General News · 25th March 2020
Like everyone else right now, Iím a little scared. However itís not the virus that scares me, itís the collective response to it, and the future which it engenders. Iím not talking about a future without toilet paper, Iím talking about a future without the civil rights and freedoms which we enjoy and take for granted.
Itís easy to get lost in the the immediacy of events, and the media does us no favour by talking of nothing else. However it is important not to lose sight of the future, the one which we are creating through both our everyday actions, and inactions. Not in my entire white life have I witnessed such a massive curtailment of rights and freedoms around the world as I have seen in the last month. The criminalization of social gatherings, mandatory closures of businesses and industries, legalized tracking of citizens, the list goes on. While these are a regular occurrence under military dictatorships, this is no trivial phenomenon in our Ďmodern democracies.í In the aforementioned places 28 civilians killed in an airstrike (allegedly to promote democracy) can be an everyday occurrence, 28 dead from the flu is not even news worthy.
I will refrain listing statistics of the mind blowing ways humans beings perish in much higher numbers every day of every year. However, I do feel that to give context to this epidemic it is relevant how many golfers get struck by lightning, how many children choke on candy, and how many people starve to death in places with an abundance of food. National and international governing bodies could be saving countless lives if they showed a fraction of the will or interest that they are with this virus. I am no capitalist but I do think the state of the economy is something we should be concerned about, not as a godhead, but as an articulation of production and consumption. In the economy of an organic garden fails, it does not produce and if you rely on it you do not consume, you die. I just returned from a country with far fewer cases than Canada, and people were already starting to loose their homes and becoming separated from their families because of the economy and government restrictions. Now theyíre starting to talk about hunger. Make no mistake hungry people are just as dangerous as any virus. Back in Canada I find loved ones feeling their mental health straining and wonder when all things are accounted for whether starvation and suicides wonít surpass the virus toll.
So why is everyone including the banks getting behind this? Is it because starvation and suicide disproportionately affect the poor, while the virus is less discriminate about class and more discriminate towards the demographic age of those that hold power? (like bad drugs werenít an issue until there was fentanyl in rich kidís coke?) I donít claim to know, but I do know that it all smells fishy, it smells like war. No? Media narratives are steeped in martial language, world leaders are ďat war,Ē rationing, emergency services, military units with automatic weapons enforcing curfews on deserted streets of European capitals? A recession is an understatement for the current economic climate, likely to see a depression they say, war is a covenant antidote to that, first manoeuvre: psychological conditioning.
Crisis, natural or human disasters, push politics to the right, this is practice not speculation. The masses want law and order, and when this is upset they will hand over whatever rights, freedoms, or first born children to get them back. While Trumpís wall was the epitome of conservative inhumanity according to the liberal left, now every do-gooder humanitarian is screaming for more walls, more borders, less freedom, less social space. Sure there are reasonable measures we can be taking collectively to address this issue, I am not arguing that. I will however stay there is a lot of hysteria and that within that chaos many things are happening structurally and psychologically that will not be reversed so swiftly. Social distancing, curtailment of movement, militarization, electronic tracking, criminalization of social gatherings, these are not things to be normalized, I am scared of the future in which they go viral.