The Canadian Red Ensign
Friday, April 24, 2020
Sacrificing Billions to Save Thousands?
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.” – Rudyard Kipling
The way the World Health Organization, our power-hungry politicians, the technocratic boobs with tunnel vision who are our health apparatchiks, and the cheap harlots of the mainstream media talk about it, one would think that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a real life equivalent of the artificially engineered, antibody resistant, superflu which wipes out most of the world’s population in Stephen King’s 1978 novel The Stand and the various adaptations thereof. It is not. Although it is possible that like the weaponized flu strain in the novel, it escaped from a laboratory, that of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it is not remotely comparable in terms of lethality. It is basically a normal strain of bat influenza that has jumped species to humans, that has been spreading rapidly due to it being new to the species and thus our having no built up immunity to it yet, but most people are not at risk of anything worse than the ordinary flu from it. Those who are most susceptible to developing the severe and potentially lethal form of pneumonia that it can produce are the same people susceptible to catching pneumonia and dying from H1N1 and the other, ordinary, seasonal strains of the flu.
From the beginning of this pandemic it has been apparent that the WHO’s claims with regards to the lethality of this virus have been greatly exaggerated. Although the press in its daily reports has used “staggering” and similar scare words to describe the rising death tolls, the numbers themselves have not supported the use of such adjectives. Not when taken in context at any rate. COVID-19 has not become the leading cause of death, it is nowhere close to it. The overall number of deaths from all causes for the period of this pandemic has not risen astronomically in comparison with the number for the same period in other years. Indeed, in some areas that have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 this number has been down from recent years.
In most countries, the epidemiologists’ original projections of expected deaths from this disease have been radically revised downward. At some point the mortality rate will have to undergo a similar radical adjustment. Contrary to the lies of the health authorities and the media, the official death count for COVID-19 is not too low but too high. Even though the vast majority of people who have caught this virus and died have had multiple other conditions that also contributed to their demise these have all been classified as deaths from COVID-19. If deaths from regular influenza were counted the same way the mortality rate for the flu would be much higher than it is. Similarly, the other number that goes into the mortality rate calculation is much too low. Since a large number – as many as fifty percent some estimates put it – of those who contract the virus are completely asymptomatic, the total number known to have been infected is obviously much, much, lower than the true number of infected. Indeed, when we consider that international travel in and out of Hubei province was allowed long after the initial outbreak began there – and long after Red China shut down travel from that province to the rest of their own country – during a period in which Western countries, sick with a liberalism far more lethal than this virus, resisted imposing travel restrictions on China, it is almost certain that the virus had made it into all of our countries long before we noticed that it had arrived.
Since the potential lethality of this virus has been hugely exaggerated, the extent to which the repugnant, totalitarian, Communistic measures being taken almost everywhere are “saving lives” is also exaggerated. In pointing this out I do not wish merely to throw water on those currently engaged in a nauseating orgy of self-congratulatory, backslapping, tripe over their efforts to save lives by sacrificing our freedoms, but to contrast the low number of lives saved with the potentially much higher number of lives endangered by the same measures.
While I am no fan of Karl Marx – Groucho is much more my style – and am of the firm opinion that he was wrong about almost everything, there are a few rare exceptions to this. One such exception was the sentence with which he opened his letter to Louis Kugelmann on July 11, 1868. He wrote “Every child knows a nation which ceased to work, I will not say for a year, but even for a few weeks, would perish.” With this sentence he introduces an argument that is neither interesting nor relevant to the subject at hand, but the sentence itself states an obvious truth, one very similar to that which is found in the verses by Rudyard Kipling quoted at the beginning of this essay.
The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus continues to be remembered to this day for his theory about population size and the food supply. Human beings, Malthus argued, can increase our food supply through improved means of production, but if we do so the natural human response will be an increase in reproduction. The increase in reproduction will be faster and larger than the increase in food production so that the growth in population size will exceed the increase to the food supply and as a result there will be famine, poverty, starvation, disease and death. His essay on the Principle of Population was first published in 1798. He expanded and revised it in 1803, and published several further editions with minor revisions before his death in 1834. From that day to this, it has inspired several prophecies of doom, the most famous of recent times being the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb by Stanford University’s Paul Ehrlich which predicted that hundreds of millions of people would die in the 1970s from starvation due to overpopulation. That, of course, did not happen.
