Like everyone, I’m tired of the Wuhan Flu freakout. But I owe a debt to future historians to leave them a primary source, so I’m going to do this last brief post on it, then move on. Unless something major happens, this is my final word on the subject:
We’ve written a lot here on the West’s “crisis of legitimacy.” Well…. this is it. Let’s break down some of the big factors in play:
The first, biggest, and in some ways only factor that matters, legitimacy-wise, is cognitive dissonance. We spent a lot of time here back in the days arguing about whether or not it’s a real thing (check the archives!). I finally took the position that it’s real, but only for stuff that rises to level of actual cognition… which you just don’t see to much of anymore. Indeed, the whole point of Postmodern Leftism, when you come right down to it, is not having to think. Identity politics gives you The One Right Answer for most every situation; it’s just a matter of filling in the Social Justice Mad Lib. Any apparent conflict between One Right Answers is dealt with by ad hominem.
An example will probably help: Trannies vs. Feminists. Feminists, of course, are all in on The One Right Answer that “gender is just a social construction.” But Trannies actually believe this — if you feel you’re really a woman, then you are, your twelve-inch wang be damned. How, then, can impeccably #woke lesbians refuse to have sex with the aforesaid twelve-inch wang, since gender is just a social construction and Thundercock identifies as a lesbian? Easy: ad hominem. Oh, gender’s just a social construction all right… it’s just that any be-penised individual who “constructs” himself as a lesbian is lying for personal gain (#wokeness, as everyone knows, gives one the ability to read minds).
This isn’t a problem for the Left as a whole, much less for our entire society, because of the tiny numbers involved. Despite showing up pretty much everywhere in popular culture, gays are a small fraction of the population. Trannies are a fraction of a fraction, and since militant lesbianism is almost entirely political anyway (lesbian bed death is very real), about the only place this could possibly be a live issue is on the loonier college campuses.
But this coronavirus thing, now….
In the space of a few weeks, you’ve got the same people
- screaming that Trump’s a racist for instituting travel bans
- screaming that Trump took too long instituting travel bans
- cheering for two guys, Biden and Sanders, who have explicitly stated they won’t close the borders no matter what, even for infected “immigrants;” and
- screaming that the entire country should be in lockdown to enforce “social distancing.”
Nobody avoids the obvious like a Leftist, but this is a bridge too far. (In case you don’t want to click, that’s Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez calling you racist for not eating at Chinese restaurants on March 11, then ordering everyone to stay away from all restaurants on March 15). We can’t even give AOC the benefit of the doubt here, i.e. that she’s had a sincere change of opinion in the light of new information, because she started by calling us all racists.
It’s important to recognize this: She wasn’t taking to the airwaves to encourage us to patronize Chinese restaurants for the economy’s sake back when the true extent of the problem was unknown. Had she said that, changing her tune in four days would seem not only ok, but wise — we want our leaders to be able to adjust on the fly in the light of new information. But that wasn’t the point of her post. The point was to call us all racists, to advertise her own (and by extension, her social media followers’) superior virtue, and everybody knows it. Her followers most certainly included. They’re deeply invested in this stuff…
….and they’re wrong. And they know it. Now it’s in their forebrains, completely unavoidable.
Adios open borders, am I right? Again, it’s easy to dodge the cognitive dissonance when you’re calling other people racists. Hell, just for the sake of argument, I’m willing to stipulate that I, personally, want the borders shut because racism… but that’s not why you want the borders shut, and either way — pay attention now — the borders get shut. Call me a racist all you want in our new, blissful isolation, but close the damn borders. Right?
It’s not theoretical at this point, y’all. There’s simply no way to dodge the dissonance this time. This time, it’s personal. And again, sorry to keep repeating it but y’all have to get this, future historians: It’s an emotional thing. Our early 21st century Leftists don’t think, they feel. Thinking makes them feel bad; calling us racists makes them feel good. But now the main thing they feel is fear. Does that outweigh the goodfeelz they get from calling us racists? Time will tell. Of course there will always be the hard core who are so committed to their self-concept as open borders Goodwhites that they’ll keep on keeping on as before…..
But for lots of other folks, it may well be a sea change. I’ve been saying for a long time that today’s SJW is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer. This may well be the event that kicks the process off. All that anger and fear they feel is directed at President Trump, because that’s their default. But consider this: They can still be mad as hell at President Trump, because he didn’t do enough fast enough. I know, I know, it makes my brain hurt too, but I’ll say it as many times as I have to: These people don’t think, they feel. It makes zero sense logically, but emotionally, it makes perfect sense to criticize Trump for not doing fast enough today what you were totally opposed to him doing at all yesterday. Why isn’t there a Big Beautiful Wall? With machine gun nests and minefields and shit?
Be on the lookout for this.
Which presumes, of course, that the USA survives all this as a coherent nation. As the cooler heads around here have pointed out ad nauseam, if this thing isn’t Bubonic Plague 2.0, then every halfway civilized nation on Earth has effectively declared war on the common cold. That’s a battle we’re destined to lose, because despite what the Leftists insist, biology is actually a real thing that exists and is important. Every political response on the spectrum is in the process of being tried right now. Italy has socialized medicine; to hear the news tell it, it’s The fucking Stand over there. (I know, I know, but somehow lots of people still trust the Media. Be patient; that’s point #3). China is a brutal dictatorship; they can do whatever they want, and even Leftists are now admitting that they really screwed the pooch. If you’re going to put the foundation of your very government on the line for a battle, you damn sure better win.
We’re not gonna win against the common cold. Lots of people are going to get it, and lots of people are going to die. A million deaths is just a statistic, Stalin said, but each one is personal for everyone who loses someone. I don’t expect The Government to move heaven and earth to save my 99-year-old grandma… but I’m a dissident. Your average Liberal does expect this, and — crucially — your Basic College Girl not only expects it, she demands it. Ain’t gonna happen. Any guesses as to how that’s gonna work out, long term? (Future historians are exempted from this quiz, as y’all already know).
Finally, and always: The Media. They’ve been openly cheering for this thing to turn into Bubonic Plague 2.0 from day one, because they hate you. They hate you personally, they hate America, they hate Western civilization, and they really really really really really hate Donald Trump. All their other efforts to get him have failed, so if it takes plunging the world into a nightmarish depression by scaring everyone to death about the sniffles, then they’re willing to take one for the team. But see above: If you’re going to put the very source of your legitimacy on the line in a battle, you goddamn well better win.
What happens when the vast majority of people recover? What happens when most of the dead are old people with bad lungs? What happens when the final tallies are made, and we realize that more people died from the associated stupidity (e.g. diabetics not being able to get their insulin due to supply chain disruptions) than were killed by the Wuhan Flu? The Media is responsible for all that, and when people are feeling the very real pain of a major global economic depression, they’re going to remember it. Unless this thing really is Bubonic Plague 2.0 — that is, direct death tolls in the double digits — they’re gone.
And they know it. Predict their behavior accordingly.
Interesting times ahead, future historians. Stay tuned!