Slowly but surely, I’m getting used to this new posting system. I am receiving your comments about the problems with the new commenting system, and am passing them on to the Mothership. Sounds like we are quickly going to have a fix for the lack of anonymity. Please share your feedback with me at rod — at — amconmag — dot — com; I’m forwarding everything on to the bosses. And hey, Jonah R., whatever your real name is, would you mind reaching out to me at that email address? Thanks.
I think I’m even more focused on decline-and-fall than usual because I’m sitting here in Central Europe reading the media and hearing people talking about how frightened they are of what’s coming in the autumn and winter, should Russian gas supplies be cut off. Very few people in this part of the world support the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but nobody asked them if they were prepared to sacrifice their economies to tweak Putin’s nose. In Germany, business leaders and others are talking about the possibility of German industry collapsing from lack of gas to power its factories. This is not an empty threat. The German economy is the engine that powers Europe. If Germany falls into depression, so will the rest of Europe — and that means political unrest, perhaps even violence. If you see what’s happening in the Netherlands right now, with angry farmers fighting back violently against the state’s plan to take away their land, you see what is possible for all of Europe in the near future. Then what will NATO do?
Earlier today I mentioned the Uvalde cops as a metaphor for our leadership class. Here’s another metaphor: the World Economic Forum in Davos. You might have seen that the government of Sri Lanka collapsed this week in the face of national bankruptcy and rioting by people who can’t feed themselves. What happened? Sri Lanka followed the advice of the WEF, and shifted to all-organic farming a few years back. Its agricultural economy collapsed. A nation that used to be able to feed itself with rice is now reduced to importing it.
Funnily enough, the WEF scrubbed its “we’re going to make Sri Lanka rich” article from its website in the wake of the disaster there:
Ah, but the Wayback Machine remembers all! Here’s a link to a 2018 article by the Sri Lanka PM, writing on the World Economic Forum website, promising to make his country “rich by 2025”.
The Sri Lankan people own, so to speak, a lot less now than they did back in 2018, when they were not rich, but could at least feed themselves. They took the advice of Western experts, and are now broke and hungry. Michael Shellenberger analyzes the causes of the crisis. Excerpt:
But the biggest and main problem causing Sri Lanka’s fall was its ban on chemical fertilizers in April 2021. Many other developing nations had to deal with similar challenges, including covid and high foreign debt, but have not collapsed. Indonesia has suffered terrorist bombings, which harmed tourism, but managed to rebound, and tourism rebounded in Sri Lanka starting last year. And while economic growth declined after 2012 but from astronomical peaks of 8% and 9% and remained above 3% and 4% until 2020.
The numbers are shocking. One-third of Sri Lanka’s farm lands were dormant in 2021 due to the fertilizer ban. Over 90% of Sri Lanka’s farmers had used chemical fertilizers before they were banned. After they were banned, an astonishing 85% experienced crop losses. The numbers are shocking. After the fertilizer ban, rice production fell 20% and prices skyrocketed 50 percent in just six months. Sri Lanka had to import $450 million worth of rice despite having been self-sufficient in the grain just months earlier. The price of carrots and tomatoes rose five-fold. While there are just 2 million farmers in Sri Lanka, 15 million of the country’s 22 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on farming.
Things were worse for smaller farmers. In the Rajanganaya region, where the majority farmers operate just a hectare (2.5 acres), families reported 50% to 60% reductions in crop harvest. “Before the ban, this was one of the biggest markets in the country, with tonnes and tonnes of rice and vegetables,” said one farmer earlier this year. “But after the ban, it became almost zero. If you talk to the rice mills, they don’t have any stock because people’s harvest dropped so much. The income of this whole community has dropped to an extremely low level.”
But the damage to tea was the key to Sri Lanka’s financial failure. Tea production had generated $1.3 billion in exports annually. Tea exports paid for 71% of the nation’s food imports before 2021. Then, tea production and exports crashed 18% between November 2021 and February 2022, reaching their lowest level in 23 years. The government’s devastating ban on fertilizer thus destroyed the ability of Sri Lanka to pay for food, fuel, and service its debt.
This is precisely why, despite having a soft spot for organic farming, I have not been able to believe that organic farming is a solution for feeding all the people of the world.
Brendan O’Neill from Spiked connects the dots. Excerpts:
As with the global lockdown’s dire impact on Sri Lanka, these deranged and damaging green policies will feel to many Sri Lankans like an external imposition, something pushed on their nation by global institutions and global decisions. Yes, Sri Lanka’s own political elite feverishly embraced the organic lunacy. But as Michael Shellenberger points out, the World Economic Forum promoted organic in Sri Lanka. Many elite campaigners in the West advocated for Sri Lanka to move to full organic, some of them supported by funds from ostentatiously eco-friendly corporations like Google, Disney and JPMorgan.
If I were a Sri Lankan farmer, watching my yield deplete, seeing prices sky-rocket, seeing fuel and food running out, I would be angry primarily with my government, yes. But I would save some of my fury for the world’s influential eco-elites, who seem to view the developing world as a site for environmental experimentation rather than as a part of the world that needs more industrialisation and growth in order that it might enjoy economic equality with us in the West.
Sri Lanka shows us what happens when policy is shaped according to the desires and prejudices of the new elites rather than the needs of ordinary people. Lockdown may have been a boon for the laptop elites and for some billionaires, but it was incredibly harmful for many working-class people in the West and for millions of hard-up people in the global South. The green ideology may provide the new elites with a sense of purpose, flattering their narcissistic delusion that they are saving the planet from a man-made heat death, but it hits the pockets of workers in the West who will end up paying for the Net Zero madness, and it inflames hunger and destitution in those parts of the world not yet as developed as the West.
In Sri Lanka, we see an extreme and unsettling case study of what happens when global policy is built on the fear and narcissism of disconnected elites, rather than being informed by the question of what people need in order to flourish and become wealthier. Also in Sri Lanka we see exactly the kind of pushback we need against all this. The people have had enough. And they are not alone.
Note well these words: when global policy is built on the fear and narcissism of disconnected elites, rather than being informed by the question of what people need in order to flourish and become wealthier.
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Does gender ideology, and the queering of a generation of children, give them what they need in order to flourish and become wealthier? It does according to Joe “Transgender Rights Is The Civil Rights Issue Of Our Time” Biden, and every other member of the globalist leadership class. Does training up children to think of themselves wholly in terms of racial group identity, and to despise themselves or others based on group identity, give them what they need to flourish and become wealthier? Does teaching them phony ideological theories instead of science and facts, and teaching them to be so fragile that they scream bloody murder when confronted with questions that make the anxious — does that contribute to their flourishing, learning the habits of intellectual conformity? Does turning criminals loose on the streets to prey on innocents, based on a ridiculous theory that criminals aren’t really responsible for their criminality, “systemic racism” is, give kids of any race what they need to flourish?
Why are ordinary people consenting to being colonized by these woke brahmins? What they did to the people of Sri Lanka, they would do to all of us. And are doing, in many ways. In traveling through Central Europe these past three years, I’ve encountered people — Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians — who believe that the efforts to destroy the family, and the gender binary, are a form of cultural imperialism, coming mostly from Woke Capitalists of the US and Western Europe. Of course they are right! It will be a great day when we have governments in the US and Western Europe who agree with the ordinary folks of the former communist bloc European nations, and who are willing to use political power to fight this vampiric madness of Davos Man, and restore conditions of health and flourishing.