You have to have a party
When you’re in a state like this.
You can really move it all . . .
— “President Gas,” The Psychedelic Furs
Raw power got a magic touch.
Raw power is much too much.
— “Raw Power,” Iggy & The Stooges
Technocracy is like some of the species in the animal kingdom: fascinating to observe until you become its victim. The technocrats are familiar to us now, with their belief in over-tiered managerial control, hyper-bureaucratization, quantification over quality, directly applied theory (as opposed to gradually refined practice), ex cathedra science and a preference for the mechanical model over the organic, along with their certainty both that these elements represent the best outcome for the most people globally, and that they themselves are the people best equipped for the job.
It is interesting to note the successes and failures of the technocrats. Can Western governments perfect, or at least fund the perfection of phone- and face-recognition software in order to track its citizens wherever they are and whatever they are engaged in? Absolutely. Can those same governments maintain the simple integrity of their national borders? Absolutely not. Technocracy succeeds where it chooses to succeed, and its failures are, to its acolytes, also successes.
But there is something else — another global presence that forces technocracy to fold under questioning, and that is power.
The word “power” in English is semantically polyvalent (to use a scientific term out of context), power being (among other meanings) both a political attribute and the collective noun for fuel and its effects. To talk of a powerful politician and a powerful battery is to use the same cognate in the same way to apply to wholly different objects, always the sign of a, well, powerful concept. Power is the measurement of an event’s strength and range of effects, be it the annexation of land or a chemical combustion.
To have the power to control a population, it would seem to be sufficient to control a fourfold and alliterative collection of resources: food, finance, fuel, and free speech. Sovereign nations are still useful to the European Union when they can be weaponized, and so individual governments (albeit backed up by EU regulations and mandates) can therefore be tasked with land grab in order to control food production. This recently became apparent in the Netherlands with the farmers’ revolt, but is now similarly in evidence across Europe. Finances are being dealt with by the World Economic Forum and the Davos contingent, who are looking to digitize money and make financial transactions a tool of surveillance. Free speech, or rather its curtailing, has been outsourced to Big Tech, aided and abetted by the elites’ unquestioning acceptance of so-called “woke” culture. It is with fuel — and here I include electricity — that the globalists hit an oil slick in the road.
When Vladimir Putin took the decision to annex Ukraine, he was obviously exercising political power, but now it is the other meaning of the word which gives him the upper hand. He appears to have blindsided the EU technocrats by distracting them with the invasion of land he considers Russian, while at the same time pulling the plug on Europe. In this case, the plug is Nord Stream 1.
If Europe were a human body rather than a ramshackle, motley political one, Nord Stream 1 would be the aorta, the largest artery in the body and the one connected directly to the heart. Something appeared to have gone wrong with the pipeline, the Russians said on August 30, and it would have to be turned off for a while so they could fix it with their legendary Russian technical expertise. The first switch-off was for three days, and this was then extended to an indefinite period. The contempt Putin has for the West is exquisite. Any complaints from the EU could be met with the riposte that as there have been reported oil spills from Nord Stream 1, fixing them can only be beneficial to the planet. Most Western media megaphone-wielders have called Putin “evil.” None have called him stupid. And on Monday of this week, Russia abandoned even this pretense and said that Nord Stream 1 will only be switched on when Western sanctions against the country are ended.
The Cold War is always spoken of in dread tones by the media and political classes, but the Russians kept the oil flowing throughout it. Now, Putin has weaponized the black gold during a hot war, genetically modifying Mao’s famous observation that “power grows from the barrel of a gun” to “power grows from how many barrels you are prepared to let your enemy have before we get down to guns.”
As the Western winter unfolds, monitor the performance of the various European countries affected by the energy shortage — which will be all of them — and see whether those who use nuclear power (like France, with about 70% of their power supplied from that source) and Germany (around 12%, and slated to phase out their remaining nuclear plants) fare better. If Putin’s simple tactic means that control of the power supply is a deciding factor in this war, then countries will have to go nuclear despite the shrill cries of their green/Leftist lobbies and the displeasure of the Davos Freemasons. A bloodied battle-axe may not be a pleasant item to behold, but if you need one, then you need one.
Clausewitz claimed that war is the continuation of state policy by other means. The Swedes don’t know much about war, having decided not to join the party between 1939 and 1945 apart from allowing German ore to pass unhindered through their territory on the railways (Hitler may have made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, of course, a case of either/ore). Recently, the Swedish government has been recalled to discuss the energy crisis, with the Prime Minister warning of a “war winter.” The language is significant. War is traditionally a time of frugality and rationing, both in terms of consumption and resources. Europeans will be aware that the money Europe has sunk into Ukraine’s defense should perhaps have been spent on shoring up the continent’s energy supplies, which by most accounts will not last the winter. Aesop’s tale of the ant and the grasshopper would have been most instructive.
If Europe believes it can fight back against Putin’s physical sanctioning of fuel, it had better do it multilaterally. Portugal and Spain have already imposed price caps for Russian oil, meaning that Russia will just sell it to someone else. It has a backyard market for discount oil in at least India and China, both of whom are happy to take this bonanza and neither being in the slightest bit worried about the green protocols which hobble Europe.
