Covid-19 has revealed the people and systems that do not help us, particularly the two types of people who are really sabotaging our collective health.
The two types of people that are instrumental in trying to cripple us are:
- a.Manipulators – Wealthy individuals that are using their resources to see how they can manipulate people to undertake activities that will harm themselves, because they enjoy controlling people
- b.Ideologues – Wealthy conservatives trying to preserve their fortunes by promoting conspiricy theories or otherwise undermining support for responsible social and climate policies.
While these two types of people will often have overlapping goals and methods, the reasons that they are undertaking their missions are quite different, in that the first is living out their psychological impulse to control, while the second is fulfilling an ideology that perpetuates their wealth and power.
Manipulators want to control others, bending them to their will. They particularly like to undermine others' principles and corrupt their thinking to subvert their resolve to be good.
The obvious example of this type is Rupert Murdoch, who took over his father's media empire in Australia and used it successfully to try to influence the outcomes of elections. Since then he has taken this modus operandi onto the world stage. In recent years he has divested the purely entertainment parts of his media to focus on his so-called news networks to devastating effect on many countries well-being.
Apparently Murdoch did not think much of Donald Trump, but after meeting him decided to support him. I suspect that with Murdoch's psychological astuteness, he clearly appreciated how easily he could manipulate Trump to parrot his talking points to take that control into the general populace. It is only the threat of substantive suing from aggrieved wealthy enterprises that has made a dent in that influence.
It is important to see that this type will use whatever means available to gain their objectives, even if it sometimes aligns with non-conservative standpoints. For example, Murdoch backed the Australian Labor party's win in 1972, but had no trouble backing its demise later on. Manipulation is what drives this type, and they will coopt whomever they can help them. Of course, being able to manipulate them as well is part of the game of corrupting peoples' principles.
Ideoloques is this context are using their wealth and influence to maintain their dominance and increase their wealth at a time when the vast majority cannot.
Such ideologues will tend to be conservative because their wealth is often inherited and so they will want to maintain the societal power structures that have supported their families for generations, further perpetuating their wealth into future generations.
Of course, there are new wealthy entrepreneurs that also want to maintain their wealth, so while they may have aspects of their outlook that are socially progressive, they will avoid those if they impact on their wealth-gathering ability. Google dropped their
Do no evil motto when it became at odds with their money-making methods. In this way they have become conservatives.
Conservatives will also tend to use whatever people and means to gain their objective, but those are always just a means to an end, rather than an objective in itself. Conservatives are not interested in those they use, other than the minimal effort that is required to motivate them to comply, whether by reward or punishment, and regardless of how much harm it may cause to them, their families or the earth.
In this, they are extremely narcissistic and will manipulate politicians to enact favourable laws or even go to war for them. These people are toxic to a society and should not be allowed to set the public agenda. We can see their toxic influence upon right-leaning governments in how they push for the reduction of lockdowns and other covid-preventing restrictions purely to prevent reduction in business activity, even though those restrictions are very effective in their goals and even lead to less impact on overall business activity.
Conservative will do whatever it takes to undermine any group economic activity that will be able to challenge their power and control. This is why they lobbied governments to break unions and any attempts at implementing socialist policies, even when they had popular support. They will use traditional and social media to promote their ideological agenda, often disguising it in seemingly reasonable terms, effectively obscuring what people would otherwise object to if the true goals were widely known.
A common characteristic of psychopaths is that they have no empathy, but will not hesitate to pretend they do if it serves their goals.
Lockdowns to limit the spread of covid-19 do cause some frustration, especially for those who are more extrovert and crave contact with others. We do need psychological services available to help people cope. However, we also do need to face the realities of having covid in the community and what the future holds.
There is much propaganda about that we can return to our former ways of living. This is generally not coming from epidemiological health professionals, but from conservative governments wanting to get back to former economic levels, even if it means more people die. Instead, peoples' expectations need to be better matched to the likely reality of our near future.
So, rather than modifying economic activity and peoples' expectations, much conservative effort is going into highlighting the psychological effects of lockdowns. This is a ruse to gather public sympathy, which is disingenuous given that literally the same people have expressed no sympathy for worker exploitation with poor working conditions and lack of wage growth to match increases in the cost of living, demonisation of the unemployed, and ignoring existential concerns about climate change.
It does not take much to see that conservatives do not care about deaths from covid, except in how it affects the public perception of them. Truly empathetic people do not withhold their concern for some and not others. They will do what they can do to help all. Conservatives are not helping those who are experiencing lockdown difficulties, but just using peoples' suffering for their own agenda, which is to stir up discontent and opposition to those who are wanting to protect peoples' health.
Covid is likely to be with us for a long time, especially if we have high case loads, as they provide more opportunities for covid to morph into more vaccine-resistant strains, leading to more severe illness and death. We now have the choice to live with much greater death and illness numbers or change how the economy works so that we don't have to. Covid has shown us that the wealthy really don't care about the numbers of people dying, as long as the economy still fills their coffers.
While these two types have different objectives, their combined activities are detrimental to our individual and aggregate well-being, but we can change the outcome.
Both types are narcissistic, and by having vast wealth they are able to direct governments to maintain and further their wealth and influence. Conservatives have brought about a lowering of government support for a functioning social net, particularly in the US, where covid has shown just how damaging our indulgence of them has become.
Fortunately, people are seeing how damaging such policies have been and are now beginning to understand that there are alternatives. Unfortunately, there has also been an increase in the promotion of damaging beliefs, supported by both types, leading to large numbers of people putting the rest of us in immanent danger of serious illness and death. Combined with the existing plethora of selfishness-promoting advertising and propaganda, we have much to resist.
To counter the destructive endgame, we have to:
- a.Be aware of how much we are buying into personally and societally destructive beliefs
- b.Weed out beliefs that are harming us in our ability to look after our own best interests
- c.Stop actions that are destructive, modify those that have destructive aspects, and add activities that help us and those around us.
Activities that can help us are:
- a.Mindfulness, contemplation, meditation and other meaningful self-help that facilitates us being more at ease with ourselves and thus more able to make effective decisions about what really will help us
- b.Simplifying our routines so that we do not demand an excessive amount of resources in order to feel we are on top of our lives
- c.Engaging in cooperative activities that pool our skills in mutually beneficial ways, rather than competitive ones that sideline those who are not the best, regardless of how useful they would otherwise be
- d.Support those who are really working for the common good, and not for themselves or their grandiose schemes that only serve to enhance their own wealth or standing
- e.Vote for those who want all to share in the benefits of our societies, and not for those who are more interested in their party machine or some rich person's ideology.
Individually, we can make a lot of decisions that help us and those around us have better and more fulfilling lives. Collectively, we can change society so all can do the same, now and in the future.