Salus populi suprema lex esto

Salus populi suprema lex esto.
That, we are told, is what Boris Johnson was telling his cabinet last week while recovering from his alarmingly close brush with death from Covid-19.
Salus populi: “The health of the people should be the supreme law”. It’s from Cicero’s On The Laws, as I am sure you all knew. The prime minister, back at work in Downing Street this week, is clearly restored to his old self, quoting the classics in fine style. In this case the famous statesman whose words he was drawing on was a Roman.
I guessed he would come out with something apt but it crossed my mind he might go for his great ancient Greek hero Pericles, leader of democratic Athens at the height of its glory, who, like Boris, had to grapple with inspiring the people in a time of plague. Not only that. Pericles found himself obliged to face down the anger of the demos, who held him responsible for their misfortunes. He told them bluntly:

…the apparent error of my policy lies in the infirmity of your resolution, since the suffering that it entails is being felt by every one among you, while its advantage is still remote and obscure to all, and a great and sudden reverse having befallen you, your mind is too much depressed to persevere in your resolves. For before what is sudden, unexpected, and least within calculation, the spirit quails; and putting all else aside, the plague has certainly been an emergency of this kind. Born, however, as you are, citizens of a great state, and brought up, as you have been, with habits equal to your birth, you should be ready to face the greatest disasters and still to keep unimpaired the lustre of your name… Cease then to grieve for your private afflictions, and address yourselves instead to the safety of the commonwealth.

At that time, securing the public safety of which Pericles spoke meant fighting a war he had led them into. Unlike any leader in a modern democracy, he had the balls – if we are to believe the historian Thucydides, who was himself a survivor of that same plague – to tell the people they were wrong: for honour’s sake they had to stay the course.
Is that, one wonders, what Boris was telling his cabinet? Was he, in a subtler way than Pericles, telling his government they must brace themselves to defy early signs of rebellion against the lockdown? Did he mean that all those people left out of work or furloughed at massive state expense, and all those businesses, large and small, that stood to be ruined by months more stuck in the doldrums would just have to suck it up?
That would be a massive call to make; but as is increasingly being acknowledged, big decisions cannot be put off much longer. Do we really have to put up with this lockdown indefinitely until a vaccine has not just been discovered and tested but also made widely available, which could take a couple of years? Or can a viable early exit strategy be found that does not sacrifice lives dishonourably? Those are the questions.
Yesterday morning, as I write, Boris gave us some clues as to his expectations with a statement from a lectern outside No.10. He made clear there will be no immediate end to the lockdown; but, in a touch reminiscent of his other great hero Winston Churchill, he marked this point in terms that echoed the wartime leader’s “end of the beginning” speech. Calling on us to be patient for the moment, he looked forward to a coming time when we could “fire up the engines of this vast UK economy” again, one by one.
As may be gathered from this emphasis of mine on speeches and rhetoric, Heretic TOC will not be grappling much with science and statistics today. In the last month, after all, it has become increasingly clear that although the experts have made a vital contribution – they have succeeded in “flattening the curve” in many countries, stopping the exponential rise in deaths that could reasonably have been expected without their advice, at least in densely occupied urban areas – they are also divided as to what to do next, and the coming phase will be about political leadership and decisions.
“We’ve managed to get to the life raft,” as epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch put it, “But I’m really unclear how we will get to the shore.”
When we do finally spot the right landing place we might well find it is in Sweden – a thought I’ll allow to drift at sea a little longer.
Any number of virologists, epidemiologists and clinicians are busy deploying their navigational skills as best they can but heretics like us, along with the politicians and the public, need to ponder the implications of the ideas they put forward: Will there be long-term consequences of keeping entire countries under sustained house arrest in this emergency? Do we face a dystopian future of permanent “contact tracing”, total surveillance and zero freedom? What does the lockdown mean already for kids stuck in a totalitarian nuclear family dwelling whose walls they can never breach? On the other hand, would lifting the lockdown too early imply a callous, Ayn Rand-style abandonment of the weak and vulnerable in hospitals and care homes? Would it fail those in the health services who are already putting their lives on the line to do their duty, by risking a second peak of the disease that could be higher than the first?
Not that these deeper concerns were lost sight of last time amidst the technical issues. Heretic TOC can actually claim to have been well ahead of the (now flattening) curve a month ago. I faced some criticism by commentators for speaking in terms of “brutal utilitarian calculations” as to the value of a life, and for doubting whether our civil liberties should be trashed just in order to prolong by a few months the lives of the old and infirm.
Yes, I was a bit blunt. It would be nice to think Pericles would have “Liked” my no bullshit approach. In the absence of a thumbs up from the great Greek, though, we might note that cost-benefit calculations and trade-offs along the lines I suggested are now being increasingly seen as necessary by big cheeses of our own times. Former civil service chief Gus O’Donnell, for instance, cited NICE as a model for rational medical decision making in a Covid context, just as Heretic TOC did, focusing on a tweaked version of the “life-years” concept I introduced.

The incredible bulk of charging Boris famously flattened a 10-year-old boy in Tokyo. Now that same beefiness – or rather fatness – is being held responsible for flattening him when he had Covid-19. The PM was so badly affected by coronavirus because he is “significantly” overweight, an NHS doctor revealed in the Daily Mail yesterday. Consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said there is a ten-fold risk of death from the disease if patients are obese. The Mail report said Johnson, 55, has long struggled with his weight and in 2018 revealed he weighed almost 16 and a half stone, which at 5ft 9in puts him in the high risk category.

