63rd EDITION SERF UNDER_GROUND JOURNAL

 

ON THE MADNESS OF CROWDS.

One in … all in!

On the prairie the great buffalo herd are grazing peacefully. Then something happens … Maybe a tumble-weed blows into the herd and startles one of the cattle, perhaps the crack of a dry twig disturbs it, making it respond in panic. A tremor runs through the herd and suddenly they’re off – a buffalo stampede, a madness of the herd.

 

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Birds ‘n bees do it, we do it, critters disposed to group behaviour do it, flocking, swarming, behaving tribally. Here’s a homo-sapiens kind of stampede account by James Thurber, remembering the day back in 1913 when his town in Ohio went for a run…Thurber describes in a story ‘The Day the Dam Broke,’ how a rumour gets around that the dam has broken. About midday, somebody begins to run. Maybe they were just late for an appointment, but then some one else begins to run:

‘Inside ten minutes, everybody on High Street from the Union Depot to the Courthouse was running. A loud mumble gradually crystallized into the dreaded word ‘dam’. ‘The dam has broke!’ The fear was put into words by a little old lady in an electric chair, or by the traffic cop, or by a small boy: nobody knows who, nor does it really matter. Two thousand people were abruptly in full flight. ‘Go east!’ was the cry that arose, – east away from the river, east to safety. ‘Go east! Go east! Go east!’ ’

As the town stampeded east not one individual paused to consider that the dam was so far away from their town that not one trickle of water could reach the High Street, no one noticed the absence of water, everybody just kept running …

‘Nobody has ever been able to compute with an exactness how many people took part in the great rout of 1913, for the panic, which extended from the Winslow Bottling Works in the south end to Clintonville, six miles north, ended as abruptly as it began and the bobtail and ragtag and velvet-gowned groups of refugees melted away and slunk home, leaving the streets peaceful and deserted…

The next day, the city went about its business as if nothing had happened, but there was no joking.’ Says Thurber, ‘It was two years or more before you dared treat the breaking of the dam lightly. And even now, twenty years after, there are a few persons like Dr Mallory, who will shut up like a clam if you mention the Afternoon of the Great Run.’

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Above is an example of madness of crowds, a fear response not called for by the reality of the situation, irrational in the case of the citizens of Thurber’s hometown, par for the course for buffalo on the prairie. In that way-back machine of evolution, jumping to a conclusion can be a smart-survival response, the reptilian part of your brain signalling danger. For critters wired for a flight or fight response to that rustling in the jungle, that sharp sound on the prairie, flight is the safest option. By the time you pause to suss it out, too late to escape if it turns out to be a carnivore predator.

In humanity’s evolving history the panic response is a survival instinct that has stayed with us to now and so has crowd behaviour. Better to be venturing down that jungle track with a band of more or less trusty brothers, if armed all the more reassuring, if not, well, still some safety in numbers. As with a herd of buffalo, sheep or zebras, that man-eating predator won’t get all of you. On the other hand…in a complex situation, maybe pause a while, check out facts on the ground, context of claimants and claims…

The what, the how and the wherefore…

Regarding the madness of crowds, those irrational, manic responses to the reality out there, behind all that fear or group timidity, a felt need to follow the band, left right, left right…

Following the band, the what, how and wherefore of crowds. Concerning the ‘what,’ two books, ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,’ by Charles Mackay, published in 1841’, and plus ca change, plus meme chose, Douglas Murray’s ‘The Madness of Crowds, Gender, Race and Identity,’ published in 2019.

Charles Mackay’s book, in three volumes, lotsa’ madness out there, gives a guided index to human popular delusions throughout history, from alchemy, crusades, doomsday prophecies, and economic bubbles, to relics, sorcery and witch mania.

The ‘what.’ – Yr tulip mania.

Human stampedes take different forms, not always groups running from an imagined threat, just as often ‘jumping on the bandwagon,’ ‘following the fashion,’ ( or cult.) Regarding jumping on economic bandwagons, Charles Mackay recounts the investment follies of the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch Tulip Mania of the mid 17th century. Describing the mania to buy tulips, Mackay writes:

‘In 1634, the rage among the Dutch to possess them was so great that the ordinary industry of the country was neglected, and the population, even to its lowest dregs, embarked in the tulip trade. As the mania increased, prices augmented until, in the year 1635, many persons were known to invest a fortune of 100,000 florins in the purchase of forty roots. It then became necessary to sell them by their weight in perits, a small weight less than a grain. A tulip of the species called Admiral Liefken, weighing 400 perits, was worth 4400 florins … and, most precious of all, a Semper Augustus, weighing 200 perits, was thought to be very cheap at 5500 florins.’

