Long before the Covid panic, it was obvious to many on the dissident right that the main problem in the West was a core of true believers. These are fanatics who are immune to facts and reason, driven by a desire to pull the roof down on society. On every issue, they seem to come down on the side of the society wrecking option. The Covid panic has brought this into stark relief The Covidians are more deadly than even the exaggerated version of the virus.
The Covidian is a useful case study in how the believer engages with the world. Since this started back in the spring of 2020, the true believers have shifted positions, often contradicting yesterday’s deeply held position, without explanation. The cult leaders seem to have moved along an authoritarian scale, which at least provides some rationale for their actions. The rank and file believers, however, have flitted from one position to another like a murmuration of starlings.
The most recent example is their view on vaccines. In 2020 when Trump was promising to accelerate the development of a vaccine for Covid, the true believer was sure vaccine meant “deadly Hitler poison”. Their cult leaders were on their media platforms swearing to Gaia that they would never take the Trump serum. After all, there was no way a safe vaccine could be developed in such a short period. It was just another effort by Trump to destroy our democracy.
Within hours of Biden being installed, they shifted to swearing that these vaccines were a perfect defense, an impenetrable defense, against Covid. If the bulk of the people were vaccinated by spring, the pandemic would be over as we would quickly hit herd immunity or pretty close to it. Everyone could go back to normal. The skeptics with whom they agreed just minutes ago were now QAnon conspiracy nuts. All good people would be vaccinated and only the crazies would refuse.
There you see the mind of the true believer at work. Theirs is not a world of facts, reason, and a vast area of uncertainty, as it is with normal people. Instead, their world is those inside the walls and those outside the walls. The walls are an abstraction created by the good people who lead the faithful. Those who are inside the walls are the good guys, the faithful, while those outside the walls are the bad guys, the undifferentiated other that is always at war with the faithful.
This hive mentality is not easy to maintain in the face of reality, so the faithful need a constant stream of reinforcement. In a prior age, this came from physical gatherings where the believers could affirm their convictions and have those convictions confirmed by fellow members of the collective. Churches have always been social groupings as much as spiritual ones. For those committed to an ideological faith, the need for spiritual and social reinforcement is no different.
In this age, mass media provides the steady stream of affirmation. It is not an accident that the hardest thumping crazies on the Left are also intensively on-line, obsessed with things like Twitter. Social media is their tether to the collective. The more they remain connected, the more intense their need to feel connected. The swarming effect of crazies on social media platforms is not an accident. Like a fish in a school, the believer gives herself over to the collective whole.
Here is an example of how the mass media feeds the true believer. Note the exaggerated language like “hyper-contagious”. The true believer operates in extremes, so this necessitates the over-the-top description of things. In this case, describing the variants as increasing dangerous is a way to maintain the fervor. You see, you must remain vigilant. The evil one is always out there. If you let down your guard, he will get you with one of his hyper-contagious variants!
Note also how the definition of vaccine has changed. Since the advent of vaccines, the concept has been a binary one. If the vaccine worked, your immune system would be ready to handle the specific virus and prevent infection. If not, then you would get infected by the virus. Now a vaccine is something like an amulet. If you are exposed, it protects the faithful from the workings of Old Scratch. You still get infected and are contagious, but your soul is pure so you will be safe.
This line is instructive. “Even the sky-high efficacy rates of mRNA vaccines during clinical trials left a little window of imperfection — and those trials happened long before this virus evolved to replicate quicker, spread faster and infect even more unsuspecting human hosts.” You see, no matter how vigilant you are, there are others who may let their guard down and give the evil one a chance to strike the innocent. This is not about you but about the community as a whole.
This is why Joe Biden said the other day that his administration would protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. The tether to biological reality has been cut and we are now in the world of the true believer. The words vaccinated and unvaccinated no longer have a medical definition. To the true believer, those words now mean the anointed and the benighted. The elect are those who have laminated their vaccine cards and wear eight masks in the car while driving alone.
This is why pointing out the fascism of Covid passports has not effect. The true believer needs that display item. They desperately want the affirmation that comes from holding up their iPhone to be scanned and the god in the machine confirming that they are one of the chosen. This is why they celebrate the death of those the mass media claim were ant-vaxers. Their blood extirpates the evil from the land in the same way a public sacrifice washes away the sins of the guilt in the blood of the innocent.
Counterintuitively, Covid may have been a salvation. The fever-rage of opposition to Trump was channeled into a ridiculous but so far mostly harmless identity cult built around the coronavirus. We saw the destructive power of lunatics in a full rage allowed to seek their own satisfaction. Covid probably saved the country from endless riots and urban warfare. The real blessing of Covid is that it has given our crazies a way to get their fix without blowing up the world in the process.
The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!
Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.
The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.
Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb. Just email them directly to book at firstname.lastname@example.org.