Volatility

March 24, 2018

Fight the Right Target (Animal Activism Case)

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For those who truly want to liberate animals, humanity, and the Earth, THIS is the target, not small farms

 
 
According to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), animal rights activists launched an action against Long Shadow Farm in Colorado. I haven’t personally been to Long Shadow, but based on the tactics described in the article, the farm’s website and the imprimatur of the FTCLDF it looks like they’re the kind of small pastoral farm which must be the basis of all healthy, humane and ecological animal farming for the Food Sovereignty movement.
 
Therefore it’s an unfortunate clash where animal activists who ought to make their focus the abolition of CAFOs choose instead to target such a small, benevolent operation. Of course from the point of view of the more extreme form of animal welfare, any kind of husbandry automatically is bad. (Though I’ve never heard a coherent prescription from any of them; in my experience the vast majority of animal activists are grossly ignorant about food, agriculture*, economics, and probably ecology as well – for most it’s a typical boutique “cause”, like Prius-driving, luxury vacation-flying “climate activists”.) But even they, if they have any sane sense of magnitude, must agree that a CAFO is infinitely more cruel than a small pasturage. And they must also agree that CAFOs must be abolished, not only on the moral ground that they’re literally the equivalent of the Nazi death camps, but also on critical ecological, agronomic, socioeconomic, and public health grounds, all crises where small pasturages are, at the very least, doing no harm.
 
Therefore I have to question the sincerity and, probably, the physical courage of activists who would duck away from taking on the big corporate target in order to attack the much easier, shall we say softer small farm target. I also wonder another thing. Most animal welfare types display a great enthusiasm for commodity industrial agriculture. Specifically, they usually tout as their “solution” that corporate industrial grains should be used as “food for people” instead of as CAFO feed. This demonstrates a perfect ignorance of capitalism in general and agribusiness in particular, which depends upon CAFOs as the subsidized “demand” for the overproduced grain. This is innate to capitalism and to productionism as such. Conversely, the kind of system which maximizes industrial grain in the first place would never focus on food for people as its goal, since this goal does not serve to maximize power, profit, and destruction. I’ll also observe that such a prescription highlights the activists’ lack of concern for the plight of agricultural workers and the millions driven off their land by these plantations. But like I said, these mostly are white Western liberals who automatically despise unskilled workers, especially brown ones, and who effectively regard the totally dispossessed as not human at all.
 
Given this, I wonder how much of the special animus animal welfare types hold against small pastoral farms is driven, not just by a general belief that any kind of animal husbandry automatically is exploitative and cruel, but by the standard technocratic statist hatred of any activity outside the corporate system, hatred especially for the Community Food sector. In the same way that mainstream food NGOs have more in common with Monsanto than they do with small farmers (especially Southern brown farmers), indigenous peoples, and grassroots democracy activists, so the average Western liberal is likely to hold more in common with big corporate structures as such, including even the CAFO system, than with decentralized, uncorporatized economic systems. Again, it’s no accident that the same who deplore CAFOs tend to move smoothly to exalting the grain and vegetable equivalent of CAFOs, even though the corporate agriculture and food system is an integrated whole, every one of whose parts drives the all the pathologies of the whole. Of course an industrial soy field is an ecological disaster different only in degree from a pig CAFO. The underlying psychological and moral premise is the same.
 
As for the special animus I mentioned, I’ve seen lots of squabbles between small animal farmers and vegan types, including some on both sides of my personal acquaintance. And while grass farmers sometimes do bait animal welfare people, in my experience it’s far more common for animal people to single out small husbandry for special abuse, as if this kind of activity were especially loathesome to them. In that connection, I’ll add that the FTCLDF’s article on this incident was more fair in describing the motivations of anti-cruelty activists, and in giving them credit for their excellent exposures of CAFO horrors, than the depictions of small pastoral operations that I’ve seen in the animal welfare literature.
 