Observes Charles Mackay: ‘Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.’… Time came when the more prudent began to see that the tulip mania could not last for ever and as this conviction spread, prices fell and confidence was undermined:

‘Hundreds who, a few months previously, had begun to doubt that there was such a thing as poverty in the land, suddenly found themselves the possessors of a few bulbs, which nobody would buy, even though they offered them at one quarter of the sums they had paid for them. The cry of distress resounded everywhere, and each man accused his neighbour. The few who had contrived to enrich themselves hid their wealth from the knowledge of their fellow-citizens, and invested it in the English or other funds. Many who, for a brief season, had emerged from the humbler walks of life, were cast back into their original obscurity. Substantial merchants were reduced almost to beggary, and many a representative of a noble line saw the fortunes of his house ruined beyond redemption.’

More ‘what.’ -Yr witch mania.

If that’s not bad enough, witch mania is worse. At the height of the witch trials by torture, and punishment by hanging and burning at the stake of the 17th century, god knows how many old women, hapless neighbours and vagrants died. Mackay cites some case studies and gives some figures, but likely more. From his opening paragraph:

‘The belief that disembodied spirits may be permitted to revisit this world, has its foundation upon that sublime hope of immortality, which is at once the chief solace and greatest triumph of our reason. Even if revelation did not teach us, we feel that we have that within us which shall never die; and all our experience of this life but makes us cling the more fondly to that one repaying hope. But in the early days of “little knowledge,” this grand belief became the source of a whole train of superstitions, which, in their turn, became the fount from whence flowed a deluge of blood and horror. Europe, for a period of two centuries and a half, brooded upon the idea, not only that parted spirits walked the earth to meddle in the affairs of men, but that men had power to summon evil spirits to their aid to work woe upon their fellows.’

Not just illiterate villagers succumbed to the superstition but the highest dignitaries in the land as well. Of course a crime that could be imputed against your enemies with ease had political expedience but seems lotsa’ superstitious belief in the mix. Pope Innocent V111 issued the papal bull Summis desiderantes of December 1484, a charge to inquisitors to investigate diabolical sorcery. King James V1 of Scotland, (later King James 1.) The Long Parliament of Cromwell had its witch trials. Charles Mackay writes that: throughout the 16th and 17th centuries:

‘An epidemic terror seized upon the nations; no man thought himself secure, either in his person or possessions, from the machinations of the devil and his agents. Every calamity that befell him, he attributed to a witch. If a storm arose and blew down his barn, it was witchcraft; if his cattle died of a murrain – if disease fastened upon his limbs, or death entered suddenly and snatched a beloved face from his hearth – they were not visitations of Providence, but the works of some neighbouring hag, whose wretchedness or insanity caused the ignorant to raise their finger, and point at her as a witch. The word was upon everybody’s tongue – France, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, and the far North, successively ran mad upon this subject, and for a long series of years, furnished their tribunals with so many trials for witchcraft that other crimes were seldom or never spoken of. Thousands upon thousands of unhappy persons fell victims to this cruel and absurd delusion. In many cities of Germany, the average number of executions for this pretended crime, was six hundred annually, or two every day, if we leave out the Sundays, when, it is to be supposed, that even this madness refrained from its work.’

Good-bye to all that?

Say, aren’t we glad that those days of superstitious folly are a thing of the past? Well, nut so fast… you may just recall the recent history of the Jewish Holocaust during Hitler’s mad rule in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s. And here’s the latest look at madness of crowds by Douglas Murray examining a recent political mania, the mania of treatment of different identity group politics, … politics of resentment really, everyone defined by their relationship to a minority group identity, specifically one of the trinity, race, sex or gender preference, these relationships involving ever-changing classifications, arbitrarily decided by social justice thought-police, you could call them, our 21st century Inquisition.

Douglas Murray gives a detailed account of the workings of this Inquisition and how it came into being as a consequence of leftist post modernist attacks in academia aimed at the grand narratives and institutions of western civilization. Attacking religious systems, economic systems, intellectual traditions and the arts, your post modern dogma is an assertion that the only reality of social life is power. Replacing religious experience and free enterprise, ‘power’ the one reality, combated through a lens of social justice and group identity politics, has become the new game in town. Everything must be viewed through your position in one of the disadvantaged identity groups and you may speak only with legitimacy if you belong in that group and express the consensus position judged appropriate to that group.

Douglas Murray’s book, ‘The Madness of Crowds,’ is set out in four sections, ‘Gay,’ ‘Women,’ ‘Race’ and ‘Trans’ and describes the particular madness of crowds regarding these groups, the pressures of consensus dogma and contradictions in thinking necessitated by adherence to group identity politics.

Identity politics, oh my! … Ah me… no, not ‘ you.’

Not too hard to understand that difficult and contentious subjects demand a whole lot of thought and a lot of thought often necessitates trying things out (including making inevitable errors.) Yet to think out loud on the issues which have become highly controversial has become such a high risk, Douglas Murray argues, ‘that on a simple risk/reward ratio there is almost no point in anyone taking the risk.’ Group-iness rules.

