We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“According to this theory of leadership, convictions don’t count for much: politics is a science, and leaders are little more than vectors, conveying carefully calibrated versions of externally-validated truths to the masses in order to secure maximum support and compliance. Reports from the cabinet subgrouping in charge of Covid policy suggest that the new ‘rule of six’ was chosen instead of eight not for epidemiological reasons, but for purposes of “messaging clarity”. It was thought that, since the number six was already out there, it should be retained for simplicity’s sake; eight would only complicate things. And so the lives of England’s 55 million citizens are to be drastically altered “for the foreseeable future” according to the principles of campaign science.”

Freddie Sayers.

38 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • polidoriredux

    And counting to five is right out.

  • Plamus

    “Politics has a math of its own. Whereas a scientifically minded person might see things this way: One person who says 2+2=5 is an idiot; two people who think 2+2=5 are two idiots; and a million people who think 2+2=5 are a whole lot of idiots — political math works differently. Let’s work backwards: if a million people think 2+2=5, then they are not a million idiots, but a “constituency.” If they are growing in number, they are also a “movement.” And, if you were not only the first person to proclaim 2+2=5, but you were the first to persuade others, then you, my friend, are not an idiot, but a visionary.”
    ― Jonah Goldberg

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Reports from the cabinet subgrouping in charge of Covid policy suggest that the new ‘rule of six’ was chosen instead of eight not for epidemiological reasons, but for purposes of “messaging clarity”.”

    It’s about psychology. And it’s no doubt based on their recent experience.

    Epidemiology just says “R has gone above 1, we’ve relaxed a bit too much, people need to reduce social contact a little bit.” But you can’t introduce a law using phrases like “a little bit”. What does that mean? If you reduce the party size from 500 to 400, does that count? How about 50? 10? 5? 2? Where’s the sharp line between “legal” and “illegal” that you can draw, for people with no effin common sense?

    The government has been attacked constantly over the past months for making the rules too complicated, too hard to understand. They’ve been constantly nit-picked on corner cases and exceptions. All the political pressure has been in the direction of making things simple and clear and unambiguous, even if it’s not what the science strictly requires. Like we stuck with the two metre rule because someone early on said two metres for 15 minutes, and now we’re applying two metres for everything, everywhere, whether it’s for 15 seconds or 15 hours.

    The government don’t actually care. They have got no desire to enforce petty rules strictly, they have been calling from the start for people to use their common sense. What they want is for R to go down. What do they have to say to get it to do so?

    The science says R has gone up to 1.2 so we need to cut potentially infectious social contacts by 20%. Can you manage that?

    “Whereas a scientifically minded person might see things this way: One person who says 2+2=5 is an idiot;”

    A mathematically minded person might ask “What do they mean by ‘+’? What do they mean by ‘2’ and ‘5’? Are people just using different definitions?”

    What if you meet someone who says the square root of minus one is ‘i’?

  • Ferox

    NIV, those are fair arguments, but if I meet someone who has redefined “5” so that “2+2=5” becomes true, I am still going to consider him an idiot.

    Just sayin’.

    They have got no desire to enforce petty rules strictly

    I haven’t seen a single thing that makes me think this is true. Au contraire, I think they delight in enforcing petty rules strictly – the pettier the rule, the stricter the enforcement. At least here in the colonies that seems to be the case.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “but if I meet someone who has redefined “5” so that “2+2=5” becomes true, I am still going to consider him an idiot.”

    Suppose we’re counting 360 degree turns? 90 degrees is 0.25 turns. 180 degrees is 0.5 turns? What if you add two full turns to two more, and compare to five full turns?

    “I haven’t seen a single thing that makes me think this is true.”

    Possibly in other countries it’s different. I don’t know. In the UK, Boris was noted for responding to press queries about the details of the rules by saying he expected people to use common sense, and the instructions the Home Office gave the police on enforcement instructed them very clearly to only use legal penalties as a last resort. It was all about ‘engage’ and ‘educate’ first.

    Of course, the press took a malicious glee in applying the letter of the rules to their political enemies, which may of course give a different impression. And there are plenty of ordinary people who do, too. But I’m pretty sure that people like Boris and Dominic Cummings were much more relaxed about the details. It’s supposed to be about stopping the epidemic spreading, not about angry people shouting at one another with rule books and tape measures.

