Waves of public hysteria


We seem particularly prone to these in the US.  The Germans tend to this as well.  "Welle." Is that the word in German?  

A few recent cases come to mind:

-The terrible fear of the end of civilized life that preceded the year 2,000.  

– The terrible fear of "the terrorists" that overwhelmed the country in the months after 9/11.  People hid out at home for weeks, refusing to go to work in places like the World Bank in Washington, DC.  People stared hostilely at each other on public transportation if there was anything unusual about a person's appearance.  "If you see something, say something."  Like a beard, perhaps

– The wave of insane trials in the 90s of the staff and owners of child day care centers for child molestation, satanic ritual, etc. on the basis of elicited testimony of three and four year olds.  A sample test question in court was "Is red heavier than yellow?"  Actual answer from a child witness – "Yes."  On the basis of such testimony many were sent to prison for long terms.  The public was quite happy with that.  No, the public was quite enthusiastic about it.

Now we have an MSM and social media induced madness over the death of St. George of Minnesota.  The craziness has led to successful mob demands for the destruction of historic monuments, toleration by business leaders of looting, and such whackiness as the proposed abolition of police forces and a reliance instead on the goodness of mankind.  The public, to include TeeVee executives have now meekly surrendered to the mob and are actually doing things like cancelling profitable programs that are about the police.  What are they going to do in the UK?  Half their programming seems to be about policing.  What will Her Majesty do if deprived of her favorite show, "Midsomer Murders?"


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37 Responses to Waves of public hysteria

  1. Bill H says:

    I still remember the Bush administration’s justification for torture. “We were terrified out of our minds that there might be another attack.” I could not understand how any grown man could make such an admission at all, much less think that it justified anything.

  2. Deap says:

    Covid threat reactions which remain deeply embedded in many people’s psyche was another example of rampant hysteria trumping facts. (No pun intended, it is just a good serviceable word)
    Common denominator: one’s personal confrontation with mortality and existential fears. Existential fears can never be taken away by outside forces, words, promises or even external changes. They are embedded deeply within us and each of us has to confront them solely on our own.
    At one time religious played a dominant role in responding and ameliorating existential fears. No longer. And this is what is now getting acted out in the covid hysteria and the BLM hysteria. There are too many lies and too many things avoided in this present blame scenario to be healing or functional at this time.
    But as long as the Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer types bow, kneel and “put on African garb” in appeasement – the need to make peace with one’s own existential fears and one’s own mortality is momentarily circumvented by their inauthentic side show. Black intellectuals laugh at this white preening. Black radicals just up the price for submission.
    We have let craziness lead to hot wars in the past, even within our own living memories. Because of existential fears tagging along with external fears. “Stopping communism which will destroy our way of life” – was that the only argument and was it ever valid?
    Maybe Marianne Williamson was more prescient that given credit in the DNC debates. She sensed a deep darkness in the US soul. Too bad she demanded it carry a partisan label. She failed her own better instincts when she did that.

  3. Deap says:

    The anecdote that captured the psychic angst of the present moment: “I am panicking because other people are panicking”. When asked why his shopping cart was stacked with toilet paper.

  4. akaPatience says:

    Should the reaction to climate change be added to the list?
    The previous FLOTUS recently told young people in a virtual commencement address, “don’t ever, ever let anyone tell you that you’re too angry, or that you ‘should keep your mouth shut’”. It’s been my observation that ever since her husband was elected POTUS, far too many young people seem to be in a state of perpetual anger, and it’s had a deleterious effect on their perspective on life. A certain degree of adolescent angst is natural, a rite of passage, but the situation has become extreme. Pessimism is now pathological, and that’s the way far-leftists seem to want it: Anger>Pessimism>Fear is a preferred dynamic.
    Five years ago I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for a friend, some of her kids and their friends. All throughout the evening I heard one grievance after another coming from the young people. There was no optimism whatsoever, everything was doom and gloom. I tend a little towards skepticism and pessimism myself but felt like a Pollyanna in comparison. Sheesh, what downers, yet they were all comfortably situated in the middle to upper-middle class. It was scary in a way. Ever notice how much dystopian/end-of-the-world entertainment geared towards Millennials there’s been in the past decade? Between that and what they’re evidently being taught in schools, is it any wonder many of them have such a gloomy outlook on life?
    Invoking, manipulating young people to be perpetually angry, pessimistic and fearful seems to be one tool by which far-leftists keep the pressure on to have Big Brother make it all better for them. Optimists and even realists are ridiculed anymore.

