Looking back on this era, future historians will see it as the time when two things became visible to most people: the Left tried to take over by destroying civilization as it usually does, and modern society revealed that it was chrome and polish over a dysfunctional mess of careerism and parasitism.
First, while the media is trying to spin it as a “conspiracy theory,” we should look into the idea that the Left wanted to use coronavirus to crash the economy. This notion requires that we believe the Left wants to sabotage Trump or populism with an economic crash, and that they exaggerated the impact of the virus to do so.
We have no problem showing that the Left wanted to crash the economy to thwart Trump after their failed Russian collusion, emoluments, sex scandals, and impeachment:
Bill Maher said Friday that he is “hoping” for the bottom to fall out of the economy and for the country to enter a recession so we can “get rid of Trump.” He said one way to do that is a “crashing economy.” Maher said he is “sorry” if it hurts people, but rooting for a recession is a prevention measure to losing democracy.
“Can I ask about the economy because this economy is going pretty well? I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point. And by the way, I’m hoping for it. Because I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So, please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people, but it’s either root for a recession or you lose your democracy,” Maher said on the Friday broadcast of his HBO show Real Time.
Maher, like many other talking heads, summarizes into “talking points” the end conclusions of sentiment in his community (sentiment meaning self-pitying commentary or personal drama). His ideas then are not so much unique as restatements of what he feels his audience will support.
Then we can look at the guiding messaging of the Left during the crisis:
Even before the pandemic hit, I realised that we were in a revolutionary moment where what would be impossible or even inconceivable in normal times had become not only possible, but probably absolutely necessary.
We will not go back to where we were when the pandemic started. That is pretty certain. But that is the only thing that is certain.
Donald Trump would like to be a dictator. But he cannot be one because there is a constitution in the United States that people still respect. And it will prevent him from doing certain things. That does not mean that he will not try, because he is literally fighting for his life. I will also say that I have put my faith in Trump to destroy himself, and he has exceeded my wildest expectations.
Translated into how it was intended to be heard, this statement means “the old order has failed, overthrow the dictator and stage Leftist revolution.”
His fellow Leftists such as James Galbraith see a need to demand a total reset of the financial system based on, basically, free money:
There will be a vast tangle of unpaid debts that cannot be cleared, and—what is different from 2008 and 2009—the model of foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions to deal with them is going to be absolutely unacceptable. People sheltering at home without income are in no way responsible for their circumstances and will refuse to accept the terms of those contracts. So the contracts will have to be suspended, and the debts cleared away, or there will be a confrontation on a vast scale. This is similar to the farm foreclosure confrontations of the 1890s and 1930s in this country, but on a much larger scale, and in many cases urban and suburban. The right model is that of the treatment of inter-allied war debts after World War II: They were canceled, because dealing with the common enemy was a common effort. So the whole financial system will have to be reset.
Another economist, Stephen Jen, goes even further:
Essentially the coronavirus will make the world look more like China, in terms of the state’s involvement in private-sector activities. It is the U.S. converging to China, not the other way around.
Robert Reich comes out and clarifies that idea further:
I hope I’m not looking at it through rose-colored glasses, but it’s possible we may understand that at least with regard to minimum safety nets, and minimum health care, we need to do much more for our country and each other than we are doing now.
In other words, get ready for a greater degree of socialism in your already market socialist system based on entitlements, falsely inflated GDP, and international borrowing. Globalism is not just here to stay, but will become the order of your daily lives.
Conveniently, at the same time, out came the propaganda for socialist-style government based on benefits distributed equally:
Finland ran a two-year universal basic income study in 2017 and 2018, during which the government gave 2000 unemployed people aged between 25 and 58 monthly payments with no strings attached.
The payments of €560 per month weren’t means tested and were unconditional, so they weren’t reduced if an individual got a job or later had a pay rise.
Between November 2017 and October 2018, people on basic income worked an average of 78 days, which was six days more than those on unemployment benefits.
When surveyed, people who received universal basic income instead of regular unemployment benefits reported better financial well-being, mental health and cognitive functioning, as well as higher levels of confidence in the future.
In other words, the market socialism we have now — where entitlements are paid out of high taxes, and GDP jockeyed to enable more borrowing to fund this circular Ponzi scheme — will become slightly more socialist, with a Universal Basic Income and single-payer health care grafted onto the benefits that we cannot already afford. In order to make it seem like this is working, a “debt jubilee” will occur where all debts are discharged, plunging the economic system into permanent recession because of the massive loss of what it considered to be assets.
Not surprisingly, the less affluent countries of Europe are demanding permanent universal basic income (styled as “minimum income”):
“We have to ensure that all people are guaranteed the satisfaction of their basic needs, so we need a common minimum income system to combat poverty and social exclusion from an ambitious and integrated perspective’, the leaders said in the article entitled Towards a European minimum income’.
The three signatories to the article said that the European Union needs a common minimum income framework, which is not limited to survival levels or to the poverty ratio calculated on the basis of the average European income, but which is rather a legally binding framework, enabling all Member States to establish a minimum income that is adequate and adapted to each country’s standard of living and way of life.
“We support the approach that has been taken to this crisis, which is based on the fact that nobody is left behind and that it pays particular attention to the most vulnerable groups. We, therefore, support the establishment of an initiative to support the generalisation of decent and adequate minimum income systems in all Member States”, they said.
That is, until the next crisis, and then we will get more socialism and, since that will be declared to be succeeding by the neurotic Leftist talking heads, more of the rest of Leftism too: enforced equality, diversity and globalism, feminism and transgenderism, big government, unions, and a “deep state” of bureaucrats shared between government, media, and industry who praise every minor success and ignore every major failing.