To close where I began, the abolition of CAFOs is a critical human and ecological need for the many reasons I briefly listed above. The community food movement, animal and vegetable farmers, all agree on this. Presumably most animal activists would agree also. That’s why the focus of their action ought to be on the main target and not on a key part of the rising Community Food sector, whose expansion and flourishing is the equal affirmative need corresponding with the great abolition need. Therefore it’s unfortunate where two such important groups conflict.
 
But it’s also unfortunate that many who oppose some notion of animal cruelty seem not to agree on the overall destructiveness and unsustainability of the corporate food system as such. Perhaps many of them usually support that system against any attempt to operate outside it. (We saw how all the food NGOs supported Big Ag’s “Food Safety Modernization Act”.) It seems these are the reasons that the conflict is so largely driven, not by the small farms but by the animal activists. Of course they’d reply that they regard these farms as cruel as well, and probably most of them believe that. But as I described here, only bad faith or a grotesque lapse of proportion could cause them to lose sight of the main goal, the abolition of CAFOs. Certainly if I were an animal activist I’d eat, drink, and sleep nothing but this goal.
 
In the end CAFOs, like the rest of industrial agriculture, are unsustainable and will cease to exist. We who fight to build Food Sovereignty will win in the end, with or without the assistance of the animal welfare movement. It’s up to them to decide whether they’re really part of opposing corporate power and industrial ravage, and whether they really want to help build a human, ecological future, or whether like the climate crocodiles they’re just another stupid self-indulgence amid Babylon.
 
*I used to think agroecology wasn’t sustainable without the supplement of animal manures. Invariably, any alternative I’ve seen touted by animal activists turned out to be based on more or less hidden fossil fuel supplements. The few times I discussed this with vegans or animal activists I told them I was willing to be convinced otherwise, and that researching this question would be a useful thing for them to do. None ever took me up on it.
 
Ironically, the more I’ve researched cover cropping the more convinced I’ve become that with maximal cover cropping and composting, a truly vegan agroecological horticulture probably could work. But I got no help from the vegans themselves in reaching this conclusion.
 
 
 
 
 
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March 22, 2018

“Golden Rice”, Case Study in the Propaganda Function of Regulators

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Can you spot the truth in this picture? Those who spewed the fog try to make sure you can’t

 
 
A major role of regulatory agencies is to serve as corporate propaganda outlets. Specifically, the regulator places its imprimatur on the alleged safety of a corporate product whose safety was never really confirmed at all. Indeed, as with the cancerousness of glyphosate, the regulator has prior knowledge of the harmfulness of the product but helps the corporation suppress this knowledge. This imprimatur is the third part of what I’ve long called the corporate regulatory template.
 
Today we have a particularly clear example of this propaganda process. Health Canada, as well as the regulators of Australia and New Zealand, are putting their safety imprimatur on “golden rice”, even though golden rice doesn’t exist in any commercial-ready form and therefore couldn’t possibly be safety-tested even in principle. Of course in practice no actual scientific tests were done at all, same as for every other GMO.
 
Health Canada was unusually frank in explaining its propaganda services: “Developers often choose to seek authorization in Canada as a first step in their regulatory plan even if they do not plan to sell the product in Canada.” This regulatory plan of course is to get corporate-friendly Western regulators to lend their imprimatur to the product. This often is sufficient to then force other countries to accept the product; globalization pacts often require such cross-acceptance. And where this isn’t in force, the imprimatur still serves the corporation in its pressure campaigns against resistant countries: If it’s safe enough for Canada, how can you say it’s not safe enough for here?
 
(Meanwhile there’s good reason to doubt the safety of golden rice. The food safety concern is especially critical here since golden rice, if it ever were deployed the way the pro-GMO activists claim to intend, would be the first GMO ever deployed as a staple direct food.)
 
This propaganda role is inherent to regulatory agencies in any productionist system, for example any capitalist system. It’s not an “abuse”, and you can’t “reform” it. It’s inherent to the regulatory model itself, which is dedicated to helping to foster maximal production for the sake of maximal production, inducing or forcing “demand” for this production, and managing any problems along the way. This “management” includes every kind of management, most obviously the management of how rapidly the system physically poisons humanity and the Earth, but not least the political management of any political problems the corporations encounter. From the inception of GMOs the regulators have performed this political service on behalf of the corporations. Today’s regulatory PR campaign on behalf of the idea of “golden rice” is a clear example.
 
