Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > American Political ‘Elites’ Have Lost, Almost, All Touch with Reality: 3

American Political ‘Elites’ Have Lost, Almost, All Touch with Reality: 3

In the previous post of this series, I wrote about how there is no significant difference between establishment Republicans and Democrats when it comes to their overall worldview. Sure.. one group pretends to care about a woman’s right to choose and “systemic racism” while the other pretends to be interested in “banning abortion” and upholding the 2nd amendment, but this is all crappy window-dressing to cover the fact that both are equally subservient to the interests of big corporations and very rich. In that post, I also pointed out the almost everyone in current crop of Democratic party establishment is a D-list actor who are incapable of anything beyond mouthing empty platitudes and pretending to care about useless cultural issues such as “gun control” and “diversity”. I do plan to devote a future post to why the ranks of leadership, both political and non-political, in west is increasingly made up of incompetent but credentialed D-list actor types.

Anyway.. back to the topic. As I have written in numerous recent posts- the way establishment Democrats, and their Republican equivalents, have reacted to the ongoing immiseration of many tens of millions due to COVID-19 fallout has shone a lot more light on their almost total loss of touch with reality. Readers might also remember that I recently wrote about how establishment Democrats (and Republicans) have no realistic plan to completely reopen and reboot economy. But have you ever wondered why one bunch of dummies are just as clueless as the other? Well.. there are a bunch of intersecting reasons which have a lot to do with how the composition of political (and other) leadership changes in late capitalism aka neoliberalism aka financialism. But rather than go on another deep dive into underpinnings of this change, let me use a few simple-to-comprehend examples to illustrate the various factors that go into creating this mess.

Have you noticed that political and technical elites in west have lost the ability to assess information rationally and make thoughtful decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are a few examples.. Remember how face masks were supposed to be useless until they suddenly changed their mind sometime in May or June? Given that the pandemic was well underway in China by early January AND caused by a virus from well-characterized family, isn’t it odd that the elites had no clue about whether wearing face masks in public was worthwhile as late as May? Here is a hint: masks without special filters, at best, reduce the size of inoculum rather than prevent airborne viral infections. But it gets worse.. much worse. Let us talk about how western political elites displayed a total lack of understanding about whether the virus was transmitted outdoors or indoors. Once again, it was obvious as early as February and March that the vast majority of viral transmission occurred indoors and in cramped quarters.

In China and South Korea, it became obvious within a couple of months that majority of those who were infected got it from their family, co-workers or others in very close proximity at indoor markets etc. Yet, we still see western political elites pretending that outdoor gatherings (such as beaches, parks etc) carry the same risk as being cooped up in the same house, apartment or crowded workplace. Need I remind you that the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in USA have occurred in nursing homes, ships, submarines, prisons, meat-packing plants and crowded low-income urban housing complexes. Some of you might think that this is a sign of elite malfeasance rather than incompetence, and you are welcome to keep believing that, but I think otherwise because it is just one more in a long series of similar occurrences that strongly suggest incompetence. And this brings me to the next example of incompetence- namely, an inability to comprehend the statistics of risk, mortality, immunity, asymptomatic rate etc.

I have looked through the available mortality statistics for this infection in many west-European countries (Italy, Spain, Germany) and others such as Canada and South Korea. Here is what we know.. in countries with lots of testing and low positive rates, mortality from this infection among people under 50 is less than 1 in 2000, rising to about 1 in 1,000 for those between 50 and 60 and about 1 in 300 for those between 60-70. Note that hospitalization and ICU utilization rates are also pretty low until the patients are over 65. In every single one of these countries over 80% of deaths occur in people who are over 80 AND in assisted-living facilities. My point is that for everybody below 60 or 70, COVID-19 pandemic does not have a higher mortality than influenza pandemics of 1957-58 and 1968. Sure.. we should certainly protect people over 65 or 70 by providing them free N95 masks, hand sanitizer, food and grocery delivery etc. But let us not pretend that COVID-19 is more dangerous for most people than a bad strain of Influenza.

Of course, this display of incompetence does not end here.. is just the beginning. Consider the bullshit about testing for antibodies as a proxy for exposure to this virus. First, the political elite pretended to believe that available tests were not accurate enough. Once it became hard to keep up that brainless charade, they pretended to believe that antibody tests accurately captured the infection rates in population. Newsflash- anybody with more than a basic understanding of medical microbiology knows this is not the case. Let me explain.. see, antibody titres are most important when considering immunity to infections by bacteria that produce potent toxins or those with protective capsules etc. As far as viral infections are concerned, the development of specific memory cells which can survive for decades in body and start production of antibodies and kickstart immune response as soon as they encounter the antigen in question is what matters! This class of cells is, for example, why your body can produce specific antibodies etc many decades after a measles infection or MMR vaccine if you are re-exposed to virus.

To make a long story short, antibody titres after viral infections are fairly mediocre indicators of immunity. However we still use them since tests to measure antibody titres are much cheaper and simpler than those for measuring presence of memory cells. But that is also why we require clinical trials of vaccines for viral diseases rather than just measure the antibody response to them. This is also why sub-clinical reinfection which does not progress to clinical disease is quite common with viral diseases, even if you have immunity to that disease. Now you understand why reinfection, but not clinical disease, is possible even if you are immune to COVID-19 and almost any other viral infection. Also note that we know from a wide variety of veterinary coronavirus diseases that they almost exclusively cause acute infections with one notable example of a sub-acute infection (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) in some cats. Now tell me.. did you notice political, or other, elites mentioning these facts? If not, why not?

