The War to Control Your Life and Mind
Posted July 16, 2021
Do you have a vague memory of a time when public affairs were not so brazenly brutal and partisan, a time when the struggle for the control of resources and people was not all that mattered? I do. The idea of the common good – the good of the country and its people – was something of an animating force in most civilized places.
To be sure, it is possible that I had not looked deep enough to see the quasi-criminality at the heart of policy decisions in the past. It was certainly more hidden. These days, the mask is entirely off and it’s all become vastly worse.
Let’s consider a few issues that are currently vexing the public, tearing people apart and pitting people against each other in alarming ways.
The crisis on the Texas border is real. I’ve always been a defender of immigration based on economic considerations. Human beings are the most valuable resource. They contribute to everyone’s well being. They do not “take away jobs,” but add to them as the division of labor expands. The US did not have border controls of any serious sort until the late 19th century. In many ways, to be an open country is part of our heritage.
But the motivation for current policy chaos, which clearly includes an effort to disperse new arrivals around the country, is not about a reasonable system of inclusion and invitation. What the Biden administration is doing here is all about rigging the system in its demographic favor. They are making a reasonable bet that a plurality of the new arrivals will add to their voter rolls. And they are panicked to do this sooner rather than later to prevent what many suspect will otherwise be a complete political upheaval in 2024 and 2026.
If you doubt it, consider the Biden administration’s firm statement against Cuban immigration in a time of Cuba’s worst crisis in decades. They know from their own polling that new arrivals from the socialist utopia are filled with loathing toward socialism and communism, and this can only help Republicans. For this reason, the administration told possible expats not to leave their country. It was a cynical and deeply partisan statement.
If they are willing to go this far to beef up their voter base and tear down the opposition, is it any surprise that not everyone is entirely satisfied that the highly unusual methods of voting and counting in 2020 were completely legitimate?
In terms of demonizing and shaming the unvaccinated, things are massively out of hand. It’s no longer about public health, if it ever was. It’s not just the US. It’s all over the world. Governments are using every propaganda venue available to demand universal vaccination, attempting to bar refuseniks from public venues and imposing the stigma of masking.
The science on all of this has never been more clear. Natural immunity is real, lasting, and broad. There is no dispute about that. More than 100 million people in the US alone – even according to the CDC – have this already and hence do not need the vaccine. In addition, some people fear the side effects of the medicine and would rather take their chances with natural exposure. One might suppose that this is their right, but it is very quickly becoming not their right.
Can it really be the case that public health authorities are not reading the science? No. That’s not what is happening. Some people say that this is all about the profits for big pharma. But there’s more going on. The demographics of the unvaccinated lean heavily toward political dissidents from the Biden administration’s priorities. This is why Fauci is forever denouncing states where vaccine compliance is lower than average, states that also happened not to have voted for Biden in the last election. Forcing compliance on them then becomes a form of punishment, an act of political sadism of sorts. It’s a way of telling refuseniks who is in charge.
I’ve hated coming to this conclusion, but I see no other way to explain this.
It was all over the news media yesterday that drug overdoses in the US are up 30% year-over-year. Every story that I see in the mainstream press blamed the pandemic for this, as if people became suddenly aware of a virus and hit the pill bottle exorbitantly. It’s absurd. The extremely obvious reason for this disaster is the depression and despair that was unleashed by stay-at-home orders, school shutdowns, business closures, and the banning of all events. The ordeal was so shocking that it clearly drove people to personal abuse.
What’s remarkable is how little discussion of this reality takes place within public life. You won’t hear about it at all in the mainstream news, where the conspiracy of silence has gone on for a year and a half. There is another problem at work here too. History records that it was President Trump who imposed lockdowns first (pushed into this by Drs. Birx and Fauci), urging on March 16, 2020, all states to pause life itself for a period of 15 days. He then extended it, even twice. He only began to realize his error in May and June of that year.
The Democrats however have hatched a tale that Trump was completely disregarding the virus and did nothing, thus making him personally responsible for all deaths associated with it. They keep telling themselves this, and writing big books to make the point over and over.
