Scientific progress depends on accurate and complete data. It also relies on replication. The past couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations about the baloney practices that pass as sound science about climate change. It was announced Thursday afternoon that computer hackers had obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England. Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims. – Washington Times
Dominant Social Theme: Ooops! A one-off scientific dilemma?
Free-Market Analysis: We admit once upon a time we used to read the Washington Times with a bit more enthusiasm. But the Times endlessly militant approach to the war on terror and its general Bush boosting during the previous administration became a bit much. However, in all fairness, the Times' approach is one shared by much of the so-called conservative press, and this article, anyway, excerpted above, is an interesting one. It lays out the scandal of global warming (and we are now going to assume these emails are accurate in the face of non-denials from those involved) in almost clinical term. Those who wanted to promote global warming for purposes of wealth, power and control, presumably at the behest of their betters, were willing to manipulate data even at considerable risk to their own careers it seems.
So far, so good. Where we part company with all the analyses that we've read in the mainstream press, including the Times' is with the idea that the this falsification is restricted to global warming and that it is somehow a leftist phenomenon. We've built the Bell (and other efforts before then) around the idea that there exists a conscious effort by wealth and powerful people to propagandize the rest of us with "dominant social themes" – a variety of catastrophes that only massive authoritarianism can ameliorate. Back in early summer '09, when responding to an environmental article in USA Today, we wrote the following:
Environmentalism is only one of many socially dominant themes developed by the monetary elite for purposes of control and profit. … The memes (dominant social themes) that the political and monetary elite use to generate increased control and profit are all on display when it comes to global warming. It is a controversial postulate to begin with, and its solution produces a draconian level of artificial scarcity. It is driven by fear and implemented (if it is) by media-induced panic.
In fact, the signature of such memes is generally fear. For instance war, the bloodiest meme of all, must by its nature include the whipping-up of initial mistrust. Eventually this mistrust can grow into hatred and thus wars, especially small ones, can be sustained for a very long time indeed. War is very profitable for the monetary elite, profitable enough so that former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the growth of the military industrial complex in America.
Other examples … One can take advantage of fear over communicable diseases to introduce costly medicines that can then be purchased in large quantities with government funds. One can play on financial fears in order to create new and more profitable (if risky) investment products. And of course, one can highlight environmental fears in order to introduce new kinds of products and services to remedy human destruction of the environment and to create more sustainable behaviors.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly (since others will not emphasize it all) that if the global warming scandal is viewed as a singular phenomenon, or even if it is viewed through a "right-left" prism, the revelation of what occurred will be misunderstood, the lessons learned will be faulty and an opportunity will have gone to waste.
Let us then take a broader view. It would be our argument that the global warming manipulation is writ large elsewhere, most obviously throughout modern Western governments and the legislative process. If one were to somehow get one's hands on the emails of highly placed government officials, one would likely be very surprised at the information revealed. We think it would show clearly that the manipulation of data as regards global warming is replicated in numerous other policies from health care to infrastructure to, of course, military and policing issues.
It is a fact, curious but true, that modern economics shows us that everything that government does distorts the marketplace. Every single law, every regulation, acts as a kind of price fix, diluting the efficiency of marginal utility and interfering with the market signals of supply and demand. This is probably as good a reason as any that as governments grown more authoritarian (totalitarian), the bureaucracy's focus on secrecy becomes ever-more desperate.
Economic illiteracy is responsible in our view for the prevalence of many of the myths about various kinds of governmental necessity. The dominant social theme that government is needed at least for issues of eminent domain can be easily disproven for instance by visits to countries (Uruguay comes to mind) that abjure zoning and have little interference with private property. In Uruguay, businesses, including casinos and the like, get along just fine with other shops and home-owners without overly invasive zoning. Roads still get built. Bridges are developed as necessary. Another economic myth (a dominant social theme of sorts) is that government is needed to break up monopoly producers – as if the marketplace itself wouldn't do that if the supplier were not meeting consumer demands.
We won't hold our collective breath waiting for the mainstream press, or even much of the alternative press, to draw broader conclusions about Climategate – which is obviously from our perspective a promotion of a dominant social theme. In fact, we anticipate that the Copenhagen summit on global warming will go ahead as scheduled and that lawmakers will come up with a number of solemn legislative initiatives to address a problem that doesn't exist. This is perhaps the most important signifier of a dominant social theme – one that continues forward even when the evidence shows that the problem is negligible (or that the problem is being aggravated by government policies themselves and could in fact be benefitted substantially by the reduction of such).
We will remind viewers that almost every single major global problem enunciated today (in our estimation) can be seen as a dominant social theme, floated by the monetary elite to further confuse the rest of us into giving up further wealth and control over our own lives. It is no coincidence, therefore, that many are characterized as "wars" — the war on poverty, the war on drugs, etc. But the same can be said for the myriad of hot wars around the world and even the lukewarm war on terror – one needs only to lift the curtain to see operative promotions, the manipulations that generate the initial conflicts and then the questionable activities (from leaders on both sides) that often keep them going.
We are happy to return, therefore, to the global warming scandal (as depressing as it is) in this article because for us it fully and clearly illustrates the Bell's larger argument – that the fearful problems of the world are almost always the work of a small circle of determined manipulators with a much larger agenda. If there were more emails (or perhaps if they are more closely examined), we tend to believe the links between the monetary elite and those who did their handiwork would become clear as well. The idea is always the same – to promote fear and panic until everyone else gives up additional treasure and control over their lives to make the non-existent threat go away. Of course the more people are willing to give up, the harder the dominant social theme will be promoted, ironically, because of the evidence that it is working.
We would also like to mention another prevalent theme of our own (not a dominant one but an important one, nonetheless). And that is that the Internet itself is making the monetary elite increasingly miserable. We are not predicting that those in charge will not find a way to dilute its influence and ultimately muzzle its voice. But the information about the way the world really works is already out there and circulating. The change is occurring right now in the hearts and minds of millions. It is analogous to what happened so many years ago when the Gutenberg press provided information through the Bible and other literature, popularly circulated, which ushered in the Reformation and changed the world.
We write a good deal about economics and central banking because, despite the Internet, many people still do not fully understand the centrality and falsity of the dominant social theme of modern day finance. If people did fully, or even partially understand free-market economics, they would certainly begin to internalize the impossibility of central banks ever being effective. They would, we are sure, begin to insist on a private-market gold and silver standard of the sort that has functioned disparately around the world for millennia. People would also, in our estimation, begin to question much of the phony militarism and Western domestic-intelligence authoritarianism that takes place in their name to keep them "safe." We believe that as the Internet's Electronic Revolution grinds on, these authoritarian memes will come under considerable question as well. And so, deservedly so, will those who promote them.