If I Had a Mustache…

If you know your history, this Kung Flu thing is more fun than a barrel of jackbooted monkeys.  Hey, Liberals!  You know that thing you’ve been so ostentatiously, sanctimoniously worried about Donald Trump doing, ever since he got elected?  Starts with “F”?

He’s doing it.  This is that.  This exact thing right here.  And y’all are hopping mad, because he’s not doing more.

One begins to suspect y’all don’t really know what your favorite word actually means.

I’m not in the homework-assigning biz anymore (thank you, merciful Odin, for early retirement), so consider this a suggestion: The Nazi Doctors, by Robert Jay Lifton.  Yeah, the same guy who wrote Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, which is I think #3 on the College Dissident Reading List (check the archives… but later).  Lifton is himself both a doctor and a Jew, so he’s got a serious vested interest in the subject.  It’s a real eye-opener.

It’s also very long, but don’t worry, the intro is all you need.  Lifton talks about the Nazis’ “biomedical vision.”  National Socialism is full to bursting with disease rhetoric.  Hitler routinely ranted about Jews as “bacilli,” “viruses,” “infections.”  Naive people are always shocked when you point out that Germany had the fewest Jews per capita of any large state in Europe in the Weimar period.  Experienced people know this is a feature, not a bug.  What’s the point of whipping up hysteria about a hidden enemy, if everybody can see one?

Jews are germs, the Nazis constantly repeated.  They’re in our national bloodstream.  They might be dormant, but they’re always there, ready to become virulent, to kill us nastily the moment our resistance gets a little bit weak.  You can be infected — you probably are infected — and not even know it, spreading the disease to everyone you meet.

And it’s not just people.  Just as viruses can remain alive on surfaces for days, even weeks, so artworks, books, clothing styles, whatever can transmit the “Jewish virus.”  Remember the famous “Degenerate Art” exhibition?  It only makes sense as an exercise in applied epidemiology — in terms of national hygiene.

Given all that, what measures aren’t appropriate?  It’s us or them, in the same way that it’s us or coronavirus.  The fact that every “educated” person in America thinks xheyr so very very Smart for yelling “Nazi!” and “fascist!” whenever the fry guy at Mickey D’s short-dicks them, but is furious that we haven’t imposed martial law to combat the flu, is amazing.  No, really, it is.  You can find Nazi shit everywhere in America.  The History Channel used to be called “The Hitler Channel” for a reason.  People who can’t find Germany on a map have had the Nazi bogeyman beaten into their heads since elementary school…

…and not a one of them has any idea what Nazism actually is, or how it happened, or why.  That’s a feat of propaganda that must be giving Doctor Goebbels wood down in Hell.

At this point, of course, the naive person who fancies xzyrzhelf worldly will point out that only a couple hundred people have died from coronavirus here in America so far.  In fact, the global death totals look like the proverbial drop in the bucket.  Even if you assume the Chinese are lying by a factor of ten, that’s, what, 12,000 people?  In a population of over one billion?  The fact that searching for “China coronavirus deaths” sends you links to everything but the numbers is pretty revealing in itself, but whatever, here’s the global total as of today:

17,234 deaths

As far as apocalyptic plagues go, that’s some pretty weak shit.  I bet more people died in car crashes in the same period.  Hell, I bet ten times more people died in car crashes.  “I told you so!”, says the naive Smart person who fancies xzyrhelf worldly…

And trust me, when the Media finally fully cottons to the rally-’round-the-flag effect of their panic-mongering on Trump’s poll numbers, that’s exactly what they’ll start pushing.  But by then it’ll be far too late.  See above — “lowest number of Jews per capita in Europe.”  Low numbers are a feature, not a bug, of Nazi propaganda.  Again, the only way to maintain popular enthusiasm for totalitarianism is to convince the people that the enemy is always there, lurking, waiting, plotting… but very rarely actually striking.

Goebbels et al had real problems with the Jews in German communities… because they were so harmless.  So valuable, actually.  When Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi-est Nazi of them all, railed about “good Jews,” he wasn’t joking.  Everyone knows one, he said.  “Yes yes, they’re all swine, but Meyer is a really decent fellow!”  It took a massive propaganda blitz, unprecedented in world history, to convince the average German that his friends and neighbors, too, were viruses in need of eradication.

The Nazis didn’t need to spend a pfennig on propaganda to convince all the gang-raped schoolgirls of East Prussia that the Soviets were bad.  And if there really were bodies piling up in the streets — if COVID-19 really was the New Black Death — then everything the government’s currently doing would be like spitting into the ocean.

Which is the point: If it really IS “us or them,” then nothing’s off the table.  But that’s the precisely the case that has to be made.

I’ve written several times, here and in the comments at Z Man’s, that I’ve lost some friends over the Great Kung Flu Freakout.  One of the ways it happened was: I tried to calm a hysterical friend down with the tried-and-true Game tactic “agree and amplify.”  If what you’re saying is true, I told him, then what are you worried about?  All you have to do is shelter in place for a few days, and then the Army will be along to screen you and move you off to the resettlement camp.

His response, verbatim: The Army?  What the hell are you talking about?

What the hell are you talking about? I shot back.  You want a national curfew.  Mandatory testing.  Hell, a mandatory national lockdown — shelter in place until the Government says it’s ok to leave the house.  How the fuck do you think we’re gonna accomplish all that?  By asking pretty please?

He just couldn’t grok it… and that’s why we’re no longer friends.

