By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: Matt Ehret, Editor-in-Chief of the “Canadian Patriot Review”.
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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
For those who prefer to read interviews, instead of watching and listening to them, the transcript is below.
Original article with video and audio interview:
Jeff: All right, here we go. Good morning, everybody. This is Jeff.J. Brown, China Rising Radio Sinoland in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And if you draw a line and go across the North Pole and not very far over the North Pole, you get to Montreal, Canada. And I am so happy to have Matt Ehret on the show tonight.
How are you doing, Matt?
Matt: I’m doing great, Jeff. Thanks for having me on.
Jeff: Montreal is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. I’ve been there a number of times and I really envy you living there. It’s one of the great cosmopolitan cities of the world and that does not get the street cred that it deserves because it’s really an amazing place. So I’m sure you enjoy living there.
Jeff: I am truly honored to have met Aaron on the show today. And we’d like to thank our mutual friend Patrice Greanville at The Greenville Post for putting us in touch. Let me tell you a little bit about Matt.
Matt Ehret is the editor in chief of the Canadian Patriot Review, and he is a Belt and Road initiative expert on tactical talk and has authored three volumes of the untold history of China’s book series, as well as the time, has come for Canada to join the New Silk Road. In 2019, He co-founded the Montreal based Rising Tide Foundation. And I have put down below in the article page, his email, and his two Web sites, so please get in touch with him and just go on any search engine put in Matt M-A-T-T and Ehret E-H-R-E-T and you can find you him very, very easily.
And to prepare for this interview, I just finished reading a number of mass articles, I printed out a pile of about this thick and really enjoyed reading them and underlined a lot of stuff and took a lot of notes. What I like about Matt is, he covers a whole range of interesting global topics with lots of historical and current context, which I always try to do too. I really like the way he puts things into perspective. I strongly recommend subscribing to his email newsletter so you can start following his work, which I’ve done myself. I get his newsletter and I also look forward to reading his book about the New Silk Road. Maybe, after the dust settles after Covid-19.
Anyway, Matt, the first question, please tell us about yourself growing up, your arc of awareness about the Western empire to the point that it inspired you to be a journalist.
Matt: Well, that’s a great first question. I think that from my standpoint, the points in my life that I think have the highest value to answer that question touch on myself, as an artist, where my training was never in politics or in economics, growing up and into high school, into university, I was primarily focused. I was thought that my world was going to be focused on illustration arts. That’s what my training was in. And at a certain point, I decided to start focusing on documentary making a film and try to put my animation skills into that.
And so I started a bit of a research project and this is a little bit after 9/11, and obviously, one of the side effects of researching 9/11 in the wake of that was very nasty surprises that shook a lot of the foundations of my reality. And that was a painful process that I think a lot of your viewers have experienced, just sort of realizing that there is a big lie. Then beginning to realize you have a choice to run away from it or to dig in, and I chose to dig in and formulate a bit of a picture historically, globally of what exactly was going on.
And it was gratifying on one level and traumatizing in another and it got to a point where I think that I made a decision to no longer talk about politics because I figured that the two results I was getting were either alienating people, family, friends, and others, or under the small circumstances where I was doing an efficient job at convincing, persuading them that my compulsion for them to investigate 9/11, international bankers, conspiracies, things like that. When it did actually produce results, it just demoralized the hell out of these people. And really, I didn’t have much to offer in terms of solution. So I figured if ignorance might actually be bliss in some cases.
I decided to shut up about it unless some solutions could ever come into my world. So when I started discovering that there were certain political movements internationally that were not only resisting but actually had an orientation towards alternatives, solutions. My reason recognized could work, maybe I didn’t believe it in my heart, it was possible at that time the early 2000s. Still, I could see that this could work in principle, that the financial system, though, it was probably going to meltdown. This is not a surprise people should have had in 2006. But when you look at what was just holding together the entire world system, you could sort of seeing with the relative reason that it was a bubble and bubbles pop. So by seeing that there were blueprints and I decided to start throwing my lot in, I dropped out of university and started focusing on people activism.
