Lockdown Fanatics Are Everywhere in Retreat
Just two weeks ago Oregon extended its lockdown into July, establishing itself as one of the governments the most in thrall to the COVID Rouge. However since then the state of 4.4 million, which has recorded just 145 COVID-positive deaths (it lost 500 to the 2018 flu), has embarked on a silent reopening. While the state still maintains a state-wide state of emergency allowing the Governor to save face, 29 of its 36 of counties have now been exempted from the lockdown and even the remaining ones have been allowed noticeable liberalization. So behind the facade, even the fortresses of the Flat Curve Society are having to slowly retreat, and much faster than they had anticipated.
About two months ago an iron carpet was descending over the world. Since then the pendulum has well and truly turned. It has been a kind of Global War on Terrorism on steroids. I’ve never seen anything like it, with a trickle of “converts” turning into a deluge in such a short time. What took years in the 2000s now only took weeks. So untenable, anti-human, and plain mad, has been the position of the COVID Rouge.
Where two months ago even half of the alt-media had succumbed to government-promoted groupthink, we now have even parts of FOX and some of the rest of the Trump-friendly media on the case.
In the early days (crazy to think that was just 8 weeks ago) Anti-Empire seemed one of precious few outlets, along with the likes of Off Guardian, Swiss Ppolicy Research, Peter Hitchens and the Ron Paul Institute still sticking up for sobriety and the big picture. (Even the often-good Marxist-libertarian Spiked was busy endlessly qualifying its arguments, repeating over and over again that Covid was “not the flu”, and treating the Imperial College with reverence.) Since then far bigger operations with enormously bigger resources how started poking holes in the officially-mandated narrative.
Their fare might not be as principled, well-reasoned and scorching, but nonetheless it is obviously much more influential given their far greater reach. This has meant Anti-Empire has naturally become a relatively more peripheral voice outshadowed by the big guys, akin to a sling shooter who finds himself reinforced by war elephants and heavy cavalry. Nonetheless, we have every intention of patting ourselves on the back for carrying the weight in the very first skirmishes, and for having been the ones to man the ramparts of the anti-lockdown resistance when the skies were darkest, the odds were longest, and our cause a lonely one indeed.
The job that still remains is to expel the COVID Rouge from every last bit of our rights they have taken for themselves and not allow any bit of the dystopian “new normal”. However, this is a struggle that will not be decided by Anti-Empire or any other media, but by the people. It will not be determined politically but organically. If the people everywhere start to cast away and ignore the insane arbitrary impositions on normalcy then the-powers-that-be will be forced to give up on them formally as well.
I also hope there will be blowback against the insanity of the COVID Rouge and that we might actually convert the experience into some gains for civil liberties and immunity from similar panics in the future. However the opposite with normalization of even more permanent surveillance is just as likely.
In any case, as the lockdown crisis continues to recede the Empire will be back to its old tricks and it’s safe to say FOX and pro-Trump media will be of no help here (to the contrary), so it will again fall to Anti-Empire and the alt-media to do what we can.
Where for a time COVID self-sanctions by governments on their own nations had briefly become the single most immediate threat to human life and its flourishing, that title will revert back to the wars and sanctions that governments — particularly the global hegemony — impose on other nations.
Anti-Empire will be mixing it up in that, as well as trying to push back (or at least document) the cronyism and economic regimentation with which the governments will react to the coming economic crisis. A crisis they laid the foundations for, have now triggered, and will now be deepening and prolonging with their corruption, impulse to control, short-sightedness, and ignorance.
Nonetheless, do excuse me if the site is updated somewhat less frequently through the end of May. Blowing up the Flat Curve Society has been as exhausting as it has been necessary, and more than that, I’m not able to get proper R & R, because where I am it’s still a strict lockdown. Even were I to chance an encounter with the police without a permit there’s nowhere to go as everything but grocery stores are still shut down.
One more thing, albeit the text above speaks of skirmishes, ramparts, slingshots and heavy cavalry that’s just picturesque language. Producing a website isn’t really a war or a battle, nor should it be.
Just as consuming a website is at its most valuable when it’s a learning experience, the same is true for producing it. It’s not about coming up with arguments for one side or another, but about figuring out the truth and speaking up for that. And that takes something that we humans find exceedingly difficult and that’s intellectual honesty.
It is the case that almost always we of the human species form our positions not on reasoned examination but on near-instantaneous hunches. Most of the time we’re merely seeking out ammunition for what we already believe in. That’s the case for the sharpest among us, as well for the simplest one. Intelligence is unfortunately merely an aid that helps us find more arguments to justify what we already hold to be true, but most of the time plays no role in determining what that something is.
The few exceptions when we’re capable of some intellectual honesty is when the opposite position is held by someone we have great respect or affinity for, or when it’s a question that is very unimportant to us, or new.
Anyone who has been a reader of this site for a period of time will notice it has a certain anti-government bias. When it has a nice word for a government it’s usually only in the sense of a check on the power of another government, or as a positive example of a less repressive state than the norm.
As such you could be excused to suspect its anti-lockdown stance is simply an automatic outgrowth of its existing biases, but is that correct? Actually, by early-March I was an agnostic on the disease willing to entertain the idea this was a disease outbreak with some unique qualities, and that there was perhaps a legitimate argument it warranted special measures. So much so that on March 10th I ran Comrade Moon’s explanation of flattening the curve. Those are not the actions of a close-minded party-fighter.
But what blew my mind, was the March 17th article by John Ioannidis in Stat News. At the time I wasn’t even aware Ioannidis was considered a superstar in the “scientific community” so I couldn’t have been swayed by his authority. For all I knew, this was some obscure article by some obscure doctor. But the information contained was explosive: The coronaviruses we already knew about before the PCR test infected tens of millions each year, and were capable of ramping up fatality rates as high as 8% when they infected nursing homes.
We were at risk of putting on an iron straightjacket over something there was no strong evidence was much more of a threat than the coronaviruses which visit us every single year.
Subsequent developments showed we would have acted prudently to have heeded Ioannidis’ warning.
What happened in, for example, New York, Northern Italy, and Belgium was sad, and we would do well to study why the outcomes there were so grim. But that has been far from the outcome everywhere. The majority of US states and European countries did not even detect excess deaths and are reopening not having gone through anything unusual in the illness sense. Clearly some, as of yet poorly understood, local factors must had been at play beyond the straightforward virulence of the virus.
And besides, just because you got pneumonia doesn’t mean you should also cut off your leg to boot. It’s difficult to say New York improved its position by stacking Covid deaths, lockdown deaths, and economic devastation on top of each other.