O’Donnell, as it happens, also suggested a couple of days ago that a reasonable and fair way to get out of the lockdown would be to follow the pattern set by much-criticised Sweden. It is an idea I had liked the sound of for many weeks, ever since I first heard Sweden had decided against a compulsory lockdown. That country bravely followed its own course when – as libertarian pundits put it – so many other countries were being panicked into giving up their civil liberties. The Swedes decided instead on a voluntary approach to social distancing, even keeping bars and restaurants open.
Most European countries have opted for tight compulsory lockdowns – in France you even need a printed form every time you leave the house unless you want trouble with the police. Sweden, has been castigated for letting the disease let rip as a result of its laidback style, and it is true that mortality has been high compared to neighbouring countries. But the latest figures, as I write, show that the death rate per million of population is actually somewhat lower in Sweden (233) than in the UK (319). As for Belgium (633), wow! Such comparisons are admittedly somewhat specious as the figures are collected in different ways in different countries, but all in all it is far from obvious that Sweden’s policy can be written off as foolish and irresponsible.
In any case, even if we look no further than saving lives, the death rate from Covid-19 is not the only mortality factor to consider. For one thing, there is now evidence that focusing in a blinkered way on coronavirus is already leading to cancer patients and heart attack victims not being treated in a timely fashion, with an inevitable impact on their survival chances. And, as noted last time, what should also be taken into account is the years of life likely to be lost by shutting economies down. Last time, I cited a study showing that anything more than a 6.4% shrinkage in the size of the economy would in effect mean a lockdown doing more harm than good because it would add to the final net death rate. I was rightly taken to task by commentator Andrew Meier for failing to flesh out a more detailed picture. He added: “I don’t feel we can reasonably reduce the consequences of not taking adequate measures to control the spread of the virus to just a high mortality rate.”
His point was aimed at the need to consider the wider consequences of possibly letting the disease get out of control, beyond just the death rate, and he was right – the psychological consequences of panic setting in, for instance, could be terrible, as he said. And a point more widely emphasised, quite rightly, is the very strong imperative to make sure health services are not overwhelmed, as they were in Italy, with terrible consequences not just for the lives of doctors and nurses but also the morale and mental health of the survivors and of the whole country.
If we do look beyond the Grim Reaper’s likely harvest, though, we find in Sweden what seems to me an interesting contrast with the British situation. In the UK the health system was initially in danger of being swamped. In my now considered view, the government was probably right to go (reluctantly and belatedly, like the Netherlands) down the road of compulsion but should now change course quickly to a more libertarian stance.
Sweden never faced such extreme peril. Their health service going into the crisis was in better shape than the UK’s, which was already chronically “running hot”, with bed shortages every winter and many other shortcomings after a decade of austerity. Sweden also enjoyed the great advantages of a widely dispersed population with the highest proportion of people in any European country living alone; they topped the charts, too, in those already working from home. If voluntary “social distancing” was going to work anywhere, while keeping the economy open as much as possible, this was a very good country for the experiment. The capital, Stockholm, was an exception, with a high immigrant population in multi-occupation, multi-generation households, and this is precisely where the death rate has been highest.
Failure to protect the most vulnerable, in care homes and elsewhere, has been admitted as a shortcoming by the Swedish government; but they emphasise that their strategy is to see the problem as a marathon, not a sprint: their voluntary approach, with the greater freedoms it affords, is more sustainable in the long run than severe controls against which people are likely to rebel – indeed are already doing so, especially in some parts of the US.
What is prioritised comes down, in the last analysis, not just to the relative death rates resulting from different strategies, or even to a wide range of specific pros and cons. Rather, the approach we want to take will depend on our very broadest values, our view of the sort of society we want to live in. For the moment, the Swedish people are standing by the choice their country has made.
In Britain, though, we hear that government ministers have held a series of high-level meetings with trades unions and business leaders “amid fears that millions of people will be too fearful to return to work”.  As amply documented by sociologist Frank Furedi and others, there are signs that we are becoming a very risk-averse culture. Even if the lockdown is lifted many will be afraid even to leave their houses – a poll found this was the case with around a fifth of all children.
Freddie Sayers, writing for UnHerd on the Swedish experiment, has wise words on this phenomenon:

The world becomes a place of indefinite anxiety, with the constant threat of curtailment hovering over all that is best and most human in life – family get-togethers, religious worship, children playing, plans for the future, creative projects – it risks becoming a conscribed, smaller, more fearful world. At its most extreme, a long-term “suppression state” really could start to feel like oppressive regimes of history, from the Puritans to the Communists, that misguidedly tried to remake the whole natural order in pursuit of a single definition of virtue. People who recoil from any move in this direction can hardly be dismissed, or called immoral.

Surely, in Britain, it is time to challenge the culture of cowardice that we have allowed to creep up on us in recent times. It is shameful that we are making even children scared of a disease that barely touches them. When Boris finally fires up those mighty engines he spoke of, we should at least be ready for the journey.
Salus populi suprema lex esto? Yes, but in its widest interpretation: the health of the people includes strength of the spirit as well as of the body. It depends on valuing not just our lives but our way of life.
 
INFORMATION OVERLOAD
Don’t know about you but the more I struggle to keep on top of all the corona news the more I feel I am drowning in a tsunami of information, even if at times it should be easy to discard – such as when we are repeatedly told that this or that vital fact about the disease is simply not known yet.
I make no apology, though, for adding my totally inexpert view to all the speculation and evaluation. Call it my contribution to democratic discourse. And at least I can genuinely claim to have consulted a pretty vast range of knowledge and opinion in forming my perspective and bringing it to you. Like the proverbial iceberg, nearly all of it remains underwater, unseen in the fairly small number of links I have given. A full reference list would run to well over a hundred articles and papers, to say nothing of broadcasts, podcasts, blogs etc., and many of these run to thousands of words, plus graphs, charts and hours of dialogue in sources such as The Economist, The Financial Times and Science, all of which have been among many serious sources giving free access to their Covid coverage, plus non-MSM alternatives such as Off-Guardian, Medium and Swiss Propaganda Research – thank you, “Explorer”, for alerting me to this last one. The MSM daily press in the UK and US have also been indispensible, plus quality periodicals such as The Spectator, and New Statesman on this side of the Atlantic and, well, The Atlantic on the other side.
With so much coverage to draw on, generally of high quality from both MSM and elsewhere, it is tempting to start an awards list here, my own personal Oscars for Best Statistical Presentation, Best Historical Parallels, etc. The ceremony could go on for hours, until you are all dropping like flies, killed not by Covid but boredom!
So I will refrain from that, or at least keep it short. I really absolutely must give a shout-out for UnHerd, especially the wonderful series of articles and podcasts on Sweden by executive editor Freddie Sayers. And I stick with Sweden for my two other nominations. The man I dubbed Heretic TOC’s “Europe Correspondent” after he told us about his encounter some time ago with Greta Thunberg, has been keeping up the good work with detailed, insightful on-the-spot reports for me from Sweden. Then, finally, I should mention the sterling contribution of Claire Fox’s Academy of Ideas, which recently hosted the first Zoom event in which I have participated, called “Economy Forum: How can we escape a coronavirus depression?” One of the speakers was Joan Hoey, director for Europe with the fabled Economist Intelligence Unit. I was able to ask her directly about the situation in Sweden. A full audio recording of this event is available for anyone interested.
 

