All posts by C. J. Hopkins

The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism

It was always going to come to this … mobs of hysterical, hate-drunk brownshirts hunting down people not wearing masks and trying to get them fired from their jobs, “no mask, no service” signs outside stores, security staff stopping the mask-less from entering, paranoid pod people pointing and shrieking at the sight of mask-less shoppers in their midst, goon squads viciously attacking and arresting them …

Welcome to the Brave New Normal.

And it isn’t just the Maskenpflicht-Sturmabteilung. The new official narrative is omnipresent. The corporate media are pumping out hysteria about “Covid-19 hospitalizations” (i.e., anyone admitted to a hospital for anything who tested positive for the coronavirus) and “major incidents” (i.e., people at the beach). Police are manning makeshift social-distancing-monitoring watchtowers in London. There are propaganda posters and billboards everywhere, repeating the same neo-Goebbelsian slogans, reinforcing the manufactured mass hysteria. Dissent and nonconformity are being pathologized, “diagnosed” as psychopathy and paranoia. Mandatory vaccinations are coming.

You didn’t think they were kidding, did you, when they started introducing the Brave New Normal official narrative back in March? They told us, clearly, what was coming. They told us life was going to change … forever. They locked us down inside our homes. They ordered churches and synagogues closed. They ordered the police to abuse and arrest us if we violated their arbitrary orders. They closed the schools, parks, beaches, restaurants, cafés, theaters, clubs, anywhere that people gather. They ripped children out of their mother’s arms, beat and arrested other mothers for the crime of “wearing their masks improperly,” dragged mask-less passengers off of public buses, gratuitously beat and arrested people for not “social-distancing” on the sidewalk, shackled people with ankle monitors, and intimidated everyone with robots and drones. They outlawed protests, then hunted down people attending them and harassed them at their homes. They started tracking everyone’s contacts and movements. They drafted new “emergency” laws to allow them to forcibly quarantine people. They did this openly. They publicized it. It’s not like they were hiding anything.

No, they told us exactly what was coming, and advised us to shut up and follow orders. Tragically, most people have done just that. In the space of four months, GloboCap has successfully imposed totalitarianism — pathologized totalitarianism — on societies all across the world. It isn’t traditional totalitarianism, with a dictator and a one-party system, and so on. It is subtler and more insidious than that. But it is totalitarianism nonetheless.

GloboCap could not have achieved this without the approval (or at least the acquiescence) of the vast majority of the masses. The coronavirus mass hysteria was a masterstroke of propaganda, but propaganda isn’t everything. No one is really fooled by propaganda, or not for long, in any event. As Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari noted in the opening of Anti-Oedipus:

The masses were not innocent dupes. At a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for.

I am not going to try to account for the “perversion of the desire of the masses” here in this essay, but I do want to dig into the new pathologized totalitarianism a little bit.

Now, I’m going to assume that you understand that the official “apocalyptic pandemic” narrative is predicated on propaganda, wild speculation, and mass hysteria, and that by now you are aware that we are dealing with a virus that causes mild to moderate symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms at all) in 95% of those infected, and that over 99.5% survive … thus, clearly, no cause for widespread panic or justification for the totalitarian “emergency measures” that have been imposed. I am also going to assume that you watched as GloboCap switched off the “deadly pandemic” to accommodate the BLM protests, then switched it back on as soon as they subsided, and that you noted how their propaganda shifted to “cases” when the death count finally became a little too embarrassing to continue to hype.

So, I won’t waste your time debunking the hysteria. Let’s talk pathologized totalitarianism.

The genius of pathologized totalitarianism is like that old joke about the Devil … his greatest trick was convincing us that he doesn’t exist. Pathologized totalitarianism appears to emanate from nowhere, and everywhere, simultaneously; thus, technically, it does not exist. It cannot exist, because no one is responsible for it, because everyone is. Mass hysteria is its lifeblood. It feeds on existential fear. “Science” is its rallying cry. Not actual science, not provable facts, but “Science” as a kind of deity whose Name is invoked to silence heretics, or to ease the discomfort of the cognitive dissonance that results from desperately trying to believe the absurdities of the official narrative.

The other genius of it (from a GloboCap viewpoint) is that it is inexhaustible, endlessly recyclable. Unlike other official enemies, the “deadly virus” could be any virus, any pathogen whatsoever. All they have to do from now on is “discover” some “novel” micro-organism that is highly contagious (or that mimics some other micro-organism that we already have), and wave it in front of people’s faces. Then they can crank up the Fear Machine, and start projecting hundreds of millions of deaths if everyone doesn’t do exactly as they’re told. They can run this schtick … well, pretty much forever, anytime the working classes get restless, or an unauthorized president gets elected, or just for the sheer sadistic fun of it.

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

I’ve interacted with a number of extremely paranoid corona-totalitarians recently (just as a kind of social experiment). They behave exactly like members of a cult. When challenged with facts and basic logic, first, they flood you with media propaganda and hysterical speculation from “medical experts.” Then, after you debunk that nonsense, they attempt to emotionally manipulate you by sharing their heartbreaking personal accounts of the people their therapists’ brother-in-laws’ doctors had to helplessly watch as they “died in agony” when their lungs and hearts mysteriously exploded. Then, after you don’t bite down on that, they start hysterically shrieking paranoia at you (“JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY INTUBATE YOU!” … “KEEP YOUR SPITTLE AWAY FROM ME!”) and barking orders and slogans at you (“JUST WEAR THE GODDAMN MASK, YOU BABY!” … “NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO MASK, NO SERVICE!”)

Which … OK, that would be kind of funny (or terribly sad), if these paranoid people were not just mouthpieces echoing the voice of the official power (i.e., GloboCap) that is transforming what is left of society into a paranoid, pathologized, totalitarian nightmare right before our eyes. They’re kind of like the “woman in red” in The Matrix. When you are talking to them, you’re not talking to them. You’re talking to the agents. You’re talking to the machines. Try it sometime. You’ll see what I mean. It’s like talking to a single algorithm that is running in millions of people’s brains.

I can’t lie to you. I’m not very hopeful. No one who understands the attraction (i.e., the seduction) of totalitarianism is. Much as we may not like to admit it, it is exhilarating, and liberating, being part of the mob, surrendering the burden of personal autonomy and individual responsibility, fusing with a fanatical “movement” that is ushering in a new “reality” backed by the sheer brute force of the state … or the transnational global capitalist empire.

It is irresistible, that attraction, to most of us. The chance to be a part of something like that, and to unleash one’s hatred on those who refuse to go along with the new religion … to publicly ridicule them, to humiliate them, to segregate them from normal society, to hunt them down and get them fired from their jobs, to cheer as police abuse and arrest them, to diagnose them as “abnormal” and “inferior,” these social deviants, these subhuman “others,” who dare to challenge the authority of the Party, or the Church, or the State, or the Reich, or Science.

Plus, in the eyes of GloboCap (and its millions of fanatical, slogan-chanting followers), such non-mask-wearing deviants are dangerous. They are like a disease … an infestation. A sickness in the social body. If they refuse to conform, they will have to be dealt with, quarantined, or something like that.

Or they can just surrender to the Brave New Normal, and stop acting like babies, and wear a goddamn mask.

After all, it’s just a harmless piece of cloth.

Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (courtesy of Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek)

The Worst Literal Hitler Ever

So, the GloboCap-Resistance Minneapolis Putsch appears to have not gone exactly to plan. Once again, Trump failed to go full-Hitler, despite their best efforts to goad him into doing so. They gave it quite a good shot, however. It was more or less a textbook regime-change op, or “color revolution,” or whatever you call it. All the essential pieces were in place. All they needed Trump to do was declare himself dictator and impose martial law, so the generals could step in and remove him from office.

Unfortunately for the Resistance, Trump didn’t do that. Instead, he did what he usually does, which is make a total ass of himself on international television. Which … OK, was cringeworthy, but didn’t quite provide the GloboCap gang with the pretext they needed to perp-walk him out of the Oval Office. Which, needless to say, was incredibly frustrating. After four long years of propaganda foreplay, there we were, finally at the moment of truth, and Adolf goes and loses his erection.

This guy is the worst literal Hitler ever.

Still, as far as regime-change ops go, and given that this one was a domestic operation, so trickier than the usual foreign version, I’d give the Resistance a B+ for effort.

Now, before my “conspiracy theorist” readers get too excited about where I’m going with this column … no, this was not a “fake” uprising. There was an authentic uprising at the center of it. There’s always an authentic uprising at the center of every regime-change op, or at least the type that GloboCap has been carrying out and attempting recently. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, the Ukraine, Bolivia, Venezuela; these things go pretty much by the numbers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how that works.

First, you need your civil unrest, large-scale protests, rioting, looting, indiscriminate violence, and so on. Any number of “trigger events” will be sufficient to get this going. Once it is, you can grow it and focus it. A lot of this unrest needs to be authentic, so it’s best to conduct an overwhelming multi-year propaganda campaign to delegitimize and demonize your target as some sort of treasonous Hitlerian monster who’s responsible for every major problem in the country. That way, no matter which trigger event gets things going, it will be his fault.

