COVID: Collective Overpopulation Vitiating Individual Dreams?


Anthony Judge | Laetus in Praesens – TRANSCEND Media Service

Neglected Critical Factor Undermining Global Strategic Viability

Comprehending COVID Otherwise

25 May 2020 – The attention of the media and governments world wide to “COVID” can be seen as unprecedented. “COVID” is now a primary preoccupation of international institutions, most obviously the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The strategic response has been variously framed as a “war” (NATO checks its Cold War playbook in bid to fight pandemic, Defense News, 28 April 2020; The Coronavirus Pandemic Should Be NATO’s Moment, Defense One, March 2020; Manlio Dinucci, NATO in Arms to “Fight Coronavirus”Global Research, 9 April 2020).

Strangely there is deep concern at the epidemic of misinformation about “COVID”, most clearly as articulated by the United Nations (UN launches new initiative to fight COVID-19 misinformation through ‘digital first responders’, UN News, 21 May 2020; Hatred going viral in ‘dangerous epidemic of misinformation’ during COVID-19 pandemic, UN News, 14 April 2020; Civil Society Survey on Misinformation about COVID-19, United Nations).

On the other hand researchers continue to recognize as “mysterious” the origins of “COVID” (Origins of COVID-19 still a mystery, Medical X Press, 14 May 2020; Global Health Watch: Origin Of Virus Remains A Mystery, KHN, 28 April 2020). Mystery or not, governments have been obliged to respond in the light of their various definitions of the pandemic and its obvious manifestations.

There is however a strange possibility that the “misinformation” — which is of such obvious concern — obscures a necessarily less obvious way of comprehending the nature of “COVID” and its implications for global civilization. The question is whether the conventional mainstream framing is obscuring a neglected critical factor undermining global strategic viability.

Given the publicity accorded to “COVID”, is humanity unconsciously endeavouring to communicate a vital message to itself — without being able to articulate it in words? As in a dream, could the key to that articulation be in the acronym itself? Is the learning from the pandemic that “COVID” is a message from the subconscious about Collective Overpopulation Vitiating Individual Dreams?

Or would other interpretations be equally suggestive: Critical Overpopulation ensuring Vulnerability of Individual Development? Or perhaps: Collective Overreaction to Vulnerability to Individual Death? The question relates to the number of ways of usefully imagining “COVID” (Alternative images of coronavirus / COVID-19? 2020).

As a message from the collective subconscious, does the injunction of governments in reinforcing “social distancing” express the matter more pointedly — “stop the spread” — even inviting a Freudian interpretation? Is the fulfillment of dreams, so widely promoted, now to become ever more elusive, as can be speculatively explored (Dreamables, Deniables, Deliverables and Duende, 2015). Is that now a primary driver for recourse to narcotics and opioids — now recognized as an epidemic (Transforming and Interweaving the Ways of Being Stoned, 2012).

In the light of root cause analysis, it is curious to note the manner in which any possible underlying issue is avoided, as in the case of climate change. The problematic impossibilities of “social distancing” have made this ever more clear, as previously discussed (Social Distancing under Conditions of Overcrowding? Weaponising mass distraction from overpopulation denial? 2020). Increasing concern has been evident regarding locally crowded spaces: retirement homes, hospices, prisons, resorts, educational facilities, conferences, and the like. However messages are carefully crafted in terms of “crowded” — avoiding the politically charged notion of “overcrowded”.

Epidemiologists and health experts have been lazily complicit in their modelling of statistical data on “COVID” at the national or higher levels — when vital distinctions are to be found in local details — an issue of data granularity. Ignoring the distinctions between sparsely populated areas and urban slums has justified the promulgation of cumbersome lockdowns — ensuring an unnecessarily high level of economic and social damage, unforeseen in the models on which remedial responses have been based. There is concern that a proportion of that damage may be irreparable.

Given the global recourse to “social distancing”, could “COVID” be more appropriately understood as a “proximity disease”? But how might that be understood otherwise, as separately argued (Local Reality of Overcrowding — Global Unreality of Overpopulation, 2019). Is it a case of an “known unknown” — the old tale of the person searching for lost keys at night — but only under a street light — when the keys were known to have been lost beyond the lighted area?

From a global perspective, any local focus on “overcrowding” can be readily treated as exceptional and used to distract from a more general systemic understanding. Although seemingly appropriate, hence the inadequacy of another interpretation of COVID: Collective Overcrowding Vitiating Individual Dreams.

Will the future recognize this to be a tragic form of “misinformation” in its own right — in which international institutions are now so negligently complicit (Institutionalized Shunning of Overpopulation Challenge: incommunicability of fundamentally inconvenient truth? 2008; Vigorous Application of Derivative Thinking to Derivative Problems, 2013).

As previously suggested, it might well be asked whether such careful crafting should be explored as the cultivation of a “Big Lie” — one of omission (Existential Challenge of Detecting Today’s Big Lie: mysterious black hole conditioning global civilization? 2016; Dying to Live, Living to Die, Lying to Live, and Living a Lie, 2015).

Having reframed global preoccupations away from any coherent response to climate change, can that earlier focus on “emissions” be usefully seen as another form of “cognitive distancing” — “omissions” of another kind (Sins of Hot Air Emission, Omission, Commission and Promission: the political challenge of responding to global crises, 2009)?

Given the world wide debate on “masking” to minimize risks of “infection”, there is the delightful irony that this may herald an epoch in which “masking” takes psychological forms — to minimize “infection” of normality from alternative perspectives deemed hazardous. This would be consistent with the tradition that Catholics should not interact with Protestants, or Muslims with Unbelievers, given the potential spiritual danger.

In memetic terms this would indeed be consistent with the viral marketing increasingly practiced by opposing factions — for which “filters” are required. It can be argued that the response to “COVID” merits exploration as an epidemic in its own right (COVID-19 as a Memetic Disease — an epidemic of panic, 2020).

What kinds of mask are required to protect against the variety of forms of “fake news”, as variously experienced (Varieties of Fake News and Misrepresentation, 2019)? Will masks of the future be designed to identify the faction at risk of infecting others with its memes — or the faction especially resistant to a particular form of memetic infection? Masks for the “left”, masks for the “right” — and for the “greens”, and for the “blacks”? How will surveillance cameras adapt to such masking through a creative reframing of “health” and “security” functionality?

The unprecedented enthusiasm for smartphone contact tracing apps even suggests the future possibility of an adaptation of well-developed apps such as Blendr and Grindr for proximity geolocation. The latter is currently used to facilitate dating contact for gays. The adaptation could warn of the immediate proximity of those who are carriers of potentially infectious memes — whether they are physically masked or not.


Anthony Judge is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and mainly known for his career at the Union of International Associations (UIA), where he has been Director of Communications and Research, as well as Assistant Secretary-General. He was responsible at the UIA for the development of interlinked databases and for publications based on those databases, mainly the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, the Yearbook of International Organizations, and the International Congress Calendar. Judge has also personally authored a collection of over 1,600 documents of relevance to governance and strategy-making. All these papers are freely available on his personal website Laetus in Praesens. Now retired from the UIA, he is continuing his research within the context of an initiative called Union of Imaginable Associations. Judge is an Australian born in Egypt, a thinker, an author, and lives in Brussels. His TMS articles may be accessed HERE. (Wikipedia)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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One Response to “COVID: Collective Overpopulation Vitiating Individual Dreams?”

  1. […] a deluge of punditry claiming to have found the primal cause of the pandemic. In a recent article Anthony Judge, for example, claims to have tapped into “the collective subconscious” to blame […]