Note (13JUL2020): NEWS FLASH! You might not have received this news elsewhere. A recent study* reports having confirmed that which this physician-commentator had predicted from the start; namely, the Wuhan-virus (SARS-Cov-2) is mutating. It is evolving rapidly.
Question: In virulence, will the mutations be more benign, more malign, or unchanged? No one knows. Fortunately, most mutations likely will be lethal to the virus itself.
Should COVID-19 evolve into the dreaded “Disease X” long predicted by microbiologists, however, it will cause a mass extinction of the human species as described in Retribution Fever. Any vaccine that might be developed against COVID-19 might not be effective against “Disease X”, nor might any treatment.
Politically, choosing our next President and Congress will become a matter of life or death — yours and mine. The virus cares not one whit about personal opinions or abstract theories. The political choices available may not be enviable, but they are those that we have.
*Phan T: “Genetic Diversity and Evolution of SARS-CoV-2.” Infection, Genetics and Evolution 81: 104260 (July 2020).
Next January, a corrupt, demented, career-politician may be handed a suitcase with the button to destroy the world in a nuclear holocaust. His name? Joe Biden. In the election the preceding November, he may carry with him a Democratic Congress hell-bent on radical change to the political left. Be advised that often associated with dementia is psychosis.
“The woman Folly is riotous; She is thoughtlessness and knoweth nothing.” -Proverbs 9:13
How could an advanced nation place the world and itself into such jeopardy? The self-styled gurus will bleat mentalistic explanations. A more fundamental principle is in play, however; namely, redirected aggression.
The context is a pampered nation still wallowing in a state of satiation, albeit financed by massive debt, having devolved into a maternalistic matriarchal society. The antecedents are global plague coupled with a potential economic collapse. The behavior is voting for Biden and other Democratic candidates. The consequence is their election.
Yes, people feel frightened and angry. Those are the associated emotions; they are dependent variables. Yes, people seek a savior from their current travails. That is the associated cognition; it is another dependent variable. What, then, is the independent variable?*
*For a description of dependent/independent variables, see the novel, Inescapable Consequences.
An Experimental Paradigm
To answer that question, let’s venture into the experimental laboratory. On a bench sit two, adjoining boxes with a common wall made of transparent plexiglass. In each enclosure is a pigeon deprived of food for one day.
On the far wall of each enclosure are two discs. When pecked, the left disc delivers food on a variable ratio schedule of reïnforcement such as used with slot-machines in gambling casinos. The right disc lifts the transparent wall separating the two enclosures.
Both pigeons are busy pecking their respective left discs. Then, one of the pigeons is placed on extinction. Peck the disc? Yes. Food delivered? No.
After multiple pecks on the left disc, the now-deprived pigeon turns its attention to its compatriot pecking and eating. Suddenly, the now-deprived pigeon pecks the right disc. The transparent wall lifts. The pigeon rushes into the now-available, adjoining enclosure. To do what? To attack the other pigeon!
The Political Paradigm
Consider the situation of an average American as similar to that of the deprived pigeon. Cooped in isolation for weeks, he has been deprived of positive social-reïnforcement. Having been furloughed from his job, he has been deprived of his income save the temporary charity exacted involuntarily from taxpayers by the government. Meanwhile, he sits at home, watching on television his maternalistic, nurturing country being destroyed by rioting, looting, burning, and murdering barbarians.
Like the deprived pigeon, he has no control over his situation. Then, like a transparent wall being lifted, comes election-day. What does he do? He attacks the sitting President by voting for the President’s opponents. Unable to attack the offending virus, SARS-CoV-2, for perpetrating the plague; unable to attack the guilty party, China, for unleashing the plague; and unable to stop the mayhem by the barbarians for their radical rebellion, he redirects his aggression toward an inept but, nevertheless, essentially innocent target, President Trump. Redirected aggression!
Stupid? Yes. Hard-wired? Yes.
So, what’s a president to do? Apparently, lose an election to redirected aggression unless some new and prepotent, independent variable intervenes. That independent variable often is a war or, perhaps in this instance, martial law, as told in the tale entitled Retribution Fever.
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)