By Sean Gabb
We have, for the past eighteen months, lived through a fantasy pandemic. If unpleasant, the Virus is not particularly deadly. The number of cases is a product of testing, the number of deaths a statistical fraud. We have had much worse infections in living memory. We never responded to those by locking down whole populations and making hysterical fear an object of state policy. What is happening?
The most likely answer is stupidity. The quality of the people who rule Britain and America has dropped through the floor since about 1990, and it was not that high then. Sadly, though, the rest of the world still believes Britain and America are the pinnacle of civilisation, and so, whatever madness is decided in London and Washington is copied without question almost everywhere else. Take stupidity, add short-term advantage to the usual suspects in politics and business, and we have the Coronavirus Panic.
But arguments from stupidity are boring. They are the equivalent of denying the existence of ghosts and second sight – worthy and true, but unentertaining. Much better is to begin from the assumption that the idiots in charge are not really in charge, but are only front men for the supremely intelligent and supremely effective and supremely wicked Ones-on-High. Do this, and explaining the panic becomes an argument over which conspiracy theory best fits the observed facts.