The Spectre of Globalism

Recently I was watching this interesting speech by Ernst Wolff titled The Fourth Industrial Revolution. (Thanks to Roland for the link). The video is in German and is well worth watching for those who speak the language. Wolff outlines the political dimensions of our current woes with a focus on how our would-be globalist overlords see the world. Several things occurred to me while watching the video and I’ll be unpacking those in the next few posts. I think the concept is the fourth industrial revolution is flawed and it’s flawed in exactly the same way the modern Plague Story is flawed in that it takes a historical reality that is foundational to modern life and then tacks on a fairy tale ending which has no basis in reality. This kind of thing has been a hallmark of academic elites since time immemorial and seems to have a particular attraction to left-leaning elites hence the ongoing power of Marxism which followed the pattern to a tee. But there is a dynamic going on with the globalist elites that I think is new, at least in modern history. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is related to the concept of the Great Reset about which there is a book in print and regular forums where those ideas are discussed. And yet, in public discourse when somebody raises ideas about the Great Reset, it’s very common to hear the idea written off as a “conspiracy”. How can that be? How can a concept which is right out there in the open be thought of as a conspiracy theory by the average person on the street?

To answer this question, we must acknowledge a couple of things. Firstly, there is the fact that most people most of the time think in literal terms or what I called left brain thinking or L-mode in a previous post. That is, people think in terms of the dictionary meaning of a word rather than the concept that the word represents. To take a current example, most people think the corona “vaccine” will stop the spread of covid because that’s what vaccines do. The fact that this vaccine does not do that simply doesn’t register even though it is now an acknowledged fact by the most mainstream corona “experts” and politicians that the vaccine doesn’t prevent infection or transmission of the virus. The average person thinks it does because that’s what the word “vaccine” implies. Thus, there was a case recently where a gym owner in Sydney was astonished that fifteen clients in his facility tested positive to covid even though only vaccinated people were allowed into the gym. According to his understanding of the word “vaccine”, that shouldn’t have been possible.

The second thing to bear in mind is that the word “conspiracy theorist” has been weaponised in recent times by the propaganda machine. With dreary regularity you can bet that anybody who questions the narrative will be labelled a conspiracy theorist or a “far right agitator” or what have you. But it’s here that the modern “conspiracy” gets interesting. Let’s say you question the narrative and point out that the things that are happening are exactly what the global elites have been saying in their books and at their conferences. You get labelled a conspiracy theorist often by an average person who is not in any way linked to the propaganda machine. The reason for this is that the meaning of the word conspiracy is that there is a secret agreement and the label conspiracy theorist in the modern world means that you are attributing the course of events to actors pursuing their own interests through such a secret agreement. The Great Reset, however, is not a secret. It is right out there in the open. By definition, it cannot be a conspiracy and because the average person thinks in definitional terms they believe it is not a conspiracy. It’s also true that the average person never hears their national politicians and media talk about The Great Reset or any of the other ideas that get discussed in the globalist forums. Therefore, they don’t believe that those ideas are being pursued in their country. That is factually incorrect in the same way that it’s factually incorrect to say that the corona vaccines prevent infection.

Why the average person has it so wrong is due to a dynamic that has arisen in the last few decades as we transitioned into the modern version of globalism. I’m just old enough to remember the time before that change. It was a time when politicians in Australia actually had a vision for the country that they were able to articulate to the public. Even as a young teenager, I knew more or less which direction the Hawke-Keating government was trying to steer the nation. These days, I have no idea what the vision of our government is for the country. As far as I can tell, there is no vision and there hasn’t been one since the Hawke-Keating years. If I’m reading other countries’ politics correctly, the same seems to be true in most western countries. That lack of vision coincides with the onset of modern globalisation. The globalists, of course, do have a vision for the future and The Great Reset is part of that. Thus, in the last few decades, the ideas and visions for the future in the west no longer occur at the nation state level but at the globalist level. Those ideas, however, are never communicated back to the public directly. The nation state politicians have become the conduit for those ideas; nothing more than second-hand car salesmen whose job it is to dress up notions that would be radically unpopular if presented to the voting public in their original form. I think of this dynamic as follows:-

