As I write this on April 10, China is in the middle of locking down its largest city — Shanghai — with no end in sight. And it’s not an American-style lockdown. As some COVID has continued to spread, the lockdown, which started out as a more traditional Chinese city lockdown (people confined to an apartment complex, or smaller geographic area) has turned into an apartment-by-apartment lockdown, with volunteers as distribution personnel for food to each apartment.
Disregarding the social cruelty of all of this, as well as the pet extermination campaigns that are now taking place in many Chinese cities, this is logistically a huge undertaking. News coming out of China indicates that, according to the CCP, the local level of bureaucrats are too soft, and as a result, the central government in Beijing is sending military and police forces from other provinces to enforce the lockdown. Though many people around the world may view it as such, China is not monolithic. Each province has its own identity, and often its own dialect of Mandarin, somewhat incomprehensible to others in other provinces. And equally relevant, is labor and domestic mobility is severely reduced inside China. The government has long avoided unconstrained mass migration into its cities with de facto “citizenship” of an individual where they live. What that means is that if you are from, let’s say Guangxi province, without a work permit and ID card, you cannot legally work in Beijing, nor can your children go to school there.
The effects of these policies are hard to appreciate — but they come to the surface in times like this. Shanghai is truly a prosperous, almost-Western city (I’ve spent a couple of weeks there myself) and if you are in districts like the French Secession inside Shanghai, it’s just one step away from being in Europe. My impressions on roaming around on the extensive mass transit system was that it was a cheap version of New York City.
But I’ve also slept on dirt floors in the mountains of SW China. And the differences are dramatic. If you think that the resentment of military personnel now tasked to enforce the lockdown in Shanghai aren’t resulting in increased violence toward Shanghai residents, you’re just not getting the rage that a real income/world gap generates inside a country. It’s Cultural Revolution 2.0. If you get sent to one of China’s quarantine centers, the odds are good they’ll separate you from your children. And then kill your dog. That goes without saying. How it is being done by divisions of troops and police sent by Xi Jinping, who already felt the bitter envy of being somewhat left behind by the mercantile class, whose very symbol is Shanghai, must be pathologically breathtaking to watch. And if you think there isn’t internal CCP politics driving this, you’d also be wrong. Xi is using this to take out his more evolved rivals.
Recent reportage says that the enforcers have stopped separating kids from their parents. But it is simply impossible to know if this is true. Any negative media spread on Weibo or WeiXin (WeChat), the Chinese version of Facebook combined with a news source and texting, is very quickly taken down. But a nation equipped with some uncountable number of video phones will leak negative video, which then will get captured and spread outside the Great Firewall. Cats in net bags, kids separated from parents, and dogs executed on camera — all the innocents a healthy society loves and protects — are fair game.
What’s wild is that most Western leftists are amazingly silent on observations of the effects of this very Real Lockdown. The voice of a profound number of our own epidemiologists about Zero Covid was always “well, we would have stopped COVID if we had a REAL lockdown.” But it’s never “just a mask” or “just 2 weeks.” Thinking about this (as we do on this blog) cross- paradigmatically, it’s one thing to build a rocket. It’s quite another to build a factory that builds rockets. And that’s what we’ve seen with COVID policy. It’s not just a mask. It’s a system that then enforces mask use, and forced vaccinations, regardless of their efficacy, with the incumbent organs of state and bureaucracies to make sure it gets done. It’s never “just” a lockdown.
It might give one a fun chill to read about such dystopian behavior in a science fiction novel — look at the popularity of The Hunger Games or the Handmaid’s Tale. It’s quite another to see such a process, executed at the street level, with all the detail of bullying, harassment and fear that manifesting Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder on a societal level, that such mandates enfranchise. Go read about the various Axis II personality disorders in the DSM-5. Then think about what might that mean when a society acts that way. That’s the whole fractalization thing I go on about. Scales repeat on scales, and the end is societal destruction.
Here’s the deep tragedy. China had made such encouraging progress moving past the Cultural Revolution from the late ’60s and early ’70s. My guess is that this will set back Chinese society at least 20 years. And that’s if they stop the craziness this year, which is highly unlikely. I’ve read some predictions that this could continue for another ten years. If there’s any perverse silver lining in all of this, it’s highly unlikely, with China using its army, the People’s Republic Army, to persecute its own people, that they will invade Taiwan any time soon. Stay tuned.
There is something resembling a reliable feed coming out of China, sanitized for public consumption, about the plight of the middle class. These are people that can afford delivery of groceries, and other essentials. Their stories are ones of chronic shortages. People in the middle class eat out often in China, and you can be sure there is not equivalent ‘prepper’ culture. People had to be caught with empty cupboards. China has a poorly supported cold chain — people don’t eat frozen food or vegetables, for a variety of reasons. Why eat frozen when you can get it fresh?
But now they can’t get it fresh. And the inefficient bureaucracy that runs China is now running that massive challenge of food distribution to INDIVIDUAL APARTMENTS. It’s utterly mind-boggling. And if it’s that bad for the middle-class, what about all their undocumented workers? You still have to pay for your groceries. But how is an illegal worker supposed to even access the system of food? The mind reels.
More than anything else, it shows the profound failures of authoritarian systems to provide for the well-being of the entire populace. There is a large subset of Americans that somehow believe that Authoritarianism might give them a stable, prosperous society, and that such a v-Meme will champion over more egalitarian societies in both the short and long run. Even though this experiment has been run over and over (think WWII and the vapid propaganda of the invincible Nazis, or the Stalinists) with the Authoritarian side losing horribly, and along the way, perpetrating appalling atrocities, people still cling to it.
