After the Saudi attacks on the World Trade Center buildings, we had a week of panic and confusion, mostly in the ruling class. Whether it was true or not, they carried on as if they were caught completely unawares by the attack. They shut down the airlines and closed the stock market for a week. Many people stayed home to watch the news and get their heads around what was happening. Most of America got back to normal within a few days and everyone waited for the ruling class response.
More than a few people have noted that the vibe in certain parts of the country has the same feel as the days after 9/11. Then and now, the northeast was most affected by the aftermath of the event. New Jersey shutdown after 9/11, but North Carolina carried on pretty much without interruption. We see a similar pattern now. The mad scramble by the rulers is also similar. Even the propaganda organs have been disrupted, having to depart from their normal barrage of hatred for the rest of us.
The important thing about this comparison between this event and the days after 9/11 is what followed it. Twenty years ago, the first step was to increase the importation of Muslims into the country. Immigration across the board increased in the aftermath of the Saudi attacks. Then, of course, we launched a never-ending crusade against concepts like terror and extremism. This necessitated a roll-out of the surveillance state and the expansion of domestic spy agencies and domestic spying.
This trip down memory lane is a useful corrective to the claim that this panic is just a two-week lock-down in response to the flu. The one-week shutdown that followed 9/11 brought with it a massive reordering of American society. In 1999, we did not have secret courts and warrantless surveillance. Before that event, no one thought they would ever see the FBI and CIA conducting domestic espionage against politicians, much less trying to overturn an election.
This month-long lock-down, and that is what they are planning, by the way, will bring with it a massive re-ordering of society. Think about what is happening. The government is willy-nilly telling businesses to shut down. People are being locked into their homes on the orders of local officials. In the fullness of time, what we see happening will make Julius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon river in January 49 BC look tentative. In a decade, the world of just a few weeks ago will be a foreign country to us.
If this sounds alarmist to you, consider this. When Bush launched the forever wars, there were two camps opposed to it. The Left suddenly discovered its anti-war attitudes and responded with parades and puppet shows in major cities. It was an extended holiday for their freaks to go wild in the streets. The leadership, however, chanted absurd slogans about multinationals like Halliburton, but otherwise went along with it. The bipartisan uniparty always hangs tough during tough times.
The other opposition came from the paleocons. They correctly pointed out that this was worse than folly, as it would take generations to fix. The roll out of the surveillance state would probably require a revolution to overturn. The wars themselves would end in tears, as the people in those countries were incapable of sustaining modern liberal democracy, even if they had an interest in it. Then, of course, there was the price to paid for handing over foreign policy to our greatest ally.
It should be noted, the same people mocking skeptics about this current panic, the people derisively chanting “It’s the flu bro”, could not wrap their heads around why the paleocons were so upset with Bush. Back then it was “better to fight them over there than over here.” It was not an answer to the skeptics, but a signal for the herd to come closer together in mutual defense against a threat. Then as now it is the sound that sheep make as they are being herded into a new pen.
Barring a collapse or revolution, no one reading this will see an unwinding of the changes that resulted from the panic of 9/11. This panic is orders of magnitude worse than what followed 9/11. The one-week shutdown of the economy gave us a nice recession that required lots of government intervention. A month long shut down of the economy will change the world forever. Just look at what is planned after a few days of this panic. The Republicans are now devotees of Andrew Yang.
The crusade Bush launched against concepts like terrorism and extremism is still with us, because you can never beat an imaginary enemy. The war against unapproved microscopic life forms will also never end, How can it? Just as every snow storm brings demands for people to shelter in place, every flu season will result in school closures and demands for people to self-isolate. Just as corporations harvesting your personal information has been normalized, what we are seeing now will be too.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have no way to know what comes from stopping a 20 Trillion-dollar economy in its tracks. It’s never been tried, because no one has ever been so insane as to contemplate it. Then you have the corresponding global shutdown. Maybe everything fire back up like new starting in May, but that means everything the experts have been telling us about the economy was wrong. There will be massive government intervention in the economy.
We are back to the point the paleocons unsuccessfully made back in the Bush years regarding the war or concepts. The trade-offs involved were monstrous and unacceptable. In order to keep the free flow of Muslims into the West and protect Israel from her neighbors, the American Empire would become a police state. Whatever benefit could possibly be gained from the war on concepts was dwarfed by the cost of it. 9/11 was terrible, it was not worth destroying the country over it.
Today we are seeing the same argument. In order to “flatten the curve” we need to obliterate what’s left of civil life. We have to hand to the state the power to shutter businesses, lock people in their homes and reorganizes society as they see fit. The price of flattening the curve will be a never-ending war on civil life by a thoroughly corrupt ruling class. So no, it is not just the flu bro. It is not about the stock market or the economy either. It is about what comes after the flu decades after it is gone.
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