‘Today’ says Murray, ‘our societies seem always on the run and always risking extraordinary shame over not just our own behaviour but the way we have treated others. Every day there is a new subject for hate and moral judgement. It might be a group of school boys wearing the wrong hat in the wrong place at the wrong time.* Or it could be anybody else. As the work of Joe Ronson* and others on ‘public shaming’ has shown, the internet has allowed new forms of activism and bullying in the guise of social activism to become the tenor of the time. The urge to find people who can be accused of ‘wrong think’ works because it rewards the bully. The social media companies encourage it because it is part of the business model. But rarely if ever do the people in the stampede try to work out why they are running in the direction they are.’ (* Covington Catholic High School ,2019 * Joe Ronson. ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.’ Published 2015.)

Much of this activist bullying takes place on university campuses. Murray describes the example of Evergreen College, Washington, 2017, where respected left liberal, Bret Weinstein, and the President of the College, George Bridges, himself an advocate of social justice, were subject to violent bullying and chants of ‘ Black power!’ Here’s a Rubin Report video where Bret Weinstein speaks of the event.’

With the above and other examples, Douglas Murray describes how far we have regressed from the famous speech by Martin Luther King in 1963 when he said that he dreamed his children should ‘one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’

In the Race Debate today is an insistence that content of character is nothing compared to the colour of someone’s skin, group diversity politics is the measure of all things. Those who do not belong to an unprivileged group, yr ol’ white male in particular, are expected to undergo a process referred to as ‘intersectionality,’ the invitation, increasingly in work places, the legal requirement, for those classified as privileged, to spend the rest of their lives attempting to work out every identity claim in themselves and others with feelings of due guilt and a willingness to rewire their attitudes to the prevailing consensus position.

Serfs find it somewhat ironic that humans have evolved critical language, logical and scientific processes to help us distinguish fact from fiction and have invented communication means, the printing press and internet to allow spread of data and argument about ‘the facts’ out there, (what Richard Dawkins calls ‘memes’ * that other replicator besides genes that transmits from person to person,) but here we are manipulating and censoring discussion, for example, using filtering internet algorithms like Silicon Valley ‘Mechanical Learning Fairness, (MLF) to promote a particular point of view.

Murray describes in his chapter, ‘The Impact of Tech,’ how Google, builds into computers a set of values, (MLF) that could only possibly be held by those on the extreme left of society, so that, for example, searches for ‘European Art’ will call up images that predominantly feature portraits of black people and severely skew history. Similarly, if you search for ‘Gay Couples’ you will be presented with a series of images of good looking, smiling gay couples, but calling up ‘Straight Couples’ will give a more mixed result that includes non-straight couples. ( * Richard Dawkins. ‘The Selfish Gene.’ 1976.)

Contradictions all the way down…

When you try to fit dogma to reality, witch mania, group diversity mania, any wonder that contradictions abound. In the political arguments of race and gender diversity laws of logic, the Law of Identity and Law of Contradiction no longer apply.

For example, African Americans, Thomas Sowell and Kanye West, critical of prevailing racial dogma, are no longer considered to be members of the racial group they were born into. Peter Thiel, creator of Paypal, is gay, but because his views do not agree with the consensus, he is no longer considered a member of that identity group. Douglas Murray, who is also gay, observes that:

‘You are only a member of a recognised minority group so long as you support the specific grievances, political grievances and resulting electoral programs that other people have worked out for you. Step outside of these lines and you are not the same person with the same characteristics you had before….you have the characteristics taken away from you.’

Then there’s that biological contradiction involving hardware contra software in the gender debate. ‘Without doubt,’ argues Murray, ‘the scrambling device laid over the issue of the sexes is among the most deranging aspect of all. It involves a set of unbelievable mental leaps to try to play along with it.’ A lot of double think in the gender debate. ‘While Gay campaigners spent the 1990’s onwards hoping to persuade the world that homosexuality was a hardware issue. the direction of travel for women simultaneously went in the other direction.’

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‘Until the last decade or so,’ says Murray, ‘sex ( or gender) and chromosomes were recognised to be among the most fundamental hardware issues in our species, but suddenly ‘everybody was meant to believe that sex was not biologically fixed but merely a matter of ‘reiterated’ social performance.’

All that crowd mania through the ages, economic bubbles, superstition and fashionable group – think, where it turns out, ‘no matter how much you believe something to be true, believing does not make it so.’

The how and the wherefore…
Those pesky cognitive illusion.

Plenty of evidence in the human record that the homo sapien brain is likely the best there is in our universe, Horatio, enabling your critical language, your scientific methodology, human discoveries, inventions,  architecture, great literature and symphonies, etcetera. We are the species that deliberates, reflects, makes conscious decisions. See my ‘Clocks and Clouds’ post on same. https://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/62nd-edition-serf-under_ground-journal/ Says Karl Popper, ‘Our conscious states act as a probe on our behaviour. They anticipate our behaviour, working out, by trial and error, its likely consequences; thus they not only control but deliberate.

‘Not enough careful deliberation,’ says psychologist Daniel Kahneman in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow,’ that examines the various cognitive illusions which supposedly rational people demonstrate when making choices under controlled conditions.