  • Ferox

    What if you add two full turns to two more, and compare to five full turns?

    Without the units, the equation would make no sense (or just be false), and with the units, it doesn’t apply to what we are talking about.

  • Plamus

    A mathematically minded person might ask “What do they mean by ‘+’? What do they mean by ‘2’ and ‘5’?

    Technically correct, he/she MIGHT ask that. Very few would. ‘+’ has a pretty well defined meaning in mathematics, and so do ‘2’ and ‘5’.

    Suppose we’re counting 360 degree turns? 90 degrees is 0.25 turns. 180 degrees is 0.5 turns? What if you add two full turns to two more, and compare to five full turns?

    Then you use the proper notation for degrees. And two full turns plus two full turns is not the same as five full turns. 4 ≠ 5. f(2)+f(2)=f(5) for a limited number of functions, which (I think) is what you are claiming; then it is incumbent upon you to indicate that. Sin(4π)+sin(4π)=sin(10π) —> 2+2=5 is a logical chain with all the links missing. Omitting proper notation and/or context and expecting others to accept your 2+2=5 claim is idiotic. Or visionary, YMMV.

  • You can use the symbols “2”, “+”, “5”, and even “=” for anything you like.

    It still won’t change the fact that, in any system following the axioms of Peano arithmetic,

    The successor of the successor of zero, plus the successor of the successor of zero, is equal to the successor of the successor of the successor of the successor of zero.

    Nor will it change the fact that, in the unique-up-to-isomorphism complete Archimedian ordered field,

    (1 + 1) + (1 + 1) = (1 + 1 + 1 + 1)

  • Nullius in Verba

    “‘+’ has a pretty well defined meaning in mathematics, and so do ‘2’ and ‘5’.”

    On the contrary! In mathematics ‘+’ and ‘5’ have LOTS of meanings!

    There is an area of mathematics called Group Theory (which goes on to construct rings, fields, algebras, and more complicated constructions), that started by taking simple axiomatic properties of addition and multiplication and trying to see what conclusions can be proved from what axioms. As a result, it’s standard practice often to use ‘+’ to represent the group operation.

    So ‘5’ can be a cardinal number or an ordinal number. It can be a natural number, an integer, a rational number, an algebraic number, a scalar, a real number, a complex number, a quaternion, a biquaternion, a complex biquaternion, a Clifford multivector, or more. It can be a length, an area, an angle, a solid angle, a speed, a frequency, an electric charge. It can be a member of a Galois field, a member of the ring of polynomials, a formal power series, a 1-dimensional vector, a matrix, a constant function, a congruence class of the integers modulo a prime p.

    They teach natural numbers in primary school, and then keep on adding new meanings subtly, without mentioning that they are doing so. Five apples are not the same as five oranges, but are zero apples the same as zero oranges? What is “5” on its own, without specifying what sort of object you’re counting, or what sort of mathematical object ‘5’ is supposed to be?

    Mathematicians are well aware that there are multiple meanings. People who dropped maths early think there is only one. Is either an ‘idiot’ for knowing only what they’ve experienced?

    “Then you use the proper notation for degrees. And two full turns plus two full turns is not the same as five full turns.”

    The effect of two full turns and then two more is the same as the effect of five full turns. Sometimes people define it that way. Sometimes they don’t. It depends on what you mean by ‘5’ and ‘+’.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do!

  • Flubber

    Epidemiology just says “R has gone above 1, we’ve relaxed a bit too much, people need to reduce social contact a little bit.”

    Says who? According to what?

    The government has undertaken a huge campaign of testing using a test who’s own creator said shouldn’t be used the way the government is doing so. And to what end? To establish that lots of people have had it in the previous months.

    Its all ridiculous bullshit. Remember how this started? Flatten the curve to stop the hospitals being overwhelmed. We never came close. Lots of cancer patients who haven’t had the correct treatment are going to die certainly. How the hell did we end up at zero cases being the goal?

    The politicians have gone mad and the people are just scared sheep.

    Utter nonsense.

    If any of you have the time, look at the CDC data. Only 6% of COVID casualties (assuming they were mis-attributed in the first place) didn’t have 3 or more co-morbidities.

    Again this is ridiculous bollocks.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Remember how this started? Flatten the curve to stop the hospitals being overwhelmed. We never came close. Lots of cancer patients who haven’t had the correct treatment are going to die certainly. How the hell did we end up at zero cases being the goal?”

