The fall of the Dark Tower, the Barad Dur, or the Impending Collapse of the Global Warming Hysteria:

 

 

The most significant and predictable impact of the Trump Presidency will be the collapse of the global warming hysteria that has gripped policy makers for the last ten years, or longer.

To repeat, the world’s climate is constantly changing. The issue is whether the effect of all the CO2 we are putting into the air is causing some or all of the observed, and rather small, amount of global warming.

Three facts are observed.

  • Atmospheric CO2 is climbing past 400 parts per million, and it is not conceivable that the increase of CO2 has some other origin than human.
  • Atmospheric temperatures show significantly less increase than the computers models of the IPCC have predicted. [This alone ought to be enough to dismiss the alarm, if AGW were a scientific proposition.]
  • Politicians and civil servants have created and sustained the global warming hysteria, for various reasons: increased tax revenues, the appearance of doing something about a world-threatening problem, and the greater control over the economy which  anthropogenic global warming (AGW) justifies.

In an excellent essay in The Manhattan Contrarian, the author points to Trumps cabinet appointments in energy and the environment, and draws the following conclusions.

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years.  Questions like:  Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted?  How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated?  What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago?  Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more.  What now?

As the Contrarian writes, of the $28 billion the US Department of Energy spends annually, roughly half of it went to global warming research and energy investment predicated on the replacement of fossil fuels. These projects will all disappear once the spigot of government funding is turned off. The AGW fanatics will have to find useful jobs, and the corrupted scientists can go back to measuring things without recourse to false doctrines.

Like Sauron’s tower, the Barad-Dür,  AGW will collapse when the Ring of Green Power is melted, and Trump is about to toss the Ring of Green Power into the cleansing fire of rational skepticism. What an unlikely Frodo! What an inconceivable Gollum!

 

 

 

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Arrival

While you can always see the Denis Villeneuve movie “Arrival” by yourself, I warmly recommend that you watch it with a friend. It will help you to discuss what you have seen and try to figure out what happened to you, and to the characters in the film. It is an alien first contact movie, which is about as helpful as saying Beethoven’s Ninth is a piece of symphonic music with chorus.

Amy Adams plays the heroine, the linguist who figures out what the aliens are saying. There are several schools of linguistics. One of them holds that one’s interpretation of reality is conditioned by what one’s language allows one to perceive. The film maintains the strongest branch of that school of thought, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, if you want to know. That is the key which, pushed to its extreme, truly makes this film science fiction, not that it concerns aliens showing up in gigantic ships. The result of understanding their way of thinking is that human experience of time changes, and the first person to be so affected is the Amy Adams character.

Mrs. Dalwhinnie and I spent a pleasant twenty minutes at dinner last night parsing out what had happened, in what order, and what the film meant to us. It is beautifully made. It is not about what it you expect it will be about, and has more the effect of listening to a symphony than being engaged in a linear narrative. As you come to realize after you have seen the movie, that experience akin to a symphony is consistent with the movie’s fundamental idea. I was surprized to find myself profoundly moved by it.

Denis Villeneuve first came to my conscious attention through his film Sicario. I watched his earlier (2010) and impressive film Incendies,  about the repercussions of the Lebanese civil war, without knowing his authorship. Likewise I was impressed by his interesting film Prisoners without knowing Villeneuve had been the director. It is pleasing to see that he is co-directing Blade Runner, 2049, with Ridley Scott. Clearly, Villeneuve is a director who has entered into the highest reaches of his profession, and deservedly.

Obama: Forgotten, but Not Gone

Election Night 2016 seems like a joy ride that never quits. Already, not only is Trump acting like the President, commanding all the world’s attention, he’s making Obama seem like a shadow on the wall.

Not only did Trump trump the MSM, pundits, talking heads, and the whole sorry shower of Democrat sycophants in the dead-tree press, he’s driving Hillary Rodent Clinton’s supporters closer to the psychiatric wing of their local hospitals. Obama whines in front of the press corps (or is it the press corpse?) looking like a hole in space. Michelle says she knows what hopelessness feels like now. Boo hoo. Do the Democrats really have a monopoly on stupidity? What do their incoherent gripes amount to?

