Mainstream public “intellectual” Steven Pinker might well have said one of the dumbest things of 2020:
The thought never even crossed Steven Pinker’s head that globalization is a choice, and that there is an alternative.
“Viruses don’t care about borders.” Yeah, assuming you continue allowing people to cross those borders.
Assuming you continue the system of global trade and reliance on dozens of other countries around the world for your supply chains.
It’s all by choice. It’s all so the global economy can be structured like this:
“Intellectuals” like Steven Pinker cannot conceive of any other way for the world to work. To him, modern globalization is and always has been.
To him, there is no conceivable alternative to a world where one break in the supply chain leads to cascading problems all around the world.
Bizarrely, he cites a global pandemic as the reason why “neo-nationalism” (gotta throw in that word association with Neo Nazis) doesn’t work. But this is a vulnerability of globalism, not nationalism.
Nationalism would be closing the borders so we’re not susceptible to a virus that originated in China. Globalism means someone in Argentina can catch a virus that started in China. What on earth is Steven Pinker saying?
Is he trying to claim that nationalism is simply a political ideology that nevertheless still accepts a globalized world? This guy doesn’t know the first thing about nationalism.
“Nationalist politics is rising all over the world, so an international virus outbreak made possible and exacerbated by the still-dominant globalist world order proves nationalism is futile and stupid.” This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.
If we actually lived in a world of independent nations rather than an interdependent network of “economies,” virus outbreaks in one country would be better contained and pose far less of a risk to other countries.
Globalism is why basically all of Northern Italy is under quarantine due to a virus that began in China:
“Italy reported a huge jump in deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, a surge of more than 50 percent from the day before, as it ordered an unprecedented peacetime lockdown of its wealthiest region in a sweeping effort to fight the epidemic.
The extraordinary measure restricted movement for a quarter of the country’s population.
“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in announcing the government decree in a news conference after 2 a.m.
The move is tantamount to sacrificing the Italian economy in the short term to save it from the ravages of the virus in the long term. The measures will turn stretches of Italy’s wealthy north — including the economic and cultural capital of Milan and landmark tourist destinations such as Venice — into quarantined red zones until at least April 3.
They will prevent the free movement of roughly 16 million people.
Funerals and cultural events are banned. The decree requires that people keep a distance of at least one meter from one another at sporting events, bars, churches and supermarkets.
The Italian outbreak — the worst outside Asia — has inflicted serious damage on one of Europe’s most fragile economies and prompted the closing of Italy’s schools. The country’s cases nearly tripled from about 2,500 infections on Wednesday to more than 7,375 on Sunday. Deaths rose to 366.”
Globalism is why the stock market is plunging, and we’re only at 500 cases nationwide here in the US:
In New York, 103 nationwide cases of Coronavirus caused a flood of shoppers to descend upon local supermarkets and empty the shelves:
This is how quickly it happens. That’s all it takes to set off a panic and make people rush into the supermarkets to empty the shelves. Imagine if it was something worse, like a war or an invasion or an even deadlier virus.
This is one of the many rarely-mentioned downsides of globalization.
So what should you be doing?
Well, short term, if you have some extra cash lying around, I’d invest it in the stock market. There’s been a decent-sized dip in the market as I’m sure you’re aware. Might be a good time to buy. Of course, stocks are still highly overvalued in a big-picture sense, having fallen just 10-15% from all-time, human history highs. But they’ll likely resume heading upwards as this blows over. We’re not going into a recession or a cyclical downturn right now so I’m thinking the market should bounce back.
When is the right time to buy? I’d say now. Stocks were killed all last week and are getting slaughtered again today (down over 5% as of 11am c.t.) That’s a 19% drop from the market’s all-time high it hit last month. So I’d say the market has fallen about enough to warrant hitting the Buy button. It could fall even further, so I would gradually buy. Don’t spend all your money in one day, wait it out a bit and buy over the course of a few days in case it goes lower tomorrow. The strategy is called “Dollar Cost Averaging,” look it up if you want to learn more about it.
But the bottom line is that I believe the market gotten cheap enough to become attractive for bargain hunters. It might go down another 5-10%, but that would just be an even better opportunity to buy.
This tweet sums up the market panic nicely:
It’s funny but it’s accurate. Markets are in free fall because of the prospect that economic activity will likely slow down for a couple of weeks tops.
If you are considering buying stocks but are fearful given all the scary news headlines, ask yourself if we are witnessing the collapse of the US economy, or if this is just a temporary panic. If it’s the latter, I’d say this looks like a good time to buy. Look at some of the big name stocks that have fallen and start buying shares.
Again, the market still could go lower. The worst may not be over yet. But we’re pretty close to the turning point right now. Ease into the market and don’t spend all your money at once.
Big picture, however, you need to be making plans to become self-sufficient. Coronavirus has shown just how fragile our global system is to unforeseen events. You have seen how quickly the supermarket shelves empty out, and it should scare you. Most Americans only have a week or two of food in their houses at best, and the coronavirus should make us realize how vulnerable we really are.
We don’t think about this when the shelves are full, only when they’re already empty.
It’s time to get out of the cities and become self-sufficient. Global pandemics will affect the cities the worst. City-dwellers are dependent on the supermarkets for food. They’re tightly packed and live in close proximity to tons of other people, meaning it’ll spread fastest in cities. So get out.
When the shit really does hit the fan in the future, the city-dwellers will be the first victims. They won’t stand a chance.
Just as nations should start taking steps to become more independent and self-sufficient, so should individuals.
I don’t want jump the gun but it appears the Coronavirus has already long since peaked in China, meaning that although it will continue to spread around the world and peak later in different countries due to distance from the epicenter, it’s basically over. It’s no longer spreading uncontrollably:
“China is the origin of the virus and still accounts for over 80 percent of cases and deaths. But its cases peaked and began declining more than a month ago, according to data presented by the Canadian epidemiologist who spearheaded the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mission to China. Fewer than 200 new cases are reported daily, down from a peak of 4,000.
Subsequent countries will follow this same pattern, in what’s called Farr’s Law. First formulated in 1840 and ignored in every epidemic hysteria since, the law states that epidemics tend to rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern or bell-shaped curve. AIDS, SARS, Ebola — they all followed that pattern. So does seasonal flu each year.“
This is why I’m writing about it as if it has already blown over. Of course, China may well be lying about its figures, but I think it’s safe to say the virus has already long since peaked there.
Again, the worst is still to come here in America due to the fact that the epicenter is halfway around the world and there’s a lag because of it. But this is not going to be a global catastrophe of historical proportions. Society is not going to collapse. We’re going to be okay. Things should largely go back to normal in a month, two months at most.
But don’t let that be an excuse not to take any lessons from the Coronavirus. I hope it has made you keenly aware of just how vulnerable you are to mass panics. You should be taking steps to make yourself less reliant on full supermarket shelves.