‘Ideological Fanatacism’: The Folly of Seeing Human Systems as Hardware
The ‘meme-politics of lockdown and vaccine mandates’ may be fading, but the inflation meme and the economic aftermath meme has only just begun.
Fifteen years ago, a man who was head of the GW Bush White House bio-terrorism study group, and a special adviser to the President, unexpectedly found himself propelled into becoming the ‘father’ of pandemic planning, after Bush had come to his bioterrorism people to demand some huge plan to deal with some imagined calamity. “We need a whole-of-society plan. What are you going to do about foreign borders? And travel? And commerce?”. From his perch of influence – serving an apocalyptic president — Dr Venkayya became the driving force for a dramatic change in U.S. policy during pandemics.
The then White House guidelines (born out of a bio-terrorism context), allowed the government to put Americans in quarantine while closing their schools, businesses, and with churches shuttered, all in the name of disease containment. It seemed so simple; “Why didn’t these epidemiologists figure it out?”: A model of disease control, based on stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, business closures, and forced human separation.
Well, from there, the “founding father of lockdowns” (not unnaturally) became successively head of pandemic policy at the Gates Foundation, and then President of Global Vaccine Business Unit. However, as U.S. commentator Jeffrey Tucker observes, the policy models developed by this White House study group “kept spitting out a conclusion that shutting down schools would drop virus transmission by 80%. I’ve read his memos from this period — some of them still not public — and what you observe is not science, but ideological fanaticism in play”.
Whatever its parentage, the lockdown movement that this adviser authored is global, ferocious, and, as a fully credentialised meme (bio-war parentage, White House and Gates), is almost irrepressible. It is the same in today’s euphoric stock markets: everyone gets caught up in the dance … chasing credentialised stock narratives to the point of irrationality. Who cares about the fundamentals, contra-indications, or even warnings from financial or medical experts. This pandemic policy approach has evolved into a form of contagion, in itself.
As in markets, so in politics: Memes, however well-credentialised, shift. The global political meme since early 2020 of lockdown and vaccine pandemic control – that became a quasi-hegemony – now is being overtaken by a fresh meme, and a new rising phase of politics: the politics of inflation.
Hot inflation figures are already defining the debate on the Biden agenda, the broader economy, and spooking the White House. Prices rose in the U.S. 0.9% from last month, for an annual inflation rate of 6.2% (the biggest inflation spike in 30 years).
This spike in inflation may sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB), potentially killing a quick deal on the $1.75 trillion package. Many Americans are unsettled, finding themselves inhabiting this ‘weird pandemic economy’. Shelves are empty. Wages are up, but so are prices (by more than official figures suggest), on almost anything you want to buy. The stock market soars, on the conviction that the Fed can never allow ‘the market’ to fall more than 10%. The economy is adding jobs, albeit mainly low quality ones. But ports are backlogged. ‘For hire’ signs are plentiful. Yet businesses report difficulty recruiting workers. And no one knows when things are going to straighten out, or even if they will straighten out.
Republicans have been ramming home the message that the inflation spike effectively, is a covert government ‘tax’, and they blame Biden’s ‘Big S
Article from LewRockwell