First, they think it’s not a “legitimate victory” since Trump didn’t win the “popular vote”. Never mind the fact the US is a constitutional republic and fifty separate elections were held in fifty states. The states’ electors, reflecting the will of the voters of those states, then choose the president in the Electoral College. And even then, this choice has to be approved by the House of Representatives.

Second, suddenly, the evil Russians, recently relegated to “regional power” status by Obama, have the power to influence the minds of American voters, without their knowledge, to vote for Trump. This stunning discovery was made only after the Rodent lost the election. Why then? As that great British wit, Dr Johnson, observed “…when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates the mind wonderfully”. Prior to that, any talk of the election results being challenged was a threat to American democracy. Subsequently, it was the duty of all real Americans. What a difference a day makes!

Third, the Wikileaks donation of thousands of DNC/Clinton/Podesta emails describing in detail the collusion and corruption of the media, Democrats, “journalists”, and all those orcs of the politcal class, unfairly influenced the election. But influencing the voters is what elections are all about. All candidates and power groups attempt to get voters to vote for them! I mean, duh! What part of their brains has been removed?

Fourth, Clinton lost because “she’s a woman”. Spare me. No, she lost because she is a liar, a crook, a hypocrite, an incompetent, and a thoroughly unlikable person. Woman?—I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader. Aside from the fact that women have been the rulers of nations and empires from time immemorial, how would Clinton’s winning be “historic”? Only in the sense of President Hoover being historic, because he was a mining engineer and spoke Chinese. Oh, sorry, those are real talents, something Clinton lacks. Her political trajectory matches that of Elena Ceausescu, a political lamprey along for the ride with the real leader and possessing a hunger for power bordering on the maniacal.

Fifth, they have no common decency. Clinton didn’t even have the decency to stand in front of her supporters, concede the election and thank them. She was too busy getting drunk and throwing tantrums while assaulting Podesta, as some have said. Either way, her “temperament” is obviously unsuited for the role of President of the US if she can’t behave decently when the situation requires. Her supporters have been rioting on the streets, assaulting people and causing property damage in various cities across the nation—vile behavior by immature people. If the Democrats want to be taken even remotely seriously, they had better shape up pretty quick and start behaving like adults instead of whiny, sniveling idiots on university campuses.

So, listen up whiners, the nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Donald J Trump, is moving through the Washington ice-pack, so learn to sink or swim with the new regime.

OK, that’s enough for now, so do what I did—buy yourselves a bottle of excellent Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky; I recommend Rebel Yell (of course) and Woodford Reserve, Distiller’s Selection.  Book off January 20th for an all-TV day.

Oh, one more thing: do yourself a favor and read Conrad Black’s latest. He’s on a roll right now, rather like the Hulk on steroids with a flamethrower.

Rebel Yell

They are getting smarter

Wolves in Banff National Park have been reported to have approached a park employee and chased him a short distance as he roared off on a snowmobile.

 

“The snow-making equipment is loud, the ski-doo is loud, so the fact that they didn’t seem to be deterred by that is a concern,” he told Postmedia.

“It could have been curious behaviour, it could have just been an instinctual response to follow something that was moving away, or it could have been more aggressive than that — we don’t know.”

The pack has been involved in several incidents this year that have worried parks officials.

In June two wolves from the pack, including the alpha female, were killed by wildlife officials after they boldly approached campers at the Tunnel Mountain and Two Jack Lake campgrounds.”

Considering that the death penalty is imposed for even approaching humans, they are bold indeed. There are times when I think that the death penalty should be imposed on certain classes of criminal for the same  reason. But that would involve a decision that some anthropoids walking on two legs are not really human, and we will not go there today, if ever.

And on a more serious note, those who feed wolves are condemning innocent creatures to death. Do not do it.

Parks Canada/Postmedia Network

FakeNewsweek and the Washington Com-Post

After the defeat of Hillary Rodent Clinton in the election, the latest act of desperation from her media presstitutes is the invention of fake news. Or rather, blaming others for what the MSM have been doing for the last n years. Hillary Rodent Clinton has to lie in the same way ordinary people have to breathe in order to live.

