Reflections: Titillation as Truth; Flu Fever; Immigrant Independence
The profit motive and the news.– The non-government-owned news media (i.e., the media of a free people) is an industry in which businesses make money by selling you the information that you believe you need. The media therefore has an essential, existential motive to convince you that you do in fact need their information. Whether they will seek to convince you through reason or through emotion is determined by the character of the majority of the given outlet’s target audience. A rational audience incentivizes truth and moderation in the outlet’s reportage and opinion. An emotional audience incentivizes titillation, fear-mongering, and anger. In other words, we get the news media we deserve.
The media, in turn, merely by finding and feeding its target audience what they want, inevitably plays a central role in fostering a society that reflects, with increasing intensity and uniformity, the original tenor of that audience. In historical practice, this echo chamber cycle has become the downward spiral of supply and demand in the mass irrationality market.
There is only one way out of this psychological loop of civilizational self-destruction: education. Education is the means the progressives used, over the past hundred and fifty years, to gradually transform a rational, independence-fostering societal cycle into a fear-driven, dependent, pleasure-obsessed cycle. It is the means that today’s rational minority will eventually have to learn to harness in an effort to reverse the decay that has resulted from the progressives’ intentionally corrupted world of social communication and mass information.
The world economy is undergoing a severe convulsion at this moment, with the U.S. stock market in freefall and everyone talking, in almost every context, about “this era of coronavirus.”
Okay, let me try this again: It’s a flu, people!
No, you don’t want it. (Who ever wants a flu?) No, you don’t want people bringing it into your country and spreading it. (Who ever wants new viruses in the community?)
But it’s a flu virus. The current fatality rate from the “disease” here in Korea, which has the second-highest number of infections worldwide, and which is going through the peak of the “crisis” as I write, is one percent. One percent.
To put that in bare numerical terms, we here in Korea have so far lost twelve (12) human beings to this global pandemic catastrophe. Twelve. Most of those, of course, were people already weak due to age, previous illness, or other physically debilitating conditions. Just as happens with any flu virus.
There will be many more confirmed cases here over the coming days, because the source of most of the Korean infections, a large church community in the central city of Daegu, has had its members systematically identified, and these are currently undergoing mass testing. So of course many will test positive for the coronavirus. A few of those will likely die from complications of the illness. Because that’s what influenza does. Any influenza.
As I recently explained, this flu is nowhere near having the kind of impact on public health that it is having on the entire world’s psyche at the moment. Media titillation and fear-mongering are running light years ahead of the actual facts of the case, for the reasons outlined above, i.e., the profit motive at work in a climate of emotionalism and immoderation. This week, over four hundred thousand Koreans have signed a petition demanding the impeachment of President Moon Jae-in. Because some people have the flu.
And so the U.S. stock market is on the edge of a collapse, because a tiny handful of cases — of the flu — have been confirmed on the U.S. mainland.
Get a grip on yourselves, folks. We’re all gonna die of something! But it probably won’t be the flu.
(I now see that Donald Trump is about to address the American people about this virus. I hope he says more or less what I just said. It’s the truth. Let the panic monkeys scream and hide and build their pandemic-ready bunkers. It’s the flu.)
The U.S. Supreme Court, over the boisterous dissent of leftist Latina activist Sonia Sotomayor, has upheld the Trump administration’s law denying “public assistance” (i.e., progressive paternalism) to legal immigrants still in the process of applying for “legal status or citizenship.”
It’s sad to think that no one in the U.S. Government will recognize, let alone try to act on, the underlying principle that is implicitly promoted by this very reasonable law: If you are not able or prepared to support yourself independently, or to seek needed assistance through non-coercive means (friends, charity, church, etc.), then you are not ready to live in a free republic.
This isn’t “cold” or “black-hearted.” It’s just respectful of the nature and responsibilities of liberty. That so many people today find such respect for liberty harsh and unfeeling is a commentary on the moral state of modern man.