I stress, the idea of golden rice. The real thing doesn’t exist as any kind of finished product. As the GMO regime of lies diverges ever further from reality, it’s fitting that the regulatory propaganda fog machine is being deployed on behalf of this longest-running media hoax. Golden rice itself is nothing but a dirty-yellow smog.
 
 
 
 
 

March 20, 2018

The Exterminators Have Asked

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(Today is this blog’s ninth birthday. Covered some ground since I turned a Baseline Scenario comment into my first post. And yet on day two I was already writing about geoengineering, the climate crisis, and GMOs. So the whole thing has been along one trajectory.)
 
The New York Times, leading propagandist for every form of Earth destruction, does it again: “Should Some Species Be Allowed to Die Out?” (Magazine cover story)
 
The only rational and moral answer is, yes, Homo sapiens evidently must die out if Gaia is to survive. Certainly the NYT would insist it’s an either-or.
 
Actually, what needs to go extinct is not true humanity – free, leisure-loving, usufruct-based, part of the ecology – but the debased, depraved, “civilized” humanity, Homo civilis. Only this will save both humanity and Earth. Thankfully this infestation has almost depleted its food supply (its accessible fossil fuel energy and therefore its industrial food supply as well) and must imminently go the way of the dodo and the many other species it murdered.
 
As for the innumerable species being exterminated by civilization, for which the NYT and corporate environmentalists* cry such crocodile tears, even the lowest microbe is worth more than the entirety of this grinder “civilization”, which is worth nothing. That’s why the only way it can exist at all is by destroying humanity and the Earth. That’s why civilization feels such infinite hatred for the Earth and for free humanity and actively wants to wipe them out.
 
 
*The purpose of mainstream environmentalism is at best to manage ecological destruction, negotiating how much is to be destroyed at what rate, in much the same way the Judenrate negotiated with the Nazis over how many Jews were to be killed how quickly. In both cases the conscious end goal is total destruction.
 
 
 
 
 

March 18, 2018

Russia Derangement Syndrome

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The US corporate globalizers hallucinate their own image as a new “Red Menace”

 
 
The “bipartisan” insanity over Russia (just a typical example of how Democrats and Republicans are identical in all their evils and mental illnesses), and its counterpart insanity in Europe, is easy to explain.
 
Russia was supposed to remain permanently subdued after being raped by Western globalization in the 1990s. The fact that Russia has undergone a resurgence and is now reasserting itself against US-driven corporate tyranny is therefore deeply disturbing to the Western elite class. There’s also the psychology of the bully who feels entitled to hit his victim and is genuinely outraged when his victim gets up and hits back.
 
This explains the entirety of Russia Derangement Syndrome. It’s the reaction of pro-corporate elites and elitists to a challenge to their criminal regime. This also explains their absurd and malign obsession with North Korea. From any rational point of view North Korea is nothing but a minor nuisance to Western power.
 
But in both cases, if there remain any sane, rational people out there, always keep in mind and never forget: These psychopaths in the US government and media, and the psychopathic Rep/Dem political class which follows them, all are trying to drive the world into nuclear war. It’s as I’ve always written: The corporate globalization regime absolutely will prefer the complete destruction of humanity to losing its power, and will do its best to bring this about. You can see examples of it every day in every government statement and on every show on every news network. These are the most vile criminals who have ever existed.
 
 
 
 
 

March 9, 2018

Glyphosate and the General Poison Paradigm: Destroy the Soil; Destroy Antibiotics; Drive Climate Chaos

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The end goal

 
 
“Field studies cited in the report show the half-life of glyphosate in soil ranges between a few days to several months, or even a year, depending on soil composition. The authors say the research demonstrates that soil sorption and degradation of glyphosate vary significantly depending on the soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties.”
 
Who would’ve thought the effects of pesticides and GMOs depend on environmental factors! Certainly not our flat-earther scientific reductionists and biological determinists.
 