    Because we subsequently realised that ‘flattening the curve’ would kill a lot more people, and not be significantly cheaper economically.

    You have to maintain R at 1 or below either way. If you ‘flatten the curve’ and hold the infection rate just below hospital capacity it would still take about a year or eighteen months to get to herd immunity, and kill about half a million people in the UK, two million in the States. If you get the rate of infection low and wait for a vaccine, it would still take about a year or so, still require holding R at 1 or below for all that time, but kill far fewer people. The difference is that in the latter you have to hold the severe lockdown on at the start for an extra month or so to get the infection rate low, and then subsequently follow the same policy as ‘flatten the curve’ for a year to hold it there.

    Zero cases aren’t the goal. We started lifting lockdown before we got there. But an extra month to save lots of lives was considered worth it.

    If all the rest of the world seems mad, and you the only sane person in it,…

  • Ferox

    and kill about half a million people in the UK, two million in the States.

    Why do you think this is true?

  • Flubber

    Trust Nullius to come up with an answer that is 100% bullshit and pulled straight from his arse.

    “!If all the rest of the world seems mad, and you the only sane person in it,…”

    Yes, you can only achieve this if studiously ignore everything that doesn’t fit your worldview, like for example the CDC data that I cited.

  • Jacob

    Its all ridiculous bullshit…..
    The politicians have gone mad and the people are just scared sheep.
    Utter nonsense.

    Correct. And hysteria.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Why do you think this is true?”

    Because the virus kills about 1% of the people it infects (estimated by the number of deaths divided by the number who have antibodies to the virus), and you need about 60-80% of the population to be immune for ‘herd immunity’. 1% of 80% of the population of the UK is 530,000, and 1% of 80% of the US population is 2,640,000.

  • Ferox

    estimated by the number of deaths divided by the number who have antibodies to the virus

    In the US, I don’t think random sample testing of the population has been done (and I think it should be). So there is no way of knowing what percentage of the exposed population have died, because we don’t have the slightest idea how many people have been exposed.

    In addition, as noted in another thread, the vast majority of those who have died were already ill with other diseases. At least some of them would have died anyway in that same time frame even without being exposed to COVID. How many? Who knows? This is exactly the place where Captain Statistician could leap into the fray with his multivariate analysis and save the world – but such analysis has been conspicuously absent. And I think there is political pressure to classify those deaths as COVID deaths – at least if/until Biden gets elected.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    “The science says R has gone up to 1.2 so we need to cut potentially infectious social contacts by 20%”

    One of the many things I dislike about today is how the term “the science” has become a phenomenon, bludgeoning the possibility of error or debate. God forbid.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “In the US, I don’t think random sample testing of the population has been done”

    It’s been done in some places.

    “In addition, as noted in another thread, the vast majority of those who have died were already ill with other diseases.”

    The same is true of the rest of the population, who haven’t caught it yet.

    “This is exactly the place where Captain Statistician could leap into the fray with his multivariate analysis and save the world – but such analysis has been conspicuously absent.”

    The statiticians/epidemiologists have published their conclusions. Where do you think I got the numbers from?

    “And I think there is political pressure to classify those deaths as COVID deaths – at least if/until Biden gets elected.”

    In Italy? In Spain? In the UK? Why should we care? If this was a thing only in America, I might think you had a point. But it’s global. The rest of the world isn’t obsessed with American politics.

    It’s not about Trump, or the Democrat campaign against him.

  • Ferox

    The same is true of the rest of the population, who haven’t caught it yet.

    I don’t concede that this is true of both the COVID deaths and the general population. I think it is far more likely that the first flush of COVID infections killed a population disproportionately burdened with those co-morbidities. If that is true, there is no reason to believe that the initial death rate would continue in the general population.

    The statiticians/epidemiologists have published their conclusions. Where do you think I got the numbers from?

    I have been looking on the CDC website for such things, and haven’t had much luck. Any useful links for me to peruse?

    In Italy? In Spain? In the UK?

    Anywhere that the Proggie left is attempting to use COVID to seize (or strengthen their grip on) political power.

    Here in the States, a common claim is that 25% of the worlds COVID deaths have been Americans, because Trump is such a moron. So it’s not just my imagination that the left, and left-media, are busy making sure they don’t waste a crisis.

