September 22, 2021

Australia vs. US: cohesion produces authoritarianism above and mass action below

By far the most authoritarian COVID clampdown is taking place in Australia, whereas in the US almost no such extreme measures are taking place. Not because the American elites would not like to see them happen — but wishing won't make it so. They require national unity at the elite stratum in order to thoroughly lock down the commoners using martial law, and coerce so many of their citizens into getting experimental meds for what is only a bad cold.

Unfortunately for the US elites — but fortunately for its citizens — their cohesion has never been weaker, their politics have never been more polarized along partisan lines, and the society they're nominally in charge of has never been so fragmented. A weak and weakening state cannot enforce its dictates on anyone who isn't already on board with them (libtards, in the case of the COVID hysteria).

This is a drastic reversal from even 20 years ago, when the 9/11 spectacle gave the fairly united elites all the rationale to carry out the PATRIOT Act, launch the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, inaugurate a whole new federal agency (TSA), and with that a slew of broadly unpopular policies (taking off your shoes, etc. at the airport). None of them have gone away domestically — only their defeat by foreigners in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended those aspects of the post-9/11 era.

A strong state leaves a strong, enduring legacy. Just like how Social Security and Medicare, from the highly united and non-partisan New Deal era, are still in place decades later, despite recurring attempts to privatize them.

I covered this topic in earlier posts here and here about the weakness of the US state to implement the COVID dystopia that our elites are dreaming of. In reality, any citizen — whether me, or anyone else — can openly defy all of these policies and face minimal pushback. Walk into a building without a mask on, withhold your labor until the vaxx mandates go away, or whatever else.

It is not organized, and it is not a collective effort. It's simply millions of isolated individuals all doing the same non-compliance and getting away with it because the state and even the private-sector elites are too weak and fragmented to enforce the dystopia.

The elites know this because in the national mandate for federal employees and contractors to get vaxxed, they explicitly exempted the one group that would have defied the mandate — the working-class and minority-heavy Post Office system. All other federal teat-suckers are professional-class libtards who are already fully vaxxed and will eagerly beg for further boosters. When faced with the slightest potential pushback, the federal government refused to issue a threat, because they knew their bluff would get called, and they would have lost face and proven their own weakness.

Ditto for the mandate covering private employers with over 100 employees — that will exempt the most resistant employers, and the most resistant employees, who own or work in a small business (e.g., a restaurant, a landscaping crew, a boat dealership). The Biden admin knew not to pick a fight with the most Republican slice of the economy, lest their bluff get called and prove their impotence.

In contrast to anarchy in the USA — at both the top and bottom levels — the situation in Australia shows far greater unity of purpose and action, also at the top and bottom levels. Their elites are less polarized, less antagonistic toward each other, and are not overseeing a societal disintegration that has no end in sight. So their politicians are fully united in issuing decrees, and their policemen are more united in imposing martial law, neither of which will happen in the crumbling US.

That is as true for their common people, who are pouring into the streets to beat back the elite lockdowns, regardless of whether they tend to vote for the right or left, whether they're white or not, male or female, or any other tribal divisions.

Crucially the working class is taking action, and not those who are poorly-paid professionals like schoolteachers and nurses, who wield little leverage at the societal level, but truckers and construction workers who can literally prevent food from showing up on supermarket shelves. This action is all coordinated and delivered with a collective wallop, whether or not their union gives its official approval. You don't necessarily need a union to coordinate your efforts, if you already have enough cohesion amongst yourselves.

So while it looks more disturbing to see their elites united behind such a pointless and punitive set of policies, there is by the same token all the more hope that everyone else can band together and exert enough collective strength on critical pressure points of the system, to force the elites into backing down from their draconian measures.

Australia is not so different from America during the '90s, when the politicians of both parties were fairly united in de-industrializing the economy, and commoners of both the left and right were united in opposing NAFTA, the WTO, and the like.