You will want your local government officials to allow this civil unrest to go on until it reaches the point where rioters and looters are rampaging through the hearts of cities, raiding both high-end corporate chain stores and local mom-and-pop-type businesses, and brutally assaulting their defenseless proprietors. This does not mean that these local officials have to restrain or stand down their cops. On the contrary, you want them to unleash their cops, on the protesters, rioters, and TV reporters (during their “live” reports, if possible), and just generally beat the living crap out of everyone. The goal is to generate as much hatred as possible against the regime you are trying to change, and to pressure your designated Hitler-target into losing his patience and overreacting, so you want things to get extremely ugly.

Then, you unleash the power of the media to whip folks up into a mindless frenzy of rage against your designated Hitler. You have your “respectable” pundits publish articles calling for his removal from office. You get the military (and former military) to start making noise about how your Hitler is out of control and on the brink of fascism. Then you wait for your Hitler to overreact and attempt to call in the military and impose some form of martial law, at which point you can safely depose him, and pretend that democracy has won the day.

The media is essential here, because you need to convince the majority of the public (i.e., not just the people protesting and rioting) that things have gotten so out of control, and your imaginary Hitler has gotten so dangerous, that a military coup is the best solution.

What you’re looking for are headlines like these:

“We are teetering on a dictatorship” — CNN

“‘Words of a dictator’: Trump’s threat to deploy military raises spectre of fascism” — The Guardian

“Donald Trump is Trying to Start a Race War” — Rolling Stone

“Remove Trump Now” — Slate

“The Trump Presidency is Over.” — The Guardian

“Trump Must Be Removed” — The Washington Post

Also, while the media are doing their thing, you want to get any former members of the intelligence community (or the secret police) to issue public statements like this:

There should be no place in American society, much less in our government, for the depravity being demonstrated daily by Donald Trump. Members of his Cabinet who enable such behavior are betraying their oath of office by supporting an increasingly desperate despot.

John Brennan, former CIA director

Then you bring the politicians and the military in. This kind of language will usually do it:

“The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens. I fear for our country tonight and will not stop defending America against Trump’s assault.” — Senator Ron Wyden

“These are not the words of a president. They are the words of a dictator.” — Senator Kamala Harris

“‘There is a thin line between the military’s tolerance for questionable partisan moves over the past three years and the point where these become intolerable,” a retired general said.” — The New York Times

“We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution … We can unite without [Trump], drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.” — General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, former Secretary of Defense

Once the generals have started in growling, you get the media to hype that, hard. Headlines like these will get people’s attention:

“Revolt of the Generals” — The Washington Post

“The Officers’ Revolt” — Slate

“President Donald Trump is facing an unprecedented revolt from the elite corps of ex-military leaders and presidents …” — CNN

“The US president’s desire to act the strongman poses urgent questions that America’s generals, voters and allies must all answer” — The Guardian Editorial Board

If you can, it is always a really nice touch if you can drum up … oh, let’s say 280 former national security officials who are really concerned about the state of democracy and “the misuse of the military for political purposes,” and get them to spontaneously call each other up and decide to write a letter together accusing your Hitler of “dividing Americans,” which the media can then disseminate, widely.

And, of course, what you need for the “educated classes” is an official propagandist like Franklin Foer (who broke the big story about the non-existent “Trump-Russia server” back in 2016 and was rewarded for his service to GloboCap with a lucrative staff writer position at The Atlantic) to come right out and explain that what’s happening is a textbook regime-change operation (because you don’t have to dupe the “educated classes,” most of whom will already be on your side). Something more or less like this:

Twitter’s decision to label Trump’s posts as misleading was a hinge moment … once Twitter applied its rules to Trump — and received accolades for its decision — it inadvertently set a precedent … a cycle of noncooperation was set in motion. Local governments were the next layer of the elite to buck Trump’s commands. After the president insisted that governors ‘dominate’ the streets on his behalf, they roundly refused to escalate their response. Indeed, New York and Virginia rebuffed a federal request to send National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. Even the suburb of Arlington, Virginia, pulled its police that had been loaned to control the crowd in Lafayette Square. As each group of elites refused Trump, it became harder for the next to comply in good conscience. In Sharp’s taxonomy, the autocrat’s grasp on power depends entirely on the allegiance of the armed forces. When the armed forces withhold cooperation, the dictator is finished.

As I said, it went pretty much right by the book.

After four long years of official propaganda designed to convince the Western masses that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, GloboCap, the liberal Resistance, and the corporate media all did their best to harness the authentic protests and rioting that routinely follow the murder of an unarmed Black person by the cops, and use it to remove him from office. It would have been a spectacular catharsis, a fitting climax to the War on Populism, but Trump refused to play his part … so, OK, maybe he’s not as dumb as I thought, or at least not totally suicidal.

No matter, it’s still a big win for GloboCap. Forcibly removing Trump from office is, and has always been, gravy. The main goal of the War on Populism is to delegitimize and demonize him, and everyone who voted for him (and Jeremy Corbyn, and even Bernie Sanders, and everyone who voted for them). Trump is just a symbol, after all. It’s the dissatisfaction with global capitalism (and its smiley, happy, valueless values, and its post-ideological ideology) that GloboCap is determined to crush, so they can get back to the unfinished business of restructuring the entire Middle East, and anywhere else that’s not playing ball, and dissolving what is left of national sovereignty, and transforming the world into one big marketplace, where there will be no fascists, no evil Russians, no religious extremists, no racist statues, no offensive movies, or books, or artworks, no more unauthorized ass-clown presidents, and everyone will be “contact-traced” with their digital health-certificate implants, and the children will stand inside their little “social-distancing” boxes and circles and sing the Coca-Cola theme song through their anti-virus masks at school …

Sorry … I got a little off-track there. I forgot that this was strictly about racism, and police brutality, and nothing else. I’ll try to stick to the script from now on, but it might be difficult, given my “privilege.” Maybe, if I wrapped myself in kente cloth and got down on my knees in public, that might help me get my mind right. Or, I don’t know. What do you think?

The Minneapolis Putsch

Well, it looks like the Resistance’s long-anticipated “Second Civil War” has finally begun … more or less exactly on cue. Rioting has broken out across the nation. People are looting and burning stores and attacking each other in the streets. Robocops are beating, tear-gassing, and shooting people with non-lethal projectiles. State National Guards have been deployed, curfews imposed, “emergencies” declared. Secret Servicemen are fighting back angry hordes attempting to storm the White House. Trump is tweeting from an “underground bunker.” Opportunist social media pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are whipping people up into white-eyed frenzies. Americans are at each other’s throats, divided by identity politics, consumed by rage, hatred, and fear.

Things couldn’t be going better for the Resistance if they had scripted it themselves.

Actually, they did kind of script it themselves. Not the murder of poor George Floyd, of course. Racist police have been murdering Black people for as long as there have been racist police. No, the Resistance didn’t manufacture racism. They just spent the majority of the last four years creating and promoting an official narrative which casts most Americans as “white supremacists” who literally elected Hitler president, and who want to turn the country into a racist dictatorship.

According to this official narrative, which has been relentlessly disseminated by the corporate media, the neoliberal intelligentsia, the culture industry, and countless hysterical, Trump-hating loonies, the Russians put Donald Trump in office with those DNC emails they never hacked and some division-sowing Facebook ads that supposedly hypnotized Black Americans into refusing to come out and vote for Clinton. Putin purportedly ordered this personally, as part of his plot to “destroy democracy.” The plan was always for President Hitler to embolden his white-supremacist followers into launching the “RaHoWa,” or the “Boogaloo,” after which Trump would declare martial law, dissolve the legislature, and pronounce himself Führer. Then they would start rounding up and murdering the Jews, and the Blacks, and Mexicans, and other minorities, according to this twisted liberal fantasy.

I’ve been covering the roll-out and dissemination of this official narrative since 2016, and have documented much of it in my essays, so I won’t reiterate all that here. Let’s just say, I’m not exaggerating, much. After four years of more or less constant conditioning, millions of Americans believe this fairy tale, despite the fact that there is absolutely zero evidence whatsoever to support it. Which is not exactly a mystery or anything. It would be rather surprising if they didn’t believe it. We’re talking about the most formidable official propaganda machine in the history of official propaganda machines.

And now the propaganda is paying off. The protesting and rioting that typically follows the murder of an unarmed Black person by the cops has mushroomed into “an international uprising” cheered on by the corporate media, corporations, and the liberal establishment, who don’t normally tend to support such uprisings, but they’ve all had a sudden change of heart, or spiritual or political awakening, and are down for some serious property damage, and looting, and preventative self-defense, if that’s what it takes to bring about justice, and to restore America to the peaceful, prosperous, non-white-supremacist paradise it was until the Russians put Donald Trump in office.

In any event, the Resistance media have now dropped their breathless coverage of the non-existent Corona-Holocaust to breathlessly cover the “revolution.” The American police, who just last week were national heroes for risking their lives to beat up, arrest, and generally intimidate mask-less “lockdown violators” are now the fascist foot soldiers of the Trumpian Reich. The Nike corporation produced a commercial urging people to smash the windows of their Nike stores and steal their sneakers. Liberal journalists took to Twitter, calling on rioters to “burn that shit down!” … until the rioters reached their gated community and started burning down their local Starbucks. Hollywood celebrities are masking up and going full-black bloc, and doing legal support. Chelsea Clinton is teaching children about David and the Racist Goliath. John Cusack’s bicycle was attacked by the pigs. I haven’t checked on Rob Reiner yet, but I assume he is assembling Molotov cocktails in the basement of a Resistance safe house somewhere in Hollywood Hills.