  • Flubber

    NiV you are so full of shit.

    “Because the virus kills about 1% of the people it infects”

    We dont know how many have been infected. We dont know that the infection has been uniformly distributed amongst the population. We certainly dont know that the listed cause of death is accurate – apparently COVID has cured Influenza for example.

    I could go further. Seriously NiV you’re not helping the discussion, you’re just throwing bullshit.

  • Stonyground

    “The rest of the world isn’t obsessed with American politics.”

    Enough of it seems to be obsessed with the death of George Floyd.

  • Paul Marks

    If (if) true then this quote means that we are ruled by people who believe in nothing – other than gaining office and keeping office.

    No wonder I was a failure in my 40 years in politics – as I do not believe that “convictions do not count for much”.

    Clearly, if this reasoning is correct, I should have done what my half brother (“Tony” Marks) did and support the Marxist (no relation) side in the Cold War – as they paid better.

    For the British government to go on about “repressive regimes such as that in Belarus” after the last six months,stinks.

    When I first became active in things Daniel Ortega was in charge of Nicaragua.

    Not a nice man – used to rape his underage niece and, as Marxist, stood for everything I oppose.

    However, he has had not had a “lockdown” (yes he is still in charge – came in 1979, was forced out for awwhile, came back under Comrade Barack) – he does not tell people what to do, or how many people have in their homes.

    As long as he is paid his bribes he is not really a problem – he is getting on a bit these days, rape and murder is really a young man’s thing.

    He seems to have given up his Marxist convictions – “politics is a science” Daniel Ortega would say, it is not about sill “convictions”, it s about gaining power and keeping power.

    So how is he different from our own rulers? If convictions do not matter and freedom does not matter.

    Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were far from perfect – but they had good beliefs and I was proud to be on their side.

    Like many people my world ended in about 1989 or 1990 – it is has all been a bit empty and meaningless since then.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I have been looking on the CDC website for such things, and haven’t had much luck. Any useful links for me to peruse?”

    The CDC seem to be doing tests, but not publishing a lot. This is the best I was able to come up with.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/geographic-seroprevalence-surveys.html

    The best estimate (largest sample size) is New York. The serology testing says 20% have antibodies, indicating they’ve been infected. That’s about 1.7 million people. 1% of that is 17,000 people.

    Observed excess deaths is in the neighbourhood of 24,000.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-11/new-york-city-had-24-172-excess-deaths-as-outbreak-accelerated

  • Matthew

    So Jim Hacker was the perfect Prime Minister. Good to know.

  • Flubber

    NiV seeing as you’re really stupid and cant use google:

    https://abc-7.com/news/2020/08/31/cdc-report-shows-94-of-covid-19-deaths-in-u-s-had-contributing-conditions/

    And citing a Bloomberg article about NYC numbers – which is obviously peddling a political narrative, when everybody with a pulse knows that the inflated numbers were due to Cumomo’s grotesque mandate to send COVID positive elderly into care homes, is laughably spastic.

    This is the problem I have found with “right wing blogs” resident leftist apologists – they’re always dumb, yet full of piss and wind and in love with their own voices.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “NiV seeing as you’re really stupid and cant use google:”

    So? What do you think that means? That if a person has diabetes and got hit by a truck, you can’t tell what killed him?

    You’ve got a huuuuge spike in the number of deaths, right at the time of the epidemic. You think all these other conditions suddenly started killing thousands more people, right at that time, and that was a total coincidence and had nothing to do with Covid? Don’t be daft!

    “And citing a Bloomberg article about NYC numbers – which is obviously peddling a political narrative, when everybody with a pulse knows that the inflated numbers were due to Cumomo’s grotesque mandate to send COVID positive elderly into care homes, is laughably spastic.”

    The numbers come from official sources. And whatever the cause of the higher proportion of infected in NYC (are you really saying 15% of New Yorkers live in care homes?), that doesn’t affect the reasoning behind the estimate of infection mortality rate. For whatever reason, 20% of New Yorkers have been infected. About 24,000 extra died, all in a huge spike just at the time of the epidemic.

    If you don’t like New York, try the UK. Serology testing finds around 7% of the population have had the virus, which is about 4.6 million people. 1% of that is 46,000, which is roughly the number who have died.

