IS trickery afoot? The more we co-operate with the Government’s lockdown measures, the more trapped we become. We are in a bind. Are we entangled in a trick, ruse or scheme, a confidence trick?
The success of any con trick, long or short, is predicated on the willingness of the mark (‘victim’) to go along with it. The mark always gives freely to the conman; the conman never forcibly takes from the mark. The mark’s reward is promised and not delivered, but what the mark hands over to the conman is not illusory, it is very real.
The deeper the mark’s commitment to the con, the tighter the trap becomes. A competent conman will cast a spell upon the mark, who then will unrepentantly beg for involvement.
A truly accomplished conman will convince the mark that it was all the mark’s idea to begin with. The perfect con is rare; its very existence remains undiscovered by the mark to the end of his days.
The con fails abruptly and completely as soon as the mark bails out. But he must do this before he fully commits, and he must terminate any further associations with the conman immediately.
Otherwise, the con ends only when the conman’s performance is brought to climax. We conclude that the best way to deal with a conman is to disengage, walk away and don’t look back. A truth learned: the energy required to free oneself from a trap can be less than the energy expended to keep oneself in it.
Fearful, cornered, desperate and insecure people are always more susceptible to being conned. Is that not the case for many people after a year of lockdowns? What exactly are they willing to do to ‘regain’ their freedoms? What will be promised to them and never fulfilled?
A con’s success is crucially dependent upon the weakness (deficiency) of the mark in terms of their character – their fickle ethics and morals, naivety, or underlying proclivities for vice and malfeasance.
The conman is a facilitator; he merely exploits and promotes the murky aspects of the mark. One could say the mark is as guilty as the conman.
The Covid lockdowns have revealed a fatal flaw: the pathological craving for certainty.
Crowds, groupthink and daily government briefings offer certainty. Politicians and technocrats sell certainty.
One of the motivating pillars of science, philosophy – and indeed all learning processes – is doubt, the opposite of certainty. The primary objective of any conman is to remove doubt, so the mark’s convictions become resolved and unassailable.
This may explain the one-sided mainstream media coverage of lockdowns, and the wholesale sanctioning of it on television and in newsprint.
But for those outside the mainstream – and there are many – they took one look at that huckster, said their goodbyes and walked away. Let’s hope that more follow suit.