At the top are the various globalists institutions which include both government and non-government organisations and the various forums they run. In the middle is the national government apparatus whose interaction with the globalist institutions has greatly increased in the recent decades. This apparatus no longer interacts with its own public like it used to and no longer presents a vision for the nation. Rather, it has become a conduit for the ideas that circulate in the globalist forums. Whichever of those ideas that might be palatable to the general public flow through but most don’t because they are not palatable. Try winning an election on “you will own nothing and you will be happy” or telling people they must swap their steaks and sausages for bug salad. It’s for that reason that the average person on the street in Australia or Canada or Europe has never heard of the Great Reset. The whole book reads like a dystopian sci-fi novel and no politician in their right mind would present it to the public. Nevertheless, some of those globalist ideas do flow through. When they do, they tend to be stunningly unpopular. In Australia, one recent government was toppled largely due to legislation ostensibly aimed at tackling climate change. For those who believe in such summits and the global institutions that host them, this has been incredibly frustrating and the propaganda machine has gone into overdrive trying, through fear, to convince the general public of various nation states to acquiesce to the globalist agenda.

This leads us into 2020 when something finally got done. What got done, of course, had already been discussed at the globalist meetings. There was one in 2019, in fact, which even simulated a coronavirus outbreak. Just like the other globalist meetings, the general public had no idea what was being discussed at that meeting but we found out in March 2020. A big part of the shellshock that we are still in is because of the unprecedented and unthinkable nature of what has happened. Most of the ideas that are discussed at the globalist shindigs are never presented to the national publics because politicians know that they would have almost no support. If the government had come out in 2019 and declared a pandemic policy that consisted of what Australia did in the last year and a half there would have been mass protests against the idea. Yet, it did happen. It took the threat of a global pandemic for the globalists to finally achieve their goal of getting national governments to take action and they have not hidden their delight at this fact. We have heard how corona has opened a “window of opportunity” to make other things happen. Having finally got national governments to override the will of the public, the globalists now want to continue the trend and ram a bunch of other unpopular measures through. You will own nothing and you’ll eat bug salads instead of steaks. Sound good? That’s what they have in mind.

This dynamic has been in play now for a couple of decades and the fear and hysteria has been ramping up in recent years. Partly this is because of the lack of results and partly because globalisation is falling apart of its own momentum and the people involved are getting desperate. At the national level, the effect of all this has been dire. Our national political leaders have no vision for our countries because they are serving two masters. Their unenviable position is as mediator between the globalists and the national public. As a result, the public discourse has become dissociated from everyday reality. The world that the globalists envisage is anathema to the average citizen of western society. Without any way to sell those ideas to the pubic in a form that would win support, they have fallen back to the only tool that gets any traction: fear. In 2020, the fear levels were turned up to 11. It worked. Sort of. But I doubt it will work again. Organic systems tend to recalibrate to protect themselves from outward attack. It’s also the case that the political field in any western nation is wide open to any politician who can articulate a meaningful vision for the country. That’s what Trump did and that’s what Brexit also represented. Logically, such politicians should win easily in the years ahead. But it’s also true that the globalists aren’t going away in the short term, unless the whole system collapses. They will continue to function like an evil spirit spreading doom and fear. It’s for that reason that there is a new spectre haunting Europe (and the rest of the West). The spectre of failing globalism.

55 thoughts on “The Spectre of Globalism”

  1. Simon: “In 2020, the fear levels were turned up to 11. It worked. Sort of. But I doubt it will work again. Organic systems tend to recalibrate to protect themselves from outward attack.”

    Right. It remains to be seen how much more damage they’ll manage to inflict on us with these failed corona policies, but it probably won’t work again for quite some time. Unfortunately, we may also lose some good stuff in the process. For instance, it’s quite possible (even likely) that trust in vaccines in general will collapse as a result of the current fiasco, and that we’ll get sizable outbreaks of previously well managed diseases such as measles and polio.

    Semi-related:

    https://tinkzorg.wordpress.com/2021/11/02/2740/

    It’s quite long, but he makes the argument that the American elites basically maxed out with the Biden election: it was a resounding victory, but it can only go down for them from here. He compares it to Pearl Harbor, which was a resounding victory for the Japanese, and then – oops.

  2. Irena – I read today that Australia currently has 10% less ICU beds in operation than we did in 2020. That makes no sense whatsoever. It seems we simply can’t maintain these systems any more. Whether through incompetence or lack of resources or both. I’m sure that is partly what is driving the hysteria.

  3. Gday mate
    Actually The fourth industrial revolution is also a book by klaus schwab.
    I tried to read it 5 or 6 years ago. Was rubbish then, is rubbish now, difference is that meanwhile reality tuned into rubbish too.

  4. Roland – yeah. I’d say the world will turn to rubbish in direct proportion to how much Schwab’s ideas are attempted to be implemented.