Some of you might think, once again, that this is part of a “bigger plan”. To which my answer is.. just read the transcripts of how political elites and “credentialed experts” talk about these issues. It is as if they don’t understand the subject matter in any detail, and this is not surprising since the types of elites who rise through system under neoliberalism do so because they are D-list actors who are good at court intrigue. Here is another example of incompetence. You might have heard about long-term effects of COVID-19. Here is the truth. Anybody sick enough to end up in ICU and under mechanical ventilation for more than a day WILL take a few weeks or months to recover completely. This occurs whether you end up in that situation because of a car accident, post-surgery complications or COVID-19. Invasive positive pressure ventilation (PPV) beyond a couple of days WILL cause some lung damage even if you didn’t have any to begin with. It usually resolves in a few weeks to months, though some never completely recover from it.

Similarly, most viral infections beyond common colds and minor stomach bugs WILL cause elevated levels of systemic inflammation in a decent minority of people for a few weeks after recovery. This phenomena has been fairly well studied in children with viral coup and asthma, young adults who experience upper-respiratory and systemic symptoms for up to 2-3 months after recovering from a bad lower-respiratory tract infection or people developing temporary joint issues after recovering from a bad case of salmonellosis. It should also be understood that many sensitive tests for measuring heart damage and systemic inflammation will come back mildly positive for up to a couple of months after recovery from moderately bad infections. Now tell me,, how much of this very well known (if somewhat specialized) knowledge factors in the series of bad decisions made by western elites since the beginning of COVID-19 crisis? Why not?

In the next part, I will go back to what I was originally going to write for this part- namely, how establishment Republicans are not that different from their Democrat counterparts when it comes to privileging corporate interest over their voters.

What do you think? Comments?

PS: I also hope to soon write a quick piece about my thoughts on what is going on in Kenosha, especially its longer-term indirect social and political effects.

  1. P Ray
    August 28, 2020 at 1:46 am

    One of the conclusions that people can arrive at about the poor decision making on how to handle the situation by contact tracing, wearing masks properly and sanitising hands … is that maybe the Democrats AND Republicans don’t have cronies in those businesses so didn’t want to hand out the contracts and funding.

    Some incompetence could actually be “we were waiting for our guys to get the chance to solve the problem, which is why we didn’t deal with it earlier” … the timing is bad, because the “right” person/company was not involved …

  2. RYU
    August 28, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    you talk about the rigged too party system, but you neglect the degeneracy of the aryan woman and why us nationalists must find other men and eschew baby making!

    https://cdn.imagefap.com/images/full/69/415/415972831.jpg?end=1598743687&secure=022aa15c8e06845bd3560

  3. August 29, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Just counting down the days til ‘lil Nickie Sandmann is18 and LEGAL.

    Can’t wait too show him what White Nationalism is all about…

    • RYU
      August 29, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      ah, yes, gives a whole new meaning to the ole’ song Enter Sandmann!!!

  4. September 2, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Naïve stupidity or willful ignorance?

    Has the neoliberal elite lost of touch with reality due to lack of intelligence or does this loss of touch with reality conveniently benefit them? Have they really lost touch with reality or do they want to make sure as many voters as possible loose touch with or never get in touch with reality?

    Think. Who benefits the most from using COVID-19 as a political football other than politicians, their MSM narcissistic mouth pieces and the overlords of all? Knowledge is power. If the public obtains comprehensive knowledge of a subject, then that subject cannot be used as a tool to instill irrational fear into the minds of individuals who comprise the public. An educated public is one that cannot be fooled by sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists who wish to enslave the public.

    What you have enlightened everyone who reads your blog with concerning COVID-19 shifts attention away from the political blame contest and toward the disease itself. All politicians and their MSM narcissistic presstitutes and “expert” liars are compulsively obsessed with preventing comprehensive public enlightenment concerning COVID. Why else would they all be so compulsively obsessed with framing and discussing it in political ways? Even the statement “let the science determine the…” is spoken purely from political posture.

    Are THEY really that stupid or do they want a usably large enough portion of the public to remain naïve?

    If they are that stupid, then how do they have the sense to tie their shoes much less run political campaigns? I do not think there is a “conspiracy”, but there certainly is a consensus to continue playing the game they have always played by using EVERY issue as a political football. The issues do not matter to them, other than in the context of politics, where all issues are used against each other in a game in which “points” are “scored” with each blame and shame of the opposing party. You see, actually solving the issues is not important. In fact solving the problems or managing them intelligently would ruin the game. Using the issues as political tools as intensely and for as long as possible is far more important to sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists than addressing and managing the issues in ways that benefit public health and prosperity. You see, they need opposing spectators who have real skin in the game to continue the game from which they benefit. This is why social problems regarding fetal homicide, “race”, “income inequality”, religion, feminism, LGBTQ, #MEETOO, etc, etc, etc, never get “solved”.

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