Mandatory Vaccination

USA Today has finally let the other shoe drop, and I’d like to commend the authors (three professors of medicine, law, and bioethics) on being frank. It’s refreshing.

Defeat COVID-19 by requiring vaccination for all. It’s not un-American, it’s patriotic.

Make vaccines free, don’t allow religious or personal objections, and punish those who won’t be vaccinated. They are threatening the lives of others.

Unlike most opinion pieces today, riddled with intentional and unintentional vagueness, this one leaves me with only one question: what punishment do you have in mind? (They list a few ideas, but none that would totally contain potential spreading).

Because these professors take the example of conscientious objectors versus draft dodgers, I suppose that is where one must start. So we’re probably talking about massive fines (quarter-of-a-million) or imprisonment. Actually, considering most Americans do not nor ever will have that kind of cash on hand (especially since we’ve just nuked our economy due to this very same fear of death), imprisonment is probably the only feasible option.

So, to the professor of bioethics in particular, I would like to further narrow down the question: How is it ethical to imprison unvaccinated persons together during a pandemic? The subtext of course being that this all but guarantees they will contract C*VID19, whereas they would have otherwise been playing the odds, like every other animal during every other outbreak of anything, ever. Or, is the plan a house arrest, and if so, how would it be enforced? We are, after all, in the midst of #abolishthepolice. Are the brownshirt volunteers already organized to guard these house arrests? And how are we going to denote the homes of the deplorables? A spray-painted Star of David across the doorposts, perhaps?

But one doubts the logistics and/or bravery required to enforce house arrest, so we’re back to that insane, crazy, no-good, #cancelled Alex J*nes’s territory with his “FEMA camps will be converted into concentration camps” scenario. Boy, oh boy! Is anyone else just waiting for the 2020 alien invasion at this point? Just to clarify: assuming any such concentration or imprisonment isn’t a death camp outright (a rather generous concession at this point in the nation’s political discourse), all of the filthy unvaccinated will catch C*VID19, so the implied policy is this: If you will not let the government save you, it will do its very best to kill you instead. A nanny state worthy of Casey Anthony. And a fitting homage to Japanese internment–ostensibly permissible this time since it isn’t racial in its discrimination.

I must admit, when I wrote about the American church being wholly unprepared for persecution (and the possibility of the long awaited Mark of the Beast doubling as some vaccine/passport/business license portmanteau) last week, I wasn’t expecting such a sudden manifestation. But such is the world of the singularity, I suppose–a new reality with each morning’s dawning. So let’s get Big Picture again–and this time we’ll deal with being an American in addition to being a Christian.

When the Antichrist comes, he brings peace (albeit one eventually revealed to be false or temporary). So, right off the bat we know that anyone who does not take his Mark is going to fall prey to a Patriot Act & NDAA reasoning: if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Worded slightly differently, this simply means: go with the flow or get dashed against the rocks. It’s a kind of National Security gaslighting, wherein the citizens must convince their government that they are not a threat (guilty until proven innocent) rather than the other way around. In philosophical terms, this takes Hobbes’ Leviathan (the state as mutual protector, whom loses the right to fealty in proportion to the external harm it fails to protect its citizens from–or causes to them internally) and inverts it. The individuals whom were to be protected by their fealty must now protect the state’s interests with a self-sacrificial fealty that defeats the state’s very purpose. I would term this inversion, ‘state for its own sake.’

Somewhere in here lies the all-too-real consequences of differing ideologies that our often impotent partisan bickering has obscured over the last few decades. A significant portion of this country is and has been all but begging for a Leftwing, quasi-Marxist ‘state for its own sake,’ wherein they are perfectly content to throw out the Constitution (the mutual protection compact) so-long as doing so accomplishes the unironic utopia that they have in mind. One need only listen to them for a few minutes to gather a few things. One, they are solipsists (other people are not genuinely real to them; they simply react with others on a you-make-me-feel good, you-make-me-feel-bad basis). And two, this solipsistic lack of imagination renders them incapable of understanding the complexities of a society that is inherently comprised of self-interested individuals. In other words, it is easy for them to flippantly say, Just give everyone free food, because they can imagine themselves being gifted a lifetime supply of free food. But what they cannot possibly imagine is the incredible (indeed, currently impossible) collaboration between individuals that would be necessary to achieve such a Star-Trekian feat. Another way of summarizing them would be to say: they know what feels good, therefore they believe they know what is good as a matter of course.