  5. It occurred to me after reading your essay and thinking about differences between the meaning and interpretation (or common understanding) of words that the word ‘covid’ in modern parlance has become a synonym for the word ‘death’. And I do not mean that metaphorically, it is quite literally what has happened.

    Death in modern ‘civilised’ countries is an absolutely taboo subject, impossible for most to even think about. My parter who works in hospice care often comments that people who are literally dying are often incapable of acknowledging the reality of it – it is not that they don’t want to face it, they actually cannot do so. A mental block if you will. And that is a reflection of modern civilisation as a whole.

    Think about media reports of death prior to 2020. With very few select small scale exceptions (car accidents are one) routine death is never ever mentioned directly. Then in 2020 it all changes with a new word. Statistically the number of deaths occurring on any long term basis remained about the same, yet suddenly almost every death that was previously ignored is reported in excruciating detail as the cultural protections obscuring the reality got short circuited. And everyone lost their minds as a result of reality being exposed. Now this points to an interesting conclusion that the hysteria will only end when there is a genuine acknowledgement of death as a reality – as we have seen, facts will continue to have no bearing on the outcome because they do not address the issue.

    Apologies for straying off the topic at hand, but in having said that I expect that all this was somewhat inevitable, because as Globalism/Progress tips into decline many things are going to have to be acknowledged, and death is just one of them. Interestingly it is happening by renaming it to get around the taboos – it would not surprise me if the next madness is along exactly the same lines – a surrogate for something else that needs to be acknowledged. I’ll have to think about what other truths our society refuses to face as guide to what those might be – any ideas?

  6. Simon: “I read today that Australia currently has 10% less ICU beds in operation than we did in 2020. That makes no sense whatsoever. It seems we simply can’t maintain these systems any more. Whether through incompetence or lack of resources or both. I’m sure that is partly what is driving the hysteria.”

    This is a very interesting point. Well, yes, it seems like our bloated systems cannot be maintained anymore, and sadly, we’re collectively choosing a really, really stupid way to deal with it. When it comes to the health care system in particular, part of the problem is the administrative bloat (which is in no way unique to the health care system), the only point of which is to provide income to people whose skills would be of little to no use otherwise, and the other problem is that we have this implicit assumption that death must be postponed if at all possible, and at any cost. So you put the entire population under house arrest so that 80-year-olds would have the “privilege” of spending a couple of days/weeks on a ventilator before moving to the morgue. Brilliant, sir, brilliant. Let’s see if we manage to do something a bit more rational next time we have to downsize.

    Speaking of administrative bloat… John Kenneth Galbraith wrote (I’m citing from memory) that the income derived from producing products of no consequence is of great consequence. Well, we’ve discovered that no products are required. Just create some paperwork, and there’s the income!

  7. Daniel – I heard some surveys had been done which showed that the average Australian thinks they have a 30% chance of dying if they catch corona. I hadn’t actually taken that seriously (surveys can say whatever you want them to say) but maybe it’s true in which case you are right and covid is a byword for death for those people. By the way, ever heard of Stephen Jenkinson? He writes about the fear of death in the West https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22716546-die-wise

    This few minutes of this interview is particularly relevant. He calls the belief in endless potential “tyranny” and it’s that belief which drives fear of death and has lead to actual tyranny – https://youtu.be/SIN3erN9uoI?t=972

    Another concept we can’t acknowledge, which is one of JMG’s core ideas, is that “progress” is coming to an end. I think that’s the only reason something like The Great Reset doesn’t get laughed out of the room. It’s mad, it’s cartoonish and dystopian but at least it couches itself in “progress”.

    Irena – Yes. We need to get rid of the bullshit jobs. Unfortunately, the people in the bullshit jobs are often the ones who have the power to keep themselves in their job. Imagine driving small businesses broke while increasing the size of the government bureaucracy. Imagine spending billions of dollars on test and trace programs and advertising for a respiratory virus and not even increasing the number of ICU beds on the ground.

  8. @Daniel
    @Simon

    As I see it, a necessary (though perhaps not sufficient) condition for getting out of this mess is for a large chunk of the population to catch the virus. Actually, that’s a prerequisite for herd immunity (now that it’s plentifully obvious that the “vaccines” cannot deliver anything of the sort), but it’s perhaps even more important psychologically. Now that the media has convinced a large chunk of the population that we have smallpox on the loose, how do you break the spell? I think that catching the virus and recovering, and seeing lots and lots of other people do the same, is the thing most likely to do the trick. Yes, of course, some people will die (I knew one who, sadly, may have died of COVID; that is: she caught COVID, seemingly recovered, and then died shortly thereafter; make of that what you will). But many, many more will successfully recover. I think that’s the only way that the terrified will stop being terrified. In some parts of the world, we’re already there (more or less). In Oz/NZ, well, it may take a while…

  9. Irena – i thought that too. But look at the USA or Europe at the moment. I think 1 in 3 people in the US has tested positive. I would have thought that is enough to stop the hysteria. But maybe it needs to be 2 in 3.

