When something like Covid19 pitches up, once it’s established that the subject is “worthy” of dominating the media authoritatively, historians and commentators flail around looking for parallels. They’re after something that will enable them to write, “Coronavirus was the 21st century’s blah-blah”. We need to return to the Mark Twain adage, “History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme”.
Is Covid19, for instance “just the latest Brexit” – ie, replete with ludicrous misrepresentation of the facts, fear-mongering hype and the triumph of knee-jerk simian Man over Homo sapiens?
The parallels are real enough, but they only reflect the learnings of the top percentile when it comes to misleading the populace about policy. I have always maintained that – perhaps even five years from now when the European situation has panned out – Brexit will be no more than a footnote.
The same cannot be said of Covid19: for it isn’t “the next” anything….it’s the first attempt to befuddle, all in one go, the overwhelming majority of what is, allegedly, the most intelligent species on the Planet.
The Trojan horse played to a very limited audience. Colonel Packenham fooled only the anal, battle-formality British soldiers in his Mississippi-to-New Orleans engagements during the 18th century War of Independence. Hitler fooled the British Establishment with his ‘Man of Peace’ drivel before 1938. The USSR persuaded perhaps 30% of West European Citizens, in the 1957-1974 period, that it had no designs on their territory.
But these are as nothing compared to the quite astonishing success of an opportunistic alliance of global élites in persuading billions of human beings that they are in mortal danger, although it is now irrefutably clear that 99.1% of them aren’t.
I continue to believe that such a coup would have been almost impossible before the emergence of 24/7 News stations and internet social media…..and completely unachievable before the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) that came with it.
A few lines on ADD.
I signed up to a new, switched-on browser yeterday morning. It was, let’s face it, pretty fast. I unwisely pressed a button titled ‘NEWS’, and then tried my best to speed-read the topics that emerged before another topic elbowed its way in.
OK, I’m old: young people can cut this kind of stuff. But what are they getting out of a heading that insists, ‘Trump salivates at death of Supreme Court legend’?
Certainly, zero analysis.
It is now my happy duty to confuse you further as to my stance on all this by suggesting that – in terms of initial propaganda and eventual outcome – without doubt the best parallel for the Covid19 caper in the 21st century is the War in Vietnam during the 20th.
The attitude “stop ’em at the 39th parallel” was almost universal in the West (and especially in the US) on the subject of Asian communist insurgency during the late fifties and early 60s. But once the visceral nature of the conflict and the repressive corruption of the Diem régime in the south became apparent, Youth in general – the biggest demographic explosion in history – became anti-war protesters, burnt their draught cards, and began the era that typified much of the 1960s – one of radical demonstrations by students.
As the body-bags piled up and the usual overconfidence of the miltary was questioned by the media, anti-war sentiment became more general. Between roughly 1966 and 1972, it was impossible to turn on the “evening news” on the TV and avoid horrifying footage of suffering among the civilian South Vietnamese. Singer Don Maclean wrote this lyric for a song on his Prime Time album at the time.
They shot him in the chest,
pass the chicken breast
the General is saying that he’s still not impressed
Ironically, over time the non-stop video film of violence created a New Normal, to the point where anger at percieved injustice was overtaken by boredom and disbelief. The official Pentagon/Washington line unravelled: the war, people felt, was unwinnable…and didn’t really matter anyway.
The point is, Vietnam was a milestone in being the first war “covered to death” by the mass televisual media, and the new comms abilities allowed its its actions and ramifications to be featured around the world in over 3 billion homes within hours.
Be in no doubt, Covid19 is a war – and it was weaponised from Day 1 as footage emerged from China of hysteria, enforced clampdown with families locked in their apartments, and people seemingly lying dead in the streets.
Further, unlike Brexit – which was a primarily local affair that baffled most people beyond Europe – this was a global pandemic that could grow in level of hype and at a speed so as to make 1970s TV and press coverage seem quaint by comparison.
The maturity of satellite technology and explosion in digital has made the media an infinitely more powerful weapon. Fifty years ago, the media phalanx was in thousands of different hands, and contained every variety of social and ideological viewpoint. Today, most of the media is in the hands of those few sociopaths with no sensivities about getting blood on them. Finally, the straitened economic fallout from the growth of the internet has in turn made the media owners more than happy to comply with State demands.
So returning to Mark Twain’s prescient rule about history rhyming rather that repeating, Vietnam and Covid19 are rhymes for sure: but the turnaround in public opinion is now much harder to repeat, because first, there is no media opposition to the State narrative; and second, an ideological mindset has grown to dominance over the last fifteen years…and this mentality is less than impressed by facts that contradict their rigid brains.
Yet another element that renders global Coronavirus “a first” is that – its cover story being one of health – it has been adopted right across the board by advertisers looking to be in tune with the New Normal. I watched three advertising breaks last Friday, and noted that out of some thirty commercials, just one (a car ad) made no reference to the virus. From Carex handwash stressing hygiene to endless banks ‘By Your Side’ to BUPA (‘Now more than Ever’) and garden equipment (‘While you’re more home-centred’), the advertising business reflects a Zietgeist…..and perhaps underlines it in a way that isn’t altogether healthy.
Thus far, just one British MSM title (the Daily Telegraph) and one French paper (France Soir) have openly expressed doubts about strategies, trials, opinions, models and “advice” given and taken.
As I posted earlier today, there is obviously a developing view in both the Conservative Party and it’s Cabinet Executive that the imperatives being dictated by soi-disant medical “scientists” are out of control to the point of being anti-social. And I have to say, I detect a growing feeling that Sweden is going to emerge as the main hero in all this farrago of bad science.
But on the other side of this tug-o’-war are some very heavy hitters armed to the teeth with spin, censorship and alarmism. By the time the inevitable financialised collapse occurs to muddy the waters still further, then, at the current rate of progress, the true nature of Covid19 won’t be known or understood by the vast majority.
This would be a very bad thing indeed, because the growing tendency of the mass of citizens to still feel they can believe what the State tells them will not have been questioned. People who can think for themselves will continue to be marginalised by the media, and smeared as “conspiranoid”. Dystopia will come to power across the world. There can be no organised Resistance to an enemy capable of shutting us all up by pressing a few buttons.
I have written recently about the start of legislative attempts to use ‘anti-internet abuse’ rationales in order to make censorship “respectable” and “justified”. The thinking 16% need a new home from which they can explode the myth of the New Normal free from the pinched goblins.
For some weeks last Spring, I tried to get people signed up to the idea of Web3 as a p2p horizontal (rather than top down) construct to keep out the censors…..and keep at least part of the internet from from the élite control freaks.
But Web3 remains dominated by the pointy-heads who told us in the 1980s that all our kids would need to learn MSDos as a computer language. If it develops, all well and good: but in the meantime, contrarian commentators must look to other alternatives….in exactly the same way that the Pilgrim Fathers looked to gigantic distance almost exactly four hundred years ago to enable them to practise their own approach to life.
Tonight, I ask everyone with any ideas at all about what the 21st century equivalent of the Mayflower voyage might be to get in touch with me at my new encrypted email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The key thing to establish (it seems to me) is a mutually funded medium independent of advertising, dodgey donation or rich sugar-daddy support.
But I remain open-minded on the subject.
In the meantime, have a pleasant Sunday evening.