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Club of Rome at 50 years old

I used to believe the following tenets of the Club of Rome. I did so for about four years (from the age of 22 to 26) until I woke up from ecodoomism. It is apparent that millions have been sucked into this cult and have never found a way out. Yet. Indeed, ecodoomism is the world’s leading cause of depression, suicide, sexual ambiguity,  non-replacement and cultural anomie. It is immediately the cause of policies designed to immiserate the population (viz. Dutch government putting farms out of business to control world atmospheric nitrogen levels).

Here are the doctrines of the Club of Rome, circa 1972. Look familiar?


• “The Limits to Growth” contains six main messages:
ƒ Firstly, that the environmental impact of human society
had become heavier between 1900 and 1972 due to
both an increase in the number of humans and the
amount of resources consumed and pollution generated
per person per year.
ƒ That our planet is physically limited, and that humanity
cannot continue to use more physical resources and
generate more emissions than nature is capable of
supplying in a sustainable manner. In addition, it will
not be possible to rely on technology alone to solve the
problem as this would only delay reaching the carrying
capacity of the planet by a few years.
ƒ Third, the authors cautioned that it is possible, and even
likely, that the human ecological footprint will overshoot
the carrying capacity of the planet, further explaining that
this would likely occur due to significant delays in global
decision making while growth continued, bringing the
human footprint into unsustainable territory.

ƒ Once humanity has entered this unsustainable territory,
we will have to move back into sustainable territory,
either through “managed decline” of activity, or we will
be forced to move back through “collapse” caused by the
brutal inherent processes of nature or the market.
ƒ The fifth message is one of hope. The authors state
that: “The challenge of overshoot from decision delay
is real, but easily solvable if human society decided to
act”, meaning that forward looking policy could prevent
humanity from overshooting the aforementioned
planetary limits.
ƒ Lastly, the authors advocated for an early start – in 1972
that was 1975 – to achieve a smooth transition to a
sustainable world without needing to pass through the
overshoot and contraction phases.


The World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab have followed as night follows day. They key assumptions are that the current population/ resource consumption mix is unsustainable, and the second is that a process of managed decline can smooth the transition to sustainability. I am about to say something at once paradoxical and true. Humans have more to fear from the managers of population reduction than we do of civilizational collapse. Because the population reduction is being planned by people who think they are doing good  and the old adage of C. S. Lewis applies: that the robber barons might have their greed satiated, and stop, but the person who tortures for you own good does so with a clean conscience and will not stop. Hence Stalin. Hence Klaus Schwab, and his minions and acolytes.

Collapses are random and bring their own correctives. They are chaotic. If the Roman Empire has to fall, it is better that it occur without central planning, administered by mad tyrants. I realize this is offensive to those who believe that civilizational change can be planned, but it cannot.

The  assumption that needs to be challenged the most is that collapse is somehow inevitable because we have gone beyond limits set by Gaia, that this unsustainability is somehow new, and that we can plan our way out of it.

We went beyond the limits set by Gaia since we domesticated animals, invented agriculture and mined metals. I would not wish to say there are no limits, but I would say that the collective intelligence of mankind has continually found solutions to the problems we have ourselves created. We went into the realm of the “unsustainable” tens of thousands of years ago. We are still in “unsustainablity”. There is no stable state. The Club of Rome published its manifesto in 1972. It had a tremendous negative effect over time. It resuscitated the idea of a centrally planned economy when the central conceit of Marxism had collapsed: that a planned economy could prevail over the chaotic forces of the market, or of nature.

The close relationship between the idea of sustainability and the tyranny of all-wise central planners needs to be made clear.


Regarding solutions that appear without planning, population growth is collapsing through the very process of unsustainable wealth generation that has come from burning fossil fuels. Women reach a level of prosperity where their kids will survive until adulthood, and – bingo! – they produce at most two children. It is enough to make the most hardened ecodoomist pause and reconsider.


