To avoid any misconceptions or deliberate strawmanning of this article, I am going to say that: this article is not saying that there are zero risks from the coronavirus, and I accept that some individuals, particularly in at risk groups, such as the elderly and people with lung conditions, have died or are at risk of death because of this virus. What I am questioning in this article is what is known as ‘fear porn’: the massive over exaggeration of risk and the constant pushing of the ‘we’re all going to die’ narrative. I have already in a previous post criticised what I believe to be the real agenda behind this fear porn, namely, creation of an authoritarian police state. This article is going to focus on a different issue as to why people are acting uncritically when it comes to the fear porn and why they are supporting the government.
One thing that is the most notable about human nature (or whatever other term you would like to use) is that we are terrified of dying. Our own death is one of those events that is always pushed to the sidelines and ignored (at least by the vast majority of people): Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. This fear is often used by atheists to explain why people believe in religion, but the truth is neither most atheists nor most religious people have accepted their own death. Through a series of events which I will not outline for this blog, but that led me to look deep in the abyss, I will say that one of the positive benefits of those experiences was fully accepting that I will die and that is fine, to put it in the post straightforward way possible.
When human beings are reminded of their own death, that is very uncomfortable for them. “Me? I’m going to die? Really? Surely not!” we think. And this of course, is very much known by our elites – who of course, are also in denial of their own death – they hoard their wealth and power almost as if they believe they can take it with them! (One is rather reminded of Ecclesiastes.) But of course the elite know a little bit of this plausible fear goes a long way when dealing with ordinary people.
A guy called Ernest Becker came up with something which came to be known as ‘Terror Management Theory.’ He wrote a book called the Denial of Death which came to be the basis of this theory. Basically, we’re afraid of death, so what do we do about it?
This is what Psychology Today says:
According to TMT, death anxiety drives people to adopt worldviews that protect their sense of self-esteem, worthiness, and sustainability and allow them to believe that they play an important role in a meaningful world. Human survival instincts, and the need to reinforce cultural significance in the face of death, often result in displays of prejudice, or the belief that the group with which one identifies is superior to other groups. In this way, people confirm their self-importance and insulate themselves from their deep fear of merely living an insignificant life permanently eradicated by death.Psychology Today article
In other words this theory suggests that the idea and fear of death can influence human beings in many ways and of course it follows from this that elites can invoke many of the same psychological tricks in order to get people in line.
But what is going on with the coronavirus fear porn is just the straightforward suggestion: you are going to die of this virus. Coronavirus crisis. Death death death. Look at these numbers. We won’t give you any context but look at them. See. Death. You. You’re next. Death. You’re. Going. To. Die.
The human response to all these reminders is: argh, no panic, going to die, going to die? No please please don’t let me die. I can’t think about that. I can’t handle it.
Ah, but then nice benevolent governments can say: Well, there are some things we can do to help, all you need to do is give up x, y, z, civil liberties.
Us: yes please, please please don’t let me die.
Now of course, it is completely irrational to think that the government can protect you from a virus. A virus is a biological organism that has no capacity to obey a government directive and will simply spread because that is its programming as a entity. Whatever the government does it is likely that some vulnerable individuals will die of this virus. That is a shame but that is also reality – people die every day of all sorts of various causes, many preventable (Paul Embery on Twitter recently pointed out the high levels of death from smoking for instance).
What we are seeing then is a phenomenon called Mass Scale Death Denial. People spend their lives in denial that they will die. Introduce a bit of fear, a bit of drawing people’s attention to the fact that they will die and that they might die right now. But say you have the solution if the person will just agree to x y & z & if they just follow orders. Then the person can go right back to their denial because the government is protecting them.
And I want to note that many on the left or progressives or whatever I would be called (I don’t even know or care any more since I only tend to focus on anti-war & free Assange stuff) are just as guilty at cheering this on. There are so many people who have correctly criticised the MSM on everything: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Assange, anti-Semitism smears on Corbyn, to name a few. But a lot of them are falling in line behind the MSM – who they know better than anyone lie – on this issue. Why? Just a little bit of fear shaking them out of their death denial.
So here’s my advice dear reader: do the necessary psychological work on yourself and really face up to your fear of death. If you don’t fear death, it’s harder for them to control you.