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Has Covid revealed a new class divide?

As we saw here in Ireland, predictions of mass deaths from the dreaded Covid-19 proved unfounded. Remember Prof Sam McConkey who predicted that Ireland could face between 80,000 to 120,000 deaths from the coronvirus? Though the death toll never reached a tenth of that number, McConkey is still wheeled out for comment regularly by the Irish media.

He was one of many experts worldwide that were trundled out to shape the narrative and form the “public opinion” on the way to the acceptance of mass lockdown and suspension of civil rights, making predictions which were proven in time to be false.

They dazzled most of the media with their graphs and models, which proved as far from reality as we could get. We all now know that the virus was going to virus whether we liked it or not, and we have the natural experiments of places like Florida and Sweden in comparison to the lockdown which much of the rest of the developed world had to endure, with yet untold consequences for our health, the wellbeing our society, and the minds of our children.

But in one way the covid age (an age driven by narratives and manipulation of communications) has resembled ages of past plagues, in that it has instigated a class conflict between those who work in physical sectors and those who work in the virtual sectors where ideas are traded. It’s a divide between the physical world of physical work and material reality, and the virtual world of ideologies. This will shape the future decade of global politics, and it will penetrate all aspects of life. Of that prediction I am unhappily confident.

A strong narrative that was pushed by the elites and spin doctors during the lockdowns was that of the “heroic front line workers”. As time went on, it was clear that this veneration of the “front line hero” was more about the system which is controlled by the managerial class, than it was about the worker on the front lines.

Once these front line workers questioned a mandate or narrative, they were castigated and condemned and punished, as happened to health-care workers who disagreed with a Covid direction or opposed mandatory vaccines.

What is revealed by these the sometimes authoritarian subjugation of workers’ movements is that the world is dividing between those who work in the virtual world and those who work in the physical world.

We have been using terms such as working class and elites to describe this dichotomy, but some feel that doesn’t describe this divide properly. A new and better paradigm is being played out in the truckers’ protests and in other burgeoning mobilisations around the world. What we have is people who work in the physical world and people who work in the virtual world; what essayist, N.S. Lyons, the creator of The Upheaval, termed “The Virtuals” and “The Physicals”.

Virtuals are the people who operate in a global community where a laptop and a connection is all you need to have a comfortable existence. They are well paid, and they exist in a socially liberal (indulgent) world, and can operate anywhere where there is a modern infrastructure. Whether it be Paris, NY, New Dheli, or Abu Dhabi, it makes no difference.

They have no particular ideological loyalty to any particular location, a country for instance; what David Goodhart calls a “somewhere”. Instead of being part of a “somewhere community” they attach to “anywhere” virtual communities which are frequently defined by amorphous ideological and sexual identities.

These ideological virtual communities are especially attractive to what leftists/liberals have morphed into. What they realised was that, as workers became property owners and no longer wanted part in the great victim narrative, a switch to an identity politics paradigm which has these virtual community categories at its core was required. The victimisation narrative is a mass formation construct, which makes it much easier to manipulate because it doesn’t require reality to corroborate the theory.

Michelle Obama can claim to be a victim within this world, and she does, to the applause of The Virtuals. In short, it is both illusory and delusional – and extraordinarily corrupt to booth.

Physicals are the people who work physical jobs and sometimes own small businesses. They are constrained by physical realities such as balancing shortages and budgets. They are the people who the Left used to pretend they cared about, but who have proved unuseful to the Leftist cause because their independence makes them like freedom more than the collectivist jargon of the left.

It is no coincidence that all the left/liberal parties around the world, who pay lip service to workers’ rights, have supported Justine Trudeau’s extraordinarily dictatorial response to the truckers, and jumped on the idpol defamation of the anti-lockdown movements.

Just as they have throughout the Covid overreach, Sinn Féin and the left in Ireland have been strangely silent as workers get beaten down/have their bank accounts frozen. Strange if you still believe they are “somewheres” (nationalist to use their discarded term) and concerned about the ordinary worker, that is. Their silence suggests otherwise.

 

PAST PLAGUES AND REVOLUTIONS

The black plague in the 14th Century wiped out between one third and half of the population of Europe. In doing so it left such a shortage of labour that the muscular classes, which up to that point in feudal Europe, could be manipulated and abused at will, could actually bargain for wages. This revolutionised society and more than anything else initiated the market economy of the West and the ages of renaissance, reformation, and enlightenment.