  5. Deap says:

    John 8:32 King James Version (KJV)
    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  6. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Many White people, in my experience, think themselves superior to Beige people as well as Browns and Yellows of this world.
    I always found that amusing although somewhat grating.
    I think long centuries of Western European ascendancy had gotten into their heads.

  7. Deap says:

    A black comedian’s wry take on white guilt virtue-signaling: https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/white-guilt-comedian-virtue-signalling

  8. tedrichard says:

    how is what has happened the past few weeks in various americans cities meaningfully different than the salem witch trials of 1692-3?
    from my living room window…………no difference.
    it appears history repeats because the sentiments of human beings never change irrespective of their education.
    hard to believe we are the dominant specie on the planet and it says a lot for number 2.

  9. BillWade says:

    Not being racist can have it’s perks. I was in one of the miserable Tampa DMV’s and the aircon was barely working and the line was about an hour & 1/2. To pass the time I spoke to a much older than me Black lady in line just behind me. We had a great time talking that lasted about 15 minutes. I turned back around facing to the front of the line when another Black woman sitting at a desk motioned for me to come over. She was not part of the “line process”. She had me give her my plate renewal documents and had me out of there in a few minutes. The weird thing about it was that she seemed hostile towards me, as if she was mad that I had been nice to someone.
    I do believe a lot of Black people know the difference between a conservative White non-racist and a liberal White racist. The former will speak to them as they normally speak to anyone, while the latter will simplify their language assuming the Black person is not as bright as they are.
    President Trump was well onto his agenda of getting everybody employed until the virus. The regime does not like this, not at all.
    I see Joe Biden wants to fund the police. He’ll now have to deal with the Minneapolis Sunrise Movement. They have two people who “think” Biden molested them.

  10. Jack says:

    Let’s not forget the evil Russians in our bathrooms hysteria.
    It seems that hysteria is the business model of our media enterprises who have now been successfully consolidated into a handful. Add in social media and any rumor can be amplified.
    As an octogenarian too, I have noticed that Americans have become progressively much more easily frightened. Of course I remember the fear that led to the left’s god FDR interning Japanese-Americans just because of their ethnic heritage. I knew some of them as they went to school with me. They knew very little about Japan except what we all learned at school. I recall both my Dad and my grandpa saying one day it would be any of us. My grandpa was labeled a traitor for publicly speaking out against that. We’re there now with the surveillance state. I would recommend this interview and her book.
    We should not forget that market consolidation and the growth in mass surveillance by both mega-corporations and the state is a bi-partisan affair. Both the left & right want it to serve their own purposes. It is only an ever shrinking minority remaining that wants sound money, a truly competitive market economy, limited government that acts as a referee and liberty over safety.

  11. Diana Croissant says:

    First of all, I might suggest that instead of “welle” for “as well,” a German might use “eben so” or “auch” depending on the construction of the German sentence.
    As a nation with a large population with Anglo-Saxon heritage, there are many Germanic people living here. I am really Germanic myself, as my heritage on both my father’s and my mother’s side is German having come to America during the wave of immigrants from the Volga and Black Sea area, as they escaped the Bolsheviks.
    I just wish more Blacks would take the leap and begin to exit large cities and try to find a way to live in fly over country in small towns and more western and rural areas where there is not a large population of people who have grown up learning to be prejudices against them.
    I don’t know, though. Everyone always calls me naive.
    But, I grew up in a rural school district in which half my class was Hispanci. We even had a few Japanese families, along with the many Caucasian students. As a young child, my parents impressed on my sister and bother and me that we are all God’s children. They, themselves, had faced some prejudice as young people when they grew up being called “dirty Roosians” because they dressed the way Russian peasants dressed, though they were really of German heritage and spoke old-fashioned German having been in Russia for a century in some cases farming the Volga River areas and the Black sea are after Alexander I took that from the Ottomans.
    So, having endured some prejudice when they came here, they made sure we did not ever return the prejudice.
    And, I have to give credit also to my excellent Social Studies and History teachers for their efforts to eradicate any signs of prejudice from our minds.
    The problem for me was that in our part of the country, I never saw a Black person or met one until I was in college, when one brave young man came to our lily white teacher’s college from Denver.
    My major tendency to be prejudiced in any way comes from having to read about the Hispanic gangs that have always been in this area and which are still causing some mayhem around here.
    In college sociology class we were given a small book on the concept of “machismo” in some Hispanic cultures–which somehow was meant to explain the many knife fights that occurred or even the hair pulling female fights over boys involving Hispanic teenagers.
    But, as I mentioned, I also had a pretty large circle of friends, many of whom were Hispanic and whom I had known and associated with all my life.
    The Blacks we read about in the news from the big Eastern cities and some from California, for example, are enigmas to me. I have also had to read sociological papers in college in regard to them, but without ever experiencing any interactions with them, I can’t say I am prejudiced or not prejudiced.
    I sure loved the movie “Glory” and I was captivated recently by the three-part History Channel documentary on Grant. I know Blacks mostly from that sort of vicarious learning. It does make me sad to know intellectually that the ghetto areas have to be extremely hard to grow up in. I did end up once as a passenger coming out of Baltimore’s airport car rental garage, that we were told to be extremely careful about what routes we should and should not take. It was strange to be warned like that. Then later I watched the Freddie Gray stuff on Television, and it broke my heart.

