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TGIF: Don’t Blame Wokeism on the Unfinished Liberal Revolution

The National Conservatives are not only wrong about genuine liberalism — that is, libertarianism — they also apparently haven’t bothered to read up on what they think they’re attacking. Take Yoram Hazony, author of Conservatism: A Rediscovery, who recently appeared on the YouTube show Triggernometry. As Hazony makes clear, for him it’s straw men all the way down.

Throughout the interview he uses the word liberalism for the philosophy he blames for saddling the West with wokeism. That’s unfortunate because people use that term in many ways. What definition does he have in mind? I think we can infer that he means something like libertarianism (and not, say, Nancy Pelosi’s “liberalism”) since he faults the philosophy for its powerful commitment to free markets. Although he’s not thoroughly opposed to free enterprise, he favors a government strong enough to step in when the “national interest” (ascertained by whom?) requires it. National conservatism without a commitment to government power to override the free market would be like a square circle.

Like other right-wing critics of libertarianism, Hazony believes that Western societies are in the woke soup because Enlightenment liberalism is intrinsically prostrate before its leftist adversaries. Why would that be? In his eyes, it’s because liberalism’s only message is this: do your own thing. He told Frances Foster and Konstantin Kisin:

If you [liberals, presumably] raise children and you tell them, “Look, do whatever you want. Do whatever feels good. Use your own reason, exercise your own thinking, and come to your own conclusions, and you don’t give them anything else, a great many people, maybe the majority, end up stuck and unable to make the decisions among, you know, what exactly is it I’m supposed to do and what is it I’m supposed to believe.

I have no idea why Hazony thinks that liberalism teaches people to do whatever feels good, or that, as he says elsewhere, that freedom is “all they need.” One of the first things liberal parents would teach their children is to respect other people’s rights: specifically, don’t hit other kids and don’t take their stuff without asking.

By the way, “do whatever feels good” is hardly the same as “use your own reason, exercise your own thinking, and come to your own conclusions.” How does Hazony not see that?

Further, using your own reason does not mean: don’t read history, don’t learn from others’ experiences, don’t absorb the moral and political lessons of those who came before. Liberalism is not about the individual’s starting from scratch and reinventing the wheel. Rather, it means that you shouldn’t blindly accept what others tell you. Use your head. We have much to learn from other people and other ages. So what’s Hazony’s real beef with liberalism?

As this makes clear, he clearly doesn’t know what liberalism is, but he’s certain he knows what it has wrought:

Liberalism is what brought woke neo-Marxism. Every single institution that the woke neo-Marxists are running now was a liberal institution 15 years ago. So if liberalism had the antibodies, if it was enough to say let’s just be free, if that was strong enough to be able to defeat woke neo-Marxism we wouldn’t be where we are today….

Liberalism brought Marxism.

Have you noticed how everything the woke left favors these days — to be sure, genuinely abhorrent stuff — is reflexively condemned by the right as “neo-Marxist” — even when the idea in question has nothing to do with the material forces of history and economic classes? You’d think Marxism was the only evil in the world. Actually, It’s not.

Sometimes, when Hazony thinks he’s scored points on liberalism, he sounds a bit like a liberal, such as when he reminds us that each individual is born into a culture, which ought not to be automatically rejected. The reason he doesn’t realize that liberals can agree with this is that he thinks — wrongly — that liberals are Jacobins, who aspire to wipe the social slate clean and start over. Some liberals have occasionally sounded like they’re saying something like that, but to suggest that Jacobinism or utopianism is intrinsic to liberalism is to do a disservice to an honorable and valuable — yes — heritage.

While Hazony concedes that it might be okay to reject some inherited traditions, he seems uncomfortable with that prospect. As he puts it, your forebears “hand[ed] down things [and] you have a responsibility to fight for those things.” Why? Because they were handed down?

I prefer Thomas Sowell’s take: another culture may well have features that are better than one’s own — superior at dealing with an aspect of life.