Contrast this, if you would, with the classical view I attempted to sketch in the aforementioned Christianity piece. This is certainly the less feel-good of the two worldviews, for it can be summarized as:

  • the acknowledgement and acceptance of inherent pain/difficulty
  • an economics of scarcity (and indeed, the determination of value via scarcity), be it scarcity of resources, time (i.e., the realization that all flesh must die), or even talent (men are obviously not equal to one another in a literal sense)
  • a belief in Transcendence (something greater than wretched, mortal mankind) derived, not just from religious dogma, but from man’s very desire for Something More, in contrast to all other animals that are truly adapted to this environment and thus do not experience discontent within it

Christianity is firmly planted upon or rooted within this classical view. It differs from the pagan classics only in that it 1. depicts Transcendence coming down to man, instead of man (largely in vain) aspiring upwards to it & 2. in doing so, it offers a vicarious solution, wherein Transcendence gifts itself to us precisely because of our inability to perfectly grasp it ourselves.

Consequently, the political difference between these two views can be summed up in one word: Trust.

The Constitution, while not inherently Christian, at every opportunity elects the classical view: Men are fallible and corruptible, entropy and degradation are the rule rather than the exception, and, in spite of (or even because of) this, Transcendence may flourish when cultivated and guarded. This abject lack of trust in human nature is not self-flagellation, but vigilance: if we are going to lay our hands upon the Good and True, we must remain ever aware of the fact that we are not naturally good or truthful. This ‘Transcendent Cynicism’ is particularly evident in Benjamin Franklin, whom to the question of what sort of government the United States would be, famously responded:

A republic…if you can keep it.

He was the oldest of the founding fathers; indeed, compared to the others he was more a founding grandfather. He had seen more politicking as ambassador to France than many of the others put together had or ever would see (remember, quite a few of them retired from their posts back to their farms, as opposed to the current life-long bureaucrats we’ve become accustomed to). In this he was as internally balanced as his external ‘Renaissance Man’ accomplishments suggest; he was undoubtedly a hangable Liberal in his time, but he never forgot a curmudgeonly distrust for the nature of man that a classical education bequeaths. Some of the Constitutional whippersnappers were undoubtedly less cynical (the currently celebrated Hamilton being one), but nonetheless they all followed his and Jefferson’s advice about checks and balances, separation of powers, etc.

The consequence of their political distrust is this most prosperous of all nations. Yet, like all comfortable individuals or groups, our vigilance has waned. We’ve grown doughy and dull and drank a bit too much of our own Koolaid about acceptance and diversity and Being Nice at any cost. Those who have studied the fall of Rome cannot help but see similarities; it almost appears that decadent societies willfully commit collective suicide, be it out of despair or to let new mutations flourish. Personally, I cannot help but see this opinion piece as another such example, wherein three men whom have ostensibly flourished at the teat of American classical values (and two of whom likely took the classical Hippocratic Oath to do no harm) call for those very values to be trampled in favor of the State for its Own Sake.