Or more brutal yet, try David Goldman (known as Spengler)



The coming clash of civilizations

From Russia Today

By Artyom Lukin, an associate professor of international relations at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. Follow him on Twitter @ArtyomLukin

Instead of Bolshevik radicalism, Putin’s preference seems to be the old Tsarist model: No plans to build an overseas empire, just a vast continental autocratic power relying on nuclear weapons, ‘healthy conservatism’, and ‘time-tested tradition’. Putin’s system is utterly opposed to revolution. His rumored spiritual confidant, the Russian Orthodox Church’s Metropolitan Tikhon, has been incessantly warning about the dangers inherent in uprisings and upheaval. The Russian leader himself openly detests instability as a fundamental evil, having said, “Russia’s political system is evolving steadily so as to prevent any revolutions. We have reached our limit on revolutions.” Putin’s words often sound as if they were coming straight from conservative leading light Edmund Burke’s ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’.

Putin’s Russia has its ideals mainly in the past. That’s a major reason why the ideology of modern Russia appeals to many right-wing conservatives in Europe and North America who see Russia as the last major state that adheres to the values of what used to be European Christian civilization. Putin’s Russia has another advantage. Among the competing ideologies, it is the most appealing aesthetically. This may be because for Putin’s state, order is prioritised over justice. Justice, especially the unlimited justice of the ‘woke’, is often messy and even ugly. Order, especially a hierarchical one, has a powerful beauty. Think of the aesthetics of The Lord of the Rings or Dune. Similar to Hollywood epics exploiting medieval narratives, much of the appeal of ‘the Putin universe’ may be drawing upon the themes of power, masculinity, hierarchy, and miracle.

Another attraction of the Russian system is that, despite being somewhat imperfect in terms of political and civil rights, it probably boasts one of the highest levels of private freedom in the world. The state in Russia is generally reluctant to intervene in the private lives of its subjects, if only because it lacks the capacity to do so – and apparently does not seek this capacity, outside of the most recent Covid-19 measures, which have been opposed and overhauled in equal measure.

The Russian model does have one major drawback. It is ill-suited to deliver economic and technological development.  For a decade now, Russia’s economy has been stagnating and it is unlikely to take off any time soon. However, the lack of economic dynamism might be a systemic feature Putin is perfectly aware of, accepting it as a reasonable price for political and social tranquility. To achieve breakthroughs in development, you need to be willing to conduct massive societal-scale experiments, sometimes bordering on revolution. For all the differences in their ideological credos, the West and the CCP-led China share the taste for experimenting with their future. It is an irony lost on few that the new facial recognition system being developed in China to provide security in public places is called Sky Net, echoing the dystopian AI that haunts the world of The Terminator films.

Humanity can now choose between the West’s wokeism, Russia’s neo-feudal conservatism, and China’s slightly dystopian digital socialism. It is far from a wide selection on the menu, but it’s good to have a choice anyway.

I saw this thirty years ago and it is still relevant

Soviet life as seen by Yuri Bezmenov, a Novosti journalist – a KGB outfit – before the fall of Communism. His words still ring true about the system he served. But his comments about how western societies are being undermined are of particular relevance. Eventually he found work in Montreal as a broadcaster for CBC International. CBC management investigated him when the Russian ambassador complained about him.

Bezmenov’s discussion of Soviet cultural subversion is priceless. This starts after minute 27:00 of the interview. First rule was to keep Western journalists drunk for their entire stay. Select journalists by the extent to which they were pliable. His description of the journalists was that they were “useful idiots”. Why would they bring lies back to their own population, he asks? Fear of the Soviet Union. Fear for their jobs. The economic incentive to lie about Russia and earn money as “Sovietologists”.

The journalists visited a kindergarten in Siberia  that was actually the place where the children of political prisoners were being held. The internal passports for travel, which were criticized when applied to South African blacks, go unmentioned when they are shown to apply to all Soviet citizens. A photo of Bezmenov beside the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will make you wonder who was the better manipulator of opinion.