As every disagreement with the progressive agenda is “hate speech”, every news item exposing the crooked activities of the Rodent-in-Chief is “fake news”.

The Wikileaks emails, and the Project Veritas videos, showed the extent of corruption in the Democrat Party and the news media, their collusion and dishonesty, and their contempt from the ordinary folk of America. To try to throw the public off the scent, the invention of a great Russian/Julian Assange conspiracy is invented to stop you noticing that the Democrats actively conspired to generate violence at Trump rallies, help illegals to vote, and many other things. The presstitutes are trying to confuse two distinct issues here. The first issue, vote fraud, consists of dead people voting Democrat and voters whose vote for Trump mysteriously shows up as a Clinton vote. This is interference with the election. The second issue, wholly unrelated, is the hacking of the DNC and Clinton’s email server. While Secretary of State, her email server was set up, against all security regulations, solely to protect her slush fund pay-to-play schemes for the Clinton Foundation. It was hacked. Too bad honey, your fault.

With regard to the second issue, whoever obtained the Clinton emails exposed the nefarious dealings of the inner workings of the Clinton campaign and their hacks and lackeys in the media. People found out how the Clintons work (as if they didn’t know already). That is a service to the American public. Thank you, Julian Assange. How voters choose to vote after that is their business entirely.

The presstitutes have been attempting to imply that the Russians/Julian Assange did this to ‘tip the election’ to Trump. This is bunk. The issue is ‘What did the emails reveal?’ and ‘Is that important?’

The presstitutes are focusing all their efforts at their doctored news on ‘who did it?’ rather than ‘what did the emails tell us?’

Might I add that I am shocked!, shocked and appalled!!, that a foreign power would try to gain information from another by underhand means!

It doesn’t matter if the Russians, Julian Assange, or the Martians, or anyone else, sent a letter or email to every voter saying ‘Please vote for candidate X’. The voters can vote for any candidate they please for any reason they deem fit. In one of the past elections (Bush/Kerry 2004) the Grauniad, the far-left Brit rag, implored voters, by mail and people contact, in one of the swing counties in the States to vote for Kerry. No one in the media got upset about that.

It’s not as if the Russian ambassador were handing out cookies to voters after the Trump victory as Ambassador Nuland was in Ukraine after the government there was overthrown by a CIA-financed coup.

The Washington Com-Post, no longer worthy of lining a kitty litter box, in one of the most disgraceful and scurrilous articles ever published, recently accused more than 200 websites, of many political persuasions, of disseminating Russian propaganda. As any opinion opposing the progressive mind-set is “hate speech’, so any news from any other source in the world, is “fake news”, unless approved by the oligarchy in DC. Many other countries have newspapers, and web-based news services, which are far better and more informative than the tripe dished out by the TV networks and the dead-tree press in the US. And with less of the sanctimonious humbug from ignorant journalists.

The “source” of their fake news was a dubious organization, ProporNot, that provided no evidence of anything. Their identities were protected by the Post. The Post is, of course, no stranger to fake news. In fact, they are masters at it. Back in 1981, their famed reporter, Janet Cooke, had her Pulitzer Prize withdrawn because her articles about heroin addicts were entirely fake.

Likewise, the New York Slimes set the standard back in the 1930s with their correspondent, Walter Duranty, who wrote glowing reports of the joyous life of Soviet citizens during the Stalin-induced famines in which millions died. Other writers, notably the British author Malcom Muggeridge, had the courage and honesty to expose these lies. But Duranty has never had his Pulitzer Prize revoked.

In view of this, I propose a new award for fake newspapers and their fake news: the Walter Duranty Award for Mendacity in Journalism. The NYT and the Washington Post are lead contenders for the first award.

The Internet, and the new journalism of free citizens, means that we are no longer at the mercy of these liberal rags for information. Their days are numbered and the end will come sooner than they think. This election has shown that their worthless bunkum is no longer believed.

Rebel Yell

Victor Davis Hanson says truth; please listen

I cannot say more, or better, than Professor Hanson.

Who is smart and who is stupid?