But the US is at the core of the American Empire, and has gone on to imperial over-reach the worst, which erodes internal cohesion (from external failures, and domestic bankrupting of the treasury). Australia is still a part of the Anglosphere and a member of Five Eyes, but they are on the periphery, so they don't experience American trends as intensely or as early. Thus their society has not disintegrated as much as ours has over the past 20 years, they retain far more of their cohesion, and that makes both their elites and commoners more collective in their actions.

These distinctions must be kept in mind when trying to make sense of what's going on in different countries. Just because martial law is going on in Australia does not mean it will materialize here — no way, in fact. Equally, American commoners will never unite to protest in the streets or bring supply chains to a standstill like the Australian working class has been doing.

Incidentally, why did Scandinavia escape the COVID craziness first and most successfully? Not only are they cohesive and united, but they're not a core member of the Anglosphere, NATO, the EU, etc. They are not opposed to the American sphere of influence, but they're not vassal states either.

If it's purely culture-war stuff like gay pride parades, they can adopt those at little cost to their material standard-of-living. But taking in zillions of refugees? That crosses the line of pure culture war, and impacts their economy and polity, so they are pulling back from their open-borders stance of 5-10 years ago (most notably in Denmark since the 2019 realignment of the Social Democrats party). Mask mandates, vaxx mandates, scapegoating half of their society for a pandemic, etc., also crosses the line of pure culture war, and would have brought their society to a standstill. So they have abandoned the COVID hysteria and are moving on with life.

"Scandinavia just can't keep getting away with this!" Ah, but they can, since they have never been part of an empire, and retain a normal level of trust and cohesion. Not the super-cohesive levels to enable them to take over the world and become global culture-makers — but also not subject to the hangover effect when that super-cohesion has run out of juice, and everyone starts to turn against each other.


  1. Sweden has taken in so many refugees in recent years that the country is now 10% Muslim. Other Scandinavian countries are saner, but even Norway and Finland have quickly growing Muslim populations.

    Only Denmark (and tiny Iceland) are truly sane.

  2. This explains why the edu-sector insanity will not spread beyond the schools. The crazy shit Michael Tracey has been covering (but who is wrong about the forecast that it will spread from there).

    There is never a unitary ruling class or elite in any country, at any time. If they do happen to be unified, it's because they are in a coalition of distinct groups. US during the New Deal, Australia somewhat today.

    But education is not the same as small biz owners, so their interests are not the same, and they won't necessarily be on the same side of the COVID topic (or any other topic).

    Democrats have the greatest lock on schools, academia, etc., and their subjects are the most dependent -- literal dependents, rather than autonomous adults. Even college kids do not have their own jobs, housing, healthcare, etc., and depend on their parents.

    So Dems can go the craziest on campuses. And are in fact doing that.

    But outside of that fiefdom, the rules are different. A supermarket chain, or a farm or meat processor, is not a school. They're labor-intensive and need bodies there both for labor and for shopping. Anything that gets in the way is a hassle, and they'll be against it.

    So you can walk into supermarkets without a mask, without a vaxx passport, and they won't turn you away.

    "B-b-buh, I live in New York City, and --" There's your problem right there, you live in a 100% Democrat-run shithole city. Most cities have a Dem mayor, but they operate in a broader red state or purple state ecology, and cannot get away with the same insanity that the mayor of NYC or SF can do, knowing they're backed up all the way up to the governor's office.

    We have a very polarized and fragmented elite stratum, so they cannot unite to spread the campus craziness to arbitrary other sectors of society. If they're a coalescence of interests, then sure, they can form a coalition over masks, passports, etc.

    But that is not a given, and several big sectors and fiefdoms will be opposed to such policies.

    Remember, social media is part of "the media". Most people you hear on social media, whether against or in favor of COVID hysteria, are members of Democrat fiefdoms (they live on social media, and their IRL residence is in a bicoastal mega-city). Their experience does not generalize outside of such partisan fiefdoms.