The entire history of the human race, the rise of man from the caves, has been marked by transfers of cultural advances from one group to another and from one civilization to another….

Cultures exist to serve the vital practical requirements of human life — to structure a society so as to perpetuate the species, to pass on the hard-earned knowledge and experience of generations past and centuries past to the young and inexperienced, in order to spare the next generation the costly and dangerous process of learning everything all over again from scratch through trial and error — including fatal errors.

Cultures exist so that people can know how to get food and put a roof over their head, how to cure the sick, how to cope with the death of loved ones, and how to get along with the living. Cultures are not bumper stickers. They are living, changing ways of doing all the things that have to be done in life. [Emphasis added.]

Every culture discards over time the things which no longer do the job or which don’t do the job as well as things borrowed from other cultures. Each individual does this, consciously or not, on a day-to-day basis. [Watch the video; read the text.]

Problems with change occur not when people are free to adopt “the stranger’s ways” (the supposedly scary phrase is from Fiddler on the Roof); they occur when those who favor change have access to state power — especially when government controls or strongly influences education, the media, and other commanding heights. Then some people, however well-meaning, can potentially impose their preferences on the rest.

Without access to power, people are free to adopt changes for themselves and try to persuade others, but then they would have to wait to see if the new ways catch on. Change, under those circumstances, tends to happen at the margin, although exceptions can’t be ruled out. (Social contagion is possible.) But even then, free people would have peaceful consensual ways to protect themselves and their children from unwanted change. This is where freedom of association kicks in.

In general it seems reasonable for individuals to provisionally defer to tried-and-true ways because they have apparently passed the cultural natural selection test. Yet one also ought to remain open to demonstrations of better alternatives. Liberalism delivers the best of both: stability without stagnation and dynamism without chaos. But individual rights must be respected.

As a national conservative, Hazony of course favors nationalism. If all he means is that a world of many nation-states is preferable to a global empire, then libertarians stand with him. If we can’t get rid of power, at least let’s disperse it among small competitive jurisdictions. But he means much more than that since he and his fellow National Conservatives favor trade restrictions and other forms of welfare-state industrial policy. And I presume he would oppose secession, at least from nation-states he approves of. (He is an Israeli.)

Hazony commits a major blunder when he says that liberalism is inherently imperialist and that nationalism is inherently anti-imperialist. How does he figure that? Since liberals believe they have identified universal principles, he says, it is committed to imposing those principles on everyone. If you fail to see his logic, I imagine you’re not alone.

Contrary to Hazony, liberalism doesn’t says it has the one true way for everyone to live. Rather, it says all people ought to be free to decide how to live. Liberalism, which seeks to limit state power, doesn’t entail imperialism because that would expand state aggression both domestically and abroad. Thus “liberal imperialism” is a contradiction in terms. Nationalist imperialism, however, is not.

While I wouldn’t expect Hazony to be persuaded by what I’m about to say, I will point out that the alarming and long-standing decline of liberalism can be plausibly explained by its initial incompleteness politically, economically, legally, and even morally. Twentieth-century liberal writers, scholarly and popular, pointed this out repeatedly and tried to do something about it. That’s why they wrote so much. These included Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, and most fundamentally, Ayn Rand, who argued persuasively (to me at least) that as long as a secular or religious ethics of self-sacrifice predominated in a culture, the political-economic-legal system rooted in individualism and private property would never be whole-heartedly embraced because it would be tainted by the alleged sin of “selfishness.”

Even the doctrine of limited government kept liberalism from fully blossoming because, as we’ve learned so often the hard way, limited governments don’t stay limited. (See my article “Anthony de Jasay on Limiting Power.”)

Thus liberalism didn’t yield because it was inherently weak. It yielded because it was fatally compromised from the start. That’s my answer to Hazony’s question of why wokeism has succeeded. We don’t need illiberal national conservatism to win back our freedom.