Let me clarify that last sentence, as I fear it’s easy to miss why I so confidently assert that these professors are of the State for its Own Sake. It isn’t just because they are chucking the Constitution in favor of what’s currently in vogue among Coastal elites / the DNC. It’s because they trust the motivations of their State and themselves in this matter wholeheartedly. In other words, these men (whom are, at least in their careers, clearly capable of parsing great complexities) have here treated of an incredibly complex issue–perhaps the most complex we have faced since the Civil Rights movement–in roughly ten pithy and self-assured paragraphs. They write as though they are the God they almost certainly do not believe in. The tone of their confidence is so perfect that it at first reads as though they are totally devoid of ego (a trick of masterful rhetoric, not unlike Lucifer’s dialogue in Job). One would think that such intelligent men would approach this grim subject with a certain trepidation, perhaps even fear and trembling. But no, they have the solution and they’re here to bequeath it to the otherwise helpless plebs. This is the best evidence of their anti-classical, State for its Own Sake persuasion. The same may be seen from Marx all the way down to Alinsky: prose without compromise, concession, quandary, or, to an eerie degree, curiosity. They do not set their pen to paper until their minds are wholly made up. For them, writing is not an exploration but a declamation. A single word for this might be, simply, propaganda. (All sides of political arguments utilize propaganda as the dictionary defines it, but, as you are currently witnessing, the classical persuasion is far more likely to make concession and generally not act as though it is God’s Satan’s gift to the world).

This clinical form of persuasion puts me in mind of T.S. Eliot’s quip about the world ending with a whimper rather than a bang. It strikes me that, if some Antichrist figure were to arise in the present moment, it would most likely not be Nostradamus’s ‘great squawker Hissler’ (H*tler). That style is too militant and demanding to seduce our obese and anemic collective. No; if he were to come today his would be a voice that states with sultry bedside manner, ‘Please remain calm; there’s nothing you can do. Just leave it to the professionals.’ Certainly that is what is being asked in the USA Today piece. Stop resisting. Just do it. Be reasonable. We’re just doing our jobs. A standard-fare speech to the guards of every gulag ever.

To tie a bow on all of this mess…

  • I don’t know if the C*VID19 vaccine will actually be mandatory.
  • I don’t know if it will be based on Pasteur’s theory of antibodies, or the gene-editing of the mRNA approach.
  • I don’t know if it will be a one-and-done or endless boosters as antibodies fade and mutations form.
  • I don’t know if there is anything truly special about C*VID19, or if we’ll start mandating similar vaccine regimens for anything and everything that could possibly send human beings where they are going (the grave) a little earlier than expected.
  • I don’t know if the labs developing these vaccines are ethical and moral, profit-driven, or a mixture of both.
  • I don’t know if these vaccines are actually safe, or if we’re going to be guinea pigs for side-effects that won’t be fully understood for years to come.
  • I don’t know if taking such a vaccine is significantly less dangerous than just taking my chances with C*VID19.
  • I don’t know but that I might feel the same even if C*VID19 were considerably more fatal.
  • I don’t know if this would be THE Mark of the Beast or just a dress rehearsal (conditioning a populace to the general idea).

Here’s what I do know:

  • I don’t trust strangers or human nature in general.
  • The only entity I trust unquestionably is the Lord God Almighty.
  • I am definitely going to die, one way or another, now or later.
  • Some values are more important than prolonging a life destined to end anyway.
  • Between being ‘patriotic’ with a pulse or dead with a deity, I’ll take the latter, considering life is ‘a single page bookended by eternities…’
  • A man chooses. A slave obeys. -Andrew Ryan, Bioshock

 

 

Moral Tourism: A New Hobby at the Edge of History

Many have pondered whether George Floyd would have received any justice if his death hadn’t been recorded. I’m tempted to take this question a step further: would it have received any indignation at all if it hadn’t been recorded? As I’ve stated previously, it seems as though the Silent Majority of Americans (and perhaps the developed world entire) are incapable of mustering up emotion for anything except the most gruesome of imagery–the towers’ collapse during 9/11, for example, which garnered just enough outraged enthusiasm for ‘W’ to invade several countries that had nothing to do with it. If Floyd’s death had not been captured on video, the newspaper synopsis likely would have read: intoxicated man with extensive criminal record dies after chokehold arrest; police were alerted by a cashier after he passed a fake note. With the race of killer and killed expunged, it seems doubtful any further information would have been demanded.

