The Great Plagues

The great role of pathogens in human affairs is one of those things that had largely been forgotten, at least by the general public. In the West, it has been a couple of generations since a pestilence gave us a good scare. The Hong Kong flu was the last time people really worried about the invisible death. Even that was pretty mild, compared to past pandemics. You have to go back to the 1950’s to find an invisible killer that got the attention of the public. That’s almost three generations ago.

The fact is though, the invisible killer has been a part of the human story since there has been a human story. People suddenly coming down with some unknown ailment and dying in volume is as much of the human story as anything. A fair bit of our superstitions have probably been driven by such events. If you cannot come up with a natural explanation to events, you come up with a supernatural explanation. That fear of the supernatural got constant exercise throughout human history.

That may be what we are seeing with The Great Madness. It is that old fear of the unknown, not exercised for several generations, suddenly being turned on by the threat of the Chines flu. In the past, people knew how to control this fear and rulers knew the danger of succumbing to it. Modern people are now like teenagers discovering the opposite sex. Our fear hormones are in overdrive and we have no ability to control and channel them. Hence the great panic we see today.

There’s also the fact that we have conquered nature, for the most part. Even things like hurricanes and earthquakes are not much of a threat. Sure, a hurricane can knockout New Orleans, but everyone understands what was really going on there. That disaster was due to man not respecting that nature does distribute her gifts equally. Natural disasters may knock down some buildings, but they are quickly rebuilt. Increasingly, our buildings are resistant to the best Mother Nature can throw at us.

Even when it comes to pestilence, humans have been taking the fight to Mother Nature in a big way. We are probably a generation away from conquering diseases like cancer, at least the most common forms. Genetics could very well allow us to overcome lots of other natural disorders that shorten our lifespans and diminish our lives. The lack of great plagues seems like proof that the days of such things are numbered. Maybe this virus is a reminder that Mother Nature has plenty of fight left in her.

That said, this pandemic is a piker compared to the past. The Swine flu, which hardly anyone remembers, despite happening just a decade ago, had twice the body count of the Chinese flu in the United States. There’s still time, but in the grand scheme of things, this pandemic is never going to be on the list of great plagues. The best chance of it being remembered is if the economic fallout is such that people remember for generations that we tried shutting down the world over a virus.

That’s probably the most interesting aspect of pandemics. They often leave their mark in how they shape human events. How different would our world be if Athens never suffered a plague and went on to defeat the Peloponnesian League? How about if Justinian was able to reconstitute the Roman Empire? It’s impossible to know, but most likely we are what we are because of these plagues. They not only alter the timeline, but they cull the herd in ways that are felt for many generations.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.

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This Week’s Show


  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Plague Of Athens
  • 12:00: The Antonine Plague
  • 22:00: Plague of Justinian
  • 32:00: The Black Death
  • 42:00: Modern Pandemics
  • 57:00: Closing

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199 thoughts on “The Great Plagues

  1. Time Magazine:

    “The 2018-2019 flu season was the longest in 10 years, lasting 21 weeks, according to the CDC. … 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died. That’s fairly on par with a typical season, …”

    Makes coronavirus a wimp don’t it.

    On a similar note: Britain is also issuing “immunity passports” to people who already contracted COVID-19 to allow them to travel and return to a normal life.

    I have found that the overwhelming vast majority of people don’t have a clue how the immune system works. They don’t understand that we should be testing random people for antibodies to the disease to see how many in the general population have had the disease and are now immune. My guess is nearly half give or take a few percentage points.

    But do the f’ing testing on randomly selected people in the general population. Did no one every take any statistics?

  2. Good show Zman. I suggest a companion show on important economic collapses/disasters, since that is the essence of the debate here: pandemic v. economic disaster.

  3. That was a very helpful overview of historic pandemics, some of which I’d never heard about. Instead of yakking on about my views and positions, right now I think I’ll go back to information gathering mode.

  4. The way Counter Current react to this mass hysteria is shameful. Litterally, they debating the sex of angels. On a worse scale, Hunter Wallace put farcical numbers about death ratio on covid.
    Surprisingly, Andrew Anglin is the most reasonable on those times. (and you, of course, but that, that”s not a surprise)

    In France, people respect the lockdown, but no media talk about the growth of unemployed. On the other side, I don’t feel hysterical panic on my family (with is left-wing, nor with my facebook contact -more alt-right)

    (I wrote “alt” because “dissident” means you belonged to the system. I think it”s false. We never belonged to it, we are not a branch of the uniparty tree. Orwell learns us words matters. So, never never “dissident”, PLEASE !)

    • I’m going for post-WW2 effects:

      Weaponized victimhood.

      [the next two words are obvious to me, but I’m curious to see what others have to say]

  5. Some years ago, some underpaid white men working in a stuffy office wrote a plan, which was stored in a filing cabinet to be forgotten. In January, the plans were pulled from the cabinet and read, and things started going into motion. It may be the case that the lockdown was an overreaction because this plague was not a plague. We will see. But, at the time, the same shrieking harridans and media clowns who now want an indefinite shutdown were doing their damndest to sabotage preparation efforts. I feel very… conflicted. Everything is going according to plan, but overnight, that response went from being called an overreaction to an underreaction. A month long lockdown has never been done before.

    The only reason we moved forward with our plan as fast as we did, I am 100% convinced, is globalism. If China was a world away instead of a day’s flight, the wisdom or foolishness of activating the Pandemic Plan would have made itself apparent through events. As it stands, things were beginning by early February, which is very spotty data. Why? You need time to repair hospital ships, retool machines for ventilators, search old closets for tents, etc. Britain is starting to make ventilators and can’t manage any, while the US can make thousands a week.

    There’s no way a lockdown can last months. That’s wishful thinking from epidemiologists. Maybe masks will come out. A lot depends on Trump’s thinking.

    There’s something psychological going on here, but I am a young man and still unacquainted with many aspects of human nature.

  6. Z Man said: “The great role of pathogens in human affairs is one of those things that had largely been forgotten, at least by the general public. In the West, it has been a couple of generations since a pestilence gave us a good scare.”

    Here’s an article from a site called “The New Modern Man” entitled “Catastrophe: Spengler’s Ideas on Evolution.”

  7. “That said, this pandemic is a piker compared to the past. The Swine flu, which hardly anyone remembers, despite happening just a decade ago, had twice the body count of the Chinese flu in the United States.” ~~ Z-man

    I agree but offer one caveat. The numbers we have today on this coronavirus are all inflated. Almost everyone in the medical field is trying to play hero against the greatest threat to human life in all of history. They are lying bastards.

    A few have tried to point out how weak this common cold inducing bug is, but to no avail.

  8. Other Chinese plagues – Dutch Elm Disease, Chestnut Blight, and the Emerald ash borer. All wiped out and are still killing some of the most valuable lumber in North America.

  9. China has a lot of domesticated livestock that can transmit viruses between animals and Humans, while Africa is less on the livestock.

  10. Just to let you know, I broke quarantine today to let my housekeepers in. The place was a mess.

  11. OT

    Hi Z, I hope you’ll consider a post on the US military and why you think it’s mis-guided for young men to join.

    Am writing you a letter with pros/cons as I see it and why I think it’s worth salvaging.

    • We can start here and now.

      I have sons that the military would love – they’ve made their runs at them, OCS, bonu$ all that. I have advised my boys to avoid the military now like the plague – although we have generations of service in my family.


      1. A country singer has to beg for money for soldiers with their arms blown off.

      2. Mothers raising money for body armor.

      3. Lesbians.

      4. Homosexual men.

      5. Trans humans.

      6. Anti Southern bias now evident – Southern boys ARE the fucking military except for 3, 4, and 5 above.

      7. Etc. etc.

      • Going to a pointless war in the Middle East for dual loyalty kikes would be a deal breaker for me.

        • @JR – I don’t think most wars were fought for leaders that really loved their people. Did Lincoln give a sh!t about the guys in the union army? Robert E. Lee cared for his men. Washington probably cared a bit. But I believe this is unusual.

          The point I’m making isn’t that you do it for idealism. It’s that you do it for the skills and power it passes on to your people. If our guys have more military training we’ll be better equipped for when it goes down. If we control the military then all the better.

          For us to control this continent we will have to be, or at least control, the dominant military force upon it.

    • You can’t “salvage” the US military. It’s institutionally rotten. Any soldier will tell you that the higher up you go, the more Clown World.

      I can tell you from personal experience with dozens of soldiers and sailors that they’re the most resistant to anti-Establishment activism outside a very narrow range of issues allowed to Kurt Schlichter style MAGA-Tea Party-tier dissenters.

      Look at how they’ve responded to milquetoast and extremely popular measures like banning trannies and pulling out of Afghanistan – the very things we voted for Trump to get done. McRaven even called for Trump’s removal from office, which in a better era would have resulted in a reinstatement and a court martial for him.

      There’s an argument to be made for young men getting the training from a short enlistment that’s pro vs. con, but as an institution, the Empire Military is our OpFor now.

      • Uh , no. The establishment military isn’t your OPFOR. Really.

        That would be a very short conversation BTW.

        The Establishment Military, a phrase I never heard until this comment, is basically a version of the Cops or Firefighter families who enlist generationally. They pay lip service to the Official Religion of Poz because they must, as do all- and We do it under threat of imprisonment. Most do it for far less threat.

        As far as the Poz creeping in, of course. Its the official religion.
        But it is not the culture.

        There is absolutely an argument for serving; you learn war, and war is a most unforgiving trade. Its a lesser risk and sacrifice compared to trying to learn it on the fly.

        But no one believes that shit, its like Communism at the end.

      • All very good points which I’ve come across before.