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Christian

The “Swedish approach” did not succeed. While most regions were relatively spared, there was an excessive number of cases and deaths in the capital city Stockholm. The rate of casualties is tremendously higher than that of neighbouring countries that had a lockdown: Norway, Finland and Denmark. The Swedish government had to apologise for not having protected the vulnerable part of population, in particular elderly people, who seem to have been sacrificed.
The rationale behind that approach was that the epidemic would continue until two thirds of the population would be infected, so other countries implementing a lockdown would know a surge in infections as soon as the lockdown would be lifted. But that did not happen. In fact, most epidemics have a bell shape, they finally end for some reason, and for Covid-19 this could be due to the season: infectious diseases of the respiratory system usually prevail during winter or at the beginning of spring, but quiet down in summer.
Even without a strict lockdown, some stringent norms could have been enforced, such as compulsory mask in public, minimal distances between customers in shops or in bars and restaurants, plexiglass walls to protect cashiers, etc. Also, an aggressive policy of testing whenever there is a suspicion, and isolation of infected patients can reduce the impact of the epidemic.

Dissident

very different to US, where many would rather die than obey the government! – although that is perhaps sensible to the extent that Donald Trump is in charge!)
Indeed. But keep this in mind, Tom. Any of the many centrist liberals who keep insisting that any Democrat would be “better” than an obvious irresponsible and tyrannical buffoon like Trump (and I am not saying you are in harmony with their thinking!) need to look to the past few decades of recent history to be proven wrong. Rest assured that if Trump is beaten by the latest centrist Wall Street shill the Democrats pushed through (the notorious racist, war mongering, and chronic liar plutocrat Joe Biden), any fascist legislation enacted by Trump, any war he may (and likely will) start, etc., will not be overturned by the incoming Democratic centrist administration. They will, in contrast, retain these things and even likely escalate them, just as Obama did with the awful policies and wars initiated by the Bush/Cheney administration.
Only this time around, the many mainstream liberals who loudly (and usually rightfully) denounce these measures when passed by Trump will suddenly begin supporting them and rationalizing them with equal zeal. Two common rationalizations will be the following: the Democratic administration “had” to pass or retain these awful bits of legislation because the Republicans pressured them (even if they happen to be enjoying a majority of seats in Congress at the time); or, unlike Trump, the Democratic administration is passing these laws and fighting these wars for the “right” reasons!
Let us keep in mind, too, that the Democrats did not even want to give us the stingy one-time allotment of $1,200.00 and temporary extension of unemployment benefits that the Trump administration gave us. Also, would you believe that Joe Biden vowed to veto Medicare for All if he was president and it ever passed the Senate and ended up on his desk–and that he did that right during the middle of this pandemic?!
So, I’m just saying the solution to the horror that is Trump and his Republican cronies is not the Democrats. They all support the same general status quo, and the latter keep the minority of genuine progressives among them (all a cowardly lot despite some of their talk, btw) firmly in line. Just ask Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, et al.

Dissident

This is the way I see it, something I have said on all of the MAP boards often.
Whenever a problem presents itself to us as a society, if we truly purport to consider ourselves a society based on principles of freedom and libertarian values, we need to always provide democratic solutions to said problems. Whenever we allow ourselves to be terrified into accepting any type of draconian measures to “protect” us or a vulnerable portion of society, we compromise that way of life and invite more such infringements on freedom with similar rationalizations. And more after that…etc. ad infinitum. Systems and lifestyles that have embraced civil libertarian values are constantly at risk of being deliberately compromised by the governments controlled by the wealthy in our unequal societies, and will grasp at every excuse they can to convince the people to be complicit with such demands to give up our freedoms.
Declaring yet another war to combat some “threat to freedom” or some “humanitarian” purpose is one common excuse. (Why else do you think WEIRD societies are such incessant war-mongers, outside of the profit motive?) Another is the historically tried-and-true tactic of the moral panic. Yet another is what we are faced with now, a panic over a pathogenic threat. Is the threat real? Yes, I would never attempt to deny it, and I do not believe Tom is doing that either. The main questions he is asking or hinting at, I think, arethe following: Is this latest panic worth the very freedoms we claim to value? Are the governments going too far with authoritarian lockdowns? Would we have been better prepared (particularly America) if our health care systems were better? And more importantly, are we truly protecting ourselves by carrying on such a stringent, possibly indefinite lockdown, or are we losing something far more valuable than we are gaining while playing right into the hands of the various governments that do not value our freedoms at all?

Explorer

Let’s put Covid-19 talks on pause for a moment and recall there are other problems as well. For example, some very real – and extreme – child and adolescent abuse in the many organisations forming “troubled teen” industry, which, as well as the “child sexual abuse” industry, is capable of the darkest lows of absurdity and atrocity in their forced “treatments” – and yet, exists with an eager approval of the large part of the populace:
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/life-and-death-in-a-troubled-teen-boot-camp?utm_source=pocket-newtab
Child liberationists sometimes call these insane places “gulag schools”. And they are indeed GULAG-like…

Explorer

It’s scary to see two hysterias – Covid hysteria and “paedo” hysteria – collide with each other to deny children freedom in even more grotesque ways then before:
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/benjamin-netanyahu-suggests-to-microchip-kids-slammed-by-experts-627381
Happily, in this case this two hysterias seem to come into conflict with each other and, thus, together they may thwart this insane proposal.

