It seems possible that what we are currently witnessing - i.e. passivity, submission and indeed active support-of (in the extreme actual infatuation-with) those who entrap and terrorise us - may be conceptualised as an evolved response to extreme and inescapable fear; in other words, the world has been swept by a mass version of Stockholm Syndrome.
The plausible evolutionary basis of Stockholm Syndrome has been well described by Chris Cantor - I used to use his work in my university teaching. Here are excerpts from a popular account:
Captors cleverly cultivate psychologically hostile environments involving total domination, so as to massively dis-empower victims. Ambiguous and confusing threats will be involved which contribute to the unpredictability of the experience, unpredictability being one of the most potent inducers of chronic anxiety.
The psychology of the predicament emerges from a combination of sensory deprivation, usually induced through blindfolding and isolation, disgusting conditions, physical abuse, death threats, powerlessness, dehumanization, general humiliation and the need to avoid the further anger of captors.
Cantor and Price argue ... that we switch into appeasement as a survival mechanism when held in captivity. They suggest that this basic response may be hardwired into our brains and therefore could possibly be even beyond our control, so victims should not be condemned for exhibiting this response.
Appeasement comprises pacification, conciliation and submission. Appeasement serves a de-escalating function in dangerous situations, subordinates using appeasement suspend efforts to win conflicts, thereby decreasing the often fatal costs of losing.
After being attacked, monkeys and apes tend to turn to the attacker for comfort and safety, which is referred to as 'reverted escape', because after fleeing from the attack the attacked animal returns, or reverts, to the attacker, rather than turning to another member of the group for succour. Appeasement appears widespread in the animal kingdom
Submission is so widespread as a strategy that it probably promotes survival, so the transmission of genes for appeasement now makes evolutionary sense.
Another dimension of the peculiar psychology of slavery is that in a closed environment in which a hostage lives, there may be only dominant oppressors to turn to for comfort - a kind of reverted escape as seen in the animal kingdom. Under stress we are genetically designed to seek bonding and affiliation with others for comfort and protection.
(It is also relevant that Stockholm Syndrome is more common and severe in women - since women - on average - have a significantly lower threshold of fear and are considerably more sensitive to fear threats.)
The above description has considerable similarities with our current situation. It is perfectly possible that the recent combination of fear, physical confinement and social isolation have been calculatedly and systematically deployed (with unpredictable, ambiguous and confusing threats) to create... Exactly what we now observe, on a global scale.
And such a strategy would be expected to be far more effective where there was no possibility of existential escape - in other words where death was regarded as a final annihilation; such that there may be a subjective belief that the choice is support and appeasement or... nothingness.
The bad news is that "traumatic entrapment produces possibly the most difficult to treat form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as it involves a deeper shame in victims, blaming themselves for what happened."
Better news is that "once victims understand the appeasement reaction, they can begin better to understand psychologically what really happened, and recover from the shame."
However, against this is that it is notoriously difficult to get people to admit that they have been manipulated, conned and fooled; as is obvious from the immunity to experience and indifference to evidence of nearly all modern people - especially 'intellectuals'.
Nonetheless, our main spiritual task in the birdemic is understanding, as a preparation for valid discernment; and I think the Stockholm Syndrome concept adds to that.