Jeff: Wow! That’s courageous.
Matt: What were the alternatives, right?
And honestly, one of the things that I also saw was that in my university, one of the problems was that the teachers themselves in the fine arts and film programs I was in were themselves following an ideal that they were encouraging the students to abide by, which was deconstructionism an elevation of abstract and ugly aesthetics to a point where the idea that was conveyed again and against me was that unless if you make successful art, it’s because you are making your audience squirm in their seats if you try to make it intelligible or try to convey an intelligible message that’s maybe moral, it’s a failure.
It’s to be frowned upon, it’s not legitimate art. So that I could see was visceral and made it more clear why one of the aspects of our society had such difficulty culturally in shaping an idea of what is real and acting morally in response to discoveries. There’s a systemic problem and a lot of it is cultural. That also propelled me to not really value that education so much.
To get back to your original question, I know I’m dragging on a bit.
Jeff: No, it’s Interesting.
I think it’s very helpful for people to hear your story, my story, other people’s stories about how they kind of woke up out of a deep sleep, basically being brainwashed since birth. And so, please, please talk, because I think this is foundational for anybody who wants to step outside of the Matrix and see the world from a realistic standpoint.
So, please continue.
Matt: Well, thank you for saying that.
In that sense, I think one of the things that helped me conceptually as I began to focus on political activism, which began manifesting as well in organizing conferences. Certain over the years diplomatic events as well, which gave me certain experiences. But I think that part of the process of communication, giving lectures, organizing, was that in the arts, one beneficial thing that I took out of my experience, and this is still partially my side career when I’m not writing as it is and doing illustration.
But one of the things that you always start with a thumbnail sketch, you can’t start with a finished product and you don’t start with all of the details. But you always have to start with a thumbnail sketch who has a basic broad idea of the whole of what you want to eventually work on. And after you’re settled on a concept, you can start working on building in the shade, building in some of the more details, then getting into the refinements of color.
And then finally sort of deciding, pulling together the picture along the way and that whether it’s a musician. This is my visual arts experience, but I’ve noticed that people who are in a musical domain have a similar experience where you can’t just start playing a song, you can’t just play. You start playing something you began listening to it many times and start formulating a musical idea. It’s rough. And then you start working it in and working it in. Till it becomes something you can play with.
Political ideas, I think are somewhat similar and people have to be prepared to sort of shape because obviously everything is connected to everything else. You commented on that, in what I try to accomplish in my writing interests when I deal with political analysis, I tend to touch on a lot of things and I think a lot of people I admire tend to do that as well. And it’s because people start realizing that whether you want to talk about economics, you can’t get away from politics. Either one you have to build history because both come from a process.
Obviously, everything is tied to everything, there’s scientific ideas and everything. So you are rather having to expect that you can’t master everything. But at the very least, you can come to ideas of principle and then come to know them better and refine them and throw away what doesn’t work, throw away false hypotheses, and if you can find a way to replace them with a better one. Along the way, while I was organizing, I was operating here in Canada. I was tied within an international organization, to say, it’s the Schiller Institute, a very interesting organization and here in Canada, there was a very small little branch. The problem was in organizing, I encountered that I’m talking to Canadians, but we don’t seem to know very much about Canada per se.
Jeff: That sounds like Americans.
Matt: In some cases, yeah.
It’s all great having grand designs and visions and messages to bring to people. But at the same time, you can’t connect with them about what is their own history, what is their own world, the geopolitical world that they’re living in, how to tie that into a bigger picture. It alienates people a little bit. So myself and some colleagues decided to start a project, we called it informally the Canadian History Project. Just to get a sense of a little bit of what is this weird monarchy/quasi-democracy in the north above America. It’s the only monarchy of all of the Americas, why is that the case? Today we call it the deep state, but what is this shadow government apparatus within Canada of unelected systems? And it seems to have been there for generations. What is this? Where did that come from?