Being moved solely by imagery is a consummate example of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Thus many a Westerner has suddenly, almost miraculously realized their deep-seated feelings of empathy (or guilt) towards African Americans in the late hour of 2020; unfortunately, they have not yet discovered it for any of the people-groups whom are actually enslaved TODAY. That realization would require effort beyond scrolling through social media feeds, and it might prove inconvenient indeed, for one would risk realizing that the Iphones which captured Floyd’s death were made by ChiCom slave labor on Apple’s behalf. But, since enslaved Chinese, including the Hong Kongers currently being divested of their liberty, and the Chinese-Muslim Uyghur minority currently being tortured in ‘reeducation camps,’ have little relevancy to ousting Trump, they are for some strange reason not receiving the same funding as BLM & Antifa from the likes of George Soros. Could this explain why the last time anyone heard these organizational acronyms before Floyd’s death was 2016?

One may rightly note that none of this changes the fact that African Americans have been treated unfairly. Indeed, it was very unkind of the likes of the Ashanti dynasty (of that textile design), or the Muslim pirates of the Barbary Coast, to auction their fellow Africans off to white traders. To see the stain of sin solely upon white hands during these sordid transactions is willful, expedient ignorance. If there is anything exceptional at all about the role American whites played in the vast history of slavery, it is that they were willing to fight & die over the matter in a Civil War. And in order to extrapolate a truly exceptional racism from this, one would have to believe that the majority of Southerners who risked their lives in that war were willing to die for an economic luxury they themselves did not possess. If you are not in the mood to risk your neck for billionaires’ right to keep their private jets, then you have understood my point. Those mystified should reread the 10th Amendment.

My intent, beyond the pleasure of snark for its own sake, is not to dissuade the newfound champions of civil rights; merely to ask that they remain consistent instead of, I don’t know—taking selfies at a rally, donating once or twice, then getting back to the ole Netflix binge with fresh assurance that they are a good little boy or girl. For the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. If we are going to give free money and emotional support to African Americans, I expect to see the same for interned Japanese and the truly decimated Native American tribes next, to name but a few. The business of righting historical wrongs is never-ending, and likely to bankrupt us all—but private & central bankers have already done that in slow-motion, so what the heck?

However, good luck parsing out which pale boogeymen are actually responsible, because, being Emma Lazarus’s melting pot, there are plenty of white Americans walking about whose dust-reduced ancestors were never afforded even the theoretical opportunity to own slaves, either because they were too historically late, or impoverished, or were themselves looked upon as inferior to W.A.S.P.s (see Catholics of all stripes, especially the Irish). I would also like to meet the daring soul who will audit African American ancestry to make sure none of the families of those freed slaves whom then purchased slaves for themselves are afforded a piece of this immaculate pie. Heritages of mixed race will also prove difficult in this regard (will it be the Leftwing that instigates a ‘one-drop rule’ this time around?).

In the meantime, a word of friendly warning to anyone who hopes to live to spend their reparation money. No law enforcement means no enforced laws (beyond whatever local protection rackets pop up). So, good luck enacting anything involving reparations at the same time that law enforcement is abolished. (Cue ‘Defund the Police doesn’t mean Defund the Police’). Furthermore, seeing as how the African American community is beset on all sides by ‘institutionalized racism,’ I should take great care to be sure that there is not some ulterior motive behind banishing police from all communities that cannot afford private security as a substitute. Now, I’m not saying that Margaret Sanger’s eugenics program, aka Planned Parenthood, has proven too slow for Them, and thus They (They being whoever institutionalized the institutions, I suppose) have resolved to speed up the process with some variation in stratagem…but I am saying, stranger things have happened. And this would be a particularly effective approach since no one seems to care about black-on-black violence. Indeed, even citing it currently merits a one-way ticket to the Racist category. For example, a journalist was recently pilloried for reproducing this quotation from an African American he interviewed:

I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?… Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it’s going to be national news, but if a black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of…

The answer, of course, is that our concern is not Justice (for she is Blind), only social justice. We care not to rectify present evils, only those which are already long passed. This is textbook, almost passe, Divide and Conquer–to agitate and foment historical resentment between different tribes to distract from current wrongs and lay the foundation for even worse ones in the future. I’m reminded of a Frankie Boyle joke that went something along the lines of:

Black and white people shall finally live together in harmony…in Chinese concentration camps.