  12. turcopolier says:

    Diana Croissant
    Does not “welle” also mean “wave?” As an admirer of Sam Grant you may be pleased to know that Christ Church in Alexandria where both the Washington and Lee families owned pews is removing all traces of the two families from the church. I saw a cartoon today of Northam as a statue in black face standing atop the pediment of Lee’s statue. That pleased me. BTW Grant was not interested in the fate of the Blacks. I watched the first hour of that mini-series and it was so ahistorical that I did not watch the rest.

  13. Laura Wilson says:

    Diana Croissant — Did you mean ahistorical in fact or just not agreeing with what you had learned x# of years ago? John Meacham is not a schlock historian. You might want to read his book on Grant. New documents are being discovered and reviewed all the time…history is NOT a piece of granite…it changes and is enlarged and is enhanced as discoveries are made and our understandings grow. Otherwise, why would ANYONE study it…no change is boring.

  14. h says:

    I am unable to send you an email or reply to your email b/c I’m thinking this is not your email address – outlook_3600CF67F88D40E6@outlook.com Or is it? The emails I have sent w/pictures keep kicking back and it’s that outlook address I received from you via your email. Maybe you could spell out your email in the email…maybe? h

  15. Valissa says:

    A counterterrorism expert on Laura Ingraham’s show last Wednesday night encouraged viewers to do online searches of these 2 movements from the 60’s since today’s groups have similarities of ideology… there goes history rhyming again…
    The Weather underground and their Prairie Fire statement https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3469-a-second-wind-for-weather-underground-the-prairie-fire-statement
    The Black Panthers 10 point plan… https://theblackdetour.com/black-panther-party-10-point-plan/

  16. Diana Croissant says:
  17. Mathias Alexander says:

    To what extent can these things be manufactured and who might havve an interest in doing so?

  18. HK Leo Strauss says:

    The Beebs coppers all have a personality, know their classics and brave the world unarmed.
    In the US, Hollywood has singularly been the NRAs greatest asset. It started with Rambos practically elevated prose and sank from there. Now it’s all SWAT, SEALs and super G-Men all the time on every channel. It’s a wonder Elmo doesn’t pack heat on Sesame Street.
    One person elsewhere was wailing about liberals ending Blue Bloods. A show with a first episode opening to the lead detective torturing a suspect, followed by his father Chief (Tom Selleck) lecturing his uppity daughter (a DA) about Enhanced Interrogation. That only took 10 seasons to kill.

  19. English Outsider says:

    Diana – have asked around my German friends and such usages as “Eine Welle der Angst” (“a wave of fear”) are common. “Anfall” seems to be the expression that would be used for individuals.
    So far, judging by what I’ve seen and heard, the Germans as a society handled the virus better by far than we in England did. Simple stuff, like getting medical gear in faster and trying to ensure that the disease didn’t get into care homes. That last is particularly important. Some other countries, Sweden and the UK among them, weren’t so careful in that respect (neither was New York from what I’ve read!) and got hammered.
    And Mrs Merkel, even to me because I really dislike her politics, was plain impressive when communicating what was being done and why on TV. Also the Germans don’t seem to have run their health system down as much as we have so they had a better basis to start from.
    You’d have to be a health expert to come up with a better-informed assessment but I reckon they come out well ahead on this one. As for “waves of fear” I think they could do with a bit more of that. The virus has hit the already dodgy economies of some other European countries hard. Unless the Germans dig deep into their pockets and get some cash over to the derelict Southern countries the EZ’s a goner, and with it the entire trading model the German economy relies on.