Part of his job in India was to compile lists of influencers (journalists, professors etc.)  who – as he later found out – would be slated for execution if the Soviets ever took over. He was told never to bother with leftists, but to concentrate on self important psychopaths, whose self importance drives them, as the real agents of destabilization. Leftists will turn into the worst enemies of the revolution. The moment the useful idiots have served their purpose, they are to be executed, exiled, or imprisoned. They will never come to power.

“There are no grass roots revolutions, period”.

He escaped in India from the KGB by disguising himself as a hippie. (Pronounced “kheepi”)

The discussion of ideological subversion starts at 1:07. The main work of the KGB was in intelligence; 85% of the work was psychological warfare to change the perception of reality so that no one is able to come to sensible conclusions as to their self interest and the interests of their society.

  • Demoralization, which takes place  over a period of 3 generations, begins at 1:20, Agents of demoralization are to be shot when the takeover is complete. “In future these people will be squashed like cockroaches”. The demoralization process is basically complete, said Bezmenov over 30 years ago. Exposure to true information has no effect any longer.
  • Destabilization takes two to five years. The influence of Marxist Leninist ideas is strong and takes years to turn around.
  • Crisis, which could take six months
  • Revolution
  • Normalization, the process of getting used to the new state of affairs, which takes forever.


As I may have said, I used to think that Bezmenov was a crank. Now I think he was describing, from a Soviet point of view, the fantasy of leftist takeover. The Soviet Union is gone now, but the disaster is still unfolding, more rapidly then ever. Bezmenov thought that the Soviet Union would bring about the revolution, but we are doing this to ourselves. “You have precious little time to save yourselves”.

“You don’t need espionage any more.”

I had thought with the evaporation of Soviet Union in 1990, that it was over, but the mutant virus of communism  spread even more rapidly.





Sperm Counts, Indian Residential Schools, and other reversals of enlightened opinion

If you live long enough, you will be able to count the number of occasions on which enlightened and progressive opinion has reversed itself. In the most haphazard count – my own scattered recollections – we have gone through the following opinion changes in my lifetine alone.

Animal fats bad (because cholesterol) to vegetable fats doubtful.

Indian residential schools a progressive and enlightened response to Indian backwardness to residential schools were an act of cultural genocide

Homosexuality is sinful to gay is good and natural.

Coronavirus was a freak cross over from bats to humans to coronavirus was a lab leak covered up by Chinese authorities.

Modern society is reducing sperm counts to doubt that sperm counts are in fact dropping.

Black people are inferior to white people are inferior.

Race is a meaningless ideological contruct to biological differences matter.

CO2 engendered by fossil fuels will engender a climate catastrophe to who cares about global warming, let us use nuclear fission- note: this one has not yet happened, but wait.

Soviet Communism in Russia is a permament part of the European power balance to [poof!] the whole regime collapses within a year or two.


Of the changes mentioned above, perhaps Communism was the most important geopolitical event. People born after 1990 can have no conception of the extent to which the 20th century was held in thrall to the idea of planned happiness through the elimination of private property and the centralization of decision making in governments, and of all power in the Bolshevik revolutionary vanguard.

I was reminded recently of how central Europeans, those whose countries had been occupied by the Soviet Union after WW2, were disbelieved when they insisted that the whole scheme was a construction of tyranny that would fall one day like Sauron’s tower of Barad Dur: instantly, into dust. The emigres insisted it was built on a lie, that nothing it said about itself was true, and that it was maintained by Soviet force and police terror. I can recall the  disbelief with which such views were entertained in polite discourse in the 1970s. But the Lubor Zinks and the anti-Soviets were exactly right.

You can arouse similar feelings of outrage and disbelief by posting pictures of snowfalls in April to social media and complain about the absence of sufficient global warming. The response of the Karens, male and female, is immediate.

In your opinion, what other major social beliefs are likely to be reversed in the next twenty years? Discuss.