Michael Teare-Williams

Replying to sodomight1: “As any government knows war is just 3 days without food.”
Dead right, but most nations have’t got there, yet?
Australia has a total population that equals one crowded British county, but we have only lost 97 people, to the 10th of May. The lock-down has been hard and we’ve had some strong dissenters. Mostly of the right-wing variety. I have to say that these twerps have mostly been ignored by aged 80+ people like myself — who have pre-existing medical conditions!
I have heard one witless politician loudly voting for restrictions to end — NOW. This was a couple of weeks back. He is probably a closet-eugenicist who believes that, come what may: ‘…the strong will live and the weak will die’ — so THAT’s OK?
Or maybe he’s just plain stupid?
Thanks for the wonderful blog, Tom!
Mike T-W.

galileo1439

Concern about your new contact Ethics of Paradise, Tom. He indicates that he wants an age limit for adults who want to be intimate with kids. Essentially he is leading the discourse back to an age of consent with a close in age exception. See his post where he tells adults to look in the mirror and notice they aren’t as attractive or as energetic as they used to be and there comes a time that actual intimacy with a young person is no longer acceptable.

galileo1439

I commented on one of EoP’s posts regarding this matter. See below.

Ethics of Paradise

Love is what happens when ‘god’ attempts to put itself back together again.
Love whoever truly loves you back . . . and never hurt anyone in the process.
Cheers!

sodomight1

Just wear a surgical mask and keep a proper distance. Corona is not measles. The grim reality is that an economic ‘pandemic’ will be far worse which would include the death toll. And it won’t be only be 80+ folks with a pre existing conditions.

Peter Herman

Thanks Tom for alerting us to the Leith article (May 03, 2020 @ 18:07:34). The concept of the Overton Window particularly struck me. The idea that our views are considered unthinkable (i.e. totally outside of the Overton Window) is not something I was unaware of, but understanding it in a political and social context can make us better able to read a changing social climate. How slavery was once considered quite acceptable and well within the window of acceptability is a case in point. Other examples abound.
To have a view that most of society vehemently objects to is not an easy thing to live with. Consequently, early in my life I accepted the view then that my same sex orientation was a disease to be cured. Only life and experience slowly convinced me otherwise. Perhaps the constant and overwhelming social negation of his views is the reason LSM rejected his earlier positions.
As I indicated in an earlier post, the current state of affairs is likely to be only one of a series of worldwide events that will narrow the window of acceptable ideas, expand it or simply reject some views and allow others in. At this point, I do not see any strategy going forward, but I do know that certain initiatives of the late 70’s such as those of PIE and NAMBLA came in as the benign window of acceptability of the 60’s and early 70’s were shutting down. Let us not repeat the same mistake.

Christian

LSM’s decision to remove his own blog is the final end in a long process of political shifting to the right, which I noticed several years ago, and I have often commented about that. From supporting state of emergency in France in November 2015, to open espousal of Islamophobia in March 2017, and finally “virtue” in 2019.
Many articles of the blog were saved on the Wayback Machine, see https://web.archive.org/web/*/consentinghumans.wordpress.com/201*

Ethics of Paradise

Thank you Christian! I have always admired you from afar.
The WayBackMachine link that you have provided is certainly more aesthetically pleasing than the PDF I created to save LSM’s work. I highly recommend this link to anyone interested in reading the essays, though I can not promise that all the essays are intact on the website at the moment. In due time I will see if anything has been missed.
https://web.archive.org/web/*/consentinghumans.wordpress.com/201*

Dissident

Thank you for preserving the earlier days of Leonard’s work, EoP. I often looked to them as some of the best and most incisive work ever produced from the pro-choice camp, and now I can continue looking back to those great earlier days of his blog for the same amount of inspiration, even if I cannot always do so without shedding a tear or two over the eventual loss.

Dissident

I too noticed this as a gradual process in Lensman’s thinking, as it’s very hard to miss those inexorable red flags after so many years of being active in both the MAP community and many political communities. I knew what was happening and where it would potentially lead if it progressed in the usual way, but despite all the attempts to talk him out of it (alongside you and others) over those few years of the ‘shifting’ process in the comments section of his blog, the process continued to build. It unfolded in the typical pattern as time passed, with more and more ‘conservative’ elements being adopted as time went on. It was like a relentless case of cancer that no amount of intervention via radiation or chemo treatments could prevent from progressing. I know that is a morbid analogy to make, but I cannot think of anything less unsettling that would be equally apt 🙁
I know that you and I and a few others who mentioned things were not the only ones to notice the signs as they appeared, but we may have been among only a handful who were ‘crass’ or ‘impolite’ enough to make mention of it. Maybe some others were in denial? Believe me, I wanted to be. A part of me also wishes I could have overlooked it all and continued to see Lensman as the same old Leonard I grew so fond of during the first years of his blog and our communications.
I understand that ‘telling it like it is’ can make you come off as rude and even heartless at times, but that has always been how I roll, for good or ill (I’ll let everyone be their own judge on that). For whatever it may be worth, though, it seems that neither those who spoke up during Lensman’s downward slide in the ultimately futile attempt to halt it nor those who obviously must have noticed but acted as if little or nothing was amiss for the sake of decorum succeeded in halting the process. I know that simply dismissing and loathing him would never help and likely only make things worse, but I still hold my belief that taking the opposite extreme is equally unhelpful and equally likely to just make things worse over the long haul.
Btw, I put ‘conservative’ in quotes because such views are often held by those who claim to be ‘liberal’ and from the Left, at least in the USA, just as often as those who openly identify as conservative. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell authoritarian views apart, no matter which side of the political pendulum they claim to come from.

