Achilles and Economics

Achilles was dipped into the River Styx to gain great power and protection; he was fully immersed by his mother Thetis except for his heel which is where she held him while she dipped him. And that was his weakness; the area where he was unprotected. The Achilles heel has come to mean the ability to bring down a very powerful adversary by exploiting an implicit weakness. The issue on the agenda for the adversary is to identify that weakness.

Achilles with an arrow in his exposed heel

Speaking of agendas, there’s a lot of noise and static about what is called the Agenda 2030. Perhaps it is worth clearing the conspiratorial noise surrounding this globalist agenda and reduce the noise through logic to its essence. Yet the logical core won’t dispel the concerns about the insidious nature of globalism, perhaps the logic may even serve to present the Agenda 2030 in its more realistic and nefarious way. Make no mistake about the objectives of the Agenda. It is globalist agenda and it is effective and it will take away your freedoms. I will look at this from a statistical point-of-view.

The Agenda 2030 is a broad global political narrative that is undeniably linked to the issues that we are constantly being bombarded with through the media: environment, gender, poverty. It is a global social agenda designed to be promoted at the United Nations under the slogan: no on left behind. (see the post on slogans).

Vital to understanding the Agenda, is understanding the Sustainable Development Goals otherwise known as the SDGs. It is in this statistical quagmire that we have to dig deep; dig into the mud of the goals and objectives. The goals consist of 17 thematic areas and 169 targets but most importantly 231 measurable and reportable statistically derived indicators. I was involved in some of the research estimating the cost of producing the data for reporting on these indicators. It was a fools errand but it was a weak advocacy effort at the time for investment in data. Each country is supposed to voluntarily report to the UN custodian agency on progress toward the SDGs through these statistically derived indicators; depending on the theme or sector. That is the core of the Agenda. If you can handle the statistics, you understand what is being sought. A statistic is actually not static. If you report an indicator, it is reported because some change is desired and therefore monitored. With a statistic, you can evaluate change. And there are very smart people looking at the policy implications of change and pushing for that change.  

The palette with the SDG goals

I have worked in the field of international statistics for over 25 years. It has always been a goal of the big development agencies like the World Bank to monitor the social development of underdeveloped countries and use the leverage they have in terms of aid to oblige countries to accept certain social policies. There was always an elitist approach: quod licet jovi non licet bovi (that which God is allowed the cow is not). The imposition of the rules and structural adjustment was a great pulpit for development pontification. The north knew best what was good for the south. This is not the case with the SDGs. They actually apply to all governments and it seems a serious approach.

With the Agenda 2030 or the SDGs, there is now an effective motion to level all countries into a kind of reporting vassalage to the UN. There is kind of a good for the goose and gander evolution taking place which at first seems laudable, but it is a disguised form of policy imperialism by a globalist cadre.   

The OECD welcomes the strong global consensus in support of the 2030 Agenda. The 17 goals and 169 targets provide a vision for the world in which we aspire to live fifteen years from now. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mark a shift away from an outdated “North-South” lens for global progress, and instead embody an agenda that is relevant to countries at all levels of development.. (Better Policies for 2030 by the OECD). For more information on the OECD click here.

For the sake of illustration, let’s look at one indicator. It is the SDG indicator 12.2.1 which is related to the environment and measures the impact by reporting on what is known as the Material Footprint (MF). For a whole list of the indicators maintained by the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD), click here.

12.2.1 Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP.

What is the material footprint? The use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generation. It is in fact the global demand on raw or primary materials to service our global demand, across all consumption.

The reporting agency is the United Nations Environmental Program. All countries must report this statistical indicator of the Material Footprint to this UN agency. This indicator will be monitored by the agency and any number of environmental NGOs with varying motives. The purpose of monitoring is to assure that the indictor trends a particular way over the years or at least through 2030. In this case, the desired objective is for the MF to trend downward: lower is better.

There is a very interesting process in computing the MF where it gets complex as the indicator evaluates all inputs and outputs in relatively complex computational methods known as environmental accounting. This accounting looks at the virtual amount of the raw material required across the whole supply chain to service final demand.

Propaganda poster by the UNSD on the Global Footprint

That’s key: the whole supply chain and servicing final demand.

It is no coincidence that suddenly we are hearing so much about the production and consumption supply chains that are related to servicing the demand, the alteration of which has an impact on the extraction of raw material; material needed to supply those basic needs that ostensibly bring a better quality of life yet have an impact on the environment. It is a knife to the juggler of a global free trade system pretending to be a scalpel to surgically modify the demand on the extraction of raw materials. Should we feel at ease that the technocrats at the UN are monitoring the supply chains that deliver the finished products we are accustomed to consuming in order to influence the industrial policies that could alter the supply of raw materials for which our economies have become accustomed and require for reasonable growth?

