The Retreat From the Enlightenment Can be Stopped

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The war that the Enlightenment is now having to fight to defend itself against the globalists seems like a David and Goliath match-up. Western state bureaucracies and the big companies that have infiltrated them are encircling their populations with propaganda, digital money, travel passes, renewed and more abhorrent sin stories and deepening poverty for the many, while ‘the bosses’ get richer. 

Mainstream media colludes by vomiting out a steady stream of exaggerated emergencies, ranging from climate change to Chinese hegemony to nitrogen pollution, to keep the population distracted, fearful, and docile. 

Our health systems push anxiety and big companies’ specious products rather than helping populations to become healthier, while our educational institutions have embarked upon an all-out war on patriotism and cultural unity, which ordinarily would be natural counterbalances to globalism. 

Our schools produce traumatised children, alienated from each other and their parents, unable to engage in critical thinking. Social media circuitry wires it all together by enabling rapid communication of agitprop and fear. 

The Enlightenment is in full retreat.

Bright spots exist. We’ve seen Elon Musk break ranks with other billionaires by opening the door just a crack on Twitter to permit reasoned debate. But even this was a pyrrhic victory, considering that Twitter’s advertising revenue dropped 71 percent in December 2022 when more than half of the company’s top 1,000 advertisers pulled the plug amid a concerted pushback from Big Business. 

The EU turned its censorious Twitter thumbscrews tighter, with not a whimper of protest from the US government for this blatant disregard for the US Constitution. Indeed, it is clear Washington is telling those EU bureaucrats what censorship to enforce in the US.

Still, scratch a little deeper and you will find reasons for optimism if you, like us, are working and hoping for a new Enlightenment. Here we discuss five.

1. It is not a global coup, but a Western coup

The coup is clearly intended to be global, as demonstrated by the attempt to weaponise the WHO into a world police force using fake pandemics as an excuse. The WHO plan was foiled on the first go-round by a coalition of poor countries, and it is they, within a larger and expanding group of powerful middle-income countries, that are pulling very openly away from the Western globalists. 

The most important geo-political news of the last 10 years is that China, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa, and dozens of their client countries have broken away from the clutches of the West. They are setting up alternative financial systems to bypass the US dollar as the international reserve currency. 

They are setting up their own trading zones, complete with new roads and harbours. They want nothing to do with woke propaganda and see it as a signal that the West is now weak, vulnerable and near the end of its rope. They are winning support among many former Western allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Latin American countries. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation now represents over half the world population and more than half of world trade, threatening US hegemony as never before.

This flight from the West limits the influence of the globalist coup to the West itself. We are no longer facing a global insurrection, but rather an attempted unification of the West into a single political empire. The US elites fancy themselves to run that empire, with Europe playing faithful sidekick. United, the Western Empire would constitute less than half of the world in terms of economic power, and about a quarter of its population.

Several Western countries are clearly not going to play along and have opted out. These include Switzerland, Hungary, and several countries in Latin America whose history reminds them of what it means to be allied to the US.

Within the Western countries leading the coup, some regions are also opting out. Alberta in Canada, Florida and Texas in the US, and Madrid in Spain, whose mayor recently announced she wants her city to be the Florida of Europe. So, even if the coup succeeds, there will be places to run to within the West, limiting what the coup can achieve.

From the free regions, alternative media and education can continue to be offered to the occupied territories, whose inhabitants have somewhere to run to with their skills and their energy. Classic market forces will undermine the new empire.

While we are children of the West ourselves and hence feel very ambivalent about the loss of power and status of ‘our side,’ there is no doubt that the emergence of a serious competitor to the West on the international scene is overall healthy for what we care about. Indeed, serious competition is a long-run driver of resurgence for what once made the West strong: science, freedom, and the separation of powers.

2. The globalist class has been exposed

Fifteen years ago, almost no one was wise to the importance of increasing inequality and the increased concentration of power among the security establishment and the major corporations. Only a few, like David Rothkopf, saw it coming. In his 2008 book The Superclass, Rothkopf related what his many conversations with the super-rich revealed. He told of an almost unnoticed world of yearly meetings of the globalists in Davos at the World Economic Forum, operating as a separate entity with total disdain for their countries and populations, plotting the future for all of us. We do not take Klaus Schwab seriously, but we do take seriously the super-rich club that gathered and galvanised into a globalist class during those years. That club is the enemy.

They may have been blind in 2008, but millions of people in the West today have a crystal clear view of who the enemy is. They differ with respect to which faction of the enemy planned this or that fake emergency, but they are united in their identification of the enemy. 