So we did a lot of work and as we started formulating a better picture and publishing more documentation on that. The Canadian Patriot Review in the summer of 2012 manifested itself as a decision to create a journal that would both take historical assessments but also tied into the geopolitical changes of the day. And that’s sort of where that came from for the past eight years. And that’s been evolving and become more of a broader obviously we still deal with Canada, but we touch more and more on the international perspective. And from there, we are here today having a conversation to make a long story short.
Jeff: Well, cool. I think, it’s kind of a 50-cent word but I do love your contextualization and you really do put things in perspective. And it’s really interesting you started The Canadian Patriot in 2012, and that’s about the time that I started blogging and writing, and wrote my first book in 2013. And it was when I saw the World Trade Center building number 7, I saw that short 20-second clip of it coming down in freefall. And that was the beginning of my odyssey. And I was like, I’m a certified science teacher and that’s not possible. And so we all go through these epiphanies where it’s like, wow! And so it’s interesting that we both, and I think for a lot of people, 9/11 has been a foundational experience and the shocking truth that finding out what really happened is one of those sort of, crucibles that we have to go through to see how are our Western governance works.
Listen, thank you for sharing all that with us, because it was really interesting.
You talk about the global green new deal and I’ll be honest with you, I consider myself pretty well-read but I had never heard of that. And it sounds, the New Deal Roosevelt, it sounds like a great idea, but you describe it as a Trojan horse, so please tell us about where it fits into today’s current events, mainstream media headlines and then also spin-off on that. I was reading your work about this Green New Deal being proposed. You are talking about one of Western Oligarch’s greatest ambitions, which is to call the global 99 percent from 7 billion souls down to 2 billion. And you’re not the only one that’s been writing about this. I’ve been reading about this more and more. It sounds like a bad science fiction horror movie. So please just tell us about this whole ball of evil.
Matt: What’s a good way to put it?
Yeah, I mean, the Roosevelts, obviously, the Green New Deal, as you said, comes from the reference to Roosevelt’s and the New Deal of the 1930s. When you really look at what the New Deal was, you start seeing that there’s a lot of parallels to today’s situation. The fact that we’re living in a financial bubble economy, it’s driven by mostly speculation. Especially since the 1970s, it’s been an increasingly speculative, post-industrial model of social organization. Formerly before the 70s, we had an industrial model, meaning if you wanted to have an increase of money in the system one year to the next, you had to justify it with an increase of measurable capital products being industrially created for that society. That also includes infrastructure, not merely Playdates, PlayStations, but it’s not just useless luxury goods, but rather, needs. It’s a need-driven system.
After the 70s, we became more deregulated, more driven by making money with money and different, slightly less than legitimate ways. And today it’s a bubble in proportion to bigger than anything we’ve ever seen in human history. But the similarities to the 1930s that Roosevelt faced were very, very striking. The 1929 depression was driven by speculation, mostly on real estate in the 20s. It’s called the roaring 20s for a reason and it was highly liberalized, it was highly, easy money. And people got dumb over that over that period.
Jeff: Greedy, got greedy.
Matt: Yeah, quite greedy.
And it blew for reasons which I documented in my writings. Some of it was triggered artificially, but it was a bubble that was going to be triggered in any points at will, whenever it was deemed a strategic useful moment to blow it, it was blown. The years of depression were terrible and obviously there was 25% unemployment. There’s a rise of fascism as an economic solution that was being pushed for the people. So when Roosevelt came in, there was a collapse of industrial activity by 50%. There was a lot of pure despair. And he waged war against Wall Street. Looking through this history is extraordinary.
And they don’t teach you this in school and in a lot of the popular documentaries, what Roosevelt actually did to fight this bankers’ dictatorship in London and Wall Street and he did it on multiple layers. But after taking their power away, breaking up the banks in legalizing speculation on people’s savings, he was able to then take the legitimate part of the banking system that had been put through a form of bankruptcy, receivership and remobilize the productive what you’ve saved and insured by the government.