Who is ethical and who is not?

The Democrats are in ruin. The Republicans are in control. Obama has left the ruin of the Democratic Party behind him.

“Hillary has created a crime syndicate”.

“Trump had all the right enemies”.

“Win or not this was not going to be a ‘lose nobly’ campaign”.

“There was never a ‘never Hillary’ movement on the Left. There ought to have been”.

“Trump has animal cunning”.

“You don’t know what illegal immigration is until you have found a dead body on your property”.

” Trump put the Clintons in permanent retirement”.

“80,000 voters in Detroit who voted for Obama did not turn out for Hillary.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How little divergence is needed to become a heretic

 

Heretic, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means:

  1. A person believing in or practising religious heresy.
 1.1 A person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted
 Origin

Middle English: from Old French heretique, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek hairetikos able to choose (in ecclesiastical Greek, heretical), from haireomai choose.

_____________________________________________

How interesting is the original Greek meaning: able to choose! Which implies that the orthodox are unable to choose, because they do not allow themselves, or are not allowed, freedom of choice in what they believe.

Today’s interesting article is published on Judith Curry’s blog, setting out the travails of Roger Pielke Jr., Scott Adams, Matt Ridley, and other lukewarmers and non-alarmists.

At the end of the article Judith Curry observes:

The truly astonishing thing about all this is how little climate heretics – such as myself, Roger Pielke, and Matt Ridley – actually diverge from the consensus science position: RP Jr. hews strictly to the IPCC consensus; Matt Ridley is on the lukewarm side of the IPCC consensus, and I have stated that the uncertainties are too large to justify high confidence in the consensus statements.

The point of all orthodoxies of belief is that deviation is not merely error, it is a sin. When “scientists”, people committed to evidence and disproof of theories, become heresy sniffers, they have passed outside of science into belief. To make my point clear: I do not need to believe that things drop to the ground, it is demonstrable.  Belief is reserved for things which cannot be proven. Like Darwin or God.

I remain committed to the idea that progress in  science consists of making hypotheses from observations, seeing their implications, taking the implications seriously enough to test them, and then setting out to find under what conditions the theory fails to explain the implications.   See the entry on Sir Karl Popper here for a detailed explanation of this approach.

[ A theory can be useful even it is not a complete explanation for everything within its range, such as, for instance, Darwin’s theory of  natural selection. Lest the heresy sniffers go into over-drive, the reason why natural selection is incomplete is simple: thirteen years later, Darwin wrote another theory of evolution complementary to the first, called sexual selection, in which the drivers of evolution are the sexual congregants themselves, and are non-random].

Back to the politics of climate change. It is no use denying climate change; it is like denying gravity. But the people who shout “climate change!”  assume that we humans are driving the change, preponderantly or exclusively, and that it can be abated economically, and must be abated to forestall planetary disaster.  “Climate change” is a weighted slogan more than an ever-present reality.

Hence Trump’s announcement of a climate skeptic, Scott Pruitt,  to head the Environmental Protection Agency marks a huge change from the “science” policies of the Obama regime. Without ever making a big fuss of his climate policies during the election campaign, Trump managed to evince a skepticism that gave us lukewarmers heart. Pruitt’s appointment constitutes a much needed policy change of the largest kind.

In short, you do not need to be a global warming denialist to be treated as a heretic. You need only be less frenzied in your agreement with the Party Line. A Trump cabinet full of “heretics” is welcome. Some actual thinking might be allowed in government as a result.

Globalization, national sovereignty and democratic politics

Earlier this year, an economist named Dani Rodrik published an article of some importance, that in part helps explain Trump’s victory.

I am leaving aside the racial-cultural element of anti-whiteism discussed recently in Identity Politics, the Polite and Rude Versions. That explanation has real but limited application, just as has this economically-oriented approach.

Briefly, Rodrik called it the trilemma of the world economy, and the trick is: you can only have two of the three outcomes.

According to Rodrik, the choice is among the nation state, democratic politics, and international economic integration. You can get any two but not three, in full. I will question this assertion more fully below, because in the end I think one is left, in the globalized economic order, with neither state nor democracy. Let us begin with the issue of national sovereignty.

