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Pandemic War Diaries – The Blow from the Butterfly

Sebastian Lotzer

“Yet it is all too obvious that in today’s world it is information that defines what exists. Literally, only what is reported in the media actually exists. This point of view proves those right who say that turning off the TV would be enough to stop the spread of the epidemic.”

Submitted to Enough 14. In Corpore Vili originally published by The Plague and the Fire. Introduction by Sebastian Lotzer. Introduction translated by Enough 14.

No, no psychiatric hospitalization for quarantine troublemakers after all. Not for the time being. Be patient. If it is declared inevitable, that will come too. But basically, this is already the core of the problem, to define dissident deviation as a disease. They do have experience with this in this country. After her death, they removed Ulrike Meinhof’s brain and preserved it in alcohol for decades. The insanity of having to take up arms against this omnipotence must have been the result of a mental illness, which they hoped to track down and prove scientifically. Someday. And science is in vogue these days. And the left, which for decades was critical of science for good reasons (human genetics, nuclear power plants, the sociologist as a political cop, intentionally or not, …), throws everything overboard. Chews the curve discussion again, whose parameters change and contradict each day. Okay, I don’t want to discuss this right now and right here, let’s move to somthing more important.

And the only really decisive question, how can we confront this rise of crypto-fascism, and why this happens so rarely, is adjourned. Until the day when the ruling science opens the playgrounds of social participation again. (And it is really a picture of misery how many leftists are begging that it should be possible to demonstrate in a pandemic state of emergency in accordance with the regulations with the smallest number of participants and powerless at the mercy of the repressive forces). Okay, there are a few actions beyond that, sometimes a few dozen cyclists because of #Moria in Hamburg or on the weekends in Berlin at Brandenburg Tor or in the park at Gleisdreieck, in Wilhelmsburg 20 masked anarchists even marched around the block. But the whole thing is like trying to put out a fire with a watering can in the light of the bush fires of the last Australian summer.

It is beginning to crumble, the joy of the Federal Ministry of the Interior over an identification with the state not seen for decades (without any summer fairy tale [1] at all) seems to have been premature. Whoever is travelling in Berlin these days notices that the first resilience against the undergirded mass panic is beginning to take effect. One meets much more relaxed faces, in the green areas of the city the cops are forced to take a much more restrained course. Permanent social pulse-measuring in the surveys and investigations of the various institutes bring to light a breakaway at the edges of the new community of fate. Only every second person is willing to voluntarily install the surveillance app, which would enable a complete movement profile of the entire population. There are already threats to link individual easing of the curfew to active participation in the surveillance measure.

This makes it all the more annoying that the only broader mobilization in the public space against the current measures was achieved by the Querfronters [2] of the “Communication Centre Democratic Resistance”. Perhaps the actions that are actually planned for May Day will provide the possibility to come out of this state of shock. But this will only succeed if they are designed in a way that allows a connection beyond our own clique and if we do not put ourselves in a situation in which only new experiences of powerlessness are generated in the primacy of “mindfulness”.

In ancient myths, the souls of the dead are guarding over us living as butterflies, reminding us that death is part of our life, that there is basically no reason to fear it, encouraging us to embrace the lightness and joy of life. Or as “Bifo” Berardi, the old comrade of the Italian Autonomia recently wrote: “Death is once again at the centre of the landscape: the long denied mortality that makes humans alive”. So let us remember that it is about living this life, not about organizing our physical existence at any price. Another translation from Italy:

In Corpore Vili

Here we go. A few hours ago the nationwide state of (health) emergency has been declared. Almost total lockdown. Almost deserted streets and squares. Forbidden to leave the house without a reason considered valid (by whom? by the authorities, of course). Forbidden to meet and hug. Forbidden to organize any initiative requiring even a minimum of human presence (from parties to rallies). Forbidden to be too close to anyone. Suspension of all social life. Warned to stay locked up at home as much as possible, obligated to clinging to some electronic device in anticipation of the news. Obliged to follow the directives. Obliged to always carry a “self-certification” justifying all of your movements, even if you go out on foot. For those who do not submit to the measures taken, the sanctions may include arrest and detention.

