The Real Crisis

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!


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11 thoughts on “The Real Crisis

  1. Pingback: Miscellany – Zoopraxiscope

  2. ryan

    The stupidity creep is what scares me. OK cancel the rodeo, well all the rodeo was to me was extra traffic on the drive home. Now we’re cancelling all basketball games? Seriously y’all, it’s a flu virus. Wait bars and restaurants all have to close? What’s next, we all have to carry around mangoes?

  3. Frip

    Great post.

    First paragraph was so unnessessary though. The Great Freakout is what’s happening and we want your takes on it. You don’t get to boycott it…just cuz. What? you’re gonna do Severian deep dives on Arron Burr for the next week?

    So funny that Lesbian Bed Death is a thing. It’s so believable when you think about most true lesbians. They’re renowned for their lack of imagination. Or less kindly, their utter dullness. Gay men used to notice this back when “the difference between” type articles and conversations were allowed.

    It makes sense they lose interest in sex because a large part of liking the the act and idea of sex is liking the idea of mystery and the forbidden. Being “naughty”. Prog Lesbians have “anything goes” minds. To them, sex, even weird sex is no different than changing a light bulb. They’re the opposite of the sheltered Catholic girls of lore, who had wild and dark ideas about what it must be like.

    Sev: “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.” Yep. This is why I don’t see that Osterholm expert on Rogan as being a scare-monger. The first few minutes of the interview he’s really just stating the fact of it. Joe and listeners were kinda hoping he’d throw in a bit of silver lining, or remedy. But he didn’t. Pretty much, “it’s not gonna be pretty, get used to it.”

    The dude did warn us about it years ago, so he’s got the cred. All who took the time to write books and documentaries of warning years ago deserve our respect. A lot more respectable than all the pols, pundits and experts accusatorially venting on us now. Why didn’t the vent on us like this 3, 4, 5 years ago?

    1. Severian Post author

      What? you’re gonna do Severian deep dives on Arron Burr for the next week?

      Something like that, yeah. Look: It either will be the end of the world, or it won’t. At this point, all rational precautions have been taken, along with a shitload of batshit insane “precautions.” In any case, IF all this was necessary, the time to do it was back in January… you know, when Trump was too busy having to defend himself in a ridiculous kangaroo court to really focus on epidemiology.

      This is why I don’t see that Osterholm expert on Rogan as being a scare-monger.

      Don’t get me wrong: this is the flu. Lots of people get the flu every year, and lots of people die from it. If it weren’t for the carefully orchestrated, pre-planned 24/7 Media freakout — i.e. if a Democrat were president — we’d get at most a few stories about how there’s a nastier flu than normal going around, hey whaddaya know, let’s see what’s new in the Netflix queue.

      The point I’m trying to stress is: At this point, Wuhan Flu better goddamn well be the New and Improved Bubonic Plague, because that’s the only thing that would justify all this. If it’s not — if it’s even just a way-worse-than-normal flu — then we’ve just cratered the world economy over the sniffles. There’s no coming back from that.

      You want to know how today’s SJW turns into tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer? This is it. All the rage currently targeted at Trump for Not Doing Enough will transform, overnight, into rage against the Media and the government scaremongers for Doing Way Too Much. “Oh, so we had to stay in total lockdown in our houses for two weeks, but all the bums on the street were free to wander around and shoot up wherever they please?” I promise you, folks in San Francisco will be asking themselves that. “We had to call out the army to enforce the curfew on law abiding citizens, but ghetto bangers and illegals got to do whatever they want,” says everyone everywhere, USA and Europe. Ground zero in Europe was Parma, Italy, a city of 100,000…. half of which are, somehow, Mainland Chinese. How and why?

      In other words: IF it’s not Bubonic 2.0, then all the keyboard commandos in Our Thing are very likely to get everything they’ve been asking for. Please tell me how that works out, and don’t forget I told ya so.

