Reflections on the Current Scene
Fox News is looking a lot like Dr. Fauci these days. (Fox…Fauci…faux…fake. Is there a linguistic correspondence there?) I mean this: Lying through one’s teeth in defiance of one’s own honest beliefs or knowledge, at the price of immeasurable harm to the minds and lives of millions of anxious, needy people, merely to protect and advance one’s personal career, legacy, and of course revenue stream. Would that all the fakers and falsifiers of these past few years could suffer a spiritual pin prick for each and every decent person whose thoughts, emotions, and practical freedoms have been immeasurably corrupted and distorted by their petty self-seeking. Alas, there are no such pin pricks for those without souls — or at least not in this life.
The past two years of increasingly desperate and outraged “stolen election” and “Trump as martyr” hysteria — and so much of the heightened, media-driven, death-stage tribal hatred to which that once optimistic and patriotic country has been reduced since 2020 — would have been nipped in the bud in ten seconds flat if the Fox charlatans (and their talk radio co-conspirators) had simply had the morality to say on the air, right from the outset, what they knew and were saying to one another behind closed doors, weekly ratings be damned.
The past three years of totalitarian lurch and social disintegration worldwide would have been nipped in the bud in ten seconds flat if Fauci and friends had admitted what they knew and were saying amongst themselves behind closed doors, about the source of the virus, about their hand in feeding dangerous research to facilities under the lax safety conditions of the Chinese Communist Party, about the real levels of vaccine efficacy, about the government-prodded transformation of social media platforms into propaganda arms of the WHO, about the irrationality of the media-manufactured, social-unrest-fostering slogan “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” about the real effects of natural immunity, about the real usefulness of masks, about the financial relationships between the national health care regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical giants rushing their experimental drugs into mass distribution, and on and on.
Fox and Fauci. Two self-seeking agents which have reduced their very existence to nothing but a breathless race to escape the ever-fading call of conscience.
China is on the rise in global influence, a condition which, it is now apparent, will last just long enough for the Chinese Communist Party to do maximum damage to individual liberty and security on an international scale before the inevitabilities of demographics and the ineluctable force of human nature reduce that country itself to a level of third world degradation that might have seemed impossible just a few years ago. The only question, then, is how much of the rest of the world China will bring down with her. The answer to that question probably depends less on China’s espionage and technological superiority than on the continued influence within the so-called free world of the Jeffrey Sachs, Anthony Fauci, and Elon Musk types — the apologists and obfuscators of totalitarianism, be it for for reasons of politico-economic sympathy, morality-free bureaucratic careerism, or pure personal profiteering.
Hostility, incivility, and outright barbarism are breaking out in our midst, on a mass scale. This proves that John Stuart Mill was wrong, and indeed that all progressive views of historico-political development — using progressive in its earlier theoretical sense, rather than in its current euphemistic sense — were wrong. There is no “stage of development” at which a society or civilization may be said to have transcended or evolved beyond the ever-bubbling barbarism that flowed on the fringes of every early attempt at peaceful coexistence, and that continues to flow on the fringes, and increasingly through the heart, of all our “advanced” social structures today. All that has changed is that our economic and technological progress has allowed us to extend barbarism’s purview from its natural abode in the mire and the mob, to lofty and respectable new stations in the bureau and the boardroom.
Donald Trump, and his ascension to the status of leader and savior among America’s “conservative” grassroots, epitomizes everything that is faulty, theoretically and politically, in the conflation of freedom with capitalism; that is, in imagining freedom to be nothing but an objective, spiritually neutral practical condition related to competitive markets and success therein. The warning of the American Founders, to the effect that freedom detached from morality will soon be lost, now seems like an archaism, although it is the clearest, truest explanation of everything that has happened to America and the rest of the so-called free world over the past century, step by increasingly rapid step. For “morality,” in this context, read rational guidance, moderation, and a sense of ultimate purpose inseparable from specific and unifying notions of truth and human nature.
Populists and libertarians alike take note: Political freedom, when understood properly within a moral framework, can never be mistaken for an economic system, for freedom is a fundamental aspiration of the human soul, whereas wealth-getting is not. It is true that political freedom implies certain social conditions related to the production and exchange of goods, just as we might say that mature adulthood implies a certain state of the sexual appetite and its accompanying organs. But to reverse the implication and imagine that a market economy is the sufficient condition of freedom would be as absurd as to suggest that acting in accordance with sexual appetite, for its own sake and without restraint or natural purpose, is a sufficient condition of mature adulthood.