It is not a sound assumption to believe that mass hysteria and collective delusion problems come from or result from only the uneducated. All social life, be it among the educated or uneducated, is a manifestation of a will to power; there is no reason for assuming that mass hysteria or collective delusion as social actions are exceptions to this attribute of social life. If mass hysteria and collective delusion serve some social need for the educated, it will occur and historically has occurred among them just as it has among the uneducated. In Technological Society (“T.S.”), as the educated including those calling themselves scientists are quickly realizing that their lives will be spent in a random and arbitrary world of probability and statistics in which there will be no explanation for anything but just correlations in which truth and power will consist only in the control of probabilities, they will have a need for meaning and power that cannot be satisfied by such a reality; thus, there will be fertile ground for creation of mass delusional explanation and power. The last few months of the Chinese Virus collective delusion and mass hysteria are an example of how this process works for the educated classes of T.S.
Mass hysteria and collective delusion has been a historical concept for historians and for scientists ever since the Middle Ages. The first recorded analysis of such an event is the Dancing Plague of 1518 in which the population of many villages in the Western portion of the Holy Roman Empire all of a sudden started dancing for days, many supposedly danced until they died. Though such mass hysteria and collective delusion may seem to us now as crazy and as unlikely to occur, do not be so sure. In 1954, Seattle had its Windshield Pitting Epidemic in which the population of Seattle started to believe there was some strange unknown power that was going around pitting and chipping their windshields. Was it ghosts, visitors from out of space, a right-wing conspiracy, a left-wing conspiracy, doing all this damage? There were many explanations put out and all demanded the governor and President do something about them. Within a year, all such demand eventually died down allowing for real research and investigation. Turns out, it was just normal wear and tear on windshields that no one noticed until someone did notice it and used it to sell newspapers. Though these events might sound ridiculous now, but how much different from the Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic is the recent Seattle delusion that it could create a small utopia or Summer of love simply by letting a bunch of radicals with guns takeover its CHAZ district and run it as a commune? Neither the Pitting nor the CHAZ epidemics were limited to the uneducated.
How the educated including the very well educated get caught in mass hysteria and collective delusion was first brought out to me empirically and not just historically by the Child Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. I was involved directly or indirectly for the defense team of a couple of them — the McMartin Preschool debacle in California and the Fells Acre Day Care debacles here in Massachusetts. During this time period, highly educated and wealthy but busy parents were going through the cultural transition of no longer taking care of their preschool children nor of any longer have family to take care of them — everyone was simply too busy with their careers. So, they would send their preschool children at a very early age to day-care centers to get the education and attention their children needed but they the parents did not have the time to give. As expected, the children were all very agitated by such experience that they saw as a lack of love by their parents and many became behavioral problems and developed delusions of their own about life and love. Who was to blame for these behavioral problems? Not the parents of course. All of a sudden, there occurred an explosion of accusations and prosecutions for child abuse by workers at some of these day care centers. Many innocent persons were wrongly charged and even convicted of false charges solely because a bunch of educated and wealthy parents could not accept responsibility for their bad parenting.
Such mass hysteria and delusion are not limited to small social groups. The argument can be made and has been made by many historians that World War I is a case of hysteria and collective delusion by what remained of the European royalty and their loyalist worshipers still in power in Europe in the early 20th Century. Without doubt, government by royalty was on its way out throughout Europe and Russia in the early part of the 20th Century. The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria — a possible heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian Emperor — by Serbian separatists was an unfortunate event and an insult to the Austro-Hungarian Empire but was it a threat to its sovereignty or of any other country’s sovereignty? Was it any more of a threat than the social movements throughout Europe demanding the elimination of royalty? Was it such a threat that it warranted a World War and the deaths of tens of millions of lives? No. From what I have read, the real Emperor did not even like this Archduke nephew and did not want to see him inherit his throne, so the assassin kinda did him a favor. World War I is a case of mass hysteria and collective delusion by not only the ruling classes of many countries but by the highly educated and very intelligent ruling classes and their intelligentsia and bureaucracy — they were much more educated and intelligent than almost anyone running the present ruling classes of either Europe or the United States. Given that many historians blame World War I as the foundation for World War II, we can see that the results and effects of mass hysteria and delusion among the ruling classes who in T.S. control the massive power of its technology are not something to be taken lightly.
