Possibly the best essay on the COVID 19 situation I’ve read: Watch for mention of NZ’s draconian new laws. MH
Israel Shamir – The Unz Review May 22, 2020
I like conspiracy theories; they attempt to inject meaning into otherwise meaningless sets of assorted facts. They bring Logos into our life, as our friend E. Michael Jones would say. An enemy of conspiracy theories would write in the New York Times denouncing Sir Isaac Newton as a notorious conspiracy theorist: out of totally disconnected facts (apple fall, water pumping, artillery shelling) he concocted the conspiracy theory of gravitation claiming that bodies are mutually attracted proportionally to their mass. This is obviously false, he would say, as you can observe at any beach; if there should be a formula, it is that of inverse proportionality. Slim girls and boys attract much more than obese body-positives, and mutuality does not come into this equation. Still the gravitation hoax of Newton has been taught in schools. In NYTimese, this is simply “spreading baseless lies and debunked nonsense about the false rumours”.
The great coronavirus panic of AD 2020 with its enormous consequences is an event that calls for a sensible explanation. How could a minor disease killing an infinitesimal part of population (0.000045) had caused the collapse of civilisation as we knew it? Why is a civilisation that robustly weathered the killing of the flower of its youth in its prime on the fields of Verdun and Stalingrad unable to survive the demise of a few superannuated men such that it withdrew into self-isolation, while giving up the faith, love of neighbour, opposition to old enemies and then destroying its economy, education and reproductivity?
One wants to find a conspiracy to explain it away. Who did it? Who locked billions under house arrest; who caused men and women to view each other as a source of mortal danger instead of potential friends or even lovers; who turned churches, mosques and synagogues into empty and unneeded buildings? There are many forces that enjoyed the accompanying windfall, and quite a few were ready for it for a long time. But there is a non-conspiratorial explanation: perhaps we experience such a systemic shift that no single force would be able to achieve; a systemic shift of magnitude unseen for hundreds of years.
We are still in an early stage of the ongoing transformation; we still hope it will be over in the summer, or at least at autumn, or next winter, but most probably our life as we knew is over. Can we blame it on the virus, even if it was manufactured in the evil labs of the US or China, as has been convincingly suggested by Ron Unz? There are millions of viruses, and mankind had managed to live with them all. There was no reason to freak out and destroy our civilisation for another virus.
Imagine a man who received a Nigerian letter, promising him millions; and he sold his house, took a loan, sent his wife and children to beg on the street in order to collect the Nigerian millions. We wouldn’t say, “the Nigerian letter caused his downfall”, because so many people had received Nigerian letters, but only one man acted like he did. No doubt, the letter was a nasty attempt to defraud, but the problem was in him, not in the Nigerian letter.
The previous shift of such magnitude occurred in late 18th century; it is called the Industrial Revolution. Then the factory owners had begun to replace their skilled labour with inexpensive machines, and the workers were losing their jobs, livelihoods and self-esteem. In 1811, the workers formed the Luddite movement. The Luddites would break into factories and smash textile machines. It lasted until 1816, when the movement ran out of steam. The workers were defeated, (a lot of them escaped to America), and the British bourgeoisie prospered. It took many years until the workers regained some of their previous positions in society, mainly due to the threat of Communist revolution.
Now we are coming to the new Digital Revolution, with workers being replaced by smart computers and an AI future. Millions of office workers already function as a human interface to the computer. You may have noticed this as you talk with them: they are trained to avoid making decisions; they say sentences that were scripted for them, and the decisions are made by the computer that was programmed to do their master’s will. As lockdown had forced millions to communicate with computers directly, a lot of workers became superfluous.
The process of shedding millions of workers in the existing economic system is likely to be painful for the unemployed. The virus-blamed lockdown and digital control allows the owners of the digital companies to carry out the revolution with minimal risks for them. What would need an army and police involvement against riotous unemployed workers, can be achieved with greater ease under threat of the pandemic. The economy will be modernized and made more efficient. Alas, for us this script presages the fate of highly qualified weavers in 18th century England, even if we shall avoid the total AI takeover Terminator-style.
Probably the scariest piece of news is not about the numbers of “infected”. It is a meaningless word, for there are persistent carriers who do not succumb to disease; the vast majority of the “infected” are asymptomatic, meaning they aren’t sick and aren’t infectious; the number of “infected” is in direct proportion to the number of tests; the tests are dubious at best, and none is verified by the methods accepted in pre-corona medicine, while the methodology approved and enforced by the WHO can’t be described as scientific. It is not about deaths, for we do not experience more deaths than in 2018. Moreover, in many countries, notably in France and in Norway there are 30% fewer deaths in certain weeks of April and May in this year than in the last year.