And all this for what? For a virus that still divides the experts about its actual dangerousness, as the contested opinions presented by the virologists show (not to mention the substantial difference towards this topic between many European countries)? What if instead of the coronavirus – with its mortality rate of 2-3% everywhere in the world except for the northern Italian regions – an Ebola capable of decimating the population by 80-90% had arrived here? What would have happened? Would it have given way to immediate sterilization by bombardment of the hotspots?
Given the connection of the dynamics in industrial societies and the modern western concept of freedom, it is not surprising that a politics of complete domestic lockdown and curfews is imposed on everyone in order to slow down the spread of viral infection.
What is surprising, if anything, is that such measures are so passively accepted. Not only tolerated, but internalized and justified by the majority of the people. And not only by court minstrels who invite everyone to stay at home, not only by respectable citizens who ensure (and control) each other so that “everything will be alright”. But even by those who because of the infectious horror, are no longer willing to listen to the (until yesterday hailed) refrains against the “state of exception”. They now prefer to take sides in favour of an illusory matter of fact. For never are words so useless as in moments of panic. Let us return to the popular psychodrama in progress in the Belpaese. And let us look at its social effects rather than its biological causes.
Whether this virus comes from bats or from some secret military laboratory, what’s the difference? Nothing. One hypothesis is as good as the other. Besides the lack of information and more precise knowledge in this regard, a trivial observation remains valid: similar viruses can indeed be transmitted by certain animal species. Just as among the many sorcerer’s apprentices of “unconventional weapons” there may well be someone more cynical or reckless. So what?

That said, it is all too obvious that in today’s world it is information that defines what exists. Literally, only what is in the media does actually exist. This point of view gives reason to those who say that turning off the television would be sufficient in order to stop the epidemic from spreading.
Without the media panic-mongering no one would have paid much attention to an unexpected form of flu, whose victims would have been remembered only by their loved ones and some statistics. It would not be the first time. This is what happened with the 20,000 victims caused here in Italy in the autumn of 1969 by the Hong Kong flu, the so-called “spatial influenza”. At that time the mass media talked a lot about it. Since the previous year it sowed death all over the planet, yet it was simply considered as a more virulent form of flu than usual. And that was it. After all, can you imagine what the proclamation of a state of emergency in Italy in December of 1969 would have caused? The authorities could have done it, but they knew they couldn’t afford it. It would have led to uprisings without any doubt. They had to make do with the fear sown by the massacres of the state.

