The Tragic Heroes of 2020

People are eager to comment on something when they themselves are not in the position to do anything about it. – Mencius

The last year and a half saw two major crisis – COVID19 and the breakdown of the rule of law. COVID itself was – conspiracy theories aside – almost certainly a naturally occurring infection that jumped from a wild species to humans. Its spread was aided by freedom protesters and conspiracy theorists, eager to fight government overreach and achieve “the hidden truth.” Freedom protesters fought hard to prevent social distancing and mask use, encouraged idealists to gather in large groups and to persecute those who took the pandemic seriously. Naturally, none of these fine ideals prevented them clogging up the hospitals when their dumb asses got sick. Conspiracy theorists aided the freedom protesters by proposing “plandemic,” “proving” that viruses spread via 5G networks and darkly warning that the vaccines will genetically re-engineer our bodies.

Giant multi-national corporations and their employees stood up to the protesters and conspiracy theorists. Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZenica brought vaccines to market in record time and in the face of considerable financial risk. Likewise, giant hospital corporations and their employees somehow resisted the temptation to let freedom protesters and conspiracy theorists die for their ideals. The resentment medical professionals must have felt – I can’t imagine. The overtime, the crowding, the personal risk and mental toll these corporate employees underwent for the sake of an entitled, idiotic and ungrateful public is one of the most truly heroic things I’ve witnessed.

Likewise, in the realm of law, police unions defeated practically all badly needed reform efforts after the Floyd killings mostly because the people protesting against them supported unrealistic and harmful “defund” measures and kept lighting major cities on fire. This took place in the backdrop of three likely coupe attempts by the legitimately elected former president and a sustained purge and politicization of the Department of Justice. Lest you think this was solely an American phenomenon, people’s champion, anti-elite types in Hungary, Brazil, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Venezuela, Cuba, Turkey, Cambodia and Mexico likewise used the outbreak as an excuse to crack down on the press, curtail civil society and crush unpopular minorities.

Luckily, unelected bureaucrats showed themselves courageous, principled and formidable. Unelected judges, appointed by both parties, stood strong against people’s champion Donald Trump and his millions of sympathetic protesters, preventing the “stop the steal” movement from completing its coup. Civil servants in Portland somehow continued to operate and even support the freedom of assembly as racial justice protesters tried to kill them. Unelected officials in the Justice Department, more times than I can count, fell on their swords rather than partake in Trump’s politicization of the court system.

If it didn’t bode so ominously for the future, it would be inspiring just how many mega-corporations and unelected officials gallantly protected democracy, our lives and the rule of law from the murderous impulses, lawless behavior, idiocy and myopia of the protesters, elected officials, union members, voters and conspiracy theorists – you know, regular citizens. I for one can’t possibly imagine what could go wrong when democracy survives in spite of the citizens.

Happy nightmares, I guess.



  1. On the other hand, even the most paranoid among us may very well have some real enemies. To ignore the possibility would advantage those among the supposed adversaries that are more corporeal than imaginary. Interesting post, as usual.

    1. There are definitely real enemies.

    2. I just think it’s worrisome that the people with the least stake in democracy and civil society – would be aristocrats – are the ones protecting democracy from the people with the greatest stake – regular citizens.

      I don’t think it’s sustainable, at all.

  2. […] say the same things about many Western countries. As is becoming something of a theme post-2020, elites and bureaucrats seem to be outperforming elected officials, citizens’ groups and regula…. We’ve already discussed the generally laudable ways business elites and unelected […]

  3. Dear Ben,

    Covid is still all around us. Unfortunately, there are still far too many Covidiotic Maskholes in the Disunited States of America (DSA) and many parts of the world!

    In short, such Covidiots are no longer concerned with objective reality and impartial truth, nor reachable with verifiable facts, argumentation and fair reasoning.

    I have not heard from you for very long. How have you been? I hope that life is treating you reasonably well.

    For your information, I have published a few new posts since and I welcome your feedback there.

    Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

    May you find 2022 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your travelling, writing, reading, thinking, critiquing and blogging whatever topics that take your intellectual fancy and creative whim!

    Take care and prosper!

    Yours sincerely,

    1. Hey SoundEagle,

      Good to hear from you. I’m still around, just very busy. Trying to finish my PhD and working to start a company. Sadly, the blog has fallen to the wayside a bit.

      1. Dear Ben,

        I have just submitted a long comment and it has disappeared, probably been mistakenly identified as a spam. Please kindly unspam and then approve it so that it will show up properly.

        This is my second attempt at submitting this comment, minus the weblink contained in the said comment that disappeared.

        I am delighted to hear from you, and look forward to your perusing my new posts (or older posts for that matter) when you have time. Whether you intend to comment or not, at least let me know what posts you have read by clicking the respective “Like” buttons there.

        How sad it is to learn that the eminent scientist Edward O Wilson has passed away on Boxing Day! Had he lived for another ten years, perhaps another two or three books could have materialized. Of all the scientists and writers who have passed away in my lifetime, his departure is of the most profound loss for me.

        My latest post entitled “😱 We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology 🏰🚀” is a special tribute to Wilson.

        Happy New Year! Wishing you and your family a wonderfully productive weekend doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most!

        In addition, I would like to wish you all the best in your pursuit of a PhD degree. Soon, I shall have to address you as Dr Garrido!

        Yours sincerely,

      2. Thanks man, I’ll check your posts out tonight. 🙂

      3. For your information, as a writer, Edward O Wilson has won two Pulitzer prizes, not to mention many fellowships, awards and honours.

      4. What were his main interests?

      5. You can find out about his interests and much more in my post entitled “We have Paleolithic Emotions; Medieval Institutions; and God-like Technology“, which is a special and comprehensive tribute to Wilson.

      6. Gee! I wrote about him as though he is still alive. Here’s the correction:

        For your information, as a writer, the late Edward O Wilson had won two Pulitzer prizes, not to mention many fellowships, awards and honours.

  4. Concerning the dread virus, it provides a little something for every taste. Man made or naturally occurring; when is a vaccine is not a vaccine; scientific triumph for Big Pharma or just a massive new cash cow; evidence of a caring government or merely the grabbing and twisting of the short hairs; Gene Therapy, a boon to mankind or Victor Frankenstein’s favorite wet dream; depopulation, evil or just helping Ma Nature to return to an ideal balance. This subject provides enough conflicting information that any of us is able to amass sufficient ammo to support whichever facet or combination of viewpoints we wish to espouse. “My mind is made up and my facts are every bit as nebulous as yours, so there.”

    1. Yeah, this confusion is one reason I’m so critical of egalitarian thinking in the post. When we assume everyone is equal, we have to treat their opinions as equal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: