Well, that’s over with then. For the past two months and a half, the world existed in a very strange state where Americans actually enjoyed more freedoms than Russians.
Where Moscovites -— and Russians in two dozen other Russian regions — are subject to orders that 60 percent of hospitality sector workers in each company vaccinate or face terminations, the Americans in the private sector were not subject to any such government demands.
Biden has directed The Occupational Safety and Health Administration to draw up the paperwork that will require every private business in the US with 100 workers or more to either have them vaccinated, tested weekly, or to fire them.
That is every single worker in every single company with at least one hundred employees. That is 80 million people (40% of whom unvaccinated) minus anyone who can secure a religious or medical exemption.
This is by an order of magnitude more expansive than Russia’s forced vaccine freak show which makes demands “only” on workers in the hospitality sector in a minority of regions, and even then demands a “mere” 60 percent compliance. (Albeit Biden allows a testing loophole but which can easily be closed in a later escalation.)
We are Russophiles here at Anti-Empire so we objected even to such a comparatively “mild” forced vax program because there is nothing that pisses us off more than somebody trying to stomp on Russian dignity, but it turns out we are also Americanophiles because I find myself just as scandalized by Biden trying to trample on Americans and their freedoms.
Of course as many understand that is precisely the point. Biden supporters equate the unvaccinated with the deplorables and draw immense pleasure from getting to exercise power against them through the person of Biden. This has nothing to do with the virus. This is Biden having the supposed cultural and moral inferiors ripped by lions to win the cheer of the liberal superiority complex gallery.
I would say that he has no chance of accomplishing this, but I would have also said last March that COVID derangement would have largely subsided by now, yet here I am 18 months later sitting in a lockdown (face diapers, 10 PM curfew, no bars/movies/bowling/karaoke, PCR to board a boat or airplane) so I’m not going to say anything of the sort.
At least the Russian forced vax scheme was launched for much more mundane reasons. Here was United Russia heading into the summer before the election which rising and soon-to-be-record infection and death rates. This wasn’t a good look for a ruling party that had previously declared victory over the virus and had largely put it in the rear-view mirror. Thus they unchained Sobyanin (who represents the COVID derangement wing of the ruling set) in a half-hearted attempt to stem the tide, or at least to deflect responsibility from themselves. It was tyrannical, hypocritical and a power overreach, and Anti-Empire fought it tooth and nail (even if that rubbed some readers the wrong way), but at least it was pre-election security theater, rather than the radical, all-encompassing militarization of the culture war that Biden has announced.
Will the DNC mascot really succeed in marshaling administrative resources to thoroughly humiliate the enemies of the snotty American liberals? I don’t know, he certainly looks bent on giving it a go.
Incidentally, the US liberals have fought militarized culture wars against imagined ignorant, retrograde, deplorables before — in the Empire’s 1990s wars in the Balkans.
But there’s only so much joy you can draw from waging war on foreign deplorables, it’s much more of a dopamine rush crushing domestic troglodytes you’re much more familiar with (albeit not necessarily terribly knowledgeable about either). And thus the American liberal war against the caveman comes home, to be fought not with bombs but with syringes, PCR tests, the banishment from public spaces, and the depriving of livelihoods.
As a man who wasn’t an American liberal but easily could have been put it:
“The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters.”