    Roughly 1% of people who catch it die – assuming they all get into a hospital. If the hospitals get overwhelmed and most of the people who need treatment can’t get it, lots more are going to die. Everybody else in the world knows it. Everybody else in the world is planning on that basis. But you’re so wrapped up in your fever-swamp partisan world of conspiracy theories about how it’s all a plot against Trump, you’re automatically rejecting any input that doesn’t fit the fantasy.

    It’s nothing to do with Trump. It’s nothing to do with left or right. It’s a virus. It kills lots of people. That’s what viruses do. This one kills about 1%, and will do whether you can convince everyone it’s a plot against Trump or not, and if you’re not careful, you’ll turn victory into defeat when your faction goes down in the history books for potentially causing a couple million deaths through blind factional stupidity.

    I’m right-wing. I support Trump. But I don’t support crazies with no evidence irresponsibly talking nonsense theories about how it’s all a global plot to unseat your candidate in the middle of a global health emergency! It would be like saying you don’t believe in hurricanes and everyone should stay in their houses when one is about to hit the coast. Even on a partisan level, it’s hardly the best way to convince the undecided voter to vote for your side!

    If you’ve got better data, show it. If not, and you’re honestly right-wing, then stop trying to sabotage and discredit Trump with this bilge!

    Anyway. People were asking why the politicians were doing what they were doing, what the reasoning was behind their policies. I’ve explained why. The politicians believe the statistics, even if you don’t.

  • Fred Z

    Shorter version, per Mencken: Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

  • Paul Marks

    No one can, at this point, honestly claim that what is being done in Britain, and the United States and many other countries is about “public health”.

    Anyone who, at this point claims that the measures are motivated by “public health” concerns is a liar – I do not care if they are “right wing” or “support Trump” (who is not very “right wing” anyway), they are still a liar – and I think most of us our sick of lies.

    As for Agenda 21, Agenda 2030, the Great Reset, Sustainable Development (and the other names for this international totalitarian campaign) being “crazies” pushing “conspiracy theories” – on the contrary, the documents are in the public domain and are openly SUPPORTED at such conferences as the World Economic Forum, where bureaucrats, corporations, the media (and so on) gather.

    There is no question that Covid 19 is being used as an excuse (just as “Climate Change” was-and-is used as an excuse) for the international campaign of tyranny.

    Politicians?

    President Trump is pragmatic – he tries to play both sides (that is why a lot of people who actually are right wing have always had a problem with him) – but he is better than Mr Biden, who is a mindless puppet of the totalitarians, or Senator Harris – who is, and has always been, one of the totalitarians herself (as her father was before her).

    Back in March some people may have sincerely believed that the measures they were imposing were indeed about “Public Health” – but not NOW. No one in a position of power can honestly believe this now.

    As for the specific American position – the demand for mass mail-in ballots (with no signature checks or ID checks of any kind) has got nothing to do with public health – not at this point.

    It is about rigging the election. It is NOT about “public health”.

    But the United States is only part of a international campaign. If Donald John Trump was not President the international elite would still be doing these things (the effort to control every aspect of life) – and if Covid 19 (which is real) had not come along, they would have found some other EXCUSE.

  • Paul Marks

    It is important to remember that many of the tyranny supporting international establishment are NOT Marxists.

    Karl Marx was a totalitarian, but that does not mean that all totalitarians are Marxists (“Nellie has three legs, Nellie is an elephant – therefore all elephants have three legs” is WRONG).

    Take the example of Michael Bloomberg – a man who made billions from the Credit Bubble monetary and financial system), he is indeed a totalitarian, he hates the Bill of Rights (especially the 2nd Amendment – which is the foundation for all other liberties) and wants detailed control of every aspect of human life – down to what each person eats and drinks.

    But Mr Bloomberg is NOT a Marxist – indeed his believe system is closer to that of Saint-Simon the PRE Marxist French Collectivist thinker.

    Under the system of Saint-Simon (often called “Technocracy” today) big business people would not be executed under socialism – on the contrary they would be IN CHARGE, along with fake “scientists” (sound familiar – Professor Ferguson types) who would, as new priesthood, use “scientific” mumbo jumbo to justify the tyranny (rubbish such as “to fight the virus you must……” whatever the latest edict happens to be).

