything standing in the way of the consumer-ist economy, short of a total collapse.

    In one scenario, the ‘Camp of the Saints’ arrivals will be squatting in the ex-Boomers vacated real estate, long since reverse-mortgaged to pay for the very same home health aide that pillowed them. They’ll be sitting around a campfire of splintered ‘Strats on the seats pulled from a numbers matching Barret-Jackson garage queen. These guys ( https://www.zerohedge.com/political/us-fertility-rate-hit-record-low-2018 ) will be in gimp suits in the basement, and oddly happy about it.
    Dicaprio will be banging a 19yo in orbit on ‘Elysium’.

    As far as a young, facially disproportionate woman having a purposeful impact on climate change, my money would be on Ebola Chan.

    Reply
  8. AvatarTom

    “There is, however, something profoundly sad about the collapse of European populations and cultures.”

    Perhaps head to Eastern Europe next time. It’s the only region trying to do something about maintaining their culture.

    Reply
  9. AvatarScott S

    “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship”

    I this moment of visual clarity I offer you this.

    “Happy in the confirmation of our Independence and Sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable Nation, I resign with satisfaction the Appointment I accepted with diffidence.

    I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.

    Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.
    — George Washington”

    Reply
  10. Avatarpanatomic-x

    i’m a trailing edge boomer myself but i agree with jack’s analysis. unfortunately, i rarely do what makes conventional sense so my economic predicament is the same as younger folks. a few notes:

    when i got my economics degree in the early eighties, the professors were big on selling the idea of pollution credits which has since morphed into carbon credits. so this has been a wet dream of the neo-liberals for a long time.

    i know a lot of people dismiss him as a kook but martin armstrong has been writing about the issues in this post for years. he points out that the demise of government is a worldwide phenomena. he sees the elites as desperate to hold onto what they have and capable of anything to try to maintain their power.

    i recently heard eric snowden say that when you read “national security,” you should think “state security.” the goal is not your safety. the goal is continuity of government.

    Reply
  11. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    Dammit Jack!

    First, you send the price of air-cooled Porches through the stratosphere just as I am getting financially solvent enough to get my dream car. Now you ruin my get rich scheme involving getting people to eat bugs (for the the environment!), and point out that those late 2000’s Fusion/Milan are pretty not horrible. They are going to disappear from the market, or shoot up in price; and I shall not have my fun, cheap commuter car.

    Very thought provoking piece here. I am curious to see where the comments go, but you did an excellent job pointing out the non-environmental thrust of the ‘environmental movement’. I have not made the last logical step in your argument – that this is not about the masses, but about controlling the middle class. But I like it. if you crush those who would lead the dissenters, and you will never have a revolution.

    I am looking at buying a big chunk of inexpensive land in the Midwest to retire on – do you think you could maybe leave that market un-commented for the next couple of years?

    Reply
  12. AvatarBaconator

    I just bought an older Suburban with a gratifying large V-8. I understand enough of the science to believe that climate change is real, and indeed is caused (or exacerbated, which amounts to the same result) by human activity. But as Jack says, the things that can be done about this, in any meaningful way, would impact the GAZPROMs, Saudi Aramcos, and Royal Dutch Shells of the world. And you know damn well that’s not going to happen.

    So I’m going to continue to drive my gas-guzzling cars and eat meat for as long as the powers-that-be allow me to.

    Reply
  13. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    If you want to maintain your control of a country, you don’t need to worry about the poors.

    “Revolution does not come from the dumb and the numb.” – R’ Meir Kahane

    Reply
  14. AvatarKevin Jaeger

    On that 2.3 to 2.5 engine swap in the Milan, it might not be quite as straightforward as you describe. While I don’t have any experience doing this with Fords, I did have some experience with people doing a a very similar swap in Mazdas. While some did indeed just drop them in and drive without issues, others had a little difficulty with getting a 2.3 intake manifold to line up with the slightly larger 2.5 ports. Also, some experienced check engine lights and drivability issues presumably caused by the larger displacement engine drawing more air than expected and pushing the ECU into parameters it couldn’t handle.

    Now, why did some have a trouble-free experience doing this? I don’t know, but it may be dependent on exactly which year the respective 2.3 and 2.5 engines came from and exactly which calibration the ECU was loaded with. And again, maybe these are specific to Mazdas and don’t apply to the Milan at all, but they are very closely related platforms.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      For the Fusion/Milan the key thing seems to be to use the whole engine, transmission, and manifold. The latter is useful because the 2.3 manifold is a wear item thanks to a crummy flapper.

      Reply
  15. AvatarAoLetsGo

    It is amazing to see the change that London has gone through recently. I was 18 when my Dad was transferred to England so I went with the family to study at technical college. We first had a flat in Mayfair (on Green Street next to where the Beatles once lived) before moving to a home out in the country.

    Fascinating music times, I went to the last of the big disco clubs, the early punk band concerts and even the mighty Led Zeppelin at Knebworth.

    Reply

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