by Bonner Russell Cohen, PhD
The recent torrent of regulations unleashed by the Biden administration — targeting everything from power plant and automobile tailpipe emissions to gas stoves and other household appliances — confirms that the White House was deadly serious when — in office for less than a week — it pledged a “whole of government” approach to combatting what it told the public was a “climate crisis.”
If anything, the “whole of government” language contained in President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27, 2021 executive order understates the case. The lengths to which the administration and its allies are willing to go to force a transition to a green energy future go far beyond government regulations and presidential executive orders.
Indeed, the energy transition is part of a larger transformation of society pursued by a woke elite intent on cementing and expanding its own power and wealth, with scant regard for the consequences this will have on people of middle- or lower income.
This is an ambitious undertaking, even for those who are adept at wielding power on a grand scale. The strategy they have adopted — probably unwittingly — is an adaptation of a military doctrine that arose in the Pentagon in the early 2000s. “Full-Spectrum Dominance,” also known as “Full-Spectrum Superiority,” is defined by the Department of Defense as:
The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains and information environment that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.
Under this doctrine, once hegemony has been established “without effective opposition or prohibitive interference,” lesser powers will have little choice but to acquiesce to the domination of the hegemon. At the societal level, the left achieves full-spectrum dominance by having its ideological allies — inside and outside of government — control the levers of economic, legal, political and cultural power.
An ever-expanding network of interlocking relationships encompassing likeminded people and organizations enables the rise of new institutions and the transformation of old ones.
‘Long March Through the Institutions’
The idea of stacking society’s deck to reach Utopia is not new. Disillusioned with the working class’s refusal to serve as the vanguard of the revolution as Marx had prescribed, Italian communist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) suggested abandoning the Proletariat and instead infiltrating and transforming existing institutions as the best way for the left to obtain and hold onto power. German Marxist Rudi Dutschke (1940-1979) dubbed this “the long march through the institutions.”
Not in their wildest dreams could Gramsci or Dutschke have imagined that a future generation of capitalist titans would lock arms with the left in the march to transform society along progressive lines. But that’s exactly what 21st century oligarchs in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West are doing.
In his annual letter to shareholders earlier this year, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said government should seize private property for wind and solar farms to help combat climate change.
“We may even need to evoke eminent domain …,” he added. If Dimon’s view prevails, a farmer’s land that has hitherto been used to produce food could be seized to serve as a platform for wind turbines or solar arrays installed by developers whose sole interest lies in pocketing generous government subsidies for renewable energy.
Dimon’s call for land seizures in rural America coincides with the pursuit of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment strategies by major Wall Street asset managers. Aimed at directing investments to politically favored industries, such as green energy producers, ESG also denies capital to out-of-favor fossil-fuel companies. ESG’s most outspoken champion is Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the nation’s largest asset manager.
“The giant capital controllers, like Dimon and Fink, have teamed up with heads of western governments and the Biden Administration in particular, to deny and constrain citizen rights while they continue to live – and intend to keep living – billionaire lifestyles,” says Scott Shepard, director the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Whatever their lofty claims about their efforts, their end goal is to create a global class of nobility for themselves, and a narrow future without autonomy for the rest of us.”
The enthusiasm for all things green among pillars of the private sector is reinforced by the administration’s plans to have companies disclose their “climate risks” in their annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Of particular interest are the climate risks posed by larger federal contractors who would be required to publicly disclose their own greenhouse-gas emissions, along with those of their suppliers and even customers.
If the proposed rule is implemented, and survives legal challenges, it could transform the purchasing practices of the federal government to a deep shade of green. Federal agencies spend about $650 billion a year on goods and services, more than any other entity.
Those who question the underlying assumptions of human-caused global warming are routinely denounced as “climate deniers” by alarmists and a compliant media; resistance to the prevailing narrative is treated as blasphemy.
Just as green Full-Spectrum Dominance can be imposed domestically, it can — by manipulating tariffs and the lending practices of international finance institutions — be used to force poorer countries in the Global South to met climate goals set by elites in wealthy countries.
Throughout history, every society has had some form of ruling class. But in the U.S., even during the conspicuous consumption of the Gilded Age or the “we’re in the money” Roaring Twenties, those at the top never consciously tried to pauperize those further down the income scale. No more.
Today’s elites have learned that getting control of energy means getting control of the people who need and use energy. Under the pretext of “combatting climate change,” they are using their own version of Full-Spectrum Dominance to suppress the rest of us.
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Bonner Russell Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Photo “Kamala Harris and Joe Biden” by The White House.