The seasonal madness overtook mankind. In years to pass, it will be remembered as a new Witch Hunt, but on a global scale. The Salem affair engulfed a small town in a remote British colony, while the Corona lockdown broke the back of the global economy, pauperised millions, imprisoned three billion people, caused uncounted suicides and misery. It could be compared with World War One, when the West at the peak of its historic achievement rushed towards its self-destruction for reasons so feeble that none of the contemporary actors was able to explain them convincingly.
The madness is fuelled by fear of death. Death, this normal occurrence for our ancestors, a peaceful transformation, when the discarded body is laid to rest in the churchyard after the soul has departed to its Creator, became the worst thing to happen to man, a disaster to be avoided at all costs, because there is no hereafter, no Creator for the soul to return to, but only here and now. They embarked on the War on Death, as our colleague CJ Hopkins observed. Trying to escape death, mankind inflicted upon itself a mortal wound.
It is no coincidence that the only sane Western state, Sweden, avoided the First and the Second World Wars, and the terrible Corona self-destruction as well. I write these words in Sweden, where schools and kindergartens still operate normally, and parents do not get mad at their irritating youngsters; shops and pubs are open, the churches celebrate mass or services, and people are free to roam in the parks and bountiful forests. Just compare Sweden with its big neighbour: Swedes now spend 43% moretime in the parks than usual, while in Germany their people spend 50% less time than usual.
The Germans are subject to fines: it is 500 Euro if you visit your relatives or friends; the same if three or more persons get together; the same if you stand at six feet distance or less from another person; 75 Euro if you are found without an Ausweis, the authorisation permit. Swedes need no permits and are free to visit and socialise.
German society is breaking down. People are scared of seeing each other. Children develop an addiction to games. Loneliness spreads faster than the virus. The new generation of Germans (and Europeans in general) will be hikikomori, a generation of hermits, social recluses. In Japan, there are hundreds of thousands young and not-so-young people who withdraw from society. Now this social disease is spreading and it is likely to deal the coup de grace to a Europe shattered by migration waves, by neoliberalism, by political correctness, by same-sex and transgender madness.
The sexual union of man and woman had been undermined by the society’s fight with ‘toxic masculinity’, by enforcement of ‘safe sex’, the ease with which people can now be prosecuted for alleged harassment and alleged rape. Now it is coming to an end, and the next generation will listen with horror to the story of Adam and Eve. But where will they listen to it? The churches are closed; Mass is forbidden. While trying to defeat Death, Mankind surrendered to Death.
The Germans forgot the words of their great poet, Goethe:
Und so lang du das nicht hast,
dieses Stirb und Werde,
bist du nur ein trüber Gast
auf der dunklen Erde.
In English translation:
And so long as you haven’t experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.
Or perhaps even better:
Die and become!
Eventually, Europe can expect thousands of bankruptcies and suicides. The Swedish small and medium-sized businesses will survive, while the German small businesses will die. Sweden will survive the crisis as a democratic state, as she survived the world wars; while Germany, France and Italy are heading towards 1984-style dictatorship in their ruined lands, as the disappearing remnants of Pornhub users cling to the Internet while it lasts.
This massive collapse is not even necessary. Corona is dangerous, but it is not the plague. The mortality rate in Sweden remains normal and seasonal; they do not carry out many tests and have no lockdown, though people have been advised to keep their distance and wash their hands. Gatherings of more than 50 persons are banned. There are fewer people in the streets than normally, but Sweden is not panic-stricken. Do Swedes die? Yes, definitely, but they weren’t immortal before Corona, either.
Sweden’s Corona-related deaths stand at 40 per million, three times less than in France and twice as many as in Germany, though these two states have a severe lockdown policy. Given that in recent years Sweden along with all Western states had tried to fight Death per se and had kept alive many sick and elderly people even by excessive means, one would expect that this harvest would be greater than it is. As with any infectious disease big cities are more dangerous than villages, and the houses of the elderly, nursing homes, aged-care facilities, the places where old folk wait for a not-unexpected death, are the greatest death traps. Sweden has no great cities like New York or London, but there are many old and very old people who may yet succumb to the virus.
I am proud of Swedish politicians, of the ruling Social Democrats who keep the torch of freedom burning bright despite enormous pressure from the Western mass media. The leading papers of the Masters of Discourse, The New York Times and The Guardian, almost daily print articles prophesying doom for Sweden, but meanwhile the PM withstands the doomsayers. The Swedish media is not going into panic mode, and it helps. I do not know for how long the Swedes will be able to fight the pressure; whether the enemies of freedom try a regime change or just bomb Sweden into obedience, it is worth it.
Even in the US, the simple truth began to sink in: the Corona crisis is a media crisis, as so many recent events have been. 9/11 and the War on Terror is one of them. Since this unique (and still mysterious) incident, there have been no Islamic terror attacks in the US. Rare individual attacks in Europe have usually been perpetrated by people unhinged by the US War on Terror. More people have been killed by falling furniture in their apartments than by Islamic terrorists, but the price this War on Terror extracted from Americans and the people of the Middle East has been stupendous, because the mass media created a wave of panic.
The same is true of the Corona pandemic. Even the mainstream LA Times noticed that “the flu has sickened 36 million Americans since September and killed an estimated 22,000, according to the CDC, but those deaths are largely unreported.” Corona is real, and it is deadly for people whose very survival hinges on advanced medicine. For the rest, it is not. From time to time, the media splashes a story of a young man or even a child who succumbed to the virus. They never mention that the young man was ill of leukaemia (as in the case of the footballer), or that the child was born unable to survive independently. The ill are simply more prone to die.
