John Robson: Forget Conspiracies, Resurgent Inflation Just Means Those in Power Are Clueless

By John Robson
John Robson
John Robson
John Robson is a documentary filmmaker, National Post columnist, contributing editor to the Dorchester Review, and executive director of the Climate Discussion Nexus. His most recent documentary is “The Environment: A True Story.”
April 26, 2022Updated: April 26, 2022


Bad news, folks. They’re not out to get you. They don’t care. And if they did it wouldn’t matter, because they’re no smarter than they seem. Take inflation… please.

OK, before we get to that boring subject, if you’re wondering why it’s bad news not to be the victim of a plot, ask them. Not “them” them, the shadowy figures stalking us; “them” all the people who believe they’re the targets of a conspiracy and derive unseemly glee from it.

I speak as one who is personally part of a vast and disgusting scheme. For expressing skepticism about the supposed man-made climate crisis, I am routinely denounced as a professional liar in the pocket of Big Oil. To which I routinely respond that if you know so much about Big Oil and its machinations, remind it to send me the cheque.

I’m also routinely told the COVID crisis was orchestrated out of Davos to reduce us to microchipped servitude before “they” detonate the nanoparticles and we all die. At which point we will make fairly useless slaves, I can’t help thinking. So it’s not just my public policy opponents who are clinically paranoid. But they certainly are.

For instance, about this Conservative Party of Canada “hidden agenda” not even Indiana Jones could find. Or the truckers’ convoy fascist libertarian Russian Confederate arsonist coup attempt. Or the CIA killing JFK. The left hates conspiracy theories except the ones it loves. Jagmeet Singh called inflation a Liberal/Tory plot immediately after teaming up with the lead plotters.

As for the right, whisper “Klaus Schwab” then leap back as they erupt about the secret plans he cleverly hides in public conferences, books, and other manifestos. And the weird thing is, they seem happy. You’re not taking my conspiracy away from me, buddy. I’m the target of transcontinental schemes Goldfinger would envy. Involving chemtrails.

No. You’re not. I like to quote Susan Sontag’s “I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.” (And my own “Paranoia: It could be sneaking up on you.”) And I think people get bitter when told there’s no conspiracy because it makes them feel unimportant.

Hey, I get it. Like National Post cartoonist Gary Clement, I can’t believe so many Canadians got sanctioned by Vladimir Putin and I got ignored. What am I, chopped borscht? Hey Vlad, you stink! Hate me now? Aaargh. Сверчки. So can we finally talk about inflation?

If you insist. Because I was recently told it’s part of the plot to subvert our liberties. See, by debauching the currency Klaus and the lads will force us all to adopt some new digital money so they can track our every movement and, I don’t know, seize our bank accounts if we honk or something.

This theory makes no sense partly because they can already do all that stuff. We’re deep in the sci-fi dystopia where all transactions are electronic so there’s nowhere to hide and you couldn’t pay the rent in cash if there were. And yes, digital ID and facial recognition will make it worse. But the people in charge are positively, absolutely, the fools they seem, and their policy missteps are neither effective nor deliberate.

On inflation, Justin Trudeau has no more idea what “PT=MV” is than “mass deficit.” (The fiscal or physics kind.) And far from advancing his cunning plans, surging prices are eroding his climate policies and capacity to buy re-election while, and by, exposing the reckless folly of his runaway borrowing.

The key lesson of history isn’t that people lack malice. It’s that they lack competence. Think Putin meant to lose in Ukraine? Besides, like Hitler and Stalin, he told us all about it in advance. But it was hidden in plain sight, and we were hunting for the unseen hand.

It’s amazing what humans do accomplish, given how most of us struggle with mixed success to do our day jobs, raise our kids, and get the trash out on time. But imagine being told starting tomorrow you also had to orchestrate and conceal a vast intercontinental plot.

It fails the horse laugh test. And what accelerating inflation reveals isn’t “A vast conspiracy against mankind … organized on two continents,” to quote the 1892 American Populist Party platform. It’s authorities too hapless to devise reassuring talking points that span two weeks.

The people in power have no more idea what they’re doing than they seem to, and often less. Hence breaking news of our deputy PM staying in the wrong city during COP26 and racking up huge limousine bills.

Sure, it would fan the flames of pride to open a Dan Brown novel and find yourself the main character. But you can’t, because other people are too busy bungling their own lives to concoct effective schemes to wreck yours.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.