Note: I have a new post up behind the green door on the fourth season of the television series Fargo. I suspect it will be my last post on the series.
An old Ronald Reagan joke from the 1980’s was that the closest thing to immortality was a government program. The first time he said it was in his 1964 speech, A Time for Choosing and it was not intended as a joke. By the 1980’s he had mellowed and the line was so obviously true it made a great punchline. In one of life’s great ironies, the conservative movement actually proved the maxim correct, by never cutting a single program in their time in control of government.
It is a good thing to keep in mind when thinking about the end game for the Covid-19 panic that is entering the ninth month, depending upon who is counting. The great and the good are telling us the prophesied second wave is upon us. Britain is back in lock down, even though all the evidence says it does not work. The Welsh are banned from buying clothes and snacks. The Scots saw their pubs closed. It’s all a big drama to prove that the prophesy was true.
You’ll note in all of this that the thing driving it is the health care industry complex and the army of armchair generals it has spawned. The politicians are simply responding to what the self-proclaimed experts have said. The fact that these experts have been wrong at every turn does not matter. In a modern liberal democracy, expertise is not about factual accuracy or respect earned through hard experience. It is having the right credentials and, most important, having the right friends in government.
There is another old-time expression that applies in this Covid drama. This one is from Eric Hoffer. “What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” In the case of Covid, the panic is becoming all three. It has turned into a mystery cult for many, a jobs racket for others and a money maker for global capital, which has not allowed this crisis go to waste. Rather than a plague from the gods, Covid-19 is manna from heaven for the ruling class.
The cult side of it obvious now. The Covidians are the next turn of the wheel for the people we used to call Gaia worshipers. The whole “earth is about to burn or freeze because you refuse to walk to work” stuff never really worked as hoped. They could inflict small miseries on people, like the use of grimy canvas sacks to tote groceries home, but the cult could be safely ignored. It was also becoming a bit of joke, like being a vegan or a libertarian.
The Church of Covid is a real breakthrough for the sorts of people who need the rest of us to believe they are sacrificing for society. They get to decorate themselves like Star Bellied Sneetches with their masks and endless hand rubbing. Even better, they get to be public scolds, telling the rest of us to be safe. The best part is they get to push people around for their lack of enthusiasm for the rules. In fact, that is quickly becoming an official government position.
The communists were fond of inserting ideological enforcers into the nooks and crannies of life, to keep the rank and file in line. It was a weird admission that most people really did not believe the nonsense from the party, but people would go along with it if they thought they were being watched. Today’s ideological enforcers will be dressed up like surgeons, prowling the streets looking for anyone not sufficiently enthusiastic for the Church of Covid.
Of course, this brings us back to that old maxim about government. All of these people making money from state enforcement of Covid laws are not going to kill the job by calling off the panic. You see, Covid will be with us forever and you will be required to cover your face forever. The same people who say Amy Coney Barrett will force women to wear cloaks in public are demanding everyone cover their face in public. No one will ever accuse the Covidians of being sophisticated.
This brings us to the business side of things. For global capital and government dependent industries, Covid promises nothing but boom times. Small business has been eliminated in much of the country due to the lock downs. Those that have not be crushed will be forced to comply with a thicket of Covid rules. After all, we’re all in this together and regulatory capture is just the price we must pay to be safe.
The public health excuse has allowed the tech firms to justify their takeover of the public space. The popular YouTuber, Paul Ramsey, was suspended for questioning the one true faith. Even mild criticism of official policy is now forbidden on-line. The tech oligarchs have quickly moved from suppressing “disinformation” to crushing even mild dissent from orthodoxy. More important, censorship on-line by anonymous and unaccountable commissars is now completely normal.
This normalization of censorship has been a long-term goal of the tech oligarchs and the Church of Covid now legitimizes it. Another goal of our oligarchs has been to force science to comply with their beliefs. They gained some ground with the Gaia stuff, but Covid is proving to be the kill shot. Researchers are learning that even mild questioning of these bizarre edicts is forbidden. These researchers should investigate a career in food service, as their science careers are now done.
In retrospect, fear of carbon taxes and green initiatives seems kind of quaint compared to what has quickly become the norm in the Age of Covidian. Toting around grimy canvas sacks seems pretty nice compared to masks. Just as facts and observation had no effect on the Gaia worshipers, facts and reason will have no impact on the Covidians, so it means this will be with us until they find a new fear. We’re all Covidians now, whether we like it or not. It the religion of our rulers.
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