No Matt Walsh, We Shouldn’t ‘Execute Drug Dealers’

Recently, Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire tweeted that Singapore is able have “nice things” (referring to the technological and economic advancements the country has made) because of their severe penalties on criminals, including the execution of drug traffickers. This opinion is not a new one to conservatives, as former President Donald Trump has called for the same thing. This line of thinking is lunatic for a party that claims to care about freedom and the U.S. Constitution—which explicitly protects citizens against “cruel and unusual punishments.”

For starters, Singapore’s harsh stance on drug abuse and trafficking is not remarkably effective. According to the CNB, the number of people being arrested for drug abuse was about the same between 2012 and 2019 at around 3,500. While there were major decreases in 2020 and 2021, that is likely because of the restricted social interactions the country had during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even with their harsh policies of capital punishment, the number of people arrested for abuses since 2003 has skyrocketed.

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It is hard to claim a system works when methamphetamine and cannabis seizure has been increasing, not shrinking.

Then there is the fact that many arrests among abusers are racial minorities. Despite making up just 13% of the entire population, Malaysians made up 84% of executions for drug trafficking. Homosexuals are incarcerated in DRC for a year with no chance of release while others can access programs after 4-6 months.

If you are rich, then you are exempt from cruel punishments. Abusers can go to international rehabilitation center chains such as The Cabin that offer comfortable conditions for the abusers. The Government Rehabilition Centers, which are given to those who do not receive the luxuries the upper class get, are poor on contrast.

But there is more than meets the eye when we look at drug abusers. Back in 2013, Lindsay Sandiford lost her appeal to being executed for drug smuggling ten pounds of cocaine in her luggage. However, a look into her reveals that she is mentally ill and claimed that traffickers threatened to harm her family if she did not.

Mary Jane Veloso is in a similar boat. She was sentenced to death for smuggling six pounds of heroin into Indonesia. Her family claims she was given the suitcase by her god-sister, not knowing it had drugs inside of it. And despite the pleas of the international community, she remains on death row.

If these two women and other situations like theirs are indeed true, why do they deserve death? Being tricked or coerced by other people into smuggling these drugs is not worthy of death. That is sick.

Even if they were normal traffickers, why would they care about the death penalty for it? A seasoned drug dealer should not expect to live to past their 40s. Why would they not want to pursue as many profits as they can, regardless of punishment? All the death penalty has accomplished has been raising the cost of doing business. This cripples their customers, who buy it regardless of the law and now must pay more for it. And heavy-handed methods lead to incidents like Sandiford and Veloso.

People like Matt Walsh and Donald Trump continue to advocate these policies despite their failures in countries like Singapore and the harsh punishments they create for suffering people like Sandiford and Veloso.

Price Inflation Slows, But the Economy Keeps Getting Worse

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new Producer Price Index (PPI) data on Wednesday, and it looks like the rate of increase in price inflation is slowing. Nonetheless, year-over-year price inflation in December remained near 40-year highs, and shows the marketplace is still dealing with the nearly six-trillion-dollar surge in the money supply that took place during 2020 and 2021.

The PPI is a measure of prices at the production phase of goods and services. Prior to 1978, the index was known as the Wholesale Price Index.

In December, year-over-year PPI growth came in at 6.2 percent which was a 21-month low. The PPI had most recently peaked in March of 2022 at 11.6 percent. December’s print was a (seasonally-adjusted) drop of 0.8 percent, month, over month. According to this measure, it does indeed seem that price inflation is slowing.

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Of course, if we look at the index overall, and not just at rates of increase, we find wholesale prices are up 17 percent from where they were in early 2020. This generally reflects a similar trend in the CPI index which is up about 15 percent over the same period. Notably, the 17-percent increase in wholesale prices also outpaces the increase in the Dow which is up 14 percent over the same period.

ppi

At appears both workers and businesses need growth of 15 percent or more during this period just to keep up with consumer prices, and 17 percent or more to keep up with wholesale prices. These numbers also belie the popular narrative on the Left that consumer prices are only rising because of “greedflation” or corporate greed. By that narrative, inflation is fueled by sellers arbitrarily marking up their prices to exploit workers and consumers. Yet, if growth in wholesale prices is similar to consumer price growth, it’s hard to see how sellers are enjoying a windfall from rising prices. Rather, one could interpret this is a matter of sellers attempting to keep up with their own rising costs.

