From hidden exterminism to open exterminism

We are now at the stage where expanding the death toll is advocated openly.

Eight days ago I wrote a diary titled "From Fascism to Exterminism," in which I laid out the idea of exterminism. Here's E.P. Thompson again:

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 mean​s Americans would regain a sense of normalcy.

The piece is written by Jonathan Ashbach, a doctoral student at Hillsdale University, a well-known right-wing libertarian hell. Here is the meat of the argument with supporting clauses:

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.

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Granma's picture

talk him down. What Trump says and what he does are not necessarily the same.

Also, in 15 days, with the current growth rate of cases in US, things will look different. I think he won't do it.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Granma is his open advocacy of the piece-of-sh*t policies the elites as a whole also want. 'Cept maybe for Chuck Schumer, who is a whole different piece of work.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

snoopydawg's picture

so that the stock market can get back to normal. Jaimie Dementia is also saying that Trump should lift the lockdowns in 2 weeks for the same reason. I have a better idea. Lock all of congress in Ben McAdam's hospital room and let congress get sick or not all at once. The only way we don't do that is they pass the things Bernie has been talking about.

Nancy is loading a bunch of pork to the house bill. Funding for the JFK center. The IRS. NOAA. And tons of other stuff. But then the GOP's bill isn't much better.

I posted the tweet in the EBs and in edg's essay.

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

Cassiodorus's picture

@snoopydawg https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/23/dan-patrick-coronavirus-economy-tucke...

As if COVID-19 were only a disease which attacks "dispensable" old people.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

Someone said that we've known that they want us to die because they won't allow single payer insurance and other things that could help us, but now it's in the open for 'almost' everyone to see. I replied to the Pelosi tweet that it's not just the democrats that are loading everything up in the bailout bills and many people agreed with me. But one guy told me I'm full of it because the republicans walk on water. Not in those who, but still too many people just see things through their party's eyes.

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15 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

travelerxxx's picture

@Cassiodorus

Okay Cass, I went to that Daily Caller site and read the rantings of my state's lieutenant governor. That was bad enough. Then, foolishly, I decided to check the comments to the article. Big mistake.

Besides the multitude of Google-powered adds flooding my browser and nearly grinding it to a halt, cooling fans at maximum, the Amazing Stupid of comments just about sucked my poor old Mac inside out! If those writing those comments are indicative of normal Trump supporters, we're indeed in deep poo. Frankly, I could hardly believe what I was reading. The insanity emitting from Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (real name: Dannie Scott Goeb) is mild compared to the vitriol coming from the commenters.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@travelerxxx Exterminism appears to have hit the big time.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@travelerxxx

but, as always, remember that any "person" on the internet could be one of up to twenty identities manipulated by one person whose paid job it is to push the conversation in a desired direction. Perception management and opinion management are big business, and in the digital age, paid internet trolls and sockpuppets are a BIG part of it. So take the crazy with a grain of salt.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

travelerxxx's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Thanks, CSMS. While I'm pretty aware of the bogus posting biz, it's quite possible that they're even more sophisticated and advanced with this than I realize.

Still, if half of the comments – or even 80% – are computer generated, it's still alarming. Maybe that's the whole point of them being there... Being acquainted with some people who actually post these kinds of comments, I know that some of the posters are trying "to get a rise out of people" (as my ex-wife used to say). Hell, much of what emanates from Trump is exactly that.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

Hey thanks granny for everything! But it's time for you to shuffle off to wherever you think you're going because we have a stock market to save.

You know what? Let the market die if there is a chance to see my Noni one more time. The stock market does nothing close to what grandparents do for us.

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg

who actually support us!"

I'd like to watch them trying to tell even the Cubans in Miami that they should send their elders out to die to save the stock market.

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10 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

In the immortal words of The Captain from Wall-E: "I don't want to 'survive' - I want to LIVE!"

While the implication here may be that we should do this INSTEAD of providing a functional, non-predatory healthcare system (which of course is another one of what Candidate Obama rightly stamped "a false choice"), the concerns he's driving at are real, valid, and frankly, I agree with them.

Afraid of death? I certainly am. Everyone has, at some point in their life, a "mortal awakening" when they first face the reality of death, what it truly means, and that it applies to THEM. For me, this came at age 5 - and I say we need to be empowering INDIVIDUALS to escape Death, not The Good Shepherd, whose pedophile-like embrace, were it made permanent, would certainly qualify as 'a fate worse than death'.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Cassiodorus's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat The option he lays out before pretending neutrality is that someone else should die so that he can live more fully. It is, after all, his definition of living more fully, not the definitions of those whom he would abandon to their deaths.