Ethics of Paradise

Hi Tom,
Leonard Sisyphus Mann over at Consenting Adults Humans https://consentinghumans.wordpress.com/ has lost his marbles. I literally just found out a few minutes ago via email, and currently am in a bit of shock.
However, I just want to mention right now that I have saved all of his essays just in case something were to happen to his blog, and that ‘something’ has pretty much just happened.
If you or anyone needs them, let me know, and maybe I can send them to you or re-post them in the near future.
Stay calm out there!
<3

Ethics of Paradise

Agreed.
<3

Ethics of Paradise

Ok, I am going to say what I need to say just like this… ahem…. Dear Tom, may I please send you a PDF copy of LSM’s essays? I absolutely want to ensure that someone of great responsibility has a copy other than me, and LSM himself. Either way, I would like to hear from you about this subject since I would like to repost them and I want your opinion and guidance on the best way to do that – or find someone else who is worthy to repost them, providing I do not die any time soon (anything is possible these days). Please help <3

Ethics of Paradise

Well Tom, I certainly have done my best and sent you the PDF of the Consenting Humans essays!
Though I must say that Christian was able to provide a link of archival data of the essays which will definitely be easier to read and navigate through. I am not sure if all the essays can be found on the site, though it looks like there are enough to get some decent research started for anyone in need, who now has such knowledge and access to the link provided. https://web.archive.org/web/*/consentinghumans.wordpress.com/201*

eqfoundation

I often fear that a BL/GLs identity has been discovered by someone malicious, and these abrupt responses often happen in a panic.
I have no way to prove that is so, in this case…but I do know a stalker was following LSM around, some time back…and threatening to find out who they are.

warblingjturpitude

THANKYOU for saving them! Should I provide you with an email address to get ’em? Have been remonstrating with myself for not saving them ever since i got the email notification from LSM!
I am having the thought, however, that the series of statements which LSM has left standing starkly in place of his vanished blog (complete with comment-function, it seems), may well provide the best, sharpest possible focus now for Heretics who do believe themselves to be 100% serious about paedophilia? About its ability – or potential – to ‘find its rightful place’ in what we continue to blandly refer to as “society”?
Surely what LSM.is claiming, w/ foremost regard to the oldest, most perennial interdiction of all, can only serve to help us re-examine our most cherished convictions ‘at closest range’ and make this forum pump some iron quite like never before?

One thing I have definitely learned within my 33 years of life so far, is that all things, both good and bad, come to an end eventually. As a millennial I have been around just long enough to experience and see some truly wonderful things – that stick around for a very comfortable amount of time – and then disappear all too soon, leaving behind feelings of nostalgia, for example. Considering the radical lifestyle that I have had over the years, I believe too many things of great importance have been taken away from me so far – some of which was available on the internet, as well as many other great things that have been taken away from human life over many years – and now I have grown accustomed to expecting many great things to vanish. That is exactly why I knew I had to save LSM’s work… Similar to how Plato saved the words of Socrates from becoming lost in time. Leonard Sisyphus Mann’s writing saved me, and therefore I had to ‘save’ him.
However, I disagree with his recent decision to simply delete all but two essays on his blog. That was unnecessary. His work amounts to 201 pages as a PDF – which amounts to the size of a book. I wonder if the pandemic has driven him into a kind of madness, fear, or position of sacrifice… I am aware that he is older than I, and I was thinking last night that when you get older, you sometimes give up on what you truly love/want and accept it, while also adopting a new perspective, to simply make life go smoother. He may have gone through this, and to understand this fully is very important. Especially for any adult who wants to love children (possibly intimately – with great care and respect) during an acceptable window of time within a mortal life. As an adult who loves a child, they must be able to eventually look in the mirror and say ‘Well, it looks like you are not attractive as you used to be, or physically active either, so I should choose to not get in the way of the children within our community for the benefit of all, and focus on working with them through the usual responsible alternatives available for older folk like me as my duty.’ -I want to write about this in great detail, because there is a lot of responsibility for older groups to make this decision willingly, and also be in the presence of youth to make a greater community. However I am not much of a writer… I could try, but i’d prefer to talk to people one-on-one about these matters if needed – I just can’t write well enough for the public. I am a visual artist, not a writer. I also would like to write about how I disagree with LSM on his idea that child-love would not be preferred in a society ‘worth living in’. He is wrong about that.. Why? Because of his last words found at the end of his essay ‘The Trouble With Radical Paedophilia – Part 2 – The Third Scenario’, which are “..It is about recognizing that we, as paedophiles, should be on the side of Civilization, rather than, wittingly or unwittingly, setting ourselves against it..”
Civilization is what caused and allowed the Covid-19 pandemic.
Civilization is what is destroying the planet, and capitalism is what powers it.
I know for a fact that some aspects of civilization would be acceptable, yet the type of dominant industrial society we live in today is totally out of control.
We need a balance between civilization, the natural world, and child-love/’paedophilia’ to make things work. We also need radical change (*however that type of change will never be possible again because we ruined our chances over thousands of years*). So I will say that LSM is currently out of balance with the natural world – not entirely – but just enough to make him believe loving a child is not worth doing apparently by any possible circumstance. Everything that we want has been possible in the past, however, humans have went in the wrong direction, and are now out of control. I can’t say it enough. The Earth is alive and habitable now, but it might not be in the near future……
Please send me a comment somewhere on my blog (which I only made to interact with the likes of Heretic TOC and LSM in the first place) firstly stating that you don’t want the comment to be posted, along with a request for the single PDF of the Consenting Adults Humans essays, with your email address, and I will send it as soon as possible – this includes anybody else out there who is reading and wants a copy! I will do everything it takes to preserve LSM’s essays, especially for public interest, as it is greatly needed, and may even save lives.
I can write more later if needed. Stay safe out there. Thanks!
<3

peterhoo

The text you speak of with respect certainly sounds worth viewing. There is the question of the author’s view of his own work, and the question, passing on his work an option. My blog can be reached using my icon for this Message I post, so by all means share what you think can be done ethically.
At the time you saved the writing it was publicly available material, if it was to be shared publicly now I can see the value in restating the author’s new position regarding his work, which you have already done here.