So why are PPI prices slowing now? There’s good reason to believe it reflects a slowing economy. Indeed, the economic data pointing toward a slowing economy and recessions continues to pile up. December’s Leading Economic Indicators measure is flashing recession. Homebuyers are canceling purchases at levels exceeding what we saw in 2008. The New York Fed’s recession modeling shows the highest recession probability since 1982. The yield curve is inverted to a depth not seen in more than 40 years.

Indeed, once PPI growth takes a sustained downward turn, the U.S. is often already in a recession or headed into one. We can see this pattern in 1982, 1990, 2000, 2008, and 2019. And now in 2022.

ppi

Expect Wholesale Prices to Fall as Easy Money Dries Up

Changes in wholesale prices often are described as an early indicator of where consumer prices are headed. One way to interpret this is to conclude that as wholesale prices change, retailers are forced to respond with higher prices themselves. This isn’t quite right, however. Ultimately, the prices of wholesale or “production goods” are actually determined by the prices of goods at the final retail, consumer stage. That is, it’s the reverse of the usual view of PPI inflation. After all, a retailer wouldn’t pay for materials or wholesale goods at all if he didn’t think he could sell them—or sell goods made with them—at a profit. Thus, beyond the short term, the prices of these production goods cannot be set without regard for the expected prices of retail goods. For example, a producer of wood furniture won’t buy certain woods if the prices of that wood make it impossible to sell furniture as a price consumers are willing to pay. If the furniture maker does make the mistake of paying for wood at unprofitable prices, then he will go out of business, and he will no longer demand any of that wood at all. Thus, those firms that provide unfinished wood wholesale to furniture makers cannot dictate prices to the furniture makers. Ultimately, it is the consumers of the finished furniture who dictate the price.

On the other hand, in an inflationary environment consumers, flush with cash from money-supply inflation will bid up the prices of furniture while depleting the furniture makers’ inventory. In turn, furniture makers will bid up the prices of wood in order to build more furniture. We’ll then see increases in both consumer prices and producer prices. It is possible we could observe cases in which changes in producer prices appear to cause changes in consumer prices. Thanks to competition at the retail level, many retailers may attempt to keep down prices to maintain customer loyalty, even while bidding up producer prices.

Nonetheless, given that producer prices are heavily affected by consumer spending, slowing growth in producer prices is exactly what we’d expect to see right now. After all, fundamentals in consumer buying power continue to show growing weakness. Credit card debt is mountingDisposal income is falling. Real wages have fallen for twenty-one months in a row.

It appears that consumers are finally reaching their limits in terms of willingness to pay higher prices. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that unit sales of general merchandise fell 7 percent year over year in 2022, even though sales in dollar terms fell only 2 percent. Similarly, unit sales of food and beverage fell 3 percent during the same period, but dollars spent on these items rose ten percent.

In other words, people paid more money for goods, but bought fewer items. According to the Journal, many retailers now report they can’t afford to keep raising prices. The consumer well is drying up. That’s a recipe for slowing price inflation, both at the producer and consumer levels.

President Biden is likely to celebrate slowing inflation as some sort of great achievement on the part of the administration. But it’s just what we’d expect from from a weak economy.

This article was originally featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is republished with permission.

WATCH: Cop Executes Unarmed Man on Knees With Hands Up

The Free Thought Project has reported on countless killer cops before, many of them with several notches in their belts for killing the citizens they are sworn to protect. However, Modesto police officer Joseph Lamantia, a 12-year veteran of the force, has shot five people, killing four of them. His most recent victim was Trevor Seever, 29, who finally got this killer cop arrested. Lamantia shot Seever in the back on December 29, 2020.

Lamantia was fired and charged with voluntary manslaughter three months after he killed Seever. Seever was unarmed and posed no threat when Lamantia killed him. He was on his knees, had his hands in the air, and was complying with the officer’s orders.

