Few on the American Right are unaware of Anheuser-Busch’s recent foray into woke politics. Taking their regular customers for granted, the once-great American company “partnered” with a transsexual person to become a new product spokesperson for Bud Light.
The imbroglio that followed is just one of the latest installments of the culture war over woke ideology, now working through its “trans” iteration, which is keeping the lights on in political consultancies across the nation and consuming huge percentages of conservative mind-share.
The encroachment of woke ideology threatens the American way of life. How it is resolved will define our national character and values for generations to come. But conservatives must recognize that the issues that either define woke ideology or fall under its umbrella—race, gender, and even abortion—are not the only battles in the war. Even if the Right defines what victory looks like on these issues, and somehow manages to win these battles, it will not matter if they lose the war.
As conservative troops and resources flood the zone to resist the woke agenda, bigger threats are neglected. Woke ideology is both a distraction from and a fraudulent justification for pushing toward the ultimate objective: gaining absolute, centralized control over the American economy. The method to accomplish this takeover is via two mutually reinforcing policy shifts that are already happening: the move to a central bank digital currency and enforcing increasingly restrictive rules governing energy.
One of the most fundamental expressions of freedom Americans take for granted is the ability to conduct transactions using cash. The fact that ordinary Americans can settle debts and sell goods using cash may not be fully appreciated until cash is taken away.
The privacy afforded by cash is irreplaceable. Bitcoin and other digital currencies may be difficult to track, but undisclosed Bitcoin accounts are already illegal, and it isn’t hard for authorities to identify who is using virtual servers and other methods of concealment.
The case for cash, however, isn’t that we want to encourage an underground economy. It’s that the existence of cash can at least prevent the arm of government from coming down to even the most petty transactions. Did you use cash to pay your gardener or an occasional babysitter or a handyman? If so, you might decide not to give them a 1099. Did you sell some old utensils, books, CDs, and furniture at a garage sale, and collect cash? If so, you might decide not to get a resale permit to collect sales tax. Once cash is eliminated, those choices will be made for you. Wasn’t that de minimis? It won’t matter.
The anonymity of cash offers some safeguard as well against a growing and even more serious problem, the ability of corporations and government agencies to stifle transactions by people deemed a “threat to democracy.” Confined at the moment to intemperate bloggers and other supposedly seditious conspiracy theorists, and restricted so far to canceled online financial services and frozen bank accounts, imagine what could be accomplished with central bank digital currency. Here’s JH Investments explaining the “risks” of CBDCs:
[blockquote]CBDCs may pose a threat to privacy. The central authority that will be responsible for collecting and distributing identification and transaction data will have access to all monetary transactions. In addition to the threat of central banks disallowing or curbing transactions between citizens, the data could be vulnerable to hacks or misuse, if leaked.[blockquote]
There’s the understatement of the century. If CBDC replaces cash, it will be possible to precisely target and control what and how much every individual is permitted to buy or sell. Not only government agencies but major corporations will have this control.
The implications are sickening. It will be possible to vary how much someone has to pay for goods based not only on their social credit score but also on their income. It will be possible to ration individual consumption of any commodity that might be deemed to endanger the planet. It will be possible to control movement by putting geographic restrictions on where any individual can spend their digital currency.
CBDCs will put every transaction, no matter how small, onto the grid. Small businesses and individuals will have to navigate nuisances such as issuing 1099s and collecting sales tax, along with countless other regulatory requirements, and these nuisances will multiply once CBDCs make all this micromanagement feasible. But it won’t be universally feasible. It will place a burden disproportionately on the small players that lack the scale to pay for the compliance overhead.
And, of course, never forget the whole system falls apart with one big cyberattack or electromagnetic pulse.
Cash is freedom. Don’t let the government take it away.
[pullquote quote=”The same factions that resist unification over how to address woke ideology can nonetheless unite in resistance to woke’s endgame, which is total monitoring and control over money and energy.”][/pullquote]
If making cash illegal is the path to total control over economic activity, the destruction of a fossil fuel-based economy is not only a parallel pathway to total control by government and corporations but also to the systematic reduction in our standard of living.
