There is a part of Ernst von Salomon’s Der Fragebogen which has stuck in my mind for many months now. (Yes, if you can, read it. More details on why in a later post.)
The book is a narrative memoir of Salomon’s experiences in Germany from the outset of WWI to a year or two after the Allied occupation of Germany in 1945.
The episode in question involves Salomon and his lady Ille walking home on the night of November 9th, 1938, after playing cards at a friend’s house. As they discover quickly, all is not well, for it is Kristallnacht, and Jewish homes, synagogues, and businesses are having their windows smashed in by rioters. Salomon tries to hail a cab, but the one they stop refuses to take them given the chaos. They make their way home, and are greeted by their landlady. She has changed their name on the call box on the outside of the building, to protect them. Salomon wonders why, since he is not a Jew. She replies that Salomon is like ‘Solomon’, and so she does not want the rioters thinking he is Jewish. Besides, she tells Salomon, they may not come for you tonight, but they will come for you eventually. Given Salomon’s political leanings, which he backed up with violence, this seems highly probable.
They get into the safety of their residence, and Ille breaks. She cries and yells at Salomon saying he should go out into the street and deal harshly with the rioters, to stop the chaos. How will they ever get back to normal if he DOES NOTHING? He replies that there is nothing he can do. There has been no normal since the end of the Great War. It’s been, almost to the day, 20 years of instability and chaos, and he tells her they are not going back to “normal” any time soon.
I raise this because in the current FAUXVID crisis, I hear many people say they want to get back to normal. Even the most staunch workplace adherent of the FAUXVID religion that I know is now exhausted. She asked me what all of this health theater is for: when does it end? She just wants us to get back to normal. “Two weeks to flatten the curve”, vaccines, masks, travel bans, health passports, social distancing, have all failed to produce the promised result: going back to “normal”. With her, I found myself in Salomon’s position. I told her we were not going back to “normal”. Two years of increasing demands, restrictions and fear mongering only got us further from normal, not towards it. I told her things have not been normal for at least twenty years, and to be honest, things have slowly been sliding downhill for much longer than that. I suspect it was a cruel thing to say. She was crushed, as the realization came upon her that all she believed about the crisis was false. But, maybe forcing her to face reality is what she needed. Who knows?
What point would I go back to when things were actually felt “normal”? 20 years is an appropriate start, as that is roughly the time elapsed since 9/11. All the security drama we go through in our airports has made air travel outright miserable for everyone. The constantly changing requirements mean we can never, ever be prepared to go through security without hassle. One day, shoes off and Kindles out of their cases. The next, keep your damn shoes on, we do not care about your stupid Kindle, but these refried beans should have been in your luggage. All, of course, for your own safety, purely from altruistic motives, and certainly not about funding an industry with billions of taxpayer dollars, making its proponents rich. The parallels to FAUXVID are clear.
But that is not far enough. You have to go back to the Y2K crisis, where the whole world was going to shut down on 01/01/2000, when computer clocks would go back to 01/01/1900, or some other date, due to bad programming of some kind. I know of two systems that had date difficulties around that time. One was fixed with a firmware upgrade afterwards, with the system running just fine in the interim. Another, caused a travel agency to not collect deposits on all-inclusive packages on time. They quickly fixed that manually. All told, nothing to panic about.
But to me, it goes back deeper than that, back through the 90s. The Colombine and other high school shootings, the ATF Waco siege, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, even the OJ Simpson case. I was making deliveries at that time, and on every TV in every place I dropped off orders, the live footage of OJ’s Bronco on the LA freeway system was showing. It seemed so bloody odd.
Thinking back, for me, the moment things started sliding was the Rodney King arrest. I remember all the MSM channels replaying, over and over again, the selected footage of the cops standing in a circle, beating Rodney while he was on the ground.
For this post, what sticks in my mind is that the networks replayed this footage over and over in some morbid attempt to keep viewers rapt, angry, emotionally engaged. All to keep them from changing channels, or shutting it off.
From that moment forward, the comfortable story that governments were supposed to be good, and the media existed to keep them that way, was shattered. It was clear the media was supplying us with information in ways to get and keep us hooked. Industry and government were already part of that game.
The main product we have been sold ever since is emotional manipulation. FAUXVID is just the latest manifestation, with fear as the primary vector. They’ve had to crank up the fear because lower level emotional manipulation was just not getting it done anymore. Twenty years of fear mongering must eventually numb those subjected to it. Plus, social media was making it more and more difficult to operate in the shadows. It does not help when the President Trump, a beneficiary of media exposure, calls them out on it, on their own platforms. The regime fears nothing more than that its actions and the futility and harm of its social engineering projects will be held out in the light.
Fear certainly sells, and that’s why we’re not going back to normal. Not by continuing to play along, and likely, not ever, no matter what we do. I suspect we’re going to get more of the same. People are going to give up more and more autonomy on the promise of getting to normal some day, until finally they accept a dictator who takes total power on the promise of stability. Whether a Marcus Aurelius or a Mao is anyone’s guess.