  10. Thank you for the pointer to Jenkinson, looks like an interesting read. I’ll track down a copy.

    Such survey results honestly don’t surprise me – conversations I’ve had with people stuck in that state are truly surreal. Although reflecting further, I don’t consider the actual act (or chance) of dying of covid is the primary issue. It is that the concept itself that has been laid bare, the spectre no longer hidden. From the dictionary, this would be Death, the “personification of the destroyer of life, usually represented as a skeleton holding a scythe.” That is, Covid is Death, and whether or not he actually kills is beside the point. But he is manifest once again, unable to be suppressed, and for most this is the first time that he is so.

  11. @Simon

    I think it’s a class thing. The “laptop class” people (as Jay Bhattacharya calls them/us) seem to have caught the virus at substantially lower rates than the “essential workers.” So, the laptop class is much more scared than the essentials (“deplorables”). Sadly, it’s largely the laptop class that controls the agenda. So, we’ll have to wait for the laptop class to get infected at sufficiently high rates.

    Semi-related (see what he says about the class aspect of the matter):

    https://unherd.com/thepost/inside-austrias-lockdown-for-the-unvaccinated/

  12. Can we please keep the bullshit jobs for a bit longer? I have no marketable skills outside the bs economy, I am too young to retire, too old to start again and while I hate my job, i really like the payslip.
    Only half joking.
    Seriously, i think bs jobs are a symptom not a cause. For the causes, i think the likes of Toynbee, Tainter and Spengler have said enough.
    We live in a society that is winding down. Similar to inhabiting an aging body. A certain and increasing degree of unpleasantness is to be expected. A predicament, not a problem.

  13. Daniel – I just hope we don’t move from covid = death to unvaccinated ppl = death but I fear that is the direction we are now headed in.

    Irena – interesting. He mentions the “punitive” nature of the restrictions. Punitive like The Devouring Mother punishing the rebellious children 😉

    Roland – what happens if we don’t get rid of the bullshit jobs but we do get rid of the “real” jobs? We may be about to find out the answer to that question.

  14. @Simon

    Oh, it’s totally punitive. What else is this about?

    You know what this is reminding me of? The Amanda Knox trial. Are you familiar with that one? Amanda Knox is an American woman who was wrongly convicted of murdering her British roommate when they were both exchange students in Perugia, Italy, back in 2007. The evidence against her (and her Italian boyfriend, who was also convicted) was flimsy-to-nonexistent from the very start (signed a “confession” after being interrogated for I don’t know how many hours in Italian, which she spoke badly, and without a lawyer; didn’t cry strongly enough when the girl was killed; bought red underwear after it happened; was “seen” by a heroin addict serial witness who got a bunch of details wrong; a few molecules of the victim’s DNA was found on the boyfriend’s knife via a hyper-sensitive method that was shoddily implemented; oh, and had “too many” sexual partners). Meanwhile, the British girl’s room (which is where she was murdered) had a broken window, and they quickly found the DNA of another person all over the girl’s body, plus all over the room. Meanwhile, no DNA of Amanda Knox was found in the room, and the DNA of her boyfriend was found only on the victim’s bra clasp (torn from the bra), which the police (according the video recording they made) repeatedly picked up and then put down without changing gloves (read: transfer of DNA). So, it should have been entirely obvious what happened: burglary that ended in sexual assault and murder. But nooo… It was a sex game gone wrong, orchestrated by Amanda, and her boyfriend participated because he was bewitched by Amanda (proof: he liked Japanese comics with strong female characters). In the end, the two spent four years in prison, and they were finally acquitted by Italy’s highest court. But the thing is, as the whole narrative reached the point of absurdity (it was also a massive international story), you’d have people saying stuff like “I don’t know if she did it, but I don’t like her anyway!”

    And that, Simon, is what’s going on with the “unvaccinated.” “Okay, okay, the vaccines are leaky and don’t stop infection. But I don’t like those people anyway!” And that’s why they want to lock us up. Let’s hope the madness doesn’t last four years, like the imprisonment of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend.