In fact, much of the history of the Twentieth Century can be argued to be a series of ruling class mass delusions and hysteria. World War I (as a foundation for World War II — someday they will simply be called the 20th Century World War); fascism; communism? Just these three collective delusions are responsible for 300 – 500 million deaths. No collective delusion or hysteria by the uneducated ever reached these levels of killing.
This problem of ruling class social delusion and hysteria and its results and effects are only going to get worse. As I wrote previously in other essays, one of the differences between the power of the old ruling classes and the ruling class power in T.S. is that in order to maintain their power the Powers-that-be (“PTB”) of the Ancients and even up to the Age of Enlightenment were expected to maintain their power by leading at the front not just by delegation and technique. If the Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Royalty of World War I had to actually be in the trenches to fight that War in the same way Caesar, Alexander the Great, and even George Washington and Napoleon had to be, it could be argued they would not have been in such a hurry to start it nor to fight it and history would have been very different. If politicians and government employees were laid off work without pay in the same way small business owners and working class employees were thrown out during the last few months, guaranteed the lock-outs or lockdowns would have lasted for maybe a couple of weeks at worse and not for months.
The handling of the Chinese Virus over the last few months is a perfect example of how the problem of mass hysteria and collective delusion among the ruling classes and PTB can and most lightly will get worse. As I have analyzed in other writings, during the last few decades, science has stopped being science in the classical sense of being a source of explanation for anything. Hard science now solely provides descriptions giving pragmatic value or truth: it gives predictions that can be empirically tested and falsified. The best example of this is physics. It has two major descriptive theories worshiped by scientism: quantum mechanics and relativity. These are great theories with enormous pragmatic truth in their wordgame arenas. They are inconsistent with each other and are riddled with internal inconsistencies. So, what is the only truth physicists know about them: through proof by contradiction, they and we know they are both false and are not truthful explanations of anything outside their pragmatic value. This gets worse for the soft sciences and for a pseudo-science like virology and even for most of biology. Most of biology and almost all of virology are now stuck in the statistical and data science world of genetics whose only descriptions consist of statistical models or probability models; biology has in essence become glorified bookmaking different in degree but not in substance to the bookies at the local track or the bookmakers in Las Vegas creating odds for horse racing or for anything. Like bookies, virologists and most biologists in genetics are never proven wrong nor proven right nor can they be — if something goes wrong or right, simply change the assumptions in the statistical model so it will hopefully look aesthetically better next time. If a 50-1 horse wins, the bookie is not falsified because there is always a chance of any horse winning; but the odds of winning must be changed next time. If a 1-2 horse losses, again, the bookie is not falsified; sometimes even winners lose. Simply change the odds next time.
Bookies can live in such an arbitrary and random world because their goal in the end is not to be truthgivers giving explanations of why some horses win and some lose but to make money — they live in a pragmatic world firmly grounded in reality. This is not true for scientism and especially not true for those scientists who see themselves as truthgivers of explanations. They do not and cannot admit to being bookies. They are gods explaining the universe. Thus when they create a statistical model, it must be taken seriously as truth and outright dogma that negates, supercedes, or cancels out all other wordgames of reality including any opposition to their models and especially purely normative concepts such as freedom that cannot be quantified. This is a will to power need. Like the assassination of what should have been an insignificant member of a disappearing royal family, this will to power need should be at most one of countless factors used in a holistic political decision-making process and not a dispositive one. However, when this need serves and satisfies an equally fervent need for power and explanation held by a political PTB or ruling class, there is a perfect foundation for ruling class hysteria and collective delusion. Such mass hysteria and collective delusion is as qualitatively detrimental to the human soul and its freedoms as World War I was quantitatively to human population.
In the last few months, I have watched the people of the United States and most of Western Civilization become a bunch of sheep. They have willingly tossed away their freedom of speech, assembly, religion, petitioning of the government, and much more including losing their jobs and seemingly their economic future solely to give a bunch of bookies and the politicians who pay them a source of meaning in their selfish will-to-power lives. How sad. Hopefully at least, these same PTB will soon invent Soma so as to keep these sheep happy in their pens. “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.” — Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World”.