Look, I’m not saying the neoliberal Resistance orchestrated or staged these riots, or “denying the agency” of the folks in the streets. Whatever else is happening out there, a lot of very angry Black people are taking their frustration out on the cops, and on anyone and anything else that represents racism and injustice to them.

This happens in America from time to time. America is still a racist society. Most African-Americans are descended from slaves. Legal racial discrimination was not abolished until the 1960s, which isn’t that long ago in historical terms. I was born in the segregated American South, with the segregated schools, and all the rest of it. I don’t remember it — I was born in 1961 — but I do remember the years right after it. The South didn’t magically change overnight in July of 1964. Nor did the North’s variety of racism, which, yes, is subtler, but no less racist.

So I have no illusions about racism in America. But I’m not really talking about racism in America. I’m talking about how racism in America has been cynically instrumentalized, not by the Russians, but by the so-called Resistance, in order to delegitimize Trump and, more importantly, everyone who voted for him, as a bunch of white supremacists and racists.

Fomenting racial division has been the Resistance’s strategy from the beginning. A quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty,” is particularly apropos in this case. From the moment Trump won the Republican nomination, the corporate media and the rest of the Resistance have been telling us the man is literally Hitler, and that his plan is to foment racial hatred among his “white supremacist base,” and eventually stage some “Reichstag” event, declare martial law and pronounce himself dictator. They’ve been telling us this story over and over, on television, in the liberal press, on social media, in books, movies, and everywhere else they could possibly tell it.

So, before you go out and join the “uprising,” take a look at the headlines today, turn on CNN or MSNBC, and think about that for just a minute. I don’t mean to spoil the party, but they’ve preparing you for this for the last four years.

Not you, Black folks. I’m not talking to you. I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do. I’m talking to white folks like myself, who are cheering on the rioting and looting, and are coming out to “help” you with it, but who will be back home in their gated communities when the ashes have cooled, and the corporate media are gone, and the cops return to “police” your neighborhoods.

OK, and this is where I have to restate (for the benefit of my partisan readers) that I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, and that I think he’s a narcissistic ass clown, and a glorified con man, and … blah blah blah, because so many people have been so polarized by insane propaganda and mass hysteria that they can’t even read or think anymore, and so just scan whatever articles they encounter to see whose “side” the author is on and then mindlessly celebrate or excoriate it.

If you’re doing that, let me help you out … whichever side you’re on, I’m not on it.

I realize that’s extremely difficult for a lot of folks to comprehend these days, which is part of the point I’ve been trying to make. I’ll try again, as plainly as I can.

America is still a racist country, but America is no more racist today than it was when Barack Obama was president. A lot of American police are brutal, but no more brutal than when Obama was president. America didn’t radically change the day Donald Trump was sworn into office. All that has changed is the official narrative. And it will change back as soon as Trump is gone and the ruling classes have no further use for it.

And that will be the end of the War on Populism, and we will switch back to the War on Terror, or maybe the Brave New Pathologized Normal … or whatever Orwellian official narrative the folks at GloboCap have in store for us.

Brave New Normal (Part 2)

My columns haven’t been very funny recently. This one isn’t going to be any funnier. Sorry. Fascism makes me cranky.

I don’t mean the kind of fascism the corporate media and the fake Resistance have been desperately hyping for the last four years. God help me, but I’m not terribly worried about a few hundred white-supremacist morons marching around with tiki torches hollering Nazi slogans at each other, or Jewish-Mexican-American law clerks flashing “OK” signs on TV, or smirking schoolkids in MAGA hats.

I’m talking about actual, bona fide fascism, or totalitarianism, if you want to get technical. The kind where governments declare a global “state of emergency” on account of a virus with a 0.2% to 1% lethality (and that causes mild, flu-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, in over 97% of those infected), locks everyone down inside their homes, suspends their constitutional rights, terrorizes them with propaganda, and unleashes uniformed goon squads on anyone who doesn’t comply with their despotic decrees.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the police track you down with your smartphone data and then come to your house to personally harass you for attending a political protest, or attack you for challenging their illegitimate authority, and then charge you with “assault” for fighting back, and then get the media to publish a story accusing you of having “set up” the cops.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the secret police are given carte blanche to monitor everyone’s Internet activity, and to scan you with their “surveillance helmets,” and dictate how close you can sit to your friends, and menace you with drones and robot dogs, and violently pry your kids out of your arms and arrest you if you dare to protest.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism that psychologically tortures children with authoritarian loyalty rituals designed to condition them to live in fear, and respond to absurd Pavlovian stimuli, and that encourages the masses to turn off their brains and mechanically repeat propaganda slogans, like “wear a mask” and “flatten the curve,” and to report their neighbors to the police for having an “illegal” private party … and to otherwise reify the manufactured mass hysteria the authorities need to “justify” their totalitarianism.

Yeah, that kind of stuff makes me cranky.

And you know what makes me really cranky? I’ll tell you what makes me really cranky. It is people who publicly project themselves as “anti-authoritarians” and “anti-fascists,” or who have established their “anti-establishment” brands and “dissident” personas on social media, or even in the corporate media, either zealously cheerleading this totalitarianism or looking away and saying nothing as it is rolled out by the very authorities and media propagandists they pretend to oppose. I don’t know exactly why, but that stuff makes me particularly cranky.

I’ll provide you with a few examples.

The militant “Portland anti-fascists”, who the corporate media fell in love with and made famous for bravely fighting off the Trump-loving Putin-Nazi Menace over the course of the last four years, as soon as the Corona-Totalitarianism began, did what all true anti-fascists do when the state goes full-blown fascist … no, they did not “smash the state,” or “occupy the streets,” or anything like that. They masked-up and started making vegan hand sanitizer.

Popular Internet “anti-imperialists” started accusing everyone opposing the lockdown of being part of some far-right Republican plot to “promote mass death under the banner of freedom” or to “normalize death” to benefit rich people, or being members of a “death cult,” or something. Celebrity socialists took to Twitter to warn that we would “shortly have the blood of thousands of people on our hands,” and call us “anti-vaxxers” and “flat earth fucks.” Indie political and military analysts patiently explained why governments needed to be able to pull people out of their homes against their will and quarantine them. Anarchist anthropologists averred that the lockdown wasn’t damaging the productive economy; it was only damaging the “bullshit economy,” and those complaining about being out of work were people whose work is “largely useless.”

Others simply looked away or sat there in silence as we were confined to our homes, and made to carry “permission papers” to walk to work or the corner grocery store, and were beaten and arrested for not “social-distancing,” and were otherwise bullied and humiliated for no justifiable reason whatsoever. (We are talking about a virus, after all, that even the official medical experts, e.g., the U.K.’s Chief Medic, admit is more or less harmless to the vast majority of us, not the Bubonic Fucking Plague or some sort of Alien-Terrorist-Death-Flu … so spare me the “we-had-no-choice-but-to-go-totalitarian” rationalization.)

My intent is not merely to mock these people (i.e., these “radical,” “anti-establishment” types who fell into formation and started goose-stepping because the media told them we were all going to die), but also to use them as a clear example of how official narratives are born and take hold.

That’s somewhat pertinent at the moment, because the “Brave New Normal” official narrative has been born, but it has not yet taken hold. What happens next will determine whether it does.

In order to understand how this works, imagine for a moment that you’re one of these people who are normally skeptical of the government and the media, and that you consider yourself an anti-authoritarian, or at least a friend of the working classes, and now you are beginning to realize that there is no Alien-Terrorist-Death-Flu (just as there were no “WMDs,” no “Russian hackers,” no “pee-tape,” etc.), and so it dawns on you that you’ve been behaving like a hysterical, brainwashed, fascist minion of the very establishment you supposedly oppose … or at the very least like an abject coward.

Imagine how you might feel right now.

You would probably feel pretty foolish, right? And more than a little ashamed of yourself. So … OK, what would you do about that? Well, you would have a couple of options.

Option Number One would be admit what you did, apologize to whomever you have to, and try like hell not to do it again. Not many people are going to choose this option.

Most people are going to choose Option Number Two, which is to desperately try to deny what they did, or to desperately rationalize what they did (and in many cases are still actively doing). Now, this is not as easy at it sounds, because doing that means they will have to continue to believe (or at least pretend to believe) that there is an Alien-Terrorist-Death-Flu which is going to kill hundreds of millions of people the moment we stop locking everyone down, and forcing them to “social distance,” and so on. They will have to continue to pretend to believe that this Alien-Terrorist-Death-Flu exists, even though they know it doesn’t.

And this is where that Orwellian “doublethink” comes in. People (i.e., these “anti-authoritarians,” not to mention the majority of the “normal” public) are not going to want to face the fact that they’ve been behaving like a bunch of fascists (or cowards) for no justifiable reason whatsoever. So, what they are going to do instead is desperately pretend that their behavior was justified and that the propaganda they have been swallowing, and regurgitating, was not propaganda, but rather, “the Truth.”

In other words, in order to avoid their shame, they are going to do everything in their power to reify the official narrative and delegitimize anyone attempting to expose it as the fiction that it is. They are going to join in with the corporate media that are calling us “extremists,” “conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxers,” and other such epithets. They’re going to accuse those of us on the Left of aligning with “far-Right Republican militias,” and “Boogaloo accelerationists,” and of being members of the Russian-backed “Querfront,” and assorted other horrible things meant to scare errant leftists into line.

