No one is more dangerous than the suicidal.
When you can’t love, you hate. When you can’t build, you destroy. When you’re ignored, you scream. When you can’t tell the truth, you lie. When you can’t reason, you panic. When no one will follow you out of admiration or respect, you compel. When you can’t live, you kill.
This is it, the last gasp of the psychopaths who express their contempt and hatred for humanity by trying to rule it. Compulsion, not voluntary and natural cooperation. Power, pull, and politics, not incentives, competition, honest production, and value-for-value trade. From each according to his virtue to each according to his depravity.
It can’t work. It won’t work. They know it. Do you?
As the totalitarian horror unfolds before our eyes, only the willfully blind will ignore it. Only those who refuse to think will fail to grasp its implications. Only the irretrievably corrupt will embrace it.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We were warned.
Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where humans beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
George Orwell, 1984, 1949
The worship of power has reached its apex even as its temples have come crashing down. During the twentieth century, the most bloodthirsty governments in history inflicted unprecedented carnage, destruction, and death. Some of them now have the capability to destroy life on earth. It was clear to those who looked and thought about what they saw that the only outcome of destruction and death would be destruction and death, including the destruction and death of those who inflicted it. The temples started crashing in 1945 with the fall of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Tojo’s Japan and they’ve been crashing ever since. In 1991 it was the Soviet Union and its puppet regimes in Eastern Europe.
Now destruction and death loom before what’s called the Western democracies, built on the myth that societies can serve two masters: violence and freedom. The forces of the former will always see seek to destroy the latter. That is what has happened and is now accelerating towards either total annihilation or a rejection of hate and violence and a rebirth of freedom and the human spirit.
There is a residual innocence, a remnant of human decency, that asks: why would they want to destroy us, don’t they know they’ll be destroying themselves? If we owe to George Orwell our recognition that they want power solely for power’s sake, we owe to Ayn Rand the answer to that question and the recognition of a much more subtle point, one from which most people instinctively recoil.
He was suddenly seeing the motive that had directed all the actions of his life. It was not his incommunicable soul or his love for others or his social duty or any of the fraudulent sounds by which he had maintained his self-esteem: it was the lust to destroy whatever was living, for the sake of whatever was not. It was the urge to defy reality by the destruction of every living value, for the sake of proving to himself that he could exist in defiance of reality and would never have to be bound by any solid, immutable facts. A moment ago, he had been able to feel that he hated Galt above all men, that the hatred was proof of Galt’s evil, which he need define no further, that he wanted Galt to be destroyed for the sake of his own survival. Now he knew that he had wanted Galt’s destruction at the price of his own destruction to follow, he knew that he had never wanted to survive, he knew that it was Galt’s greatness he had wanted to torture and destroy—he was seeing it as greatness by his own admission, greatness by the only standard that existed, whether anyone chose to admit it or not: the greatness of a man who was master of reality in a manner no other had equaled. In the moment when he, James Taggart, had found himself facing the ultimatum: to accept reality or die, it was death his emotions had chosen, death rather than surrender to that realm of which Galt was so radiant a son. In the person of Galt—he knew—he had sought the destruction of all existence.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957
They want to rule you because they want to kill you because they want to kill existence and themselves. Hard as it may be to comprehend, don’t we know them by their works: by the slavery, carnage, and wars they’ve imposed, the freedoms they’ve robbed, the joy they’ve extinguished? Look at the world with eyes wide open. What do you see?
You see governments rushing to impose dictatorial restrictions on their citizens in the name of stopping a virus that as of March 23 had killed 17,156 people (Johns Hopkins University coronavirus website). In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union address, he proposed four freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy: freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear. In a perfect world those first two freedoms would be enjoyed everywhere and by everyone. The second two describe a fantasy world in which some are to be slaves keeping the rest free from want and fear. Want and fear are “solid, immutable facts,” and the battles against them have propelled much of humanity’s progress. They cannot be banished by political wish or decree, Roosevelt’s “defiance of reality” notwithstanding.
With the possible exceptions of the governments of South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, and Singapore, there is not a developed-country government that has not been subject to justified criticism of its handling of the coronavirus. As is always the case, if at first you don’t succeed, ask for a bigger budget. Having already failed in so many ways, governments are demanding yet more power to fail in more and bigger ways, and to deprive their citizens of the few rights they have left. They will lock us in our homes, restrict our travel, destroy our livelihoods, induce panic that empties shelves, and make two-bit politicians and bureaucrats potentates whose decrees cannot be challenged and who can throw us in jail for any infringements. This is for our own good? If you answered yes, reread the Orwell and Rand passages.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus website, as of March 22, there were 63,927 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Italy, the worst hit county, with a population of approximately 60.5 million. The confirmed cases amount to a little over one-tenth of one percent (.1%) of the population and daily new cases may have peaked. The deaths as of March 22 are 6,077, or a little over one one-hundredth of one percent (.01%). Multiply those numbers by five: confirmed cases—319,635; deaths—30,385; and the cases are still a little over half of one percent (.5%), the deaths a little over five one-hundredths of 1 percent (.05%). If you apply Italy’s actual rates to the US population of 328.2 million and multiply by five, you would have 1.733 million confirmed cases and 164,833 deaths.
