Welcome to Psycho-land
Unless you were born into our current age of mass psychosis, or you are completely lacking in discerning capacities, our recent waves of mass hysteria must seem to you very strange indeed.
Every six to twelve months, a new Big Cause emerges, resulting in the conscripting of society into non-stop media coverage, the putting up of sympathizing yard signs, the co-opting of HR departments, and endless virtue-signaling on social media and in the PR campaigns of large corporations.
A perfect template from 2020 is the death of George Floyd which ignited a mass psychosis familiar to us all. In the corporate world, HR departments were wasting no time enforcing diversity training on their captive personnel. CEOs were sending company-wide emails, half threatening, half apologizing, to signal their support for the invigorated BLM movement. The normally bored ladies from Marketing and Corporate Communications were finally given an opportunity to justify their pay, by launching campaigns to align sales initiatives with the newly found collective commitment to “equity.”
Media-wise, we had suffered 24/7 coverage of riots, protests, and bizarro kneeling and genuflection ceremonies. This in turn was memetically copied by liberal home-owners who dutifully hung up unsightly signs in their otherwise well-manicured yards.
Covid felt very similar if a bit prolonged: Instead of a Dark Lord we were given Fauci, instead of yard signs we witnessed liberal women yelling, “Where’s your mask?!” Corporations did not disappoint either and were quick to exact a compliance regime of masking, vaccination, and mental health support (over Zoom, of course!).
Then came January 6th and it was Rinse and Repeat all over again: Non-stop media coverage, hashtags and pearl-clutching, concerned liberal women, and CEOs sending out concerned emails about “our democracy.”
Now we have Ukraine: Little Zelensky is our new Fauci-Floyd, the liberal ladies waive Ukrainian flags, corporations are divesting from Russia, and even High Culture is conscripted through the firing of Russian musicians, conductors, and ballerinas.
So how do we predict the next mass psychosis? What will it be? As in meteorology, what does it take for a local microburst to become a national storm?
I can identify a few necessary conditions.
Long Live the Administrative State
These mass psychoses always benefit the administrative state by increasing its power. Covid allowed our rulers to lock us down, mask us, and compel us to experiment with new medications by virtue of a perpetual “emergency,” even though it was not that dangerous.
Floydism and BLMism have infused the administrative state with new policing zeal and powers for “hate crimes” and violations of “equity.” January 6th injected even more power into the administrative apparatus by invoking it to protect us from domestic terrorists, real or imaginary.
So buttressing the administrative state is one precondition.
Leftist utility is another precondition. These crises du jour always serve the purpose of attacking conservatives and furthering the dismantlement of traditional America.
The Floyd psychosis assisted the Left’s crusade by recasting conservatives and traditional Americans as “systemically racist.” Covid in turn assisted the Left in isolating conservatives as “science-denying anti-vaxxers,” and the Ukraine crisis is helping the ailing Biden administration in styling itself as mega-patriotic while skewering conservatives as pro-Putinist traitors and Russian shills.
In addition, it seems to me that these psychoses never catch on unless they involve a dark element of violence, destruction, and death. Like in all good mass-consumed entertainment gore is a necessity. Clearly, the Summer of George Floyd had provided the nation with much exciting violence; Covid had provided its own pound of flesh; the Ukraine war is well… a war.
Finally, I believe that a great psychosis is always preceded by a similar, yet much smaller psychosis. With the exception, perhaps, of the Covid hysteria, there always seems to be a foretelling a few years before: The Ukraine psychosis was preceded by the Ukraine crisis of 2014; the Summer of George Floyd was preceded by the Winter of Travyon Martin and the Summer of Michael Brown; the January 6th hysteria was preceded by a few years of Russian collusion hysteria, not to mention constant Pride Boys fear porn.
In Search of the Next Psychosis
Thus armed with the noticeable patterns listed above, can we predict the next mass psychosis? What will be the next mega-storm to involve administrative growth-potential, leftist utility, violence, and that had already been manifested on a smaller scale?
My bet is on either the environment or something related to the Second Amendment. In scenario number one, we will see something like forest fires in California, as happens every year. However, this time it will be slightly worse, or it will only seem worse and will for sure involve several charred deaths. The perfect timing would be right before the Midterm Elections, but with enough time for a crisis to fully develop, so summer-fires make a lot of sense.
Try to imagine it, like Beyonce’s lyrics it doesn’t require too much thought: A climate emergency will be declared, the DOJ will establish a team of environmental-law experts to prosecute climate crimes, and the Left will excoriate embarrassed Republicans as being anti-science climate-deniers who hate the science and are obsessed with fossil fuels. Attempts to provide alternative perspectives will immediately be deleted from social media as “disinformation.”
The masked liberal women of yesteryear will now hang up “In This House We Believe in Climate Science!” signs, and concerned HR departments will organize special donation sessions for green causes while offering mental assistance to the overly concerned.
Another option might be an extremely bad school shooting, re-igniting the eternal leftist obsession with gun control. A one-time event though is not a great catalyst unless followed by riots and demonstrations as in the George Floyd case. So perhaps some sort of rolling event, a conspiracy of several frustrated youths, or a white student shooting black students exclusively, an event which surely will engulf the nation with hellish flames.
In such a case as well the sequence of hysterical reactions is easy to imagine: Republicans excoriated as child-killers, gun-toting-Walmart-shopping imbeciles; the DOJ convening a special team for the monitoring of gun-owners and “extremists”; a public-health emergency being declared; yard signs, hashtags, CEO confessionals, you know the drill.
Can such firestorms of psychosis be extinguished? I am not sure they can be, not while the Left is in control of all the means of public opinion and propaganda. But conservatives would do well to prepare in advance with the right arguments, or at least with a good bunker in which to hunker down.
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