        To give idea of my background – I’m early/mid 20s so I recognize I lack experience, can’t help that.

        The upper echelons are pozzed, and insubordinate. This isn’t radically unusual for the way a military operates – it’s always difficult to justify giving up owned space and backpedal commitments. Particularly in democracies which tend to be unusually aggressive, probably in part to the civic religion Z alludes to in the comments today.

        I see the benefits as primarily two fold –
        1) Personal: As Exile points out there are the training and “masculine” benefits which you can receive from short period of service.
        2) institutional: the military is a tool for whoever wields it. Why can’t we get our guys to the top? The empire will likely be around another 30 yrs at least and even if it isn’t having our guys in the military may prevent it from being used against us. It’s worth noting that militaries haven’t always obeyed their governments either. Reality is high stakes and I’m not willing to bet my descendants’ welfare on the guys with the bombs and drones being merciful. I want to BE the guys with the bombs and drones.

        1) poz- you get this everywhere. No matter where you go pay the diversity tax. If I have to repress my true convictions for 20 yrs to get a better shake at this thing I can do that.
        2) you might get killed – worth the risk. I’ll be chagrined to die for globohomo, but in that light is a combat casualty really so different from the other deaths from this madness – getting knocked off by the local diversity or from an opioid overdose. These are statistically more dangerous.

        How it can be done:
        I’ve created a bowling group for young men where I live. Not many, just a few regular conservative guys. We keep things chill but as a prospect looks promising a couple of us sound them out. Outer circle, inner circle. Similar process can apply for the military.
        Take the marines for instance. They only have about 20k officers. If an avg of 100 dissident youth join the USMC officer corps every year for 15 yrs and stay an average of 10 yrs, we’d compose about 5% of the officer corps. Assuming our numbers grow, the input average can grow too. That is a very doable scenario. Look at the Mormons – in 30 years they gained a massive presence in the spook agencies. No reason we can’t do it here. After 20 yrs our guys inside give preference to our guys coming in.

        We’ll discount that the marines skew conservative anyway as we know conservatives are unreliable. However, as our numbers grow that will affect the cultural zeitgeist of the corps which may yield actual converts. This shouldn’t be discounted.

        Worst case scenario, we try and fail – the brass learns of the attempt and roots out the infiltrators. The media wants to hold them to account so they stop bringing on competent white men. Still a win.

        I’m loathe to share more here. Maybe this is too explicit already and maybe I’m wrong but I do think we need some action plans.

        • No plan.
          Just serve.
          1) you don’t have enough info without serving to make a plan.
          2) plans are conspiracy, the worst crime because its the stupidest.
          3) you need the skills and the ties war and service builds, not a plan.
          4) look at the Poz; look at the enemy.
          WTF you need a plan for, you just need to be capable – see #3 – and wait. Just wait. Their natures provide us everything.
          5) only some retired generals on the take were insubordinate. The rest are just chillin. See #4.
          6) Patience. Striving with Arabs teaches you patience. And look – they won. We left. =win. They have their country back. Patience.
          Patience and chance favor the prepared.
          7) if you go downrange, I think you’ll find yer ah keeping secrets skills will improve. As will valuable ties to valuable people; in short shoot, then shut up and stick to the story.
          Cuz its like the mob now; blood in, Omerta, be a stand up guy. Respect is earned by silence and loyalty.
          8) point 7; I did it. It works.
          I did all of the above. Now I wait.
          Patience, and put the work in.

          I’m literal about all of the above.
          That is the path to walk.

    • The Marines, Rangers, and Special Forces (the testosterone centers of the U.S. military) held out for a while, but it’s over now. Sadly the only thing that could really fix the military is a major war that goes badly for a while.

      • Drake, yep. And insult to injury, the only combat effective units are under the direction of three letter agencies for state department globohomo MIC adventuring.

        Risking life and limb for Ivy league neckbeards and sloots running money laundo opps for jihadi of the month while rules of engagement that would impress Camus keeps them pinned down waiting to get blode up until a pansy in the pentagram reviews the power point slides to clear them to engage.

        Better off working that flight sim so they can just pilot an aeron chair from an A/C double wide in Nevada and hellfire a few goatpatch “weddings“ then hit the pub with all their limbs and a brain pan that doesn’t image like a can of creamed corn. Get the bennies and get out.

        Brother, sister, brother in law. All saw it up close and that was before Obama gelded and gutted. Thumbs down. Wait for it to come out on videotape.

        End the poor kid pipeline to the VA. ROTC maybe. But then why even go to college?

    • Better to have our sons trained and part of it, than untrained and ignorant about military matters.

      The military is an axis of power in a nation. You don’t win anything by abandoning it to the enemy completely.

      • What nation are you talking about, Viz? What wars do White guys need to win against anyone but their own “nations” right about now?

        I’m on record here and at Counter-Currents supporting enlistment for the martial values and skills you can’t get anywhere else, with some caveats. A young man has to be particularly based to push back and resist the conditioning. For guys of that mettle, it’s worth it.

        If this was still 1970’s America, I’d be right there with you. This is not America anymore.

        • Our nation. The US settled by the English and some other Western Europeans. At some point, our sons will need to know how to fight brown invaders and treasonous Goodwhites.

          Political power will always flow from the barrel of a gun. Until it shines from the emitter of a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.

        • Ah, but you see exile whatever this America is, we still live here.
          And we have to live somewhere.
          Or perish.
          And as is the eternal fate of man you must fight for what’s yours, and who is yours. Or perish.

          More peoples in history perished or disappeared than survived.
          The ones who made it did it by fighting. It is very true that nations that go down fighting rise again.
          Mongolia conquered China.
          Who us stronger today?

  12. The big takeaways for me is that our ruling class are abject idiots and cowards who willingly crashed the global economy they spent decades building up because of a glorified flu that escaped a cut rate Chinese biolab.

    The other is that the CDC and WHO are run by quacks who can’t be trusted and that the medical community as a whole should never be taken on it’s word. These people play fast and lose with the facts.

    That said we got off lucky with Covid-19, it showed just how badly managed the CDC, WHO and NHS are. Worse we had no real stockpiles of medical supplies. Our hospitals sure didn’t have any and the national stockpile was a joke.

    And we learned that off-shoring our medical industry was sheer idiocy. We are basically China’s bitch. Trump did nothing to demand that production of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals be moved to the U.S.

    • This might just be the most salient comment in the thread thus far. Bravo, Sir! You’ve hit the nail on the head several times in your post.

  13. You mentioned New Orleans and Katrina. (I know what you mean by “everyone understands what was really going on there.”) That fiasco was similar to the Chinese Pestilence in terms of the government’s lack of preparedness.

    The response to Katrina by the city and state governments would have been understandable if the crisis would have been something unforeseeable like a zombie outbreak. But it was long known that a major hurricane could cause a Katrina-like event with levees being over-topped and/or failing. In fact, it could have been much worse. Serious flooding began after the winds had died down and in NOLA the wind damage was really not severe.

    There were television documentaries and news articles written about the doomsday scenario. And, of course, it’s not like an earthquake. You have a warning that a hurricane is coming. They literally had years to come up with a plan for evacuating people when the shit hit the fan. For example, there were photos of numerous school buses flooded in a parking lot. Those could have been used to evacuate people. Now, it may have been that they needed to tell people, “If you don’t either get yourself out or get on one of our buses, you’ll probably die.” In other words, the plan wouldn’t be perfect, but they should have been ready to put it into effect. Instead, they made it up as they went along as if they had no idea this could happen.

    Our current WuFlu was also foreseeable. We spend trillions (or whatever) fighting pointless Forever Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and nobody in government thought to come up with a plan for another Spanish Flu-type situation? And Covid 19 pales in comparison to the Spanish Flu. (They should have been saying, “That’s it? We were ready for a real pandemic).

    How hard would it have been to stockpile some masks/respirators for medical personnel? They couldn’t figure out that if some kind of pandemic virus broke out, we would run out of this shit? We could have easily had some basic hospital buildings with ventilators and other supplies in mothballs and ready to go in case of emergency.

    The whole point of “flatten the curve” was to slow the rate of infection so medical facilities weren’t overwhelmed. How hard would it have been to have extra facilities ready to go in case of a viral outbreak? But no, let’s shut down society.

    • Speaking of Katrina and unused/flooded school buses. There was a story widely carried about a teenager who was wandering around the bus parking lot as the water flooded in. Lot was abandoned, gates left open. He went into the attendant’s house, grabbed a set of numbered keys, found the bus and drove it out of the lot. He had no experience driving a bus, didn’t even have a license. He drove into his neighborhood and got everyone on board who wanted to leave, which were many when he explained the waters were rising—seems NO officials couldn’t even that info out. No particular reason all those buses could not have been gassed up and distributed to volunteers to aid in evacuation. It’s a no brained—unless you are an official with no brains.

  14. While it’s not conventionally thought of as such, primarily because we do not wish to contemplate such things, may I propose that uncontrolled human reproduction is a chronic disease? Name one chronic problem humanity faces that is not closely tied to ever-increasing population: depletion of resources? Pollution? Cheap labor?

    Just because Malthus and Ehrlich (and no doubt) other were wrong, does not mean the fundamental problem is solved. Or do you believe that the population can keep doubling (roughly) every 50 years for eternity? I’m not sure what the limit is, but I am pretty sure that Man (collectively) will not take action to limit his procreation, any more than he ever has. No, needed culling will be done by Nature. The problem with Mother Nature is that “she’s no lady, she’s a bitch.”* Sometimes, I wonder if the implicit belief that we should stop reproducing like rabbits and, perhaps the idea that our standards of living are as good as they can be, are partial cause of the developed world’s low birth rates? Maybe the white people aren’t so stupid after all, knowing what’s coming in a few generations? Bowing out of the production gracefully, before the final curtain?
    * borrowed the line from the wonderful song by Krokus, “Eat the Rich”

    • Only White people ask themselves questions like this.

