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The Fall of Wuhan

This week I'm writing about the corrupt political response of the United States to COVID-19.

Because it's happened before.

In January 2020, the city of Wuhan fell.

Wuhan did not fall because of COVID-19.

Wuhan fell because of the corrupt political response to COVID-19.

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Comments

  1. Ben, I’m afraid we’re a long way from “We got this.” Unless you mean we got the virus… The America that was based on the commonweal, self-sacrifice for the good of the country is so pre-JFK …“Ask not…” We are collectively a nation of people who have gone into our tribes and silos, blocking out science, common sense. Kurt Andersen put it succinctly. An excerpt here: https://bit.ly/3c1SJKd I bought the book. Nobody, certainly not the Tweeter-in-Chief can wrap our collective efforts around this. See I used multiple references to the “collective” so I must be a Bernie Bro. NOT. Nobody understands united we stand divided we fall. The media has ensured that everybody is always at everyone’s throat all the time. WE have long ago forgotten what Ben Franklin said as the Founding Fathers plotted our revolution" “Gentlemen, I suggest that we hang together or we shall surely hang separately.” Oh yeah there are Militias, Oath Keepers, but they are not what the Framers thought of in the 2d Amendment. The real military is full of them, just itching to “go full retard” on us when the Posse Comitatus laws are repealed. Heck Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, the Alien and sedition acts, internment of Japanese Americans, we’re going to show what a bright shining city on a hill looks like. Hunker down, I think it’s going to get very ugly

  2. Avatar for gwise gwise says:

    “I’m saying that there are decades where nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen.”

    I’ve never heard that quote before, but that’s a great mental model for thinking about history. Volatility doesn’t just exist in the markets, and it seems to act similar, with periods of calm (geopolitically, financial, etc. etc.) interrupted by paradigm shifting events. It’s like waiting for water to boil, there’s some simmering underneath for awhile and then BAM, all of a sudden it’s boiling.

    It would be interesting to think of the world today without these volatility spikes, if the water never reached a full boil. Obviously not realistic, but goes to show how much our world has been impacted by the “weeks where decades happen.”

  3. (And also just in case you missed it, the tourist community has been trapped here for 3 days by sandstorms - feels great to be trapped somewhere AND exposed - now returning tourists wondering if they should self quarantine)

  4. Also ask your corporate business continuity team what their plans are for global pandemic. Trust me, they don’t have any. They have 9/11 plans and maybe Sandy/Katrina/Ike plans. Fighting the last war. SMH

  5. Paul Railsback

    9:28 AM (0 minutes ago)

    “The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”

    — Iron Law Of Institutions

  6. The DJ this morning on the radio was talking about how surgical masks are not recommended for the general public, and that washing hands and other free methods were far more effective. As I heard him speaking I asked myself “Why am I hearing this now?” The thought occurred to me that this is a Missionary and that this is a narrative being formed. Why? I’m pretty sure to “Keep Calm!” but also because medical supplies are most likely going to run very very low. Everything is Made in China. China has been shut down for 3 months…
    I sent an email to the Chairman and the COO of my local hospital. I’d encourage you to do the same.

  7. We should make this article publicly accessible. It is the perfect message.

  8. Hilarious/sad the number of news articles speculating about whether/how quickly the CBs will cut rates to blunt the markets’ reaction to this. I mean, come on people! Since when do viruses & quarantined workers get cured at the Fed funds window?

  9. “New Orleans fell because of the corrupt political response to Hurricane Katrina.”
    Ben, I believe this and the picture of President Bush and Brown try to depict a complex set of problems Katrina / New Orleans in an extremely over simplistic narrative. No mention of the THOUSANDS of residents of New Orleans who refused to get on a bus and move out of town away from their illicit drug supplier. No mention of more not willing to put distance between themselves and their government subsistence check.
    https://www.npr.org/2015/08/27/434385285/swept-up-in-the-storm-hurricane-katrinas-key-players-then-and-now

  10. It’s a Minsky Moment writ large and in blood.

  11. Not true at all. My company has a pandemic plan, has rehearsed it with management periodically, and has already begun putting it into action in our Asia Pacific region.

  12. Chaos and catastrophe theory. Things build upon and are self-supported by each other…until they aren’t. Sandpiles were the original thought model: why do they build and then suddenly cascade in local collapse? Each grain is partially, and only partially, supported by others, until in some instance one support structure fails, multiplicatively cascading into the next and the next, and the next – i.e. weeks where decades happen.

  13. A thing that catches my attention: we use the phrase ‘corrupt political responses’ or narratives, communicating that they are in fact an aberration or ‘corruption’ from some norm. It seems more likely that such responses are in fact the norm, founded in common human nature to deflect blame, preserve position, confirm bias toward our own correctness, etc. Acknowledging error, fault, and even malfeasance – and accepting the consequences – is not a natural human behavior.

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