In ‘Thinking Fast and Slow,’ Kahneman argues the existence in human brains of two independent systems for organizing knowledge, one he labels System One, a fight or flight fast thinking system making judgements and taking action without waiting for our conscious awareness to catch up. Making use of heuristics linked with strong emotions like fear and pain, in the complex environment we now live in, its judgements are often wrong. The other system, System Two, is the slow process of forming judgements based on conscious thinking that checks the actions of System One and allows us to correct our mistakes. Human science and the arts have been created by System Two.

Says Kahneman, we’re machines for jumping to conclusions, prone to associative bias. For System One, the measure of success is coherence of story, consistency matters most, not completeness of evidence. There’s a grab-bag of simple heuristics we adopt to make adequate but often wrong answers to difficult questions, like the ‘availability heuristic,’ whatever comes readily from memory is first in line. And the bad news is, as Kahneman found working with the Israeli Defence Forces in the 1950’s, that System Two thinkers are also prone to similar thinking errors and heuristics, more apologist than critical of the emotions of System One.

Regarding the ‘availability heuristic,’- ‘ that which comes readily to mind,’ there’s neurobiologist Antonio Damasio’s research on human associative bias.

Descartes’ Error…

In his book ‘Descartes’ Error,’ Damasio identifies the close biological connection between our evolutionary pre-mind and the complex human brain structure that has evolved over time. Damasio observes that in our evolutionary history, long before there was a homo sapien mind, organisms must have begun with a concern only for their internal problems via a rudimentary nervous system preserving the basic integrity of the living system, a kind of primitive low tech postal system, a form of positive or negative reaction or primitive emotional response, the bloodstream transporting hormones and information around the body to where it was needed for control and self maintenance.

‘Nature appears to have built the apparatus of rationality not just on top of the apparatus of biological regulation, but also from and with it. The mechanisms for behaviour beyond drives and instincts, use, I believe, both the upstairs and downstairs: the neo cortex becomes engaged along with the older brain core, and rationality results from their concerted activity.’

This relationship between emotion and human reason is the main focus of ‘Descartes’ Error.’ An overview here… http://www.cogprints.org/282/1/damasio.htm

Based on Domasio’s studies of neurological patients who have damage in the area of the frontal cortex of the brain, (that Damasio calls the body’s convergence zone for decision making,) Damasio found both defects of decision making and a disorder of emotion, so that while these patients could observe and explain what’s occurring when shown images of a horrific nature, they were unable to register emotion as normal subjects do. And while they could still pass tests of logic, in their own lives they were unable to call up salient reasons to act in their own best interest.

From these investigations Damasio advances his Somatic Marker hypothesis that emotion was in the loop of reason, that emotion is both a necessary adjunct to reason, sorting out appropriate reasons to act, and a mode of undermining reason, as in the madness of crowds, acting on a first available, or preferred, call to action.

Why we go wrong, a prey to conceptual bias, a prey to shaman persuasion. Emotional reaction is a survival mechanism of life, chimps do it, birds do it, reptiles, even the zig-zag dance of the stickleback is emotional response. Old knowledge for us homo sapiens. Your early human rope-trainers learned it domesticating animals. Shaman leaders, and later gurus, observed it and applied emotional association to control a human populace.

Difference between madness of crowds … jumping to conclusions and rational thinking … Like Richard Feynman says, ‘First you guess and then you test.’

He also said: The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

That’s all, folks.

31 thoughts on “63rd EDITION SERF UNDER_GROUND JOURNAL

  1. Nowadays they have the decency to produce a blockbuster movie, docu-series and globally broadcast simulation some months before announcing a deadly flu outbreak. (Don’t mind me. I think everything is a conspiracy or a beat-up. Except the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, of course. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/27366/bostons-great-molasses-flood-1919)

    Seeing those Thurber cartoons is a blast from the 1950s. I know he drew before then but the 1950s was when he was got big here, even with us kids. Something about those bald men and lank-haired women saying silly things to each other in all seriousness…

  2. Origins, origins. Re yr conspiring… chimps did it too. Matt Ridley ‘The Origins of Virtue,’ the changing coalitions in chimp groups.

    As the Eskimo-Aleut languages have dozens of different words for snow, so yr European languages have lotsa’ sin-onyms for the C word …’plot, scheme, intrigue, deceive, collude, cabal., clique …’

    Thurber men and women r us, best response, laughter. (

  3. From Michael Cunningham:

    Hi, Beth, I posted the following on SU; disappeared. Perhaps you could post it with attribution? I don’t know why it’s blocked, sometimes happens on CE too.

    “Thanks, Beth. Dennett’s paper quotes Nietzsche: “Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage–whose name is self. In your body he dwells; he is your body. There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom.” That body is in fact a mass of bubbles, sub-atomic particles arising and passing away with great rapidity, no continuing substance, no “I, me, mine.” And we are generally driven more by reaction and past conditionings than by reason – rationalisation at the surface level if often driven by subconscious things of which we are unaware.