      Ask a Han, Jeet or Dindu if they’re basing their lifestyle and family size on macro concerns like overpopulation. ^crickets^ or you get hit with a rock.

      We need more white people, less non-white people. The problem’s in the ratio more than raw numbers.

      A planet of Browns is a Malthusean prison. We’re the White Swans of Alcatraz. If anyone’s getting off this rock alive in a species-continuing sense, it’s up to us.

    • Uncontrolled human reproduction is some of the best human reproduction. You don’t know what you’re missing.

    • All of life, ALL OF IT, will reproduce until cut down by disease or competition for scarce resources. Some time in (insert middle of 20th century) the guilt ridden white man decided to climb down from the catbird seat and surrender the upper hand to the inferiors. All those still alive when we have to climb back in there who participated in this racial treason must be eliminated.

    • Population is no longer doubling at that rate. 9B is the prediction before the decline. Much of current population growth is through prolonging life, not producing more people. Africa is the big exception, but they too have experienced significant growth through lack of death.

    • We made it out of the Malthusian trap in the West, but until we decided to play good neighbor and drag the undeveloped world into the developed world, disease and famine were the natural regulators of overpopulation. Plague has always played a role in China and disease cycling with starvation were what kept the cap on population in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. If white people would back off and mind their own business nature would deal with overpopulation.

      Part of the fallout from all of this CovidParalysis is that even more wealth will be funneled through NGOs like the Gates Foundation in setting up even more preventative measures in disease ridden enclaves. This will only sustain an unsustainable population and all the associated problems you’ve outlined. At some point the West will get sick of chasing its tail in the Turd World and we will pull the plug. To get to that point whites will need to erupt every time some political wholesaler of Western treasures wants to cast pearls before swine.

  15. They needed *something* to pop the anything bubble *and* increase the pressure of the boot on our necks and the WuFlu was the perfect excuse. The over leveraged debt casino knew it (the RePo issue should have been an air raid siren). Everyone paying attention knew it. The eloi were too complacent and were due for a culling.

    As has been said here before, what’s leftover counts most. It will make the Patriot Act and taking your shoes off at the airport seem like child’s play.

    The Russians and Saudis have been taking advantage with the oil price war. Perhaps the ChiComs will finally take Taiwan. Andy will juice up the SAFE act with similar changes in other lefty states.

    • I think this is the year the balloon goes up. PLA can’t afford four years of Peter Navarro having the president’s ear. And now is the time, with the entire western world on its collective heels. Taiwan, yes, but I think they’ll take out the US space/cyber, and Navy.

      • Re cyber war, ‘working at home’ has just provided millions of entry sites. Hackers usually get in through home links.

    • “Boot on neck?” According to Orwell’s “1984” it is supposed to be stamping your face, forever. 🙂

    • Andy can pass the SAFE 2 act, sure.
      West of the Hudson it will not be enforced. Already isn’t. At gun stores only, and there’s some running jokes…

      Western NY is Northern West Virginia.
      The cops would rather lick a doorknob in Chinatown than enforce the SAFE act.
      It would be SAFER doing that then enforcing the SAFE act.

      Besides the Cops here want to blow the bridges to Raccoon City.

      Jesus wept the county sheriff next door is in charge of Molon Labe.
      (Uh no, its not a setup).

      Don’t worry about Andy.
      We don’t 🤣.

  16. >That said, this pandemic is a piker compared to the past. The Swine flu, which hardly anyone remembers, despite happening just a decade ago, had twice the body count of the Chinese flu in the United States. There’s still time, but in the grand scheme of things, this pandemic is never going to be on the list of great plagues. The best chance of it being remembered is if the economic fallout is such that people remember for generations that we tried shutting down the world over a virus.

    A 1-4% fatality rate is serious, comparable to early stage prostate or testicular cancer, whereas swine flu killed just 1/5000 people and had a very low hospitalization rate . A high body count is not a big deal when the death rate is low,because no one thinks they will die, so no one overreacts. I agree that on the grand scale of things, this pandemic will be a blip, but i think you are ignoring the other factors that go into making a pandemic bad besides just absolute body count.

    • Scaled to today’s population, the Spanish — no wait, the Thought Police say now we must call it: — the 1918 Flu pandemic killed > 2 million in America alone, and much of that just in one autumn. That’d be roughly a 60% increase in our usual mortality. So yes, even in “Modern” times we (well, 99% of us…) have lived through an epidemic that (hopefully) was far worse than what we have in 2020.

  17. Z, if a year from now, despite all our panicked social distancing, there are 250,000 dead from Covid-19, will you acknowledge you were talking like a fool in comparing it to the Swine flu? Or will you just stuff it down the memory hole and move on? Because I’m going to remember.

        • Why is the media being full of shit hype scary?

          This isn’t even news, never mind scary.

          We’re talking about people who spent years trying to convince the World Trump was a Russian agent with Water Sports fetish.

          Why be frightened of hysterical pussies ? They may now be finally, finally overplaying their hand.

          It was wearisome and often infuriating to watch the Russiagate, Impeachment, Kavanaugh hoaxes.
          But they harmed no one but the elites and the political class.

          This hype Shutdown has harmed everyone. I may have one very elderly relative who was going anyway now passing of COVID. He was at the end anyway. 🙏 for him.
          My brother may have been exposed (he’s fine). My mother is elderly, so at risk (and quite isolated, I get her all she needs and drop inside door).
          So there is danger, potential harm.
          Projected harm.
          Extremely hyped harm.

          But I have businesses shutting down and family, friends out of work all around me. That isn’t TV. That isn’t projections. Real harm to the masses happened because of COVID hype. They will regret it is Near certain forcing the masses to live in their hysterical world.

      • I do my damndest to stay as far away from hospitals as I possibly can at all times. My general approach to hospitals has nothing in particular to do with corona-cold, but rather with the general fact that hospitals are, quite literally, ‘centers for the passing of disease and infections,’ (CDIs if you like). Like anyone else, however, I have to go to them for various reasons. Anyone with any sense who has visited an ER in the last, say, 20 years (of which I have necessarily done on numerous occasions), knows that this is not the place to be if one can at all help it. The waiting rooms are usually filled to the brim at these inhuman places with the very worst humanity has on offer. They’re generally there because “free” healthcare for the sniffles, and other major, life-threatening maladies. This became such a problem in Oklahoma hospitals several years back that the state ran TV and radio adds admonishing the ‘common herd’ to always remember that “Emergency Rooms are for … EMERGENCIES!!!” I kid you not. Others from Oklahoma can testify to the veracity of what I’m saying. Likewise in Oklahoma, there is what is known as Sooner Care. Sooner Care means that all the hysterical mommas who don’t actually raise their kids in any case will rush them to the doctor for, again, the sniffles. Why? Because, “free.” Then there is the “Soon to be Sooner Care” initiative. This is, as the name implies, aimed specifically at giving “free” Healthcare to aliens “soon to be Sooners.” And blah, blah.

        What I am getting at in that screed is that people know all of this. My guess is that the reason people are avoiding the hospitals at this moment with the Corona virus scare and all is precisely because there comes a point when “free” just ain’t worth it to their minds. Even when they have the sniffles.

      • Epaminondas, thanks for bringing this. As some of you may have noticed I take the ‘this is a serious thing’ position unlike most here. A friend of mine has a friend who’s a doc at NYU Langone. That friend had said it was bad. I just emailed back to confirm that I had understood him correctly. Given the position I’ve taken, I won’t try to ‘explain’ that video right now. Right now I’m trying to figure out what really IS going on.

    • I’m going to hazard a guess that our host is more likely to admit fault than you are. Feel free to check back in 12 months hence.

    • Even though the way you phrase your question is quite disrespectful, it’s a good question to ask : under what conditions would Virus skeptics acknowledge they were wrong? Average flu year in the US kills 50,000 and 2017-2018 year killed 80,000.

      So no, 250,000 dead from Virus (3-5x flu season) would not even remotely worth shutting down the entire economy.

      To continue our analysis, let’s do a little math.

      Let’s say the cost of shutdown of the economy is 8 trillion (on the low end) — 2 trillion stimulus plus 6 trillion added to fed balance sheets. Let’s further say that this shutdown saves 3.5 million lives (1% of country’s population). That’s a cost per person saved of 2.3 million dollars. Tell me in what world you live in where this makes even a bit of sense where the average American net worth is 68,828. Also, with the average age of the dead (at least in Italy) being 79 years old with 3 preexisting conditions, you’ve “saved” 2-3 years of additional lifespan for that 2.3 million dollars. This is madness.

      For me as a Virus skeptic to be wrong, 5-10 million people need to die in the U.S. for a total shutdown to be even remotely worth it.

      Oh, btw, updated NYC numbers of the dead show almost 0 dead with no preexisting conditions:×900

      • The pearl clutchers will not admit to a dollar cost for life, not even when the cost in life becomes exponentially greater through ignoring this. The catnip of saving one life is so gratifying to the good thinker that the cost to hundreds can be ignored, and on moral grounds to boot.

        • People who say you can’t put a cost on human life are not serious people and it’s a waste of time to have a discussion with them. We assess a cost on human lives every day via insurance coverage, prioritization of taxpayer funds into one thing and not another, via litigation and legislation, in all sorts of ways. Also, money isn’t free and there will be a price to pay for all this printing down the road, resulting in a much lower quality of life and greater mortality rates for most people. Just screaming a mindless phrase for a quick virtue signaling sniff is a sad display.

