The Custodial State

One of the weirder aspects of the Covid panic was how every corporation decided they needed to do their duty with regards to panic. In many respects, they were the primary fear mongers, as people interface with corporations multiple times a day, while it is possible to tune out the government. For most people, the yammering meat sticks in the media are just the background noise of life. The corporation, on the other hand, is the safety rails of their life, guiding them as hey go about their business.

Shortly after the politicians declared mass panic, every retail chain was busy putting up signs, setting up social distancing protocols and training an army of harpies to lecture people about the need to be safe. The banal overhead music was replaced with endless chants about how much they cared and wanted you to be safe. Those declarations were followed by the robot voice telling you to obey the latest edicts from the CDC about social distancing and dousing yourself in alcohol gel.


The weird part about it was not that it was right out of dystopian science fiction movies where people live in high tech penal colonies. What was weird is no one noticed that we were suddenly thrust into high tech day care centers. The fact that corporations would take the lead was just expected. Something similar happened with the antiwhite pogroms launched after George Floyd. It was corporate America leading the war on white people through ads, TV shows, sporting events and movies.

Again, the remarkable thing about this is not that corporate America is hyper-political now, but that everyone just accepts it without notice. Here is a story by Matt Taibbi about YouTube censoring someone named Bret Weinstein. He walks through the travails of Mr. Weinstein and other Covid skeptics who have been harried by faceless censors on social media platforms. It is a weird blend of passive-aggressiveness and technological superficiality. It is Kafka meets Hal 9000.

The thing that Taibbi does not mention is why these companies suddenly think it is their duty to police what people say. All of the heads of these tech firms regular say they have a duty to police what people say on their platforms. The retail chains that decorated their stores with Covid stuff took the same stance. They were doing their duty by pushing you around in their stores. It was not profit or the satisfaction of their shareholders at the top of their list. It was your safety.

We have gone from a world where private companies should have the right to regulate what happens in their firms because property rights are essential, to a world where they must regulate what happens because the public good demands it. In the blink of an eye, all of corporate America is of one mind on all issues and they volunteer to be on the front lines of the fight over those issues. America is now a massive daycare center run by corporations acting like matronly old hens.

It turns out that C. S. Lewis got it exactly right when he said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

The custodial state turns out to be worse than the authoritarian state imagined by Orwell, because there is no face to the enemy. In 1984, it was Big Brother who ruled with an iron fist for his own sake. In the custodial state it is an invisible network of mother hens with unlimited resources. With one hand they dispense the pleasures of life and with the other hand they grab you by the scruff and make sure you eat your broccoli before leaving the table. All we see is the hand, never the face.

Because they are faceless, there is also no way to appeal to their humanity, their sense of fair play or the rules they claim to follow. When YouTube bans you from their platform, they issue a form of “Because I’m your mother and I say so” when you try to appeal their decision. When the bank shuts down your bank account, they make sure to inform you that this hurts them more than it hurts you. Declaring themselves a selfless nanny of the custodial state makes it all right.

The custodial state is the sensibilities of women armed with the weapons and power created by men. This is what lies behind the popular lunacies of Critical Race Theory, wokeness and white fragility. Every one of these is pushed by a thousand perfumed hands as a way to show how much they care for all of their children. Stripped of the Marxist jargon, it is nothing more than a mother standing over her children telling them to play nice and share their toys with one another.

In the Assemblywomen, the 4th century BC playwright Aristophanes described a world in which the women of Athens gained control of the government. Before long the city fell into a chaos that is familiar to us today. Men were wearing their wives’ clothing, ugly women were demanding that men see them as attractive and, of course, everyone was supposed to share their good with the community. In short order the normal rhythms of Athenian life give way to the chaos of female tyranny.

Aristophanes never explained how it ended, because it was just assumed that no such thing could last very long. That was what made the play a comedy. America will soon find out how a gynocratic custodial state ends. Maybe modern people are happy to sink quietly into the darkness of infantilization. Rather than take up their posts in the adult world, they prefer to live like children, a modern Eloi. The collapsing fertility rates and increasing dependency suggest the end of us is a form of crib death.

“‘It seemed to me that I had happened upon humanity upon the wane. The ruddy sunset set me thinking of the sunset of mankind. For the first time I began to realize an odd consequence of the social effort in which we are at present engaged. And yet, come to think, it is a logical consequence enough. Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness. The work of ameliorating the conditions of life—the true civilizing process that makes life more and more secure— had gone steadily on to a climax. One triumph of a united humanity over Nature had followed another. Things that are now mere dreams had become projects deliberately put in hand and carried forward. And the harvest was what I saw!”

–The Time Machine

by The Zman