    The recently deceased Freeman Dyson wrote on attitudes to climate change that “I am suggesting that the thinking of politicians and scientists about controversial issues today is still tribal. Science and politics are not essentially different from other aspects of human culture. Science and politics are products of cultural evolution. Thinking about scientific questions is still presented to the public as a competitive sport with winners and losers. For players of the sport with public reputations to defend, it is more important to belong to a winning team than to examine the evidence. Cultural evolution was centred for a hundred thousand years on tales told by elders to children sitting around the cave fire. That cave-fire evolution gave us brains that are wonderfully sensitive to fable and fantasy, but insensitive to facts and figures.

    “To enable a tribe to prevail in the harsh world of predators and prey, it was helpful to have brains with strong emotional bonding to shared songs and stories. It was not helpful to have brains questioning whether the stories were true. Our scientists and politicians of the modern age evolved recently from the cave-children. They still, as Charles Darwin remarked about human beings in general, bear the indelible stamp of their lowly origin.”

    Henry Ergas, whom I hold in very high regard, cited Kant recently in the Oz on the primacy of reason; which I contested as per my above comment.”

    Keep up the good work,

    Regards,

    MIchael

  4. I received an article by email from climate historian, Tony Brown, which has close parallels with my post above, including extracts from Thurber’s story and the Charles Mackay and Douglas Murray books on ‘Madness of Crowds.’ I can’t link Tony Brown’s article but here’s an extract concerning another panic scenario and a quote by another Mackay, this one, Professor Mackay, past Chief Scientist of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change …

    “Very many people believe ‘The Dam has Broken’ as regards the climate, with relentless media attention serving to reinforce this belief, with dire warnings of imminent apocalypse. It is a theme taken up by green activists and politicians, who for genuine environmental reasons, or for political purposes, want the story to be true and fashion their narrative accordingly. The “Climate Emergency” bears a close relationship to many panics of the past, real or imagined, but what is different this time is that due to modern means of communication the messages of doom are spread internationally, rapidly and constantly. In a modern democracy governments feel obliged to accept the verdict of the vociferous leaders amongst the voting crowds and enact their own officially sanctioned madness in response.

    This departure from rational thought can be seen by anyone in the UK listening to the recent announcements by the UK govt. that, within a decade or so, we can substitute tens of millions of gas boilers with something as yet not spelt out or priced, can suddenly build tens of millions of electric cars with charging points, and somehow magic up vast amounts of reliable electricity from other than current means in order to power the Brave new world. “Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is described as a ‘dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning.“6)

    This particular Brave New World, where the “Climate Emergency” is a central feature, has consequences. The depth of the upheaval to modern civilisation in order to achieve the aims they claim to desire, appears to have passed by those swept up in the panic, if not by those actually manipulating it.

    Many older readers will remember their relatively deprived childhoods around the 1950’s and 60’s and be surprised at University and school strikes apparently intended to voluntarily take us back to the lower living standards of those times, or even much earlier, depending on how quickly zero emissions are demanded and implemented.”

    “It is estimated that we need 50% more energy by 2050. It is reasonable to ask that, in the absence of fossil fuels, where the constant base power for a modern 24/7 interconnected society is coming from? Whilst many believe renewable energy will come to the rescue, renewables, primarily wind turbines and solar panels (and also devices such as smartphones/computers) often utilise minerals requiring environmentally damaging mining, processing and shipping and physically challenging and often morally dubious working conditions. Estimates show there are not enough of the required materials in the world to meet projected demand from a rapidly rising global population demanding the latest modern comforts, fashioned by impeccably ‘green’ methods.

    The late Professor Mackay, Chief Scientist of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, said trying to power the UK economy with weather dependent Renewable Energy was “an appalling delusion” which only takes trivial “back of the envelope” calculations to prove. The David Mackay book updated 2015 can be downloaded here, with the calculations 7)”

  5. And say, folks, a fitting finale to me post, yer madness of crowds, none did it better than -‘The Goodies’! …Goody goody yum yum, yr homo sapien (human) condition…

  6. Act as a herd and you will be herded.
    It seems most people will believe what they are told by “authority”, especially when repeated ad nauseam.
    It also seems today, the source of lot of peoples knowledge is Media bites(bytes?). These Media Bites, whether sound, image or text, are of no use except for emotional manipulation. Their use is to permeate consciousness with floating abstractions with no grounding in reality.
    While the majority of people accept floating abstractions(Concepts) without question, there will always be a ‘group of people’ to tell them what to think.
    I doubt I will ever see a time when the majority think for themselves. My only solace would be that the controlling ‘group of people’, those with Machiavellian Princely traits, are justly rewarded by an eternity in Dante’s eighth circle of hell.
    To bad I’m a bit shaky on divine justice.

  7. Couldn’t agree more. Say Jack, think I’ll get a t-shirt printed with yr ‘Act as a herd and you will be herded.’ 🙂

    Re this post on the Madness of Crowds, I was reading for it before the Corona virus hit the headlines, now we have a case study…tho’ the virus exists, so many assumptions. Hafta’ remember , as the historical record shows, we are not good at predicting – whether war victories, technology long term effects, or economic, environment or political and doomsday outcomes- Marx, Malthus and Club of Rome, Ehrich, WHO…

    Re the VIRUS… cautious scepticism necessary, take precautions but do not stampede and do not put yr faith in ‘expert’ predictions.

