The US government’s overreaction to what appears — by the numbers – comparable to a tough flu bug is instructive on many levels. The fog of war against the novel Corona virus is as dense as any Americans have seen, comparable to that associated with Woodrow Wilson’s poorly understood and unpopular drive to war in Europe, finally succeeding by the late halfway point in April 1917.
Wilson was President during the ratification of two dangerous amendments to the Constitution, the 16th and the 17th. I meant to say dangerous to the republic, but they signaled the coming death knell of the Constitution itself. Wilson oversaw the formation of the Federal Reserve in his first year in office, an associated concept, along with mass democracy and centralized confiscation of wealth, well-suited to dictatorships, empires, and fascisti.
The Constitution does serve as a barometer of an empire doomed to eventual collapse, with its empty words and phrases, its literal nothingness held up only to illustrate how far the republic has fallen.
And what a future it is becoming! Government schools are closed for months! How elated I would have been in the 70’s if this had happened! Public school did prepare me for over a decade working in government vaults without windows, and it taught me to hide from the authorities what I was really reading. I guess that’s something.
Colleges and universities, those massive relics of concrete and glass and lawn and overpaid administrators, have discovered that the only chance they have to remain relevant (err, funded) is to depend on their online capability, with distributed and more independent, and cheaper educators and adjuncts. Most colleges had entered this arena already, and now it will be strengthened, tested, and taken seriously. It is a new world, and nothing will ever be the same for higher education bubble dwellers.
Employers are getting a chance to reboot their business, as ordered by governors in many cases. Poorly performing employees and less than robust business lines will be discontinued, as workforces are “safely” reduced, no hard feelings, Governor said so, sign up for unemployment.
Service industries like barbers, hairdressers, housecleaners, babysitters, home care providers, nail technicians, and even food preparers have been ordered to stop – and I can’t imagine that our precious children, and our precious hair and nails, or our precious stomachs, will be neglected. Rather, a new kind of underground market will evolve to serve those needs, especially if this pseudo-martial law continues for too long. These new trails of government-blind commerce evolve rapidly, adapt easily, and have a high R (reproduction) value.
The “internet” is getting pushed and strained. Will there be room for all of us, and the surveillance state? And what are we watching, stuck at home? Indy pics and youtube documentaries, not to mentioned millions of hours of how-to instructions from cooking, to cleaning, to working from home, to overthrowing governments, will be consumed and digested.
Speaking of what we consume, no doubt people all over the globe are seeing real value in commodities that the government cannot easily compromise – skills, knowledge, gold, silver, food and land, natural springs and the like. While governments everywhere warn us against bacteria and virally contaminated paper money (I guess the cocaine and feces-covered bills meme didn’t have the intended effect), it turns out many people already thought the US dollar was crap. The Fed is turning them out en masse, presumably so our children can mulch their gardens and light their woodstoves with them in a not so distant future. This evolution toward a new kind of money is unstoppable, and collapse of empires is always tracked by the collapse of full faith and credit.
The state is amazingly weak for all of its bluster. The enforcement arm of states, and the federal government is limited, as personalities of the experts and governors, and media fear-mongering substitute for authority. Both are wearing thin.
The numbers of unemployed are being compared to the Great Depression, this time associated with government promised unemployment benefits, government-backed protections for those who do not pay their bills, and Federal Reserve checks in the mail. The slaughter of farm animals, and the destruction of produced goods and food, as under FDR, is happening. In FDR’s time, the federal government wished to ensure food prices stayed high for farmers; today, the food distribution system has been weakened, and workers being forced to not work have the same effect, and possibly for much the same reason. The United States is a largely socialist country, every sector linked closely to its government beneficiaries, each communally seen as pillars of national pride and productivity. As in the 1930s, these producers will receive state (taxpayer) compensation for the lost and wasted produce.
The ability of the average American to influence his or her government is minute, as is his or her ability to even understand what that government is doing. It is so big and so complex, we must, as virologists do, use models to assess the data we do have. Understanding what is being done in and to our country depends on the model you use.
The model that has worked best for over a century is Randolph Bourne’s observation that war is the health of the state.
An excerpt explains much of what we see today:
The moment war is declared, however, the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves. They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come within the range of the Government’s disapprobation. The citizen throws off his contempt and indifference to Government, identifies himself with its purposes, revives all his military memories and symbols, and the State once more walks, an august presence, through the imaginations of men.
War on the Coronavirus – a member of the viral family that causes the common cold – has been declared not only by our government, but by nearly all governments. This declaration of war, against a virus begs logic and common sense; yet it is working exactly as Randolph Bourne describes.
People, fearing total destruction, obey the government, and monitor their fellows with admonitions, demands, and calls to police hotlines. There is a shared sense of sacrifice, that “we are all in this together.”
The rights to free speech and assembly is well managed in a time of war, that is to say, eliminated. Few complain publicly.
The citizen, frightened and confused, looks to his government for leadership, and for money, rights, privileges, and his very life.
It is a real war, but it isn’t against a virus, and it isn’t for health of the serfs or the citizenry. The war is one conducted by the state against the true threats to its existence. Lack of control of the US money system – can we even say the word petrodollar these days? Endless borrowing in the name of the US citizen – money in the trillions that in fact can not ever be returned to those from whom it is owed. A wartime footing – permanent if need be – allows the state to shirk the debt it has created for past wars, and for its present existence, in a future where the movements, communications, money and actions of all people in the country will be monitored in real time.
The natural collapse of an unsupportable, overly complex, parasitic empire (yes, Uncle Sam, I’m talking about you!) is being forestalled, at least the state seems to believe this.
The war that the state is conducting is not against a virus, but against the people who produce and create value in this country, against free men and women, and the very concept of liberty. Citizens are rounding themselves up, walking in lines, imprisoning themselves, and purchasing their own tracking devices, and so in practicing a national lockdown, in dealing with the enemy (us!), the state has done well in this current round.
The enemy of the state is not a virus. The government reaction to this particular set of viruses this year and last, in nearly all countries, has been to assume a war footing, complete with state propaganda, martial law, economic disruption, fear and an indefinite suspension of Constitutional protections that free men expect. So what is this really about? Practicing for future biowar? Or just maintaining the health of increasingly pathetic, corrupted, unrepresentative, and financially broken government?