"Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, nations, and ages, it is the rule."
We are now witnessing this in real time, and for those who have managed to not get caught up in the hysteria, and who have studied the data, it is now rather obvious.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not one to deny that "Covid-19" (so-called Corona Virus) is real. On the contrary, I think it's quite real, and it has affected countless numbers across the globe (and I would support any efforts to quarantine the elderly, even though my own grandmother has it and has no symptoms).
But after watching this unfold for the past while, and actually diving down into the hard data (that is available), one thing is almost certain: our response to this virus has been off-the-walls disproportionate to the actual threat. The locking down of society, and the almost total destruction of the economy (and massive plunging into unheard levels of debt), and the Orwellian/dystopian actions of government and police across the globe, are not at allreasonable in light of what the science actually says about how deadly this virus is.
As many critics (both scientific and laymen) are now coming out and saying: "the cure is worse than the disease". There is simply no scientific evidence (yet) that things like "social distancing" (enforced alienation) even help prevent the spread of the virus at all, not to mention the total infringement of basic civil liberties that have been such an central part of the freedom of "the west".
Something has seriously gone suddenly awry, and for those who have actually looked into the data, Covid-19 is starting to look like Covid-1984.
These are truly terrifying times. What the hell is going on?
Virus as Distraction
It has gradually become clear to me that this isn't really about a new corona virus spreading across the world (which is really just a slightly more virulent than a bad flu season, which is, on average, a serious problem for the elderly with pre-existing conditions, and almost zero danger to the young and healthy).
It is my perception now that this is really about avoiding another problem... one much more deadly and problematic. And this same problem also happened at the beginning of the 20th century, before two world wars. As Nietzsche said before the 20th century about his contemporaries, that they were a people that "no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect". (Will to Power)
In reality, this is a crisis of meaning that has been a long time coming (or rather, a lack of meaning), and this virus has simply provided an opportunity or pretext for countless numbers of people to virtue signal their "heroism" for being willing to "stay home" and "keep a distance" for everyone's "health and safety". Doctors and nurses and police are now "heroes" who are working on the "front lines" for everyone's well-being.
Yes, this is a sort of "war fever" that seems quite similar to the war fever of the early 1900s.
And politicians are basking in the limelight and attempting all manner of power grabs to fuel their narcissistic egos, all while looking like "great men" for being so concerned with everyone's "health and safety" (as if they actually care).
And media outlets are all but consumed by this virus and are desperate to be your guide through these "unprecedented" times (reporting every single death every single day, without being honest about the "comorbidities" the victims had. Yes, Sam Vaknin is right. This is a massive opportunity for narcissists and opportunists to seize power, and with a population that is now almost totally cowed into submission by the relentless fear-mongering of the media (and the people's own hysteria).
In reality, this is a great opportunity to lose sight of the real age-old problems in life, and superficially focus on "staying safe" (as Nietzsche prophesied, the "religion of comfortableness"), instead of the real problem of finding and living out the meaning of one's life. In fact, this crisis is a great opportunity to help you ignore those big age-old problems (and the payout in supposed "heroism"-acknowledgement from your mutually terrified citizens, will be great).
Yes, thanks to this virus, instead of dealing with the hard problems, we can all run away from them, and shut down the global economy, empower corrupt politicians, and help usher in Orwell's 1984.
You can now just end all your pain and all the hard questions of life, and join the government and all your friends, and just shut down the world.
The Problem of Meaning
The truth is....this crisis has been coming for quite sometime now. Humanity as a great mass has been standing on the edge of either a breakthrough, or a breakdown. We live at a truly extraordinary time in history, one fraught with danger, and yet still, with so much potential.
In these times, instead of knee-jerk reactions against apparently "stupid" (and we really have devolved to epic levels of stupidity) people for putting up with so much encroaching dystopia, I've been asking myself a question: Now that I've come to see that things are not as they seem, what is the meaning of this crisis? And what is the meaning of people so blindly clamoring for more government control and less personal responsibility?
I am indeed very sympathetic with people talking of rising up and fighting against the new enforcements of corrupt politicians and police, but I also want to understand what is underneath.
And as I discussed above, I believe that this is a problem of meaning. But more specifically, it signals a tipping point, or exhaustion point, in humanity's search for meaning. Not only are people tired of searching for meaning (which has obviously been the case for a while now as our society and entertainments are increasingly vacuous and empty of things that matter), but it seems that we are at a point that people actually want to totally shut down having even the freedom to pursue one's own meaning individually.
For the sake of "safety" and "well-being" (which is really just a virtue signally pretext), we actually secretly desire to shut down even the basic freedom to disagree with the herd, and to form our own opinions.
Let's be honest here. We have had signs of this coming, and one of the signs of people's inability to deal with opposing viewpoints (and just deal with hard/complicated truths in general), are "hate speech" laws.
The very idea of "hate speech" is, from a purely logical viewpoint, obscenely stupid, and totally incoherent. For one to support "hate speech" laws (as has been implemented in my own country), one has to not only be not thinking, but actually totally committed to others not thinking as well. To presume that one can know with certainty that another person is speaking out of a motivation of "hate", is of course obscene in it's presumption. To then make that utterance "illegal" because it offends you, is of course just tyranny.
What this actually amounts to, is "wrong-think" laws, like in 1984. Hate speech is really just an earlier version of wrong-think. And these hate speech laws were implemented in many western countries long before this new virus crisis. In reality, this virus situation is simply an highly accelerated continuation of the madness that was slowly encroaching before.
In truth, as we all really already know, the main problem facing mankind is the same problem that has always been facing mankind. And that is the problem of our shared human condition, and our species' inability to understand and love ourselves, on the deepest of levels.
As Carl Jung repeatedly admonished, the main struggle of man is to learn to love our dark side, what he termed as our "shadow". And indeed, this was the overarching goal of all of Nietzche's works as well, particularly of "Zarathustra".
And it was in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" that Nietzsche talked about how "man is a rope, over an abyss", and that he loved those who were able to offer themselves as sacrifices for something bigger than themselves. And he was very critical of the "Christian" tendency to look to be awarded for good deeds (ie: heaven).
In truth, in our society, we are so morbidly narcissistic, that we have taken "virtue-signalling" and "do good to feel good" (instead of actual real concern for others) to new levels, and are now almost wholly committed to anything other than making ourselves feel good (under the guise of "concern" for others, or in this virus situation, their "health and safety"), that we are willing to destroy the whole economy, just to achieve this feeling of being a "hero".
The same problem remains as it has always been. Each of us has done things and harbored thoughts and feelings that we are not proud of. We all need a greater contexting of our history and who we are and where we come from.
I think, deep down, we all know that the human species is not an intrinsically "evil" species (contrary to the placards of fundamentalists, and the political extremes we see in our day). But we have all been waiting for a time that, one day, would show irrefutable proof that we are indeed not just "not evil", but gloriously good and heroic (but not for the reason that we "stay home and stay safe").
And as unbelievable as it may seem, I think that answer to the age-old question of "Why are humans good when the evidence seems overwhelming that we are terrible?", may now have actually been found.
I encourage the reader to check out that link, and decide for yourself... and who knows... maybe we CAN turn this ship around.