    • In regards to the handling of COVID-19 (or anything), it amazes me how adroitly a politician/bureaucrat can duck and weave, what can only be termed either, incompetence or irresponsibility, leading to consequences that are dire to the people they are paid to serve, and yet stand there stony face saying how caring they are and what draconian measures we now need to adhere too, to clean up their mess. Not being capable much thing else , this is the only single skill needed to be a “successful” politician.

  8. Yes. Re CV lots of ad hoc-err-y. Firstly, I think Governments should have stopped flights to and from China pronto, the virus can’t fly of itself. Now, with panic lock-down, there’s not only the question of whether it leaves us susceptible to a renewed outbreak of the virus when the lock-down is lifted but there are the widespread economic and social effects to be considered.

    Also, re the ‘stats’ – still nor certain CV is much worse than some Flu epidemics. (Northern Italy would seem to be a special case with population connections to China’s epidemic centre in Wuhan Province.)

    • Hey Serf, I am a cautious maniac!
      Keep up the good work.
      And I would be quite chuffed if someone wrote something I said on a t-shirt.

  9. I’ve decided to stop shrinking from discussion with friends for fear of losing them and to state my feelings bluntly. Since I have friends here, I’ll open up here.

    We should not have acted more promptly. Nobody should have acted more promptly. Because nobody should have acted on a hoax which began as a coronavirus drill last October with Brazil as epicentre and was sent live a couple of weeks later with China as epicentre.

    This is as blatant a hoax as the climate scam, but much faster in effect. October’s Event 201 (Gates funded at Bloomberg’s Johns Hopkins) clearly outlined the intention to “flood the zone” so that all media were filled all day with nothing but coronavirus. This is what they have done, to the letter.

    Trump announces that body bags and freezer trucks are coming and going at a hospital he knows well; then we see a CNN report from the hospital with long lines of bored actors in masks and ambulances going round in circles. Yet when someone with a camera comes back later after the media have gone…there are no queues and in fact no people in sight. There are no ambulances. The exterior is deserted.

    As I’ve just written elsewhere…

    Our opponents have great weaknesses proceeding from their strengths.

    What are their strengths? A firm belief in control and a furious energy in getting that control. A conviction that the world should fit the simple and mechanistic ideas in their heads as to how a world should work. A compulsive need for deceit based on a compulsive fear of reality.

    Now think how inadequate, bored and unhappy they must feel every moment. They can never accept life as flux. They resort to false art, false science and false morality to give life an imposed shape and solidity. It never works, and they know it. They are chekists, killing to kill their failures. All their lives are a struggle with self-loathing.

    They hate themselves far more than they hate us. That’s quite a weakness. So they use their putrid media (ie all of the mainstream and nearly all of the alternative) to make us hate each other even more: boomers versus millennials, left versus right, Fox viewers versus CNN viewers, Trump voters versus Dems…and so on forever.

    Their purest and highest form of conditioning, however, is the zombie movie, of which they produce so many. In the zombie movie they get us to hate and fear each other for the mere fact that we exist in human form. And how good and necessary it is to kill us. If we’re not zombies we might be aliens. We live! Good one, Hollywood! Good one, globsters, chekists, Davos-bergers or whatever you are!

    So give them ridicule, above all. The Truthstream pair were right to keep replaying that pie to the face of Bill Gates. http://truthstreammedia.com/2020/04/07/look-whos-coming-to-the-rescue/

    To us it’s just a pie in the face. But the cheap schauspieler Gates, the pathetic actor, knows that’s his life. He clowns for the state, not the government but the permanent and pervasive state which is making its biggest play, right now. I mean these guys…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_RSDqBn0bA

    So, my thanks to the serf for giving me a platform and my regards to all. To the small number who agree with me I can only say…this is no time to be shy.

  10. Go fer it, moso…
    WHO’s priorities and the technocrat UN’s priorities have long been Bill Gate’s priorities, world guhuhmint and centralized control of citizens, Gates donated more than $2.4 billion to the flawed WHO since 2000.
    What will opening up after lock-down look like, will those guvuhmint regulations on cits’ freedoms be retracted do you think? Another step to Agenda 21, herding us into cities, increasing survey and control of what we do and where we go. Maybe not tattoo identification but wrist aps that track our every move.

  11. Since this is one site offering real free speech to the likes of me, I’ll continue to take advantage of our serf’s tolerance.

    Just a recap of what I’ve written elsewhere about how alternative views can be turned to confirmation and even magnification of the mainstream propaganda…

    The rumours of a lab created virus may be the plandemic equivalent of the “multiple shooters” story in mass shooting events. It serves a number of functions. 1) The naturally skeptical punters accept that the scenario is real. 2) Those skeptics accept that a malevolent state is willing to go to any lengths. 3) Those skeptics accept that there are forces out there with covert tech that can easily achieve wonders of evil against the general population. 4) Those skeptics are confused and divided in their opinions, even helping to “flood the zone” by coming up with their alternate and natural solutions to government crackdowns.

