From hidden exterminism to open exterminism
We are now at the stage where expanding the death toll is advocated openly.
Exterminism designates those characteristics of a society — expressed, in differing degrees, within its economy, its polity and its ideology — which thrust it in a direction whose outcome must be the extermination of multitudes. The outcome will be extermination, but this will not happen accidentally (even if the final trigger is "accidental") but as the direct consequence of prior acts of policy, of the accumulation and perfection of the means of extermination, and of the structuring of whole societies so that these are directed towards that end.
At any rate, for our most recent update on the progress of exterminism, we can read Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch:
The Federalist published an article Monday that considers an argument to consciously allow hundreds of thousands of people to die in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic if it means Americans would regain a sense of normalcy.
Of course, it sounds very callous to talk about considering the costs. It seems harsh to ask whether the nation might be better off letting a few hundred thousand people die. Probably for that reason, few have been willing to do so publicly thus far. Yet honestly facing reality is not callous, and refusing even to consider whether the present response constitutes an even greater evil than the one it intends to mitigate would be cowardly.
First, consider the massive sacrifice of life Americans are making in their social distancing campaign. True, nearly all are not literally dying, but they are giving up a good deal of what makes life worth living — work, classes, travel, hugs, time with friends, conferences, quiet nights out, and so forth. Probably almost everyone would be willing to live a somewhat shorter normal life rather than a somewhat longer life under current conditions. The abandonment of normalcy, therefore, is in many ways equivalent to shortening the lives of the entire nation.
Of course, the whole COVID-19 event could be much better mitigated than it is now, and Ashbach can't be bothered to mention that the "social distancing campaign," in the American context, is a response to the complete abdication of leadership on the part of the Federal government. The Chinese, for their part, are not experiencing any new local cases of COVID-19, despite the many flaws of the Chinese approach. Even so, they've taken a major step toward the end of social distancing, whereas the United States has begun what promises to be a long period of intense death.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Fed chair suggested that there would be 30% unemployment after this was all over. Here's Krystal Ball on what that means for policy after the epidemic is over:
Of course, we're not likely to get such a reconstruction of society such as Krystal Ball recommends, nor are we likely to see normalcy, nor are we likely to see a coordinated response to COVID-19 in the United States. But we are likely to see 30% unemployment, and we are likely to see a lot of death. Here's Donald J. Trump on the matter:
Trump: 'We can't let the cure be worse than the problem itself'
I suppose I could go into this piece from The Hill deeply but what I really want to do now is skip to a discussion of what President Trump wants to do:
"Correct. 15 days, then we keep the high risk groups protected as necessary and the rest of us go back to work," one user retweeted by Trump said.
So let's see. As deaths soar out of sight, we're all going to go back to work and spread the disease around some more. Practically nobody will get health care anymore; it will all be triage. Krystal Ball points to a better way. But President Trump thinks this approach -- 15 days and then natural selection -- is the sure path to re-election, so exterminism it is.