I’ve tried holding off comparing our current state of affairs to the Maoist Red Guard’s Cultural Revolution, but a recent anonymous letter from a Berkeley history professor has caused me to think it might be now-or-never. That this ‘person of color’ (God, what a horrendous expression–does that mean I am a ‘person of non-color’?) knows they would lose their job for signing this piece is bad enough. The individual points themselves seem to terminate inexorably at the question: if a violent far-left ‘cultural revolution’ were to occur in the United States, what other warning signs would you possibly desire?

However, if that is in fact what is occurring (and I certainly hope it isn’t), I remain skeptical that it will ‘work’ as any of its adherents would wish. As I understand it, even the likes of Antifa merely want a political ‘anarchy’ in which they are still alive and fairly well. But any earnest attempt to force the U.S. in a socialist/communist direction that involves discomfort on the part of taxpayers would assuredly result in a distinctly apolitical anarchy. If some puppet-master would take the pains to…

  • automate, outsource, or otherwise disappear the majority of American jobs
  • prevent the federal government as-is from instituting a reactionary Universal Basic Income
  • THEN use leftist students to rabble-rouse ala Les Miserables

…we might see a homogeneously far-left USA. Otherwise, any such all-or-nothing bid is simply going to burn the whole place down like the Biblical Babylon due to the populace having not been disarmed beforehand.

Assuming (perhaps out of wishful thinking) that this unthinkable outcome will not occur, I maintain two assumptions about the future. The first is thanks to the astute commentary of @Cernovich ; the second is my own.

  • Urbanization is finished; anyone with a fulltime job, or a family, or a base-level appreciation of survival is going to flee for the suburbs or country and buy guns.
  • BLM/Antifa is but the first wave of a new hobby at the edge of history: moral tourism. The social media zombies, rather than craving brains, crave crisis. This is the only stimuli sufficient to jolt their fried nervous systems into feeling alive, however temporarily. Faux-outrage at spoon-fed, IV-dripped realizations that the world is imperfect will be their pastime in lieu of productive or lucrative work, in-person or functional families and friends, or any socio-cultural-historical value system whatsoever. Eventually no statues will stand, for they will all have been pulled down by the suspicion that anyone who did anything worth remembering must have been evil, compared to the immaculate innocence of their utter, grave-obliterated mediocrity. The rich (meaning anyone with private property) will horde the books which this mob would burn, having discovered a new status symbol on the grounds that ‘this, at least, cannot have been tampered with.’ It is even possible that the use of social media (I would not yet go so far as to say the Internet entire) will grow akin to being a Prodigal Son. ‘Poor child, they chose that poison over Real Life.’

There is no telling how many the moral tourists will kill in their first few bouts of Dionysian frenzy, but eventually this new class-based segregation will solidify. Suburban and rural taxpayers will learn to defend themselves, and tax-dependents will stay in their rotting cityscapes except when paid or goaded into kamikaze attempts with political motives. We’ll have done all those sci-fi/dystopia authors real proud.

For those regular persons of any race or creed wondering what to do in this chaotic interim, I recommend consulting Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago (even the Harper abridged edition to save time). It’s a masterful summary of how these waves of memetic violence ebb and flow, and it concludes on the whole that the only way to prevent its worst potential outcomes is total noncompliance when and if Someone shows up at your door. In hindsight, it is painfully obvious that WW2’s Russian kulaks and German Jews should have put their axeheads between the eyes of anyone who came to round them up; if they had done so they would have saved millions of lives and perhaps even their own. In the case of the United States, no force on Earth can forcibly subdue such an armed citizenry–eventually you run out of people willing to volunteer for the abduction detail, since their zealot friends keep coming home in boxes. Farmers with rusty rifles and makeshift explosives have kept the world’s best killing force occupied in the desert for decades now–if we do not do better, it will only be by choice.