 
1. As an antibiotic and general animal poison glyphosate wrecks critical soil ecosystems, from bacteria to earthworms and beyond. Therefore it takes its place as part of the corporate campaign to destroy all soil, whose continued existence depends upon these soil ecosystems. All actions of industrial agriculture directly destroy the soil. Therefore this is a primary goal of all participants and supporters of this mode of agriculture.
 
2. Along with antibiotic abuse in CAFOs and genetic engineering, glyphosate and other pesticides are part of the general corporate campaign to wipe out antibiotics as an effective medical treatment. Glyphosate does this two ways: (1) As an abused antibiotic itself, it drives microbial resistance among botulins, salmonella, and other pathogenic bacteria. This effect is related to how glyphosate decimates our essential gut bacteria while selectively sparing those pathogens. (2) The main source of antibiotic agents is the same soil bacteria which are being decimated by glyphosate. By destroying soil ecosystems, the glyphosate campaign works to destroy the very basis of antibiotic research and development.
 
All actions of industrial agriculture work to eradicate antibiotic medical technology. Therefore this is a primary goal of all participants and supporters of this mode of agriculture.*
 
3. Soil ecosystems are essential for the cycling of carbon in forms other than the atmospheric release of carbon dioxide. Proximately, soil organisms draw CO2 down from the air and build soil organic matter in the form of humus. They help maintain healthy, prolific plant growth with maximum incorporation of carbon in the plant biomass. This comprises the proximate carbon sink. Over the longer run, soil organisms greatly enhance the process of carbon being incorporated into water solution (in the form of calcium bicarbonate), carried to the ocean, and from there incorporated into the microscopic shells and skeletons of oceanic algae whose shells then rain down to the ocean floor where they solidify as limestone. This is the ultimate carbon sink, from which the carbon doesn’t volcanically return to the air for many millions of years.
 
By decimating soil ecosystems, glyphosate and other pesticides stanch both the proximate and long run processes of carbon sinking. They maximize the atmospheric release of CO2.
 
All aspects of industrial agriculture work to drive the climate crisis by destroying sinks and maximizing the emission of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. Therefore this is a primary goal of all participants and supporters of this mode of agriculture. Indeed, climate change takes its place alongside the mass forced eviction from the land as a deliberate disaster capitalist campaign of the corporate technocracy.
 
Destruction of the soil, destruction of medical antibiotics, climate chaos: These are deliberate, systematic crimes of the political and economic leaders. They’re the crimes of every profiteer, executive, engineer, and propagandist of corporate industrial agriculture.
 
 
*As for the scientism wingnuts, mainstream media, and academics and public intellectuals, it bears repeating as often as possible that they support the campaign to eradiate antibiotics. Remember this next time you see someone shrieking about the alleged threat to public health from a handful of non-vaccinators. Demand to know what he’s doing about the systematic campaign of governments and corporations to wipe out antibiotics via their profligate abuse in CAFOs and genetic engineering. This is a campaign which intentionally generates maximal antibiotic resistance among pathogens. And yet the cultists do nothing and say nothing about this. On the contrary, they actively support all the crimes of corporate agriculture including the campaign to wipe out antibiotics. This proves that they couldn’t care less about public health, and that their hysteria and hatred toward non-vaccinators has zero to do with public health. Rather, as authoritarian cult members they’re enraged by this form of civil disobedience as an affront to their statism and scientism. These fundamentalists see non-vaccination as blasphemy against their religion. So the surface arguments about vaccination are just a proxy for a religious culture war. The culture war over vaccines is used by the corporate technocracy as an organizational gambit, same as with the idea of genetically engineered eugenics and GMOs. It’s meant to organize fascist-type hatred toward dissidents against the technocracy. That’s why the techno-cultists, insofar as they shriek about non-vaccinators, should be called proxxers. Always let your first thought be: “These supporters of the CAFO/GMO system want to eradicate antibiotics. They want antibiotics to cease to exist. They are mass murderers.”
 
 
 
 
 

March 6, 2018

“Experts” and “Intellectuals”: Throw Out the Bums

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What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence and hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them…Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism — in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science…

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago…

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited…

He doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game.