  20. turcopolier says:

    HK Leo Strauss
    You don’t watch enough Brit TeeVee. These days the DCI of lowly origin but public spirit goes into the house after the Armed Police break the door down. Not too many gentleman detectives any more. There was one a while back about a “belted earl” (never understood the belted part)who was a Detective Inspector in the Met. Funny.

  21. turcopolier says:

    Diana Croissant
    It is true that history continues to evolve but a lot of the really good books are quite old. The old, old trilogy on Grant by Lewis and Catton is IMO the best. As I said to you before, Sam Grant was really a ne’er do well who had a single talent which he did not even appreciate or like. He was a master of the art of war. This was largely sprung from his nature. He did not read much, and was a poor student at WP where the education was mainly about engineering. He did well in Mexico as a kid lieutenant because his whole being blossomed when he could hear the sound of the guns. The CW saved him from a life of mediocrity by giving him a canvas on which to paint. He did drink a lot but you know the famous Lincoln quote about that. Having said that I will affirm that IMO only he and George Thomas had the inner steel to beat Bobby Lee and his “boys.” Thomas was a Virginian and politically could not be given supreme command. Grant’s unbroken string of victories in the West made him the obvious choice after Meade failed to beat Lee in the autumn of 1863. Lee was embarrassed to say at Appomattox that he could not remember Grant from Mexico. It would have been “convenient” to “remember” but the Marble Man didn’t have it in him. After Lee left the house to go back to sit alone in his tent, Grant sent over to the Confederate position to invite Longstreet and several more of his old pals to a poker game that night. The two men were very different. Do you know much about the war itself, or like some people do you only seek to understand its politics? BTW the mob in Boston defaced the monument to Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts. On the subject of Black Union troops, the 54th was probably the best of them. The rest (200,000) had a tough time. Union commanders generally had little confidence in them and used them for rear area security with a few exceptions most notably at the Crater where they took a hell of a beating.

  22. Seneschal says:

    “Many White people, in my experience, think themselves superior to Beige people as well as Browns and Yellows of this world.”
    I’ve experienced that myself but does this include Persian white people, or are they exceptional in your experience? Having worked among the Beige, the Browns and the Yellows in their own lands, I’ve yet to encounter a tribe that doesn’t include members who think their tribe is superior to all the rest. Such will always be the case so long as human beings drink from different wells.

  23. turcopolier says:

    Do you see the e-mail me button just under my picture? Every troll in the world finds it.

  24. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you and I consider myself Beige.
    Before living in the United States I never paid attention to race as a component of my identity – and I think that is also true in India.
    But the United States is quite clearly a race-conscious society and she has taken that race-consciousness with her and spread it where she has gone.
    East Asians, certainly Korean and Japanese, in my experience, are also race-conscious societies but lacking US dominance, have not been the major cause of elevated levels of this consciousness – however false it might be, as the Western Diocletians.
    And I want to be clear that by race I mean defining external physical characteristics of human beings.
    Tribalism is quite evident in Southern Persian Gulf, the way they treat non-Arabs – they are the biggest bigots around – probably right up there with Hindu Brahmins.

  25. AK says:

    HK Leo Strauss,
    The Beebs coppers in London also recently literally turned tail and ran away from a crowd of angry protesters and sought refuge in the Foreign Ministry office building.
    Perhaps they don’t necessarily “brave” the world unarmed after all, and might be better served with enhanced means to protect themselves. From what I’ve read, this all started when they tried to arrest a black person. Not clear as to the alleged offense, but nonetheless, this is what unarmed police are forced to do, eventually. If they value their own lives, that is.