My Happy Days in Hell

Faludy György.jpg


George Faludy’s memoir of his life in his thirties and early forties is called My Happy Days in Hell. I first read it in September 1986 as a young man of 36.  I finished re-reading it only hours ago. Faludy spent a good portion of early years of World War 2 escaping France and living in French colonial North Africa, before leaving for the United States, where he became a paratrooper. He was, by his own and by the estimationof his fellow countrymen, Hungary’s foremost poet. He returned to Hungary after WW2 with much foreboding, as it was under Soviet occupation. The second half of the book deals with his arrest, interrogation, and imprisonment in a Hungarian forced labour camp, where starvation and beatings were the norm. The day Stalin died in 1953 the reverberations swept the gulags: food was immediately increased, and across the Soviet Empire millions of political prisoners were released over the weeks and months that followed.

The description of the fear and terror that enveloped East European societies in the wake of communist takeover has many echoes today, as Western societies enter into a period of forced speech and political hysterias. Today we have communism without the bother of Marxist economics. Obviously the Deep State has no yet resorted to prison camps for conservatives and liberals (properly so-called) yet but it soon might, if the Democrats and the Deep State behind them decide that imprisonment is an effective tool. I suspect that in today’s society, conformity and obedience can be engineered by Google and Twitter mobs more efficiently than by arrests and obviously unconstitutional procedures, but I don’t bet on it.

There are many treasures in Faludy’s memoir. The most important was his resistance to the constant message that we are nothing but human machines, that we have no souls, that ultimately power will prevail.

The scene: Stalin has died and the prisoners are being released in dribs and drabs over the ensuing months. Faludy is among the last prisoners to be released.

“These men, or rather eighteeen of them, were now waiting to be shaved. These men were the public figures, parlkiamentary deputies and leading intellectuals of the camp; the very men who opposed teh regime more uncompromisingly than the average in their deeds as well as in their thoughts. The seletion was extraordinarily claver for the AVO (secret police), which usually showed little sense for fine distinctions. The experience of forty mnths and hundrds of reports from their informers had made them realize at last that their greatest enemies were not the men who spat on Rackosi’s picture but those who spoke about history and philosophy in their free time”.

George Faludy was released from prison in 1953 and left Hungary in 1956. He lived in Toronto from 1967 until the fall of Communism in Hungary. He died in Budapest in 2006 at the age of 96.

confessions of a student marxist

Tobias Fibbs, a Cambridge graduate, dissects expertly the emotional and moral atmosphere of the modern university. 


Social theorist Mark Fisher described from first-hand experience the manipulation of this scene as a Vampire Castle which “feeds on the energy and anxieties and vulnerabilities of young students, but most of all it lives by converting the suffering of particular groups — the more marginal, the better — into academic capital. The most lauded figures in the Vampire Castle are those who have spotted a new market in suffering — those who can find a group more oppressed and subjugated than any previously exploited will find themselves promoted through the ranks very quickly.” The Vampire Castle recruits on the promise of community and self-healing. The reality is an ouroboros of emotional manipulation, stripped of the political and of all that makes life interesting and worthwhile…..

We would have laughed at the idea we formed an elite and we certainly didn’t act like one. But we were the vanguard for a movement that has swept the English-speaking world in the subsequent decade. We still professed to be fighting the old powers — patriarchy, white supremacism, the nuclear family, colonialism, the university itself. But in truth we represented what Christopher Lasch called psychological man, “the final product of bourgeois individualism,” and were being trained in elite formation for the therapeutic age just as surely as our forerunners had been for the previous, paternal age….

The material genesis of the radical cultural politics that has shown its strength in the last few months lies in the overexpansion of higher education, which produced a new middle class that is materially discontented and uncomfortable in its own skin. The globalisation of American pathologies has given this new urban class, present across the Western world, a politics that is carving through our institutions….


Arthur Koestler: a hero

Arthur Koestler was a Hungarian of German-speaking culture who joined the German Communist Party and left it, for all the right reasons, in the late 1930s. His most famous writing is Darkness at Noon, which tells the story of Victor Rubashev, a Communist official arrested by the secret police, who finally consents to his death in the service of the Communist cause, even though he is innocent of any crime, deviation, or disloyalty to the Cause.

Darkness at Noon is one of the classics of the literature of disillusionment with Communism. I cannot recommend it enough.