          • There are two possible ways to come to a “common denominator”: convert to cost of a life, say in years saved—or compute lives lost due to Corona pandemic and an lives lost because we have beggared/depressed the economy.

            The later is hard and full of estimates, but not without merit. Folk lead shorter harsher lives in poverty. You can check those stat’s fairly easily, why expand their numbers?

      • It’s only 250,000 if we shut down the economy — if we don’t, and if the models being put forward are correct, it will be one or two million.

        If you want to argue that this is still the better choice then fine, argue it. That’s a moral argument, so no proof is possible one way or the other. But if someone is claiming that the threat isn’t real, that Covid-19 is no more dangerous than the Swine flu, then they are arguing against the models, and frankly I don’t think anyone here, including Z, is remotely qualified to do that.

        Spare me your cherry picked outlier expert opinions — we will know the truth quickly enough. If we do have 250,000 or more dead a year from now, despite a regime of intense social distancing, the models will have been validated. If not, or if we relax the restrictions and the numbers still come in low, then they will have been falsified. If I’m wrong, and I’m still reading this blog a year from now, I will be more than happy to acknowledge it. I’m just wondering if anyone else will.

        (Thank you for the link to the NYC numbers. People’s lives of course matter, even if they have underlying conditions. But as I, and most of the people I care about, are healthy, I am hoping that, as has been reported elsewhere, Covid-19 only kills the weak. I’ve seen a fair number of first person articles in the media though, from about young health people who have gotten really, really sick, without actually dying. I wonder to what extent that’s an effort to keep everyone indoors. If it is it’s worked on me!)

        • …we will know the truth quickly enough.

          I admittedly don’t know much, but I know this much: that statement of yours is about as far from fact or reality as one can possibly get. It will take the better part of ten years (if not twenty) to get to the bottom of all of these numbers, and that is if anyone cares enough to do the work necessary to get to the bottom of them. Otherwise we’ll literally never get to their bottom. I’m betting we never do, but that is the cynic in me talking. You believe what you like.

        • There is no reason to believe we will know, as you say, the truth quickly enough, mired in irreversible decline. And, your faith in government approved experts is precious.

          • Panic and emotion are their own reason for belief and action. Nothing more is necessary for some people. This is acceptable until such action involves me and mine, then it become personal. Shutting down the economy has affected me and mine more than I believe the pandemic ever would have (assuming common sense, voluntary hygienic precautions as we take specific to every flu season) . Like JEB, I have a good memory too.

        • “…if the models being put forward are correct…”

          The models being put forward have already been proven incorrect and are constantly being revised downward due to their embarrassing incorrectness. Why on EARTH are you taking models from over-credentialed suits with anything more than a grain of salt?! Our credentialed “experts” have never yet gotten a single model or projection right.

        • JEB,

          People are dying but people are always dying. How many people typically die during the same time period in other years? Are more people dying than usual? Why isn’t this reported? That’s suspicious.

          Deaths are attributed to the virus but how often is it the actual cause of death? How often are people counted as having died from Covid19 just because they tested positive but actually died from other causes? Even when it is the cause of death, how many would have died now anyway from respiratory issues caused by an unnamed flu-like virus?

          I don’t know the answers but if Covid19 is killing a significant number of people who would’ve otherwise lived for a significant amount of time longer, we should see more people dying now than usual. Is that the case? If we’re supposed to put faith in their models, why don’t they tell us these basic things? Why won’t the news media ask? It could be as bad as they say, but the simplest and most likely explanation is that there is a lot of bullshit being pushed.

          • I had heard, but not confirmed, that the death rate in Spain with Corona figure is not yet significantly different from the average death rates before Corona. This is easily measured as most 1st world countries keep pretty good records of such, but of course that data will only be completely known after the pandemic subsides. But it would be interesting to examine, as will the death trends for a period of time after the virus subsides. The question of course being, “Did the pandemic mostly kill those who would have shortly died anyway from their other medical issues, or did it take folks with many years of life ahead?”

          • Corona virus will administer the coup de grace, but the victim was serious ill or debilitated. The death will be blamed on corona virus as a way of jacking up the number of deaths and whipping up hysteria.

            Both of my elderly parents died of pneumonia, but one was in the hospital and the other in a nursing home. Pneumonia is called “the old man’s friend” for a reason. I once had double pneumonia but recovered fully because I was in good shape.

          • Ris, exactly—which is why the general death rate before, during and after Corona-farce is so interesting to look at. If Corona-farce is shaving significant years off of expected life, graphs of the above should show different trend lines.

        • “I’ve seen a fair number of first person articles in the media though…”

          Again, why are you trusting any accounts relaid by the media? They will brazenly lie about anything and everything (caught red-handed with that footage of the Italian hospital), and anything that comes through them is no better than some dumb “My aunt’s best friend at the hospital saw someone…” sob story on social media.

          The only positive from the China virus may be that it permanently confirms in the minds of 60% of the country that our media is useless and disposable. Historically, American society always understood this: in the 19th century, for example, we knew very well newspapers were partisan hack rags. Only from about 1945-1970 did the idea of the media as some supposed “noble” fifth estate emerge, and that was merely a narrative we told ourselves to set us apart from the Soviet Union.

          The idea of the media as some kind of arbiter of truth was a temporary Cold War delusion. The formal organized media never offered anything of value and never will.

        • I can predict that if we’re still Locked Down a year from now, we won’t be reading this or any blog.

          We’ll be wondering if we dare light the last of our candles.

      • JR52:

        Well said.

        The latest projections by the respected IHME (The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) show estimated total deaths from Covid-19 to be in a range from a low of 40K to a high of 178K and an average 94K. This assumes full social distancing through the end of next month.

        The 250K figure appears to be an extreme high-end number and may reflect some political considerations.

        You might actually be understating your case concerning the costs. Further stimulus bills are in the works that might test the borrowing capacities of the federal government. The finances of many state and local governments were already on shaky grounds before this mess started. We have the considerable personal costs of the disruption of lives and restriction of personal freedoms.

        In short, a major public health problem has been transformed into a much larger and potentially disastrous economic and social problem.

        I do not recall Z-Man recommending total inaction, but rather a consideration of the trade-offs. There is a range of possible measures other than draconian ones. For example, it might be much better to focus on limiting high risk activities (mass gatherings, crowded bars) rather than have a blanket shut down of a huge swathe of “non-essential” businesses. I am not aware of any model that even attempts to analyze these considerations, so Z-Man should not be held to a standard that no one else has achieved. Being a Cassandra is hard and lonely.

        • I would not give them too much respect. I’m following their numbers daily for my former home state of Colorado, from which I have recently decamped for greener (i.e., Red) pastures. Their past mortality data for actual deaths for Colorado is completely incorrect (or at least inconsistent with the data reported by the Colorado Department of Health) and appears to overstate actual deaths by 1.5X-2X the actual number of deaths.

          Their predicted mortality rate is also 1.5-2X the actual mortality rate, and their error rate is growing ever day. Their model is clearly way off the mark. Their model predicts a fairly parabolic curve, but the actual death rate is now flat or maybe even falling.

          They are predicting 2154 Covid deaths in Colorado by August 4. The actual number is more likely to be somewhere between 200 and 600.

      • JR52. Glad someone else can work some simple math. You are of course essentially correct—one error however needs correction. The average life expectancy for any population, say of an American male (84 last I looked) does not mean that if he died of Corona at 80, he lost 4 years. Average 80 yo probably has an expectancy of 89-90. I tend to make that mistake myself when hurried, however no sense giving the other side an excuse to dismiss your argument on such a minor technically, as Cochran and associates has recently been doing.

      • I have to agree with you all the way, but I think there is even more. For every life you save (mostly old and infirm) by shutting down this industrial society you are are going to kill (murder?) many more. The suicides alone will vastly outnumber the very few lives saved that were not going to die within a year anyway.

        No action comes without costs associated with it. A law of nature.

    • JEB. Will you—if this turns out to be more fizzle than sizzle? Or will you fall back to playing both sides of issue, to wit: “Look how bad this pandemic would have been if we not taken these extreme suppression measures you so decried.”

      • This is right and is a cause and effect paradox — if there is a lockdown and very few people die, proponents of lockdown will say that lockdown saved millions of lives, while lockdown opponents will point to lockdown never being needed at all. The only way to resolve this is to have another country go for herd immunity (i.e. no lockdown at all, or at least a very limited one) and serve as a control. Originally UK was going to do this but then they backed off; now Sweden may do this (unless they back down as well):

        I really hope a first world country serves as a control throughout this fraudvirus.

        • Yeah, we are probably going to have ‘control cases’ and that would be the only way to know what works and what doesn’t.

          Btw, the reason Sweden is taking their course is that they do not wish to expose that they can’t control their vibrants.

      • The expected result of social distancing — of people huddling in their homes and only going out occasionally with masks — has got to be a steep reduction in transmission and fatality rates, for this or any contagious disease. How could it be otherwise? So taking social distancing into account is emphatically NOT playing both sides of the issue.

        If we continue social distancing (economic damage and all) and end up with 80,000 dead, as in 2017, that would suggest that the models were modestly overpessimistic (they’re saying 100,000 is the best case), but it would still be a clear demonstration that Covid-19 was much more dangerous than that season’s flu. (It’s likely the 2017 flu would have killed more people if we didn’t have a vaccine. But we did have a vaccine, and that made it less of a threat. And if we had a vaccine for Covid-19 that would similarly make it less of a threat. But we don’t).

