The Cherry Beach Chainsaw Massacre
I continue to go at the topic of covid19 in the calm days of summer, before the much predicted autumn “second wave” hits. It would be nice if I was wrong, but the experience of other countries does not give much room for optimism. Neither does the very inept pandemic management of Canadian governments. Perhaps my summer slow approach to unfolding my views of the subject will help my readers in thinking through what needs to be done.
Last Sunday I was out biking around and visited a couple of parks near to my home in central Toronto. I was at Corktown common, a really lovely park, part of the legacy of the Panam Games headquartered around there in 2015. For some reason it has not been well used in its first years of existence.
I am pleased that the public has finally learned where Corktown common is.The greens were dotted with picnickers. Most were not wearing masks but all were staying in their little pods, well spaced out. Police are monitoring the parks and one bored looking cop was parked across the street.
In contrast, Cherry beach was a bit crowded when I went down that way. People were not distancing. There were a couple of cops here but they were handling traffic flow and not bothering people about social distance and masks.
All was peaceful. Yet the police are keeping an eye on Cherry beach due to what happened there two weeks back.
Cherry beach seems to have become the gathering place for the anti-mask, ‘defy the lockdown’ crowd in Toronto. They have been holding weekly demonstrations at the provincial legislature and then coming down to the beach. The fire pits are stoked up and a sound system is set up.
According to new reports, the incident in question went as follows; two men got into a fight with some other people and ended up bloodied. They came back with chain saws, started them up and began menacing people. Then they destroyed a few thousand dollars worth of sound equipment.
Then they got a couple of police pistols pointed at them. Then they went away. There is no information about what was at issue.
The Echo Chambers
My point in this is to illustrate the divide in society over the response to the pandemic. It seems to be the same kind of thing in every western country. Most people accept the idea that the pandemic is what it appears to be. Those who do not are a minority, but they are a significant and loud minority.
They are consistently of a libertarian type of mindset. That is, they have personality problems, thus usually an inability to get anywhere in the real world, and need a scapegoat for their failure.
The factions of the ruling elite who find vestigial democracy and social organization getting in the way of their profit maximization need to create a following for their political purposes. These kinds of people are ideal for that.
Libertarianism is the processed ideology which the more radical tendency in Industrial capitalism has created as an organizing and motivation instrument for its street and online force. Basically it sets up “government” as the cause of the misfit’s problems, similar to the anarchists notion that “smash the state” will solve everything.
To this industrial capitalist class, the pandemic is not a problem. It will weed out some of the ‘unfit’ and ‘unproductive’, who have to be supported by taxes. If workers get sick from covid19, they can just be replaced by laid off workers who need the job.
So, they are using their libertarian ideological followers to try to break down pandemic response and ‘force the economy open’.
On the other side of this ideological war are the troops of financial capital sections of the ruling classes. There is some truth to the libertarian’s idea that these people want to dissolve national states, create a one world government, and end industrial capitalism. They are not actual communists but control fake communist groups.
The financial capitalists have their own movements of socially inadequate people, usually very privileged persons who are highly disturbed by anything contradicting their highly structured vision of reality. These people do accept that the pandemic is real.
The libertarians are convinced that the pandemic is a hoax, not really that serious, or even deliberately created by the forces of globalization to further break down civil liberties. There is no convincing them otherwise.
One of my favourite fellow bloggers has summed up in an elegant paragraph the argument against the pandemic as a planned power grab. You can find the full article at
Authoritarian abuses don’t seem to be falling along the lines of any existing power structures; they are happening in many of the same ways all around the world regardless of what power structures are in control there. It looks very possible that there is no solid global power grab underway with regard to this virus at all. It still looks very possible that all we’re seeing is governments around the world behaving in a way that is arguably ham-fisted and incompetent, combined with a mad scramble of various authoritarians opportunistically trying to insert pre-planned agendas into the fray with mixed success and without a lot of coordination.
It is this ‘ham fisted incompetence’ that the public really should be rebelling against, while maintaining pandemic measures. By ‘public’ I mean the normals, not the ideological silo dwellers of all tints and twitches. This is the point I am getting to in this series, but the reckoning will have to wait until we are out from under the Big Bad Bug.
Until then, until we have an effective vaccine, we have to live with it. The worst thing about the incompetence of ‘The Governments’ (plural) is that they do not give the public clear, consistent information. People need a course in basic covidology and that will be the subject of my next blog in this series.