warblingjturpitude

For one who only yesterday advised E of P not to pathologise LSM, I am surprised and yes dismayed today to see you doing the very same thing, Tom! For if “I felt he was becoming excessively emotional, unbalanced and irrational” is not (‘more politely’) pathologising the man, then I don’t know what it is!
I have never read anything in his work that suggested, let alone demonstrated, any such thing. If anyone can *show* an extracted example of that to me I’d be truly appreciative! If anything can be said to be overly dependent on the rôle of emotion, or calculated avoidance of rationality, surely that would be the caputulation to the edict, often coming from the ‘top down’ and the ‘bottom up’ all at once, that one must place the RELIGION of Islam beyond the reach of all criticism or reproach, for fear (= emotion!) of offending its believers. Will you tell me where, exactly, the rationality is in that? Let alone the “balance”, given that we are quite free to mock, slander and ridicule our own religious heritage all the dee long day?
As for “seeing all Muslims as a threat” I would qualify this somewhat over-stated claim of yours thusly; as the awareness that the large, displaced Muslim populations are to a great extent very passive with regard to what there is of their collective voice, and have no real public authority that decides for them how the many exhortations to violence and/or prejudice in Islamic scripture are to be understood or responded to. For the very most part, these are all just mentally ‘brushed under the carpet’, and therein, it is clear, lies the Great Passivity (if you’ll pardon my Teutonic caps).
The incomparably astute pundit ‘Spengler’, writing in the Asia Times at the time of the horrible massacre in Nice, described the vast French Muslim population as “the sea in which the sharks may swim unobserved” (We must not forget that the perpetrator was a ‘turned” informant to French police).
I’d go so far as to say that the epithet “moderate” is simply a euphemism for passive acquiescence.
Enough for the moment.

peterhoo

What I add here is intended to be both positive and supportive of open discussion. I talk of both the closing of this blog, and the Muslim theme and how they are perceived.
I worked as a therapist and the comment can be made that what is engaged as text and what is intuited from a person face to face can be different. It was either Derrida or Lacan who adopted the approach in his work to only work with one, and not both. I think he decided to stay with text, all else was ignored. The term Islamophobia has become politicized and I choose not to use it.
Now I move to perceptions of Muslim groups and individuals, along with religious and political beliefs. Recently Douglas Murray’s two recent books The Strange Death of Europe, and The Madness of Crowds have offered a good read. My politics has been all my life that of the liberal left, however voices of authors and commentators like Murray have become interesting perhaps because of the extreme character of the new feminist left who view Camille Paglia as a fallen feminist, and gay men who fail to support the messages of the Trans activists lobby as “not really gay men”.
I have two degrees in Theology so I don’t see myself as anti-religion or closed to a discussion of religious beliefs. The silence by the modern left about how violence is carried out under the banner of religious messaging and to say this has nothing to do with Muslim culture is concerning because it appears to involve a turning of one’s head to one side and just no seeing.
I hope my openness does not offend any persons here, I am interested in frank exchanges, not causing offense or being biased. This has to be said by a person who makes the kind of statements I make here,, in the same way a person who says I support a better understanding of MAP experience does not mean a support of child sexual assault. One is obliged to say it because it you don’t someone else will accuse you of it. I find in this atmosphere one has to spell things out, an interesting feature that is a discussion point all on its own.

If you don’t mind me making a suggestion to fix your inquiry/misunderstanding, try not to take the dialogue/communication efforts between me and Tom and take it to the extreme/interpret it too seriously. Me and Tom were able to find common ground with what we meant. I agree with his last comment here… and of course, much more could be said about how civilization *as we know it to be* is not perfect, or pure enough for the acceptance of child love, where the current paradigms force everyone into poor decision making, which is how I personally view LSM’s recent thinking. We do not believe LSM is, or ever was ‘mentally unstable’, though I am sure we can agree LSM has made some poor decisions, all of which medication can’t fix, and majority of the human population suffers from that constantly goes under the radar because such behavior is what is considered ‘normal’. ‘Normal’ is what LSM wants, as it is a more comfortable way of living, and less of a constant struggle against his community, his online relationships, and humanity itself. LSM is not unstable in my opinion – he is simply choosing to be wrong because he desires a comfort zone during these times.

warblingjturpitude

Erm…the problem I draw attention to here is one of reducing all concerns, focus and argument of another to a supposed pathological condition, so unless you can engage directly with just that, E of P, I’d rather Tom does..?

galileo1439

>I am aware that he is older than I, and I was thinking last night that when you get older, you sometimes give up on what you truly love/want and accept it, while also adopting a new perspective, to simply make life go smoother
EoC, you cannot assume everyone thinks that way when they get older.
>Especially for any adult who wants to love children (possibly intimately – with great care and respect) during an acceptable window of time within a mortal life.
You are insisting that there should be an upper age limit for adults who can be intimate with younger people. That is absolutely wrong and inappropriate for a movement that wants to support age different relationships. If you claim to support age gap sexual contact, you must be tolerant of any age gap no matter how long.
>As an adult who loves a child, they must be able to eventually look in the mirror and say ‘Well, it looks like you are not attractive as you used to be, or physically active either, so I should choose to not get in the way of the children within our community for the benefit of all,
You cannot assume that physical appearance or activity level has anything to do with how much the older and younger person enjoy the sexual interaction.
>I want to write about this in great detail, because there is a lot of responsibility for older groups to make this decision willingly,
Everyone’s decision here should be I can have sexual contact with young people (once the age of consent laws have been abolished) no matter how old, fat, disabled I get as long as both I and my young partner enjoy the sexual activities. Once again just because one is ugly (a completely subjective term) and one is attractive (a other completely subjective term) doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t feel sexually attached to one another in a pleasurable way for both.
You also refer to yourself as a millennial. Generation labels are a big part of why older and younger people sexually interacting is considered wrong by present day society. You should never use a generation label for anything other than to denounce generation labels and you should strongly advocate abolishing the whole system of naming and stereotyping pop culture generations.

galileo1439

EoC I meant EoP ethics of paradise.