Rodrik cited the economic writer Andrew Evans Pritchard on why the latter  supported Brexit.

“Stripped of distractions, it comes down to an elemental choice: whether to restore the full self-government of this nation, or to continue living under a higher supranational regime, ruled by a European Council that we do not elect in any meaningful sense, and that the British people can never remove, even when it persists in error.

We are deciding whether to be guided by a Commission with quasi-executive powers that operates more like the priesthood of the 13th Century papacy than a modern civil service; and whether to submit to a European Court (ECJ) that claims sweeping supremacy, with no right of appeal.

It is whether you think the nation states of Europe are the only authentic fora of democracy, be it in this country, or Sweden, or the Netherlands, or France ….”

This is exactly the argument I have made about Brexit: that to remain in the EU was to revert England to a form of government last seen in the pre-Reformation Tudor era, where parliament had very limited jurisdiction and the Papacy (think Cardinal Wolsey) had very large jurisdiction. In this case replace the Papacy and Church with the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. Nowadays the Remainders get to play the role of Catholics in a protestantizing Britain. Think of Henry VIII as an early Brexiter.

Rodrik himself thought the the European Union could successfully combine a hyper-integrated common market with democratic politics. After the treatment that Greece received in the past couple of years, he no longer believed so.

_________________________________________________________________________

In regards to the United States and Trump, there is no ambiguity to be found. If the United States has to abandon deeper economic integration in order to preserve its nationhood, then it will do so. It will restrict illegal immigration, and raise the price of the labour of those already within its borders. If that means Americans will pay more at Wal-Mart, so be it. If economic integration with China requires some tougher enforcement of rules, then Trump will get China’s attention by beefing up the security and recognition of Taiwan.

Hillary Clinton stood for tighter economic integration and democratic politics, at the expense of the nation state.  Trump stands for a stronger assertion of the nation state and democratic politics, with economic integration the relatively less important.

To my mind, the degree of loss of national sovereignty implied in hyper-globalization ultimately means a lessening of the range and effect democratic politics as well., because in the modern age the state acts as the expression of the popular will, as transcribed and translated though constitutional arrangements. In order to make economic integration work, there must be dispute settlement, and for dispute settlement to work, the will of the people – as expressed through local legislatures – must be frustrated by the property rights of corporations and other economic actors to be compensated for any limitation on their treaty-based “rights” to earn money.

It is entirely possible to have states without democratic arrangements, as ancient and recent polities attest, but is difficult to conceive democratic arrangements without a stet in which they are housed and expressed.

Consider international copyright regimes. If Canada pursues a cultural policy favouring domestic television and movie production, it will inevitably limit, or try to limit, the economic presence of foreign copyright-holding interests on its airwaves. This is Canadian broadcasting policy, tout court.  Full economic integration of the kind foreseen in the Transpacific Partnership implies the right to sue for the violation of economic rights of a corporation by a host government. [See for example, investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, in the Wikipedia article just cited.]

Thus I arrive at the Dalwhinnie proposition: the perfection of global trade demands a degree of extra-parliamentary adjudication that puts and end to popular sovereignty. Democratic institutions become irrelevant.

In the long run, it is not a trilemma among state sovereignty, democratic politics, and globalization. You do not get a choice among any two, if global economic integration is to be perfected. You get one: transnational global economic and political integration. National level democracies and state sovereignties would be held down by a web of rule making that is extra-parliamentary. Votes would cease to matter – as they have in most national referenda in Europe about the European Union, whether to leave or join.

That would explain the recent revolts against the consensus of the Volvo-drivers.

Accordingly, the Trump victory is no small thing. It is, truly, an American Brexit.

 

 

 

 

Identity politics: The polite and the rude versions

Very strong Image Of a afro American woman Crying  isolated on B

 

 

 

Since the Trump victory a number of articles have been published decrying the left’s reliance on “identity politics” as a causative factor in the election. One of the politer versions is Matt Ridley’s in his blog here.  Jim Goad published the ruder version of this repudiation in TakiMag. Even the New York Times emerged from its doctrinal slumbers after the election and allowed the publication of Mark Lilla’s “The End of Identity Liberalism”.