  26. Diana Croissant says:

    The comparison I would make about Grant to another person–though a fictional person–is to Forrest Gump. (And Forrest Gump is the representative of my generation’s Vietnam veterans: many guys called up by the turn of a dial.) Grant just seems to be a person who stumbled his way into fame. His father sent in his application to West Point and didn’t tell him until the application had been accepted. The History Channel series made it clear that as a young boy others called him Useless Grant.
    Having never lived near more sophisticated society myself, I understand that there are many people who just don’t fit the mold, so to speak, of a person destined for greatness through “breeding’ and because of his/her demeanor and whatever else makes a person catch everyone’s respect. But..and there is always a “but”…sometimes, as Robert Frost wrote: “how hard it is to keep from being king when it’s in you and in the situation.”
    I always, instead go to the Bible: “Time and chance happens to all.”
    Lincoln needed a general who would fight, and that general was Grant, despite his personal shortcomings.
    Having grown up around horses, I liked that the series emphasized that he was an excellent horseman; and in the Civil War, that was a great advantage for a general. I understand people who are in “tune” with horses. My father was the one others brought their horses to when those horses were to be “broken” for riding. My older sister competed in barrel racing until she was 72. Then she gave away her gorgeous horse (who had some Seabiscuit blood in him) to a woman whom she judged would take care of him best and handle him best.
    I’m always drawn to the unlikely winners. I would see that happen all the time as I taught about 225 students a year all those years in public schools. I’m referring to kids who end up doing something that surprises everyone since no one expects them to do it. (But, I do have to admit that in academics the valedictorian and salutatorian each year was an Asian kid.)

  27. Seneschal says:

    “Thank you and I consider myself Beige.”
    Come on, Babak… How convenient for you… You and I both know Iranians are neither ‘beige’ nor ‘brown.’ I’m reminded of the kind of ‘white’ people you were referring to in your earlier post who argue about whether or not Greeks are white or not. I might be able to tell the difference between a Persian and a Greek but I daresay many from outside those regions could not and, dim-witted Aryan(!)-identifying fantasists aside, we both know Greeks are ‘white.’ I’m also reminded of another tribe of ‘whites’ who conveniently shed that identity as and when it suits them. In all the years I’ve observed this committee, I never had you down as a member of team victimhood, Babak.
    “Before living in the United States I never paid attention to race as a component of my identity – and I think that is also true in India.”
    There are those in the north of India who still consider themselves to be better than their southern ‘brown’ neighbours by virtue of their complexion. I may be wrong but I believe those northerners trace their ancestral heritage back to a certain empire that also took in your ancestral neck of the woods?
    “But the United States is quite clearly a race-conscious society and she has taken that race-consciousness with her and spread it where she has gone.”
    With the first part I agree. Still, you’re an educated fellow. Surely you can rise above it? Or have the God-haters sucked you in now too? Who seeks to profit from this discord? As for the second, the Americans had no need to export it. It already existed wherever you could care to look for it. It is a sickness within mankind and there is nothing particularly American about it.
    “East Asians, certainly Korean and Japanese, in my experience, are also race-conscious societies but lacking US dominance, have not been the major cause of elevated levels of this consciousness – however false it might be, as the Western Diocletians.”
    Indeed they are. I’ve spent time among both and also with the Chinese or, I should say, the Han – I can’t say I encountered many of the Chinese untouchables (aka non-Han) in my line of work.
    For what it’s worth, the well I drink from is in the east and I’m no supporter of the ‘enlightened’ mode of thought or the Athenaeum. Do you think the God-haters will spare me because I’m ‘white?’ No, Babak. They’ll come for us all in the end…
    “Tribalism is quite evident in Southern Persian Gulf, the way they treat non-Arabs – they are the biggest bigots around – probably right up there with Hindu Brahmins.”
    Yes, I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of working with the gulfies. At least I was held in higher regard than the Indians (clerical workers), the Pakistani’s (taxi drivers), the Bangladeshi’s (construction fodder) and the Filipinos (maids). I guess you could call that a privilege.
    My advice to you, Sir, is not to follow those lost souls into the desert. You and they are not on the same team.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Diana Criossanr
    Forest Gump was an imbecile. Grant was nothing like that.

  29. Mark Logan says:

    I think Grant’s problem was he was unwilling to play the games the other officers played to advance through the officer ranks in the peacetime army. His main “shortcoming” being he didn’t particularly care what others thought of him. A shortcoming common among those who insist on doing their own thinking.