Now, two years later and the state is attempting to whitewash what was nothing short of an execution. As Lamantia’s case moves through the court, officials have brought in a “use-of-force expert” to justify the killer cop’s actions.

Jeffrey Martin was hired by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office to give his “expert” testimony and did so by claiming that Seever—who was on his knees, unarmed, and more than 50 feet away—was a threat. On Friday, Martin concluded that Lamantia’s use of force was reasonable.

“Because if the officer waits to see a…movement that clearly demonstrates what that intent is, by the time that movement is completed, muzzle flash might be what the officer is seeing and it might be too late for the officer to effectively defend (himself),” Martin said, according to the Modesto Bee.

According to police, on that fateful day, Lamantia responded to a 911 call about Seever, who was alleged to have made “vague threats” against his family. Seever’s sister, Allison Seever said she called 911 after her brother said he sent a text saying he bought a gun and said “that he’s walking over here and just to watch what happens to us,” according to a video report of the incident released by the Modesto Police Department this week.

When police released the call, the Seever family said police edited out the part of the call where they told police that Seever was likely bluffing and would never own a gun. Allison was clear to tell police that Trevor was not a threat and that they wanted “help” for him. However, this was absent from the edited call publicly released by police.

Also, because police monitor social media, they had Seever on their radar for some comments. To be clear, Seever is alleged to have made extremely distasteful comments on Instagram but none of them were illegal.

Interim Police Chief Brandon Gillespie told the media the dispatcher recognized Seever’s name that day because of an officer safety bulletin issued over a comment he made on Instagram weeks before. According to Gillespie, a post stated, “A good cop is a dead cop,” and, “All I want for Christmas is another dead MPD officer.”

Comments like these are rife below every video of police brutality on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the like.

While these are terrible things to say, neither of them is illegal. What’s more, police actually went to Seever’s home, spoke with him, and closed out the investigation after determining Seever did not make them. The officer safety bulletin was then reissued, lowering Seever’s threat.

Nevertheless, when Lamantia was dispatched to the scene that day, he had these comments in his head and they undoubtedly influenced the way he would handle the situation.

As the video shows, Lamantia, who had shot four people, killing three of them, before killing Seever that day, did not hesitate when he got out of his cruiser after locating the man. Within just 10 seconds of arriving on the scene, Lamantia fired four rounds toward the back of Seever. Seever was so far away, that Lamantia had no way of knowing it was even him.

After Seever fell to the ground, Lamantia ordered him to show his hands. Seever is able to get to his knees and complies by putting his hands visibly in the air. He is not a threat at all, yet this killer cop decides to dump three more rounds into his back, finishing him off like an animal.

Seever’s only suspected crime was making vague threats, a misdemeanor if and only if his family would have pressed charges. And for this, he was publicly executed while on his knees in front of a church.

After Lamantia publicly executed Seever, police went to his home and began searching it and interviewing his mother. They searched the home for 45 minutes and asked multiple questions before they even told her Seever was dead. This act alone is despicable.

“I would have never let them in my house and to go through his stuff had I known they killed my son,” Darlene said. “And they knew that, so they withheld that information on purpose to build a case against my son instead of letting us grieve and doing it the honest way.”

“Trevor was shot and murdered by officer Joseph Lamantia,” Darlene Ruiz told FOX40 at the time. “This is the 4th person he has shot and killed. He has been charged with excessive force and also beat & release tactics. My son was unarmed and was brutally murdered when he had his hand up and complying with officer Lamantia.”

Ruiz said her son needed help. “I will have to live and die knowing that we are the ones who called 911, and he’s now gone because of that,” she said.

“Trevor’s not putting any civilians in danger; he’s not putting any officers in danger; nobody is in danger, so why are there shots being fired?” Kyle Seever said. “That cop just got out (of his car) and started shooting at him. That makes no sense to me at all. How you can not identify yourself (or even) identify who you’re shooting.”

