THE GEOPOLITICS OF GREEN ENERGY
MANAGERIAL LIBERALISM’S HIDDEN AGENDA IN THE GLOBAL WAR
Apologies in advance if this observation is obvious or someone else has already made this point more articulately than I do here. It does seem like an obvious observation, but somehow it only occurred to me just today. And I don’t recall seeing anyone else make exactly this point elsewhere. So, I’ll put it out there in case it’s useful to anyone.
Energy is essential to the world of equity and just redistribution proposed in the utopian vision of managerial liberalism, with its bureaucratic paternalism, social engineering, and administrative state. There will be somehow a continuous supply of the energy needed to support whatever social order the wise experts and planners deem necessary for us all. At the moment, the richest, most efficient sources of energy come from ancient layers of dinosaur juice under the surface of the earth. And there does still seem to be a pretty good supply of such dinosaur juice going forward for some time into the future. Certainly, it’s reasonable to object that on a finite planet the source of such dinosaur juice isn’t going to be infinite, but those who proffer such objections are often, as Julian Simon used to observe, looking at the question more like an engineer than an economist: neglecting to foresee how human ingenuity can increase use efficiency, discover more economical mining techniques, and even discover new forms of dinosaur juice energy sources. Petroleum has only been in wide use for about a century and a half – who knows what else humans might hit upon, given the proper incentives.
Being all that as it may, you’d think the ruling managerial class would be plenty content enough with their energy situation going well into the future. Except, they’re not. Instead, they are (or act as though they are) hysterically obsessed with some peculiar animal called “climate change” (which as far as I know is the normal course of the natural oscillations of the planet’s orbit around the sun) and a solution called Green Energy. This Green Energy is identified with something called Renewable or Sustainable Energy. This all sounds familiar? Mostly, this Green Energy is associated to wind turbines and solar panels. I’m not going to get into whether those energy sources are as “environmentally friendly” as portrayed. But anyone who looks at this docket is struck by the discrepancy between the ambition of the purported agenda of managerial liberalism and the poverty of the energy sources which its agents allegedly foresee powering that agenda. Something seems wrong here.
So, let me suggest a possible – or part of a possible – explanation of what might be going on. In an earlier post, The Great Awakening vs Managerial Liberalism, I suggested that an important dimension of the Russian war in Ukraine is its role as a proxy battle in a larger global war between the top two competing visions for the future of the world. On the one hand, there was managerial liberalism with its vision of a world run like an expanded EU, governed by technocrats, with the relentless erosion of popular or national sovereignty, in which the managerial class can fully unleash its social engineering and bureaucratic paternalism. On the other hand, there is the vision, associated to Dugan, of a multipolar world, in which we all live and let live, accepting that other countries are going to govern themselves in ways of which we don’t approve. This would be the real diversity of national sovereignty.
While Russia is only acting to secure its own sovereignty, by extension its war has become this proxy battle which has been recognized by countries around the world as a blow against the imperialist agenda of globalist managerial liberalism. This is why so many countries outside of the managerial liberal geo-stronghold – basically Western Europe and the Anglosphere – have aligned themselves, explicitly or implicitly, with Russia: e.g., refusing to engage in sanctions; offering to buy up Russian goods; and joining into the Rubles for Oil protocol.
And, indeed, a key subplot of this whole affair has been the question of Russian oil. Will Europeans buy it? Will Russia sell it to Europeans? Nord Stream One and Two. India and China happy to take the oil that had been tagged for Europe. Western gas prices soaring at the pump. Etc. And so on. All of this has drawn attention to a fact that is as uncomfortable as it is inconvenient for the globalist faction of the managerial class: all that dinosaur juice, the best source of energy for fueling the managerial liberal utopia, is under the ground in countries that aren’t especially bought-in on the managerial class’s vision for a new single technocratic world government in the style of a globalized EU. Instead, that oil is under the ground of places like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela. If anything, so many of the countries that have the dinosaur juice are the ones who have (implicitly or explicitly) sided with Russia in Ukraine and have long been identified as problematic for managerial liberalism’s global ambitions, conventionally expressed as the global crusade for “democracy” and “human rights.” (Again, see the earlier post.)
And that’s not even the end of the problem. Even in those countries where the government is enlisted in the agenda of the globalist faction of the managerial class, notably the larger ones, which have their own sources of dinosaur juice, those reserves are under the ground in the parts of those countries which are among the ones most openly antagonistic to the managerial liberal agenda: think Texas in the U.S. or Alberta in Canada. There is indeed sufficient pattern here to speculate about whether there’s something about living above large dinosaur juice reserves that inclines a people to being more nationalist and sovereigntist: i.e., problematic for the expanded global EU vision of managerial liberalism.
Now, obviously, the pattern isn’t perfect. Norway immediately comes to mind as a country with large oil reserves, but which seems bought-in on managerial liberalism. (Though, having said that, I don’t know Norwegian politics, geography, or history: maybe it has its own Alberta/Texas.) But even assuming there isn’t a perfect correlation between control of dinosaur juice and preference for a multipolar world, clearly the present configuration of the geopolitics of energy doesn’t complement the globalist faction of the managerial class’s own geopolitical agenda. As mentioned, the current Russian-Ukrainian situation has revealed the potential vulnerabilities. Those old enough, with long enough memories, will recall the disruptive effects of the OPEC embargo of the 1970s. Reliance upon such an important resource being provided by jurisdictions seemingly much more sympathetic to the Great Awakening’s multipolar world vision than managerial liberalism’s globalist agenda of technocratic world government presents a serious vulnerability for the latter.
