Email of the day on government overreach
Comment of the Day

December 08 2020

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on government overreach

please just continuing stating what you believe is obvious.

For me this means that in absolute terms and relative to other causes of illness (on a world-wide basis, COVID 19 is only about number 11 of official causes of death) as well as the average age of people dying WITH - NOT necessarily because of COVID-19 but helpful to inflate the otherwise very lowly death statistics -, the "pandemic" is more a matter of a carefully manipulated narrative leading to generalized and well-utilized hysteria which then justifies measures curtailing freedom and dignity of humans and is finally propelling us into a fully "Perfect World" (foreseen by Huxley + Orwell) including Ministries of Truth and other goodies around the globe.

As I almost died of a seriously complicated pneumonia last year involving, among others, various standard Corona viruses, I do have a certain personal perspective on these matters.

Eoin Treacy's view

Thank you for sharing your personal perspective and congratulations on your recovery. Anyone with any kind of historical sensitivity is likely to share your awareness of the power grab that has taken place this year.

Milton Friedman’s witticism “nothing was so permanent as a temporary government programme.” is particularly relevant this year. If governments can close businesses by fiat without judicial or electoral repercussions, what is to stop them doing it again in future? That’s a massive uncertainty for businesses as well as government financing. This will not be the last pandemic or challenge that our societies face.

The Ministry of Truth comparison from 1984 is particularly relevant in the context of how large companies now regulate/censor dialogue online. Realistically, Google, Twitter, Facebook etc. did not want to be in the position of having to monitor what occurs on their platforms. They have taken the most expedient approach of focusing on the areas where they are most likely to be criticised.

There is a good reason media companies tend to lean leftward. They are in the business of appealing to the most possible people and the vast majority of people are not going to protest against spending more money or pandering to the wants of the lowest common denominator. Even if they are in the business of making the most possible money, they will always champion the cause of giving people something for nothing.

The big change with social media is they amplify the emotionality of discourse and easily facilitate the creation of shared groups. The trend of shutting down any kind of alternative opinion was greatly accelerated with the advent of the internet.

When I was a child there was media furore over acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer. The green movement didn’t really gain a lot of traction until the oil price spiked and the internet enabled much greater communication.

The advent of social media, the emotional impact of the credit crisis and the rise of China has led to growth in authoritarianism and a refusal to brook any discussion of alternatives. Censorship is violent suppression of dissent at the primary tools of authoritarianism.

Political polarisation is at a record high and that is likely to continue to contribute to measures to placate restive populations. That virtually ensures we are still years away from any serious effort to control spending and deficits in most developed markets.

By contrast emerging markets are in a better fiscal position, have lower debt to GDP and are likely to enjoy appreciating currencies for the next few years.

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