        OTOH, if the social distancing regime collapses and people go back to life as before, and we STILL end up with 80,000 dead (or if we continue with social distancing and end up with let’s say 25,000 dead), that would demonstrate that the models were badly wrong. This seems to be the course of action that Z and others here are endorsing. But if they, with all their vast medical expertise, turn out to be wrong, and the CDC and heads of hospitals and epidemiology professors and the others we are seeing on TV turn out to be right, then we would be talking about one or two million dead. That’s what’s at stake here. I’m sorry, but I simply have greater confidence in the CDC than in a collection of internet randos.

        One of my questions has been answered though. It’s clear that no matter what numbers are published a year from now, many people here are determined that they aren’t going to believe anything that would make them wrong about this. It will all be media and government lies. That’s depressing! I wonder how many of them are 911 Truthers? (Hmm…, maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up…).

        • “I simply have greater confidence in the CDC than in a collection of internet randos.”

          There’s your problem: you’re again putting confidence into discredited organizations – the CDC and heads of hospitals and epidemiology professors – as if they know what they’re doing or predicting or projecting… and they don’t. Maybe the confidence could have been well-placed in 1980 or 1990 but today the “industry” has been thoroughly corrupted by politics and pharmaceutical lobbyists. They now harm more people than they help, and make good money doing it.

          The CDC couldn’t make up its mind whether masks help or not (behind the scenes they were really flip-flopping purely on political winds). The epidemiology professors who understand mutations and virulence were arguing against border closures on political grounds (wayyycism), when border closure is one of a very few effective methods against a disease of globalization. Hospital heads were flip-flopping on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, purely on political winds and the fact that their pharma pimps couldn’t make any money off the cheap, generic treatment. China has wrapped the WHO around its finger and has thoroughly corrupted it.

          And you still trust medical professionals and institutions? No one here is pretending the China virus isn’t serious; they’re simply arguing – with ample evidence – that all the “professionals” and “experts” and credentialed suits are overreacting; the lower levels of the medical profession perhaps so from the natural and understandable stance of taking the utmost caution in the face of uncertainty, but the upper echelons of the profession – the CDC, WHO, and “experts” making the rounds in the media – are thoroughly corrupt and deliberately ginning up hysteria for political reasons.

          I take the opposite stance: I have greater confidence in skeptical randos than CDC and hospital director suits making laughably inaccurate projections on MSNBC or CNN.

          • When Z equates Covid-19 with the 2009 Swine flu or the 2017 flu — epidemics that most people barely noticed — he IS in fact saying that it isn’t serious.

            As for the trustworthiness of the CDC vs anonymous internet randos who claim that it has been discredited, well we’ll just have to disagree about that one.

        • JEB of course you’re playing both sides of the argument—you are assuming the models are essentially correct, or you can not make any statement wrt to “lives saved”, which you continually make in all your postings. I don’t mind your contrary opinion on the matter, but your lack of logical reasoning is painful to behold.

          • Compsci — I was going to try to walk you through it more slowly, but looking back at what I’ve already written I don’t see anything I can add. Will you at least acknowledge that if the death toll a year from now is 200,000 or more, it will prove that those who dismiss this as no worse than a bad flu season were wrong? Or will you insist that it’s all lies?

        • That seems illogical. What that will do is prevent the majority acqruiing immunity. As Viral strains are always with us (H1N1 has been shown to be around since the 19th century), once this is lifted everyone will just contract it and here we are again.

          By that reasoning this will need to occur every flu season and for ever.

          If this was real and people saw the effects there would be no need to legislate distancing, people would be doing it themselves. Power, LEO, transport and water would not have enough workers due to illness as they are still working, yet we are not seeing them dropping like flies.

          All these things are working, delivery chains are still going. That is not consistent with a pandemic in any way. Real pandemics have real effects, this is just play acting around contextless numbers that are on the same scale as the 2018 flu season. Ignore the reasoning given to you in whole cloth , its a 10 years to save the planet replay and mostly by the same people.

          • Yes, social distancing will limit herd immunity. That’s a problem. Letting the disease rip through the population unhindered might — if the experts in this comment section, unthinkably, turn out to be wrong — kill one or two million people before herd immunity takes hold. That’s a problem too, but a different problem.

            Your questions are pretty easy though. We are only three weeks into the pandemic,which is extremely early. That means that the percentage of the population infected is still quite small. So it’s to be expected that people still aren’t seeing all that much themselves (at least unless they work in hospitals). However exponential growth, if unchecked, has the potential to change that drastically in the coming months. It seems to me that this is something legislatures might reasonable worry about. That’s kinda their job!

            And it’s not like this is the Black Death. Workers are not going to be dropping like flies. The worst case scenario, it we really do let the disease just rip, is two million people, or about 0.6% of the population. That’s not enough to disrupt the supply chains (especially since the deaths will be weighted heavily towards the old and the unwell). And we’re probably going to do better than the worst case. This isn’t the end of civilization. (What it does drive home though is that a sufficiently bad virus really could be exactly that!)

  18. People were tuning out fake media political narratives, so they switch to Virus narrative. The history is:

    trump/russia narrative ->
    kavanaugh = rapist narrative ->
    trump impeachment narrative.

    By the time of the Trump impeachment narrative, it was clear media power was failing. Even libs stopped screeching about drumph, it was mostly quiet and people were going about their business.

    The narrative masters started getting scared that they were losing power. And the best way to regain it?

    Switch topics & personalize it. Fuck the plebes for ignoring our specially crafted narratives!

    Hence, Virus.

    and it’s worked for them brilliantly, hooked in a lot of believers into the new narrative that had ignored them before, and got back in most of the others who wern’t listening. really very impressive

    and if Virus narrative starts failing? won’t matter, because the national guard and the military will be out on the street, foot pressed right up your ass. enjoy!

    • Virus has killed extraordinarily few people compared to prior major pandemics, where even then we didn’t shut down the economy or the world economy. There were local shutdowns during the Spanish flu which lasted for 2 weeks. This is what the media was saying before they settled on the new narrative:

      Also, the rate of infectiousness of Virus seems dramatically understated. The real R0 is over 10 according to a new study, which means 25 million are infected, which in turn means the rate of serious complication and death is equal or less than the regular flu:

      Main findings:
      1. The basic reproduction number R0 is above 10 for pretty much all countries and in pretty much all robustness checks.

      2. The fatality rate is poorly identified (cannot be separated from the initial conditions), but it is likely bounded above by 0.1%.

      3. The results imply that the current active number of cases in the US is likely to be between 10 and 25 million.

      4. The results also imply that the hospitalization rate in the US is at most 0.04% and the ICU admission rate is at most 0.018%. Given that the estimated peak number of infected in the US is 177 million, this implies the peak demand for ICUs around 32,000 with 100,000 available.

      5. Even though the model is estimated using the deaths data only, it fits the reported cases data remarkably well if we are willing to assume that a small, fixed fraction of all cases is reported.

      6. (a more technical point) The model with high R0 not only provides better in sample fit than models with low R0, but also results in substantially better out of sample predictions.

      @ivan_spartakfan wrote the paper

      Link here:

      His tweet:

      Some forecasts. USA: assuming that the model parameters don’t change (e.g. due to policy interventions), we should hit the max in around 2 weeks. The number of deaths is likely to grow really fast in the coming couple of weeks, but then it will suddenly flatten out.

    • The Nice White Ladies wanted a TrumpOut by any means possible.

      Well, they got what they voted for.

      Now they’re gibbering in terror at home, too scared to move (or sneeze), going stir-crazy with cabin fever.

      They’ve never felt so alive. Every billboard is plastered with “We’re all in this, Together!!”
      Equality at last.

      • Yeah we’re approaching 3rd World Dictatorship levels of propaganda with those billboards. I imagine it’s the same in every large municipality.

  19. The exponential growth fans can generate a neat little chart by plugging “existential threat” into the google books ngram search bar.

    It looks just like a china virus. 1980 to 2020 the existential threat (and waging “war” upon these invisible enemies) becomes our steep curve of guiding principles.

    That fairy Sarte would be so proud of us. How we have conquered nature but managed to actually increase our fear of the unknown beyond pagan levels of blood sacrifice.

    At least in the jungle times a handful of babies could bring a good harvest. Now we must toss generations of children into the volcano or else the earth boils.

    In our post-Obama era, the infinite scale of these “existential threats” is essential to the moral framework of the death cult that runs things.

    Sermons from mount CNN and grade schools alike preach of one looming etherial threat after the other.

    The only unifying value being that an individual’s own experience is just as valid as any attempt at empiricism.

    So we are left with system based on aggregating the collective fear over imagined threats; a self-validating method nicknamed “science” that would actually be a pretty good model for calculating the ROI of a PR spend but instead it is used as the urgent impetus re-order society.

    This tyranny of individual angst needs to be cut out; a hysterectomy of the barren womb that spawns only false pregnancies of invisible threats. Especially those that threaten her place on the throne of Gaia.

    • Oswald Spengler, please call your office. Z, I have so appreciated your posts this week. Your posts are a gleaming gem in the suppurating morass of piteous caterwauling and vitriol that comprises the modern blogosphere.

  20. Haven’t had a chance to hear the podcast yet so forgive me if I’m mistaken, but judging from your table of contents it appears you’ve overlooked the plague which, though not the largest, was the most historically significant by far.

    In the decades prior to the rise of Islam and the Arab breakout, a plague devastated both Persia and Byzantium, including Hellenized and Christianized Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. It was this sudden loss of manpower to counter the Islamic onslaught which made possible the lightning victories of Mohammed and his captains.

    Unless you believe the hand of Allah was behind it all, then without that plague, Islam would have been easily crushed, which means Western Europe and North Africa would have soon entered economic and scientific takeoff at that time rather than centuries later, and the greatest evil that Christendom has ever faced (well, maybe our Best Friends Forever are more evil, but less numerous) would have been squashed like a bug.

