Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Will We Allow the Coronapocalypse To Bail Out the Failure of Socialism? - Tom Luongo

The fear over COVID-19 has gone ballistic. We have moved from rational precaution to mass insanity in a matter of days. The speed with which those seeking power are moving is astounding.
With each passing day another person is jumping up, Alexander Haig like, to assume powers they do not have to demand control over the population they legally govern.
And it always seems to be in places with a particular type of government. They are the ones with the most advanced social safety nets, most outwardly compassionate policies and the ones with the most corrupt and failing infrastructures.
They are the ones that have squandered the hard-earned wealth of generations while trumpeting their own wisdom and foresight. And now that they are facing threats they cannot possibly manage, they expect to arrogate even more power to obfuscate the fact that they have failed to provide even the most basic services for the trillions wasted.
You might think I’m talking about California or New York, and in some ways I am. But, in reality, I’m talking about Europe.
Europe stands at the brink of monetary and economic collapse. Its rot is far more advanced than that of the U.S. and China. And because of that the spread of COVID-19 there can have the most devastating effects. Therefore they are justified in shutting down whole countries.
But the counter argument is also valid, if not more valid. It says quite clearly that by keeping the economy flowing, by keeping people productive and working you retain the infrastructure necessary to save more people than would die otherwise, despite the threat of transmission.
We are living through a time when the democratic socialist nation state, a concept less than three hundred years old, is on trial. How countries respond to COVID-19 will be a litmus test. And I can assure you that anyone not openly embracing full on Fascistic control over their countries will be lambasted as heartless do-nothings.
Why? Because we’re already there.
Any temperance exhibited by local leadership is met with hysterical cries of murder. We’re seeing it here in the U.S. President Trump, rightly, didn’t order a national top-down approach to COVID-19, he left it up to the states to handle.
Some have reacted like Europe. Others not. And the amount of vitriol and political axe grinding going on in the U.S. to this point is ridiculous. And again, I’m seeing it quickly becoming a cudgel to bludgeon skeptics by all-knowing, smug authoritarians seeing the opportunity to justify their worldview.
In Europe, for the past seventy years or so The Davos Crowd have been obsessed with creating a European superstate to entrench their own power at the top of an unelected bureaucracy.
But they have failed.
Their political union is failing. The economy of Europe is quickly imploding into something only seen in a dystopian science fiction movie. And they need something to keep the dream alive. From their perspective COVID-19 is the kind of deus ex machina that can save that dream.
Whole countries are being put on lock down, nominally, to stem the spread of a disease whose biggest threat is overwhelming a woefully prepared medical infrastructure not killing a large swath of the population.
But it’s not about compassion. Every dead Italian or German is grist for the mill of saving socialism from itself. The EU leadership is using this crisis right now to set up centralizing economic control over the whole of Europe by breaking the will of the German people in the face of a civilization-ending pandemic that, to date, hasn’t killed more people worldwide than the flu does in the U.S. annually.
By setting the wheels in motion to cancel cash, outlaw gold buying and digitize the entire money supply. How again is this part of saving lives afflicted with COVID-19?
Oh right, it doesn’t.
Congress is paralyzed by partisan bickering seeing this opportunity. They’ve overwhelmed social media with patent nonsense on both sides. The Republicans are wrapping themselves in the moral high ground of sending out UBI checks and the Democrats decry corporate handouts.
While I’m not interested in the least in seeing $1.8 trillion in new spending coming from the Federal government it’s clear this time the Democrats only blocked the first vote to play games.
And guess what? Not one bit of the spending is necessary. It’s just more socialist destruction of wealth through debt issuance while we all go broke sitting in our homes in fear of a bug.
Whatever happens, you can bet that whatever form of the bill passes, and one will pass, it will be materially worse than the one just shot down. Such is the way of ‘bipartisanship’ in D.C.
In the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s response has been the most reasonable, refusing to shut the country down. But he may soon succumb to the insanity of newly-minted virologists on Twitter screaming ‘flatten the curve!’
It’s so painfully obvious that this is now a crisis actively being made worse to distract us from the root cause of the economic meltdown that was already here.
Our near completely socialized capital markets, the furthest things from free markets, are imploding because their multiple layers of Ponzi scheme have been revealed as fictions. COVID-19 just blew up their false assumptions.
They exist to support through bureaucracy and taxation the desperate promises of governments acting like absentee parents buying their children presents instead of being proper role models and leaders.
That’s what these ‘aid’ packages being discussed in capitols around the world right now are, just more unpaid-for promises of dysfunctional absentee Boomers, trying to buy our love for another day.
But, the truth is staring us in the face. The institutions of socialism are revealed to be inadequate. Make no mistake, as I said in my last article, that’s no reason to suppress your humanity. The threat of COVID-19 is real, but it isn’t existential.
And I applaud the diversion of our economic output to support fighting this disease and helping as many people survive it as possible. And that means not locking everyone indoors and shutting down their lives.
It doesn’t mean nationalizing every manufacturing plant to make N-95 masks and PPE. And it certainly doesn’t mean prepping the country for the suspension of civilian rule.
By turning the amp up to eleven on fears of a biblical plague they are doing what all good screenwriters do as the movie goes along. They raise the stakes. COVID-19, while by all reports is a tough virus to beat, isn’t world ending. But it’s being treated as such.
This isn’t The Stand, folks. It’s not the Simian Flu from Planet of the Apes. Yes, the hospitals and medical community will be overworked. They will need help. And we need to be able to provide that help however we can.
In some cases it means staying at home if you can. In others it means donating your time, money, energy to help your community get through this. And in still others it means being brave enough to show up for work.
But it doesn’t mean allowing power-hungry maniacs to run roughshod over us because we’re fearful of a plague we can name rather than the ones that dog us every year.
But to sell this fear to us and save themselves, they keep telling us that markets don’t work. That individuals cannot be trusted. And that only the State can coordinate such a monumental task such as saving humanity from nature.
Because without the State we would be left in a Hobbesian state of ‘war of all against all.’
If you listen very closely to their carefully prepared hysterics you’ll hear the echoes of Agent Smith telling Morpheus that the real virus we are fighting here is humanity itself.
And that a little culling of the bad people who won’t get with their Brave New World is what we have to accept to survive.
In Europe they are cynically using this pandemic to lock down countries where the civil unrest was already at the breaking point — France, Spain, Italy.
The stories coming out of Germany now are designed for maximum fear. Chancellor Angela Merkel shook hands with the wrong person, she’s in quarantine. Germany has knuckled under, finally, to new fiscal rules. The EU commission is finally allowing massive government spending. The U.S. will authorize, in the end, tens of trillions in new loans, handouts, bailouts and bribes.
All to try one last time to paper over the broken promises and false hope of socialized markets to maintain the one-way trades of a few thousand oligarchs.
Because some pigs are more equal than others.
And when the worst of the COVID-19 spread is over. When the hospitals finally see fewer cases we will be looking at a much different world. The decisions we allow our governments to take now will determine what that world looks like then.