There are certain amounts of guarantees that were given to legitimate savings that were then remobilized towards long term infrastructure projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority, electrification, big dams, a lot of big things, small things. But people were put back to work and the nation started a slow process of healing.
But it was all tied to a different paradigm, a philosophy of long term thinking, physical investments into things that benefit the life of people. And that was the New Deal. The name for the New Deal was both the financial reforms as well as these positive economic development strategies. And it eventually got America to the point that it was able to then put down this fascist machine. That’s a whole other probably interview went to itself.
Jeff: I’ve written about it, too.
Smedley Butler and the American Liberty League, and all that is just frightening.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. And that’s the heart of the rise people wonder where today’s modern neoconservative movement comes from, that’s it.
To get you back into the question of the Green New Deal, because there are two parts to your question. Green New Deal is a parody of that. They expect people don’t really, the people pushing this from the top kind of. It’s not a secret that the financial system is going to blow out. The question was, what was the new system going to look like and who would define the terms of that collapse. Who would manage the collapse and who would manage the new sets of rules to replace globalization.
I first picked up on the terminology Green New Deal by my research on Chrystia Freeland who was a Rhodes Scholar, highly placed in Canada, is now deputy prime minister, a hand sort of controlling the bubblehead, a GQ figure, passing herself off as the prime minister of Canada. But, Chrystia Freeland, she had given a series of lectures in 2011, 2012, 2013, had written some books on what the green new system had to be. And in reading that, listening to her lectures, the idea of Green New Deal, it was something I started picking up on and others have written about it before her.
But that was my own way of encountering the term. And essentially the idea was, we need governments to prepare for a complete reorganization of the rules of the world system. Obviously, what we currently have doesn’t work, but they have to be tied to things that ultimately undermine the basis of those nations to exist and to produce for their people. When you look at things like the carbon tax, a tax cap, and trade policies when you look at the forms of infrastructure being promoted to lower the world carbon production to within levels that we had maybe over a hundred years ago, pre-industrial levels. That they say will lower the world temperature by 1 to 1.5 degrees in 30 years. These are all forms of energy, forms of economic practice, which will ultimately undo nations’ abilities to industrially create and to produce sufficient types of infrastructure to sustain 7 or 8 or 9 billion people.
Forget 9 billion, people on the earth at any standard of living worth having, because to melt industrial steel, to process concrete in the magnitudes that you’re seeing China do for the Belt and Road initiative, just as one example. This requires qualities of energy density that you could never get from windmills or solar panels. And this is not a secret, this is known but there’s a lot of energy illiteracy about how these things actually work.
I’m not saying that there’s no place for windmills or solar panels in the sense that maybe, look at China, you can derive electricity for household use. You can power your T.V’s, certain domestic electricity needs can be done for that. But ultimately, these things only exist because of massive government subsidies, either the cost wattage wise per hour of a windmill farm or solar power plant versus a hydroelectric dam or a nuclear power plant, it’s infinitely bad. And it could only exist, by massive taxpayer subsidies in the billions.
Another aspect of this is turning food into gasoline. But I mean, like with as much starvation you have in the world today, under what philosophy would permit for 40 percent of America’s corn production for bringing gas and gasoline tanks. You’re burning food when people are starving. So that comes out of this whole dynamic that really, again, started becoming hegemonic at the end of the 60s, early 70s, in the wake of the murders of a lot of America’s greatest leaders. You started in a sense that, OK, rather than being in a producer society, let’s just live and be in a conservation society. We will conserve but we won’t produce. Then that justifies consumption, we’re going to stop doing. So people just went crazy. And I would say for that part of your question on the Green New Deal, that’s basically what it is.
Jeff: And so what you’re saying is, is that they’re taking these sort of high, lofty ideals about saving the environment and which really starts the motor for the well-intentioned people, left-wing type people to try to save the environment or even classic conservatives to try to save the environment.