The facts are indisputable. Affordable energy is the foundation of economic prosperity. For everyone on Earth to consume just half as much energy per capita as Americans consume, global energy production must double. This is impossible without developing and consuming more fossil fuels.
Producing twice as much energy worldwide is necessary, among other things, to stop impoverished billions across the equatorial regions of the planet from stripping the forests for game meat and cooking fuel. It is necessary to preserve and expand the middle class everywhere. It is required to make extremely large families economically unnecessary in the developing world, and to make having children economically feasible again in the developed world. It is a prerequisite to global peace and prosperity.
The good news is there are enough known reserves of fossil fuel to sustain civilization at twice the current rate of consumption for at least the next few centuries.
Rather than take this enlightened path, the elites who run Western nations are determined to crack down on fossil fuel consumption. They have concluded that theories of climate catastrophe—and these are theories that should be subject to vigorous and public debate—require an immediate transition to “renewables.” In their embrace of the theory that carbon dioxide from fossil fuel is an existential threat, they ignore other facts: Renewables are more disruptive to the environment, there aren’t nearly enough raw materials to deploy them, failure to develop more fossil fuel will cause global energy starvation, and in so doing there will be war, famine, poverty, tyranny, and certain environmental destruction.
Yet they push forward with this madness, determined to create scarcity, high prices, rationing, and punitive measures to enforce environmentalist edicts.
Central bank digital currency and energy rationing must be challenged with the same passion and urgency that informs the resistance to woke ideology. And, crucially, resistance to woke ideology must recognize it is not merely a distraction from the CBDC and climate crisis agendas; it is also a phony moral cover for that agenda. We must submit to corporate and government micromanagement of money and energy because only in doing so can we save the planet and overcome race and gender inequity.
Woke ideology is the train. Total monitoring and control over money and energy is the destination.
When imagining a political overthrow of the prevailing agenda of corporations and government in America today, an accurate but discredited term for the necessary coalition-building process is “fusionism.” During the Reagan era, this was the “big tent” that united religious conservatives, anti-tax libertarians, and Cold Warriors in a coalition that gave Republicans 12 years of national dominance between 1980 and 1992.
The coalition that worked 40 years ago is obsolete. But fusionism isn’t obsolete. Envisioning a fusionist revival in America requires different electoral factions uniting over new issues. And to do that, resistance to woke ideology will not suffice. The same factions that resist unification over how to address woke ideology can nonetheless unite in resistance to woke’s endgame, which is total monitoring and control over money and energy.
American conservatives and moderates alike can join with independent voters and even large percentages of moderate and progressive Democrats in rejecting the expanding surveillance state, the abolition of private monetary transactions, the inevitable poverty attendant to rationed energy, and the endless wars required to enforce an international agenda that imposes crippling austerity on any nation willing to try for “net zero.”
These values, respecting privacy, investing in energy and practical infrastructure, and resisting wars of aggression, once defined the Democratic Party. They still define millions of Democratic voters, whose support America’s corporate and government establishment can only still depend on through relentless demonization of MAGA Republicans.
But they are treading on thin ice. If MAGA Republicans and moderate Republicans can unite on a platform that prioritizes preserving cash currency and restoring energy independence, they will attract the independents and Democrats that to-date are being taught to fear them.
Central bank digital currency and monitored, micromanaged access to all energy use are the means by which government and large corporations will achieve absolute control over the population.
Conservatives are correct to recognize woke ideology as an existential threat to the health of American civilization. But wokeism has no inherent strength. It is insanity, propped up by establishment billions merely because it is useful to them. If the ultimate destination, authoritarian government through CBDCs and rationed energy, is destroyed, the woke train will derail.
This is the fight that matters more. It is also a cause for which there is broader and more immediate potential for a consensus that translates into majority electoral support. These are the hills to die on. These are the hills we must win.
This article originally appeared in American Greatness.
Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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