Remember when people thought that all this lockdown/coronaphobia nonsense would end after the election? Then they said it would end after the inauguration. That was all very wrong. Even now, Fauci is demanding masks on kids and Andrew Cuomo is whipping up more fear about the Delta variant, and you can hardly turn on the news without hearing alarmist reports of rising cases everywhere.
Why is this? The point of lockdowns was not really about public health. It was a test of state power. How much could they get away with? How vast is the reach? How far can the public be pushed before people begin to revolt? Who are the people inclined toward non-compliance?
Critical Race Theory
The New York Times’ 1619 project of 2019 was not the beginning of something new, but the culmination of an ideological trend that has been rising in academia for decades. Forget what you see with your own eyes: every aspect of the social order is imbued with deep structural wars that pit every group against every other group. CRT is nothing but the application of this Hegelian presumption on an issue particularly raw in American culture.
The teaching of aggressively racist theory in public schools, however, has spawned a genuine grass-roots revolt and thus inspired a media backlash to smear anyone who complains about it. But they can’t get their story straight: is CRT completely legitimate and praiseworthy or is it a total myth and concoction by the “radical right wing”? The whole theoretical apparatus is deeply poisonous and designed to instill more conflict, division, suspicion, and ultimately power for the state.
On the deeper corruption of the left, I highly recommend to you Andrew Sullivan’s incredibly brilliant essay “What Happened to You? The Radicalization of the American Elite Against Liberalism.” He has seen and experienced the corruption from the inside and explains it all about as well as anyone could. In his view, the agenda here is nothing short of mind control and psychological abuse of the population.
Some smart people are sounding the alarm that current trends in inflation are going to get much worse and very quickly. Others are not so sure. They argue that the huge monetary expansion of last year did nothing but accommodate a dramatic rise in the demand for cash balance, and hence, bears less responsibility for rising prices than transitory issues of labor shortages and breakages in supply chains.
That debate will be settled in time. But there are two aspects of this that are indisputable:
- First, the Fed is not really in a position to determine outcomes. There is a long lag between monetary policy and its effects. Indexes that clock expectations are helpful but not determinative. There is no policy tool that the Fed has to easily mob up the supply that boosted in the course of 2020. It’s not really in control, despite what people say.
- Second, there is zero reason to trust the Fed that all of this upward price pressure is merely transitory. In fact, the more that chairman Powell assures us that this is true, the less reason there is to believe it. Incredibly, in Congressional testimony, he actually begged lawmakers to have “faith” in the central bank.
I’m quoting for posterity here:
“If we see that inflation is moving up or on a path to be well above our goals or the risk of sending us on a path of high inflation, then we will use our tools to guide it back down. So in the end it will be transitory. People need to have faith in the central bank that we will do that.”
He then proceeded to say that the Fed will continue its bond-buying program. Have faith in the central bank!
We’ve written about this extensively so there’s no reason for a repeat. But it’s helpful to consider how far the path to barbarism we’ve traveled in such a short period of time. The idea of the free exchange of ideas was only recently a part of the canon of public life in all civilized countries. We very quickly descended into a world of shaming, censoring, and personal destruction. The “fact checkers” are today cynically deployed as nothing but an intermediary to enable the state – the one party in control – to manage all information flows.
Of all the trends listed above, this is the one that is driving the hardest backlash. In the age of digital media, it is finally impossible to suppress and control without taking it all down (as they did briefly in Cuba last week but films still leaked out). New platforms are being born by the day and voraciously consumed by people who are not willing to believe everything that government officials and mainstream media report to them.
Our times are without precedent in the ways that the ruling class imagine they can use their powers. The lockdowns taught them about what was possible, and they were encouraged and implemented by people who targeted freedom itself as the problem. It wasn’t really about virus control. It was about the control of people and how they think.
It’s never been more difficult to be a dissident, but it’s also never been more rewarding. It’s a way of emancipation from the brutalism that has become the defining feature of public life today.
Finding spaces of beauty, solace, and freedom might be more challenging than ever before in our lives, but it has never been more important to do so. For every action, there is reaction and some new means of escape. The ghastly trends of today are slated to last for another few years at best; buckle up and get ready. At this point, the ruling class has given up all pretext of caring about the good of all.