When watching the video below, it is entirely clear that the violence doled out by this killer cop was entirely unnecessary yet the state will likely win its case based on its own expert’s testimony.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

What If the Davos Agenda Has Already Been Defeated?

In November 2021 I wrote a piece entitled “Have We Finally Reached Peak Davos?” This article was scarily spot on. When you’ve written as much as I have over the past five years, however, it’s easy to look back and point at how prescient you were.

Even if you’ve gotten a whole lotta stuff wrong, which I have.

That particular article, though, was nearly point-for-point correct in assessing the state of The Davos Crowd’s Great Reset project.

I wrote a Twitter thread about this the other day to pound the next few nails in Davos’ coffin before the opening of this year’s convocation of clueless globalists.

In this business the goal isn’t to get everything right but to be right more often than you’re wrong while spurring debate and conversation. This is how we crowdsource something close to the truth and/or steelman our own arguments in an endless quest for process improvement.

I wrote about that process recently and why it’s important to identify those who are still on that journey, those who are starting it, and those who are stuck in the morass of their own preconceptions.

Embrace and encourage the first two groups and question the ethics of those in the last.

Because in 2023 the mission is beginning to shift, from trying to forecast what these Cantillionaire midwits will do next to further assisting people in improving their data parsing abilities.

The more people that parse the Davos bullshit in real time, the less time they spend abreacting to it and using that saved time more productively to thwart Davos‘ plans.

So here we are as Davos 2023 winds down and it’s pretty obvious, watching the proceedings, that their entire edifice built on a crude admixture of psychopathy and hubris is tumbling down.

And it’s not only because more of us can see them for what they are, cheap communists in expensive suits, but because there are stark divisions forming within their own ranks.

The problem, however, for most of the committed Davosians is that they still live in the wine-and-cheese-filled amniotic sack of this Swiss Alps version of Oz. They don’t see the gathering storm barreling down the yellow brick road as anything more threatening than a single mosquito is to a cow.

As anyone who has lived in central Florida or studied its cattle industry knows, a few million mosquitos can exsanguinate a cow in a matter of days.

So, watching the proceedings at this year’s Davos was fascinating because, for the first time, the sheen was gone. Too many people were seeing the walls of the echo chamber for what they were; old, shabby, and drafty rather than having the veneer of wisdom that comes with age.

Davos had come out from behind the curtain willingly to declare themselves the saviors of humanity through their Fuhrer’s nutty ideas about transhumanism, 15-minute cities, eating bugs, and renting your life from a central authority.

And it was easy to build a counter-narrative to this insanity that permeated into the zeitgeist by just pointing your finger and laughing at them.

If you want proof of just how far the Davos idea has traveled in the five years since I first called them “The Davos Crowd” the performance of this tweet of mine from January 3rd should do it.

My average tweet gets around 5000-8000 impressions, maybe 30-40 retweets, and a couple hundred likes.

I’m really pants at Twitter.

This thing is literally the first tweet of mine in years to ‘go viral,’ and shows no signs of letting up. I’m not patting myself on the back here, but rather pointing out what something like this represents in my little corner of the internet.

Hatred of Davos has broken containment.

The anxiety and fear these men have promulgated is now deeply embedded in people because it feels closer to the truth than what they were previously presented. With a relatively free Twitter these days, the opportunity for more containment breaks like this are rising exponentially.

And that is a very good thing.

Davos likes to talk in terms of the inevitability of their forecasted future. But that’s just a front. Psychopaths always double down in the face of adversity.

But I’ve noted a certain sense of panic and/or desperation from a lot of Davos’ lieutenants, like Blackrock’s Larry Fink complaining about how mean we all are opposing ESG or NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg exhorting everyone that more weapons to fund Ukraine’s war is the path to peace.

Note the use of “the” versus “a” in that sentence. When someone is telling you there is only one path forward, they are issuing an ultimatum…they are also lying through their teeth.

