It has now been one year since governments unleashed the Covid19 terror in the western and many other parts of the world. It is still not fully clear what exactly led to this disaster. And it is a disaster. In fact, it looks more and more like this could very well turn out to be a fatal blow to western civilisation. All the important conventions and taboos that made our civilisation great have been violated. And once violated it is very difficult to go back.
Pretty much all of the fundamental human rights that were acclaimed over centuries have been taken out. We live in a true police state. Anyone can now be looked up and striped of their livelihood at the will of the government, without any possibility of a day in court. The courts are not working, journalism seems almost dead and there is no opposition. In other words, all our safeguarding institutions that were supposed to protect us from a tyrannical government have collapsed. Slowly people are starting to realise this. Too many, however, still live in the fantasy that soon everything will be back to normal. That, I am afraid, won’t happen.
There is hope that we can reclaim at least some of our liberties. For some places it could even turn out to be an opportunity in the long run, if they can manage to use this crisis to get rid of corrupt systems. But it is much more difficult to rebuild than to destroy and it will be a huge challenge. It is, therefore, unlikely that most places will be able to go back to a liberal system. The outlook for the UK in particular looks pretty grim as I will explain.
Given how destructive this terror campaign has been, many believe that it was all coordinated by our enemies. I am, however, not entirely convinced that we are the victim of a grand conspiracy. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely conspiratorial elements in all of this. Some people, like Christian Drosten, the person who came up with the fraudulent Covid PCR test, will hopefully see their day in court. But ultimately, our civilisation has probably reached the point where it is internally too weak to defend itself. The signs where there for a long time. One way or another, what we are witnessing was therefore probably inevitable.
Nevertheless, what has happened in the last year has definitely been a worst case outcome. How did it come to that? I will try to make an attempt to explain. At the end of 2019, China reported to have found a new virus in Wuhan. This virus was apparently a very dangerous, new killer. Scary pictures flooded around the world of people dropping dead in the streets. We saw how the Chinese authorities were desperately trying to prevent the spread of the disease. The military was in the streets and people were welded into their homes. It looked very dramatic.
In January 2020 I bumped into someone at an intellectual meeting in London who had a lot of experience with China. His take on this was, it is all propaganda. The Chinese government is trying to keep the country from falling apart and they are using a flu virus to show their population who is boss.
I thought that was plausible. In particular it seemed completely absurd to deal with a virus problem in this extreme way. But I must admit, I was a bit worried. Viruses are real, and maybe this was a bad one. I didn’t realise it back then, but what was clearly in favour of the fake killer virus theory was that the virus apparently never made it out of Wuhan. That is of course impossible. Even in January, the virus already made it out into many parts in the world, but it never made it to other parts of China? The chances of that being true is pretty much zero. The virus almost certainly spread all over China. Nevertheless, China would soon declare victory over the virus. How did they achieve that? They just stopped testing for it and the problem went away.
Whether it was fake or not, it needed to be taken seriously. Our governments at the time did the right thing. Back then, they followed the science, an approach they would soon abandon. The official narrative was, everything is not as bad as it looks, so everyone should stay calm. Follow normal hygienic rules, like washing your hands, and live your life normally.
That was, of course, the plan of how to deal with such a pandemic. It was clear that respiratory viruses cannot be contained effectively and that, ultimately, herd immunity needs to be reached in order to defeat the virus. Even isolating the sick is a hopeless strategy when dealing with such an infectious virus. The isolation strategy only works with much less infectious diseases which do not have an infectious incubation time. The plan to deal with a respiratory virus pandemic was herd immunity. That plan was backed by decades of scientific research and at first governments followed it.
The fact that they didn’t panic from the beginning, btw, is the best argument against a grand conspiracy. If they wanted panic, why didn’t they panic from the start? But then maybe it was others who planned the conspiracy, who knows, time will tell. The debate about that is a bit of a distraction. The real problem is the willing cooperation of society with the authoritarian policies, and the failure of our institutions to safeguard us. Without that, non of this disaster would have happened, conspiracy or not.
While the authorities tried to calm everyone down, data was collected about how dangerous this virus really was. By mid March, enough data was available to make a first confident assessment. It looked like we really were witnessing propaganda coming out of China. While real, the virus was at least not much more dangerous than its many corona virus cousins that are part of every flu wave every winter.
It was then that the world’s leading experts in epidemiology, people like John Ioannidis from Stanford University and many more, came out trying to inform the public that everything was fine, the risk was manageable. These were real scientists, interested in truth and not corrupted by any political agenda. As a consequence, on March 19th 2020, the UK government took Covid19 off the list of highly consequential infectious diseases. And believe it or not, that is still the official classification of the virus in this country till this day.
But it was too late. No one took notice. Four days after Covid19 was downgraded to a not very dangerous virus, Boris Johnson locked the country down. On March 22rd, he went in front of a camera and ordered everyone under house arrest from the next day. There was no debate, let alone a vote, in parliament. Even though he had no authority to do this, he just did it. The vote was formally rushed through later, like in any other authoritarian system playing democracy.
Why did Johnson think he could simply trash the English constitution? He probably correctly thought that he had most people in the country behind him. Fact is, he got away with it. No one came to the defence of the traditional liberal order. The police did not refuse the orders; the courts did not intervene either. Forget about critical voices in the media. Not even the opposition parties said a word about making Johnson an almost absolute dictator. It was almost like they had joined the Tory party. Or maybe more accurately, the Tory party had joined Labour.
Since no one came to the rescue, the liberal order died in Britain on that fateful Monday the 23rd March 2020. Everyone suddenly agreed that the totalitarian Chinese system was superior to our liberal society. Everyone agreed that the genius Xi Jingping had single-handedly nullified our scientific knowledge about how to deal with a virus outbreak like this. Similar scenes happened in almost every other liberal western democracy in the same weeks. Very few, like Sweden, stuck to the real science.
Again, how did it come to that? A huge factor was that we saw some nasty pictures out of northern Italy. In Bergamo the virus found a perfect breeding ground. The region has one of the oldest population in Europe. It also has one of the highest air population. In addition to that, the Italian health care system is at its limits even in a good year. Hospitals are notoriously overcrowded, and Italy has one of the highest rates of nosocomial infections in Europe. Italian hospitals are truly dangerous places to visit. There might have been other factors.
All of this lead to a significant death count. We are not talking about numbers that are very significantly above normal, but still, many people died. And then the Italian government did something very stupid. For whatever reason, it though it wise to break pandemic protocol and copy the totally new and unscientific Chinese lockdown approach. Something that certainly did not help. As if that was not enough, it then ordered the dead to be cremated. Italy, however, does not usually cremate its dead. As a consequence, there is not much capacity to burn corpses. Unable to burn them on the one hand, and to bury them on the other, corpses where piling up.
Next, the army was ordered to deal with some of the dead. Why the army? That is not clear. To be honest, this smells a lot like wanting to fabricate pictures for propaganda purposes. We know from a number of leaked documents that many governments had an agenda to deliberately spread fear in order to get people to comply. Whatever the reason, the fact is that the pictures of the army transporting coffins scared the living bejesus out of many people around the world. And of course this also had a severe affect on governments. No one wanted to be responsible for similar pictures under their rule in their country.
The unfortunate logic of politics is that the government is rarely blamed for doing something as opposed to nothing. That is true even when the actions taken are causing more damage than doing nothing. And that is how the liberal order was overthrown.
Even though it is never a good idea to copy an Italian, let alone a Chinese government, lockdowns, over night, became the new gold standard of dealing with a virus outbreak. Once that line had been crossed, there was no going back. There famously is no such thing as a temporary government program. Unless our society comes to the agreement that lockdowns were one of the biggest policy mistakes in history, there is a real danger that this evil policy will now become a standard toolkit for governments to deal with problems.
And we are a long way from such an agreement. Many are already calling for lockdowns to safe the planet from climate change, and we just saw a Green politician casually proposing a general 6pm curfew for men to make women safer. If it only saves one life as the dumb downed masses like to parrot. We now have to live with the constant threat that our governments can lock us up for whatever reason at short notice. So don’t make plans until we have reached an agreement again that lockdowns are not an acceptable political tool.
The state has an inherent problem realising that it has made a mistake. It has an even bigger problem admitting to such mistakes. Once the government took up the task to control respiratory viruses it had to deliver, no matter what the costs.
Of course, it never had a chance to deliver, but that did not keep it from trying. The costs were enormous, with no end in sight yet. There is no evidence that it has saved a single person from the virus. Many people, however, have lost and will lose their lives for reasons like not getting treatment for their non-Covid disease, depression or starvation. In addition, it could very well be that we are systematically breeding more dangerous viruses, as the virus needs to become more aggressive to survive in a socially distanced environment. The victims of these policies worldwide will be in the millions. The middle class has been almost wiped out, the social fabric has been damaged and our liberal institutions are no more. It is an epic disaster. And it is a disaster that did not come from the virus itself, but from our own irrational response to it.
How likely is it that we can rebuild a liberal society? It will be difficult. Mostly because the anti-liberty, health and safety mindset that allowed lockdowns to happen, is now deeply ingrained in our societies. Some places will be more successful than others. In the US there are a number of states which have finally admitted the terrible mistake and have gone back to normal. But they are not out of the woods yet, as they too will have to deal with the economic fallouts. This will likely result in more central planning. The US, however, has one advantage – they never had the socialist compensation programs on the scale we saw in Europe. The damage therefore is less and the pressure much bigger to end the folly.
Europe thought it could replace the wealth creation of an economy by simply handing out printed money. What a terrible illusion. Especially the UK has handed out an enormous amount of such funny money. As always with government handouts, it is difficult to end them once they have started. The furlough scheme has just been prolonged until the end of September, quite a few month after the officially set end date of the pandemic in June. But who would believe the UK government on such an end date? Pretty much everything they have said in this pandemic so far at some point turned out to be a lie.
It is certain that the money distribution will not end in September. The government is trapped. The moment they end the support, we will see a great depression like collapse of the economy, with an unemployment rate way into double digits. Since no government who wants to be re-elected can take the responsibility for that, there is almost no chance of the constant flow of money ending. Even if the pandemic is ended, which can only happen if a large enough amount of the population puts the government under real pressure to do so, they will then just call it something else. Universal basic income is a good guess. The regime will continue to try to push the day of reckoning as far back as they can, preferably to a later government. But it is questionable how far they can kick the can further down the road at this point.
That, in the end, means that we have made a successful transition from a market economy to a centrally planned one. And all that under a Tory government lead by fake “libertarian” Boris Johnson. It will end like all the other centrally planned economies, which is to say in a total collapse. Once that has caused enough suffering, and enough people will start asking what happened, then, maybe, we can go back to a more free society. But it will be difficult.