And it's not merely a "functional, non-predatory healthcare system" that is necessary to avoid this choice. It's also a non-predatory economic system which would allow for a human race less threatened by pandemics, or at least a government which would warn the public in a timely fashion of what was coming down the pipeline and which would take appropriate measures in a timely fashion, and not at the point when Italy and South Korea had already blown up and it appeared that the state of New York was going to do so pretty soon.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

but that doesn't mean we should get back to normal b/c we don't like being stuck in our houses, and letting the (human) chips fall where they may. That's horrendous. It means "fuck the other guy."

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13 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ...like what we have in mind, what we mean by "back to normal" (living like a recluse and recoiling at human flesh already IS my normal, I just want the goddamned PATRIOT Act repealed and TSA disbanded, because 9/11/2001 was the day that nothing actually fucking changed), and WHERE WE LIVE.

This last one's a big one, I can tell how major population centers are dominating the consciousness of the Internet and acting like what they know is the whole world; in many small inland towns, very little has changed.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

ovals49's picture

the guidance emanating from our government. Today there is even less.

15 days and back to work, in order to save our their economy? Hell no!
No need to continue social distancing? Hell no!

We need to let the path of other countries who have gone before us inform our choices. Our leaders would rather sacrifice tens or hundreds of thousands of lives than lose their death grip on a failed and immoral economic system that has been propped up by decades of subjugation of other countries. They are asking us to lay down our lives for their benefit. Hell no!

I would rather live, and work toward a saner and more humane world. I will continue with all precautions, to the best of my ability, for the duration. I will be the one to decide, not some group of sociopaths who have amply demonstrated their disregard for our health and well being, when the danger is over.

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“The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear.” G. I. Gurdjieff 1949

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

but he doesn't need a path. Even assuming we have an election, and that the people's will has some effect on the outcome of that--all he would need to do to get elected is to do one good thing. He can be a howling horror on everything else. One good thing would get him ahead of the Dems. Sometimes I think he wouldn't even have to do that. Just stand there and let them hoist themselves on their own petard.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

the lights and his sycophants are all singing the same tune

This is extreme stupidity on steroids, all ameriKans let alone the rest of the world should be shitting their collective pants over this moron.

https://forums.somd.com/threads/timeline-of-trump%E2%80%99s-response-to-...

Here are Trumps public statements :

January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
February 25: “I think that's a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
February 26: “We're going very substantially down, not up.”
February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
February 28: “We're ordering a lot of supplies. We're ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we're ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
March 6: Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
March 6: “I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.”
March 7: “We’ll hold tremendous rallies...I’m not concerned at all.”
March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on coronavirus.”
March 9: “This blindsided the world.”

March 10: "Our CoronaVirus Team has been doing a great job. Even Democrat governors have been VERY complimentary!"
March 11: "I am fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus!"
March 12: "108 countries are dealing with the CoronaVirus problem, some of which we are helping!"
March 13: "To this point, and because we have had a very strong border policy, we have had 40 deaths related to CoronaVirus. If we had weak or open borders, that number would be many times higher!"
March 13: "Today I am declaring a national emergency. Two very big words."

And the grand finale for today's quotes.

March 13. "No, I don't take responsibility at all. Because we were given a set of circumstances, given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn't meant for this kind of an event, with the kind of numbers that we are talking about."

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Cassiodorus's picture

@ggersh wherein the elite class and (for now) the Republican faction of its stooges conveys its collective contempt for the rest of us.

I mean, what? Is the Army going to be sent into California to force the restaurants open?

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

Brilliant entry, Cassiodorus.

Governor Cuomo of New York is now singing in harmony with Trump.

It's all about keeping the stock market going and damn the rest of us.

The stock market did, indeed, open strong this morning.

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NYCVG

Cassiodorus's picture

@NYCVG Capital, or the planet. You can't have both.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

snoopydawg's picture

@NYCVG

I'm guess that they know that McConnell is going to bail them out and they have stopped worrying. Boeing's stock was in the toilet since their planes crashed, but now their stock is going up because they are getting a bailout. Guess watching the way the market goes will give us a heads up on what congress will be doing.

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

Here is a poignant message my daughter made:


All this awful talk about the 'economy' over human lives makes me sick. It also reminds me of a famous line from "A Christmas Tale'.

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Now remember Scrooge at the end of the book....

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

Here was my reply as a father:

As one of those elderly people, it's my job to risk my life with coronavirus to save my kids and give them a better future. The elderly should be demanding a stop to this lock down nonsense.

I understand fully both sides. The younger, safer portion of the population are doing the right thing protecting the elderly. The elderly would be doing the right thing by demanding they not be so protected that the younger population is financially destroyed.

The actual right thing is to give each and every American enough money to survive debt free during this lock down. You know, like they do for Wall St.

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This may be a final solution to the Social Security "problem" that they will not need to feel any responsibility for. Apparently they believe that God told Hobby Lobby to stay open, too.

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