Says Lilla:

“But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life.”

and later:

But it is at the level of electoral politics that identity liberalism has failed most spectacularly, as we have just seen. National politics in healthy periods is not about “difference,” it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny. Ronald Reagan did that very skillfully, whatever one may think of his vision. So did Bill Clinton, who took a page from Reagan’s playbook. He seized the Democratic Party away from its identity-conscious wing, concentrated his energies on domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance) and defined America’s role in the post-1989 world.

Unfortunately for the health of the polity, I see no end to the catering to identity politics. It has taken a blow to the head, but it retains its strength as an ideology. Why? Because blaming white people, males and Christians is the core of Leftist thought at this stage. Capitalism? an evil system devised by dead white males on the backs of slaves to erect an economy poisoning the earth with carbon dioxide. Racism? can only be exercised by white people, by definition, because only white people have hegemony. And so in self-referencing circular closed reasoning.

In the ruder version of Jim Goad, it goes like this:

“Listen up, dimwits: When you encourage racial pride in all groups except whites, you aren’t exactly making a case against “racism.” If you have even a semblance of a spine, sooner or later you’ll hear this nonstop sneering condescension about how you were born with a stain on your soul and say, “Hey, fuck you. I’ve done nothing wrong, but you’re really starting to bother me…”

Instead, a large swath of voters grew so tired of being actively hated, they struck back and said “enough.” They didn’t “vote against their interests,” as is so often patronizingly alleged; they voted against the condescending, scolding, sheltered creampuffs who try to dictate their interests to them.

I am not asserting that Trump won exclusively or even predominantly because white people got pissed off at the racial profiling of the Left, but it had to be a significant factor in the repudiation of their views which have accompanied the repudiation of Clinton.

I will go further, and venture onto ground which is sure to be attacked and supported for the wrong reasons. I read many news aggregators. One of them is American Renaissance, which goes well beyond Trump’s American nationalism to a confidently expressed white racial consciousness. By this I mean that it is based on a number of premises:
  • white people exist, and though a loose category, a fuzzy set, they have characteristics
  • they have made a disproportionate contribution, relative to their global numbers,  to the evolution of science, arts and politics for the past  millennium, maybe longer.
  • It may be the result of cultural, religious, or biological reasons, in any combination.
  • This heritage has been broadly beneficial to mankind

Now it should be stated that I have no idea whether there is a biological underpinning to this relative but not exclusive excellence, or not. I think the contribution of Christianity to this state of affairs is at present underrated, but biology may be a factor. I do not know.

I do not think that the relative accomplishments of white civilizations are the moral basis of superior rights for white people, whoever they may be. That way lies stagnation, slavery and its religious-political expression, Islam.

 My point is that such discussion is banned. The result is that many disadvantages of other peoples are treated as issues of wrongful discrimination rather than the obvious fact that some people are a few bricks short of a load. This could be permanent, or, as I believe, a result of the current stage of their cultural evolution.
 A racial viewpoint – whether cultural, biological or both – is inadequate to explain everything and perhaps even most things, but the total exclusion of this point of view from public and private  discourse is, and will be seen to be, insane. Like pretending the sexes are the same in every respect.
Now, back to the issue of what we have in common, which is where a sane politics must start from. Here is President-elect Trump talking about commonalities rather than diversities at his post victory rally in Cincinnati. [Skip the warm-up acts]. He gets the vital need to bring people together, as has every successful democrat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcKeilna2aM

“I am only the messenger”, he says at one point, and then in a moment of pure Donald, says: “but a pretty great messenger”.

IKEA: Our totalitarian present

ikea

 

IKEA combines two things that when combined are simply odious. First: the architecture of the stores compel the shopper to snake  his was way through in a fully determined way from the moment he picks up his shopping cart to the final tally at the check out: first kitchen, then baths, then office and so forth, as a sheep going through the sheep-dip. One feels a total lack of control over one’s shopping experience. It is a one-way street through the cornucopia of cheap goods assembled from the poorer parts of the globe.