 
– Nassim Taleb on Intellectuals-Yet-Idiots
 
 
Today’s public life gives quite a spectacle. For example, when we see the hyper-educated “experts” and “intellectuals”, all pompously proclaiming their participation in this or that millennial intellectual paradigm, whether it be scientism, technocracy, neoliberalism, establishment versions of environmentalism, feminism, and other causes, while their social and political vision invariably boils down to the same flat-earth worship of the system based on capitalism, money, “jobs”, temporal power, including regurgitating the same lies any half-assed mainstream media columnist is paid to spew. It’s axiomatic that 99.9% of Mensa members have utterly mainstream, mediocre political opinions. (Opinions, not even thoughts, let alone values.) Almost without exception these geniuses submit to the exact same bounds of political partisanship dictated by the mainstream media as the unwashed masses do. All their learning, all their alleged intellectual principles, do nothing to give them even a single new idea.
 
This applies to the great majority of self-alleged “radicals” as well. They too constantly renew their devotion to all the main ideas and institutions of productionism and consumerism, however much it pleases them to sneer at “bourgeois” ideology and arbitrarily to separate productionism into the two flavors of “capitalism” and “socialism”.* And then most of them, come time for the kangaroo election (they also have no ideas beyond electoralism), tell the people to vote Democrat. But it never required intensive study of Marx to reach the position of “Hope and Change…I’m With Her”. I personally know plenty of uneducated people who reached the same position, or its “Make America Great Again” flip side, with zero effort.
 
Of course, most of these pseudo-educated elites are actually mediocrities who had the grinder aspiration and the money to go to school. When I refer to elitism I’m thinking more of the intellectuals’ grandiose ideological pronouncements than of their mediocre selves. The point is that such grand intellectual projects, if these really possessed any of the integrity, profundity, and altruistic impulse their adherents claim for them, ought to better the minds and spirits of those who participate. But we see every day how there’s almost an inverse relationship between the grandiosity of the ideal and the gutter quality, intellectual and moral, of its practitioners and fanboys.
 
Even where it comes to the few writers today capable of the true eagle’s eye perspective, those who speak profoundly about this civilization’s unsolvable crises of economics, energy, and ecology, most of them still insist on self-indulging in “topical” political commentary where they then immediately regress to the level of cranky right-wing bloggers, including all the standard incoherency, self-contradiction, and refusal to engage with rational argument which is characteristic of such types.** Here again, more overtly conformist minds reach those same positions with much less effort. (For real criticism of the left as offering no alternative to productionism and technocracy, one has to come to a site like mine.)
 
Perhaps the greatest irony of this culture is how the “Progress” ideologues are the most hidebound, intellectually stagnant, politically retarded epigones who are congenitally incapable of ever actually progressing to a new idea, a new vision. For them the laws of the world are never anything but the status quo forever. In many ways “progressives” are, objectively speaking, reactionaries in how they desperately cling to revanchist fantasies for things which long ago were disproved and/or destroyed forever, not to mention how meager their fantasies usually are. To fixate on “bring back Glass-Steagal” manages the feat of being simultaneously nostalgic and lame.
 
This puts in perspective the value of today’s university education. All that investment of money, time, effort, all that “thinking”, and look at what the modern intellectual/political class comes up with: Straight parroting of all the most gutter “values”, lies, and ideological precepts of Mammon and the corporations, every last one of these a thousand times refuted. (And still so many still think they ought to voluntarily submit to debt slavery for the sake of this “education”!) The modern intellectual is hidebound, stagnant, and stupid. The modern expert is a prostituted liar. I say we the people can do better.
 
 
In denouncing the morbid state of today’s intellectuals I’m not being anti-intellectual. On the contrary, it’s our establishment intellectuals who refuse to do any thinking at all, other than in a purely instrumental way in their unquestioning service of productionism, technocracy, the extreme energy civilization, and most of all corporate imperatives. Today’s pseudo-intellectuals “think” only this way, and they advocate only the fake politics which go along with this corporate status quo ideology. They’re propagandists, which means one is the worst kind of criminal. In the same way, this site is one of the few on the internet which respects true science. Contrary to the lies of the STEM establishment, it’s the establishment types themselves, with their slavish instrumental adherence to the corporate science paradigm, who are anti-science.
 
