You see, nearly all the grant money my university receives from the EU is tied to climate change, which means nearly all the profs and researchers at my institution incorporate climate change into their research in some way. Most do so willingly and enthusiastically. Others make a compromise and let it slowly kill them inside. And the rest - well, it's hard to tell. My economic history colleague fell into this category for me. I never could tell if he was really onboard with the agenda or just playing along for the sake of a career.
He's younger than me, this economic history prof - mid-to-late thirties at most - and in my collaborations with him, I have found him to be a respectful and amicable fellow. We stopped to chat after we met just a short distance from the campus. It didn't take long for the birdemic shutdowns and cancellations to come up. I opined my displeasure with the whole situation, but generally kept my responses open and vague.
"I just don't get it," I told the prof. "I mean, these are extremely drastic measures to take for something like this. The way everyone is responding, you would think the virus is a million times more dangerous than it actually is."
"Yeah, I agree," the prof responded matter-of-factly. "This isn't a dangerous situation at all, yet they've shut down the world. It infuriates me to no end. If they can shut down the world for this stupidity, it means they could have shut down the world much sooner to fight the only real danger we're facing - climate change!"
I pretended to notice something out of the corner of my eye and looked away for a second. I had to. I just couldn't keep looking at him. I just couldn't.
"But they haven't. Not for climate change anyway," he continued sadly. "Their excuse? It would have hurt the economy. But they're more than willing to shut down the economy now! And for what? To save a few thousand people? Climate change is still there! That affects everyone. I hope they remember that once this virus disappears. What they're doing now is right, but it's for all the wrong reasons."
I nodded my head, muttered something about never having thought of that before, and made an excuse to end the conversation. I offered my hand to the prof in parting. He hesitated and looked at my outstretched hand for a second. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was thinking about germs. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally indulged me with a limp handshake. As I turned to leave, I pictured him rummaging through his backpack for hand sanitizer after I was out of his view.
I pondered his words as I turned the corner. "The right thing for the wrong reason."
People have a way of revealing themselves during a crisis. They really do.
Let's face it, many people not only desire totalitarianism - they positively crave it. The whole episode got me thinking about how we really are at 'the point' now.
Our civilization has toppled over the edge. They'll be no return to anything at the collective level. Something has definitely ended - something else has begun.
In my mind, the world is now officially an open-air concentration camp. The only changes we'll notice from here on in is an increasing sense of physical constriction and suffocation as the Establishment tightens the boundaries it has constructed around us through what will likely become a never-ending cascade of crises that can only be ended by doing the 'right' things.
Our only moral imperative in such a world will be to engage in all the 'wrong' things for the right reasons.
And these 'wrong' things will have to be primarily spiritual in nature.