    Fake “science” is nothing new – Jeremy Bentham (who started off supposedly a supporter of the free market – and ended up a supporter of 13 Departments of State controlling almost every aspect of human life the influence of Bentham was the principle reason for the intellectual corruption of 19th century liberalism) and all the way back to Sir Francis “New Atlantis” Bacon, wanted to use fake science for the same totalitarian purpose.

    Fake science not real science – remember Sir Francis even wanted to forbid people saying the Earth went round the Sun. Seeking truth for its own sake (real science) was not what he was about. Just as hated real law – fixed rules that LIMIT the power of government, Sir Francis and his servant Thomas Hobbes (the Igor to his Dr Frankenstein) wanted none of that, to them “law” was simply the command of the powerful, it in no way LIMITED the powerful.

    Sir Francis Bacon was once a senior judicial figure – and he could be right now in most Western countries. But, oddly enough, NOT in Sweden – where the government was told there were fixed rules LIMITING their power that the magic words “public health” did not wish away.

    By the way the magic words “public health” do not appear in the Constitution of the United States or (as far as I know) in most State Constitutions – in spite of the fact that plagues killing vast numbers of people were quite normal when these documents were written.

    For example, such things as forbidding people being evicted for not paying rent are unconstitutional (as such an edict violates private contracts), and so is interference in peaceful religious worship on private property – such edicts violate the Federal Constitution and all 50 State Constitutions.

    But American judges (Federal and State) have become corrupt – Chief Justice Roberts (as Senator Cruz has often pointed out in case after case – over years) being a typical example of such intellectual corruption.

    But back to Saint Simon – the fake “scientists” would be the priesthood of the totalitarian state, but they would not be at the very top.

    So who would be at the very top?

    The Credit Bubble bankers of course – the people who in the modern world (but even, to a much more limited extent, in the 19th century) create “money” out of NOTHING – and lend out vast amounts of “money” that no one really saved.

    We have reached a point where the financial system (indeed much of the economic system) is based upon LIES. On banking book keeping tricks.

    Saint-Simon would be overjoyed – as lending without REAL SAVINGS is what he wanted (and even “cash” is not real gold or sliver now – it is just the whims of governments).

    There is not one country on this planet that has honest money or a sane financial system – so, at least in this respect, the totalitarian project has already been achieved.

    By the way the totalitarian system of Saint-Simon was very popular in the home town (Trier) when he was young – many of the leading citizens were followers of Saint-Simon.

    Fake “science” being used (by a new “priesthood”) as an excuse for tyranny, and Big Business types supporting total government control of everything (like Mr Bloomberg) – that would not have shocked Karl Marx at all, he was brought up surrounded by such people. And by artists (the media entertainment types of the day) who screamed “freedom” whilst supporting TYRANNY (just as Hollywood and co do today).

    Interesting town Trier….

    The Emperor Valentinian wanted Trier to be the capital of the Western Roman Empire. I would have chosen a more defendable site – say the great hill of Luxembourg (not all that far from Trier) surrounded by its river, or Bratislava on the Danube (with its defensive pattern of hills and river old Pressburg was hard to take) – but Valentinian was confident that his new order would be fine.

    Things changed fast – the gates were never even set in the gatehouse (the Roman gatehouse still stands at Trier today – as it was never finished there was never a reason to destroy it), and the public baths were converted into emergency accommodation for troops, before the building was even finished.

    A collapsing world – like ours?

    Rome was not sacked till 34 years after the death of Valentinian – and the Western Empire struggled on even after that.

    But a civilisation that can not longer even set a gate in a gatehouse (or complete a fence on its southern border) is really a “Dead Man Walking” even when faced with barbarians of a much lower cultural level.

    When a society loses its will to survive technology is no longer of any use.

    Any more than all the aircraft and tanks that France had in 1940 were of much use to France – or the navies of the West are of much use in keeping out “migrants” now.

    A civilisation must have SELF BELIEF for aircraft, tanks and so on are of any use.

    And whilst the “Neo Cons” sent American armed forces all round the world – they ignored the fact that American schools and universities were teaching DEATH TO AMERICA at home.

    When President Trump finally acted against Marxist “Critical Theory” teaching in the American bureaucracy the media denounced him.

    Many of the media are NOT Marxists – but as they hate liberty and love tyranny (like Saint Simon and Bentham before them) they regard the Marxists as de facto allies in the struggle to destroy the West.