Now, does it make sense to assume that a Far Eastern virus has erupted in the world with such virulence only here in Italy? It is much more likely that it was only here in Italy that the media decided to highlight the news of the outbreak. Whether it was a precise choice or a communication error, this could be a matter of debate for a long time to come. What is all too obvious, on the other hand, is the unleashed panic. And to whom and what it benefits.
Because, one must admit, there is nothing more capable of evoking terror than a virus. It is the perfect enemy, invisible and potentially omnipresent. Unlike what happens with Middle Eastern jihadists, its threat extends and legitimises the need for control almost unlimitedly. Now it’s not the possible perpetrators to are monitored from time to time. But the possible victims, everywhere, all the time. The suspect is not the “Arab” who wanders around in places considered sensitive, but those who breathe because they breathe. If you turn a health problem into a problem of public orderand think that the best way to cure is to repress, then it becomes clear why one of the candidates for the role of super-commissioner of the fight against the coronavirus was the former chief of police at the time of the G8 in Genova 2001 and current president of the biggest Italian arms company (but since business is business, in the end they preferred a manager with military training: the director of the national agency for investment and business development). Is it perhaps a question of responding to the demands expressed in the Senate by a well-known politician, who stated that “this is the third world war our generation is committed to undergo, destined to change our habits more than September 11th”? After Al-Qaeda, here is Covid-19. And here are also the bulletins of this war at the same time virtual and viral
; the numbers of dead and wounded, the chronicles from the battle fronts, the narration of the acts of sacrifice and heroism. Now, what has the rhetoric of war propaganda ever served to, throughout history, if not to put aside any divergence and mobilize to form ranks behind the institutions? At the moment of danger, there must be neither divisions nor criticism but only unanimous support behind the flag of the homeland. Thus, in these hours inside the buildings, the idea of a public health government is being aired. Without forgetting a first side effect that is not at all unwelcome: whoever sings out of tune can only be a defeatist who deserves to be lynched for high treason.
As has already been mentioned, we do not know whether this emergency is the result of a premeditated strategic project or of a run to the shelter after a mistake has been made. We do know, however, that – in addition to flattening any resistance to Big Pharma’s domination of our lives – it will serve to spread and consolidate voluntary servitude, to make obedience internalized, to get us used to accepting what is unacceptable. What could be better for a government that has long since lost all semblance of credibility, and by extension for a civilization that is clearly rotting? The bet made by the Italian government is huge: to establish a red zone of 300,000 square kilometres as an answer to nothing. Can a population of 60 million people snap to attention and throw themselves at the feet of those who promise to save them from a non-existent threat, like a Pavlov dog drooling at the simple sound of a bell? This is a social experiment whose interest in the results transcends Italian borders. The end of natural resources, the effects of environmental degradation and constant overcrowding are announcing everywhere the unleashing of conflicts, whose prevention and management by power will require draconian measures. This is what some have already called “ecofascism”, whose first measures will not be very different from those taken today by the Italian government (which in fact would be the delight of any police state). Italy is the right catalytic country and a virus is the perfect transversal pretext to test such procedures on a large scale.
So far the results seem to be exciting for soul engineers. With very few exceptions, everyone is willing to give up all freedom and dignity in exchange for the illusion of salvation. If the favourable wind should change direction, they can always announce that the dangerous virus has been eradicated to prevent the boomerang effect. For the time being, it has been the inmates killed or massacred during the riots that broke out in about thirty prisons after the visiting hours were suspended. But obviously it was not an embarrassing “Mexican butcher’s shop”, but a commendable Italian pest control. The fact that the emergency offers those in authority the possibility of publicly adopting behaviour that until yesterday was kept hidden can also be seen in the small facts of the news: in Monza a 78 year old woman, who visited the polyclinic because she was suffering from fever, coughing and breathing difficulties, was subjected to coerced treatment (Trattamento Sanitario Obbligatoria) after having refused to be hospitalized on suspicion of coronavirus. Since TSO (established in 1978 by the famous law 180) can only be applied to so-called psychically ill people, that forced hospitalization was an “abuse of power” (as beautiful democratic souls like to say). One of many committed daily, only in this case it was not necessary to minimize or conceal it, and it was made public without the slightest criticism. A similar approach was taken in the case of seven foreigners guilty of… playing cards in a park. It is the least that could happen to contrarian individuals without any “sense of responsibility”.
Yes, responsibility. That’s a word on everyone’s lips today. You have to be responsible, a reminder that is constantly repeated and that translated by the new speak of power means only one thing: you have to obey directives. Yet it is not difficult to understand that it is precisely by obeying that one avoids all responsibility. Responsibility has to do with conscience, the happy encounter between sensitivity and intelligence. Wearing a mask or being locked up at home just because a government official dictated it does not indicate active responsibility, but passive obedience. It is not the result of intelligence and sensibility, but of credulousness and dabbleness seasoned with a good dose of cowardice. An act of responsibility should arise from the heart and head of each individual, not be ordered from above and imposed under threat of punishment. But, as is easy to guess, if there is one thing that power fears more than any other, it is precisely consciousness. Because it is from the conscience that protest and revolt is born. And it is precisely in order to blunt every conscience that we are bombarded 24 hours a day by the most futile television programs, on-screen entertainment, radio chatter, telephone chirping… a mammoth enterprise of social formatting whose purpose is the production of mass idiocy.