  3. It's Pendleton season, baby. Oh hell yea.

  4. Iowa colleges cannot mandate vaxx or masks, per state law. That's despite the state having very big state schools with their own local fiefdoms (U of Iowa and Iowa State).

    There must be zillions of hick-libs on those campuses, as students and employees.

    Only problem is they're in a fairly red state, one that flipped from fairly blue to Trump in 2016, and which they could not steal back in 2020 (along with Ohio and Florida).

    AFAICT, Michael Tracey's portrait of insane authoritarian campuses is limited mainly to the bicoastal super-Democrat places. Maybe Chicagoland and by extension IL is going insane too, the one major exception within flyover country.

    Seems more like an old red state vs. blue state thing, where the edu-sector has free rein in its craziness in deep blue states, but where their dreams of total control of students is frustrated elsewhere.

    Blue-balled by red states.

    If you doubt any of this, find the doomsayers on social media and ask what state they live in, or what sector of the economy they work for.

    Something related to tech or media (including surviving from online content via Patreon subs / donos)? Living on either coast, and not Florida? Shocked!

  5. Mask-harassed for the 1st time in a long while, by fat female worker. When she saw I wasn't wearing one, she shouted out in a concerned tone, "Sir! Sir! Sir! Sir!"

    Totally ignored her, kept walking, and going about my browsing. No follow-up by her, any other employee / manager, or fellow shopper.

    She was not a designated mask checker at the front of the store -- those have all disappeared, since the whole COVID theater keeps steadily eroding (unless you live in an insane shithole, which you probably do if you're on social media, sorry about that).

    When the state mandates were still in effect, I did occasionally get harassed by other shoppers. Now, not at all.

    It makes me wonder how much more compliant people would've been about mass vaxx if it had rolled out in May 2020 instead of 2021. There was more uncertainty then about how bad the disease could get, experts had not totally torched their own credibility on the matter, some modicum of faith was still left in the institutions because the presidential election had not yet been stolen on primetime TV.

    Of course we didn't have a vaxx ready to go back then, but we did have masks. Those mask mandates were fairly widespread and rigidly adhered to. I don't remember anyone not wearing them anywhere IRL.

    Presumably vaxx mandates would've been more widespread, and more rigidly adhered to, as well.

    Although a thought experiment, this is another point of evidence in favor of the "COVID theater not lasting / is falling apart, however gradually" view.

    It is resistance, not compliance, to COVID theater that has been increasing over the past year. That will only continue as the system tries even crazier shit -- "tries" being the key word, before falling flat on their clueless dumbass face.

  6. Racial disparity in masking is even more apparent IRL now, too. Since nothing is being enforced, there's little cost to expressing your true preference.

    And sadly, black people are more based than whites on this issue. They mostly don't wear a mask, or at most have it on but not covering their nose and/or mouth.

    How fucked up is it that pretty soon the typical white working-class wagie is going to flock to black employers, so they won't get harassed and coerced into being a guinea pig for big pharma over a bad cold?

    Soon, "black owned and operated business" will be a dogwhistle for "free from COVID craziness", smdh.

    Democrat-on-Democrat violence is going to get interesting...

  7. Why do girls bother trying to send flirty signals while masked? If I can't see the rest of your face, my mind fills the picture in with a neutral expression.

    So, make all the expressive eye gestures you want -- it just clashes with what, in my mind, is a totally neutral lower face. Incongruous -- mouth and eye gestures are supposed to harmonize into a gestalt. Not be separated.

    It's freakish -- like you Botoxed your entire face below the eyes.

    And sorry, but unless you're Penelope Cruz, you don't have eyes expressive enough to carry the entire facial emotion.

    Take that damn thing off your face if you're going to make eyes at someone.

    Ignore all the coping BS about "well it hides my [imaginary flaw no one notices or cares about], so I'm glad to wear it". No, you're just afraid of opening up and being real in front of other members of your community.

    Mask off, dork.


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