    The same is true of “capitalist” Big Business generally – which hates freedom (including the free market) and works endlessly to destroy what liberty remains.

    That Big Business has been all aboard with the Covid disinformation and propaganda, the “scientific” agitprop to justify tyranny, should surprise no one.

    They are the same with Climate Change, and with “Critical Race Theory” (even supporting the Marxist terrorists of “Black Lives Matter”) and all the rest of it.

    NOT because they are all Marxists – but because they hate liberty (have been “educated” to hate the West) and, correctly, see the Marxists as kindred spirits.

  • Paul Marks

    Still there is hope.

    People at American Football Games (those few people who still bother to go) now BOO when these “capitalist” enterprises put up Marxist “Black Matters Matter” slogans.

    “You can fire any individual for “racism” – but try persecuting EVERYONE UNITED” is the position,especially when the people who BOO are of ALL RACES.

    And people are even starting to see through the endless lies about Covid 19.

    The treatments that were deliberately SMEARED by the establishment (in their effort,in New York and elsewhere, to INCREASE casualties – in order to justify tyranny) are coming back. And more and more people are starting to see that the measures of such governments as the British one have NOTHING TO DO WITH PUBLIC HEALTH.

    Even in my own average town I meet more and more people who reject the endless lies of the rulers.

    The truth is spreading – and it is possible that the truth will defeat the lies of the “Public Health” totalitarians – in spite of millions of fake postal ballots in the United States (there is a limit to what even evil men such as Mr Bloomberg can do).

    The battle is not over – victory is possible.

  • Paul Marks

    I have also been impressed by the respect for real law, for law as a LIMIT on government power and the powerful generally, where I did NOT expect it.

    Sweden was about the last place I expected to see a stand against “Public Health” totalitarianism – but the government was told that whilst they could indeed impose a lockdown against a specific individual or business, having proved the individual or business was infected and likely to spread a dangerous disease, a GENERAL “lockdown” was unconstitutional and that was that.

    If Antoine Clarke was still with us he would point out that a Constitution does sometimes work.

    Also the head of Public Health in Sweden turns out to be a real scientist – not a fake scientist, not a priest or handmaiden of tyranny.

    Again I was NOT expecting that – I was astonished.

    Perhaps there are there other good surprises to come.

    Perhaps even in Britain (a land now dominated by the ideas of Bacon, Hobbes, Bentham and other evil men), Steve Baker will lead a campaign to smash the FAKE science, smash the “Public Health” totalitarianism.

  • CaptDMO

    Holy Crap!
    Certainly has been a good day for you Mr. Marks.

  • Common sense, of which our beloved leader seems to be a fan, says that the PM has neither the power nor the remit to prevent the spread of an airborne pathogen. They had one simple job to do – ensure enough ICU capacity for the predicted increased hospitalisation. That’s it. Well, I suppose they could have advised those who were vulnerable to self isolate and then, treating them as adults, left them to decide for themselves what level of risk they wanted to take. My father is an octogenarian and pretty much carried on as normal. My mother in law, some ten years older did likewise. Both have seen the worst of the Luftwaffe, they understand what risk is and take a pragmatic approach to it. Events appear to have proved them correct in their approach.

  • Sam Duncan

    the new ‘rule of six’ was chosen instead of eight not for epidemiological reasons, but for purposes of “messaging clarity”.

    “And counting to five is right out.”

    Heh. “Five a day” is an example of exactly the same phenomenon.

    “The science says R has gone up to 1.2”

    “The science” says nothing of the kind. Epidemologists estimate that R0 has gone up to 1.2, based on testing results. R numbers are like GDP: an occasionally useful guess.

    Meanwhile, the rate of deaths per 1,000 reported cases has fallen by more than 90% since July, and shows no sign of rising despite the increase in the total number of detected cases. Are we actually trying to prevent deaths here, or just prevent people getting the sniffles?

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    The other day someone, thinking they were smart, insisted that two plus two does indeed equal five if you regard two as being two-point-five.

    Trouble is, they didn’t say what the old two-point-five was now worth. If you are going to re-order the universe it is going to take very big book and a lot of time.

    Also, I tried this redefining numbers with my bank. I said these two ten pound notes add up, as they are now worth fifty each by my reckoning, to one hundred quid. Their response was not what I wanted to hear.

