They’re here! No, not the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. We’re not being colonized by giant alien fruit. I’m afraid it is a little more serious than that. People’s minds are being taken over by a much more destructive and less otherworldly force … a force that transforms them overnight into aggressively paranoid, order-following, propaganda-parroting totalitarians.
You know the people I’m talking about. Some of them are probably your friends and family, people you have known for years, and who had always seemed completely rational, but who are now convinced that we need to radically alter the fabric of human society to protect ourselves from a virus that causes mild to moderate flu-like symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms at all) in over 95% of those infected, and that over 99.6% survive, which, it goes without saying, is totally insane.
I’ve been calling them “corona-totalitarians,” but I’m going to call them the “New Normals” from now on, as that more accurately evokes the pathologized-totalitarian ideology they are systematically spreading. At this point, I think it is important to do that, because, clearly, their ideological program has nothing to do with any actual virus, or any other actual public health threat. As is glaringly obvious to anyone whose mind has not been taken over yet, the “apocalyptic coronavirus pandemic” was always just a Trojan horse, a means of introducing the “New Normal,” which they’ve been doing since the very beginning.
The official propaganda started in March, and it reached full intensity in early April. Suddenly, references to the “New Normal” were everywhere, not only in the leading corporate media (e.g., CNN, NPR, CNBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Forbes, et al.), the IMF and the World Bank Group, the WEF, UN, WHO, CDC (and the list goes on), but also on the blogs of athletic organizations, global management consulting firms, charter school websites, and random YouTube videos.
The slogan has been relentlessly repeated (in a textbook totalitarian “big lie” fashion) for going on the past six months. We have heard it repeated so many times that many of us have forgotten how insane it is, the idea that the fundamental structure of society needs to be drastically and irrevocably altered on account of a virus that poses no threat to the vast majority of the human species.
And, make no mistake, that is exactly what the “New Normal” movement intends to do. “New Normalism” is a classic totalitarian movement (albeit with a pathological twist), and it is the goal of every totalitarian movement to radically, utterly transform society, to remake the world in its monstrous image.
That is what totalitarianism is, this desire to establish complete control over everything and everyone, every thought, emotion, and human interaction. The character of its ideology changes (i.e., Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism, etc.), but this desire for complete control over people, over society, and ultimately life itself, is the essence of totalitarianism … and what has taken over the minds of the New Normals.
In the New Normal society they want to establish, as in every totalitarian society, fear and conformity will be pervasive. Their ideology is a pathologized ideology (as opposed to, say, the racialized ideology of the Nazis), so its symbology will be pathological. Fear of disease, infection, and death, and obsessive attention to matters of health will dominate every aspect of life. Paranoid propaganda and ideological conditioning will be ubiquitous and constant.
Everyone will be forced to wear medical masks to maintain a constant level of fear and an omnipresent atmosphere of sickness and death, as if the world were one big infectious disease ward. Everyone will wear these masks at all times, at work, at home, in their cars, everywhere. Anyone who fails or refuses to do so will be deemed “a threat to public health,” and beaten and arrested by the police or the military, or swarmed by mobs of New Normal vigilantes.
Cities, regions, and entire countries will be subjected to random police-state lockdowns, which will be justified by the threat of “infection.” People will be confined to their homes for up to 23-hours a day, and allowed out only for “essential reasons.” Police and soldiers will patrol the streets, stopping people, checking their papers, and beating and arresting anyone out in public without the proper documents, or walking or standing too close to other people, like they are doing in Melbourne, Australia, currently.
The threat of “infection” will be used to justify increasingly insane and authoritarian edicts, compulsory demonstration-of-fealty rituals, and eventually the elimination of all forms of dissent. Just as the Nazis believed they were waging a war against the “subhuman races,” the New Normals will be waging a war on “disease,” and on anyone who “endangers the public health” by challenging their ideological narrative. Like every other totalitarian movement, in the end, they will do whatever is necessary to purify society of “degenerate influences” (i.e., anyone who questions or disagrees with them, or who refuses to obey their every command). They are already aggressively censoring the Internet and banning their opponents’ political protests, and political leaders and the corporate media are systematically stigmatizing those of us who dare to challenge their official narrative as “extremists,” “Nazis,” “conspiracy theorists,” “covidiots,” “coronavirus deniers,” “anti-vaxxers,” and “esoteric” freaks. One German official even went so far as to demand that dissidents be deported … presumably on trains to somewhere in the East.
Despite this increasing totalitarianization and pathologization of virtually everything, the New Normals will carry on with their lives as if everything were … well, completely normal. They will go out to restaurants and the movies in their masks. They will work, eat, and sleep in their masks. Families will go on holiday in their masks, or in their “Personal Protective Upper-Body Bubble-Wear.” They will arrive at the airport eight hours early, stand in their little color-coded boxes, and then follow the arrows on the floor to the “health officials” in the hazmat suits, who will take their temperature through their foreheads and shove ten-inch swabs into their sinus cavities. Parents who wish to forego this experience will have the option to preventatively vaccinate themselves and their children with the latest experimental vaccine (after signing a liability waiver, of course) within a week or so before their flights, and then present the officials with proof of vaccination (and of their compliance with various other “health guidelines”) on their digital Identity and Public Health Passports, or subdermal biometric chips.
Children, as always, will suffer the worst of it. They will be terrorized and confused from the moment they are born, by their parents, their teachers, and by the society at large. They will be subjected to ideological conditioning and paranoid behavioral modification at every stage of their socialization … with fanciful reusable corporate plague masks branded with loveable cartoon characters, paranoia-inducing picture books for toddlers, and paranoid “social distancing” rituals, among other forms of psychological torture. This conditioning (or torture) will take place at home, as there will be no more schools, or rather, no public schools. The children of the wealthy will attend private schools, where they can be cost-effectively “socially-distanced.” Working class children will sit at home, alone, staring into screens, wearing their masks, their hyperactivity and anxiety disorders stabilized with anti-depressant medications.
And so on … I think you get the picture. I hope so, because I don’t have the heart to go on.
I pray this glimpse into the New Normal future has terrified and angered you enough to rise up against it before it is too late. This isn’t a joke, folks. The New Normals are serious. If you cannot see where their movement is headed, you do not understand totalitarianism. Once it starts, and reaches this stage, it does not stop, not without a fight. It continues to its logical conclusion. The way that usually happens is, people tell themselves it isn’t happening, it can’t be happening, not to us. They tell themselves this as the totalitarian program is implemented, step by step, one seemingly harmless step at a time. They conform, because, at first, the stakes aren’t so high, and their conformity leads to more conformity, and the next thing they know they’re telling their grandchildren that they had no idea where the trains were going.
If you have made it through to the end of this essay, your mind hasn’t been taken over yet … the New Normals clicked off around paragraph 2. What that means is that it is your responsibility to speak up, and to do whatever else you can, to stop the New Normal future from becoming a reality. You will not be rewarded for it. You will be ridiculed and castigated for it. Your New Normal friends will hate you for it. Your New Normal family will forsake you for it. The New Normal police might arrest you for it. It is your responsibility to do it anyway … as, of course, it is also mine.#
C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays is published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.