  15. Irena – didn’t know about that trial but the psychology sounds very familiar. I think the unvaccinated as a category is pretty hard to hate because it’s abstract and amorphous. There’s all kinds of random celebrities who have now come out against it, especially in the US. I think what is now driving it is the political calculus. The vaccines have failed and politicians need a scapegoat to deflect the blame. But everything the politicians have done so far has been a complete failure and I expect the scapegoating will fail too.

  16. Hi Simon,

    thanks for the article, that’s a great analysis! I was a member of ATTAC (https://www.attac.org/) 20 years ago and remember wondering how politicians were so hell-bent on implementing measures that no one in their right mind would think useful or popular. Having globalists (in all probability multiple power centers at that level) fighting for profits and influence while having politicians do the dirty work makes a lot of sense.

    @Irena:

    I don’t think having Covid would change anything for the people who don’t want to be convinced. My wife and I had Covid last month, nothing major, recovered perfectly within a few days but everybody’s response was: “you were so lucky”.

    Actually, our Waldorf school had an outbreak we were a part of, about 60-80 students and parents were infected. National papers were writing about it at the time (which should tell you something – if they bother to write about a localized outbreak in a small city in Germany, there can’t be much else going on). Obviously it was about those horrible Waldorf schools where people aren’t vaccinated and don’t wear masks.

    Well, actually our Waldorf school is about as far away from Anthroposophy as you can get without burning effigies of Rudolf Steiner. Most teachers are vaccinated and wear their FFP2 masks religiously. Some were infected as well. Did that convince anybody that both masks and vaccination are useless? Of course not, we need to do more of them! Confirmation bias is a very powerful thing.

  17. @Simon

    The only reason that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend were ever put on trial (let alone convicted) was because the police held a press conference prematurely and declared the case solved, with those two and a third person (also innocent, but quickly released due to an airtight alibi) as the culprits. If they’d just waited a tiny little bit for the results of those DNA tests to come in, they would have seen that this was a horrible, but ultimately simple crime, committed by another person entirely. But no. They held that press conference, they couldn’t bear the thought of losing face, and so they put two innocent people in prison. What this ultimately accomplished was to make the Italian justice system a laughing stock in the eyes of quite a few people.

    In the case of corona, quite a few people (epidemiologists, public health “experts,” politicians, journalists), having repeatedly and catastrophically screwed up, are now desperately trying to salvage their careers, reputations, and egos. And so they’d like to put us under house arrest, mostly to deflect attention from themselves. Of course, they’re just digging themselves into an even deeper hole than the one they’re already in, but in the meanwhile, they’re making our lives miserable.

  18. Simon: “what happens if we don’t get rid of the bullshit jobs but we do get rid of the “real” jobs?”

    That’s the problem, isn’t it? You wrote a couple of posts ago about how difficult it is to understand (let alone build) systems. Part of the problem is that, the more resources you throw at a system, the less transparent it becomes. And if you keep throwing resources at it, it’s very far from obvious that those resources will be used in any way that actually furthers the goal that you’re trying to accomplish. On the other hand, if you try to intervene by (for example) cutting the administrative bloat, your system may end up grinding to a halt because you forgot/failed to correspondingly cut the bloat somewhere else, and the whole point of that somewhere else is to derive income by creating must-do paperwork for other systems. That’s why it’s so difficult to downsize in a sensible manner. So, you cut real jobs while keeping the bullshit ones until the system collapses under its own weight.

  19. Bendith – there’s probably quite a lot of intelligent people involved in these globalist institutions. The problem is they have little contact with reality. As the saying goes, a plan never survives first contact with the enemy. It also never survives first contact with reality. The bigger the plan and the longer it’s been “workshopped” without being actually implemented, the more dissociated from reality it will be.

    Irena – the good thing about a recession is that it does the downsizing for you and therefore removes the political problem which downsizing always causes. We barely have recessions anymore cos the entire financial system is just pumping money into the economy. Which means we are not letting the cycles of the economy do their job of removing the bullshit jobs. The longer that goes on for the worse it’s going to be when reality knocks on the door.

  20. Bendith Fawr: “I don’t think having Covid would change anything for the people who don’t want to be convinced.”

    If they’re true believers, then no, they won’t be convinced. But I think that most people aren’t true believers. Once they recover from the virus and see plenty of others do the same, they’ll become more open to dissenting voices. I think!