Windfall taxes levied by the EU on the big energy companies are an option, but although they may provide some pocket money Brussels can jingle in its pocket in the short term, it is just what the globalists would love to see. Any time that the state — any state — tells the private sector what it can and cannot charge for its commodity, we edge a little bit closer to the type of socialism desired by the Davos gang.
How powerful is Putin’s hand? If Europe has a tough winter — which the usual suspects will still somehow blame on climate change — will Putin, the ex-KGB, chess-playing, judo black-belt (both the International Judo Federation and World Taekwondo stripped his black belts in May; that will teach him) suggest politely that it might be time for Europe to drop the sanctions if they don’t wish families to remain huddled around that oil drum containing the last of their blazing furniture? Those families will vote once their hands have warmed up enough to hold a pencil, and tens of thousands of Czechs have already demonstrated in Prague against the “sanctions war.” What else will happen now that Putin, like Victor von Frankenstein but with opposite results, has pulled the switch? Despite Trump’s warning to the United Nations four years ago, for which he was openly mocked, Putin now looks very much the tactician. You don’t need to park your tanks on someone’s front lawn if you can turn off their heat and light.
I remember the British power cuts of the 1970s, going with my mother to buy candles. She would look at the price and say, “They’ve gone up.” Perhaps I got my first glimpse of basic economic laws then, but I didn’t have any common sense. During one blackout I commandeered my little brothers to help me turn on every single light and appliance in the house so that Mum and Dad would be sure to know when the electricity was back on wherever they were in the (tiny) house. When the power was restored and the whole street had electricity again, the sudden supply spike in our house blew the trip switch and my father had to fumble about in the dark to find it. In practical terms, I am still as much use now as I was then.
What is interesting to me now is that, although at that time business power usage was regulated and a three-day week imposed, the blackouts mostly occurred after the hours of darkness, which was obviously to the maximum inconvenience of everyone who happened to be at home which, in the evening, was pretty much everyone. I can only assume the government meant to shield business as much as possible from the effects of a long period without electricity, and thus buffer the deleterious effects to the economy. How different the times are now, when government will willingly condemn thousands of businesses to extinction over a bad case of influenza, and the economy can go hang. But there is another, far more salient difference between the power cuts of Britain in the 1970s and those facing Europe now.
The loss of power in the UK in the 1970s was a direct result of internal political conflicts between Prime Minister Edward Heath and the National Union of Coalminers. It was union-sanctioned coal shortages that caused the 1970s blackouts, not some cool-handed Russian playing Europe like a psychopath plays a game of the 1970s board game Risk.
The power goes out here in Costa Rica more or less every day, usually for ten minutes or so. The longest outage since I have been here was three hours, not counting the localized power loss when I was living up in the forest and the apartment’s power went out for a couple of hours because a heavy trunk of bamboo had fallen onto a power line. All the power here runs through overhead cabling, which means no digging up of the roads for repairs (which blights London and its traffic flow) but means doom for the occasional monkey or heron who stops for a breather on one of the old transformers and gets somewhat fried. But electricity costs are stable at the time of writing: around $10-12 a month for my small apartment. That price has been estimated as a coming tariff for the UK, too, only it is $10-12 a day. So, to a certain extent, Putin also has a say in Europe’s finances.
For those of us on the political Right, Putin is enigmatic. Although those in the media whose job is to hammer out the galley-slave drumbeat of accepted opinion have cast him as the bad guy, this is not just due the war. As with Hungary’s Viktor Orbàn, Putin’s domestic politics enrage the Left. Here is a man who presides over a country where critical race theory is not taught, Black Lives Matter does not exist, transgenderism is not on the curriculum, there exists no black inner-city crime wave, and the nuclear family is revered rather than jeered. Also, apart from the obvious large attacks such as the Moscow theater massacre of 2002, Russia knows how to deal with Islam. Of course, Russia is a hot-bed of corruption and nefarious political practice, but in many ways Putin is one of us. Perhaps one or two more countries should rethink NATO and take a long spoon and maybe sup with the devil.
Putin is hardly the first Russian leader to warn against NATO (which began in 1949), but what is surprising is that both Molotov and Stalin himself were warm to the idea of such a treaty. This indicates that both men felt that to forge an alliance with satellite countries via NATO would offer the possibility of introducing them to the wonders of Communism. Putin, no longer having any apparatchik snake-oil to sell, can bolster the Russian electorate against the decadent West, with its transgenderism and pride marches and tolerance of Islamization. And that means going against NATO and its increasingly cultural value system.
I know nothing about the martial arts, but I do recall a conversation many years ago with someone who did. He was just a casual conversationalist at a party in the 1980s, but he had studied karate and judo while in the Orient. He told me that a major factor in any of the various disciplines was learning to use the force of your enemy’s attack against him — to deflect it and return it, as it were. Sanctions are a direct NATO attack against Russia, and perhaps its leader is thinking the way he fights. The man I was talking to spoke of force lines, or lines of power. Or, of course, power lines.
* * *
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