Such a noble concept of global monitoring unravels terribly: those basic needs that bring a better quality of life as defined by input-output tables computed by clever data scientists with their algorithms actually threaten democracy. One could almost write a Summa Politicae on this alone and wind up with volumes. Everything seems to indicate the establishment of an algocracy (government by algorithm) by an oligarchy.

So, the oligarchy looks at the whole supply chain and commissions the algorithm that can effectively be used to constrain demand and make the price go up so that demand goes down and thereby decrease the material footprint. This isn’t so much about monitoring but rather having an impact in the policy arena. And for this there are a select number of key NGOs that partner with the globalists to bring the algorithms to economic and social development. So, there is an extended view in environmental accounting that takes the raw material to market and evaluates the Achilles heel as an expression in policy. The Achilles Heel of our economic system. To find the weak spots in the supply chain in order to affect demand. This is the heart of Achillean Economics, the new economic system of the algocracy. That is where we are headed today. Instead of a representative democracy based on free market economics, we have an algocracy that seeks to determine consumption based on Achillean Economics: let the computers define the weak spots and get activists to attack the weak spots. And whether we like it or not; whether we are aware or not, we will eat bugs.

In the end, the Agenda 2030 produces a strong value-based gravitational pull of sectoral intentional networks that may be well-funded and have a lot of computational power that create knowledge that pushes and pulls the activist networks on a global level to change without consideration for those governance models we value: free market and representative geographic based democracies. To the guy down the road in his mechanic shop trying to make a living, it is invisible to him.   

So, after work and when the torque wrenches are put away; when you are sitting at home wondering why the price of gasoline is increasing or why building material is going up and why the chips that are required to make cars are in short-supply or why there is pandemonium in the beef supply market, rest assured that there are very well-paid number-crunching techies that believe in their tables and algorithms keeping us safe. They are reporting numbers in well-defined computational matrices that pass to well defined think tanks that produce the glossy reports that are used by the UN agencies and other globalists to effect policy at the national level: from Bamako to Brussels. They look at these models with great policy intentionality. The deeper they venture into the core, the more given they are to power and influence and funding; the deeper they go into the core, the less aware they become of the real world and complicit in a kind of collaborative society of global narrative ascribing experts that enjoy privilege: the real privilege of an invisible algocracy.

So, there is a conspiracy but not one that is calculated strictly and choreographed. It is rather a collection of sectoral specific intentional networks that coalesce around a common narrative usually espoused by sanctimonious experts that are given a kind of aura of reputability around the science of numbers. That network understands the numbers and the algorithms, and they know Achillean Economics very well.  

Look and Learn

Next time you hear of a supply chain crisis, modify the adage, “follow the money” to “follow the material footprint”. I hear there is an impending shortage of beer coming. A terrible thing if it comes around Superbowl time. But is it a stretch to suggest that beer puts a demand uniquely on barley. Most of the barley market supplies the beer industry. And that barley requires phosphates from fertilizer which is a raw material whose material footprint is desired to be controlled by audacious globalists. Modifying consumption habits in beer would have beneficial results in reducing the material footprint. So, why not create a problem here? Just enough to start modifying the demand and change the global supply chain. It may be just a conspiracy.

But apply the same logic to petroleum and petroleum products and their shortage; of lumber and the construction material shortage; and shortages of products that require fertilizer and any number of shortages like beef or meat due to supply chain issues. It’s clear that these supply chain issues are here to stay as part of the new Achillean Economic model which target with intention the demand side of the equation in an effort to reduce environmental impact.

Now things should be starting to become clear (if you have read this far).

How are we effectively to combat this terrible combination of Achillean Economic and the global algocracy? It is practically impossible if we are given to easy consumption. We would have to radically change our patterns of behavior and reestablish ideals of geographic based representation and free market life. It means living a life of Christian community with purpose to counter the intentional monopolistic behavior of our corporate complicit globalist governance model. If you think about it, a small Christian based community that is self-aware and filled with inner conviction has the lowest possible material footprint. We unplug from commercial consumerism. We become humble in consumption and organize to bring our own produce and craft to market and exchange in barter or services between us. We have to find the crucial and critical mass in these communities to operate as independently as possible while remaining genuine and realistic. We will likely always need access to some goods provided by the “big guys”. But we can go small. We can surprisingly share our own excess in these communities and provide an alternative. This alternative would have greater impact in reducing the material footprint and yet retain freedom than the Achillean model of control. We’d have to give up some comfort to regain our freedom. But in so doing, we may regain our soul. In baptism we are fully immersed. Even our Achilles Heel.

“Look at Behemoth,
    which I made along with you
    and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength it has in its loins,
    what power in the muscles of its belly!

Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
    or trap it and pierce its nose?

Job 40:15-24

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