In that sense, leftists like Toby Green and Thomas Fazi in their 2023 book The Covid Consensus and classic right-wingers like Trump are on the same side. They name the same enemy. A few libertarians still can’t shake the habit of thinking that large corporations differ from the government, and hence that only the government is the problem, but every day more and more of those too are smelling the coffee. The links between top Western politicians, the security apparatus, Big Tech censorship, and Big Pharma money are just too obvious, too widely advertised. The jig is up.

Western politicians have become increasingly brazen about self-exposure. The fact that UK covid-era Health Secretary Matt Hancock handed over 100,000 incriminating WhatsApp messages to a journalist is indicative of the indifference of the ruling elite to how clearly their game is being seen. You see the same arrogant behaviour throughout the West, such as the US CDC Director openly admitting the agency lied about monitoring vaccine side effects in 2021, only in fact starting that monitoring in March 2022, while still not releasing the actual data so as to avoid scrutiny. The stupid mistakes that creep in from having subdued all mainstream critical voices is revealing the enemy to more and more people.

It is also clearer and clearer just how deeply perverse the enemy has become. What happened on Epstein Island is now common knowledge, despite massive censorship. The disregard for the health and happiness of children, as revealed in school closures and mandated masks and vaccinations, is now visible to more and more parents. 

This exposure has two major implications. One is that the globalist class cannot simply fade away into the night. It’s all or nothing for them now. The second is that the small size of the real target is now clear. Davos saw tens of thousands of attendants each year, which is less than 0.001 percent of the Western population of well over a billion. Even adding in the second tier of globalists who did not get invited to the clubhouse but are fully committed to the coup, that still leaves 99.9 percent of the West to unite against a visible common enemy. There are now lists, and they will be used.

How large is ‘our side’ in the West? It is hard to know. A recent UK opinion poll by UnHerd of about 10,000 people showed about a third in hindsight think the lockdowns were a mistake. In none of the major recent elections in the West (e.g., in Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany, plus in the US and Sweden in 2022) did a clearly anti-lockdown or more widely anti-authoritarian party sweep the field. Worse, openly anti-lockdown parties have gotten nowhere, with DeSantis in Florida the major ‘win’ on a platform that was far wider than just lockdowns. 

Yet, sceptical media is growing and broadly anti-globalist parties have won in Sweden, Italy, and Hungary, and are large and growing in France and elsewhere. Joe Rogan has over 10 million Twitter followers and Jordan Peterson 4 million. 

The EU itself publishes proudly how millions have been censored because of their unwanted views on covid and vaccines, meaning ‘our side’ includes millions. 

Moreover, covid-vaccine boosters are now rejected by the vast majority of the population: the European CDC reports that less than 2 percent of the population has taken a third booster (compared to over 50 percent for the first booster), leaving governments with millions of useless shots they have been unable to bully their populations into taking, though not for lack of trying. 

Implicit trust in authority and its appeal to ScienceTM has apparently shrunk. Similarly, high trust in governments, state machinery and political parties in the West today is typically reported by only about 30-50 percent of people, though the proportion truly opting out of established Western institutions is much lower. The choice to homeschool in the US, arguably an indicator of hardcore opting out, is made by only about 4 percent of the population, and far less in other Western countries. 

Some degree of support for Team Sanity is given by well over 90 percent of the population if one counts everyone who no longer trusts the boosters. Yet we’d put the fraction of people who are truly on the side of the Enlightenment and see the globalist class as the enemy at no more than 10 percent of the Western population. 

In countries outside the West, the pushback against Western elites is far wider and includes governments, since as noted above, the coup attempt by those elites has been fully exposed to over half the world’s population and governments.

We do not know of a historical situation quite like this one, where an entire elite in one part of the world is seen to be conspiring against their own populations by a sizable chunk of those same populations, along with much of the rest of the world. It is extraordinary. 

The only reason the globalist class has not yet been toppled is, in our opinion, that they truly do control most of the money, guns, and media, and they own the major political parties.

Because they have already been exposed to a sizable minority, the globalist class has to keep up the media pressure over time and across countries so as to maintain their hold on the majority. Lose control for just a few months or in a few places, and they are finished. 

How exhausting! While the globalist class must keep full-spectrum dominance intact for years, our side needs only to push through the cracks as they appear. Neither can the globalists put those who escaped their propaganda back into the box: just as exposure to covid immunises, seeing the true face of your enemy also immunises. Once you have seen what is happening, you cannot unsee it.

3. The vaccine damage cannot be undone

Over 14 billion covid vaccine shots have been given worldwide. It is now increasingly clear that these shots have been detrimental to public health, with the disclaimer that Pfizer itself puts out referencing dozens of adverse effects. Long-term effects on cancers and the immune system are increasingly clear, while the many fit young men dropping dead on sports fields from heart attacks after taking the shots have been visually dramatic.

