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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/15/20

Brave New Normal

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DISCLAIMER: The following essay is entirely the work of satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns.

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So the War on Populism is finally over. Go ahead, take a wild guess who won.

I'll give you a hint. It wasn't the Russians, or the white supremacists, or the gilets jaunes, or Jeremy Corbyn's Nazi Death Cult, or the misogynist Bernie Bros, or the MAGA-hat terrorists, or any of the other real or fictional "populist" forces that global capitalism has been waging war on for the last four years.

What? You weren't aware that global capitalism was fighting a War on Populism? That's OK, most other folks weren't. It wasn't officially announced or anything. It was launched in the summer of 2016, just as the War on Terror was ending, as a sequel to the War on Terror, or a variation on the War on Terror, or continuation of the War on Terror, or whatever, it doesn't really matter anymore, because now we're fighting the War on Death, or the War on Minor Cold-like Symptoms, depending on your age and general state of health.

That's right, folks, once again, global capitalism (a/k/a "the world") is under attack by an evil enemy. GloboCap just can't catch a break. From the moment it defeated communism and became a global ideological hegemon, it has been one evil enemy after another.

No sooner had it celebrated winning the Cold War and started ruthlessly restructuring and privatizing everything than it was savagely attacked by "Islamic terrorists," and so was forced to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, and kill and torture a lot of people, and destabilize the entire Middle East, and illegally surveil everybody, and " well, you remember the War on Terror.

Then, just as the War on Terror seemed to be finally winding down, and the only terrorists left were the "self-radicalized" terrorists (many of whom weren't even actual terrorists), and it looked like GloboCap was finally going to be able to finish privatizing and debt-enslaving everything and everyone in peace, wouldn't you know it, we were attacked again, this time by the global conspiracy of Russian-backed, neo-fascist "populists" that caused the Brexit and elected Trump, and tried to elect Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, and loosed the gilets jaunes on France, and who've been threatening the "fabric of Western democracy" with dissension-sowing Facebook memes.

Unfortunately, unlike the War on Terror, the War on Populism didn't go that well. After four years of fighting, GloboCap (a/k/a the neoliberal Resistance) had " OK, they had snuffed both Corbyn and Sanders, but they had totally blown the Russiagate psyop, and so were looking at four more years of Trump, and Lord knows how many of Johnson in the U.K. (which had actually left the European Union), and the gilets jaunes weren't going away, and, basically, "populism" was still on the rise (if not in reality, in hearts and minds).

And so, just as the War on Populism had replaced (or redefined) the War on Terror, the War on Death has been officially launched to replace (or redefine) the War on Populism--- which means (you guessed it), once again, it's time to roll out another "brave new normal."

The character of this brave new normal is, at this point, unmistakably clear--- so clear that most people cannot see it, because their minds are not prepared to accept it, so they do not recognize it, though they are looking right at it. Like Dolores in the Westworld series, "it doesn't look like anything" to them. To the rest of us, it looks rather totalitarian.

In the span of approximately 100 days, the entire global capitalist empire has been transformed into a de facto police state. Constitutional rights have been suspended. Most of us are under house arrest. Police are rounding up anyone not cooperating with the new emergency measures. They are pulling riders off of public transportation, arresting people whose papers aren't in order, harrassing, beating, intimidating, and arbitrarily detaining anyone they decide is "a danger to public health."

Authorities are openly threatening to forcibly pull people out of their homes and quarantine them. Cops are hunting down runaway grandmothers. They're raiding services in churches and synagogues. Citizens are being forced to wear ankle monitors. Families out for a walk are being menaced by robots and Orwellian drones.

Counterterrorism troops have been deployed to deal with non-compliant "rule breakers." Anyone the U.S. authorities deem to have "intentionally spread the coronavirus" can be arrested and charged as a coronavirus terrorist. Artificial intelligence firms are working with governments to implement systems to log and track our contacts and movements. As a recent Foreign Policy article put it:

"The counterterrorism analogy is useful because it shows the direction of travel of pandemic policy. Imagine a new coronavirus patient is detected. Once he or she tests positive, the government could use cell-phone data to trace everyone he or she has been in close proximity to, perhaps focusing on those people who were in contact for more than a few minutes. Your cell-phone signal could then be used to enforce quarantine decisions. Leave your apartment and the authorities will know. Leave your phone behind and they will call you. Run the battery down and a police car will be at your door in a manner of minutes--- "

I could go on, but I think you get the picture, or--- well, you either do or you don't.

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***If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins' work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page  (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account , so that maybe he'll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel,  (more...)
 
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