    So how do the manipulators lose in this case? The people who are suspicious of the state and media are intimidated one way, those who accept the official yarns are intimidated another way. But everyone is thoroughly intimidated.

    Here’s my proposition. A totally fake pandemic with small numbers can be controlled like the volume on a Walkman. As long as the corporate media remain enslaved and centralised and governments across the spectrum collaborate to their common advantage, nothing can go wrong.

    You accept about the media…but hostile governments on the brink of war collaborating? Well think about this (and I’m not offering any theories on the uninteresting subject of moon landings, just on fakery for whatever purpose). Anyone can go to NASA’s site and download a large and detailed image of Buzz Aldrin on the moon standing in front of a lunar lander obviously made of cardboard, cloth, plywood, art paper, curtain rods, sticky tape, warped metal and tin foil. It’s lucky to be standing up. Definitely no Kubrick input there. Do the Russians say anything? Does Iran say anything? How about N Korea?

    An unimportant or non-existent flu can be easily confounded with any sneeze or cough. (Try clearing your throat in a supermarket right now if you miss my point there.) Seniors dying with respiratory complaints are not hard to find and to misdiagnose. There are millions of them.

    The advantages of running a total fake are 1) Sheer ease of control, with zero risk to the manipulators and 2) They get to ridicule us while testing our threshold of absurdity even further, as with the pre-piled silicon dummies in Christchurch and the Parsons Green bomb which could not damage itself.

    How about the pic of the Chinese chick wrestling with a whole bat above a soup bowl? How about the street deaths where people stop their falls and spreadeagle like kids playing wars? Do we really think things can’t be faked better than that? How about Donald’s unboxing of the ultra-fast Covid tester?

    What’s our threshold of absurdity? Is that being tested? And is that test the only real test?

  12. moso, me serf immediate response, to yr points (2) and (3).:

    “2) Those skeptics accept that a malevolent state is willing to go to any lengths. 3) Those skeptics accept that there are forces out there with covert tech that can easily achieve wonders of evil against the general population.”

    History supports (2) over and over, tyrants and gurus.(3) Never before such sophisticated means re Orwell’s ‘1984,’ to apply his description of Distopea as a user’s manual, we have the technology available to persuade, track and control the cits for dark purposes as never before… I’ll think further about what you’ve written here…

  13. Seems I misread yr comment re (2) and (3) as applying to governments generally,..’governments have agendas’ whereas you are talking about sceptics accepting uncritically, the meme that a hostile foreign govt could have manufactured a virus in a lab. I will overview some of the cv discussion tonight. Caught up with family situation today. .

  14. Here’s a vid which reflects what I’m on about…
    https://www.corbettreport.com/what-no-one-is-saying-about-the-corona-crisis/#comment-78624
    This really should be circulated.

    And to repeat myself from elsewhere…

    For those of us who feel this plandemic is total hoax, ie no weaponisation, no leaks from labs or military bases etc, just pure hoax, for ease of control…

    You might need to skip some ads, especially the first four or five minutes, but these two give a pretty solid summary of the hoax position (though I’m ready to believe in even closer collusion between China and the other actors):

    The demented agenda-drivers are far more ambitious than competent. They just aren’t ready to kill with the level of discrimination required in a fast and massive population reduction. “Don’t go to the North Tower this morning” won’t cut it.

    Far safer and easier to call every cough, wheeze or ah-choo a deadly virus and let those who don’t own a network prove otherwise.

    If you want to kill lots of people in a hurry you still have to go full-Dresden. What has improved is the ability to push a lie through the slave media. If every rice recipe, celeb scandal and make-up tip has a Corona message something will sink in and stay sunk in.

    Mind you, the right intra-muscular injection could be a discriminating way to get the numbers down…

    Again, my thanks to the serf for providing this platform for an opinion which will not be popular with many.

  15. Been watching Amazing Polly and cross referencing links regarding whether the coronavirus is an actual or an orchestrated event. I am still uncertain, don’t think we can say we ‘know.’ Do agree, however, with Corbett that we open the door to tyranny when we allow a government marshal law controls over our right to free movement and or free speech- government as our master not the servant of the people. And do it once, they’ve established a precedent and can do it again under any ‘Agenda 21’ guise.

  16. With thanks to our freedom-aspiring serf (who is not controlling, disapproving or approving any of what I say)…

    Repeating myself from elsewhere again…

    As I’ve said before, my take is that this is a total hoax with no leaks from labs, no military mistakes or military attacks. Just a hoax on a huge scale across a world where collaboration between enemy governments is as unsurprising as enmity between friendly governments.