Above all, they are going to continue to insist, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that we are “under attack” by a “killer virus” which could “strike again at any time,” and so we have to maintain at least some level of totalitarianism and paranoia, or else … well, you know, the terrorists win.

It is this reification of the official narrative by those too ashamed to admit what they did (and try to determine why they did it), and not the narrative or the propaganda itself, that will eventually establish the “Brave New Normal” as “reality” (assuming the process works as smoothly as it did with the “War on Terror,” the “War on Populism,” and the “Cold War” narratives). The facts, the data, the “science” won’t matter. Reality is consensus reality … and a new consensus is being formed at the moment.

There is still a chance (right now, not months from now) for these people (some of whom are rather influential) to stand up and say, “Whoops! I screwed up and went all Nazi there for a bit.” But I seriously doubt that is going to happen.

It’s much more likely that the Brave New Normal (or some intermittent, scaled-down version of it) will gradually become our new reality. People will get used to being occasionally “locked down,” and being ordered to wear masks, and not to touch each other, and to standing in designated circles and boxes, like they got used to the “anti-Terrorism measures,” and believing that Trump is a “Russian asset.” The coming economic depression will be blamed on the Alien-Terrorist-Death-Flu, rather than on the lockdown that caused it. Millions of people will be condemned to extreme poverty, or debt-enslaved for the rest of their lives, but they’ll be too busy trying to survive to mount any kind of broad resistance.

The children, of course, won’t know any better. They will grow up with their “isolation boxes,” and “protective barriers,” and “contact tracing,” and they will live in constant low-grade fear of another killer virus, or terrorist attack, or Russian-backed white supremacist uprising, or whatever boogeyman might next appear to menace the global capitalist empire, which, it goes without saying, will be just fine.

Me, I’ll probably remain kind of cranky, but I will try to find the humor in it all. Bear with me … that might take a while.

• Read Part 1 here

Virus of Mass Destruction

There comes a point in the introduction of every new official narrative when people no longer remember how it started. Or, rather, they remember how it started, but not the propaganda that started it. Or, rather, they remember all that (or are able to, if you press them on it), but it doesn’t make any difference anymore, because the official narrative has supplanted reality.

You’ll remember this point from the War on Terror, and specifically the occupation of Iraq. By the latter half of 2004, most Westerners had completely forgotten the propaganda that launched the invasion, and thus regarded the Iraqi resistance as “terrorists,” despite the fact that the United States had invaded and was occupying their country for no legitimate reason whatsoever. By that time, it was abundantly clear that there were no “weapons of mass destruction,” and that the U.S.A. had invaded a nation that had not attacked it, and posed no threat to it, and so was perpetrating a textbook war of aggression.

These facts did not matter, not in the slightest. By that time, Westerners were totally immersed in the official War on Terror narrative, which had superseded objective reality. Herd mentality had taken over. It’s difficult to describe how this works; it’s a state of functional dissociation. It wasn’t that people didn’t know the facts, or that they didn’t understand the facts. They knew the Iraqis weren’t “terrorists.” At the same time, they knew they were definitely “terrorists,” despite the fact that they knew that they weren’t. They knew there were no WMDs, that there had never been any WMDs, and still they were certain there were WMDs, which would be found, although they clearly did not exist.

The same thing happened in Nazi Germany. The majority of the German people were never fanatical anti-Semites like the hardcore N.S.D.A.P. members. If they had been, there would have been no need for Goebbels and his monstrous propaganda machine. No, the Germans during the Nazi period, like the Americans during the War on Terror, knew that their victims posed no threat to them, and at the same time they believed exactly the opposite, and thus did not protest as their neighbors were hauled out of their homes and sent off to death camps, camps which, in their dissociative state, simultaneously did and did not exist.

What I’m describing probably sounds like psychosis, but, technically speaking, it isn’t … not quite. It is not an absolute break from reality. People functioning in this state know that what they believe is not real. Nonetheless, they are forced to believe it (and do, actually, literally, believe it, as impossible as I know that sounds), because the consequences of not believing it are even more frightening than the cognitive dissonance of believing a narrative they know is a fiction. Disbelieving the official narrative means excommunication from “normality,” the loss of friends, income, status, and in many cases far worse punishments. Herd animals, in a state of panic, instinctively run towards the center of the herd. Separation from the herd makes them easy prey for pursuing predators. It is the same primal instinct operating here.

It is the goal of every official narrative to generate this type of herd mentality, not in order to deceive or dupe the public, but, rather, to confuse and terrorize them to the point where they revert to their primal instincts, and are being driven purely by existential fear, and facts and truth no longer matter. Once an official narrative reaches this point, it is unassailable by facts and reason. It no longer needs facts to justify it. It justifies itself with its own existence. Reason cannot penetrate it. Arguing with its adherents is pointless. They know it is irrational. They simply do not care.

We are reaching this point with the coronavirus narrative. It is possible that we have already reached it. Despite the fact that what we are dealing with is a virus that, yes, is clearly deadly to the old and those with medical conditions, but that is just as clearly not a deadly threat to the majority of the human species, people are cowering inside their homes as if the Zombie Apocalpyse had finally begun. Many appear to believe that this virus is some sort of Alien-Terrorist Death Flu (or weaponized Virus of Mass Destruction) that will kill you the second you breathe it in.

This is not surprising at all, because, according to the official narrative, its destructive powers are nearly unlimited. Not only will it obliterate your lungs, and liquidate all your other major organs, and kill you with blood clots, and intestinal damage, now it causes “sudden strokes in young adults,” and possibly spontaneous prostate cancer, and God knows what other medical horrors!

According to all the “scientists” and “medical experts” (i.e., those that conform to the official narrative, not all the other scientists and medical experts), it is unlike any other virus that has ever existed in the history of viruses. It certainly doesn’t follow the typical pattern of spreading extensively for a limited period, and then rapidly dying down on its own, regardless of what measures are taken to thwart it, as this Israeli study would seem to indicate.

Also, “we have no immunity against it,” which is why we all have to remain “locked down” like unruly inmates in a penitentiary until a vaccine can be concocted and forced onto every living person on earth. Apparently, this mandatory wonder vaccine will magically render us immune to this virus against which we have no immunity (and are totally unable to develop immunity), which immunity will be certified on our mandatory “immunity papers,” which we will need to travel, get a job, send our kids to school, and, you know, to show the police when they stop us on the street because we look like maybe we might be “infected.”

Germany (where I live) is way out in front of this. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the federal government plans to introduce a coronavirus “immunity card” as part of its “Infection Protection Law,” which will grant the authorities the power to round up anyone “suspected to be contagious” and force them into … uh … “quarantine,” and “forbid them from entering certain public places.” The Malaysian authorities have dispensed with such niceties, and are arresting migrant workers and refugees in so-called “Covid-19 red zones” and marching them off to God knows where.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot … the germ and chemical warfare researchers at DARPA (i.e., the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have developed some new type of fancy blood test that will identify “asymptomatic carriers” (i.e., people who display no symptoms whatsoever). So that will probably come in handy … especially if the “white supremacists,” “Red-Brown extremists,” and “conspiracy theorists” keep protesting the lockdown with their wives and kids!

And these are just the latest additions to a list of rather dystopian examples of the “brave new normal” official narrative that GloboCap is rolling out, right before our very eyes (which the OffGuardian editors have streamlined here and here, and which continues on Twitter). It’s all right there in black and white. They aren’t hiding the totalitarianism … they don’t have to. Because people are begging for it. They are demanding to be “locked down” inside their homes, forced to wear masks, and stand two meters apart, for reasons that most of them no longer remember.

Plastic barriers are going up everywhere. Arrows on the floor show you which way to walk. Boxes show you where to stand. Paranoid Blockwarts are putting up signs threatening anyone not wearing a mask. Hysterical little fascist creeps are reporting their neighbors to the police for letting their children play with other children. Millions of people are voluntarily downloading “contact tracing applications” so that governments and global corporations can monitor their every movement. In Spain, they bleached an entire beach, killing everything, down to the insects, in order to protect the public from “infection.” The Internet has become an Orwellian chorus of shrieking, sanctimonious voices bullying everyone into conformity with charts, graphs, and desperate guilt-trips, few of which have much connection to reality. Corporations and governments are censoring dissent. We’re approaching a level of manufactured mass hysteria and herd mentality that not even Goebbels could have imagined.

Meanwhile, they’re striking the mostly empty “field hospitals,” and the theatrical “hospital ship” is now gone, and despite their attempts to inflate the Covid-19 death count as much as humanly possible, the projected hundreds of millions of deaths have not materialized (not even close), and Sweden is fine, as is most of humanity, and … just like there were no WMDs, there is no Virus of Mass Destruction.

What there is, is a new official narrative, the brave new, paranoid, pathologized “normal.” Like the War on Terror, it’s a global narrative. A global, post-ideological narrative. It’s just getting started, so it isn’t yet clear how totalitarian this show will get, but, given the nature of the pilot episode, I am kind of dreading the rest of the series.

Brave New Normal

So the War on Populism is finally over. Go ahead, take a wild guess who won.

I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the Russians, or the white supremacists, or the gilets jaunes, or Jeremy Corbyn’s Nazi Death Cult, or the misogynist Bernie Bros, or the MAGA-hat terrorists, or any of the other real or fictional “populist” forces that global capitalism has been waging war on for the last four years.

