It is sobering to realize that the coronavirus will likely kill my mother, who has very little lung function left after years of sarcoidosis. It may well kill my grandmother, who would otherwise probably clear the 100-year mark with ease. But the worst part of this is having a conversation with my father in which he rather wistfully says, “At least there was a moment or two of national unity after 9/11,” and realizing just how right he is about that. There won’t be any national unity during the “Wuhan flu” (discussing the origins of which is now considered to be racist) or in the long tail of its aftereffects.
This virus seems tailor made to divide us along every possible fault line. The left wing literally wants to use it as a bioweapon against their political opponents. Young people call it the “boomer remover” and cheer on the idea that it might affect the election in their favor by killing older voters en masse. Secure in the knowledge that they were unlikely to themselves die from the virus they would pass on to others, a group of young women I know decided to take a week-long trip to Amsterdam for a non-stop indulgence in drugs and, ahem, party behavior: presumably whatever strain they bring back could be called COVID-69. Students are being forcibly ejected from their dorms by police, and some of them are copying the riot techniques they’ve learned from watching Antifa on YouTube.
Meanwhile, many of my more, ah, militant friends are going full Cormac McCarthy. I’m hearing stories of people loading a few dozen AR-15 magazines, doing home bullet casting “just in case”, and making plans for an armed response against the first group of “looters” to appear in their (literal) sights. I’ve watched the value of that palladium coin I was looking to sell here a few weeks ago jump to north of three grand then sink to south of two — in a twelve-hour period. A friend made a million dollars in a single day shorting resource stocks, starting with a new Accord’s worth of seed cash.
We’ve come to believe that nothing truly bad can happen on a large scale in what I think of as the Long Now Of Late Stage Capitalism — but it could. What form the chaos will take (Dow 5,000? New York and San Francisco burning to the ground? Citizen militias being raised in every suburb to throw lead against anyone trying to find food outside the city?) is beyond the scope of my crystal ball. There is, however, one very important, even critical, benefit to society which will come as a result of this catastrophe. Unfortunately, that benefit is going to cost us more than a few innocent lives in the process of being realized.
While you weren’t looking, our painfully gentle, meek-looking, politically-correct, athleisure-clad American Illuminati moved the entire American pharmaceutical industry to China — lock, stock, and the proverbial barrel of penicillin. They did this because Thomas Friedman’s book told them that the world was flat and that “China, in many ways, is closer to us than Mexico.” It never in a million years occurred to them that they were putting significant power into the hands of people who consider American “thought leaders” mere dung flies to be swatted away or cultivated in manure, depending on the mood of the moment. Our Eloi are charmingly naive that way; they’re like the eight-year-old child who thinks he’s found a new way to cheat at Monopoly, not realizing that the adults around the table can predict his every move before it happens. Raised to operate in quarterly timeframes, they can’t imagine the thought processes of men (and it’s men, not womyn or furries or whatever) who might knowingly lose money on factories and industrial production for decades in a row in order to have the whip hand when it matters most.
Through their state media, China reminded the United States that they could easily choose to exercise, and I quote, “strategic control over medical products.” Such an exercise of control would turn this country into a bloody hellscape. It’s not just the coronavirus victims: it’s every diabetic, every person with a thyroid disorder, everyone who needs blood thinner or any other constant supply of live-saving medicine. You’d be surprised just how many people around you need a daily or weekly dose of something in order to function. At the very least, it would be a death sentence for anyone who is fighting cancer, heart disease, or a dozen other maladies.
Oh, by the way: don’t get pneumonia.
This would be something very close to a checkmate move for China. Our only possible response would be to vaporize a couple of cities — a choice that no potential American President of late 2020 likely has the courage or bloody-mindedness to make.
Oh, and it’s not just medicine. I used to work for Cardinal Health, one of America’s two largest suppliers of various medical products. (McKesson is the other one.) The vast majority of their stuff was sourced through trade relationships with the lowest bidder. Imagine having a very minor car crash and then having everyone in both cars die because they can’t even get bandages or basic antibiotics. It could happen in six months.
Many years ago, a very wealthy relative of mine assured me that we had nothing to fear from China. “We’re like a homeowner with a $300,000 mortgage on a $200,000 home — and China is the bank,” he laughed. “They need us more than we need them.” Except they probably don’t. They’re prepared for eventualities which we cannot begin to imagine. Certainly the Party would let a half billion people starve, if necessary, to ensure that China replaced America as the world’s unipole superpower.
President Trump is already sounding the alarm on this monopoly, but it’s not something we can rectify overnight. We’d need the equivalent of the Manhattan Project and the Tennessee Valley Authority, all at once. And you could expect any attempt at building a national medical capability to be fought tooth and nail all the way to the last inch by the various corporate interests who would prefer an accommodation with China at any cost. They will tell us we can’t build a national capability of any sort, and that the stock market could suffer. Well, the stock market is suffering now, isn’t it?
If nothing else, this virus has shown us just how fragile, cynical, and worthless the globalist future would be. We need to reject that future at any cost. Including that of our lives. Does that sound melodramatic? If it does, then chances are you’re not expecting to lose family members to the fruits of our current perfectly flat, totally optimized, completely virus-susceptible world.
For Watch Journal, I interviewed Mr. G-SHOCK himself for a piece on Casio’s new luxury mojo.