The scariest piece of news is that Zoom is worth more than the seven biggest airlines. These airlines with their accumulated labour (millions of working hours, hundreds of thousands of employees, highly trained pilots, masses of sophisticated equipment) just can’t be worth as much as a job done in a month by a few programmers and which can be done anew in a month. Money and stock market prices are useful tools if they measure human efforts; they do not that anymore. What began with bankers earning more money in a day than a hundred qualified workers and engineers in their lifetime, ended with the hi-tech lords earning more than a million workers in their lifetime. It means that Money had banked on the Digital Economy, a Union made in Hell, while the real economy came up for grabs. Money decided that we won’t fly anymore. They, the new masters, will fly in their private jets; the era of mass access is over. You will get satisfied with Zoom and PornHub, instead of the real thing.
Added to this the negative oil future price and the emission centres issuing more and more money, trying to smother the fire with gasoline, and you will get a picture of the coming world. There is probably no place for you and me in this world.
Is the great AI update of technology an objective need, and will it eventually bring good for mankind? Perhaps. But it does not mean the process should be drafted by Money and the Digital Economy, explained by MSM, justified by bio-horrors and carried on at public expense. It has to be done differently if we want to preserve the achievements of the long (1945-2020) peace stretch.
And now we can return to conspiracy theories. If the virus is the great destroyer as presented, why didn’t poor countries with little value and no hi-tech suffer? Why is poor Cambodia not devastated by Covid? Cambodians have little medical care, and they accepted a whole boat-load of “infected” passengers from The Diamond Princess. They also have thousands of Chinese tourists. And they have no Covid in their poor country. Why does Mongolia, China’s neighbour with its very strong connections with China, have no Covid?
Why do only rich countries suffer? Why is it only the countries with a powerful liberal press, with a positive connection to the WHO, with developed hi-tech infrastructure and their own digital lords? Could it be simply that they have something to loot? It makes sense to loot Belgium, and Belgians have a lot of Covid. But it makes no sense to loot Mongolia or Cambodia. If you follow me thus far, you will also see that such things can’t happen by themselves. GAFAM is the prime mover and the beneficiary, while Gates is the link between them and the WHO.
Without the WHO’s blessing, no country would entertain the idea of lockdown. The WHO has learned much since 2009, and eventually decided to play Covid as hard as it could. President Trump has good instincts, even if he provides wrong explanations. The WHO is indeed a central player in the conspiracy. They even had to kill their own top executive in January 2020, who notably objected to classifying Covid as a pandemic. The WHO offered a $60 million bribe to Belarus President Lukashenko for locking down his nation, but the president refused the bribe as he felt responsible for the wellbeing of Belarus. And indeed, free Belarus has roughly the same share of Covid infections and deaths as its locked down neighbours Ukraine and Poland. Poland is a bit worse off because it is a fatter prey than lean Belarus. The WHO even tried to bribe Madagascar which developed its own medical low-tech treatment for Covid sufferers with surprisingly good results. The WHO offered a bribe to their president to say that people died of the treatment. (Not that Madagascar, being poor, had much to worry about it.)
President Trump has had reason to be unhappy about China, as this great country invented lockdown as a tool to fight epidemics in 2009, when the world was worried about the swine flu H1N1. Then China began to practice massive lockdowns, quarantining whole cities, declaring that hundreds of thousands are infected, restricting air travel and producing a vaccine. The measures were taken when only 30 persons succumbed to the flu, and the WHO objected to the Chinese actions. Eventually 3,000 died in the US, and 800 in China. The profits from marketing the vaccine were enormous. “Windfall for the Big Pharma”, reported Reuters. WHO also profited, and did not report about their own involvement. Thus the partnership of Big Pharma – China – WHO had been formed, and they were willing to repeat the old script on a larger scale. They did it in 2020.
The Chinese didn’t hesitate to lock down Wuhan in 2020, and this time, their example has been followed by other countries. Enemies of China say that by spreading their model the Chinese wanted to attack the economies of other states in order to buy their assets on the cheap. Others add that China locked down troublesome cities like Wuhan, which were seen as likely to rebel following Hong Kong model. Friends of China say that the critique of China is connected with the US desire to default on its $1.3 trillion debt to China. And besides, China had been attacked many times by US bioweapons, so it had to be careful.