What? You weren’t aware that global capitalism was fighting a War on Populism? That’s OK, most other folks weren’t. It wasn’t officially announced or anything. It was launched in the summer of 2016, just as the War on Terror was ending, as a sequel to the War on Terror, or a variation on the War on Terror, or continuation of the War on Terror, or … whatever, it doesn’t really matter anymore, because now we’re fighting the War on Death, or the War on Minor Cold-like Symptoms, depending on your age and general state of health.

That’s right, folks, once again, global capitalism (a/k/a “the world”) is under attack by an evil enemy. GloboCap just can’t catch a break. From the moment it defeated communism and became a global ideological hegemon, it has been one evil enemy after another.

No sooner had it celebrated winning the Cold War and started ruthlessly restructuring and privatizing everything than it was savagely attacked by “Islamic terrorists,” and so was forced to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, and kill and torture a lot of people, and destabilize the entire Middle East, and illegally surveil everybody, and … well, you remember the War on Terror.

Then, just as the War on Terror seemed to be finally winding down, and the only terrorists left were the “self-radicalized” terrorists (many of whom weren’t even actual terrorists), and it looked like GloboCap was finally going to be able to finish privatizing and debt-enslaving everything and everyone in peace, wouldn’t you know it, we were attacked again, this time by the global conspiracy of Russian-backed, neo-fascist “populists” that caused the Brexit and elected Trump, and tried to elect Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, and loosed the gilets jaunes on France, and who’ve been threatening the “fabric of Western democracy” with dissension-sowing Facebook memes.

Unfortunately, unlike the War on Terror, the War on Populism didn’t go that well. After four years of fighting, GloboCap (a/k/a the neoliberal Resistance) had … OK, they had snuffed both Corbyn and Sanders, but they had totally blown the Russiagate psyop, and so were looking at four more years of Trump, and Lord knows how many of Johnson in the U.K. (which had actually left the European Union), and the gilets jaunes weren’t going away, and, basically, “populism” was still on the rise (if not in reality, in hearts and minds).

And so, just as the War on Populism had replaced (or redefined) the War on Terror, the War on Death has been officially launched to replace (or redefine) the War on Populism … which means (you guessed it), once again, it’s time to roll out another “brave new normal.”

The character of this brave new normal is, at this point, unmistakably clear … so clear that most people cannot see it, because their minds are not prepared to accept it, so they do not recognize it, though they are looking right at it. Like Dolores in the Westworld series, “it doesn’t look like anything” to them. To the rest of us, it looks rather totalitarian.

In the span of approximately 100 days, the entire global capitalist empire has been transformed into a de facto police state. Constitutional rights have been suspended. Most of us are under house arrest. Police are rounding up anyone not cooperating with the new emergency measures. They are pulling riders off of public transportation, arresting people whose papers aren’t in order, harrassing, beating, intimidating, and arbitrarily detaining anyone they decide is “a danger to public health.”

Authorities are openly threatening to forcibly pull people out of their homes and quarantine them. Cops are hunting down runaway grandmothers. They’re raiding services in churches and synagogues. Citizens are being forced to wear ankle monitors. Families out for a walk are being menaced by robots and Orwellian drones.

Counterterrorism troops have been deployed to deal with non-compliant “rule breakers.” Anyone the U.S. authorities deem to have “intentionally spread the coronavirus” can be arrested and charged as a coronavirus terrorist. Artificial intelligence firms are working with governments to implement systems to log and track our contacts and movements. As a recent Foreign Policy article put it:

The counterterrorism analogy is useful because it shows the direction of travel of pandemic policy. Imagine a new coronavirus patient is detected. Once he or she tests positive, the government could use cell-phone data to trace everyone he or she has been in close proximity to, perhaps focusing on those people who were in contact for more than a few minutes. Your cell-phone signal could then be used to enforce quarantine decisions. Leave your apartment and the authorities will know. Leave your phone behind and they will call you. Run the battery down and a police car will be at your door in a manner of minutes …

I could go on, but I think you get the picture, or … well, you either do or you don’t.

And that is the really terrifying part of the War on Death and our “brave new normal” … not so much the totalitarianism. (Anyone who’s been paying attention is not terribly shocked by GloboCap’s decision to implement a global police state. The simulation of democracy is all fine and good, until the unwashed masses start to get unruly, and require a reminder of who’s in charge, which is what we are being treated to currently.)

No, the terrifying part is how millions of people immediately switched off their critical faculties, got into line, and started goose-stepping, and parroting hysterical propaganda, and reporting their neighbors to the police for going outside for a walk or jog (and then sadistically shrieked abuse down at them like the Goodbye Jews Girl in Schindler’s List as they were wrestled to the ground and arrested).

They are out there, right now, on the Internet, millions of these well-meaning fascists, patrolling for signs of the slightest deviation from the official coronavirus narrative, bombarding everyone with meaningless graphs, decontextualized death statistics, X-rays of fibrotic lungs, photos of refrigerated morgue trucks, mass graves, and other sensationalistic horrors intended to short-circuit critical thinking and shut down any and all forms of dissent.

Although undeniably cowardly and sickening, this kind of behavior is also not shocking. Sadly, when you terrorize people enough, the majority will regress to their animal instincts. It isn’t a question of ethics, or politics. It is purely a question of self-preservation. When you cancel the normal structure of society and place everyone in a “state of emergency” … well, it’s like what happens in a troop of chimpanzees when the alpha chimp dies or is killed by a challenger. The other chimps run around hooting and grimacing until it’s clear who the new dominant primate is, then they bend over to demonstrate their submission.

Totalitarians understand this. Sadists and cult leaders understand this. When the people you are dominating get unruly, and start questioning your right to dominate them, you need to fabricate a “state of emergency” and make everyone feel very afraid, so that they turn (or return) to you for protection from whatever evil enemy is out there, threatening the cult, or the Fatherland, or whatever. Then, once they’ve returned to the fold, and stopped questioning your right to dominate them, you can introduce a new set of rules that everybody needs to follow to prevent this kind of thing happening again.

This is obviously what is happening at the moment. But what you probably want to know is … why is it happening? And why is it happening at this precise moment?

Lucky for you, I have a theory.

No, it doesn’t involve Bill Gates, Jared Kushner, the WHO, and a global conspiracy of Chinese Jews defiling our precious bodily fluids with their satanic-alien 5G technology. It’s a little less exciting and more abstract than that (although some of those characters are probably part of it … all right, probably not the Chinese Jews, or the Satanic-Alien Illuminati).

See, I try to focus more on systems (like global capitalism) than on individuals. And on models of power rather than the specific people in power at any given time. Looking at things that way, this global lockdown and our brave new normal makes perfect sense. Stay with me now … this gets kind of heady.

What we are experiencing is a further evolution of the post-ideological model of power that came into being when global capitalism became a global-hegemonic system after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In such a global-hegemonic system, ideology is rendered obsolete. The system has no external enemies, and thus no ideological adversaries. The enemies of a global-hegemonic system by definition can only be internal. Every war becomes an insurgency, a rebellion breaking out within the system, as there is no longer any outside.

As there is no longer any outside (and thus no external ideological adversary), the global-hegemonic system dispenses with ideology entirely. Its ideology becomes “normality.” Any challenge to “normality” is henceforth regarded as an “abnormality,” a “deviation from the norm,” and automatically delegitimized. The system does not need to argue with deviations and abnormalities (as it was forced to argue with opposing ideologies in order to legitimize itself). It simply needs to eliminate them. Opposing ideologies become pathologies … existential threats to the health of the system.

In other words, the global-hegemonic system (i.e., global capitalism) becomes a body, the only body, unopposed from without, but attacked from within by a variety of opponents … terrorists, extremists, populists, whoever. These internal opponents attack the global-hegemonic body much like a disease, like a cancer, an infection, or a virus. And the global-hegemonic body reacts like any other body would.

Is this model starting to sound familiar?

I hope so, because that is what is happening right now. The system (i.e., global capitalism, not a bunch of guys in a room hatching a scheme to sell vaccines) is reacting to the last four years of populist revolt in a predictable manner. GloboCap is attacking the virus that has been attacking its hegemonic body. No, not the coronavirus. A much more destructive and multiplicitous virus … resistance to the hegemony of global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology.

If it isn’t already clear to you yet that this coronavirus in no way warrants the totalitarian emergency measures that have been imposed on most of humanity, it will be become clear in the months ahead. Despite the best efforts of the “health authorities” to count virtually anything as “a Covid-19 death,” the numbers are going to tell the tale. The “experts” are already memory-holing, or recalibrating, or contextualizing, their initial apocalyptic projections. The media are toning down the hysteria. The show isn’t totally over yet, but you can feel it gradually coming to an end.

In any event, whenever it happens, days, weeks, or months from now, GloboCap will dial down the totalitarianism, and let us out, so we can go back to work in whatever remains of the global economy … and won’t we all be so very grateful! There will be massive celebrations in the streets, Italian tenors singing on balconies, chorus lines of dancing nurses! The gilets jaunes will call it quits, the Putin-Nazis will stop with the memes, and Americans will elect Joe Biden president!

Or, all right, maybe not that last part, but, the point is, it will be a brave new normal! People will forget all that populism nonsense, and just be grateful for whatever McJobs they can get to be able to pay the interest on their debts, because, hey … global capitalism isn’t so bad compared to living under house arrest!