Ethics of Paradise

Love, but never dominate.
The goal
is to untangle
complexity,
simplify it,
and keep it that way.
Love, and seek equilibrium with all things.

warblingjturpitude

LSM has now taken down his Consenting Adults Humans blog in its entirety, leaving up ONLY those last two pieces he wrote for it, in which he asserts the “incompatibility” of paedophilia with “a society fit to live in” and “the kids we purport to love”. He states that he “no longer subscribes to (the blog’s) philosophy”.
I for one have found myself purely gobsmacked by this development, not knowing what to think or where my thoughts might turn. I was moreover the last person on that blig to have an extended, if somwhat awkward and ultimately frustrating, exchange with LSM.

I understand LSM’s thinking, though he certainly did not have to delete the majority of his blog just to ‘make a point’, which is found in the two essays that still stand [The Trouble With Radical Paedophilia – Part 1 – Propaganda & Utopias and The Trouble With Radical Paedophilia – Part 2 – The Third Scenario.]
It is possible that he was forced to delete his material by means of an ultimatum not created by himself. It is hard to say for sure since I do believe LSM would have explained himself/provided a fair warning before deleting his hard work like that on his own.
Either way, I saved all of his essays, and I would like the whole world to read them.
<3

warblingjturpitude

The whole world indeed, E of P. For if there exist more exemplary models of argument calmly (serenely even), coolly and collectedly laid forth with the utmost in sweetly rational dignity, I know them not (present blog-host excepted, naturellement!)

Yes, absolutely! I have searched and I know of no other living human that has written as eloquently as ‘Leonard Sisyphus Mann’ on the philosophy of child-love (especially from a perspective that is mostly heterosexual, which to me is preferable on a personal level). I must say of course that it is of great thanks to our friendly and dedicated Heretic TOC that a few of us out there (such as me) were appropriately pointed in the right direction to LSM’s blog from the variety of links provided in the blogroll found here. Thank you for all the information Tom, and thank you for your book ‘Paedophilia: The Radical Case’, which has helped me tremendously! As for the work by LSM on his blog, that amounts to a book in itself, I was able to relate very well to his insight and it helped me to truly understand how damaged and ruined the world has become, which keeps child sexuality hidden and child love forbidden, all of which is a backward way of celebrating human life. LSM’s essays have great value in making sense of human psychology, and helping anyone in need to stay sane. Those would be, more or less, the two best reasons I can come up with at the moment why everyone that would like to make a positive difference in the world should read his work.
<3

Daniel

The One criticism I have for Boris Johnson is that he choose the NHS for his treatment, if I had the money he had I would go privately so that I can save on the NHS

jpmeadows

How peculiar that you should mention Pericles and his involvement with plague at this particular time. I have just recently been researching about Diotima of Mantinea, the supposed wise priestess who educated Socrates about all aspects of love, and was introduced in Plato’s Symposium. (I’m attempting a treatise entitled “Can someone be attractive without being sexually attractive?” effectively creating my own translation of Diotima’s ‘Ladder of Love’ in such a way as to profer the response; “Well no – they can’t!”) 
There is some debate as to who Diotima really was, or even whether she existed at all. Some have even suggested that she may have been a pseudonymous Aspasia (Pericles’s own Carrie Symonds); despite Aspasia being named elsewhere in Plato’s works. It is clearly written however, that although he may not have visited Diotima with any anticipation or desire for her to ‘flatten curves’, Socrates testifies that she managed to delay the onset of the Athenian plague by ten years! – If only Boris could have managed that, it might have given us just enough time to get all our PPE in place.
My biggest criticism in this ‘crisis’; how the MSM love to lead with ‘X0000s infected, X000s dead’ & to be reminded of it constantly – like that’s really going to put people in a positive “I’m gonna not let this thing beat me” frame of mind. Where are the figures for those who have survived – or dare I say for those who might suggest; “I– I– I think I c– I could pull through, sir”?
https://images.app.goo.gl/sUjVsJghpAvVT3NBA
(The “Sir” mentioned being Peri’s brother John.)

Zen Thinker

BTW, anyone that is so inclined, feel free to add me:
https://twitter.com/thinker_zen

Zen Thinker

This is a disaster for many affected people, but it may surprise you to hear that I have faith in the system. Not necessarily in the politicians themselves – indeed many governors in America have shown petty dictatorial tendencies – but in the resilience of the human spirit and the fact that the system is self-righting. Bad as things have been, we are not plunged into chaos. Business may experience some creative destruction, but that is in the nature of commerce and industry. We have the opportunity, for a time, to live quieter, more reflective lives.
So what do I mean by the system? That overarching mechanism, made up of many different human and natural factors, whereby the situation is contained and ultimately corrected. You could call it providence. But it any case, I strongly believe that our futures are largely secured, and that we will find solutions to all the individual difficulties. We have come back from much worse in history. And it’s psychologically healthy to trust in fate and the strength of our collective will.
As for individual politicians, I like Boris, but I am sceptical of many. Power does corrupt, and politicians are in a position of unprecedented power over their populations at present. Can we trust to human nature? That is doubtful, knowing innate human frailties. But ultimately I think the ‘system’ of competing interests, factions and voices will steady the ship and allow us to build a decent future, in the midst of the many societal changes that are likely to occur.