Second, while thoroughly capitalist, in the sense described above, the shopper is  confronted with self-congratulatory moral superiority from one end of the store to the other: from the garbage bins (sorry, I should say recycling) at the doors to puffery in signs announcing low-carbon this and ecologically sensitive that. And the Swedish self-congratulation smirks from every sign. “Hey! look at us: look at how kid-friendly we are, marvel at our sensible this and admire us for our no-nonsense return policy, and while you are here, sample our Swedish smoked herring and fried moose testicles at the cafeteria”.

Even the Wikipedia article seems to have swallowed the Kool-aid:

Older IKEA stores are usually blue buildings with yellow accents (also Sweden’s national colours) and few windows. They are often designed in a one-way layout, leading customers counter clockwise along what IKEA calls “the long natural way” designed to encourage the customer to see the store in its entirety (as opposed to a traditional retail store, which allows a customer to go directly to the section where the desired goods and services are displayed). There are often shortcuts to other parts of the showroom.

“The long natural way” is Ikeanese for doing exactly what the store architecture compels you to do. IKEA just can’t help but talk in self-congratulatory cant.

We have all spent much money at Ikea and learned to our frustration that, if Ikea can save money by drilling only one hole,when by drilling two the customer would find it easier to assemble the product, Ikea will cause its manufacturers to drill only one. It is as cheap and capitalist as Wallmart, but it has successfully occupied the commanding heights of virtue-signalling.

It is like eating at McDonald’s while the store reminds you that you are actually in a Michelin-rated restaurant.

And this attitude of being fully capitalist while pretending to be virtuous goes all the way to the top, if the corporate structure is anything to go by. I cite the Wikipedia article again:

 

IKEA is owned and operated by a complicated array of not-for-profit and for-profit corporations. The corporate structure is divided into two main parts: operations and franchising. Most of IKEA’s operations, including the management of the majority of its stores, the design and manufacture of its furniture, and purchasing and supply functions are overseen by INGKA Holding, a private, for-profit Dutch company. Of the IKEA stores in 43 countries, 303 are run by the INGKA Holding. The remaining 47 stores are run by franchisees outside of the INGKA Holding, with the exception of IKEA Delft which is not franchised.[83]

INGKA Holding is not an independent company, but is wholly owned by the Stichting INGKA Foundation, which Kamprad established in 1982 in the Netherlands as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit foundation. The INGKA Foundation is controlled by a five-member executive committee that is chaired by Kamprad and includes his wife and attorney.[84]

While most IKEA stores operate under the direct purview of INGKA Holding and the INGKA Foundation, the IKEA trademark and concept is owned by an entirely separate Dutch company Inter IKEA Systems, headquartered in Delft.[85] Every IKEA store, including those run by INGKA Holding, pays a franchise fee of 3% of revenue to Inter IKEA Systems. The ownership of Inter IKEA Systems is exceedingly complicated and not publicly known. Inter IKEA Systems is owned by Inter IKEA Holding, a company registered in Luxembourg. Inter IKEA Holding, in turn, belongs to an identically named company in the former Netherlands Antilles that is run by a trust company based in Curaçao.[84] In 2009 the company in Curaçao was liquidated and the company responsible for this liquidation traces back to the Interogo Foundation in Liechtenstein.[86] Ingvar Kamprad has confirmed that this foundation owns Inter IKEA Holding S.A. in Luxembourg and is controlled by the Kamprad family.[87] The IKEA food concessions that operate in IKEA stores are still directly owned by the Kamprad family and represent a major part of the family’s income.

I recommend that you read the Wikipedia article. The INGKA Foundations’s  not-for-profit status ensures that much of IKEA’s profits are untaxed. As you would expect. By contrast, the Waltons of Wall-Mart fame simply sell you stuff cheaply, and there is none of the smug moral posturing of IKEA.  Ingvar Kamprad’s INGKA Foundation has greater assets than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but gives away far less money.

To be clear, capitalism is good. But IKEA is selling  much more than cheap goods; it is selling to its clients a false moral posture, in the reflection of which the consumer is invited to bask.

Makes me ill to be there too long.