What is most startling in the present Covid-19 circumstances is the massive public accommodation to the onset of the coronavirus and the draconian measures deployed to combat it. Everywhere we look we see crowds streaming by wearing utterly useless masks, some with equally useless plastic visors over their masks. (Interestingly, domestic masking has yet to be scientifically approved by the FDA.)
Obviously, I am not referring to those who must wear masks under legal compulsion: to shop, to visit the doctor’s office, or simply to keep their jobs. They are the reluctant—and sometimes vocal—minority who know that masks contribute to hypoxia, which leads to immune deficiency; inhibit normal, intelligible conversation; eliminate facial expressions that serve as semantic cues in verbal exchanges; and extinguish basic signs and elements of human personality. Aside from the medical N-95, masks have zero preventive value.
Masks, however, are only the cutaneous surface of widespread supine compliance with authority. What is no less distressing is that the majority of people are gratefully accepting of the supposed deterrent efficacy of a lockdown strategy that has caused enormous suffering and destroyed the economy of nations. It has also been responsible for a vast number of “excess deaths.” Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grudgingly admits there have been nearly 600,000 excess deaths due to “changed mortality patterns”—i.e., untreated medical conditions, suicides of despair, and “other causes.” Masks and lockdowns caucus together, doing irreparable harm.
We give up.
Even the president of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, in his COVID-19: The Great Reset described COVID as not an existential threat and “one of the least deadly pandemics the world has experienced in the last 2000 years.” Of course, this is not to say that the situation is not serious; even a papaya can test positive for the virus. (I have heard that said papaya has quickly recovered and is doing well.)
But common sense suggests that all a lockdown does is lead to another lockdown ad perpetuum, since the locked-down do not build up immunity to the virus but continue to harbor it, and open the door for the continued production of mutant strains. In the words of the W.H.O., “As lockdowns become more prevalent, family spread will become more common.”
There can be littler doubt that something even more sinister is going on here. Lee Smith points out in a brilliant essay titled Thirty Tyrants that lockdowns have never been used before as public health measures because they are actually instruments of political repression. They do not prevent contagion but allow for civic demoralization and political control of fearful populations.
As Schwab has written in his various books, the “pandemic” furnishes an excellent opportunity for a Great Reset envisioning a pliable and submissive population under the authority of a global techno-oligarchy. It should give us pause that in his recent book, Stakeholder Capitalism, Schwab praises Communist China as a shining example of state-controlled capitalism, which is really another name for fascism.
This serves as a model for the political future. The process is already in operation in the form of United Nations Agenda 2030. It is called “sustainable development,” which it manifestly is not. This should be obvious to any thinking person. Yet the question rarely arises, while masks have now become designer-wear and lockdowns proliferate like The Fast and the Furious film sequels.
Many “ordinary people,” writes former police officer Jack Dunphy, have “for nearly a year… been conditioned to submit.” But a combination of anecdotal and hard statistical evidence would strongly suggest that voluntary and even enthusiastic compliance is a far more significant factor. A recent IPSOS Reid poll reports that 93 percent of Canadians “say they are doing their best to abide by public health recommendations regarding Covid-19,” and that more Canadians “are wearing a protective mask than was the case just a few months ago.”
Our way or the highway.
Americans seem only marginally less passive and deferential than Canadians. According to the Tampa Bay Times, “two-thirds of American adults support mask mandates [and] just over half support lockdowns of nonessential businesses.”
Such people are unaware of the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by more than 54,000 independent public health scientists and medical practitioners, proposing the proper way of treating the pandemic and balancing “the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity.” This would allow “those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.” It concludes:
Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures…should be practiced by everyone…Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume…while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.” Reports from highly respectable sources such as this or the CDC—and innumerable others—are easily found by any inquisitive mind interested in data and evidence.
The Declaration makes many sensible recommendations, which have been piously attacked by “authorities” who are vested in the perpetuation of punitive measures. Such is to be expected of our dictatorial elites, who have their own interests at heart, but one might have hoped for insight and pushback on the part of an exploited public. After all, studies like Great Barrington and indeed many other similar documents are readily accessible on the Net. And a simple perusal or mere scan of any of Schwab’s very affordable books would have given the political game away.
The strategies of manipulation adopted by our Schwabian elites and techno oligopolies can work only among populations that have experienced a watered-down and indoctrination-driven education system, that have been influenced by the postmodern and progressivist campaign—now called “wokeism”—against the usages, traditions and core moral principles of Judeo-Christian civilization, that are no longer accustomed to reading—the army of the unlettered is vast, laments the intellectually formidable Theodore Dalrymple— and that have been materially distracted by a digital culture resulting in dwindling attention spans and intellectual deficits. In this latter regard, Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains tells a distressingly familiar story.
Which is another way of saying that the lockdown from which we are suffering is not only physical, it is also cognitive and cerebral, and antedates the virus by decades, if not longer. It is the prior lockdown of the mind that ensures our passive and obedient assent to the lockdown of the body. It is now well known that IQ scores in the West are in worrisome decline. The decay of IQ was studied systematically in a 2006 landmark paper by Richard Lynn and John Harvey, detailing country by country a period of both declining genotypic (genetic source) and phenotypic (societal metrics) intelligence in the modern world. Innumerable studies have since followed confirming these results, many of which I detailed in this article.
It is no stretch to suggest that the compliance with the dictates of authority regarding Covid is a determining sign that the features we generally tend to associate with intelligence—wide-ranging curiosity about the world, independent judgement, analytical perspicuity, intellectual skepticism, the valorization of and search for objective truth, and the passionate desire to know—are in critical abeyance and likely what the depression in IQ scores is tracking.
This was the great fear of José Ortega y Gasset, who in his landmark The Revolt of the Masses anatomized the tendency of the modern masses “to win for themselves the right to despise intelligence and to avoid paying it any tribute.” Ortega saw intelligence as an obligation—as something to be striven for through autodidact learning and personal integrity and esteemed wherever it may be found—along with courtesy and truthfulness. The absence of these qualities, he felt, rendered us “half ridiculous, half disgraceful.”
The apparent enthusiasm… for the afflicted and for social justice, serves as a mask to facilitate the refusal of all obligation.
Analogously, Australian political theorist Kenneth Minogue in The Liberal Mind, a crucial text for our time, explored the “moral and political evasions” from which modern liberalism suffers, focusing in part on “the successive and rapid enfranchisements of large and inarticulate masses of people” who represent the popular will.
Unfortunately, the popular will is “confused, immoral, inconvenient or otherwise defective.” As such, Minogue argues, people are susceptible to the “propaganda function of needs doctrine”; in the current context, for example, political authority declares that masks and lockdowns are survival needs, and a ductile and frightened electorate accepts the “vise-like grip which nothing will shake” of “needs conceptions.” Intellectual clarity is required to weigh and balance different conceptions of need and to assess which needs are real needs and which are deceptive.
The face of the New Normal.
How the masked and the locked-down can interact with people, hold down jobs, process information and contribute to the preservation of society remains a mystery. The best hope for the approximate revival of a spirit of pragmatic discernment and intellectual clarity lies not in the general public but in the emergence or return of responsible and astute leadership.
Despite the decline in IQ, or common intelligence, there may yet be a course correction to forestall the terminal collapse of everyday life and the total devastation of the economy. As Samuel Beckett famously concluded The Unnamable, “you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” But the future will remain always problematic. For the complicit, the fearful, the virtue-signallers, the shamers, the informers, the submissive, the unwitting, the poorly educated and the credulous—in short, the compliant masses that Ortega and Minogue despaired of—are a significant part of that future.