When kings know that they themselves are dying

Reading the first few pages of Joel Mokyr's book, “The gifts of Athena: Historical origins of the knowledge economy”.

Published in 2002, this book highlights an obvious phenomenon in 2022:

No king of this world knew about Covid before it happened.

And no king of this world knows how to stop Covid.

For all mankind's boasts about having subjugated, tamed and exploited the natural world to serve human beings' appetite for material comfort, once again mankind has encountered the harshness of natural elements in this era of Covid.

As the contemporary Italian intellectual, Donatella Di Cesare, wrote in her book, “Immunodemocracy: Capitalist asphyxia”, (translated by David Broder), the crown-shaped coronavirus has an evocative appearance: it is sovereign.

Now we – the inhabitants of this planet – are witnessing the dying gasps of kings who have lived under the illusion that mankind is The Ruler of The Universe. (One may even compare this to the withdrawal symptoms of a nicotine-addict who has been forced to quit smoking cigarettes.)

Yes, these kings know they are dying.