But then they’re using this as a way to globally control the economic system and take away the decision making of individual countries and individual governments and trying to turn it into a sort of an international mandate. Is that what you’re saying?
Matt: Yeah. I pulled out a quote by the founder of this thing called The Club of Rome, it’s a very influential organization.
You’ve heard of it, right?
Jeff: Oh, yeah, absolutely. It goes back to the 50s or 60s, I think.
Matt: Conceptually, yeah. It came out of the Bilderberg groups which started in 1954. But then the Club of Rome was set up in the late 60s by two high-level officials. One of them was Sir Alexander King, who formerly managed UNESCO’s educational reforms of the Western nations in the late 50s and 60s, essentially getting rid of classical humanist educational practices that were prevalent in Germany, in Europe, and in America, and replacing with a bigger emphasis on sociology, modern theories like getting rid of the dead white European males and replacing the more relevant topics.
So came an emphasis on getting rid of constructive geometry and replacing it with more mathematical formulas. He was part of that process, a very high level in British intelligence figures. And so his next assignment was to set up the Club of Rome with a fellow named Aurelio Peccei, and both of these guys were what are called Neo Malthusians.
This created a new standard of forecasting based upon taking the variables of human population growth plus pollution growth and plugging it into computer models that we’re becoming increasingly used in those days and just charting linear extrapolations into the future and saying based upon the growth of human population and the arithmetic collapse of food, accessibility, resources, whatever else you wanted to plot in there, you could chart that at this moment, 30 years in the future, you would have a crisis breakdown moment, which became the basis of arguing that government’s responsibilities to protect the general good is to stop that collapse point or at least push that collapse point further into the future by constricting the rate of population growth and other things.
Jeff: This takes us into this idea about how the oligarchs want to call the global 99% down to 2 billion people on the entire planet.
Matt: Some of it’s dishonest because I think they know and not I think but I know that the oligarchy, in reading the writings of enough of these higher-level ideologues, you start getting a sense that they kind of know that human beings are ultimately creative by our nature. They know that we make discoveries in principles of the universe that are not simply the effect of deductive, inductive, mathematical reasoning. Obviously, these things are useful as types of reasoning.
Start with the whole work to the parts or start with a bunch of patterns in the parts and work to a whole, that’s deductive inductive. Obviously, you’ve got to use those two tool techniques in managing life anyway. But a new discovery like gravity, when Kepler discovered universal gravitation, and notice I didn’t say Newton or any great discovery is made, there’s always a creative leap that’s occurring, which is not something of a binary computer system can measure, it’s descriptive. And so in their 1960s, 70s, like one of the studies was called ‘Limits to Growth’ that came out.
Jeff: I remember that time. I didn’t read it, but I remember that it came out with quite a bit of ballyhoo.
Matt: Yeah. It’s today known as the Bible of environmental forecasting. More copies published in more languages than any other environmental book in the world. And actually, the funding for that started with taxpayer money in Montebello, Quebec. It’s actually started in the Club of Rome meeting with Pierre Trudeau presiding over it, Justin’s father who was a big ‘Club of Rome’ fanatic, love this stuff. So all that to say what was banned from their computer projections was human creativity, creativity didn’t exist. They act like what we have at that moment in 1968, 1970, in terms of what technologies exist, is all that could exist. And so by denying the very fact, that human beings are creative. Sure, we always confront scarcity, we always have caring capacities. But unlike animals who have caring capacities as well, just like us, we can make creative leaps and discover resources, new ways of doing things that didn’t exist before, which totally change your models, they didn’t care about. They didn’t want us to think about that.
So this guy Alexander King to quote that I promised, I pulled out, anticipating this might show up in our interview. In 1991, he wrote a book called ‘The First Global Revolution’. And there was a sort of an assessment or sort of an autobiographical approach of the growth of the ‘Club of Rome’. And he wrote in the introduction of this book, He said, in searching for a new enemy to unite us, we that is, we in his little team of computer modelers, came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill but in designing them as the enemy, we fall into the trap of mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. And is where it gets good, the real enemy, then, is humanity itself.