    I’m curious about the possibility of threshold testing in all this. How far can they go before we cry fake against the massive flooding of the whole media zone? There are the obvious visual stunts, such as the “corpses” spreadeagled like kids playing wars and the chick trying to eat a big bat over a soup bowl, which seem designed to test our shockability against our sense of the absurd. So far, shock wins.

    But I’m thinking more about the tests of simple logic.

    Right through all this there have been low infection and tiny death numbers. That’s for ease of hoax management, certainly. The smaller the numbers the less you have to explain and the less you have to walk back when some Gates and some crack team of female, coloured and LGBT researchers come up with their vaccine or miracle treatment.

    But what about all those media stories of overflowing wards, park burials, freezer trucks and body bags coming and going from hospitals…all running concurrent with publication of death numbers which are tiny?

    Huh?

    So here’s my question. Is Winston being tested not by “how many fingers am I holding up?” but by “how many corpses does it take to overload a city?” If you insist that it would take a million corpses to force the city to bury its dead by the jogging tracks and flower beds…

    You’ll get shocked or even get a rat tied to your face!

    63 deaths have so far been recorded in Australia. I would adjust that to zero deaths, but 63 or zero, the load on the system would be insignificant in either case. It’s obvious then that there is no overload, no emergency disposal of corpses, and no logistical problem of any sort except what is artificially generated. And that’s accepting the official death toll.

    Yet the tiny death tolls and logistical nightmare stories can sit comfortably together on the same page. India’s “pandemic” was tragic at three whole deaths.

    Now how is that possible, unless we are being tested not just for our visceral responses but also for our deductive ability in the face of media “zone-flooding” ( hideous expression, not mine, used at Event 201 drill)?

    So how many deaths will it take till we have to store the corpses in skating rinks then bury them in public parks?

    The answer is 63…now take that rat away from my face.

  17. Again repeating myself from elsewhere and with thanks to my serf for her indulgence:

    It’s frustrating to know that all the people one sees about the place are going home to turn on the mainstream media. And while they are sitting in traffic their heads are being pumped full by mainstream media. And as they check their phones…

    It’s not just news and current affairs. The conditioning flows out of movies, sports events, memos, songs, dances, emails, sermons, dog acts, sword-swallowing acts…everything that’s electronic and for mass consumption. Those thousands of zombie movies, alien movies, vampire movies, all themed around suspicion of the other and aimed at the young, weren’t just for the dollars. They live! They really do! No need for special glasses. There’s an app now.

    Remember when Asians were the villains for the first Manchurian Candidate? That was so 1960s. Now it’s so 2020s. Turn down the volume on the Muzzies and the Russkies – just a tad, mind you! – and now turn up the volume on those Chicoms. A few months of “news” and a hit movie or two should get it about right. (I suggest a rogue CIA agent exposing her superiors who are in cahoots with the Chicoms over a melamine baby formula scandal. No need to over-egg with talk of weaponised bugs. Of course, our loose-cannon agent should be LGBT, racked by self-doubt and daddy issues but with a true and patriotic heart.)

    People have been pumped full of this slop, with the pressure doubled in the last decade. I would be no better had I not turned off the pump.

    So I refrain from arguments I can’t win. I just tell all the people I meet about the OFF button. The OFF button is our life, our sweetness and our hope.

  18. Yer welcome, mosomoso…Say, serfs offering indulgences strikes me as funny.
    Glad I can laugh at something. Wish I could laugh at the medja hype but it just reminds me of Big Brother messaging in Oceania… And that cartoon above, ‘Wait a minute. We’re lemurs. Lemurs!’

  19. Back in toff mode and in the mood for some peasant-bashing:

    That scrunched look on Bill Gates’ face when he is getting praised or honored, like he’s gobbled a mouthful of something he can’t swallow and is having a laughing fit while trying to keep it in…

    He actually gets off on these cornflake packet medals! Anyone sane would be humiliated or at least embarrassed, but not Bill ‘Betty Crocker’ Gates. Like the ninety-year old billionaire who finds love with his giggly young nurse, Bill doesn’t care if the show is real or if any show is real. Real is for wimps.

    What distinguishes these manipulators apart from demonic energy (I grant them that) is their shallowness, their terror of boredom, their hatred of their inadequate selves. They get to reign, but they reign in a hell of vulgarity and triviality.

    At the end of all the trails and travails there’s nothing but a soggy lab-grown cheeseburger and a star on the wrist for attendance. They bore and are bored. Give them all the extra lives promised by the loopier transhumanists [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D06j3awJnik ]…those lives will be lives of boredom, of vulgarity, of triviality, of self-loathing.

    That’s bound to get them down.

    Hey globsters! You hate yourselves but I don’t hate me. So who’s winning here?

  20. Hey Toff.
    Don’t think yu ARE bashing serfs – unless yr globsters, yr George Sorosuss, yr Rockerfella8s , yr Club of Rome, happen ter be serfs.

    I don’r think so .’n a pox on ’em …oops!

    • I calll ’em peasants because try-hards hate being called that. Not all peasants are try-hards, but all try-hards are peasants. I wouldn’t mind being called a peasant…but it never happens. Obviously.

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