Watching the world go by while sheltering in place can be quite informative. Your humble servant has worked at home in splendid self-isolation for nearly nineteen years, so the new reality of hunkering down during the COVID-19 scare hasn’t changed my daily routine much. Over that nearly twenty year span, the internet has exploded, along with social media. What used to be an information cycle is now a 24/7 torrent of information, opinion (informed or not), half-truths, outright lies, spin, and mobs mounting twitter attacks on hapless souls who might doubt The Narrative. The rapidity of the manner in which the Narrative focuses and evolves shapes our perceptions of reality.
Yours truly has worked as a researcher and consultant on certain matters related to national security during a time of momentous technological and social change, and I can tell you, dear readers, that in today’s world, there is an increasing danger of policy makers acting, or reacting, to unconfirmed information and partial data. In a media-driven world wired to the internet, there is little time for considered reflection. And there is great pressure to conform to the parameters set by the Narrative.
What’s more, the dominant globalist worldview among the managerial class skews the way that partial data is presented. If a particular story suits the Narrative, it will receive the full spotlight treatment. Certain plotlines are relentlessly pursued, and often embellished, while others are shoved down the memory hole. If the ever watchful internet/mass media Eye choses to focus on a particular subject, then all else fades into obscurity. The Eye decides what is important and what is not, what is real and what is not.
The pressure on policymakers to act in a crisis, a real one, or one that has been contrived to suit political and ideological aims (the endless “war on terror” spun out of 9/11 and the “Russiagate” fantasy, to name just two) is quite strong, as is the potential for generating panic, even hysteria, in the general public.
Are we now witnessing such a phenomenon?
There are a number of experts who are questioning the level of the threat presented by the COVID-19 virus, as well as the necessity of the severe measures taken to combat it (See, for instance here: How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear , by Dr. John Lee, Spectator) and the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, has expressed doubts about assumptions made in modelling the virus’s spread and severity The Eye has chosen not to highlight those doubters, and the COVID-19 crisis has begun to harden into a PC dogma that cannot be questioned, lest the questioner be deemed a Very Bad Person.
That in itself explains why the divide between COVID-19 doubters and true believers has predictably split along “red” and “blue” lines. “Deplorables,” having grown weary of PC enforcers, are now automatically discounting what those enforcers tell us we are supposed to think. As I’ve noted previously [What Globalism Has Wrought , Chronicles, March 19, 2020] this is what happens when a large segment of the country’s population, with good reason, no longer trusts the political system or news media, and doubts that the country’s institutions are effective or will act in a fair manner in keeping with the national interest.
The interconnected, wired globalist system is proving itself quite fragile as supply lines break down, markets crash, and panic spreads across continents. Judging from what appears to be happening across the world, there is an intense feeling among individuals and nations of having lost whatever degree of control they had over their own destinies.
Given the pressures noted above, and the conflicting nature of the available data on the virus and its severity, it is no surprise that leaders of all political stripes have chosen to enact or encourage “lockdown” measures. Skeptics, including the president, decided to err on the side of caution and wait until the end of April to attempt to discern the actual severity of the virus.
We should not, however, forget that “emergency” measures and the expansion of state power to deal with emergencies, real or imagined, have a tendency to remain in place indefinitely. The surveillance state loves a crisis, and the globalists will likely attempt to double down rather than back off. Regardless of what one believes about the actual severity of the COVID-19 threat, that’s one thing all of us should have learned since 9/11.