I was reminded recently that this, in the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Rat. (I know little of the Chinese calendar except what I’ve read on the placemats of some of our favorite Chinese buffets.) Knowing nothing of the significance of these year-names, I find the name quite appropriate for the “anno horribis” that is 2020, as of the middle of June.
As far as I can tell, the rats are in the ascendancy this year. Actually, several species of rats: the Ratus Dexter (Right-wing rats) AND the Ratus Sinister (Left-wing rats); gray and brown and black – or if you prefer, red and blue and “fake” black (the falsely-named anarchists and Antifa and nihilists).
Together, these rats have given us:
a. The Beer Flu (novel coronavirus) Pandemic itself – courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party, leading to
b. The Pandemic Panic around the world, which became the excuse for the worldwide Lockdown, which first triggered
c. Global economic collapse, and also, at least in the Fifty States,
d. The Lockdown Rebellion, pushing back against the rats in city halls, county courthouses, and statehouses (or at least governor’s mansions) in many of the Fifty States, but was aborted (or murdered in its infancy) by
e. The increased levels of Jackbooted thuggery in many cities, as the cops were used to punish the scofflaws of the Rebellion, and a heightened awareness of the murderous nature of “law enforcement,” (coupled with the fear and anger of the Lockdown and economic collapse) resulting in
f. The Twenty-dollar Rebellion, protesting and then rioting with the excuse of George Floyd’s (and other’s) murder, giving rise to
g. Massive looting and destruction of business and government buildings in cities across the Fifty States, distracting everyone from such minor things as the Lockdown, the economic collapse, the pandemic, and the growing mental deterioration of one (or perhaps BOTH) of the leading candidates for Massa this year.
Oh, yes, from their perspective, the rats have so much to be proud of. Some of the Big Daddy Rats seem to getting much of what they have worked for. For decades – indeed, most of a century. They have gnawed their way into every part of American (and world) society, bringing with the all the diseases and other evils always associated with rats.
In particular, they have created excuses for everything their little beady eyes lust after:
a. The perhaps fatal wounding of Main Street (High Street in the UK) and the elevation of Wall Street to even greater preeminence.
b. A surveillance police state that exceeds the imaginings of 1984 and Brave New World and V for Vendetta all rolled together, all with the wonderful excuse of “saving lives” and “it’s for the chilluns.”
c. Reignited the horrific racial divides which (despite Obummer’s efforts) were in process of being patched.
d. Provided multiple excuses for a massive and long-term crackdown on liberties across the board, And not just those guaranteed (supposedly) by the First and Second Amendments. And even better, the crackdown can be claimed to be in the form of blowback against the various revolts, rebellions, and such.
e. Yet another version of fascism – the cooperation and union between big government and big business that has always been a key feature of this particularly-nasty form of socialism.
So we can see that bad as they were even in 2019, or 1999, or 1949 or 1919, the rat swarm is nearly overwhelming today. And like real rats (genus rattus of whatever species), they are parasites, voracious and vicious consumers of virtually everything, destroying more than they consume, and spreading disease (moral, figurative, and actual biological) everywhere. Again, I point out, we see the rat packs (many, many of them) are nearly overwhelming here in 2020.
Nearly. But not completely.
We will always have rats with us, as Jim deGriz was wont to state. (DeGriz is the fictional Stainless Steel Rat of science fiction.) But they CAN be keep under control – to be a nuisance and a health problem, like litter or flash floods, to be limited and vigilant about. Not a cataclysm that (as it is now) destroys communities and lives.
BUT only if we are willing to take the necessary action to deal with them. You don’t reason or compromise with rats. You don’t tame them, or find “useful roles” for them. No one ever said “what we need is more rats to deal with this problem.”
No, you kill rats. Again and again and again. Even though you are going to miss a few.
And we can still do that in 2020. Things are getting close to that point. Closer.
And as much as possible, you take away – even destroy – their habitat. You remove their readily available (and preferred) food sources. You destroy their breeding and nesting grounds. You poison their food, you trap and kill them, you shoot them. You find adversaries – animals that prey on the rats, but that are smart enough to work well with others and understand their limits: you do not use rats to catch and kill rats: you use species that are firmly allied to humans: dogs and cats especially.
And we can do the same thing with these human rats. And the very things that have made this a horrible year can be tools, and steps, in that direction. Take away the funding, take away the breeding grounds (the university campuses and even the secondary and primary schools) and their preferred habitat, the massive, overcrowded, stinking, polluted urban cores. You slash the size of their nests and packs by reducing (and eliminating) government programs and jobs. And you poison their food by teaching truth and not fables or fake news or propaganda. And you raise up adversaries – people with the moral compass (and fiber) not to simply take over the ecological (societal) niche of the rats they are removing.
Not easy. Of course, it never has been. But ultimately, it has to be done.
And how is the time to start.