Quite by accident I came across his autobiography “The Invisible Writing“. It recounts his years in the Communist Party in Germany in the years 1931 to 1938. The opening sentence reads:

“I went into Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water, and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and the corpses of the drowned”.

In the second chapter he recounts the fatal weakness of the Communist Party of Germany in the face of the National-Socialist takeover. He likens the Party to a castrated animal, and describes how rapidly the whole structure was rounded up by the police after the Nazis took over in 1933.

“We had marvelled at the conspiratorial ingenuity of our leaders; and, though all of us had read works on the techniques of insurrection and civil warfare, our critical faculties had become so numbed that none of us realized the catastrophic implications of the scheme. The preparations for a long underground existence in decentralized groups meant that our leaders accepted the victory of the Nazis as inevitable”.

Another salient feature of living as a Communist was the total subordination of personal emotions to Party discipline, which meant that close personal friendships were eviscerated.

“As in boarding schools and convents intense personal ties are suspected of having an erotic background, so friendships within the Party aroused political suspicion. This attitude was not unreasonable, for between people whose entire life was dedicated to and filled by the Party, non-political friendships were hardly possible. The slogans of the Party emphasized the diffuse and impersonal “solidarity of the working class” instead of individual friendship, and substituted ‘loyalty to the Party’ for loyalty to friends. Loyalty to the Party meant, of course, unconditional obedience, and meant furthermore, the friends who had deviated from the Party-line, or for some reason had fallen under suspicion. Almost unconsciously I learned to watch my steps, my words and my thoughts.”

The same lack of freedom is recounted by the former leftist David Horowitz, in his book Radical Son, written in the 1980s. That is to say, Horowitz maintains that only outside the Left, as he defines that term, does freedom of thought and discussion exist. (There might be equivalent constraints on thought inside a severe order of Catholic priests or intellectuals, or Muslim radicals). Thus when Horowitz broke with the Left, he found that there were liberals who favoured the Vietnam War and conservatives who were against it. I can still recall his shock at discovering that outside the iron grid of Leftism, people were actually free to disagree. Horowitz so defines the Left as to exclude from it most reasonable, non-totalitarian, left-wing politics, and I follow his example.

In the venomous atmosphere of the Party, every sort of personal betrayal was not merely possible, it was expected. Koestler again:

“Few among the intellectuals in the Party realized the time that their mentality was a caricature of the revolutionary spirit; that with in the short span of theree generations the Communist movement had travelled from the era of the Apostles to that of the Borgias. But the process of degeneration had been gradual and continuous, and the seeds of corruption had already been present in the work of Marx: in the vitriolic tone of his polemics, the abuse heaped upon his opponents, the denunciation of rivals and dissenters as traitors to the working class and agents of the bourgeoisie.”

“The Marxist doctrine is a drug, like arsenic or strychnine, which in small does have a stimulating, in larger doses paralyzing, effect on the creative system”.

I eagerly await the emergence of re-convertants from political correctness. I eagerly await the literature of disillusionment from the political doctrines of equality pushed to extremes. Unfortunately, I do not think there will be one. I propose two reasons. In the intervening years since the 1930s, the decline of educational standards has become so acute that I doubt they would have the discipline and writing capacity to express themselves on anything other than confessional television shows. More important, the political Left was always grounded in Marxism which, however demented, was actually a theory of history, and made some predictions about how the world was to turn out. That they were wrong only showed the extent to which Marxism at least pretended to be scientific.

Currently the political Left is driven by anti-whiteness, which is really the current manifestation of antinomianism. It does not even pretend to be scientific. By antinomianism I mean the hatred and rejection of all existing standards and structures in the liberal West because they represent the workings of bourgeois commercial “white” civilization. My essential point about contemporary Leftism is that, if you made all white people disappear in a puff of smoke and replaced them with Japanese, or any other technically and socially competent group, the Left’s hatred of reality would compel them to reject that outcome just as severely.

The Marxists at least had a clue that one structure would be replaced by another. I am not sure the current anti-whiteness brigade have even approached that degree of coherence.