Napoleon touching a plague victim, detail from a painting by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, 1804
Philosophers are a rum old bunch, always have been. Proving the existence of an external world here and noting the difference between ‘is’ and ‘ought’ there and then draping transcendental categories over the lot to brighten it up a bit. I think therefore I am, and know thyself, and categorical imperatives and Occam’s razor and goodness knows what else. Philosophy is like IKEA for nutters.
Modern philosophers are a comparatively sedate bunch, a sort of refined country club for mannered, middle-class thinkers. They have no real fear of the SJW crowd because philosophy has the relative merit, in that context, of being quite hard. When you are reading about the influence of the Gnostics on the history of science, or the Platonic eidolon and Wittgenstein’s picture theory of meaning, it’s quite tricky to dig out any racism or transphobia. We bet it’s hidden in there somewhere though, like ontological Easter eggs. Naughty philosophers.
Some modern philosophers do like to play a sort of glass bead game known as ‘counterfactual history’. What if Hitler had won the war? What if the Roman Empire hadn’t collapsed? What if Meghan hadn’t met Harry? That sort of thing. Now that Vinnie the Virus has taken up residence in the market square, we are entitled to dabble with a little counterfactualism of our own; What if Clinton had won?
Well, the media response is fairly easy to hypothesise. Even if things were exactly the same as they are now, Clinton would be doing a spectacularly good job. It would just show what happens when a woman is in charge. Imagine how many millions would have died if that dreadful Trump had somehow stolen the election! When the virus finally settled down under Mrs. Clinton, it would have been largely thanks to the efforts of the black and Muslim population keeping white supremacists at bay, China would have played a key and noble role, and the Mexicans flooding in via a wall-free border would have had something to substantiate their dreams rather than the stalags, gulags and concentration camps we now have. Alexandra Ocasio-Coronatez would be May Queen, Clinton would have herself proclaimed Empress of the Universe, and there would have been enough impeachment money saved to host a huge party for gender-queer folk at the Black House.
In short, reality would have been different.
Remember how the media roasted Obama when N1S1 hit town? Neither do we. The media ran cover for him, he was still the anointed one. Trump, on the other hand, can’t make a move without a wailing and gnashing of teeth and a lamentation of women. For the enemedia, the virus was never about the virus. It was always about Trump.
And not only Trump. Democrat governors have been praised in the US press for their lockdowns, and now that Vinnie looks bored and may have a 10 o’clock on another planet, they don’t seem to want to give back their hastily abrogated but delicious totalitarian gains. Have a little shufti at Michigan Govern Gretchen Whitmer if you would like to see how undignified it is for a lady to be drunk – on power.
Meanwhile, one of the world’s super-villains – and the media increasingly use the language and rhetoric of the Marvel franchise movies – is Hungary’s bullish boss Viktor Orbán, who took full control of the country a few weeks ago, to a monumental Yikes! From the media class. Well, he has just given back the emergency powers parliament granted him, just as he said he would, unlike, say, Mayor Andrew Cuomo of Noo Yawk, who is presumably going to keep his tactics firmly in place until every last old people’s home is a charnel-house. In case you were wondering, Cuomo ordered elderly infected New Yorkers to be transferred to nursing homes, with the results and avoidable fatalities even a layman would expect. But Orange Man still bad.
Here is a counterfactual it’s okay to like. What if the media hadn’t mutated into a hyper-politicised, hard-Left, lying, sociopathic pack of baying, braying, duplicitous scum? What if their mouths spoke honestly, instead of being rank with truth-decay? What if they told it like it is, with a copy-editor looking over their shoulders and not Team Soros and the rest? Would that have been too much to ask?
A lot of things will come out of this terrible collective experience, a scenario which has killed many and will ruin many, many more. One of them should be a rooted distrust and rejection of the legacy media. These are not good people and they do not mean you well. They are now pushing the vaccine like they championed the lockdown, and we all know what that means.
The deep state is a very, very malevolent cabal of people who despise the ordinary person for not being as conscience-free and powerful as they are. The media works for the deep state. Every newspaper you buy, every time you pay that licence fee, every time you suck on the tit of the MSM one more time, believing it nourishes you without tasting the bitter gall, you are helping the beast.
So, media consumers, forget counterfactual history, here’s a counterfactual present.
What if you stopped?