Jeff: God, that’s Malthusian.
Matt: Yeah. That would make Malthusians envy a little bit.
So yes, unfortunately, it does sound a little bit Hollywood-esque to think that there is a grand design to reduce the world population. But a lot of the movies in Hollywood that we associate with this idea, like Soylent Green.
Jeff: It’s one of my sci-fi faves. Charlton Heston and who was the guy that committed suicide in that, Edward? Anyway, it was his last movie.
Matt: Sol, right. The guy who played Sol.
Jeff: Yeah. It was his last movie, He died.
Matt: Yeah, “Soylent Green is People!” So that movie, Logan’s Run, a lot of these movies in the 70s, all had that same sort of idea of scarcity. This dystopic idea of the future. Population control. They were sponsored largely by the financial institutions that these Malthusians were working with and for anyway. So there is a certain aspect of cultural warfare in movies that then created an idea that, oh, what you’re talking about here with conspiracies that’s just for the movies. But the movies themselves kind of tend to off. I’m not saying all movies are conspiracies. But I mean, that’s a tool that’s part of our life that we have to deal with.
You brought up the second part of your question, but I forget what it was.
Jeff: What I was calling. We’ve clearly what you just brought up, from Malthus’s book in 1798. I mean, there is this aristocratic oligarchic notion that the rest of us are, as Hillary Clinton called us deplorable, as human garbage. And that we are the eaters and they’re their producers and we deserve to die. And I think that’s pretty clear and like something I’ve kind of grabbed on to more recently, but especially with the SARS, Coronavirus too, as a platform to use to call you and me and all of everybody out there watching and listening to this. It’s all really, really frightening.
Well, listen, what about China? I lived in China for 16 years and back in the bad old days of the 90s when it was really, really polluted. And since then, it has ambitious plans to transform its economy from dirty to clean and wasteful to efficient. President Xi Jinping talks a lot about in his speeches about blue skies, clear waters and green mountains, evoking classic Chinese painting and poetry. And China also has plans for the Belt and Road initiative to be environmentally friendly. It includes this green belt and with an eye to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. How do you compare and contrast the West Green New Deal to China’s national and international green initiatives,
What do you think?
Matt: Well, I think going back to the Alexander King statement, ‘the real enemy then is humanity itself’. The overarching philosophy we’re seeing coming from China in all of the beautiful ideas you just enunciated is this idea that men and what we do are the fruits of human life, of our mind, of our thoughts, discoveries, which is scientific and technological progress. So man is a part of nature. So by protecting and making nature better in the Chinese paradigm, we’re making human beings also better. You can’t sacrifice human beings to make nature better. Whereas versus the idea that we have to protect nature from humans. There’s an implicit dichotomization between human beings and everything human beings do as a system versus everything the ecology is as biotic system that’s not governed by cognition. So by assuming that there is this absolute dichotomy, this dualism, you fall into a Malthusian trap. That all of a sudden everything seems operating is nice, consistent patterns.
It’s nice logarithms of cycles which you see in rabbit populations growing and then collapsing whenever they reach a certain limit that nature provides. Then they eat their babies, the population regulates itself and then the population begins to grow again. You could see that in every form of environmental life. If you try to impose that law of the jungle onto human beings, you get the sorts of results where people start behaving in this sort of ugly way that we see and they don’t even know why. But when you treat us like we’re part of nature, you treat the human mind like it’s part of nature, it’s a very different effect.
In China and the way, it’s approaching the Belt and Road initiative. It’s being green by doing things like greening deserts.