Explorer

Thanks for the compliment, Tom! I was glad to supply you and everyone else here with useful – even if in the same time controversial – information, as I always do.
This positive mention is especially pleasant for me, since – so it appeared to me – my comment on the previous blog post has enraged you quite a bit. At least, your response seemed to me to be notably angry! I felt myself a bit uneasy afterwards, since you are among the persons whom I strongly respect and whose thoughts and positions I evaluate very highly, – even if, in the same time, disagreeing with some of them.
Despite all my radicalism, I try to be very cautious in what I write and say, where, when and, most importantly, to whom, so not to enrage and not to upset the people whom I value. Yet, I also intend to provide people with knowledge and perspective that they might have missed, and keep introducing new controversial and radical topics, and sources relevant to them, in the dialogue, from time to time – at a risk of a highly emotional reaction.
Sometimes providing people with valuable but controversial information – which they are free to examine and evaluate by themselves, to accept or to reject, fully or partially – worth the risk of igniting the passions. So I think…

Christian

According to a study of the Institut Pasteur in France (https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-02548181v1), the lethality of Covid-19 is 0.53%, it rises to 8.3% for >80y, but is 1 in 100 000 for <20y. The percentage of French population having been infected is estimated at 5.7%, with regional variations.

peterhoo

The information overload experience I can identify with. What has happened for us in New Zealand, and continues to unfold, is hugely challenging. To date I find our leaders have behaved in ways I can have some pride in. Our death numbers for the Covid-19 situation is remarkably low, a serious situation being those in rest-home care and how they are vulnerable.
My reading has had a shot in the arm, I am just finishing Allan Bloom’s book, The Closing of the American Mind, and this is the 8th book I have ripped my way through in about 3 months. If an author can be offered as a good read regarding our current situation can I offer the name of Yuval Noah Harari and his book Sapiens: a brief history of humankind (2011). He has talked about how medicine and health concerns will be a doorway for new social practices such as tracking individuals and increased State involvement in these strategies for a number of years now. I am not sure I view all of what he unpacks as our most likely future path, however he does make one think!
So a to offer a limited post here I will add how New Zealand has a number of times compared itself to northern European countries when looking at how our country operates. Our justice system, for example is rather punitive when compared to Denmark and the question has been put, why? The answer is largely culture. We tell ourselves we as New Zealand citizens have a liberal outlook; I put this in the same box as beliefs in Father Christmas. This is why I am glad our political leaders here have argued for a lock-down rather than a voluntary understanding where people are predominantly self-governing.
Finally, I can see the need to shift, carefully, from the positioning of health concerns as predominant to the situation where economic concerns and business needs to guide us. For us here in NZ infections and deaths seem to have been kept in check. As a humble suggestion can I recommend reading Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the 21st Century. (One of my recent reads.)

Peter Herman

Whether greater or lesser restrictions imposed by governments to control the current pandemic are advisable or not misses the point. The fact remains that either way societies are experiencing upheavals. The current pandemic is not likely to be the last. Not only will there be other major epidemics but the social disruptions that will be brought on by the effects of climate change are also guaranteed. And there is no reason to believe that multiple calamities will not occur simultaneously. If governments, as is the current one in the US, keep on being myopic, the disruptions will be cataclysmic.
Social disruptions present both dangers and opportunities. One danger, as Tom sees it, is the restrictions on our liberties. But there is another danger that may produce an opening (as Linca tangentially touched on). In extreme social upheavals all able bodied individuals need to be on deck, and sidelining those who have been marginalized will greatly diminish efforts to keep the social ship afloat. Perhaps the current social pain will alert the more perceptive in our society to rethink their prejudices.

peterhoo

Peter where I live the social discourse and political spit is very much centred on the role of the State. One lobby is focused on health, the other on liberty as freedom from social and political restraint. This second group see themselves as concerned for the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government here sits more inside the first group, and that is my preferred position as well. This focus on what kind of State one wants, along with ideas about what is needed is not to miss the point in my view. The person whose life, along with their friends a families lives, sits behind the narrative of this Heretic blog, they care about the kind of State the future offers as well. They also care for the planet.
It is interesting to speculate about how this pandemic will interact with pre-existing social projects. Will the Global Extinction movement be impacted, and what of identity politics. My guess is the pandemic will bring a return to a human concern similar to what surfaced in times such as the two World Wars. I don’t think it likely the new compassion and interest in offering aid to one’s neighbour will mean adoption of sexual openness and the repositioning of the pedophile or sex abuser modern society has constructed. It is very possible there will be a kind of being distractedness, a focusing on other stuff, and this may be experienced as a shift.
It will mean change. Thomas Piketty in this book Capital in the 21st Century argues for a better and radically different sharing of global resources, shifts in how tax is deployed, and yes a new State that looks and behaves differently. I read him as thoughtful and he speaks to Tom’s words about individual liberty and that State as a significant issue.
Many are saying we can’t go back, we have been changed, we must change. The devil is in the detail. I feel different, this talk may be very genuine. Greed and selfishness are out of fashion, as is extreme optimism. I am open to a bigger and more involved State because modern Capitalism has been demonstrated to be a failure. We are likely to muddle on but serious reform is likely to get a good hearing.
My sense is those whose lives connect with this blog are advised to avoid appearing extreme, selfish, or indifferent to the concerns of a large number of people whose life situation has taken a massive hit with unemployment, business failure, and for some the death of friends and loved ones.

peterhoo

Peter Herman made this comment “Whether greater or lesser restrictions imposed by governments to control the current pandemic are advisable or not misses the point.” My reply was to argue I had not missed the point.
In your comment Tom you wrote, “Possibly Peter Herman had correctly identified “the point” and everyone else was missing it. It wouldn’t be the first time a minority of one was correct!” Are you saying here in my comment I’m missed the point, because I am agreeing with Leith’s comment.
Have I misread things Tom?

Linca

The big problem with lockdown is the lack of income. We think we have to have a job to have income. This is not true. When nations learn they can create their own money without debt we can all have substantial guaranteed annual incomes. Oh & no taxes plus high quality housing, health care & transportation. Kids are connected. It’s a shame we aren’t allowed into their connections to help them out of ignorance.

Yurinho

You are correct. My government is being pretty much forced to give people free money, so they stay at home. Though the president hates it with great passion. Thankfully, nobody is listening to him.

sodomight1

Right. As any government knows war is just 3 days without food.

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