In case anyone thinks I’m exalting novelty or radicalism for their own sakes, I’m not. My total opposition to thoughtless reckless promiscuous technological deployment sufficiently refutes that. Nor is that the case with ideas. I call for propagating and enacting the new and necessary ideas. What’s wrong with productionism isn’t that it’s an old idea and institution, but that it’s proven destructive to humanity and the Earth. What’s wrong with “progress” isn’t that it’s antiquated, but that it’s long been disproven as at best a religious fantasy, more often an ideological lie. What’s wrong with liberalism and “vote Democrat” isn’t that it’s the same old thing, but that it’s long been proven ineffective and a malign scam. Those who still adhere to these disproven notions, claiming to be finding something new and possible in them, are idiots or liars.
 
The necessary new ideas, most of all the great need to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and globally transform to agroecology, are those needed to overcome and transcend these failed and destructive old notions and actions. That’s the one and only real kind of progress.
 
 
*Consider the standard left perspective on the culture wars of “science”. It usually means one denounces Trump and is indistinguishable from a partisan liberal. For them as well as for the liberals, what’s wrong with de jure climate denial is that it’s an affront to the authority of “Science”, a kind of lese majestie. In reality, what’s wrong with any kind of climate denial isn’t that it’s intellectually “wrong”, let alone that it insults the alleged majesty of science. (The very belief in such majesty and authority indicates one knows and cares nothing for real science, but on the contrary is a scientism cultist.) What’s wrong is that climate chaos already is profoundly destructive of humanity and the Earth and will become far worse. Denial of this and obstruction of real mitigation and adaptation measures comprise a crime against humanity and the Earth. That’s what’s wrong with it, not the liberal vs. conservative culture war part of it.
 
Such misdirection highlights how the de jure deniers are just one minority faction among the deniers. Far greater in number are the de facto deniers, who may “believe in” anthropogenic climate change and often claim to care about it, but whose actions prove they want no change in the status quo paradigms which drive climate change. They only tell various lies and propagate various scams in order to pretend they care and are doing something. These are the climate crocodiles, crying crocodile tears over climate change. They include the liberal hand-wringers as well as the scientific establishment and its fanboys. All these persons and institutions systematically do their worst to drive climate chaos even as they deplore it with empty words. This kind of denialism is far more pernicious than the de jure kind, since it reflects a much more profound Earth-destroying inertia.
 
For the climate crocodiles this hypocrisy driven by destructive inertia causes them to fixate on “Trump” even though ecologically destructive policy and ideology is the realm where, more than anywhere else, Trump is nothing but the continuation of the Clinton-Bush-Obama paradigm. And here is the best example of the pathology I mentioned above, where “leftists” decompose to become indistinguishable from liberals, often to the point of touting the Democrat Party, thus demonstrating their own indelible bourgeois character, to use one of their own favorite curse words.
 
All that education and ideological pomposity, and one still decries Trump’s affront to the fake Paris accord or the “corruption” of the previously public-spirited EPA. So-called lesser minds usually reach those positions with much less effort. It’s taken a bit more effort to work out the new and necessary ideas for a human future. We’ll see how much effort it takes to propagate and then realize them.
 
**These days there’s a whole genre of writers who are at heart run-of-the-mill timid conservatives, but who for whatever reason are unable to find solace in the regular corporate propaganda. So they acknowledge this or that existential crisis, such as Peak Oil, climate chaos, looming ecological and agricultural collapse, or the totalitarianism of globalization, often including various esoteric tie-ins. But all this is just window dressing for what’s always in the end the same snowflake “conservative” presentation. Jordan Peterson might be the most faddish example of this today, but there’s lots of such writers. Here again the pro-capitalists are out ahead of the anti-capitalists, who mostly remain mired in regressive “political” ideology.