Now 164,833 deaths is a lot, but put that number in perspective. Keep in mind that cases and death rates for Italy were multiplied five times and Italy has been the hardest hit nation. The total cases per million people in Italy is over eight times that in the US, although that US rate relative to Italy’s will go up as more cases are confirmed and Italy’s cases peak. In the US, over 600,000 will die of heart disease and cancer will kill more than 350,000 this year (statistics from the CDC and National Cancer Institute). Those aren’t one-shot numbers, either, they happen every year. Yet, nobody’s talking about forcing anyone to do anything about those diseases, although many of the deaths reflect lifestyle choices that could be forcibly changed through compulsory exercise and dietary restrictions. People still have the freedom to die of heart disease and cancer.
Let’s put the numbers in terms of the elite’s favorite spectator sport: war. If someone had stood up after the first reading of the Declaration of Independence and said, “We can’t go to war against King George, it may cost us five one-hundredths of 1 percent of our population,” he would have been hung for treason. That, of course, was when a substantial portion of the population thought that the fight for freedom was worth waging. If someone had said at the onset of the Civil War, “We can’t preserve the union, end slavery, and subjugate the South, it will cost us five one-hundredths of 1 percent of the population,” Lincoln would have thrown him in jail. (The Civil War, America’s deadliest, killed at least 1.9 percent of the population, and Saint Abe threw lots of people in jail). A similar sentiment expressed as the US entered the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or any of the US’s other wars would have got the speaker at best ostracized, at worst imprisoned. The powers that be have always been willing to sacrifice other people’s lives and freedoms for their favorite cause and always will be. Damn the percentages, full speed ahead!
So now we’re supposed to believe that the powers are regretfully eliminating what’s left of our freedoms and destroying our economy to protect us from this scourge that might kill five one-hundredths of 1 percent of our population? The notion is idiotic on its face, and could only work on a docile, emasculated, and brain-dead populace who yearns for the sterile safety of a rubber room, straight jacket, and ball gag, removed three times a day when the nice nurse spoons them their gruel. They’ll be free of want and fear…and everything else.
The powers want absolute power, period. Their panic and police states are designed to instill and further the want and fear they say they deplore. Their stocks in trade are want and fear; they’d never eliminate them even if they could. All of the dictatorial restrictions are based on projections, not actual reality observed anywhere on the planet. They tried the projection trick with global warming, but they relented a bit when people started ignoring, or worse, mocking Greta Thunberg’s hysterical rants. First-year law students are told when they don’t have the facts, pound on the law, when they don’t have the law, pound on the facts, and when they don’t have either the facts or the law, pound on the table. Neither coronavirus or global warming have the facts or the law (yet, but they are getting there)—pound on the projections.
Want and fear kill people. Killing people has always been the power’s desire and is no longer secret. Like James Taggart, they particularly want to kill those masters of reality, the John Galts who actually reduce want and fear: the builders, the innovators, the doers, the bold, the farsighted, the scientists, the technologists, the entrepreneurs, the savers, the investors, and all of the other creators who have advanced the human race notwithstanding the powers, who have contributed nothing but the hindrances and obstacles.
Their “cure” for the coronavirus will be far deadlier than the disease. The quarantines and lockdowns will bring the world to a standstill—that’s the point. It was the point of the government’s Directive Number 10-289 in Atlas Shrugged, derisively named “The moratorium on brains” by the novel’s heroes. They want you to die, and yes that will lead to their own deaths and yes they know it, although like Taggart they can’t admit it to themselves. But now you know it, too, they’re all but telling you. That they can no longer hide it is a sign of their weakness, not strength.
Give into fear, panic, and cowardice and they will achieve their objective. You will deserve what you get. This is the last gasp of a malignancy—the philosophy of fear, fraud, and force—among humanity that’s metastasized for millennia. It is dying. Do nothing to prolong its life and do everything you can to resist its acolytes. Fight with everything you’ve got to prevent them from destroying the human race.
Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Liberty is that precious.
Give me liberty and I’ll lick the doorknobs of the coronavirus ward and kiss everyone in it.