A millennium before this, the Justinian plague led to labour shortages in the Byzantium Empire and violent conflicts to suppress the demand for higher wages.

This arrested the resurgent Roman Empire, which under the genius generalship of Belisarius was reconsolidating into a world power. The plague’s weakening of the manpower of both the Roman and the Sasanid (the inheritors of the Persian) Empires, led to the power vacuum into which the tribes of the Arabian peninsula, uniting under a new Abrahamic religion, blossomed into a world power. One impact of the new middle class wealth, arising from the better bargaining power of labourers and craftsmen, was the Islamic Golden Age.

With a depletion in manpower crippling the productivity of the Byzantine world, causing shortages, inflation, and a shortage of labour; a crisis began in Alexandria, the main grain port of the empire, where labourers took action and demanded wage increases. This included dock strikes which disrupted transport and trade; an action which has echoes in the Canadian truckers blockade, and which received eerily similar responses from the modern emperor, Justinian Trudeau if you like, who compared this action with insurrection and terrorism.

In response (the Byzantine emperor) Justinian, invoked a law fixing the price of labour and sent down his thugs to ensure the workers didn’t strike or agitate in any way. He might not have used the deceitful language of the Canadian globalists and call the workers demands an “occupation” or call the strikers “hateful, racist, homophobes, anti-black racists” to justify his version of the Emergency Measures Act, but just like the modern day autocrat, he did use violent coercion and the control of the workers money to punish the population. And just as there are today, there was probably a well heeled class of administrators and cognitive sector workers, who cheered on this violence of the state.

The playbook of besmirching these pro-liberty workers’ movements with a scripted raft of accusations that the “caring” far-left globalists have agreed upon, has been strikingly similar throughout the world. From Australia to Canada, the same tactic has been used. The more authoritarian the covid response, the greater the caricature of the “white-supremacist basket of deplorable” painted by their respective government. It’s matched, of course, by the enthusiasm which the authoritarian crackdown is applauded by the Virtuals.

However in the age of the internet, the cruelty and lies of Trudeau have been exposed for the world to see. Rather than go to RTÉ for your weekly dose of defamation and manipulation – stories that the Virtuals specialise in – people can now go to thousands of hours of streamed footage straight from the heart of Ottowa and they can see that the protestors were actually, peaceful, lawful, good people, and that it was Trudeau’s thugs who were the extremists.

In RTÉ and the rest of the Irish legacy media, the same tactic was used against the anti-lockdown protests in Ireland when they arose. These smears are used with seemingly gleeful contempt, because they know it is the easiest tactic to get away with. There is never any pushback from the media “Virtuals” who agree en masse with this contempt for the “Physicals”. Has any Irish media organisation, other than Gript, tried to represent the side of the “Physicals” who have tried to pointed out how they have suffered from the lockdown?

When John McGuirk went on RTÉ to make this case, Neale Richmond of Fine Gael went straight to the unwarranted and unfounded “far right” accusation. It looked like Richmond, stuck in his D4-informed ideological bubble, did not expect to ever get pushback on this easy slur in the rarified and controlled atmosphere of RTE studios, where right-think is closely guarded. By refusing to play the game, McGuirk wiped the floor with his opponent.

When working-class people in Ireland or Canada or elsewhere push back, the Virtuals don’t like these sort of revolts, because they unseat their manipulation of what are basically feudal dependencies.

The elites, and in these days that includes all “The Virtuals”, depend on those working in the physical world, even whilst they show utter contempt for them. Much like the feudal lords of pre black-death Europe they rely on their control of “The Physicals” for their comfort and ability to exist in this communications-enabled virtual world that spans the globe. These info-technology enabled markets could not exist without truckers, and the realisation amongst truckers that this is so, is a threat to the Virtuals.

The Virtuals have done a test run on this strategy, and think they have succeeded. They might well have! Or maybe the dysfunction of the Virtuals’ feudalist worldview cannot be sustained. It is a weeping sore and it is not healing. One thing is for sure, that image of a mounted horseman trampling an old lady, like a medieval knight riding down a peasant, is not going away.

As that man of disciplined fury, Johnny Lydon, that great voice of the conscious and recalcitrant “Physicals” sang: “May the road rise with you”.

 

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