    • The greatest threat to Christianity today is (((secularism.))) It’s also going to kill Islam sooner than later. Muslim birthrates are already crashing as they expose themselves to atheism, liberalism, porn and other bugs of modernity. Check out Ed Dutton (“The Jolly Heretic”) for the numbers.

      Jihadis don’t control my government, courts, banking system, colleges, media or my entertainment industry.

      Muslims are a threat to Europe, not America. The solution for both is to simply stop importing them. You’ve fingered Public Enemy Number One – the guys working to make sure we won’t close our borders, won’t organize as a tribe, won’t pray and most importantly, won’t raise kids that aren’t broken, soulless playthings for guys like Weinstein & Epstein.

      They want you focused on Muzzies, Chinamen and anyone else who can’t FellowWhite. Aim for the matador, not the cape.

      • They want you focused on Muzzies, Chinamen and anyone else who can’t FellowWhite. Aim for the matador, not the cape.

        Exactly so.

        The Moslems are not a threat in themselves: if our governments were on the side of their peoples, 95% of all Moslem in Europe could be repatriated in ten years, without resorting to box cars or even coercion.

        They’re here for the gibs, they can be paid to go home, and the tax payers – the voters – must feel the pain for being asleep at the wheel or they learn nothing.

    • Thanks. I know little of history. That certainly would have helped The Prophet and his scimitar-wielding horde in spreading his new faith around. I’ve read a science-fiction “alternate history” account that had a still-extant Rome detect and nip Mohamed in the bug, and (I guess) the gods of Olympus continued to be worshiped.

      • That would be Robert Silverberg’s “Roma Eterna”, a timeline where Rome never fell.

        Excellent choice for the Locked Down, by the way. Top form, available in e-book or Kindle.

  21. Most of us have very little experience with real hardship. Since the end of the Cold War, we have lived a pretty insulated existence. Even 9/11 really only directly impacted a relatively small number of people. The coronavirus seems a lot scarier because it is pretty much everywhere, even though I have to assume that most Americans don’t directly know anyone with it. The run on toilet paper and staple goods, and the drastic spike in sales (and prices) for guns and ammunition speaks to how scared and completely unprepared to deal with adversity people are of something they don’t really understand.

  22. Our historic response to the color revolutions of Pestilence, from Black Death to today’s Yellow Plague, is a good “measure of man.”

    Z’s covered most of the material but I’ll spin the color wheel to Red for a look at how far we’ve come from Kilmer’s heroic consumptive Doc Holiday to today’s timorous bubble-boy Rod Dreher.

    Tuberculosis was the First Horseman’s favorite arrow from the Enlightenment through the Great War. In 1815 one in four deaths in England was due to “Consumption”.

    By 1918, TB still caused one in six deaths in France. After TB was determined to be contagious … the infected poor were “encouraged” to enter sanatoria that resembled prisons (the sanatoria for the middle and upper classes offered excellent care and constant medical attention). Whatever the benefits of the “fresh air” and labor in the sanatoria, even under the best conditions, 50% of those who entered died within five years (c. 1916).

    In Europe, rates of tuberculosis began to rise in the early 1600s to a peak level in the 1800s, when it caused nearly 25% of all deaths.

    For a taste of just how devastating tuberculosis was, look no further than Z’s fellow Lagos writer Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote “Masque of the Red Death” with Consumption in mind:

    “The disease may have been inspired by tuberculosis (or consumption, as it was known then), since Poe’s wife Virginia was suffering from the disease at the time the story was written. Like the character Prince Prospero, Poe tried to ignore the terminal nature of the disease. Poe’s mother Eliza, brother William, and foster mother Frances had also died of tuberculosis.”

    In the face of all that, Poe soldiered on – and Poe was a fragile man by antebellum standards.

    Without this surfeit of woe (and corresponding alcoholism), Poe might have had a mediocre life writing nothing better than ad copy for Baltimore merchants. Instead, we got The Raven, Ligeia and the Masque.

    Hard times make strong men – you know the rest.


    • Good account. Add that 40% of children did not survive to adulthood. Yet people did not value life less, but more. Still, that did not make them silly about it. We value life less and guard it more. Perhaps it’s all a part of believing we are born more enlightened than our grandparents and their grandparents. We are, aren’t we?

  23. Since the great depression the government and economy have largely operated on crisis. The possibility of an unmanageable crisis is exposing the weakness of that MO. Reorganizing society with an eye towards resilience is necessary. The correct way is devolution— a return to something like federalism. Correct because the nation will not collapse. The danger is totalitarianism and its inevitable collapse. The obstacle will be the interests who’ve benefited from operating by crisis— the totalitarians. They are clearly trying to use this situation to grab more wealth and power. And they will fail in the end. The sooner we overcome them, the less painful this process will be, the more likely the nation survives.

  24. The reason the rural population of the Athenian city-state (Attica was the name of the region surrounding Athens) flooded into the walled capital city was not because of the plague. It was because of the war. When Sparta sent an army around to Attica to ravage the countryside and destroy Athens’ olive industry, the rural population fled into the city for protection. Pericles had planned for this contingency. But he could not plan for an outbreak of disease under crowded conditions. Tragically, Pericles died as a result of his own strategy.

    • That was my general understanding, but reading up on the plague, modern scholars now argue that the plague probably spread first in rural areas and then into the city, when people fled the countryside. Of course, they also claim that the Black Death lowered human activity and was responsible for the Little Ice Age, so I should be be skeptical.

      • You ain’t seen nothing yet. You think you’ve see peak hysterical drama from the wahmyn, soyboys and butch girls. The next solar minimum is currently descending upon the earth and the ride will get very bumpy, as has been observed and documented of previous solar minimums. Won’t that be a wallop on the world economy.
        Solar Cycle 25 will likely be a mere stop-off on our descent into the next Grand Solar Minimum — a period of even further reduced temperatures and crop yields (research Maunder Minimum, 1645-1715). NASA is effectively forecasting a return to the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) but gives no mention of the brutal cold, crop loss, famine, war and powerful volcanic eruptions and earthquakes associated with it. Why the potential increase of earthquakes and volcanism during a deep solar minimum is not known, yet historically documented.
        By 1816, the climate was dominating headline news as both Spring and then Summer failed to arrive.
        One Virginia resident recalled, “In June another snowfall came and folks went sleighing. On July 4, water froze in cisterns and snow fell again, with Independence Day celebrants moving inside churches where hearth fires warmed things a mite.”

        Clothes froze on the line in New England, ice on ponds and lakes was reported in northwestern Pennsylvania in both July and August, and Virginia had frosts in August. The temperature occasionally got into the 90s, but then would drop to nearly freezing in just a few hours. Crops that had managed to sprout were frozen out in early June, replanted, and frozen again in July. Very few crops were actually harvested, and of those that were, the yields were very poor.

        The analysis from Valentia Zharkova suggests that all four of the Sun’s magnetic fields will go out of phase in 2020, which blows any IPCC ‘warming’ out of the water. One way or another, the cold times are returning — it’s just a matter of when.”

        • They don’t call us Ice People for nothing, Range. Snowball Earth is a very White place in more ways than one. Let it snow.

        • RFF,I’ve been about this and all related material from multiple sources and have but 1 thing to add…we won’t have to wait long to determine if it’s a conspiracy theory or not.

        • In 2014, David Archibald wrote “The Twilight of Abundance” and predicted that thanks to a Solar Minimum, temperatures would drop, marginal farmland fall out of production and the price of food would rise. There will be war, fuel shortages and mass starvation of the residents of Moslem countries from Morocco all the way to Pakistan due to the unaffordability of food.

    • Most likely just dusting off/updating their old plans for an income. UN is a good example of why democracy is not sustainable—all these shithole countries with their hands in the pocket of the successful ones—solely because they have a vote. Only thing fighting them off somewhat is the veto power we retain. We already contribute more $$$ to the UN as a country, than does China and Germany combined. Now they want a “tax” as well.

      If given a tax, the UN will form a standing army to implement their “efforts”. Count on it. We already did such once, with China. We opened our doors to them and through massive trade deficits built them into a rival superpower courtesy of the US taxpayer. Let’s not make the same mistake again. If the UN wants to address future pandemics, then let them pass the hat for donations like any other “charity”.

      • Solid analogy. The idea that some shithole African nation that contributes nothing to the UN should get the same number of voters as a place like Sweden is obviously ridiculous, just as some welfare mama with 8 kids from 7 different men should get the same vote in America as a productive, tax-paying citizen is also ridiculous.

    • I begrudge giving money to Uncle Sucker, much less Uncle Bongo. Molon labe, dindus. I have my own tribe to take care of, thanks.

        • If hate focuses you, fine, perfect it. If it makes you do precipitous things, tone it down a notch. There are not enough of us to spare.

      • “Molon labe, dindus”

        Challenge (long ago) accepted, Exile. They’ve been Coming and Taking for decades now.

        • They can’t take what I don’t have. I deny the Dindu my e$$ence. I went Galt before I knew Ayn Rand’s real name was Rosenbaum. A recommended strategy for Cloward-Pivening the system, but not all of us have the luxury.

  25. “The best chance of it being remembered is if the economic fallout is such that people remember for generations that we tried shutting down the world over a virus.”

