COVID-19 as a Memetic Disease–An Epidemic of Panic

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 11 May 2020

Anthony Judge | Laetus in Praesens - TRANSCEND Media Service

Learning from Terrorism, Communism, Fascism and Evil as Pandemics of the Past

Introduction

There is clearly no denying that COVID-19 is a disease which is causing worldwide fatalities. Less evident, and seldom explored as such, is the extent to which it is a memetic disease — and the nature of the fatalities with which that is associated. So framed, it is also useful to derive insights from pandemics of the past from a memetic perspective.

The focus on COVID-19 as a memetic disease is justified by the considerable confusion with which it has been associated and continues to engender. Without referring to its memetic consequences as such, this can be inferred from the assertion of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Hatred going viral in ‘dangerous epidemic of misinformation’ during COVID-19 pandemics, UN News, 14 April 2020; Global report: virus has unleashed a ‘tsunami of hate’ across world, says UN chief, The Guardian, 8 May 2020).

The question here is whether any such “epidemic of misinformation” could be understood to have been associated with the focus on terrorism, radicalism, communism, fascism, evil, and the like. The exploration could of course be extended to other preoccupations which have aroused widespread concern. More delicate is the question regarding the extent to which concern at the excesses of religion, of science, of technology, of ideology, or of any discipline, merit recognition as symptomatic of a memetic disease. Common to the reaction to their perception as a threat is the cultivation of a culture of fear — only too evident in the case of COVID-19.

The memetic focus merits consideration in the light of the recognized transition from wartime propaganda to information warfare — and more recently to memetic warfare (Tom Ascott, How memes are becoming the new frontier of information warfare, The Strategist: Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 19 February 2020; It’s Time to Embrace Memetic Warfare, Defence Strategic Communications of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, 2015; Missiles, Missives, Missions and Memetic Warfare: navigation of strategic interfaces in multidimensional knowledge space. 2001).

Reference to memetic follows from the argument of Richard Dawkins (1976) extending the understanding of gene (and genetics) to meme (and memetics, by implication). The role of genetic engineering in biological warfare is well-recognized, and it has been alleged that COVID-19 is one consequence (Jan van Aken, et al, Genetic engineering and biological weapons, European Molecular Biology Organization Reports, 4, 2003, June). The possibility of memetic engineering has also been recognized, notably as exemplified in debate on the techniques employed in connection with the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The argument is especially justified given the manner in which the response to COVID-19 has been widely framed by the world’s leaders as a war — and the need therefore to place countries on a wartime footing, evoking the emergency provisions with which that is associated. As with the global war on terrorism, other social crises have been similarly framed (Review of the Range of Virtual Wars: strategic comparison with the global war against terrorism, 2005).

Rather than continuing to cultivate the possibility that COVID-19 was engineered as a biological weapon, there is therefore a case for exploring whether it has been engineered and employed as a memetic weapon — of which the narrative regarding its biological weaponisation is ironically an example.

As is occasionally repeated, truth is the first fatality of warfare (Gary G. Kohls. The First Casualty of War is the Truth, Global Research, 9 May 2014; Jackson Diehl, Truth is the first casualty in war, including this one, Anchorage Daily News, 12 April 2020). How truth is itself to be understood in memetic terms is a matter for the future (Jay Owens, The Age of Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture, Medium, 12 April 2018).

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One Response to “COVID-19 as a Memetic Disease–An Epidemic of Panic”

  1. samir sardana says:

    Y is the USA and UK not bothered,about the COVID deaths ?

    Could it be that they want it ? Who are the dead ? The dead are the pensioners,and the persons,who are fatally sick.dindooohindoo

    Posit No.1

    Assuming that these persons,had a residual life of 15 years,and we can assume that,by August,2020,there will be around 600000 dead in the West.

    The pension to a pensioner would not be less than 12,000 USD per annum, on an average,at the minimum.In addition, the medical and other social costs,on an aged pensioner,would be not less than another 8,000 USD per annum.

    If they die,then on 6,00,000 people,if the West saves 20,000 USD per annum,you net USD 12 Trillion,PER ANNUM

    One could argue that the US Fed just printed,the USD 12 Trillion – but now it need not.The Youth in the west,had to work at high rates of tax and deductions – to finance the aged pension and health care benefits – which ultimately,led to outsourcing.

    The scam would be shocking,if the dead,had no insurance ! That would be telling ! If 6,00,000 are dead,with insurance and an average insurance claim,of USD 1,00,000 – then you have a bomb – to wipe out the insurers.

    Posit No.2

    Large number of services and industries,in the west,will die out.That will release labour and reprice resources and rents – to drastically lower costs – and that will make,”Make in USA”,viable

    How will the state finance the loss of tax revenue and GDP.Ultimately,the state will have to demonetise the deposits, in banks, of the westerners.Simple ! The USA will not be able to demonetise the PRC holdings of US T-bills – not even if the PRC sinks a US aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.

    Posit No.3

    All the nations who borrowed loans from PRC – will now force the PRC to do debt write offs.That will be a huge loss to the PRC,after the manufacturing shift from PRC to West.If 200 million people are unemployed in PRC – then you have Tiananmen – Part 2.

    Of Course,the PRC could also force the IMF and the WB,to waive loans – but the harm to the PRC,will be done 1st.

    Posit No.4

    Trump postpones the US Polls,as people cannot stand in queues and no electioneering is possible – and he has the cure – and by September,the pensioners are dead – death rate and infections rates drops ….. who is the gainer ? If Trump is winning – Putin will stay calm – else,he might attack Eastern EU.If Trump is winning – then it will be the last chance for PRC to annex Taiwan and Vietnam – and make Trump lose face. But the odds of PRC action is medium.

    Posit No.5

    With massive unemployment in the West – the migrants will exit.Asians were made to clean toilets – that is their worth.They will exit.That will solve the migrants problem,rents and property rates will fall,labour will reprice,and the Westerners,will have to,start to work

    The West has to take a BIG PICTURE view.South East Asia and South Asia,is over populated,and there is no humanity there.There is no sentience,in the “so called humans”.They are robots – and 80% of them,have to die.Their time is over – they are obsolete, a dead weight,and a burden on earth.This will de-price the resources sector,lower demand,and solve the environment problem,forever.

    Africans have been exploited,for at least ,2000 years – and they deserve,many more chances.

    There are 3 simple steps

    Are the “so-called humans” – having a sentience – depending on their “individual and collective actions”
    If not,then they are “robots”
    It is time to “terminate the robots”

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