The Russians are a big disappointment. They gave up their independence and toed the line. It was an amazing sight: for weeks, Russian pro-government media (including bloggers) laughed over the Western lockdown policy. They used all the arguments the Western Corona dissidents employed. And then it changed overnight. Not because of deaths – Russia has 34 corona-related deaths altogether, infinitely small number, but because of the pressure. Though Putin refused to call for lockdown or similar measures, he allowed governors of the provinces to take measures necessitated by local circumstances. And Moscow and St Petersburg did it with relish.
Not only lockdown, but heavy fines for being on the streets without an ausweis, a permit; for driving a car, for walking your dog more than one hundred yards from your door. They barred parks, limited the sale of alcohol, closed tobacco shops. Now life in the Russian capital cities is as restrictive as anywhere on the Prison Planet, but they plan to go one better by introducing a QR-code system for people allowed to exit their own homes. It is said that Putin objects, but Sobyanin insists on it. As one would expect, the pro-Democrat FT, the newspaper that supported Obama and Clinton, now supports Sobyanin versus Putin.
The Churches are closed; the Christians in this very observant country are forbidden to go to services, there is no communion, no liturgy. Even in Stalin’s day, during the World War, when German troops stood a few miles away from the Kremlin, Muscovites were allowed to go to the night service for communion; now, they are not.
The Russian media and bloggers fully supported the turnaround. The pro-Western liberal opposition welcomed it, because it is a proper modern Western way of doing things, and the right-wing authoritarians approved of it because they like restrictions. Sadly, Russians, a wonderful folk, have no real convictions. They were all for communism until they were told to drop it, and they dropped it like a hat. They were for Putin and independence, but when they felt that Putin was losing in the internal struggle, they immediately changed their views.
Now the majority of the Russian media and bloggers say Putin showed his weakness when he did not call for lockdown and allowed the Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin to do so instead. They would rather the great man himself put them under house arrest. This is very silly, but I think it is good to understand the reality.
For Russians, it is 1991 again, the collapse of the world they inhabited, the world of holidays abroad, in Turkey and Egypt, in France and Spain, the world of nice cafes and barbershops. The new world is as strict and threatening as the dark times of German occupation with its numerous prohibitions, but they try to survive.
Perhaps there will be another turnaround, for the lockdown is very difficult for the Russians with their very small apartments. If it lasts, expect a lot of family conflict and violence. Modern Russian families normally work and meet each other in the evenings only. Now they have to see each other 24/7, and it could be too much. Then, perhaps, Putin can come as the savior to release them from captivity.
The worst place to be in these dark times is Israel. They defeated Death, and at the same time they defeated Life, the obverse side of the coin. Israel has very, very few corona-related deaths. The Israeli mortalities are men in their late eighties, inhabitants of the old-age-care dwellings. There are no schools, no kindergartens open. People are forbidden to venture outside. Mossad and the police trace every movement.
And the War on Death is the War on God. The Churches are closed by government decree, even the venerable Resurrection Church or the Church of Holy Sepulchre. The Mosques are closed too, even the al Aqsa Mosque. The main attack of the godless Zionist regime had been on the observant Jews. Their military teams welded the gates of the synagogues using the skills they acquired while fighting the Palestinian Intifada, when they welded down Arab shops in the Old City of Jerusalem.
They dispatched the best fighters, the commando units, to tear old men over eighty away from their families and homes and carried these old religious Jews away into sequestered hotels into solitary confinement. The main town of the Orthodox Jews, Bene Brak, had been encircled and put under blockade like the Gaza Strip. Their Zionist neighbours in Ramat Gan demand to surround Bene Brak with a wall so the religious Jews won’t venture out. The Orthodox kids bravely fight police and the army, call them “Nazis!” and ostentatiously cough at them. The men go to pray in underground synagogues, only to be denounced by neighbours devoted to the higher common good, as they were in the days of Anne Frank. These repressions of believing Jews are probably the worst to happen in many years of troubled Jewish history.
The Jewish faith has many deficiencies, no doubt, but the Jewish adherence to faith, their stiff necks, their willingness to rebel rather than submit is a fine example to the greater world. I felt pride in these Orthodox rebels in their medieval frocks who defend their right to pray to God in face of the mighty IDF, just like their countrymen the Palestinians who fought the IDF for al Aqsa.
When Jews are good, they are very good. When they are bad, they are really bad. And godless Jews are often in the second category. They take their desire to live too far, and their War on Death is total, like the bombing of Dresden. Israel is probably the only nation in the world where ninety-year-old patients are forcibly connected to lung ventilation systems. The price is a total lockdown; but this lockdown allows banks to raise their interest rates and forces unemployed workers to keep paying their exorbitant rents to their absentee landlords.
In the US, there are two forces fighting over the virus response. The Financiers and the Industrialists, or Old and New Money, or Hollywood and the Rust Belt, the names vary. It seems that both will be defeated, as England and Germany both lost in the World War. President Trump wants to save his country, and his fine gesture to refuse the mask will be remembered, but he is not strong enough to make the required changes.
I do not know whether there is still a way back to some normality, or whether yesterday’s world is dead and can’t be resuscitated. But before we collapse in this grim dystopia, there is still a chance. Sombre Lent is almost over, and Easter is coming! It would be a good time to end these Corona restrictions and to let people roam free upon the beautiful land God gave us. As for the War on Death, President Trump and President Putin can declare they won it, by letting people gather in their churches and declare that Christ is Risen, and Death has been beaten at her game.
Israel Shamir can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was first published at The Unz Review.