      1. ryan

        Sev I just cannot share your optimism. Old book, When Faith Fails, the aliens never showed up to rescue the seekers cult from the tsunami, so their leader told them their holiness had saved them from the calamity. Everyone in the cult went a proselytizin with even greater zeal.

  4. WOPR

    Lesbian Bed Death doesn’t take a study to figure out. It’s two women. Except in rare instances, women aren’t as sexually driven as men. On the side, two homosexual males, it’s two men. Really, this isn’t rocket science.

    I’ve noticed a lot of the panic over this is driven by the Silents and Boomers. Meanwhile, Millennials and Zoomers are partying. Being Gen-X, I’m more in the “Why not lockdown the old people and simply ride this out?” Plus, how about we start shipping a lot of Chinese people home. Personally, I’m to the point that once you become a citizen, you don’t get to go back to the home country except once every 10 years.

    Anyways, I’m starting to agree there is going to be a reckoning for this. Boomers and Silents are looking like pathetic, panic stricken whiners. Sailer can’t stop talking about it. Reynolds and the Insty gang are in “faster please” hyperdrive. Russ Tamblyn, actor who is 85, has a tweet about all the great things he has done, and how everyone needs to stay home so he can see 90. It’s really beginning to irritate me.

    1. Severian Post author

      My parents are Boomers. I’m scared for them. But I’m not demanding that the world economy shut down for them, because they’re sensible people who take reasonable precautions in flu season.

      I’ve never understood the phrase “OK, Boomer” on a visceral level… until now.

      1. WOPR

        Mine are part of the Silents. I’m just having them stay home until this dies down. I hope your parents are doing well.

  5. Frip

    Severian, I agree with all your stuff on this, except for your notion that they’ll be a reckoning against our Prog elites if this ends up not nearly as bad as they’re saying. I disagree, because as always, 1) they control the narratives. 2) there’s so many moving parts, alibis and excuses to make afterwards.

    Unless something in life is crystal clear cut, the populous will have a very vague idea of how to make sense of it. (i.e. who’s to blame?)

    I’d love if your day of reckoning thing came true after all this. I just don’ tsee it. (Unless we get real economic collapse, as you mention). But the middle class and elites won’t let it come to that.)

    WOPR, ok boomer, on the women thing. Kidding.

    But seriously, there’s more to it than women-being-women. (boomy)

  6. Frip

    I’m going to a big Irish Pub now to celebrate St. Patricks. It’s weird. Here in SoCal we’re supposed to be the nations wimps. But my friends back East say their leaders shut down all their bars.

    WOPR, agree, the accelerationists are annoying at times like this.

    Poeple have always loved saying “hey, when it’s your time, it’s your time.” I knew they never really believed this. If they did they wouldn’t allow the current shutdown. Would be great if all the president had to offer the nation was a shoulder shrug and say, “hey, when it’s your time, it’s your time, amirite?”

  7. ganderson

    I’m a boomer. I’m reasonably healthy (a bit of asthma, could stand to drop a few pounds, but otherwise good). I’m in semi-lockdown, and although I’ve been a good boy and done what I am supposed to do, but I remain skeptical. What puzzles me is that people I respect and who are smarter than me (mainly Cochran, Jim Miller, and Sailer) seem to think this IS a huge deal; while others I respect- the people on this blog, Z Man, Howie Carr, among others, are less convinced that this is the end of the world, and not worth crashing the economy over. So I don’t know what to think.
    As for Sev’s observation about “feelz” and cognitive dissonance; they are right on. I live among the lefties (northeast college town) and make no mistake, people like AOC hate us, (But are willing to make exceptions for individuals- I often get variations on, “ how can a nice guy like you have voted for bad orange man”) . To be sure though, these folks are true believers- they believe in transgenderism, and open borders and climate change and on and on. On the other hand there are places my wife and I are not welcome because of my beliefs.
    I see no reconciling the two sides of our modern debate. It won’t be great if Trump is re-elected, but imagine someone like AOC in a position of real power. I fear for the world we’re leaving for my three boys.

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