And, if not, no problem for GloboCap. They’ll just have to lock us down again, and keep locking us down, over and over, indefinitely, until we get our minds right. I mean, it’s not like we’re going to do anything about it … right? Didn’t we just demonstrate that? Sure, we’ll bitch and moan again, but then they’ll whip out those pictures of mass graves and death trucks, and the graphs, and all those scary projections, and the Blockwart-hotlines will start ringing again, and …

The War on Death

OK, I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. The good news is mainly for authoritarians who missed all the fun during the War on Terror. The news is … welcome to the War on Death!

Yes, that’s right, global capitalism (a/k/a “the world”) is now at war with Death … which is great news for authoritarians! No more bothersome critical thinking. The time for questioning our leaders is over. It’s time to shut up and follow orders. We’re in a global state of emergency, folks! We’re talking lockdowns, soldiers in the streets, abrogation of our constitutional rights, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, round-the-clock media fear-propaganda … the whole totalitarian megillah!

What, you’re probably asking, is the War on Death? Well … for those who remember the War on Terror, the War on Death is just like that, except this time the evil enemy is Death … or, all right, maybe not exactly like that, but there are a number of striking similarities.

For one thing, just like the War on Terror, we didn’t start it. Death attacked us! There we were, peacefully going about our global capitalist business, quelling a worldwide “populist” rebellion orchestrated by Russian-backed Nazis, when Death attacked us with a coronavirus … more or less exactly the way that the terrorists attacked us in 2001.

And, just like after those terrorist attacks, the world has united and forcefully responded. No, we haven’t invaded Iraq again (well, actually, we did bomb them a little), but we have locked down almost the entire planet, virtually shut down the global economy, and are scaring the masses into a state of unprecedented mass hysteria.

Police are patrolling the streets of Europe, checking people’s “permission-to-go-outside” papers. In the U.K., soldiers are standing by to assist with “protecting possible quarantine zones,” or to “cope with the breakdown of civil society.” Israel is tapping its formerly secret collection of everyone’s mobile phone records to identify people who might be infected, and assorted “others who need to be quarantined.”

Macron (now relieved of his Gilets Jaunes problem!) is ready to “rule by decree” if necessary. California is “prepared to enact martial law.” The U.S. military is “prepared to deploy in support of potential extraordinary missions,” including “quelling civil disturbances.”

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking Congress for the power to detain people indefinitely. The British Parliament is on the brink of passing an emergency “Coronavirus Bill” that will (among other unsettling provisions) grant authorities the power to arrest and indefinitely quarantine anyone they deem a “potentially infectious person” … or, in other words, pretty much anyone they want.

As if that wasn’t dystopian enough, according to a report in Politico:

Counter-terrorism troops have been redeployed across Italy to beef up police forces throughout Italian cities. Patrol cars are now circulating in every major city in Italy with a monotone male voice warning citizens over a loudspeaker not to leave their residences or risk a ticket. ‘GO BACK INTO YOUR HOMES,’ the voice warns.

But wait, it gets even better than that. In Missouri, prosecutors have charged an idiot who licked some items at Walmart as a “terrorist.” I kid you not, a Coronavirus Terrorist. I could go on, but I think you get the picture (if you need more examples, check this Twitter thread).

The point is, the global capitalist empire (for whatever reasons, real or imagined) has turned on the MINDLESS HYSTERIA machine, and dialed it up as high as it goes. People are in full-blown headless chicken mode. No one (or hardly anyone) is thinking, or listening to dissenting opinions, or paying attention to official statistics, or common sense, or anything else that contradicts the War on Death narrative.

The British tabloids are publishing horror stories about “doctors” standing by and helplessly watching as patients slowly suffocate to death. According to such stories, not only are these “doctors” unable to treat roughly 400 patients with any of the UK’s over 8,000 ventilators, but, apparently, patients whose hearts have stopped (and who are therefore unconscious) are also now capable of “dying in agony” with “terror in their eyes.”

According to The New York Times, the Coronapocalypse has begun in Elmhurst, where the authorities have called in the refrigerator trucks to haul away the mountains of corpses, after 13 people who “had tested positive” died (of something) in the course of one day.

The rest of the corporate media are running moment-by-moment deathometer updates, apocalyptic prognostications of the millions or billions who are possibly going to die, and, of course, the latest on which celebrities have been infected and are clinging to life, or experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. Greta suspects she might have been infected! Prince Charles! Colton Underwood (whoever that is), Tom Hanks, and even Idris Elba! Just the other night, celebrated playwright Terrence McNally (who was 81, and had a history of lung cancer and COPD) was struck down in the prime of his life!

In short, the authorities have whipped the masses into an orgy of shrieking, white-eyed FEAR of this new, evil, “invisible enemy” that is coming to kill them and their families. Millions of people (now confined in their homes) have taken to the Internet to pump up the hysteria, share totally un-sourced personal accounts of the horrors their therapists’ accountants’ doctors have personally witnessed on the war’s “front lines,” and hunt down any infected persons, or potentially infected persons (or otherwise uncooperative persons) who might have gone outside for some air.

So, that’s the good news for you authoritarians! For the rest of us … yeah, not so good.

Oh, I almost forgot the bad news. The bad news is … well, the bad news is Death. The bad news is, you are going to die. I’m going to die. We are all going to die. All of us. We are going to die. We are going to die of … well, something. Cancer. A heart attack. A stroke. The flu. Diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease. Possibly a coronavirus. Maybe even this coronavirus.

In fact, a lot of us are dying right now, according to the Internet, around a hundred per minute … which, it goes without saying, is unacceptable, and a tragedy, and something we need to take drastic action to prevent at all costs. We can’t let these Russian dissension sowers, neo-Nazi accelerationists, and coronavirus-sympathizers confuse us. They want to convince us that Death is, yes, scary, and sad, but inevitable, and natural. How utterly heartless and insane is that?!

No, we need to close our minds to that nonsense. People are dying! This is not normal! Death is our enemy! We have to defeat it! We need to hunt down and neutralize Death! Root it out of its hidey hole and hang it like we did with Saddam!

I’m not kidding. There is a war on, people! GloboCap is taking the gloves off again. (You remember what happens when the gloves come off, don’t you?) So get your mind right and get with the program or get ready to face the consequences.

Relax, I’m not referring to all these tanks (2:34 in the NBC video). I’m referring to other consequences. I am not some crazy conspiracy theorist. Plus, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has assured us there’s no cause for concern:

If and when National Guard or military units are deployed to the streets of L.A., trust me, I’ll let you know.

See? Everything is perfectly fine. No one is preparing for martial law. Those tanks just returned from the Middle East and are “being sent back home to Texas.” This kind of thing happens all the time. It has nothing to do with the global lockdown.

I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely relieved … for a moment there I thought we were in trouble.

Covid-19 Global Lockdown

Let’s try a little thought experiment. Just for fun. To pass the time while we’re indefinitely locked down inside our homes, compulsively checking the Covid-19 “active cases” and “total death” count, washing our hands every twenty minutes, and attempting not to touch our faces.

Before we do, though, I want to make it clear that I believe this Covid-19 thing is real, and is probably the deadliest threat to humanity in the history of deadly threats to humanity. According to the data I’ve been seeing, it’s only a matter of days, or hours, until nearly everyone on earth is infected and is either dying in agony and alone or suffering mild, common cold-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever.

I feel that I need to state this clearly, before we do our thought experiment, because I don’t want anyone mistakenly thinking that I’m one of those probably Russian-backed Nazis who are going around saying, “it’s just the flu,” or who are spreading dangerous conspiracy theories about bio-weapons and martial law, or who are otherwise doubting or questioning the wisdom of locking down the entire world (and likely triggering a new Great Depression) on account of the discovery of some glorified bug.

Obviously, this is not just the flu. Thousands of people are dying from it. OK, sure, the flu kills many more than that, hundreds of thousands of people annually, but this Covid-19 virus is totally new, and not like any of the other millions of viruses that are going around all the time, and the experts are saying it will probably kill, or seriously sicken, or briefly inconvenience, millions or even billions of people if we don’t lock down entire countries and terrorize everyone into submission.

Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for that … this is not the time to be questioning anything the corporate media and the authorities tell us. This is a time to pull together, turn our minds off, and follow orders. OK, sure, normally, it’s good to be skeptical, but we’re in a goddamn global state of emergency! Idris Elba is infected for Chrissakes!

Sorry … I’m getting a little emotional. I’m a big-time Idris Elba fan. The point is, I’m not a Covid-denialist, or a conspiracy theorist, or one of those devious Chinese or Russian dissension-sowers. I know for a fact that this pandemic is real, and warrants whatever “emergency measures” our governments, global corporations, and intelligence agencies want to impose on us.

No, I’m not an epidemiologist, but I have a close friend who knows a guy who dated a woman who dated a doctor who personally knows another doctor who works in a hospital in Italy somewhere, and she (i.e., my friend, not the doctor in Italy) posted something on Facebook yesterday that was way too long to read completely but was a gut-wrenching account of how Covid-19 is killing Kuwaiti babies in their incubators!

Or maybe it was Italian babies. Like I said, it was too long to read.

Also, did you see the story about the baby that was born infected?! Or the stories about the people in their 30s and 40s who were more or less in perfect health (except for, you know, cancer or whatever) who died from (or with) the Covid plague?! And what about all those charts and graphs?! And those pictures of people in hazmat suits?! And those Italians singing Turandot on their balconies?! Doesn’t that just make you want to break down and cry over the sheer humanity of it all?!

No, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Covid-19 is the deadliest global pandemic humankind has ever faced, and that we have no choice but to cancel everything, confine everyone inside their home, wreck the entire global economy, force working class people even further into debt, pour trillions into the investment banks, cancel elections, censor the Internet, and otherwise implement a global police state.

But what if it wasn’t? Just hypothetically. What if this wasn’t the deadliest global pandemic humankind has ever faced? (I’m just posing the question as a thought experiment, so please don’t report me to the WHO, or the CDC, or FEMA, or whoever.) What if this new coronavirus was just another coronavirus like all the other coronaviruses that people die from (or with) all the time? What if the fact that this one is “new” didn’t really mean all that much, or possibly anything at all, because coronaviruses are always mutating, and every year there are a lot of new variants?

Relax, OK? I know this one is different, and totally unlike anything ever encountered by virologists in the history of virology. Remember, this is just a thought experiment. These are just hypothetical questions.

Here’s another hypothetical question. What if all the scary statistics we’ve been seeing (e.g., the death rates, the explosion of “cases,” etc.) weren’t unquestionable scientific facts, but rather, were, like other statistics, based on things like sample groups, and dependent on a host of factors and variables, which you kind of need to know to make sense of anything?

Say, for example, you tested everyone that died of acute respiratory failure on a given day in your Italian hospital, and you discovered that, let’s say, five of those patients had been infected with Covid-19. So you feed that number to the WHO, and they add it to the “total deaths” count, regardless of whether the folks who died had terminal cancer, or heart disease, or had also been infected with the common flu, or some other type of coronavirus. That would probably skew your “death” count, wouldn’t it?

Or, say you wanted to test for the virus to keep track of all the “active cases” and generate an infection rate, but you can’t test hundreds of millions of people, because no one has that many tests So, you test everyone who turns up sick, or thinks they’re sick and demands to be tested, or who touched someone sick who you already tested (though you’re not even sure that your test is accurate) and you come up with, let’s say, ten positive results. So you feed that number to the WHO, and they add it to the “active cases” count, regardless of the fact that everyone knows the real number is likely twenty times higher.

OK, so now you take your “active cases” number and your “total deaths” number and you do the math (keeping in mind that your “total deaths” include those cancer and heart failure people), and you end up grossly underestimating your “infection rate” and “active cases,” and grossly overestimating your “death rate” and the number of “total deaths.”

Just hypothetically, you understand. I am not suggesting this is actually happening. I certainly don’t want to get censored by Facebook (or accidentally censored by some totally innocuous technical glitch) for posting “Covid misinformation,” or tempt the Wikipedia “editors” to rush back to my Wikipedia page and label me a dangerous “conspiracy theorist” … or, you know, get myself preventatively quarantined.

It probably won’t come to that anyway, i.e., rounding up “infected persons,” “possibly infected persons,” and “disruptive” and “uncooperative persons,” and quarantining us in, like, “camps,” or wherever. All this state of emergency stuff, the suspension of our civil rights, the manipulation of facts and figures, the muzzling of dissent, the illegal surveillance, governments legislating by decree, the soldiers, the quarantines, and all the rest of it … all these measures are temporary, and are being taken for our own good, and purely out of an “abundance of caution.”

I mean, it’s not like the global capitalist empire was right in the middle of a War on Populism (a war that it has been losing up to now) and wanted to take this opportunity to crank up some disaster capitalism, terrorize the global public into a frenzy of selfish and irrational panic, and just flex its muscles to remind everybody what could happen if we all keep screwing around by voting for “populists,” tearing up Paris, leaving the European Union, and otherwise interfering with the forward march of global capitalism.

No, it certainly isn’t like that. It is an actual plague that is probably going to kill you and your entire family if you don’t do exactly what you’re told. So, forget this little thought experiment, and prepare yourself for global lockdown. It probably won’t be so bad … unless they decide they need to run the part of exercise where it goes on too long, and people get squirrelly, and start rebelling, and looting, and otherwise not cooperating, and the military is eventually forced to deploy those Urban Unrest Suppression Vehicles, and those Anti-Domestic-Terror Forces, and …

OK, I’m getting all worked up again. I’d better take my pills and get back to Facebook. Oh, and … I should probably check up on Idris! And see if Berlin has gone to “Level 3,” in which case I’ll need to find whatever online application I need to fill out in order to leave my house.

The Great Chinese Bat Flu Panic of 2020

Pray for me, my friends, because I have the flu. No, not the Chinese Bat Flu, or Pangolin Flu, or Covid-19, or Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called now … just the regular, annoying Winter flu that goes around Berlin every year during flu season.

It’s a particularly annoying flu this year. You get it, recover from it, then you get it again. All you want to do is crawl into bed, or sit around watching garbage on Netflix. When you get it a second time, and sometimes a third time, it’s kind of a low-grade version of itself, maybe because your immune system knows it … or something. I’m not sure how that works. I’m not a professional virologist or anything.

Or, I don’t know, maybe it is the Bat Flu. The more I read the corporate press, the more I’m beginning to suspect it is. My suspicion isn’t based on facts. I don’t have any of the Bat Flu symptoms. It’s just a feeling … like the feelings people had that Saddam had secret WMDs, and that Trump was a Russian intelligence asset, and that the world was going to end in the year 2012.

OK, those feelings turned out to be wrong, but this one feels like an accurate feeling, and not like just the result of being relentlessly bombarded with hysterical headlines, pictures of people in hazmat suits, and obsessively researching ever-changing, wildly-varying statistics on the Internet, which … I really need to stop doing that.

According to my latest Internet research, the Bat Flu will either subside by late April or will infect approximately 5 billion people (i.e., 60 percent of the world population). If my little Windows calculator is correct, at a death rate of 3.4 percent, that’s 157 million dead people, and at a 4 percent death rate (which I just saw somewhere), we’re talking 200 million dead people! If you consider that the 14th Century “Black Death” killed 100 to 200 million people, nearly a quarter of the world population (because there weren’t as many people back then), and if you get hysterical and try to compare them (which I’m finding it increasingly difficult not to do), this Bat Flu plague could kill 2 billion people, or maybe 6 or 7 billion people, which is almost the entire human species … anything is possible, after all!

Plus, even if I just have the flu (i.e., the regular flu, not the Chinese Bat Flu), the statistics on that are pretty scary. I don’t know the numbers here in Germany, but, according to the CDC, since 2010, in the United States, the regular old garden variety flu has resulted in the following, annually:

  • 9 million – 45 million cases
  • 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations
  • 12,000 – 61,000 deaths

When you multiply all those numbers by 10 (because it’s been 10 years since 2010), you get:

  • 90 million – 450 million cases
  • 1,400,000 – 8,100,000 hospitalizations
  • 120,000 – 610,000 deaths

That’s 450 million possible cases and over half a million deaths, and that’s just in the United States! To make it concrete, if you stood all those dead people on top of each other, head to toe, so that everyone was standing on everyone’s head, and used them as an enormous ladder, you could climb to the moon and back four times … or once or twice at the very least.

And that’s nothing compared to this Covid-19!

No, according to The Guardian, Covid-19 is “about ten times more deadly than the seasonal flu,” so that’s 610,000 deaths just this year, and if the CDC tracks it for a full 10 years, that’s pretty close to 6 million dead people, which will make it just as bad as the Holocaust (although the Holocaust only lasted four years, so I’ll have to adjust my math for that).

And, remember, that’s just in the United States, which is only 4.25 percent of the total global population. So you multiply the Holocaust by 95 percent (you can round the numbers to make this easier) and you end up with 7 billion dead people, which is nearly every last person on Earth, except for 700 million people! Which, OK, that sounds like a lot of people (i.e., the 700 million, not the 7 billion), but it’s fewer than there were in the 14th Century; i.e., before the “Black Death” plague killed everybody!

Anyway, whatever I have, or don’t have, and regardless of the fact that I’m under 70 and in fairly good health as far as I know, and notwithstanding my algebraic skills, I’m thinking it’s time to take extreme measures. I recommend you do the same.

The first thing to do to is to arm yourself and go out and load up on toilet paper. The epidemiologists are now predicting a worldwide toilet paper crisis more or less approaching the scale of the deadly Toilet Paper Crisis of 1813! This toilet paper crisis could continue for months, so you will want to purchase (or otherwise obtain) as much toilet paper as you possibly can, and then hoard it in your house or apartment, or your remotely-located toilet paper depot.

Be prepared to fight for your toilet paper. Things are getting rather ugly out there. Gangs of heavily-armed toilet paper bandits are roving through the streets of Hong Kong robbing people of their toilet paper. An Australian man was tasered by the police at the Big W store in Tamworth Shoppingworld after “becoming aggressive” over the lack of toilet paper. In California, where a state of emergency is in effect (and presumably a full-scale lock-down is imminent), shoppers have been running amok at Costco, stripping the shelves of toilet paper, Kleenex, and feminine hygiene products. New York has just declared a state of emergency (possibly toilet paper-related). Italy has locked down the region of Lombardy, although it isn’t clear exactly why, as they mostly use bidets in Italy … but that’s not really important at the moment.

Next, after you secure the toilet paper, you’ll want to load up on mineral water, hand sanitizer, those paper masks, MREs, protein bars, DVDs of the film Contagion, and other essential survival items. You will want to do this in a mindless frenzy of butt-puckering Chinese Bat Flu panic, ideally while wearing a full-face respirator, or a wearable anti-Bat Flu shield, or some sort of homemade hazmat suit. Don’t forget to bring along your favorite “modern sporting rifle” to mow down anyone who gets in your way … and anyone who might be infected, which at this point you have to assume is everyone!

