The “pandemic” is and has been a political phenomenon, first and foremost—a fact that even few critics seem ready to recognize. The only real relevance of “science” here is the degree to which it reveals this or that measure to be (in)effective or (un)justified given the officially stated goals. There is no path of “science” out of this crisis. We are not dealing with a problem of “uninformed” policy-makers and legislators.
What has (re)gained political capital in the course of this crisis is rule by state of emergency—a favourite tool of elected dictators since Adolf Hitler. It affords nearly absolute power to enact almost any fantasy. It is as desperate as it is ecstatic; worried and yet exuberant; awesome yet unsustainable. Rule by state of emergency today is not simply, as some may think, a reflection of a “public health threat”. There are many ways one can deal with a virus, and a state of emergency is not the most obvious one—in fact, all of the measures imposed under the “public health emergency” in Quebec are demonstrable failures. Emergency rule is instead evidence of the state’s lack of trust in the population, and the state’s willingness to blame the population for the spread of the virus (which makes as much sense as blaming the public for the flight of birds). Emergency rule is thus an antagonistic and belligerent position, a reflection of the state’s lack of confidence in its ability to convince and secure consensus. Emergency rule is an admission by the elites that they lack legitimacy. Thus the state and the dominant elites resort to psychological warfare, fear-mongering, behavioural manipulation, censorship, and threats. The aim is to reduce the population to a state of complete dependency on the state. The state thus appropriates a parental role in the name of “protection”. Rule under a “public health emergency” makes the state boss, doctor, father, priest, teacher, and babysitter, all in one. Conversely, the public is reduced to the status of wards, dependent on aid and tutoring, careful not to move without permission, and even then dressed according to the state’s dress code.