How to Lose a Revolution Before It’s Begun

It wasn’t until I impulsively clicked on an MSNBC livestream out of Santa Monica that it dawned on me. I had assumed the position of effete American leftists–especially in the media–would be to endorse an attitude of ‘anything goes’ regarding the George Floyd backlash. But there they were, bemoaning the destruction of The Sake House and gasping as rioters tried to pull a hose out of a firefighters’ grasp. A guest commentator even noted that every box of free sneakers carried out of shattered windows is another few thousand new votes for Trump. In short, their take (that these are bad optics with the potential to put civil rights back incalculably) was indistinguishable from the take being given on Fox News.

Homogeny among MSNBC and Fox, I pondered? What is this–9/11? Traumatic imagery seems to be the only way to shift the fairly indifferent Silent Majority of U.S. moderates in a particular direction. Just days ago, one would have assumed the imagery in question would be, and would remain, Floyd’s murder. The total destruction of a Minneapolis police precinct came and went without batting an eye. Fair enough, the collective consciousness whispered. But the ensuing footage, like B-roll from The Purge, wherein familiar streets and amenities are pillaged and plundered against the Floyd family’s wishes has proved a bridge too far. The message is clear:

BLM, Antifa–you can burn police stations if you want; they can fend for themselves. But don’t you lay a goddamned finger on my Starbucks & McDonalds.

The uniquely leftist way of saying this is, arguably, “Sure, Black Lives Matter–but can’t they Matter without inconveniencing me?”

This reaction, though surprising even to a cynic such as myself, isn’t at all unprecedented. The American psyche is not at all as unpredictable and bipolar as its political extremists sometimes make it seem. At the end of the day, it is a corporation-country. Sometimes you have to indulge a strike, maybe even some Luddite sabotage, but eventually everyone is going back to work, or else.

The fact that the National Guard has not yet been ordered to open fire on looters (despite hollow tweets to that effect) perhaps signifies that the corporation’s patience still has reserves. I think this patience is due–sad to say–to the arguable fact that the role of these looters within said corporation is to wind up in prison. And wind up there they shall, no matter how many times our benevolent bosses decide to let them go. Even if a few get to keep their new plasma TVs and stay free long enough to enjoy them, what is that compared to the astounding budgetary benefits police are going to gain from these temper tantrums? We thought they were militarized before? What do you suppose they will look like once every station is outfitted to repel a city-wide assault? We may have meant to say to police, ‘look here, stop killing unarmed civilians!’ But what they heard was, ‘hey, become so terrifying that you don’t have to kill unarmed civilians.’

As for Trump, the only way he doesn’t get 4 more years* is if he is no longer corporeal (and if that happens, the Republican fallback may well be the Fascistic nightmare that American leftists have long fantasized Trump is). He is getting his Conservative Supreme Court, the NRA is going to eat other special interest lobbyists’ lunches for decades to come, and any newfangled economic recovery methods he (or should I say Jared) thinks up is getting passed. Optional: Israel finishes its plans for Palestine, knowing they will never have a better opportunity again.

Walking to a vandalized church, Bible in hand…God, that’s good. Our Left have been so worried about ‘institutionalized racism’ that they forgot the possibility of causing its far more personal renaissance. They spoke of the devil until he appeared. Although, this time around I expect it will be far more class than color based. The days of the bedsheet wearers are behind us; the days of those with something to lose making sure they are ready to dispatch any irksome have-nots has only just begun. The corporation is restructuring, and our urban department is about to get downsized.

RIP George Floyd. RIP Tony Timpa.

 

*…OK, if they hijack Biden at the convention with an Oprah/Obama ticket, it won’t be that easy.

The Crowning Achievements of Coronavirus

tp self

Obligatory documentation of the empty toilet paper aisle (suburb of Atlanta, GA).