  30. Babak makkinejad says:

    Of course they are all wrong and misguided.
    Fermi went to see the Secretary of the Navy (in regards to the Atom Bomb) and the sargent there went to and told the Secretary, “There is a Dago here to see you.”
    And then there were Armenians who were considered as “Darkies” by millions of people in the United States.
    Of course those were all misguided and benighted people but their racialist fakeries did not prevent those fakeries from materially and spiritualy harming others.
    I normally can tell the difference between Greeks and Iranians, they are generally lighter and the men more frequently more handsome than Iranians.
    My desination of myself as Beige is just an attempt to distinguish my physical features from, say, an Irishman. He would walk to his mail box outside of his house to pickup his mail and summer sun of Chicago would burn the ridge of his nose.
    In the United States, race was also and has been mixed up with Religion. One has to be a Protestant of some sort to be considered White. The epitome of it is visible among American Mormons, when they meet a Black or Brown Mormon and they are just shocked!
    I think, at some point, likely after Renaissance, Western Diocletian people moved to a mental position that they considered marriage to non-European people to be akin to sacrilege.
    Had Jefferson married Sally Henning, that act would have destroyed him socially. Who knows, it would have obliterated his intellectual legacy as well.
    Muslims were never so, they married into races all over the world and thus transmitted their culture and civilization to Africans (Sahel) and Javanese.
    Among Diocletians and among Muslims or Orientals, we are encountering civilizational patterns that are quite old and thus that much difficult to alter.
    Yes, in India, popular culture and Bollywood actors and actresses from the North are considered handsomest. I think Malialis and Telugu are also quite attractive people. It must be the lighter skin complexion of the Northerners.
    All of this, I find amusing.

  31. doug says:

    Been going on a long time. Charles MacKay said it well:
    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

  32. LJ says:

    Now that rioting is now officially a “thing,” I have for some time feared that it will be escalated to heights we can not yet imagine. More specifically, having watched the Hong Kong “freedom” rioters at work sponsored by our own State Department and their color revolutions operatives, I have wondered if those methods will be repatriated. Now this:

  33. Seán says:

    Yes, indeed. If the 19th century Glaswegian journalist, Charles Mackay, were to be writing his 1841 monograph, ” Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” today, it would run to at least a dozen volumes. Some things never change.

  34. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Babak wrote above:
    “One has to be a Protestant of some sort to be considered White.”
    I have lived in America since the 1940s, and I must say that comment is stunningly ignorant.
    There certainly is a group called, very reasonably, the WASPs,
    but that is just a proper subset of the white population.
    Examples of prominent non-Protestant, but Christian, white Americans would include John F. Kennedy, his relatives, Patrick Buchanan, and Kevin B. MacDonald, not to mention the host of this blog.
    Would any of them be considered non-white?
    That is a laughable thought.

  35. A.I.S. says:

    “Panik-Welle” or “Hysterie-Welle” would be the german expression.
    I also think it is quasi religious. The religion is “white guilt”. I find it a pretty obnoxiously stupid one, which will produce far less in terms of artistic value then any actual religion.
    As far as racism goes, it is an offshoot of the pretty universal concept of xenophobia which is a thing nearly everywhere because the possible drawbacks of trusting strangers tended to exceed the possible benefits of trusting them. One can make a claim that the need for Xenophobia decreases, because mankind is becoming increasingly more alike (we can like, actually talk with each other now which was far more of an issue back then).
    As far as slavery goes, slavery is caused when one grouping of people has more economic and military capabilities then another grouping of people. They then enslave people from the other community, essentially stealing/Robbing their labor.
    The interplay with racism is more that racism keeps the polices the borders between these groups, thus preventing slaves from assimilating towards their “masters” (this has arguably been the case for the Irish and their English overlords). Racism also limits the “carrer choices” of the enslaved population (military slavery like the Jannisarries or the Mamelucks would have been unthinkable in the south), but its not a neccesary let alone a sufficient requirement for slavery.

  36. Jack says:

    Doug and Sean,
    Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, and Charles Kindleberger’s book “Manias, Panics and Crashes” are must reads if one is to be a good investor. Unfortunately economic history has been removed from the course work at many economics departments replaced with the “science” of mathematical modeling. The Fed is home to hundreds of Ph.Ds and run by them for decades. Under their century of monetary policy management the purchasing power of the savings of our grandparents has been eroded by over 95%. The Ph.Ds seem convinced that the capriciousness of human behavior can be modeled in their mathematical equations. However, their actions over the past couple decades show they’ve drunk their own koolaid and become completely unmoored from both historical experience and common sense.

  37. Deap says:

    Y2K – was another doozy of a mass, we are all gonna die, hysteria.
    Radio broadcast of War of the Worlds – 1930’s?
    Good to plot out these cyclic mass hysteria patterns and triggers. Maybe we can predict and prevent the next ones. Or stop over-reacting and making their cures worse than the perceived but inchoate threat.
    Some sort of helplessness – real or imagined – seems to be the common denominator before the exaggerated responses kick in.
    Camus “The Plague” remains highly instructional too – the emergence of Karens as self-appointed spiritual guides during these times of hysteria – what did the Greeks say about the unleashing of these primal forces?

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