Taking the above into account, I have found the level of concern elites the world over have broadcast during the birdemic crisis to be unreal. That is not to say that none of them care about the well-being of their citizens; perhap a few of them actually do. Notwithstanding, it strikes me as odd that this concern would express itself in what amounts to prison and terror tactics.
Let's be honest, the swift implementation of a fear regime has been the most common response to the birdemic virus. The ruling class and the media have essentially scared the population into total submission, which is rather troubling considering the perceived threat the birdemic virus poses and the subsequent responses to this perceived threat have both been wrong.
The fear regime has managed to grind the world to a halt instantly and has kept it in what amounts to suspended animation ever since. But even fear has its limits, which might help explain why some countries around the world are considering lifting their lockdowns, fully or partially, in the very near future. Either way, a tidal wave of unimaginable and unthinkable actions and events have transpired over the past month, events and actions with which most of us are still struggling to come to terms.
The big question on everyone's mind is what happens next? Will things return to normal as some pundits claim? Or will a new outbreak send us all scurrying back to our homes after a week or two? Or will we emerge from our homes only to face an unimaginable economic and financial cataclysm?
No one knows for sure. Despite this, and after all that has happened, I am still amazed by the things people claim to be sure about. I am not an overly pessimistic person, nor I am a paranoid, but if the lockdown and the fear regime that inspired it has taught me anything this month it's this - I now live in a world which the inconceivable has become perfectly conceivable.
I mean, who among us would have believed we would be spending most of Lent in what amounts to a state-enforced curfew and lockdown? Who among us could have guessed all major professional sports leagues would suspend their seasons for weeks on end with no plans to restart them in sight? Who could have fathomed churches around the world would be forbidden from holding services within the confines of their walls?
If I told you a month ago that in a month's time half the people you would encounter in the street or a grocery store would be wearing face masks, you would have smirked and said, "What? That will never happen!" I would have been inclined to express the same notion. Yet here we are. That will never happen has happened. And as far as I'm concerned, the success of the fear regime ensures "that will never happen" will keep happening until each day is reduced to the level of a mind-numbing surprise.
At a deep level, I feel the successful implementation of the fear regime was a massive test whose main purpose was to gauge our collective reactions to a series of inconceivable "that will never happen" events.
If the birdemic was a collective test, we failed - epically.
Despite this massive failure, most people I encounter continue to cling to "that will never happen" notions. For example, I was speaking to a neighbor the other day and we got to talking about jobs and unemployment. I expressed doubt about my part-time job in Austria. True, I teach online at the moment, but I have no idea what September may bring. After all, the university is closed. The border between Austria and Hungary is closed. The economies of both countries are set to take massive hits. Taking all this into account, there's a chance I might be let go come September, but when I told my neighbor as much he dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand, "Aw, that'll never happen," he said.
At first I thought he was just trying to comfort me, but as we continued speaking it became clear that he really believed my job would be secure in September. In all fairness, I hope he's right, and I appreciate his optimism, but his certainty about the future - especially set against the backdrop of what we have just experienced - started me thinking.
How can people who have experienced a month of prolonged Establishment-sanctioned hysteria and terror continue to have faith in the Establishment's integrity? How can they be so assured of things the Establishment will never do? How can they still believe in lines the Establishment won't cross? How can they still believe in a return to normal in a few weeks' time?
The answer? Simple. They don't see the evil unfolding before them. Bruce Charlton elaborated this point on his blog today. His insights penetrate into what fuels the "that will never happen mindset":
Indeed, most people cannot conceive that the largest, most powerful, most influential people and organisations can have evil intent - except perhaps some of the large corporations. When it comes to Western Governments, mainstream mass media, charities and NGOs, Global Establishments such as the United Nations and its World Health Organisation - people will not recognise evil intent; and no amount of evidence will ever change their minds; because they assume (metaphysically) that these organsations are necessarily well-motivated.
Well, for better or for worse, I don't fall into that category; which is why I remain perfectly open to the possibility of things "that will never happen" happening. In fact, over the past month, I have almost come to expect it.
If "that will never happen" still exists, it exists only within ourselves now - within our own thoughts, beliefs, and actions. I imagine the day will come when all of us will have the chance to show evil what "that will never happen" truly means. I pray we all possess the faith, hope, and love required to ensure whatever these "thats" end up being "will truly never happen."