  • Staying at home and ordering in is an act of heroism in the developed world.
  • Staying at home and ordering in is too much to ask of some Americans. Wonder whether the people who attended Spring Break during corona-season are more or less likely to be drunk drivers?
  • Referring to a virus by the country of its origin is racist. Time to issue reparations to Spain.
  • Trump didn’t do enough.
  • Trump did too much.
  • Trump caused corona.
  • Thanks, Obama.
  • The fear of not being able to wipe one’s anus comfortably is worse than the fear of starvation (somebody tell these people that bowel movements cease during starvation, please).
  • For those who do fear starvation, Southerners prefer alcohol and chips where Northerners prefer soda and frozen meals. How can my fellow Southerners be more obese but have less appreciation for caloric density?!
  • Bill Gates left Microsoft to team up with MIT on solving this problem. The solution? An infrared visible tattoo that administers vaccine and testifies to the fact that it has been administered. Great. ‘Papers please’ wasn’t enough, we needed to go ahead and incorporate The Mark of the Beast. It wasn’t sufficient that the Dalai Lama has been displaced, Muslims cannot make their pilgrimages, Jews are rumored to have begun reconvening a Sanhedrin upon the birth of the long-awaited perfect red heifer, etc, etc. We needed to start beta-testing the key premise of how the Antichrist will rule the world. Mr. Gates, I know those DMT clockwork elves you encountered at all those Eyes Wide Shut ‘summits’ told you to do this, and that they’re some benevolent talking-to-Jody-Foster-in-Contact aliens, and that you can help them usher in the next stage of human evolution, but unless you consider Dante’s Inferno to be a great vacation pamphlet, it’s time to pump the breaks.
  • 2008 taught us that if a bank is sufficiently ‘big,’ the United States government will not allow it to fail. 2020 now adds the realization that, because these big banks would fail if their corporate debtors defaulted, the businesses they loan to cannot be allowed to fail either. This seems to have given birth to the first purely verbal internet meme in memory: “We have privatized profits and publicized losses.” This wide-spread realization, that the average citizen is required to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, while captains of industry and their financiers are infinitely coddled, is–it seems an understatement to say–the stuff revolutions are made of. Indeed, I am left to ponder whether this meme will eventually be cited alongside “Let them eat cake” in the history books. The fact that this cat has been let out of the bag (more of a tiger) has not entirely escaped the powers-that-be, for instead of a brazen ’08 style bail-out they are now taking public stake in the companies they wish to save. Though no less of a catastrophic precedent to set given enough time to play out, this does at least feel a bit more honest. Instead of having politicians bail out the businesses they are shareholders of, just have their government own them outright–saves on money manager fees. And if that’s not good enough, send a pittance of Fed monopoly money to the masses so they don’t start constructing the guillotines quite yet. I am left feeling numb at the realization that we appear deadset upon discovering a sci-fi dystopia Worst of Both Worlds: small business capitalism alongside Big Business socialism, and no hint of irony in sight.
  • Farmer and trucker unions should reorganize into massive, 99% bank-indebted corporations ASAP.

Political Paradox & What Lies Beneath

I’ve long held, somewhat in keeping with the Eastern idea of yin and yang, that extremes on opposite ends of the political spectrum will eventually become indiscernible. They do, after all, share an inherently extremist nature, and the personalities drawn to extremism are usually slight variations upon one another, whether their wide-eyed, tight-fisted credo be religious or atheist, fascist or communist.

This, coupled with my general sense that the politics of the developed world have become almost entirely faux (more on that in a moment), has caused me to anticipate the day when Rightwingers would espouse liberal ideas, and Leftwingers would espouse illiberal ideas, without the slightest hint of irony. (Self-awareness, after all, tends to put a damper on extremism). Based on myriad recent articles, this wait may be over.

Let me briefly summarize what I mean by faux-politics. I believe the developed world has become jaded and trite to the extent that no significant political change is possible in the absence of mortal danger. To those who live with universal access to indoor plumbing, grocery stores, and libraries, much less the internet, no amount of self-righteous political indignation is going to inspire them to take action in a meaningful (and thus difficult or risky) fashion. Workers of the World Unite, right after I finish this Netflix series! Or, to put it another way, the Orange Man may be bad, but not so bad that it’s worth risking my precious life over.