    Yes. This virus will be remembered only because of its economic and cultural consequences and those could be monumental. We already see the extreme weakness of the West’s feminized, woke society in the response, and that is just the opening act. Pax Americana already was on the skids and this has magnified how pathetic the Empire had become. What else is possible or even likely? Shrieking wymen and soy boyz to the extent they are even noticed become objects of derision as this spreads into the Brown South and no one cares. The Cloud People emerge terrified even if somewhat unscathed, but their upper class mandarins devastated and angry at their inevitable betrayal; the managerial elite’s run was near its end anyhow. Those who had the least to lose probably will remain intact albeit poorer. Street crime could become widespread and often met with deadly civilian force. Porn probably will thrive but the court jesters of Hollywood likely will become irrelevant. Despite what we are seeing initially power will become more and more decentralized out of necessity. Family and communities very well may see a revival and if barter were a commodity it would be a “buy.”

    So some things probably will change forever and not always in bad ways.

    • On the topic of Pax Americana, it was a bit heartening to see that the Navy captain who wrote that simpering letter about his crew being sick with C19 was relieved of command. I was actually surprised by this given that the modern military (Navy in particular) has become so PC and feminized. Perhaps the top brass (or was it Trump himself?) are starting to get worried that our ever multiplying enemies might start getting ideas that maybe the Americans really are just a bunch of hysterical schoolgirls.

      • Yes I read that news item too. [Sarcasm:] I’m sure the Captain being relieved of command was a completely objective decision, and had no element of finding a scapegoat for the situation.

        Now I’ve never been in the Navy, but my guess is they don’t just choose any just any swinging dick to command an aircraft carrier. To me the action smells like just a craven move by the higher brass to take down a man who was likely a solid career officer. The Captain is not the one who leaked the letter, so I am told, so why is he being punished? “Sacrificial lamb” seems the most plausible explanation, admitted from a distance and with no detailed background data available.

        • “Now I’ve never been in the Navy, but my guess is they don’t just choose any just any swinging dick to command an aircraft carrier”

          I have been in the Navy, and you’re right. They pick some politically correct ass-kisser. They haven’t picked warriors for a long time.

        • Here’s that Captain being cheered off his shop.

          He stood for his crew, the Navy didn’t stand for him.

          There isn’t really a point in being macho towards a virus. The Navy leadership no doubt froze, the Captain fell on his sword to protect his crew. There is actually a danger from this virus, just not shut down the country virus. On the other extreme is doing nothing, which stops being an option when living in extreme close quarters on what was turning into an actual plague ship.

          “Our ever multiplying enemies” – the only enemy we have are faithless Americans.

          This Bespectacled shaved, chinless neckbeard Modly who relieved him, I shall take an interest. I’m sure he’s pure as the driven snow, and money and personal gain or loss have nothing to do with him being Sec Navy.

          • Here’s the fellow Modly who relieved Crozier over bad PR.


            “The son of Eastern European Immigrants who came to the US after WW2..,”

            Yes, the rest wrote itself. Served a couple years then got out in 1990.
            I’m sure we were surplus UH1N pilots during Desert Storm.
            War profiteer, er excuse me served as Development Sec$ in Astan, etc.
            Astan being a modern fuxing Marshall plan. Corp War $ etc

            I always love these guys who put service on the CV without thinking perhaps some will find getting out just before or during a major deployment like Desert Storm (500,000 USA total, 2 Army Corps on ground, the Fleet, 50K USMC at least) and think no one notices.
            This BTW is like Kos from Daily KOS, out in 1990.
            Thats like out in 2000, or out in 1940.
            I’m here to tell you its not hard getting back in during war, lol.

            Modly… hmm. What part of Eastern Europe?

          • And if we were in a war and the enemy decided to attack that carrier because they knew it was weak? Would all those same soldiers cheer him from their life rafts?

            He should be court martial-ed. A bunch of healthy young adults get a bad flu and they freak out? Give me a break. The cruise ship Princess full of octogenarians held their composer better.

        • Depends who leaked the letter, Ben. If the Captain of the carrier, then he revealed top secret information of battle preparedness of a ship of the line on station. He should be Court Marshaled. If someone else, who/why? Perhaps that explains the Captain’s simple removal?

        • I think you guys are misinterpreting what I said. Our enemies have multiplied because of neocon aggression, wars for Israel, etc… I’m not actually advocating bombing them all back to the stone age, quite the opposite. I’m just having a guess at what Trump and the brass might have been thinking. As I understood the story (and the media may have garbled it) the captain went straight to the press instead of going through Naval channels as a way to score poz-points and gain sympathy.

          Edited to add: To put it another way, not wanting to see your country’s military look weak and effeminate does not imply support for neocon style preemptive wars of choice.

  26. Modern people are now like teenagers discovering the opposite sex. Our fear hormones are in overdrive and we have no ability to control and channel them. Hence the great panic we see today.

    Watch it with the “we’s” and the “our’s”. Otherwise, spot on best I can tell. I said elsewhere the other day that if any one of my boys acted like the hysterical little school girls trapped in male bodies are acting over this thing, I’d personally take him behind the proverbial ‘woodshed’ and, to borrow your terminology from yesterday, “punch him in the face” to bring him back around to reality – the reality that this is the sort of thing mother nature throws at us from time to time just to let us all know who’s really in charge; the reality that we can create way more problems by overreacting out of fear than we could ever solve by way of the same.

    How’s it go in that movie Apollo 13?: ‘Let’s work the problem, people; let’s not make things worse by guessing.’

    Looking forward to listening to the new episode. Keep up the good work!

  27. I heard it said this week that the events of the past month will be the most historically significant since the end of WWII.

    Perhaps it is even more pronounced than that. Western Society has not taken a blind flying leap into the abyss since August 1914. Hysterical virtue-signaling has created an engine of destruction in the same way mobilization timetables did a century ago.

    • In a way this could – could – be a blessing in the end. The last bastion of Expertise INC is shooting its bolt here, and while this recession or depression is painful its also very educational. No one is likely to fall for the next gag. And after being cooped up with and observing how women and other hysterical types are at close range for weeks sexism may finally be recognized as reality.

      • I figured the same after 9/11 but here we go again. On the other hand I think it’s just as likely tptb are going to do what they’re going to do regardless of public sentiment. Who knows.

  28. During the Great War, or rather after it, some strategist pointed out that the great efficacy of gas was not in when it was used or how it was used, but that it could be used at any time. That’s what hung over soldiers’ heads and demoralized them even when it didn’t waft its way into the trenches. People can handle being shot at; they don’t like mortars and artillery (it feels too much like the sky is angry at you, and it’s also more arbitrary than a bullet), but something invisible killing you really is intolerable even or perhaps especially to someone with fighting spirit. I personally think you’re being too kind to the lunatics, the anti-racists and feminists, when you say they remind you of vinegar-drinking scolds. Their beliefs are even more primitive than that, perhaps animist, with white privilege and misogyny literally biding their time in trees and rivers.

    • That’s why prison is such a better deterrent than execution. It is one thing to be quickly put to death, it is quite another to force you to live like a zoo animal for the rest of your life. It is why they don’t kill dissidents with lots of fanfare, rather they are held up as contemptible rats who will made to suffer for a very long time.

      There are stories of men who fought with incredible bravery and stoicism but who were reduced to crying children when their wives berated and harangued them about trivial things.

      • I unfortunately know some guys in prison, and some say the “life” thing doesn’t sink in with lifers at first. It takes years before they even begin to process it. And bravery I think is to a large extent peer pressure, a good kind undoubtedly, but it’s mostly the fear of being seen as a coward that forces men to suck it up. I don’t think anyone is naturally brave; it goes against instinct. As the boxing trainer Cus D’Amato used to say, the coward and the brave man feel the same thing. The difference is in the reaction.

        • I think is to a large extent peer pressure, a good kind undoubtedly, but it’s mostly the fear of being seen as a coward that forces men to suck it up.

          I’m mostly in agreement with that. That is what “shaming” is all about, afterall. In the modern (clown) world we’re all relegated to living in, shaming is seen as a mostly negative thing. I’m not one of those persons who sees it that way, but it’s the world I live in and I perfectly understand that.

          Interestingly enough the most virulent “anti-shamers” out there invariably utilize the shaming mechanism (if that is a proper descriptive) against their enemies of various sorts. We see it hard and heavy currently with this corona-cold hysteria: the “anti-shamers,” a great many of whom haven’t visited or otherwise even thought of their elderly ‘loved ones’ stuck in a nursing home (where the care for them is basically shitty at best) are all of a sudden shaming the shit out of those of us who question the official narrative for our ‘inhumanity’ and lack of natural love and concern for own.

          It’s a fascinating phenomenon when you think about it. Just goes to show, I guess, that human beings are pretty mucked up when you boil it all down. Some more mucked up than others, of course.

          • They are always prattling on about “removing the stigma” of X. Every time I hear that I want to pull my hair out. Things are stigmatized for a damned good reason. We stigmatized whores to avoid women becoming whores. We stigmatized sexually transmitted diseases, prostitution, addiction in all of its forms, sexual degeneracy etc all because having less of these things was good for society. But now, it is considered a great moral failing to not have sex with an AIDS patient because we might feed the negative associations with voluntary diseases like AIDS. It’s all disgusting.

            We need MORE shaming, not less.

            But I think the bravery and stoicism was more reward seeking and living up to an ideal and the status that behavior conferred on a man rather than simply avoiding shame. The lack of inspirational images and heroes is yet another sign of a decaying society.

          • That’s one of the good things that will come as a byproduct of collapse, that regardless of your religious beliefs, the wisdom of the Locus Classicus on homosexuality, Leviticus, will be impossible to deny. Homosexuality is incredibly dangerous even in a postmodern, highly-medicated society. It will almost assuredly be a death sentence if the center doesn’t hold and medicine reverts to the model of the country doctor. It wasn’t about being mean to gay people. It was about saving lives. But if being mean to gay people is the only thing that will save lives, then so be it.

          • Freedom doesn’t mean the right to behave as you please, it means the obligation to behave as you ought.