There is obviously a flaw somewhere in Malthus’ theory. The question is where. According to the popular Demographic Transition Model, first developed by Warren Thomson in 1929, the problem is with his understanding of human nature. According to this theory, as societies progress towards industrialization they pass through stages and, after they have achieved a certain level of industrial development, fertility rates drop drastically and population size stabilizes. While the demographic history of Western countries and other developed countries such as Japan in the twentieth century would seem to bear this interpretation out, explaining its having passed into conventional wisdom, it has not gone without challenge. Dr. Virginia Deane Abernethy of Vanderbilt University, for example, in her book Population Politics (Transaction Books, 2000) gave several examples of empirical evidence that goes against the theory, making the case that popular late twentieth century progressive efforts to combat Third World overpopulation and poverty with policies based upon the assumption of the DTM, such as foreign relief and liberal immigration to the West as a population safety valve, have not worked as the model would have predicted but have, if anything, made the problem worse. The sharp decline in fertility that developed countries have experienced since the end of the post-World War II Baby Boom is better explained by other aspects of the transition to modernity, such as a severe weakening of the traditional idea that producing posterity is a duty we owe to our ancestors, than by industrial prosperity itself.
The other leading explanation of the flaw in Malthus’ theory is that he vastly underestimated our capacity to improve and increase the food supply. This explanation is also borne out by the history of the twentieth century and much more consistently than that of the DTM.
Now, if this explanation of what went wrong with the predictions based upon Malthus’ theory is the correct one, and I believe it is, then what could potentially happen when we have a global population of 7.8 billion people and we shut down the economy all over the world, jeopardizing out ability to produce food at this improved and increased capacity?
Why, lo and behold, we have just discovered where the potential for a death rate as a high as the one in Stephen King’s book is to be found.
Yes, shutting down the economies of practically every country in the world, is indeed a move that will put the food supply in jeopardy. When those who produce and sell food are almost the only ones allowed to be open they are essentially being asked or told to work for nothing, for nobody else is producing anything with which to pay them. Yes, governments are printing and handing out fiat money by the gazillions, but money has no intrinsic value. Its role in the marketplace is to be a convenient stand-in for real goods. The X number of dollars that you pay someone for Y amount of magic beans, represents the cow that you would have traded in a barter exchange. Perhaps that is a bad example, because both beans and cattle are sources of food, but I think it still gets the point across. If only category of producers are allowed to actually produce anything for sale in the market, the currency that is exchanged in that market will rapidly become worthless, and those producers will become overburdened and start to fail. It is estimated that nine million people in the world die from hunger every year. It is responsible for half of the deaths of children under the age of five. This is over three times the number of people known to have been infected with COVID-19. It is about fifty times more than the number who have died after contracting the virus. As of this writing, the number who have died from hunger in 2020 so far is almost three million. That’s about fifteen times the number who have died after contracting COVID-19, whether the virus was the primary killer or not. The measures being taken to combat COVID-19 will drive the number who die from hunger up and by considerably more than they can bring the number who die from COVID-19 down.
There are those who would say that this is the intentional and deliberate true purpose of the global lockdown. I would not go that far. The problem with the interpretation of events as being the intended outcome of a very powerful and malevolent cabal is that it requires assuming that politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, and the like possess an almost superhuman level of competence. In reality, these are people who think they are Sherlock Holmes, when they are actually Jacques Clouseau – the Jacques Clouseau portrayed by Peter Sellers in Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther films, not the version of the character more recently portrayed by Steve Martin. Unlike the latter, who is able to scrape together enough deductive reasoning to actually solve the case by the end of his movies, Sellers’ classic interpretation of this character was of a bumbling, clumsy, nincompoop whose incompetence is matched only by his vanity and arrogance, and who succeeds only through an extraordinary degree of sheer accidental luck.
That having been said, large scale global depopulation has been one of the chief goals of the environmentalist wing of the United Nations and its ultrawealthy backers like Bill Gates, George Soros, and the late Maurice Strong since at least the 1992 “Earth Summit” at Rio de Janeiro that produced the famous – or, depending upon your perspective, infamous – action plan “Agenda 21.” These people represent the most extreme version of one of the two distortions of Malthus that have been around since his own day. While his detractors, like Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, unjustly accused him of heartlessly wishing upon people the famine, poverty, and death his theory predicted, his supporters, especially those of more recent times, have advocated measures to combat overpopulation that he himself would have found morally repugnant, such as abortion, infanticide, and totalitarian state control of reproduction. Those who want the world’s population reduced by as much as eighty to ninety-five percent are the worst example of this sort. The overlap between the institutions such as the United Nations and individuals such as Bill Gates who advocate this radical agenda and those behind the global lockdown is certainly worth taking note of.
Whether intentional or merely the result of the kind of stupidity that is the unique property of technocratic experts – “I had no idea my solution to Problem X would create the much worse Problem Y because that is not my field of expertise” – the potential lethality of the measures being taken to combat COVID-19, far exceeds that of the disease itself.
Posted by Gerry T. Neal at 6:14 AM Labels: Agenda 21, Bill Gates, Blake Edwards, COVID-19, George Soros, Groucho Marx, Karl Marx, Maurice Strong, Paul Ehrlich, Peter Sellers, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen King, Thomas Robert Malthus, Virginia Deane Abernethy