  21. @Simon

    Re: recession

    I don’t know. A recession simply reduces income for companies. So, they lay people off and/or reduce wages/salaries, but it’s not obvious that the cuts are primarily felt by the people doing the bullshit. *Especially* if the bullshit jobs are actually necessary so that the government wouldn’t close down your business due to incomplete paperwork. So, you may just rely on stealth inflation instead: smaller packages at constant prices, or poorer quality service. That works at least some of the time.

  22. > The bigger the plan and the longer it’s been “workshopped” without being actually implemented, the more dissociated from reality it will be.

    Hmm, no matter how many times I read that sentence my brain reads that as ‘worshipped’, which seems rather fitting.

  23. “But everything the politicians have done so far has been a complete failure”
    Incompetent politicians are a great blessing. Just imagine the nightmare we would be in if these guy were competent.

  24. As for bs jobs. I think you’re right. Useful jobs disappear and are replaced by bs jobs.
    This is not good.
    However my view is that there is nothing we can do about it.

  25. Irena – well, once upon a time, back when governments actually tried to balance their budgets, a recession would also throw the budget into deficit and that would usually result in a cutting back in the bureaucracy which meant the removal of some bullshit jobs. Not only do we no longer have recessions, we don’t even pretend to balance the budget which means a whole bunch of bureaucrats who should have been shown the door two decades ago are still collecting their salary.

    Daniel – hah! I like that. In that case something like the G20 or COP26 would be like a pilgrimage to Mecca which also seems fitting.

    Roland – agree. We can still make the trains run on time and vaccinate an army, errr, population, but we already had that down more than a century ago.

  26. Update from CZ. The Prime Minister just announced that, as of Monday, they’re introducing the “Bavarian model”: only vaccination and natural immunity (as certified by a valid test within the past 6 months) counts for services and mass gatherings. I don’t quite understand what “services” means. For instance, I’m supposed to go to the Ministry of Interior for my papers in a couple of weeks. Luckily, I am officially naturally immune (for another five months). But if I weren’t, what would I do?

    And he really chose a great moment to announce this. Today is a holiday in CZ: the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day.

    Well, the good news is that the Prime Minister recently lost the election, and so the real question is: what will the new government do? We’ll have to wait and see, won’t we? I think CZ will get a new Prime Minister soon (the whole process is taking forever, but it seems to be almost complete by now). We’ll have to see what happens then.

  27. Seems like most of Europe is moving in lockstep now (except for Sweden!). So, if the 1st lockdown was to flatten the curve and the 2nd lockdown was to wait for the vaccine, what is the official purpose of this lockdown?

  28. Simon: “what is the official purpose of this lockdown?”

    To increase “vaccination.” That’s it. Because the “unvaccinated” are taking up space in hospitals. (No, really, that’s their explanation.)

  29. Congratulations. You’re now where Australia was in the middle of the year where the government was explicitly telling people that if they wanted the lockdown to the end, they had to get vaccinated. It worked too. Having given in to that, they’re now talking about the “booster”.

    Booster is such a nicer word than vaccine, isn’t it. It sounds like some kind of cool drug you take before going to a rave.

  30. Simon, Irena – it’s amazing the general population did not pick it us yet, going along with the vaccine in the hopes there won’t be a booster, and now going along with the booster in the hopes there won’t be a second booster in a few months is like the fable of the frog and the scorpion: A frog wanted to cross a river, so it prepared to swim. A scorpion asked it if he could join. The frog said no, because the scorpion will sting it. The scorpion said this will not happen, because then they will both drown. The frog was reassured so it agreed. Halfway through the river, the scorpion stang the frog. As they both descended in the water, the frog asked, “but why?”. “It is in my nature, I can’t help it”, said the scorpion.

  31. Roland – this is a story that is just too perfect. I’ve been laughing all day. Two main problems with Oz politics: branch stacking by the major parties and the fact that unrepresentative minor parties/independents always win the balance of power. So, Andrews doesn’t even bother to consult the parliament or any of the other cross benchers to get his ridiculous bill through because that’s the way he’s been operating for years. He does a deal with the minimum required 3 cross benchers. The reason it was 3 is cos Somyurek was already disgraced and had left the Labor party. He hadn’t even been showing up to parliament. Now he pops up at the last minute pretending to care about governmental integrity purely to spite Andrews who was his main branch-stacking factional competitor back in the day. It’s too good. There’s a very real chance that the State of Emergency will expire on Dec 15 without any other legislation to replace it. If that happens, all Andrews’ power disappears in a puff of smoke and all restrictions cease. The whole spell might break and Victorians will rub their eyes and see this bastard for what he is. I’m not holding my breath but there’s hope for the first time in two years.