But the informatics just don’t work — Authoritarianism, besides being morally repugnant, invites information corruption (and personal corruption as well) up and down the hierarchical stack. It can’t, and doesn’t work. Distributed agents (read that as agency-based humans) have inherent error-correcting modes that keep large organizations informationally solvent. All that is off the table in Shanghai. It will get far worse before it gets better. And it’s all self-inflicted (or sorta – note divisions in China above). None of this will end well. It remains to be seen if the CCP can self-arrest before either a.) mass riots, or b.) mass starvation. So much depends on the length of the COVID virus season. Short enough — the CCP can declare victory with its methods. But if it drags out, even a couple of extra weeks, watch out. Humans have to eat. And hungry humans are angry humans. My poorly informed guess is that these waves last about six-eight weeks. We’re, right now, only halfway there.
I’m not a religious man — but I will pray for the citizens of Shanghai.
What’s absolutely infuriating, though, is the silence of the Western media, and those self-same experts constantly quoted on why we should do this to our own citizenry. I’m Twitter pals with Jay Bhattacharya, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, and piqued by a given Tweet of his on Shanghai, I decided to investigate how OUR media is covering the crisis in Shanghai. Below is a series of screenshots taken yesterday, April 9, off the major media outlets’ front pages. The answer is ‘not at all.’ I mean literally. Here you go.
I checked out a variety of pages of MSM sites. Nothing. And whenever you see such a uniformity of lack of coverage, it doesn’t mean conspiracy. Really, folks — these people couldn’t coordinate putting together a piece of IKEA furniture.
But what it does mean is that larger memetic principles are at play, that inherently forces emergent coordination. In this piece, I’ve discussed how the larger press basically courts authority uber alles. There is an additional factor playing in all of this — the press also mirrors what it thinks its readership is aware of, or potentially cares about. More clicks.
Which is why even sources like The Epoch Times, the Falun Gong alternate publication, in English, that is very critical of the Chinese government, due to their historic persecution of that religion/cult, only had one entry on the whole English front page. I asked my wife to look at both the English and Chinese version. Indeed, the Chinese version had far more coverage. But the US version? Almost crickets.
So we’re looking at a perfect storm of both a perceived empathy bubble of the Western nations regarding what actually happens in China, along with an groveling desire of the Western press to not offend, nor alter the narrative about what’s happening in China. The elites of all countries still largely favor lockdowns, and extreme COVID measures (forced vax, vax passports, etc.) — only recently have various countries lifted, for example, the mask requirement on airplanes. And there are still places in the US — most notably, New York City, where masking of toddlers in day care is still taking place. The last thing the elites want to do is take off the table the ability to impose arbitrary, wholesale restrictions on the populace. And lockdowns and masks are the hill that they know they have to die on.
How absurd can it get? Tom Frieden is a former head of the CDC. In the Tweet below, he is citing an article about airplane masking, using the authority of one of the biggest of the COVID grifters — Eric Feigl Ding, a half-baked nutritionist and now heralded COVID ‘expert’ from around the world. The mind simply reels.
What’s wild is that while that is the lede about staff shortages for EasyJet, a Swiss airline that dropped restrictions, also includes quotes from United and American saying they’re having NO problems, as well as British Airways. If this isn’t a former CDC Director promoting disinformation, I don’t know what other proof will convince you. At what level do we hold these people responsible for clicking through and reading the material they cite? Or we realize they have profound pathologies that allow them to be used as weapons against the general public?
Memetic alignment is the reason for this craziness — like brains think alike, with the values they’re programmed with. How that works is covered throughout this blog. And there are, at this point, no easy answers. People like Frieden have already disqualified themselves as serious scientists, or voices on COVID. And they’re so deep in The Matrix they can’t even see their hunt for information, false or otherwise, that will soothe their brain with its confirmation bias.
From Shanghai, to the ridiculous continuation of airplane masking, what we’re seeing is that there is no way that the global elites will give up their tools of choice for social control, regardless of efficacy. These are things that they plan on trotting out again. But now, in Shanghai, we’ve run the large-scale experiment. And it is death-dealing. It is time for every freedom-loving citizen in every country to start calling this out, now. Because they’re in The Matrix. It is Memetic War. And if we stay passive, they intend to do this to us in the fall.
I’ll close with a nod to Chinese history. During the Great Leap Forward, an unmitigated disaster that led to the starvation of somewhere between 15-55 million famine deaths. The trauma inflicted during that period led directly to the Cultural Revolution. Pathologically interestingly enough, running concurrently as part of the Great Leap Forward, was the Four Pests campaign. The Four Pests campaign involved killing all the sparrows in China, which led to insect population explosions that drove the famine.
There is no question in my mind that people in Shanghai, especially the unregistered, will be facing famine in the near future. I see them, and I hope you do as well. But the triggers that drive human famine are also there. When the government starts killing innocent animals, it’s a prelude. There’s a video circulating of cats in bags, mostly unconscious, and on their way to certain execution.
It’s the canary, or sparrow, in the coal mine. Any government that is capable of doing that, as well as large-scale separation of children from parents, is basically capable of doing anything. There’s little we can do for Shanghai. But now is the time to demand accountability inside our own expert communities. Before it is truly too late.
PS — I’ve written a longish post on bioweapons. COVID was/is a failed bioweapon. Look at the havoc all this is causing. It is time for all of us to call out, across the world, for a meaningful ban of all of this. Now.