Already governments are using this crisis as an excuse to massively increase their power:
Ecommerce in South Africa is limited to the delivery of certain goods, while exercise in public was banned under level 5, and is now limited to between 06:00 and 09:00 in the morning under level 4.
The government has also introduced legislation which includes the tracking of phone user locations and the criminalisation of coronavirus-related fake news.
We expect that from South Africa, which is basically a state consuming itself through diversity, but what about liberal hugbox New Zealand going full Big Brother?
“Under this act, police will only be able to enter private homes to break up gatherings that violate the rules on the numbers of people assembling, whereas under the previous powers they could do so for a number of reasons.”
The Search and Surveillance Act also provided police with such powers — generally for serious offences with urgency, if it was necessary to prevent the offence being committed or risk to life and safety.
You would think that a sane bill would have an expiration date, or at least some way to define when a crisis had become normalcy, such as if COVID-19 cannot be vaccinated against or eliminated and becomes a new ugly form of the seasonal flu.
In the meantime, the Leftist media is urging us to believe that Americans now accept socialism in the wake of the coronavirus upset:
Proponents of these and other measures do not seem afraid of being called “socialist,” and many of them have historically leaned toward the center, not the left. That’s obviously because of the moment. But it may also be among the legacies of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ historic run in the Democratic Party primary. In unapologetically embracing the “democratic socialist” moniker, Sanders, I-Vt., dulled the socialist label’s stigmatizing power and may have even normalized the term. In turn, it’s expanded the universe of policy solutions to support Americans during the pandemic – and beyond it.
Consider, for example, health care. Every proposed expansion of government-funded coverage has had to deal with the boogeyman of socialism. The Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill in 1947, which would have created national health insurance, was smeared along those lines by opponents such as the American Medical Association, which characterized it as “socialized medicine” and government monopoly on medicine. The same happened with Medicare, though it eventually passed successfully. In 1962, future president Ronald Reagan declared, in a speech for the AMA, that if Medicare were to become a reality, the country would soon “awake to find that we have socialism.”
Sounds like Reagan was right: we are going to wake up and find that socialism was not adopted with one big bill, but with many small changes over the years. Leftists realize that people will not transition to socialism willingly from a functional economic system, so this one needs to die so that they can make the change.
They are promoting this change by predicting an economic apocalypse:
This is what the end of the end of history looks like. We had asked ourselves how it would appear and when.
Was all of this inevitable? Is it now? It is always possible to insist that we should seek another way, a path of shared work, shared purpose, and shared wealth, as our great-grandparents did long ago.
In the name of health, wealth, and safety I fully expect work as we know it not to return for vast swathes of the population. Instead it will be replaced by subsidies meant not to provide marginal relief to families but to keep them inside their homes in front of screens, having things sent to their doors and generating meaningless analytics data.
I suggest that instead, we need a reset, based not on economics but on how we spend our time.
The AP notes that this time feels strange, liminal, and rootless:
When people peek their heads out of their houses and wonder if anyone’s actually still writing that script — and what it’s going to say. When rational Americans, confronted with untenable circumstances, start to question everything in front of them.
Part of the problem, of course, is that those very circumstances have left many millions of people stuck in their homes with a lot of opportunity to contemplate their lot — and contemplate, and contemplate, and contemplate. Thanks to all the isolation, time feels out of joint in American life — just as those who lived through this in China said in January and February, just as fellow humans in Italy and Spain said in March.
Nothing like free time to make you contemplate existence, which is probably why free time exists. Most people prefer to be occupied by something external — social media, work, school, food, sex, shopping, television — so that they can avoid looking within. Boredom forces them to do so, however.
A good seven weeks of lockdown strips the veneer of excitement from these time-filling pro forma activities, and make us wonder what the point is. If the TPS reports do not have blue covers, or the Facebook feed goes unwatched, what do we really suffer for it?
This leads us to the realization that we were wasting our time with modern society as it was. We worked too much, and too little of that work mattered or led to anything beneficial. We spent too much time killing time, and not enough time understanding ourselves.
The instant we begin to break away however, the usual neurotic whispers appear. We need to help the poor, the downtrodden, the different, the brown, the gay… but that means that we must waste our time. Good must be sacrificed for bad. That after all is the message of egalitarianism, good is given to both good and bad.
In our daily life experience however we notice that much if not most of humanity is dysfunctional to varying degrees. They are poor because lottery tickets come before rent, homeless because alcohol comes before normalcy, sad because they have no direction, angry because they are nobodies.
In our society, in pursuit of the Utopian symbolic ideal of egalitarianism, we have come to see the suffering of others as a problem, and we mobilize everything we have to fight it. This is like seeing a bug on the lawn, and picking up your own house and everything in it to use to smash the bug.
That, too, is sacrifice of the good for the bad. Instead of pushing dysfunction aside, we are making it the focus of our world. We are giving up on the good in order to pursue the bad. This in turn means that we spend most of our time on the bad, feeling bad, and forgetting how to be good.
Perhaps instead of the glorious socialist revolution foreseen by the Left, society is going another way. Following the Tea Party heritage that makes up part of populism, we are no longer interested in anti-poverty programs, unions, diversity, affirmative action, or anything else designed to lift up the suffering.
We want to reward the good and become better. We want to live well, spending our time on things that are important, most of which suspiciously resemble what happens after boredom and laziness are exhausted and we start to get interested in life again.
Humanity needed a reset. COVID-19 came along, at the expense of only a few hundred thousand Boomers, and has taught us how to rediscover life. Now it is time to carry that forward by rejecting socialism, diversity, and consumerism so that we can pursue a life of the good and enjoy it.