Second Coronavirus Page
Thoughts of Scientist Sheppard, end of March 2020
Minor amendments, May 2020
CDC: ‘Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets.’
Current events have brought into sharp relief opposing views on what governments should do, with many fearing draconian measures and severe encroachments on civil liberties. These views seemingly transcend political divides, with surprise being expressed when apparently right-leaning and libertarian-types are suddenly advocating massive impositions on personal freedom by the State (or States, in the case of the US).
To be clear, I am firmly in the “less government is better” school, because in general, whenever government interferes it makes things worse. Cost/benefit pricing is distorted and inevitably all sorts of unintended consequences ensue. Probably the only economic system which is viable in the long term is one which accords with the Austrian school.
However there are some essentials of civilisation for which government is essential. Protection of the environment (the Commons) is one; perhaps the state ownership of natural monopolies like the supply of water, when having companies competing side by side is so inefficient as to be impractical. Emergency services and, in a racially homogenous and socially cohesive society, it is feasible to have fall-back welfare benefits such as health care.
All these are secondary however, to the primary function of government, national security. Indeed the whole justification for national government’s existence is this. Practically everything else can be devolved to state or county. Self-governing principalities, states or counties are capable of imposing local taxes and arranging local services. They can (and do) have laws enforced by their own police, according to the particular customs and habits of the region.
Suppose though, that an autonomous State of Louisiana relied on its own army. Then France decided it wanted Louisiana back, and in the Napoleonic tradition, amassed a national army for the adventure. Then Louisiana’s defence forces would be outnumbered ten or twenty to one, and France would prevail. This is what used to happen in olden times.
So the prime function of national government is national security, because this is the only function that cannot be devolved to regional authorities.
Governmental responses to the Covid-19 crisis have been inept. In Britain, the government has wasted our greatest asset, that we are an island (actually several). International passenger flights were leaving Wuhan even when that city was under quarantine from the rest of China.* These are instances when decisive action was urgently required, yet it was unforthcoming.
However, the virus is within the gates and we are where we are. Now that governments are taking the situation seriously, we should allow the authorities to perform their primary role. It is true that many functions could be performed locally (e.g. local quarantines), but power has been so centralised in many cases that the infrastructure for this does not exist. Concerns that temporary, emergency powers may become permanent may be legitimate, but we should allow government to perform what is, as detailed above, its proper role.
It is not surprising that politicians and celebrities are among the first to be infected, because they spend so much time in ‘grip and grins’ and talking-shops. In the longer term, those paranoid people who want permanent State control of everything need to be removed from power and influence. Our countries are being subverted by Zionists and they will never be satisfied: that is their nature. Western societies have become more Jewish than Gentile and the European peoples need to regain control of their lands. Many lessons will be learned from the forthcoming upheavals and hopefully this will be one of them.
A competent government would be ensuring that face masks and gloves are everywhere in abundance. Until then, it is not worth risking our health for the great god GDP.
Several people, such as Ramzpaul and Bishop Donald Sanborn, argue that Covid-19 mortality is actually quite low, and that greater damage will be done by over-reacting to it with lockdowns and so forth. They say that shutting down the economy will entail more casualties. In response, the following is to be considered:
1. We have become soft and spoiled. People’s tolerance for discomfort and adversity has fallen dramatically. For example, during the world wars, tens of thousands would die in a day. Now just a few die in some conflict and everyone’s in uproar. The days when a couple could have six kids and lose two or three to sickness are long past. Plus, there is a big difference (in terms of treatment availability and psychological effect) on a thousand victims of flu over a winter and a thousand Covid-19 patients needing urgent hospital care over three days, in a first wave of serious disease.
2. The virus is new. Its effects are unknown. An Italian doctor said that children appear immune but become efficient spreaders. Symptoms could develop later in life. We just don’t know. This isn’t a new type of screen or electric battery which has come to market so fast no-one really knows how long it will last. There is a non-zero risk of long-term damage. I strongly suspect that CoV-2 has come out of a lab (Chinese scientists have admitted the possibility) in which case the unknowns multiply. People who become very sick but pull through can end up with lung damage. All the virus has to do is reach some affine tissue or site where it can hide or establish latency to become permanent, a possible locus being the gonads. Males are most at risk.
My impression – and it’s just an impression, so I could easily be wrong – is that when the people in Wuhan appreciated how horrible the disease can be, they were not so much locked down as stayed in and refused to come out. The Chinese are tougher than us now and more collectivist-minded, with an authoritarian government which I suspect has forced or otherwise coerced many back to work. Great efforts were made to isolate areas in China and I don’t think it’s completely over there. Similar impressions have been related in a US context.
3. The fiat money system is well overdue for implosion. If it wasn’t this virus then shortly something else would cause the financial system to crash, which it is currently doing. It was a bubble, and the virus is just the pin. It so happens that the pin is not just any old pin, this one was solid gold, with a great big ruby-encrusted handle, but the bubble would have been burst by some pin, eventually.
The financiers are using the situation as an excuse to plunder more wealth (bail-outs) and communist politicians are using it to further their agenda (State-dependence and control). Many are hoping that everything will return to “stock market normal” but that’s not going to happen. The can has been kicked down the road for ages and the reality now is, they’ve run out of road. With gimmicks such as just-in-time delivery and stock buy-backs, the big corporations have over years stripped redundancy out of every link in the chain to maximize profit. There is neither capacity nor capital to withstand a systemic shock. Only massive amounts of debt.
For myself, I’ve been wishing for an end to this rotten, hollowed-out economy. Specifically, an end to financialization and what I call ‘State vandalism.’ Let’s call financialization what it really is – usury, making money from money. As for State vandalism, it’s all around, from the destruction of old buildings and pleasant vistas for hare-brained “improvements” to the importation of hordes of unassimilables subsidised with mythic money.
Maybe this abrupt confrontation with reality will spark a return to basic values of health and community instead of mercantilism and moral grandstanding. For some regions, in the short term at least, fears of CoV-2 may be relieved – local air quality and population density are likely to be significant factors – but with viruses, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is doubly true when it may have come out of a laboratory. A competent government would be ensuring that face masks and gloves are everywhere in abundance. Until then, it is not worth risking our health for the great god GDP.
After healthcare centres, supermarkets are major sites of infection and I salute the dedication of the workers in them.
* China’s actions might be an interesting starting point for conspiracy theorists. One could speculate that the virus was accidentally released from a Wuhan lab, or otherwise came into being, and the Chinese government, realising their own Ponzi economy was doomed, then used it as a biological weapon to level the field. This scenario is looking increasingly plausible.