It would be convenient for the globalist faction of the managerial class if they could just move those dinosaur juice reserves onto more convenient territory. Alas, geology is a little more resistant than that. Failing that they could try to manipulate the governments of such dinosaur juice controlling jurisdictions. Much of post-WWII history of course has had this focus – often leading to a host of downstream problems and even catastrophes. The most convenient thing of all though would be to simply render control of dinosaur juice entirely irrelevant. Imagine having an energy source that could be produced in managerial liberalism-friendly countries. Not merely non-reliant upon, but actually displacing, the inconvenient dinosaur juice producing jurisdictions. Indeed, the main Green Energy sources can be – and if effective, probably should be – produced closer to the large, consumption population, with its intensely modern urbanity. And, conveniently, it’s the cosmopolitanism of such modern urban areas that inclines them toward sympathy with managerial liberalism.
It's in this context that the Green Energy agenda of the managerial class perhaps needs to be situated. If they could successfully shift the locus of energy production away from globalist-resistant to globalist-colluding regions, not only would the economic benefits be reaped by parties deemed more worthy by the globalist faction of the managerial class, but the ability of recalcitrant countries to disrupt the globalist agenda would be constrained – if not eliminated. So, if Green Energy could work, it would shift geopolitical power to more convenient jurisdictions for globalist managerial liberalism. Better Germany is central to global energy production than Iran or Saudi Arabia. Better New York or California than Texas. Better Ontario than Alberta.
Incidentally, as an interesting side note. One might object that there is a form of non-greenhouse gas producing energy which is vastly superior as an energy source to wind, solar or oil. That would be of course nuclear energy. Furthermore, nuclear energy seems like a technocrat’s wet dream: highly reliant upon advanced scientific and engineering skills; and – unlike wind or solar, which seem to be most effective as local, decentralized energy producing sources – in terms of governance, financing and operations, nuclear energy is a highly centralized and centralizing technology.
However, the problem with nuclear is that uranium, too, is primarily found in places inconvenient for the managerial liberal agenda: e.g., Kazakhstan and Russia. Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium, but, again, it is almost entirely found in Saskatchewan – another of those inconvenient provinces, with a history of not being so reliably bought-in to the contemporary managerial liberalism agenda.1 For instance, it was Alberta and Saskatchewan which simultaneously led the way in removing COVID restrictions in Canada (even if somewhat spurred on by the truckers). When Western Canadian separatists envision leaving “Canada,” they usually begin imagining a territory encompassing Alberta and Saskatchewan. So, nuclear energy presents pretty much the same problem for the globalist faction of the managerial class. The geopolitical appeal of the geographic flexibility of wind and solar again is forefront in a political realist assessment of the infatuation with Green Energy within managerial liberalism’s political agenda.
Another potential objection to this analysis might be based upon the whole WEF business about us all owning nothing and being happy – living in pods and eating bugs. “So, they don’t really care about having rich energy sources,” one might protest. The interesting question here though is what is cart and what is horse? Is that minimalist lifestyle vision a genuine response to sincerely held fears about climate change or only a rhetorical ploy to leverage fear of climate change as a means to diminish public expectations of quality of life sufficiently to reconfigure the geopolitics of energy in just the manner speculated upon above? If I’m right, it isn’t climate change the globalists fear, it is legitimized energy production being in the hands of those who might exploit that control to undermine managerial liberalism’s agenda of technocratic world governance. They care less about making us poor than about us accepting a standard of living that will be possible under their reconfigured energy regime. The point isn’t that we be poor, it is to remove political leverage from the hands of those resisting managerial liberalism’s global technocracy. Climate change hysteria then becomes just a weapon in the geopolitical war against the defenders of a multipolar world.
As I say, this geopolitical picture only just came fully into focus this way for me today. I’m sure there’s much more to be said for, and against, such a hypothesis. But I thought it was worth mentioning as a prospect that readers of this substack – if they hadn’t previously considered it – might find worth pondering.
Some might object that the great administrative state cornucopia of socialized medicine began close to a century ago in Saskatchewan. It was in fact the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce such a program. That interpretation though is to impose a modern contemporary bias upon the past. While single payer universal health care has since become an instrument of social engineering and control, exercised by the managerial class’s administrative state, at the time it was an expression of the prairie ethos of agrarian mutual aid, typical of the region’s extensive cooperative movement. Poor western farmers, reliant for their livelihoods upon the banks, railways, and grain elevator companies, found that they could better their lots through cooperative action. This cooperative ethos eventually spread through mutual aid and friendly societies that, among other things, cooperated as bulk buyers of medical services, creating a kind of medical insurance for their members. The creation of single payer universal health care grew organically out of that tradition of prairie populism of the early 20th century. In hindsight, one certainly can argue that the strategy backfired, to deny though that Saskatchewan was a populist trailblazer would be to completely misread the history.