This is the second part of the article, “The Battle for California is the Battle for America.” You can find the first part here.
The Battle for California Is the Battle for America
But again, it’s not just coffee or weed killer. California’s long reach is far more ambitious. What we drive, where we live, and how much we pay for basic necessities—all of these questions are destined to be answered with far more restrictions making everything far more costly, if California’s policies are successfully exported to the rest of the United States.
Despite covering a lot of ground in this discussion of how California is transforming itself and the rest of the nation in the process, there are more examples of equal significance left unexamined. California’s proposed wealth tax borrows from proposals from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and returns the favor by creating a model for states and possibly even the federal government to emulate. There’s also California’s minimum wage laws, set to drive the statewide minimum wage to the highest in the nation; California’s extraordinary hostility to small businesses; and California’s punitive rates of taxation.
To counter California enacting laws and regulations that corporations will simply adopt for their entire global product line, or HR manual, the political and cultural values that dominate California must be challenged. Sadly, many corporations have decided it is more cost-effective for them simply to adopt these practices than to bother fighting them. In California, most corporations have realized their commercial aspirations are actually better served by adhering to the excessive restrictions imposed by California, because it creates artificial scarcity which drives up prices, it creates captive markets purchasing mandated products, and it throws up barriers to innovative competitors lacking the financial resilience to comply.
For these reasons, out-of-state interests must recognize California for what it is—a plutocracy that has put its own interests before the interests of its residents.
This power of this plutocracy is almost indescribable and extends well beyond their alliance with environmentalist nonprofits and public sector unions. California’s plutocrats not only have personal wealth measured in tens of billions, but they control the most powerful corporations on earth. These corporations have monopoly power over America’s online communications and search platforms, and equally if not more significant, their companies are at the epicenter of a high-tech ecosystem capable of developing and rapidly deploying advanced autonomous weapons systems. In a low-intensity civil war, California, allied with other blue states, might easily hold its own.
The Battle for America is the Battle for the Future of the World
California’s plutocrats don’t just have their eye on America, they want to conquer the world. For them, progressive feudalism is the political economy of the future, enabling them to preside over a reduction in the quality of Western lifestyles and individual freedom and a leveling of wealth around the world, while exponentially increasing their own wealth and power.
Once they’ve taken over the United States, they may face a reckoning with the progressive electorate and militant cadres that were their enablers on the ground, but it wouldn’t last long. By then the technology-driven police state will be perfected, with limitless access to robots, slap drones, nanobots, cyberware, and precision pathogens offering effortless control of even the most restive populations.
For these reasons, overcoming the progressive feudalists now, by changing the sentiment of California’s electorate, is not only preferable to violence, it has a higher probability of success. Most Californians have figured out that something is wrong, but they have been brainwashed into fearing the alternatives. They fear meritocracy. They fear capitalism. They fear racism. They fear climate change. They have slowly become accustomed to what is becoming tyranny, and they believe material poverty is necessary to save the planet and atone for racism. And in all these areas, the people who could offer common-sense solutions have been censored and disparaged.
But the progressive feudalists have one fatal weakness: They are wrong. The fundamental premises they use to justify their actions are flawed.
Meritocracy is the only way a free people can create an efficient, prosperous, opportunity society. Without it, nobody has any incentive to innovate or work hard. The capable and hard-working become cynical and resentful, while the incompetent and the indolent know they don’t have to step up, because they can live for free.
Capitalism is not dangerous, it is the engine of progress. It has been conflated with corporate monopolies and financial speculators. What a free nation does is use thoughtful regulations to amputate the gangrenous appendages of capitalist corruption, the predators and the gamblers, leaving the pure and competitive heart of capitalist competition to thrive.
Racism is an odious fact of history, in all nations and cultures, but the facts today in California tell a very different story. Racism, such as it is, is institutionalized to favor nonwhites in every aspect of society, hiring, admissions, and promotions. To the extent racial disparities exist in academic group achievement, it is the result of schools that have been destroyed by the teachers’ union monopoly, which has been proven to disproportionately damage schools in low-income areas. And as courageous conservatives in the black and Latino communities are asserting with increasing confidence, building wealth and income in these communities requires internal cultural change: stay married, work hard, stay in school, study marketable skills, reject drugs and alcohol and gangs. There are ample examples of communities in the United States that have overcome discrimination, or possible discrimination, and have thrived. It can be done. Take responsibility.
Finally, there is climate change, the trump card of the collectivists, played by progressive feudalists whenever they decide it’s time to end the debate and get on with their agenda. But everything the environmental extremists have done in recent years has caused harm. Suburban expansion doesn’t stop climate change, it just makes housing unaffordable. Forest “preservation” doesn’t preserve forests, it turns them into tinderboxes that are periodically obliterated by fire. Natural gas is affordable and clean, and has already allowed Americans to lower their ratio of CO2 emissions to energy consumption to the lowest of all industrialized nations. Are the Chinese and Indians going to lower their emissions? Because if they don’t, so what if Americans do? And what about nuclear power? Why is the renewables lobby shutting down Diablo Canyon?
These are the messages that must be taken to California’s voters, without apology or equivocation. Expand suburbs along the freeway corridors into the vast rangeland of California. Build new reservoirs and restore the aqueducts. Build desalination plants up and down the California coast and keep Diablo Canyon open. Thin the forests, restore the timber industry, and build biomass power plants to turn the trimmings into clean electricity. Instead of squandering billions on the bullet train, widen the roads with smart lanes for high speed, high tech cars. Drill for natural gas in the Monterey Shale. Mine lithium in the Mojave Desert. Deregulate, so builders and business owners can spend their time, talents, and money on productive work instead of permits and fees. And launch a frontal assault on the teachers’ union by enacting school choice with vouchers parents can redeem wherever they want.
This is a contract with California that would entice everyone. This is the enlightened, empowering capitalism that delivers the broad prosperity and freedom that progressive feudalism promises but cannot possibly deliver. This is the agenda that will enable voters in California to understand that competitive abundance is a morally preferable choice. California can be affordable again without compromising environmentalist values.
California can deliver opportunity to everyone again, no matter who they are or where they came from. Americans who want to prevent the Californication of America must step up, dollar for dollar, to counter the spending of California’s public sector unions and resident billionaires.
California’s seething population, searching for answers, must realize the premises used to justify their misery rely on convenient illusions, conjured by special interests for their own gain. But the battle must be fought. Somebody has to tell them.
What is at stake in California is not just California. It is the future of America. It is the future of the world.