The time is now to question if vaccine mandates are worth it and I don’t think the arguments are very strong. The traditional narrative is that every additional vaccinated person is a clear-cut victory. 60.01% is greater than 60% and therefore we have potentially saved a life. But frankly, people have the right to commit suicide. Forcing people into doing the right thing™ is a dangerous game with real consequences. People can become blinded by righteousness of the correct decision without taking into account behavioral economics or externalities. These mandates are a card that society should play only in the most extreme of circumstance. Is COVID-19 really worth it?
The fascism of the 1900s is no more. With the fall of communism, democracy and familiar autocracy has risen without competition for nearly a generation. But in media we find it again and again, ‘fascism is on the rise’. But where is it? What is fascism in this new context? Honest conversations about fascism are hard to have. Often in fear that our audience may come to agree with the axioms of the struggle we, much like in a discussion of communism, need to preface our talk by saying it is in fact evil. In our childish attempts to make the world feel less chaotic we tell the comforting lie that men are the product of their environment and not a product of individual malevolence. We do ourselves a great disservice by engaging in this exercise. First because fascists do not agree that evil comes from circumstance and second because in a democracy those who treat the masses like sheep who are to be herded into enlightenment are destined to be surprised by the existence of wolves. The innovations of the mass rally, the working class militia, the rancor against the rising tides of liberalism and bolshevism has all been subverted and rolled into the democratic framework. It is difficult now to differentiate between a populist and a fascist, those who extol the virtue and love of the nation between those who praise the nation-state. Who is to say which is the fascist? Modern fascism is far more nuanced than many want to believe.
There is no easier way to drive web traffic (or electoral results) than outrage. Formulating connections between events in real time and how, inexplicably, they prove that The Enemy is out to get you and the only way to save this country is to stand up and fight back against those MARXISTS on capital hill. Similarly we read headlines about how our DEMOCRACY is UNDER THREAT if THE ENEMY gets re-elected again and you better STAND UP against these FASCIST WHITE SUPREMECISTS.
In Europe, the experiment of multi-culturalism, cooperation, and a shared governing vision for their future is under threat. From Hungary, Poland, to Italy and Brexit, the European Union is increasingly showing its strain and inability to adapt to broad geographical and cultural differences (especially between its northern and southern states).
The Netflix comedy special “The Closer” by Dave Chappelle caused something of a stir in the real world (LGBTQ netflix employees are rattling their sabers) and the virtual one (although this is always true). It seems in the flurry of those desperate for clicks, validation, or affirmation of some unique take many are losing sight of what really matters. These faux ‘conversations’ betray a much deeper issue underlying our society: is there any solution to the issues being revealed by societies victims? Dave Chappelle’s broader message is being ignored.
How is it that in a modern democracy, political movements which are explicitly built on funneling vast quantities of money to the poor are so wildly unpopular among the poor?
Like so many other situations in politics, the modern leftist finds themselves in the uncomfortable situation of proclaiming that societal woe is the net result of Rational Self Interest, and, simultaneously, that people behave against their Rational Self Interest. Let’s dig into that.
It feels a little played out to write on the repercussions of an event that occurred just hours ago, should we echo liberal media which is perpetually aghast that our polarized, radicalized, and violence loving populace took things too far? Or should we posture for increasingly desperate right-wing clicks by downplaying the events of crazed ideologues storming the U.S. legislature in probably the stupidest attempt at a governmental coup in recent memory?
The 2020 election feels very similar to the 2016 election, each gave the sense of a changing wind for the United States. While 2016 was an unambiguous ‘red tide’ purging the supposed taint of long held tradition, bureaucratic reform, and presumptions about statehood; 2020 is shaping up to be a restoration movement in the opposite direction. As I’ve said many times before, the United States is a lost country. Internally divided, easily perturbed, void of purpose, and lacking any ideological vision. But this post isn’t to discuss the issues with America’s parties (see prior posts for that), but instead to talk about the self serving nature of the election narrative as it’s broken through partisan lines. Maybe as a nation we can see through this charade and move past this turmoil with open eyes.
The 2020 election remains uncertain. By all accounts, Joe Biden is a clear favorite to win against Donald Trump, maintain house control, and coin flip against controlling the senate. While enough ink has been spilled on the improbable (Trump wins Florida and the remaining rust-belt coin flips), it’s important to prepare for the storm clouds which rest on America’s horizon; a repeat of 2008-2016.
As far as election narratives go, Trumps approach can be considered erratic at best and inept at worst. The time honored tradition of controlling the media cycle by inventing a new ‘story’ doesn’t work so great when the story you are trying to distract from (poor debate) was actually better than the new story (Trump and something like 30% of his inner circle catch COVID). Back during the 2016 campaign there was a view that Tump was a shrewd manipulator, his public persona was not reflective of his interior views or behaviors. Beneath the barely cognizant policy proposals was the presumed brilliance that built a multi-million dollar empire. With one month until election the timing couldn’t be worse for a nearly irrefutable (and maybe a bit absurd) revelation; Team Trump may just be this inept and the people he decided to surround himself are the dumbest kids in the room.