Do not follow up a Folly. Many make an obligation out of a blunder, and because they have entered the wrong path think it proves their strength of character to go on in it. Within they regret their error, while outwardly they excuse it. At the beginning of their mistake they were regarded as inattentive, in the end as fools.
Baltasar Gracian – The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
Following on from the Tuesday post about conspiracy theories, they may be dubious for a number of reasons, one of which occurs when they leave out the powerful ebb and flow of uncontrolled circumstances. However, powerful people usually try to take advantage of uncontrolled circumstances once they have grasped the implications and the opportunities.
Which leads us on to a popular and clearly plausible conspiracy theory about the coronavirus debacle. The endlessly protracted UK government response to this relatively minor pandemic certainly suggest a degree of covert opportunism. As if eco-loons have been promised something significant. To my mind this is an entirely plausible conspiracy because of another pandemic, the global eco-loon pandemic.
The UK government still appears to be committed to ludicrous, damaging and pointless climate change policies and pandemic measures are an entirely obvious opportunity to suck a considerable amount of consumer consumption out of the economy. A temporary suck perhaps, but the underlying aim probably concerns the cementing of unforgettable precedents with an eye to longer term behaviour modification.
There is an unmistakable sense of psychological manipulation in the political atmosphere at the moment, apart from the obvious pandemic scare stories and bleak exaggerations. As if David Cameron’s Nudge Unit has been tasked with using the pandemic to nudge us very firmly towards more abstemious lifestyles more consistent with environmental fantasies.
This of course is not new. Malthus has long been a source of middle class anxiety about the masses getting above themselves. What we appear to be witnessing now is that anxiety translated into political moves in a very old game. A culmination of many decades of zero sum political propaganda ultimately rooted in Marxism –
There is only so much to go round and we don’t think you should have more than your fair share, and by the way we apportion your fair share.
Covert as always, wrapped up in virtue as always, crudely misleading as always, flat out wrongheaded as always – but that appears to be the underlying opportunity being grasped very firmly indeed. Forget the private car, the holidays abroad, the unlimited travel and the freedom to be an active part of a free economy. Forget freedom.
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