Let us say that China didn’t and couldn’t force any state to use its model. On the other hand, the WHO and assorted forces in other countries were quick to recognise the advantages of lockdown for them, and it was not for any epidemiological reasons. Some wanted to profit like they did in 2009, but on a bigger scale; some had political reasons, elections, civil unrest; some wanted to put ordinary people down under their control. They succeed, at our expense and at the expense of the Real World.
The present lockdown had brought the world to the brink of a grim totalitarian dystopia. Even though the actual disease had been contained, and the perpetrators of the scheme need more and more crude falsifications to prove the opposite; their drive for control has just increased.
In Israel, everyone has to install and use the Mossad-prepared app tracing all your contacts. The app can send you a text message saying “You passed by a corona-infected person; you have to immediately proceed to your home and stay there in seclusion for a fortnight”. You can’t argue with the app, and the app won’t pay your mortgage and your grocery bills.
In Moscow the regime of control is also by an app. A person who visited hospital or even a doctor, has to install the app, and send a selfie whenever the app demands, even in the middle of the night. An omission to comply within one minute is punished by a 4000 roubles (US$55) fine. If you sleep soundly, you’ll wake up in the morning with a heap of these fines.
The Moscow regime of surveillance and control is exceedingly strict. You have to apply for a QR pass to leave your home, marking your destination and the reason. Churches and parks are not listed as permitted destinations. Only a few people disagree with the arrangement. People in general take it easy. They share on Facebook their satisfaction with the system, enthusing that it was easy to apply and receive the pass. Is it Stalin’s training of their parents, or slavery (until 1861) of their more remote ancestors that installed this compliance and obedience, I mused, but then I noticed the report from the freedom-loving State of Washington:
“Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) indicated that people who refuse to cooperate with contact tracers won’t be allowed to leave their homes, even to go to the grocery store or pharmacy”.
Alas, people all over the world are easily bendable to the will of the authorities, especially if they are scared by medical jargon. Latin Americans, supposedly hot-tempered folk, placidly complied with Covid regulations; but before that, they obeyed their tyrants and dictators.
In democratic New Zealand, a bill passed giving police sweeping powers to potentially enter homes without warrants to enforce Covid rules despite opposition objections, though the Human Rights Commission said it was “a great failure of our democratic process”.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the book and the film, remind us there aren’t many rebels. The Majority agrees even to the most awful regimes. I am against lockdown because I value freedom more than I value life, but it is just a personal preference.
In order to convince people, the Covid enforcers say they do it “to save the old and vulnerable”. This is a pathetic lie. Actually they created an extremely uncomfortable regime for old people. In Israel, there is a plan (yet to materialise) to issue a ‘green patch’ to people over 60. Only persons displaying the green patch are allowed to go into public space. An elderly person is liable to arrest and fine if he fails to display the patch. The patch will be issued by police after a medical check-up, and will be valid for a year. Even green patch bearers will be forbidden to fly. It does not sound like protection of the elderly. Israel is not alone: in American Samoa, people over 60 must stay at home, imprisoned. You can view the limitations of natural freedom in various countries to see how they compete over who will make their citizens more miserable. It makes for depressing reading.
Was the lockdown necessary at all for purely medical reasons? Did it save lives? I do not think so, but the jury is still out. We shall know the exact answer in a year’s time. If Covid-19 will be gone like its predecessors Avian flu (2003) and swine flu (2009), the lockdown was not too bad an idea. Perhaps it was not really necessary, for it saved a few people at huge social cost, but it wasn’t not too bad. However, if Covid-19 has come to stay and will invade regularly, the lockdown makes no sense at all.
Covid adepts tend to think we should expect the second wave, and more waves afterwards. Some of them preach to extend quarantine for a year or longer. It can’t be done – we shall not survive such a long house arrest as a species. What is annoying is that they insist on imposing the wearing of masks, even gloves and social distancing right now and forever. They also block international travel. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov predicted that our pre-Covid freedom of movement won’t come back.
While we can’t possibly derail progress and stop the Digital Revolution, we can end the accompanying fraud and extra-legal restrictions on our freedom to move. We also should cherish the few remaining platforms like UR that allow us to express and share unorthodox views.
Israel Shamir can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written with the assistance of Paul Bennett and first published at The Unz Review.
Israel Shamir is a critically acclaimed and respected Russian Israeli writer. He has written extensively and translated Joyce and Homer into Russian. He lives in Jaffa, is a Christian, and an outspoken critic of Israel and Zionism.