You don’t build a bunch of solar panels all over the desert the way that a lot of these technocrats in the West are trying to do for North Africa or Arizona, that’s just going to increase the heat and increase the desertification by increasing the massive amounts of heat. It prevents any type of agricultural or forestation possibilities forever in the mix, that it condemns it to always being a desert and that desert will grow versus China’s approach of saying, okay, we have deserts, but we also have a lot of water in the south. So let’s take that south water north and start along the way increasing abundance of forests, of agricultural zones and things.
That’s a real way to be green. Green the deserts. They’re also doing things where they have solar panels and they have these other green energy sources. I’m not a big fan of that. But at the same time they also have the world’s leader of nuclear power development. Nobody comes close, only Russia comes close. But China right now, leading the world in nuclear power builds 45 already now and another 12 in construction with plans to triple their nuclear power. And we’re talking like a third, fourth generation.
Jeff: Yeah, this new ultra-modern technique. I can’t expound on the techniques of it. We don’t need to go into but yes supposedly it’s much different than the days of the China syndrome
Matt: Yeah. A huge different world completely.
We’re talking about also national policies for recycling, closing the nuclear cycle as well, which least in the West told to stop doing this back in the 70s, we just stopped. We came close, now we’re told, just stop, don’t close the fuel cycle, just bury it. China saying, well, why do we bury it? It’s still radioactive, it’s still useful. Why not just close the cycle, reprocess it?
And they have a deal with the Canadian SNC leveling the company tied to all of these scandals right now and the threat to take down Canada. But that they’re doing a lot of business, and they’re one of the only companies doing a lot of that Canadian business with China on this sort of technology. So that’s the real way to be green, is to just assume that human beings are able to both live with nature, but also as we make our life better if we do it right, we also make nature better.
Nature doesn’t want to be necessary, who said that nature wants to be a desert. The desert’s that we have today used to be green, lush zones. The Sahara used to thrive in green and water a few thousand years ago. We don’t know why that water went under the desert, but it did. Now, who’s to say that it’s unnatural to bring that some of that water from the aquifers back to the north to the surface.
Jeff: Absolutely. Yeah. Well, this gets into China is very obviously for 5000 years. Well, Buddha was born later and Confucius and Laozi were born, 700 B.C. But this is very much this whole idea of very holistic, cyclic, the big wheel of Buddha, the big wheel of life, Confucius, and Laozi and Taoism. And I keep trying to tell people, I’m really, really sick of the moral equivalence that, Oh, China is just as bad as the West, because they are different.
They are Confucian, they are Buddhist and they are Taoist. And it is 180 degrees different than Western Greco-Roman aristocratic rule. And so I’m glad to hear you talk about that. Well, you are from Canada. As I said, you write on so many different things, it’s really interesting. So let’s move now to the Arctic.
You are from Canada, which has a huge chunk of real estate above the Arctic Circle and in the Arctic Sea. And I didn’t realize this until I read your articles, that China and Russia joined hands to develop this fabulously rich region and the ever-growing Northern Sea route. And you call this the ‘Polar Silk Road’. What is going on? Why is it important? and what does it mean for China and Russia as well as your Anglo land going into the 21st century, and of course, especially a Canada since it has such a huge wedge of the Arctic Circle.
Matt: Well, that was actually one of the reasons, one of the impetuses for the Canadian patriot, increasingly very soon after we created it was to fill this vacuum where there’s a lot of think tanks in Canada, a lot of opinion shapers who deal with the Arctic, but they tend to always deal with it from a very geopolitical, very limited lens, which is to see it as a domain of conflict, of confrontation. And there are all sorts of opinionators of PhDs, of people who make their life in their careers out of just knowing everything about a confrontation in the Arctic, whether it’s going to be a domain for hosting a ballistic missile shield as part of NORAD, which is a serious topic right now, there’s so many things. So there is nothing talking about seeing the Arctic as a positive platform for dialogue and cooperation, which is exactly what you have coming out of Russia and China right now.