    Bakbook – how are the boosters going in Israel? Aren’t you up to number 4 now? Are people still taking them?

  32. Simon – Less people took them so far. At them there is no 4th booster (yet), but this is because right now they are too busy pushing the vaccine to 12 year olds.

  33. Bakbook – yeah, they’re doing that here too. Apparently the under 12s have a reprieve until next year. Munchausen by Proxy in action, I’m afraid.

  34. Simon – I have a suggestion – When the baby is born, why not have a nurse waiting with a syringe pointing upwards so the baby simply falls on the covid shot? Can’t be too sure, he is entering a world where corona viruses run loose.

  35. @Bakbook
    @Simon

    Nah. Just triple vaccinate pregnant women. Once per trimester. That should give the baby excellent protection. Provided it survives, of course.

  36. Does not seem like much of a joke unfortunately – Europe is very rapidly spiralling out of control with lockdowns all over the place. And Austria just announced compulsory vaccination – this is going to get very messy very fast.

    @Irena: Hope you are safe.

  37. So, the Czech media reports that Austria is implementing mandatory “vaccination” starting in February. Now let’s see if the Czechs get similar ideas.

  38. Re: mandatory gene therapy in CZ

    I fear it’s very possible, actually. Well, I’ve been here (in CZ) for about three years now. This seems to be a country with an inferiority complex, and the inferiority complex seems to be particularly strong among the intellectuals. That would, of course, include the people who’ve been running the show (and running us into the ground). So, if Germany does something, that’s more or less sufficient proof that CZ needs to do it, too, no matter how stupid it is. It’s only Austria for now. Let’s see what Germany does.

  39. Daniel/Irena: What does “mandatory” mean in practice? Are they going to drag people out of their homes and strap them to a chair to be forcibly injected?

  40. Had a quick read of the Austrian situation. Apparently, what has happened is that all unvaccinated people have had vaccine appointments booked by the government. The appointments can be cancelled. Haven’t seen much explanation of what happens if you cancel. Meanwhile, the army and some police force there have said they won’t enforce even the green pass and there will be a protest in Vienna tomorrow, so see what happens with that.

  41. Simon: “What does “mandatory” mean in practice? Are they going to drag people out of their homes and strap them to a chair to be forcibly injected?”

    I don’t know. But I’m a foreigner, which means that the tiniest disobedience can get me deported.

    Daniel: “Hope you are safe.”

    Thanks. 🙂 I’m hanging in there for now. My recent bout of COVID buys me some time (until mid-April, unless they suddenly change the rules, which they might). But this whole thing is looking incredibly bad.

  42. Our societies are obviously in the grip of mass hysteria. Sure, we’ll wake up from it, sooner or later. 20 years from now, no-one will be particularly worried about being infected by SARS‐CoV‐2. But I think this whole episode may in fact spell the end of liberal democracy in continental Europe. That might sound overly dramatic, but if you think about it, liberal democracy (with its concern for individual rights in particular) is a rather new concept and mostly an English import. So, we could easily go back to some form of totalitarianism. I don’t think there is deep cultural memory that would prevent that from happening.

  43. Irena – it’s clear at this point that this will be driven all the way to the end. What the end is, is unknown. But I think life after this will be as different as life after WW2 was from life pre-WW2 (or maybe pre-WW1 is a better analogy as they were pretty much the same war). All we can do is hang on tight.

  44. Simon: “But I think life after this will be as different as life after WW2 was from life pre-WW2 (or maybe pre-WW1 is a better analogy as they were pretty much the same war).”

    Yes, that’s what I think/fear, too. We just don’t yet know what the post-panic future will look like.

    I was thinking about this in terms of positive and negative freedom. By now, they’ve largely stopped talking about the “unvaccinated” infecting the “vaccinated” because it’s become a little too obvious that these gene therapies do not stop infection. So, now it’s all about hospitals. You must submit yourself to gene therapy, because if you don’t, you might wind up in hospital, and then someone with cancer might not be able to receive treatment. So, it’s a case of reducing negative freedom (the right to bodily autonomy) in the name of increasing positive freedom (the right to hospital care).

    Now, plenty of people have pointed out that you might as well target smokers and the obese. Why, exactly. And that’s what may very well come to pass, now that the precedent has been set. Now, it so happens that smoking and obesity are legitimate public health problems. But once the public health bureaucracy gets granted the right to coercively treat smokers and the obese, umm, it’s very far from obvious that the effect on public health will be positive. In fact, we’ve seen this before, with highly punitive “treatments” for addiction. Well, expect that to generalize, and expect consequences to be somewhere between bad and disastrous.