The only genuine exceptions to this rule are, unfortunately, the lone mass-murderers of the past two decades, who conduct their ‘revolution’ against the entire species. I suspect there is some terrible truth undergirding these madmen–perhaps a mere sense that we have transcended race, class, and all other metrics by which to accurately apportion political blame, since we have all contributed whatever dollars we had to turning God’s creation into one big theme park. One cannot help but notice that they seem to have more-or-less replaced the serial killers are of the ’70s and ’80s. The attitude, the stance, of the contemporary killer is fundamentally different. Theirs is not crime to be gotten away with, but a gospel to be shouted from the rooftops.

I turn, for my examples of this political paradox (illiberal liberals and liberal conservatives) to two articles in particular. The first is by a feminist group attempting to goad governments into banning sex robots before they become as commonplace as Iphones. And while the article is quite old in internet time, their cause is just now gaining traction. Herein we witness persons ideologically liberal calling on the government to ban a sex toy, condemning pornography entire, and opining that there is a

crisis brewing in human attachment. Attachment is the ability for humans to form stable, long lasting, meaningful interpersonal relationships that support mutual co-existence throughout life.

Let us scan the horizon for flying pigs upon the realization that leftists are now worrying about ‘family values!’ One has to wonder how many snide comments were made by these very campaigners against Christian conservatives for the identical hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that they are now frantically engaged in decades later? It appears they who made the promiscuous beds have realized they must now lie in them. One can almost picture their heads spinning ala The Exorcist as they unsuccessfully attempt to figure out how to undo male sexual liberation without curtailing female sexual liberation. Consider these passages:

Hierarchical male loss of power that is organised through traditional power structures have been diminishing over the last 100 years, the 1960s which marked the rise of feminism aimed to improve equality between the sexes, yet a commercial prostitution and porn trade grew up in parallel, that was open and legal…In the 1960s and 1970s, women had less representation in political life to stop the legalisation of pornography and an expanding commercial sex trade. Women are not on the margins any longer, and we can face head on this attack on female humanity by male dominated robotics, AI and sex industries.

To recap:

  • sexual liberation occurred “in parallel,” but had nothing to do with, “commercial prostitution and porn”
  • the empathetic, ethical half of the population would have stopped these things if they could, but couldn’t, because reasons
  • But now they can! And it will be a full-on Luddite crusade! Deus Vult?

The second, far more logical article is called The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. For clickbait purposes, the title is far less compelling, and even does a disservice, to its own excellent article. And while the author is clearly no ideological extremist, I believe his piece can be taken as another sign of political paradox simply because The Atlantic so proudly published it. Herein we are advised to return to the clans of yore–extended, multi-generational families–rather than the mom, dad, two kids, and a dog model caused by the urbanization of the Industrial Revolution. I would have thought that, clickbait title or no, such a wholesome suggestion would be taboo among journalism’s usual individualism-at-any-cost crowd. But apparently even they have stared into the abyss of San Francisco and recoiled at what they saw there. Put down the fentanyl and get thee to a nunnery–or at least the suburbs, for Chrissakes!

Meanwhile on the right, we find the “alt-right” and the “Intellectual Dark Web” irreverently championing free speech while the far-left embraces censorship in the name of anti-fascism and combating “hate speech.” Thus a Canadian professor of psychology became American conservatism’s figurehead. I am reminded of the scene from The Simpsons Movie, wherein, at the apparent End of the World, everyone in the bar runs over to the church, and everyone in the church runs over to the bar (11 seconds in).

If I could boil this phenomenon down to a single word, I think it would have to be decentralization. Yeah, “everything’s coming apart,” but not in quite the apocalyptic way. It may feel like there are more extremists than ever before, or that they are getting louder–but this is not a sign of their strength. It’s a sign that even they are having a hard time taking themselves seriously anymore. The ego of the developed world is in its deaththrows. This process can be halted by catastrophe. But in the absence of any real problems, we are jousting at windmills. The Right is worried about free speech when there’s never been more of it; the Left is worried about violence when there’s never been less of it. We’re continuing to take turns in a game that no longer exists. I think it’ll end when we really and truly realize that we don’t need each other anymore. Necessity has been removed as a factor. We’re about to find out who we really are, and we’re going to do it alone.