What we’ve effectively done with this “lockdown” business is: Declare war on the common cold.  Which — see above — is basically what Hitler’s regime did.  Same rhetoric, same methods…. same results, ultimately, and if you think the Orange Fuhrer is going to be better than the other one, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.  Cards on the table: At this point I actually do hope he calls off the November elections and proclaims himself God-Emperor Donald the First, because otherwise, he’s still enough of a patriot to go through with it….  which means — elections, the American people, and the Democratic Party being what they are — we’ll sooner than later hand the keys to the National Safety Quarantine Police State to someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Better, far better, to have Donald the Second, then Barron the First, et cetera ad nauseam, than La Presidenta por Vida.

Last but certainly not least: A certain kind of college freshman has a lot of fun speculating as to whether Hitler’s regime could’ve survived “without war.”  You know it’s a freshman batting that question around, because war was baked right into the Fuhrer’s cake.  See above.  You can’t win a war on “terror,” either — by definition it’s un-possible — but that hasn’t stopped us from bombing half the fucking world for two decades straight.  How, then, are we ever going to win the war on germs without nuking somebody?  Or, if you just can’t see past Hitler, consider that the Soviets conquered half the world, and seriously destabilized the other half, in the name of “defending the revolution.”  There’s your best-case scenario, y’all — a long twilight struggle against the global hygiene monitors.

Except this time, we’re the bad guys.

 

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8 thoughts on “If I Had a Mustache…

  1. Vizzini

    Since everyplace I go on the internet is awash in Coronavirus speculation, I’m a little numb to it. Comparisons with Hitler necessarily seem overwrought, even if technically more appropriate than the usual spurious mentions.

    I’ve lived a life of doing things and building things, whether software and networks or barns and fences. I will just keep building and doing until something gets in my way. And then I will deal with it. I’m awfully good at that. I don’t panic. I don’t suffer fools. I just take necessary steps. I’m a White man.

    1. Severian Post author

      I’m with you… which is the larger, unstated meta-point: This particular Hitler comparison is dead on, historically, but absolutely nobody who throws around Hitler comparisons knows it.

      Or, Why We’re Irrevocably Fucked, Exhibit #102,301-A.

  2. Pingback: Flu & Religious Arguments – Yard Sale of the Mind

  3. contrariandutchman

    Never let a crisis go to waste, everybody is already lining up to demand that their pet project, war communism, the Fuhrerstaat, total veganism, what have you, must be implemented. Happily ignoring that this too shall pass. And yes, the bureaucrats seek more unchecked power over the hoi polloi, its what they do.

    Of course, mustache guy and his cat fanciers were fairly marginal opposition when crisis de-legitimized the rulers of their day and place. Then they got their chance to make History. -That- I think is the main leeson there.

    Circumstances matter though, Germany got mustache guy, the US got FDR and the Netherlands got … Hendrikus Colijn and rigid adherence to balanced budgets and free trade. So, what’s the analogy for the US now? or the Netherlands, surely not their monocultural, near mono-ethnic religious selves of the past.

  4. Pickle Rick

    Yeah, call out the National Guard, geniuses. Did they consider that Reservist Bubba from Goatfuck, back in the sticks, is going to put o his uniform and patrol the streets of New York or LA, protecting the banks and businesses and “good” neighborhoods of people like DeBlasio and Pelosi from feral diversity when his own wife and kids, his own community is under threat from a society on the edge of a nervous breakdown? Good luck with that. Especially if Reservist Bubba spent any time in his recent past patrolling the streets of Durka Durka Stan for no fucking reason.

  5. Publius

    I agree with you about Monarchy being preferable to dictatorship, if only for stability reasons. Dictators have to be turning the ratchet again and again. Kings are often content to sit on their thrones and look seriously bored.

    This being a Republic with a Tradition of not bowing to Kings, however, the transition won’t be nice and smooth. It took about a half dozen civil wars before the Romans finally decided to let Augustus take the wheel, and a few centuries of cognitive dissonance maintaining the illusion that the Senate mattered before sacral monarchy took hold.

    On the plus side, the slide into full-on barbarism took about five hundred years. We should be so lucky.

  6. cheekibreeki2020

    I don’t think the Army could even scrounge up enough troops for Lockdown USA even if they wanted to.

    Surging the Guard somewhere after a hurricane for a little while is one thing, cordoning off every city in America at the same time, for months, is another. The numbers required for the Bos-Wash corridor alone would probably be ridiculous.

    Same as the governors demanding amounts of resources which don’t actually exist in the real world at the moment. People watch too many movies.

    1. Severian Post author

      Agreed. But this guy was already shrieking mad that Trump hadn’t called out the National Guard nationwide, so I was being as hysterical as possible in an attempt to shock him out of it. “If it’s as bad as you say, then New York, Chicago, LA, etc. are toast. There’s no saving the large urban areas. The army will disperse to the countryside (i.e. where you are, safe in your Flyover White-opia) and do its best to round up the ragged bands of survivors. Stand fast and wait for the cavalry.”

      What’s left of the Army actually would do this in the case of Black Death 2.0, but that’s beside the point. Chicken Little was so determined to have the government do something, anything, NOW!!! that he was hyperventilating (thus increasing his chances of contracting Kung Flu, and isn’t ironic, dontcha think?).

      Crisis reveals character. This isn’t even a real crisis, and lots of people I thought were serious-minded folks have revealed themselves to be giant hysterical pussies.

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