  45. Irena – underneath all this is clearly an economic problem. They could build more hospital facilities but, in accounting language, that is CAPEX (capital expenditure). The drive is to move everything to OPEX (operational expenditure) because it is cheaper in the short term. I’m quite sure that is one of the factors in paying for “vaccines” over building more ICU units. So, yeah, it’s not hard to imagine them progressively removing universal health care under the guise of “saving the system” and big tech no doubt already has the software ready to handle the administration of such a program.

  46. @Simon

    Cheaper in the short term: exactly. What exactly they plan to do with increasing numbers of cardiovascular problems and cancers remains to be seen. One possibility is that they’ll increasingly moralize about it and deny effective treatments to people who were somehow medically disobedient. Right now, it’s the “unvaccinated.” But just wait a little while, and they’ll add more categories. Smokers and the obese are obvious targets, but there may well be others.

  47. Yeah. It’s just going to be a big game of musical chairs from now on and one day your number will be up.

  48. @irena
    “But I think this whole episode may in fact spell the end of liberal democracy in continental Europe”
    I believe this happened quite a while ago. Covid was just a trigger. Lord Sumption pointed out that Liberal Democracy is not a set of laws, but some shared cultural beliefs. The ease with which we gave up our freedom, actually a palpable sense of relief in certain circles, showed that we lost the culture of Liberal democracy. No political measures can bring it back. This parrott is not resting, it is dead. Any movement you see is just the maggots under the skin.
    What will come next, i do not know, but I agree with Simon, that it will be very different.
    Keep in mind that totalitarianism is not the only possibility.
    As always, I hope I am wrong. The world would be a much better place if i were wrong more often.

  49. Roland: “Keep in mind that totalitarianism is not the only possibility.”

    So, what other possibilities do you see?

    As for Lord Sumption, yes, he’s been very informative. I think he said “conventions,” not “beliefs,” but it boils down to the same thing. He also pointed out that setting impossible tasks (such as to control a highly infectious respiratory virus) for the government is very dangerous, because when it fails to deliver (as it must, since the task is impossible), the result is that people lose faith in the system, with all that this entails.

    I’ve certainly lost faith in the system. I’ve always been something of a left winger. Not the woke kind, but a relatively big government kind. (That doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as “too big.” Of course there is. But relatively speaking…) Well, I guess I feel somewhat differently now… Not because they failed to control the virus (of course they couldn’t control the virus – duh), but because they kept trying to do the impossible, and they caused enormous damage in the process. And it’s nowhere near over.

  50. Simon – “But I think life after this will be as different as life after WW2 was from life pre-WW2 (or maybe pre-WW1 is a better analogy as they were pretty much the same war).” Churchill had the same idea in the first world war. I remember hearing one of his justifications for Gallipoli was that he hoped to bring the war (story) to an end before the old Europe he knew disappears completely. A few months into the pandemic I suddenly knew how he felt. ​

    Irena, Roland – I think we stopped being liberal and started being neoliberal sometimes in the 70s, what just collapsed is simply the charade.

    As for an alternative to dictatorship, the late David Graeber proposed the alternative of doing away with the state in favor of non coercive arrangements, in other words bringing back civil society. Obviously we are not going there at the moment, but we might want to look into starting parallel institutions.

  51. @irena
    I think a dictatorship is not necessarily totalitarian. People can have personal but no political freedom.
    Likewise I think that a democracy can be totalitarian.
    I see totalitarianism not as a system in itself but a property of a system.
    That would mean there are plenty of alternatives to totalitarian dictatorships.
    This is not an optimistic statement. The alternatives might be worse. For instance a tribal society run by a warlord does not sound appealing to me. Not even if I get to be the warlord.

  52. @Bakbook
    @Roland

    I suppose it must be true that liberal democracy has been dead for a while now, with only the shell left. Otherwise, it (or rather, its shell) wouldn’t have collapsed as easily as it did.

    Re: totalitrarianism

    Right, dictatorship and totalitarianism are different things. But we’re clearly moving in the direction of totalitarian technocracy. Since when is my refusal to be injected with something a “political” decision? Except that it clearly is, as we’ve seen. Expect more and more of the personal domain to move into the political domain. Hence, totalitarianism. Well, that’s what it looks like, anyway.

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