In Order to Form a More Panicked Union: Coronavirus, Government, and the “Freedom” to Fear (Part Two)

Picking up where we left off in part one, we were looking at the numbers of this new pandemic. Obviously, today, the numbers have risen, but the morality rates and the ratio of sever/critical to mild cases remains consistent; the deaths per one million average out to about 2.4 at the time of this writing. My reference for these numbers comes from a fairly straightforward academic site: worldometers.info/coronavirus.

Now, if one were thinking rationally, or at least, going by common sense, and seeing how prevalent numbers are in the carpet-bombing, non-stop media coverage of this pandemic, one would presume that the numbers actually matter. You see the numbers, do some basic elementary school math, factor in some unknown variables like possibility of virus mutation and the fact that deaths are factored more heavily into the predictions at the beginning of pandemics, make some comparisons to past pandemics of a similar sickness, and you can get at least a ballpark understanding of how concerned you should actually be and what your level of preparedness should look like.

But consistently we are told, either directly or indirectly, that this is not so. Either the numbers are said to be too simple or too comlicated for the average citizen to use for any particular purpose…which makes one wonder why so many numbers are bandied about in the first place. But of course, we don’t wonder long, do we? Because really we already know. The numbers, like any other information, are merely a conveyance of propaganda. So, yes, we are told that the numbers are too simple, or too complicated, too insubstantial or irrelevant, all while we are carpet-bombed with random, sensationalized, non-contextual death tolls, ventelator shortages, healthcare staff sickness, or other such rank emotional manipulation. The numbers won’t help you know or even guess as to what degree you should worry, or prepare, or plan, or change you life. And this of course is ironic in this postmodern, anti-religious, anti-philosophical hellscape we’ve created in the West, where science is the answer to absolutely everything, and God is dead, and mathematics is the “language of the Universe”. But, again, we know, don’t we? As with everything else, numbers mean only what the unwashed masses like you and I are told they mean by the Authorities—the tacit or overt emissaries of the State.

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People who are ruled, and who have been ruled for thousands and thousands of years and throughout countless generations, under the auspices of the State—the Absolute Coercive Authority—some of which are explicit, like the communist autocracies, and some implicit, like Western “representative” democracies, do not actually live in a state of emotional or psychological freedom any more than they live in a physical one. These ruled people have been condition over thousands of years by government that their existence shall be fundamentally dictated to them. They shall be told what they may own; what they may do; where they may go; what they may say; and thus it is inevitable that they shall be told then what they may think, and corollary to this, what they may feel. And that is why the numbers don’t matter. Oh yes…that’s right. They don’t matter. They really don’t. At the end of the day, how you react to this pandemic or any other crisis really isn’t up to you at all. Whether it wipes out the whole human race or none of it, you will behave and feel exactly how you are told. You think you will stay calm? Not if your job is eliminated overnight by government directives to shut down all “non-essential businesses”. The fact that that the business may be essential to those who say, own the business, and have invested their life savings into it deosn’t matter. The fact that it may be essential to those who are living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t matter. Because we…because you don’t get to define “essential”. You think you won’t panic if the State and their propaganda ministry tell you to panic? “Hold my beer” says the State, and see the empty shelves, the plummeting stockmarket and your future with it manifest right before your very eyes. Just like magic.

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If the government has the power to force businesses to close and lay off their employees during a crisis, and the government is that institution which will ultimately determine the definition of “crisis” and “essential”, and what is or is not these things, and via their overwhelming violent power with which they thus may dictate to you how you shall handle a crisis economically, then it is foolishness to think that you shall dictate to yourself how you shall feel about the crisis. In other words, not only do you not have the freedom to work or not work depending on the actions and opinion of the State, you do not have the freedom to fear or not fear. If the State decides the crisis is to be feared, even in spite of any objective or logical rendering of the numbers and reality (and even if the numbers did warrant fear, your interpretation of the numbers is irrelevant) then fear you shall. For even if you do not fear this new virus, itself, the moment you are told your retirement fund has tanked and that there is no retirement for you next year, you’ll fear. When your baby comes down with a high fever and you find no medicine at the store and no assurance that you’ll ever find it on the shelves again, you’ll fear. When you turn on or read the news and hear the endless apocalyptic headlines of the state-controlled media, you’ll fear. When you are told that the oral cancer or vision loss that you now have could have been prevented if your annual checkup hadn’t been cancelled because they weren’t considered “essential”, you’ll fear. When you show up for work and are told that your job has been terminated indefinitely, you’ll fear.

Now, obviously not everyone will experience these situations, and obviously not everyone will fear…that isn’t my point, and I hope I’ve made it clear enough for you to see this. Of course I’m speaking in a generality…that is, a mass, society-wide context of doom and hopelessness will be conjured by the State which wants to see it done, based on their power to do so. Not all of us individually need to fear for fear to be nationally pervasive, and this based on how quickly and easily government can manipulate the social context.

So yes, those who have been explicitly or implicitly telling me that the numbers don’t mean anything are actually right. I have been wrong to think they do. But the reason the don’t mean anything is because the numbers, like existence in general under the auspices of the State—the monopoly of coercive force—cannot have any practical effect beyond what the ruling classes desire. And we can see it happening now. The coronavirus numbers are low, the death-toll nowhere near any other significant pandemic in history per world population, the promulgation rate even lower (though of course this can change), and yet here we are. Unmitigated, overt, objective world-panic. And on the obverse side of the coin, say the half the population of the United States was dead and half of the other half were infected and likely to die, I submit that if the government and the media and the opportunistic talking-heeads on the the world’s greatest information garbage dump of all time, YouTube, where 90% of the channels are infested with people who are utterly unqualified to discuss whatever it is they are discussing…yes, if all of these told us not to panic, and to remain calm, and to go to work and try to live as normallly as possible, that’s exactly what we’d be doing. And you might say that’s implossible, but look at what’s happening now. A tiny fraction of the United States is infected with a relatively harmless eastern virus and the economy is almost literally halted overnight, with lockdowns and shutdowns and home quarantines that one doesn’t see even in countries at war. If this current scenario can happen, then so can the other.

It’s not up to you; it’s not up to reason, or common sense, or the numbers, or logic, or reality. In a crisis, you don’t get to say how you’re going to deal with it. Government can shut down whole industries at the point of a gun, overnight, at will. In the face of that kind of power it’s foolishness to assume you have any control over how you will think or feel or what you will do in a time of crisis. You exist, my friend, in a social, politcal, and economic context that has been dictated to you. The proof that you are not thinking logically is your belief that logic has anything to do with it in the first place. For even if you do happen to think logically, of what use is that logic to you? You will do as you are told, and there is the gun, like the sword of Damocles, ready to pounce the moment you try to act on any logic of your own, on your own. We are all in this together, as they say. And oh the massive irony that this is intended to comfort us. That’s funny.

So you survive this pandemic, as the vast, vast majority of us will, and you stay healthy. But so what? Who do you think “you” are, anyway?

END part two

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