Science Fiction now

By Friday April 3rd, 2020April 9th, 2020Food for thought

Going out again with a mask. What is weird: almost 90 percent don’t wear one. The street is busier than yesterday. Going out to buy food is still permitted in Berlin at the moment. Even wandering around is allowed. Going out with your partner, child and dog as well. In order to help other people, you are also free to go out. Meeting a friend or girlfriend is also possible, but please keep a safe distance of 1.50 meters. However, the Berlin Senate had not yet been able to agree on penalties for violations.
I am meeting a friend. Like me he is wearing a face mask. Two hooded men greeting each other. What are we talking about? Sure, what’s going on in the world.
My friend is a journalist. He tells me about strange curfews in Colombia. The sexes are now only allowed to step outside separately. Men one day, women the next. In Morocco, the army monitors the curfew. Public places are controlled by soldiers. Even tanks are positioned. One person per housing unit is allowed to buy food. The measures in Jordan are even more drastic. A total curfew is in force. Under no circumstances is it permitted to leave the apartment. Food and beverages must be delivered. A similar order was temporarily issued in India. The President of the Philippines is said to have urged the forces of law and order in his country to use firearms when enforcing measures. Comparatively moderate: For about three weeks now, the inhabitants of Tenerife have only been allowed to leave their house or apartment every other day. And this only for shopping. Walks on the beach? Forbidden. Despite springtime with summery 20 degrees in the Canary Islands.

The world in solitary confinement. What do you think of our government’s measures, I ask my friend. Exaggerated or not?

My friend frowns. Of course he is aware of the different estimations even on the expert level in Germany. Some think that the measures are not yet strict enough. Others find them far too drastic and demand a loosening up.

“And you?” I ask.

“If the Chinese, Italian, Spanish, British, Israeli, Indian and German governments, even the former reluctant Americans and on the other hand the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and other dictatorial regimes, are in agreement – in other words, if participants who normally disagree on all other issues, but agree on the estimation of the danger posed by the new corona virus, then I would not doubt it now“, my friend answered.

What a sentence!

Time for science fiction: The ice on the polar caps is melting like the glaciers on Iceland and in the Himalayas. The sea level is rising. In the Maldives, Bangladesh and the Netherlands land is under threat. The mild winters in Europe can be survived wearing flip-flops. The summers are so hot that brains are boiling. In Australia, on the Iberian Peninsula and in California, stretches of land are going up in flames due to prolonged dryness. Even politics seems to be drying up these days. There’s a lot of talk and little decision making. A girl stands up and complains. She is heard. And not heard. Who’s in charge? More and more people are asking the same questions.

The imaginative among them sense a secret arrangement that is dragging the entire planet into an abyss. An alliance that is deliberately and shamelessly enriching itself at the public’s expense. A club that orchestrates and directs the global economy. Who creates needs and initiates dependencies. An octopus that eats anything that is digestible. And spreads growing poverty like dog poo across the globe as markers of its power.

The unimaginative people say it’s just a momentum called capitalism. It’s good because it means freedom. Sure, it’s not so good that astronomical sums are piling up in the bank accounts of very few people, and that there is a spooky ebb tide in the accounts of the vast majority. But that’s how democracy is organised these days: economically. Feel free. And enjoy the freedom to fiddle with your smartphone at any time. Or isn’t that your favourite companion and friend? And anyway, do you already have Netflix or AmazonPrime? What are you complaining about, you ungrateful human shame?

Who’s complaining these days? There are individual voices, right. There are also choirs from the right wing. And those on the left want something radically new for the future, but can’t agree on steps to achieve it. And then there are the ghosts of the political scenery. Scattered souls who have something clever in their minds and do it in a stupid way. Not to speak of the majority, sleeping in the seats of parliament. Parliaments seem to drown in their own insignificance. More and more voters stay away on election day. Why cast a vote if it has no impact?

Dreams of a fairer and therefore better world – buried after the economic crisis of 2008.

The planet is heating up, so is general dissatisfaction. But what is happening? Very little. Governments seem to have their hands tied. Who is still in charge, more and more people are wondering. If the corona virus wouldn’t have such horrific effects, some would call it a much-needed saviour.

And now a voice appears in this story after all. It belongs to a well-known economist and associate professor in Vienna, but he will be mentioned here just as Dr. H., to emphasise the fictional aspect of the whole story. I have to confess, that I like imaginative material, value unusual ideas (even if I find them possibly wrong) and like to rethink simplifying explanations of complicated facts, even if I may reject them afterwards – because this is quite simply the case, I would like to give Dr. H.’s remarks on the viral crisis some space here. At the same time I like to emphasise: in my opinion these remarks are pure science fiction.

“I think,” says Dr. H., “this is heading to a shutdown of our entire social, economic and legal system. We have to understand that economics and law, as well as education, political science and unfortunately ethics as normative sciences are not really sciences at all. They are sciences only by name. In reality they are ideological belief systems to which people in our society have been socialised and thus emotionally committed.“

Because the rimless glasses have slipped on the bridge of his nose, Dr. H. returns them to their original position with a reflex-like grip. “But now people behind the scenes are realising that these systems have reached the end of their usefulness.”

It could be assumed that alternative models have been prepared in the background during the last 20 years.

“Now, if you want to transfer a global civilisation into another social system, then you naturally need a cover story, a legend that the population believes, while remaining obedient and keeping calm at the same time.“

Dr. H. takes a short break. “This is what this pandemic is all about.”

To a certain extent par excellence, one would like to add ironically.

“Ideally one with just a few deaths. The few that do occur must of course be exaggerated, as happened in Italy. Where everyone who dies and is also a carrier of the virus is called a corona deaths, so you can turn the screw of fear. This is the only explanation for the trillions of dollars and euros that were already willingly destroyed as collateral damage in conjunction with a disease. Now you can ask, compared with spring flu, what is the difference?“

What’s the difference? The explanation of my friend comes to my mind.

Dr. H. raises his index finger, smiles: “But you can only judge this if you know the motive of those who are organising this from the background. I have the confidence that these are positive intentions. Because if they wanted something negative, such as enslaving the whole population, they wouldn’t have needed the current crisis, i.e. corona and economic shutdown, for that. They simply would have had to continue as they have done for the last twenty years. The negative goal of a bad world order could have been achieved without this so-called pandemic. But the fact that it has now arrived in this form, and that it has been dealt with globally, in coordination with practically all the major states on this planet, and that this scenario is being dealt with in such a coordinated way, indicates, in my view, that this is a very dramatic, fundamental and positive reorganisation of our social structure. And I am already very curious to see which proposals and models will be applied as a result.“

As I said: a short excursion into the realm of science fiction. Two years ago I published a novel (“The Oldest”) in this genre. A next one (“33”) will follow. But I actually heard the story I just told you, I didn’t make it up. There are strange fantasies circulating on the internet. I have thought about this one with pleasure.

The pictures of the moon landing, of the mourning for Lady Di and the planes crashing into the Twin Towers traveled around the world and got supreme attention. But the current worldwide reaction is a new dimension. For such an effect it would need aliens as common enemy and threat, I thought until recently. I was wrong. All it takes is a virus.

But yes, this is science fiction as I said before. Another friend, a physician, said to me this morning: “Have you heard? According to the Robert Koch Institute, the average age of Covid-19 death victims in Germany is 81 years. Does the virus make people statistically older than the normal average age? A long-live-virus, then?“

Sure, this is science fiction too.

Stay healthy!

Yours – Otmar Jenner

P.S. Dear readers, English is not my mother tongue. If you find any mistakes in the wording, please let me know (oj@otmarjenner.de).

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