I wish that I was the one who invented the term Polar Silk Road, but I was calling it the Arctic Silk Road back in 2014-15. But the term Polar Silk Road came from, it’s a beautiful concept and it came out of a Chinese government white paper in January of 2018. And it’s since evolved very quickly as a policy concept and became a very major focal point of the recent, maybe eleven months ago now, a major Arctic conference in Russia,
Jeff: Which you wrote about in one of your articles that I read.
Matt: Yes. And that united very nicely with. But basically the idea, the Polar Silk Road was extending the maritime aspect as well as the overland aspect of the Belt and Road initiative, which currently moves primarily in a more southerly East-West form. So going around, from the oceans through the Indian Ocean or all the way to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, as well as the overland rail lines and transport corridors that we all know and love.
But then extending that idea into the Arctic as the ice caps are in the north, at least I wouldn’t say the south, but in the north, as the ice caps are receding, there’s a huge opportunity for more shipping, more freight moving from Asia to Europe through the Arctic, around Russia. So Russia has made over the past years a huge emphasis on its north-eastern development strategies for Siberia, for the Arctic. There’s a lot of resources, a lot of oil and natural gas. So the Polar Silk Road united with the Russian Silk Road on ice, which is what Mendeleev maybe called it
Jeff: That’s pretty cute.
Matt: Yeah. And together they created the China Russia Arctic Research Center. Right now, one thing Russia wants to do is they want to quintuple the freight of shipping, quintuple five times more within five years through the Arctic passage needs new ports as well, rail and roads. There are billions of dollars being invested right now to open up those regions that are highly underdeveloped. Most of the population is still in the west of Russia.
That’s going to change. China wants to really be on board with this. And they first started making one of their most serious efforts as when they became part of the Arctic Council from 2011 to 2012, which is a council made up of all of the nations that have territory in the Arctic region. And from there, we had a quick acceleration into China, uniting with the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015. There was for the first time, an agreement to start uniting the Russian Belarus Kazakhstan development system there, that’s called the Eurasian Economic Union. It’s a trade zone and tie that in with the Belt and Road initiative and then now extended into the north. So you have these things happening.
Putin said something really nice at that event where he said, I just got this quote that I wrote down too, The Great Eurasian Partnership and Belt and Road concepts are both rooted in the principles and values that everyone understands. The natural aspirations of nations to live in peace and harmony, benefit from free access to the latest scientific achievements and innovation development while preserving their culture and unique spiritual identity. In other words, we are united by our strategic long term interests, which is great.
And so for Canada, this is the sort of thing which we obviously would benefit immensely from rather than hosting U.S. missiles in preparation for a confrontation with Russia and China, which again, sadly, this is currently the dominant orientation in Canada. Currently, I don’t think that that’s going to be the case for much longer if we come out of the coronavirus crisis the way I hope we do. But the idea would be, our Canadian Arctic compared to Russia is highly underdeveloped.
We don’t know about most of our resources. Russia’s done a very good job mapping out where the resources are, over the decades, we have not. We have zero roads, no rail, nothing. And we’ve got a lot of very abused native reserves, who have just been put there like human flag posts to justify Canada’s proprietary ownership or sovereignty of Arctic zones from the Americans over the years. That’s part of a disastrous foreign policy.
And these people, if you actually look at the conditions of life in these reserves, it’s terrible. There’s a lot of drug use, a lot of crime, a lot of despair and depression, a lot of suicides, and no connection between reserve to reserve. They’re all self-contained little prisons with no walls. So there’s a hunger on the part of many of the chiefs to have development.
They really want that for the most part and that has been seen in the support by the native chief, the elected chiefs, not the hereditary chiefs in Canada for building pipelines like the XL Pipeline and other things because they want to break out of this cycle of despair and death. So we would definitely play a very positive role. Canada is a partner in Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. There are so many positive things that we could play a role in for humanity and for Canadians, if we actually joined up with this new framework, that’s something that I sincerely hope that we can do sooner than later.
Jeff: That’s great. Well, that’s good to hear.
END OF PART ONE.
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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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