Thoughts on economics and liberty

Next post on my TOI blog: Xi Jinping’s use of hysteria as warfare

This is a 3-part article. The first part was published today. Further parts will be published in the coming days: Second part | Third part.

The combined piece as a PDF file with links to various sources (which aren’t published by TOI).

A 30 minute video I made on 7 January 2021 to explain China’s role.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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One thought on “Next post on my TOI blog: Xi Jinping’s use of hysteria as warfare
  1. cyrus ray

    Dear Dr.Sabhlok,

    Thanks for the immense amount of thought and work you have put into this. Your arguments are quite clear and plausible. Some threads within it are probably on the mark. Having said that, I don’t think you have made a clear case that this is the most parsimonious or likely narrative. A few things that don’t fall in place for me after taking your argument on the face of it.

    1. The ‘smartest man’, SM for short, had no way of anticipating that governments, media, populace and institutions across the world would fall like dominoes. Hindsight Bias can make it seem that past events caused subsequent events. However, viewed from the past none of what happened was inevitable. So SM and his advisers had no way of predicting an outcome they wanted and not inadvertently create negative outcomes for their own power. What if it resulted in a severe trade quagmires?

    2. Preventing the US admin from getting reelected was a hope or at best a probable outcome. It was equally possible then that it might be reelected the Covid panic notwithstanding. Also, a new administration can bring its own troubles. Far superior military bases are much closer home and that’s a deterrent to exacerbating the tensions.

    3. To me, a far more unfortunate explanation is the creation and exploitation of panic that spreads like wild fire. Governments, Media and Social Media all like authority. The difference now is that Social media has truly made it a global village and unfortunately as hysterical as a small village in fear.

    4. The working classes, which are suffering the most, have lost articulate thought leaders. The professional classes put their safety above all else because they can continue to work largely unhindered. This was not possible earlier and not easy to predict.

    5. It is well known that US media can spread misinformation and propaganda. Once the US started lockdowns, the rest of the world did. US is the thought leader. But this was only partly predictable. Then there is the fact that the elections are so close that it is impossible to know which way the wind will blow.

    All that happened just might have just happened and interested parties exploited events to their advantage. But planning it is seems nearly inconceivable to me especially the pace at which it happened. A global panic contagion is a more plausible explanation but such a contagion is not foreseeable.


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