One of “the” paths to peace in Ukraine is in negotiating honestly with Russia. Ukrainian President and Schwab disciple Zelensky is out there saying nuttier things by the day, like now that he thinks Putin is dead while the U.S. floats the idea of Ukraine retaking Crimea.

The fact that there has been not even a reasonable offer put on the table to the Russians to this point tells you that this war is policy and not an unfortunate happenstance of Russian belligerence.

But watch the video carefully and note the desperation on display from Stoltenberg. He knows the war isn’t going well for NATO. He knows that if NATO fails here he and all of this corporatist cronies personally lose their seat at the gravy train.

He also knows he will be sacrificed on the globalists’ altar if he fails to deliver in Ukraine. He’s Admiral Piett, swallowing nervously, to Soros’ Darth Vader.

Last year at Davos 2022 it was Soros delivering the rebuttal to Henry Kissinger’s call for negotiations. This Octogenarian clash of ideology and realpolitik was a kind of Rubicon crossing for all things Davos.

(And I definitely got a lot of things wrong in the article I wrote about that, if you’re keeping score.)

By ignoring Kissinger’s pragmatism and embracing Soros’ belligerence Davos revealed itself as an out-of-touch echo chamber whose edicts are hurtling the world towards a terrible conflict, making their enemies’ job opposing them that much easier.

You know Soros has won the argument within Davos because they trotted out ol’ Henry to reverse himself on negotiations and embrace war which has all the earmarks of a classic communist struggle session.

I guess that’s why Soros announced to the world he didn’t need to go to Davos this year but would be at the Munich Security Conference next month to declare WWIII.

So, where are we now?

We’re well past the point of Peak Davos that’s for sure. When the guest list for this year was leaked I found it fascinating that many who’ve skipped it in the past would be there—U.S. bank CEOs like JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon. There were just as many who have gone previously to plead for sanity—Putin and Xi Jinping—didn’t even phone it in.

It has been a fascinating week of announcements and headlines that paint a very ugly picture for Davos’ future. When you take them (and their timing) into full context it should be obvious where this is headed.

Here’s a partial list of the headlines from this week:

But the clincher is this headline from The Guardian.

Most of these would be interesting at any time but that they all occurred while Davos 2023 was happening is mind-boggling. And to think that so many of the attendees there are still walking around as if the future was already written in their favor is equally mind-boggling.

I’m not about to speculate further about what’s really goin on there except to say that if feels like something has fundamentally changed, likely for the better. Is Schwab on his way out after ruling the WEF for 52 years?

Is my theory that the NY Boys and others have finally had enough of the fart-sniffing eggheads correct and they showed up with a new set of rules to lay down?

Is that why Bill Gates wasn’t there?

Is that why the sycophantic Western press are running stories now that would never have seen the light of day if Schwab was still calling the shots?

Look, I’m not naïve, I know that Davos is a front for a bigger, older and deeper group of power brokers. Real bankers don’t have Wikipedia pages.

If Larry Fink is a lieutenant then Schwab is just a Colonel and it’s possible he’s being thrown under the bus now to protect the Generals.

But why do the Generals feel the need to cut bait now? As difficult as it is to believe, they may just be losing.

Sometimes things aren’t more complicated than they seem.

They took their shot and missed.

There will be no panopticon or cyber-pandemic. We’ll still drive normal cars, eat red meat, and live in homes with a modicum of privacy. Whether we avoid WWIII is a different story.

Maybe the depression we all fear is on the horizon has already been here for fifteen years and this is as bad as it gets. No mushroom clouds, no Grand Army of the Republic. Just a bunch of tired old inbred losers finally running out of runway and crashing into the ditch rather than flying off into the sunset.

They don’t believe their done yet. It is that gulf between their perception of potency and the reality of their impotence that will determine the rest of this horror show. Soros and his neocon crazies will go to Munich and push for more war.

They just might get it. Then again they may get everything they wished for…good and hard.

Davos may be ending in 2023, but the aftereffects of their insanity will be with us for years.

This article was originally featured at Tom Luongo’s blog Gold, Goats N’ Guns and is republished with permission.

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