Or, I don’t know, maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I just have the flu. I mean, what if this whole Corona thing is just nature doing what nature does and not the end of civilization? Look, I don’t want to sound paranoid, but I can’t help wondering whether this virus warrants all the mass hysteria that the corporate media have been pumping out at us, relentlessly, for the last two months, and the states of emergency that are being declared, and the quarantines that are going into effect, and the curfews, and banning of public gatherings, and whatever other “emergency measures” are going to be imposed in the coming weeks and months.

It all seems a little out of proportion to the actual threat we’re facing here, not to mention rather conveniently timed, in light of what’s happening around the world, politically, what with the global capitalist empire right in the thick of a War on Populism, and the American election season underway, and the protests in France, and the general mood of public discontent (or unbridled rage) with global capitalism throughout the West.

Or, I don’t know, perhaps this Bat Flu panic stems from a deeper ideological source. Maybe it has less to do with politics, and more to do with our fascistic pursuit of “perfect health” and “perfect bodies,” and our fear and hatred of ageing and dying, and our narcissistic obsession with ourselves, and our total disconnection from the cycle of life.

OK, take this with a grain of salt, because it’s probably just my fever talking, but sometimes I get this crazy notion that we human beings aren’t actually the Primary Purpose of the Entire Universe, or the Apotheosis of Creation, or whatever, and that it’s natural for some of us to get sick and die, and that every last single disease and health threat doesn’t need to be utterly eradicated, and life doesn’t need to be rendered “safe.” Because maybe sickness and death are, sure, things to be avoided whenever possible, but not at the cost of conditioning everyone to believe we are supposed to live forever, and never get sick or injured by anything, and to believe that things like sickness and death are “enemies,” like hostile aliens, or the sadistic whims of a God who hates us, or errors in the code of creation … which human beings are able to correct.

We’ve been doing a bang-up job of that so far, correcting nature’s (or God’s) mistakes. Haven’t we? I mean, look around. And we have only been at it for a few hundred years. Give us just a little more time, and we will get this whole ugly mess cleaned up, under control, and functioning smoothly if we have to lock down, quarantine, and genetically-correct every sentient creature and particle of matter in the universe to do it! What is the alternative, after all … to just let nature take its course, and let people die, like a bunch of savages?

Sorry, I think I’m getting delirious. It’s the fever. It makes me all philosophical. I’d better sign off and get back to Netflix. Good luck surviving the Chinese Bat Flu, and the collapse of Western civilization. And don’t forget to wash your hands!

Subcomandante Bloomberg

Break out the pussyhats and vuvuzelas, folks, because the neoliberal Resistance is back, and this time they’re not playing around. No more impeachments and investigations. It’s time to go mano-a-mano with Trump, and they’ve finally got just the bad hombre to do it. No, not Bernie Sanders, you commies. A battle-hardened Resistance fighter. El Caballo Pequeño! El Jefe Mínimo! Subcomandante Michael Bloomberg!

Yes, that’s right, Michael Bloomberg, multi-billionaire Republicrat oligarch, has mobilized a guerilla army of overpaid PR professionals, Wall Street sociopaths, liberal racists, and anti-outdoor-smoking fanatics, and is steamrolling toward the Democratic convention to buy a brokered nomination and save America from “Putinism.” He’s had it with you sugary-soft-drink-drinking, chain-smoking, gun-toting, Oxy-gobbling, Hitler-loving, Putinist peasants and your infatuation with Donald Trump. So he’s decided to transform the entire country into a sterile, upscale, fascist theme park where you can rent a studio for $3,000 a month and the cops keep “the darkies” in their place, like he successfully did to New York City.

Although his campaign seemed to come out of nowhere (and sort of resembles a desperate attempt to prevent a Bernie Sanders nomination), the Resistance have been planning this corporatist Tet Offensive for quite some time. Apparently, Subcomandante Bloomberg and his inner circle of sub-subcomandantes have been hiding out deep in the mountainous jungles of Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side (or in the Hamptons, or London, or in one of El Jefe’s other multi-million-dollar homes) since Trump and the Russians invaded the country, waiting for the perfect moment to start inundating the American people with television commercials and social media posts informing them of his “electability.”

Clearly, that moment has now arrived.

Bloomberg has spent over $400 million on TV, radio, and digital ads, and it isn’t even Super Tuesday yet. He bought the Democratic National Committee and had them change the rules so he could join the debates (which, based on his poor performance in Las Vegas, might not have been the most brilliant strategy). He has been buying politicians, community organizers, journalists, pundits, his opponents’ campaign staff, Instagram and Facebook influencers, and everyone else he can possibly buy to support his campaign to buy the presidency … which is totally legal, and the American way, and is our only hope of overthrowing the Putin-Nazi Occupation Government and regaining our God-given capitalist freedom!

Sure, to some folks, it looks … well, unseemly (not to mention decidedly undemocratic), this Wall Street oligarch attempting to bribe and bully his way into the White House, but, given the stakes, what choice do we have? As the corporate media and intelligence agencies have been telling us for the last three years, the country is under occupation by an evil conspiracy of Russian-backed Nazis personally controlled by Vladimir Putin! More or less any moment now, Putin is going to order Trump to nullify the U.S. Constitution, declare martial law, appoint himself Führer, and start rounding up and murdering the Jews … or investigating Hunter Biden, or the spooks who have been trying to force him out of office.

This Putin-Nazism cannot continue! Trump must be deposed, no matter the cost. As Robert Reich put it in this piece in The Guardian:

“If the only way we can get rid of the sociopathic tyrant named Trump is with an oligarch named Bloomberg, we will have to choose the oligarch.”

There you have it, folks. We’ll have to choose Bloomberg, or else his golf buddy, Literal Hitler, will destroy the fabric of democracy, or whatever.

Another op-ed in The Washington Post, It Might Be Time to Take Bloomberg Seriously, wondered, if it comes down to Bloomberg versus Bernie:

“Do you choose socialism or capitalism? An ideologue or an executive? Are you really going to ask Americans to trade one extreme for the other, or do you want to offer them a certified, electable moderate?”

Vox, in its “Case for Michael Bloomberg — Mike Bloomberg and His Billions Are What Democrats Need to Beat Trump,” observes that, sure, Bloomberg has drawbacks, like his history of racist remarks and policies, abusing women, oppressing the poor, and just generally being an arrogant little authoritarian corporatist creep, but hey, he’s apologized for all that stuff, and he’ll probably never do it again.

Plus, according to this piece in …uh, Bloomberg Opinion (which “does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bloomberg LP and its owners”), The 2020 Election Is a Choice Between Democracy and Putinism! At the end of the day, once the dust has settled:

It will come down to rule of law. In November, Americans will decide whether they will fight for the foundation of liberal democracy and democratic capitalism or whether they will accede to Putinism.

You’ll be hearing variations of this message over and over, and over again, as we approach election day in November … that is, assuming Bloomberg and the rest of the Resistance can buy, bribe, badger, and bamboozle enough Democratic voters into nominating him. First, they need to deal with Bernie Sanders and his swarm of kill-crazy commie terrorists (who rumor has it are also being remotely controlled by Vladimir Putin). To do this, all they will need to do is deny Sanders a first ballot win in Milwaukee, which shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish. Sure, a brokered convention will be ugly, but, as Robert Reich said, they’ll have to do it, or else … well, you know, end of democracy.

Yes, I’m aware that Subcomandante Bloomberg blew his first debate (prompting Twitter pundits to pronounce him DOA) and that millions of “progressive” Democrats hate him, and that the corporate media are running a lot of “Bloomberg’s Nasty Past” pieces now (in order to maintain the appearance of journalism), but, make no mistake, if he secures the nomination, they’ll be lining up to “reluctantly” endorse him, because the alternative will be Russian Hitler!

Look, it’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day ups and downs of the horse race (which is the primary purpose of the horse race, after all) and forget that we are in the middle of a global capitalist War on Populism … a war that GloboCap intends to win. Sure, they will survive another four years of Trump (or even four years of Sanders if they have to), but, at some point, in order to restore “normality,” or “democratic capitalism,” or whatever, they are probably going to need to stop dicking around and install a bona fide global capitalist oligarch in the Oval Office. They are going to need to do this in order to crush the hopes of the populist insurgency that erupted in the Spring of 2016, and led to the rise of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, the Brexit, the ongoing protests in France, the downfall of Angela Merkel, etc.

Another Obama is not going to cut it … people aren’t buying that con anymore. No, if the empire is going to reestablish control, it is going to need to take its liberal mask off, and shove a blatant corporatist oligarch like Bloomberg down the public’s throat in order to remind everyone who’s boss. It may not be Michael Bloomberg this time, but it is going to be someone like Bloomberg eventually. Someone powerful, and extremely unpleasant, who will be sold to us as the only one who can save the world from the “Nazis” and the “Russians” … which will necessitate taking some very extreme measures, like the ones we took during the War on Terror. You remember the measures we took back then, don’t you?

Or what, you think that GloboCap has been manufacturing all this mass hysteria over “Russian election interference” and “Nazi terrorism” for their own amusement? Yeah, that’s probably all it is. It’s probably not a prelude to anything.