            In a morally healthy society, as America was a century ago, guilt are shame are utilized more than prison and fines. Certain behaviors are expected and others condemned. After guilt and shame, there’s ostracism.
            It’s a sign of a population without a moral conscience and unwilling to enforce moral norms that legal punishment, which should be the last resort, is the only means of keeping people honest.

        • While I personally do not wish to live there, one thing in favor of prison is you can openly be an evil White Supremacist there. In fact, with prison gangs that may be a survival strategy. The movie “American History X” can give you a taste of that, but beware the Neo-Nazi goes soft at the end 🙂

          • Yeah, but the primary past-time of white supremacists in prison is selling drugs, after which is doing drugs, followed by preying on weaker (re: middle class) whites. Selling the sexual services of a white guy who got a DUI to a member of the Mexican Mafia is not really uplifting the white race. Dissidents need the shadows and anonymity; giant tattoos of Valkyries and vikings (as well as face and knuckle tats) sort of give the game away.

    • I can attest to this! I was in the Infantry in the first Gulf War. The scariest moment wasn’t getting shot at or artillery landing nearby – it was when the gas “sniffers” in front of us went off during a battle. People screaming “gas! gas! gas!” on the radio and for-real freaking out. Guys praying out loud that the seals hold and the filters work.

    • Unless my history is wrong, both sides in WW I had such horrific experience with chemical (gas) warfare that even the Germans in WW II refrained from its use (if one does not count “delousing” prisoners int heir concentration camps.)

      • I wouldn’t personally count delousing in POW camps (WwII or otherwise) as “chemical warfare,” but that’s just me. I should imagine there is Lots of “delousing” of various kinds currently going on in homes all across the “fruited plane” that otherwise wouldn’t be going on were it not for Corona cold hysteria. But again, that’s just me and my overactive imagination running wild. Please don’t tell the authorities!!! 🙂

      • Well the Germans were pioneers in wooden door technology, as well as being at the forefront of offering Olympic-sized swimming pools and Symphony Orchestras to those interred at their work camps.

      • Even the Germans?
        Of all the combatants in WW2, the Germans were hardly the most viciously cruel.

    • My (now deceased) FiL used to say to me all the time with respect to the hysterical women when they would act irrationally that, “that’s what we get for blowing their balls off.” I say the same thing nowadays to my SiL, except I’m not just referring to the hysterical girls when I say it and make that perfectly clear to him.

  29. Labor mobility after the Black Death was the final nail in feudalism’s coffin. Marxists used to love the Black Death, since it “proved” so many of their theories about capitalism. And, of course, it was a major impetus for the Reformation. The philosophical fallout will be interesting, since we’ve decided to stake the state’s legitimacy on no one ever getting the sniffles. Everyone here should start writing diaries; the historians of 2200 thank you.

    • The convergence of thrown and altar in democracy does not get enough attention. We worship the state and put our total trust in it.

      • My current pet rant (and if you don’t like this one, I have others) Is to point out that Governance is in the gift of Satan. He offers Christ the governance of all the worlds principalities.

        America is living proof of the truth of this.

        Luke 4:1-14
        1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

        • We’ve been ruled by spiteful strangers so long that we’ve forgotten what good governance is.

          There’s a happy medium, a Third Position, between anarcho-capitalist libertarianism and banana despotism. Government is both necessary and beneficial when it’s not rotten top-to-bottom with strivers, shekel-grubbers & Shlomos.

          You hear Scandis complain about government but the idea of having no government at all just isn’t on the table. They’d look at you like you had two heads. This is the result of their experience with government that basically worked in their interests until recent decades and still hasn’t gone off the rails entirely (but for Swedes, OFC).

          One of Z’s constant criticisms of libertarianism is its fantasy concept of “life without government.” Every society is governed – it’s just a question of how well & for whose benefit.

          • The prevalence of otherwise intelligent people relying on books of mystical belief, that are two thousand years old (sometimes much more!) should be great cause for worry, far more than misinterpreting such words. Please, before you take offense, I was speaking about Their Holy Book, not yours, which of course is the absolute Truth, the Revealed Word of God, Never to be Questioned or Doubted 🙂

          • The prevalence of otherwise intelligent people discounting thousand year old distillations of knowledge, experience, and tradition, and replacing it with whatever fanciful thought crosses their mind should also be great cause for worry. Because they f**king love science.

          • Some of Christianity’s greatest theologians were plagued by doubts. It’s human nature. Don’t assume the outliers—smaller sects usually—represent all, or even the majority of believers.

          • I see you’ve gotten several “down-votes” on your post. For the record, I gave it an “up-vote,” which effectively canceled a downvote. I did so because, well, misinterpreting Bible passages is so commonplace these days (especially amongst the Christians – of which I’m one), that it is almost a demonstration.

            In any case, though, I have to report that I personally saw, this very morning, a message on the marquee of the local “Indian Gaming Casino,” the following message: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. That is from 2 Tm, 1: 7, btw.

            Even the Merciless Indian Savages are getting scared now. Ain’t life a bitch!

        • The NeoPlatonists Europeanizing Jewish mysticism had a lot to do with its early appeal. It was Pagan Christianity until the Protestant Reformation and Pagan Catholicism up until the Vatican II.

          Religion served different functions within different estates/castes of a civilization. They weren’t mutually exclusive but certain functions were more prevalent in one estate/caste than in others. Taken as a whole it served as the unifying social fabric of a civilization. It defined beauty, truth, good/evil, duties/obligations through the stages of life, and so on. I am unaware of anything that could be called a high civilization without the necessary presence of such a fabric.

      • @ZMan, yep. State worship… shutting down civil society and nationalizing businesses in the name of national hygiene…. Like I keep saying to anyone who will listen, there’s a word for all of that. It didn’t end so well last time, but I guess we’re determined to give it another go. Let the people’s will be done, and remember: it’s “e” before “i” in Gleichschaltung.

        • We tried it your way and it brought us here. Limited government only appeals to a small number of white men. Everyone else wants big government. If you want limited government you will only get it with ethnonationalism.

          • Still my go-to when red-pilling libertarians – Star Trek economy or minorities – pick one. The ones who are legitimately committed to the ideas have to concede your point – the rest are just edgy shitlibs or neocons who like group sex.

      • Z, don’t know if you’ve done a podcast on the topic, but a great subject would be the historically symbiotic relationship between church and state, maybe even compared to the merging that we’re seeing now.

        Been reading (and listening) about Britain’s early and middle Anglo-Saxon period. A curious reoccurring theme is the conversion of various kings to Christianity. Even when their armies lose after conversion, kings stick with Christianity. Pagan kings who defeat Christian kings even adopt Christianity, which makes no sense. I mean, why would you adopt the religion of a god that doesn’t help you win battles.

        Christianity simply appealed to kings more than their pagan religion. Presumably, Christianity was better at cementing a king’s power than paganism. But it’d be an interesting topic to delve into more deeply.

        Also, the church and the king, while in cahoots, also were a check on each other at times. With the merging of church and state that we have now, there’s no check to the power. There’s no authority but the state. The priests are the king and court.

        Probably not a great combination.

        • Not picking a fight, but I think Christianity is (sadly) not relevant today. Not since they took the tax break to toe the state line. More germane these days is the merging of state snd corporate power. Churches are closed but Walmart is open.

          It makes sense that in a more spiritual age the state would try to co-opt the church, since the church was a rival to state power. Today is materialistic, so it makes sense the target is business. You have the hard power of discipline (the state) and the soft power of meeting needs (church, corporations). Masculine/feminine. They go together so they don’t fight each other. Same with men and women, right?

          • Great point. I realize that the word is laughably – and completely incorrectly thrown around these days – but we do seem to be moving toward our own form of fascism, just without the fashionable uniforms.

          • It is. There aren’t many churches teaching it, unfortunately. No wonder people have gotten turned off by the social club model of Christianity. A lot of hungry souls, not much sustenance on offer.

          • Mark 8:34-38 and Matthew 10:27-39 speak the loudest to me fwiw. Hold the line at all costs.

        • @Citizen – most of the historical fiction, written and television, seems to be utterly lost at explaining why Christianity ultimately won in places like England. So, it was Constantine making a politic decision (which is laughable to anyone who knows any history) or else it was that the Christian priests read (which is simply laughable), or some other unfair mojo that made the cool, free pagans adopt the religion of the oppressive Catholics.

          But St. Bede, while obviously a partisan, reported on the many reversals of the conversion of England. He famously reports the observation by a thane of Edwin’s during their discussion of whether to adopt the Christian God that, “So this life of man appears for a short space. But of what came before and what is to come after, we are utterly ignorant.” Which is to say, they were convinced of it and not that it was a utilitarian means of holding power – which it was not.

          Indeed, the Church was always a check on the power of the state, if only through the declaration that there exist two different realms.

          • You’re right about Bede. And there was an ebb and flow with conversion in Anglo-Saxon England, but the Christian tide kept coming in, no matter what the set back. Even the Viking Danes started picking up Christianity over time.

            I don’t know squat about the Germanic religious beliefs. I do know that Saxon kings were always claiming to be descended from Thor or some other god, much as later kings would claim that they were anointed by God.

            What I do know is that kings always want that stamp of approval from God.

          • Citizen –

            Hengist and Horsa claimed to be great great grandsons of Odin, according to Bede. I wonder if, for groups like this, life prior to a collision with civilization really was something like an heroic age and the inability to have the “mists of time” obscure everything more than a generation or three back was discomfiting. By the time Augustine shows up in Kent, the Saxons were marrying Christian princesses and trading with a Rome that was keeping time according to the regnal year of the emperor in Constantinople. Maybe a Christian identity becomes possible in that sort of environment.

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