In a strategic sense, perhaps the worst mistake the globalist class has made– even worse than forcing children to take dangerous shots they never needed – is forcing the shots on fertile women. It is now looking plausible that the vaccines have cost about 10 percent of women who would otherwise have had a healthy child their baby

That number is the drop in birth rates we have seen in the UK, Sweden, and Germany – countries that bet heavily on mass vaccination – starting 9 months after the vaccine rollout to fertile age groups. 

Causality is tough to prove and transparent public investigation is lacking in many countries for obvious political reasons, but the data are strongly suggestive, and there are plausible biological mechanisms for a connection between the shots and pregnancy loss. Scale those effects up to world levels and it is well possible that the covid shots have cost over 10 million women their babies.

Such effects were warned about very early on in scientific papers that were repressed but eventually got published. The growing awareness of these effects is a significant factor in the population’s reluctance to get another shot, an implicit admission that they know they have been fooled. It is dawning on people that the vaccines have cost them babies, friends, and family members, and that poison remains in their system doing ongoing damage. 

This is exactly the kind of damage that leads to burning resentment, even if people try to look away from it, ashamed at having been fooled. The ongoing nature of the damage and the hurt of lost babies even fits the woke victimhood culture. It fosters grudges and the need for revenge. The globalist class has nowhere to hide from their involvement, with much of their wealth on the line. The ample documentation that Big Pharma and Big Tech pushed these vaccines means there are a lot of rich people from whom to demand compensation in the future. 

Even 5 or 10 years hence, the vaccine saga will be an extremely powerful story with which to galvanise the population. For this reason, the issue is most likely to break the globalist class. It is their Waterloo. 

Once they fracture, we think the population will go after them in a massive way. We expect trials for treason and worse. This is why the elites are trying to keep their ranks closed and the propaganda complete: if they lose control over the mainstream narrative, they will likely end up in jail, or worse. The possibility of a new ‘Terror’ — the period early in the French Revolution when the common folk just executed much of its aristocracy — is not implausible. We do not think that is a desirable trajectory, because once that kind of lust for revenge appears it does not easily stop, but we do think it is the territory towards which we are now heading.

The resistance has a burning sword with which to fight the elites: the victims of the vaccine rollouts, and particularly our children and pregnant women. It is a sword with which to demand compensation and justice.

4. The elite class is breaking up as the ship sinks

Maintaining a coalition of billionaires, top government bureaucrats, top politicians, media tycoons, and large corporations is hard to do. These people are opportunists who will not want to go down with the ship. Coalitions of such magnitude inevitably break up when they are under pressure. 

The new globalist class has remained cohesive for the last three years because there was still enough to steal from the general population. Yet now their victims are becoming scarce and poorer. Soon the globalists will run out of others to rob, at which point they will turn on each other. 

In our view, the fear that they will face justice is a major force leading the elites to try to destroy Western culture and weaken its population. Such destruction is ultimately only to the benefit of the enemies of the West though, and ultimately reduces the size of the pie the elites can grab for themselves, speeding up their splintering. 

We already saw Elon Musk breaking away from the billionaires’ club of Davos, looking for political protection from Republican politician Ron DeSantis. At the moment Elon looks like he is being contained and suitably punished for his audacity by the globalist class, but he is now a figurehead for a competing coalition of super-rich. You don’t need all that many such upstarts to break a coup.

We’ve already seen regions break away, meaning there have been cracks in the network of political elites organising the coup. First Florida, then Texas, then Madrid, then Alberta, then the victory of an anti-vaccine and anti-woke party in Italy. Sincere Christians and other religious groups have recognised the danger and their leadership is starting to resist. Resistance parties and resistance websites are growing throughout Europe, the US, and even Australia

True, the elites are pushing back, jailing alternative media operators, co-opting mainstream religion, and even closing down competitor political parties (a law is now in Dutch Parliament to make it possible to outlaw political parties). All of this helps them seal off the big cracks for the moment, but it also shows their hand and increases their burden of control. High surveillance and control requirements make for weak, poor countries.

Populations are suffering, slowly growing more and more discontent. Inflation, the likely coming humiliation for the West in Ukraine, dropping living standards for the majority, a covid-oriented, low-service public health system, an impoverished state education system churning out poorly educated, traumatised children, a militarised police, and leaky borders via which streams of migrants are coming in unchecked, are all undermining the legitimacy of Western governments.

In response, in European elections we see the rise of opposition parties that openly promise to fight against the globalists. Swedish nationalists won the recent elections. German opposition parties are increasingly boisterous.

There are also plenty of other fault lines along which the globalist networks can crack. Germany could walk away from the globalist coup if its population became convinced that the Americans attacked their gas pipeline. Italy can break ranks over China or over the issue of EU limits to state debt. The British and French might rediscover truly deep patriotism in response to the woke cultural assault coming from the US. Countries in desperate need of tax revenue might tackle tax-evading billionaires.