  • APL

    NiV: “You’ve got a huuuuge spike in the number of deaths, right at the time of the epidemic. You think all these other conditions suddenly started killing thousands more people, right at that time, and that was a total coincidence and had nothing to do with Covid?”

    What has been the reoccurring theme of you subversives over the last thirty – forty years?

    Declining birth rate in the West and how to combat it.

    Subversive solution, import foreigners.

    Sensible solution? Don’t run your financial system on the basis of a ponzi scheme. And don’t encourage abortion – some five to ten million+ aborted since the ’67 act in the UK alone.

    The problem with aborting the next generation is that your population demographics tend to become distorted to the older end of the age spectrum. The problem with an older population is that they tend to be more susceptible to diseases of old age. Doh!

    This is a very good thing for the medical-political complex. But not much good for society in general.

    The figures from Public Health England show that as of the 8th July 2020, of the then 28,993 reported COVID-19 related deaths, 88% were over sixty, and of that group only 1,072 had no other recorded medical condition at the time of death. More than fifty percent of that group ( over 60s ) were actually over 80.

    So what do we know about this disease now. Everyone can get it, and it has a dramatically greater mortality on people who are old, unfit, and suffering from other debilitating conditions.

    Guess what? We knew that in March. I told you that in this forum comments in March.

    But, bless you, you insisted on destroying your reputation ( such as it was ) with your preposterous projections and blatant untruths.

    NiV: “Don’t be daft!”

    Very good advice NiV, which you would do well to heed.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Declining birth rate in the West and how to combat it.”

    Why combat it? It’s not a problem.

    “Subversive solution, import foreigners.”

    My views on foreigners have nothing to do with birth rates or importation – they’re to do with free markets versus protectionism. People should be free to come and go, without interference from the state. I’ve got no preference as to which they do.

    “Guess what? We knew that in March. I told you that in this forum comments in March.”

    And I’ve never disagreed with that. People who are already old and sick are more vulnerable. But unless you’re arguing that it is morally OK to kill old and sick people, that such people are dispensible, I don’t see what that has got to do with anything.

    I had been under the vague impression that you didn’t care about the old/sick because they weren’t you. You didn’t care what price they paid, so long as *you* didn’t have to pay anything. But now I’m getting the impression it’s something to do with the politics of demographics?

    “But, bless you, you insisted on destroying your reputation ( such as it was ) with your preposterous projections and blatant untruths.”

    Which nobody has yet presented a valid evidence-based argument against. ‘Personal incredulity’ without a shred of evidence is not disproof.

  • APL

    “NiV: Why combat it? It’s not a problem.”

    It’s not a problem, if you don’t have a ponzi financial system that requires more and more people to buy into it so those in first can get their cut.

    As the leftie woman on BBC question time* once said; ‘who will pay for our pensions’? ( what she meant is who will pay for her pension, since she didn’t want the oppression of being impregnated and bearing children ).

    You can have welfare, or you can have open borders.

    It might be a good idea if we managed the decline of our population. There is no particular reason why the UK needs 70 million population, it would be a really nice place to live with 45 million.

    NiV: “People should be free to come and go .. “

    Indeed. But just because you spend three months in a country shouldn’t mean you automatically acquire the benefits of a citizen of that country.

    Even worse, just paddling across the English channel in a dinghy paid for by George Soros ( or stolen from some hapless Frenchman ) shouldn’t entitle one to the benefits ( such as they are ) of the British welfare state.

    NiV: “Which nobody has yet presented a valid evidence-based argument against.”

    Nial Fergusson picks some figures out of his arse, and I’m supposed to spend time and treasure refuting them ( I have, but that was when I considered you to be discussing in good faith ).

    The facts; his projections were wrong, have been shown to have been wrong, his ‘model’ has a long record of being wrong, and was botched together over twenty years, which together makes Ferguson an unreliable source.

    I would rather look at your assertion and turn it around. YOU should justify with hard facts, not fictitious projections, why we should take a particular course of action. Unfortunately, it’s too late now.

    You should also demonstrate that the Chinese flue is a great deal more infectious and deadly that the regular seasonal flue. You have done neither of those things. Nor have anyone on your side of the dispute.

    * It’s just struck me how much of a tautology that was.

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