Now, if one considered the reasons for declaring the state of emergency with a minimum of sensitivity and intelligence, what would come of it? That an unacceptable state of emergency has been declared for inappropriate reasons by an unreliable government. Can a state which ignores the 83,000 victims caused each year by a market in which it has a monopoly position, and which leaves it a net profit of 7.5 billion Euro be credible when it claims to establish a red zone throughout the country to stem the spread of a virus that, according to many of the virologists, will help to cause the deaths of a few hundred people, who are already ill, perhaps even killing some of them directly? Perhaps in order to prevent 80,000 people from dying from air pollution every year, have you ever thought of blocking factories, power stations and cars throughout the country? And is it this same state that has closed more than 150 hospitals in the last ten years that is now calling for more responsibility?
As for the materiality of the facts we may doubt whether we really want to face them. Certainly not the sinister imbeciles, who in view of the massacre carried out in every sphere by this society, are only capable of cheering for the revenge of the good welfare state (with its public health and its great useful works) on the bad liberal state (stingy with the poor and generous with the rich, completely unprepared and close to facing a new “crisis”). And even less so do the good citizens ready to remain without freedom in order to have crumbs of security.
Because facing the materiality of the facts means also and above all to consider what you want to do with your body and your life. It also means accepting that death puts an end to life, even because of a pandemic. It also means respecting death, and not thinking that you can avoid it by relying on medicine. We’re all going to die, all of us. It’s the human condition: we suffer, we get sick, we die. Sometimes with little, sometimes with a lot of pain. The mad medicalisation, with its delusional purpose of defeating death, does nothing but root the idea that life must be preserved, not lived. It’s not the same thing.
If health – as the WHO has been claiming since 1948 – is not simply the absence of disease, but full physical, mental and social well-being, it is clear that the whole of humanity is chronically ill. And certainly not because of a virus. How should this total well-being be achieved? With a vaccine and antibiotic to be taken in an aseptic environment? Or with a life lived in freedom and autonomy? If hospitals so easily pass off the “presence of vital parameters” as a “form of life”, is it not because they have forgotten the difference between life and survival?
The lion, the so-called king of animals, symbol of strength and beauty, lives on average 10-12 years in the savannah. When it is in a safe zoo its lifespan can double. Locked in a cage he is less beautiful, less strong – he is sad and obese. They have taken away his risk of freedom to give him security. But in this way he no longer lives, he can at most survive. The human being is the only animal who prefers to spend his days in captivity rather than in the wild. It does not need a hunter to point a rifle at him, it is voluntarily behind bars. Surrounded and dazed by technological prostheses, it no longer even knows what nature is. And it is happy, even proud of the superiority of its intelligence. Having learned to do the math, it knows that eight days as a human being is more than one as a lion. Its vital parameters are present, especially the one considered fundamental by our society: the consumption of goods.

There is something paradoxical in the fact that the inhabitants of our titanic civilization, so passionate about superlatives, are trembling confronted with one of the smallest living micro-organisms. How dare a few millionths of an inch of genetic material jeopardize our peaceful existence? It’s nature. Considering what we’ve done to it, it would also be right to wipe us out. And all the vaccines, intensive care, hospitals in the world, they can never do anything about it. Instead of pretending to tame her, we should (re)learn to live with nature. In wild societies, without relationships based on power, not in civilized states.
But this would require a “change in behaviour” not very welcome to those who govern us, to those who want to govern us, to those who want to be governed.

Notes

[1] The soccer worldchampionships were hosted in Germany in 2006. In Germany this summer is called the “summer fairy tale”.

[2] Querfront (“cross-front”) was the cooperation between conservative revolutionaries in Germany with the far-left during the Weimar Republic of the 1920s. The term is also used today for mutual entryism or cooperation between left and right-wing groups.


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1 thought on “Pandemic War Diaries – The Blow from the Butterfly

  1. Absolutely superb article, thank you

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