It is when countries are close to cracking that you find the rats abandoning the ship: the conspiring elite club collapses as people try to save themselves by switching sides. 

Smart money moves first, and the first move of rats contemplating switching sides is to stop openly supporting their erstwhile fellows. So to see who is reading the direction of the wind, just look at the Western leaders who have stopped going to Davos.

5. Globalism offers no hope

The biggest issue making it inevitable that the Western coup will collapse is that it is so hopelessly inefficient and soulless. It has no positive story, only a story of misery. Populations are asked to see themselves as viral vectors, with their consumption destroying the planet. 90 percent of people are declared guilty because of their skin colour or gender. What joyless darkness. What a bore. 

Compare that to ‘our’ story. We want people to be free to enjoy travel, social life, happiness, human touch, music, vibrant storytelling, optimism, self-confidence and progress. How can we possibly lose?

Team Sanity may not have the guns, the ministries, the big bucks, the armies, or the media megaphones. Large swathes of our youth have been successfully brainwashed. The enemy can take down any one of us on false pretexts anytime they want. 

The globalist class will continue to burn down the West to prevent their own demise. But while they burn down their own house, we offer hope and joy. We have self-belief, new art, passion, and the huge legacy of the first Enlightenment. On top of that, we have Novac Djokovic. 

It might take us years to defeat them, but the globalist class doesn’t stand a chance.

This article is a republication of an article originally published here by the Brownstone Institute.

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2 Responses

  1. An excellent article. I’d just modify the view of China a little. The Chinese bid for hegemony and dominance is real and rapidly approaching emergency proportions. American hegemony may be getting unpleasant as the globalists and radical left take hold, but America and the rest of the West has within it the seeds of its reform, as the article makes plain. China doesn’t. We will have to simultaneously fight internal and external enemies, as the Chinese had to during the decline and fall of the Qing Dynasty and what followed. And I’m not sure that Western globalists were really aiming for a global coup via the WHO. They know that their regulations, health or otherwise, can be made effectively binding only in the West. China, Russia, and others zealously guard their sovereignty. The WHO and other supranational institutions — funded and compromised by China as well as the West — have become a means for Western elites to find common cause with China in their own interests and against those of their people.

    1. Hi Stuart,

      thanks for the reply and sorry for taking a while to respond.

      I have a long-standing interest in China, having been the research director on a large project into internal migration there, for which I had to collaborate quite a bit with Chinese scholars and some officials. I formed impressions and opinions on China during those 5-10 years.

      On the WHO, I think you are right that the West never expected to be able to boss China around via the WHO but was mainly interested in pushing the smaller African and Asian countries around, thus cementing its grip (note that funding from Germany, the US, and Gates dwarfs that of China at the WHO).

      On the intentions of China and the interaction we have with them, I have a different opinion to the mainstream take. The short version is that I dont believe China is after hegemony. It is after internal and external harmony, which is very different from hegemony. The US elites OTOH want a war with China, such is clear, but I don’t think the Chinese will take the bait.

      The long version starts with what I expected in 2012: https://economics.com.au/2012/09/06/the-rise-of-china-part-i-the-new-realpolitik/
      then came to believe about the nature of the Chinese political system in 2019: https://clubtroppo.com.au/2019/04/30/six-tough-institutional-challenges-this-century/
      and then in 2021 gamed the likely way in which the new cold war might be played out: https://clubtroppo.lateraleconomics.com.au/2021/02/17/what-to-expect-during-a-cold-war-with-china/

      Best,
      Paul

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Authors

  • Prof Paul Frijters

    Paul Frijters is a long-time Professor of Economics, among the top 1% most cited economists and the 2009 "best economist under 40" as voted by the Economic Society of Australia. He worked as a Professor at the University of Queensland and the London School of Economics (LSE) for over 10 years. He is currently working in Saudi Arabia alongside a visiting emeritus professorial position at the LSE.

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  • Prof Gigi Foster

    Gigi Foster (Professor, UNSW School of Economics; BA Ethics, Politics and Economics, PhD Economics) works in diverse fields including education, social influence, time use, lab experiments, behavioural economics, and Australian policy. Named 2019 Young Economist of the Year by the Economic Society of Australia, she publishes in both specialised and cross-disciplinary outlets, and her innovative teaching was awarded a 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. She has filled numerous roles of service to the profession and engages heavily on economic matters with the Australian community, as one of Australia’s leading economics communicators, in the media and at live events. She is co-author of The Great Covid Panic (Brownstone Institute 2021, with Paul Frijters and Michael Baker) and Do Lockdowns and Border Closures Serve the “Greater Good”? (Connor Court 2022, with Sanjeev Sabhlok).

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  • Michael Baker

    Michael Baker has a BA (Economics) from the University of Western Australia. He is an independent economic consultant and freelance journalist with a background in policy research.

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