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LISTEN: Kanenhariyo (Mohawk War Chief) Discusses Ontario’s “State of Emergency” in response to Truckers Rebellion

LISTEN: Kanenhariyo (Mohawk War Chief) Discusses Ontario’s “State of Emergency” in response to Truckers Rebellion

February 12, 2022

 

“They’re liars. They’re lying. But they’re afraid. They’re weak right now. They’re weak, and they’re pretending that they’re strong. Stand up.”

Kanyenkehaka is a Mohawk War Chief from the Tehanakarineh family of the Bear Clan. His home is in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, but he currently resides at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory (near Hamilton, Ontario). He is an Onkwehon:we (Indigenous) man and belongs to the Kayenkehaka Nation, not the Canadian or English nation. His people have kept their ways and traditions, and despite generations of mistreatment at the hands of the Canadian government, they remain a separate, allied Nation with their own rights and responsibilities to creation.

 

“For all of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, maybe you’re new to this country. They didn’t teach you that Indigenous people own these lands. They’ll tell you that it’s theirs. It’s Canada’s wonderful free place. It was only free because they stole things. I’m talking to all the brown people in the cities that didn’t want to go and support the truckers because they thought they were racist. Well, the Liberal Government’s racist and so is the Conservative Government. The entire government of Canada is racist. And the RCMP are racist. Let’s face the facts the RCMP are just as much a culprit in the in the theft of the indigenous children that got sent to residential schools, because they were the collectors.”

 

 

Addressing Trudeau: “Maybe you didn’t, but I suspect you did, [have] the audacity to encourage the smear campaigns of swastika flags and white supremacy – but Canada’s built on white supremacy. Literally, built on white racism. The Canadian flag, that red and white maple flag has, as nasty of blood and history on it, as a swastika.”

 

 

“… well, it’s pretty simple. They said drop the mandates, and you need to quit. You can do that tomorrow… they want you to resign. They don’t have any confidence in you. You can’t even go anywhere in public without them throwing rocks at you and booing. Your people don’t love you. You can resign.”

 

 

“but that’s still our territory… Doug Ford, you don’t have any right to claim it, and you don’t have any right to make decisions, or to say ‘well, you can have your rights but we’re going to supersede them.'” ” The fuck you will.”

 

Support for Canadian Truckers Skyrockets – Alongside Vaccine Injuries in Canadian Children

Support for Canadian Truckers Skyrockets – Alongside Vaccine Injuries in Canadian Children

February 10, 2022

By Cory Morningstar

 

“Always guide and protect the children.”

 

— 1968, Ghanaian Kwame Nkrumah, political theorist and revolutionary

 

Image

Truckers Protest, Ottawa, Canada, February, 2022

On November 19, 2021, the Canadian Government authorized the Pfizer Comirnaty “vaccine” for  children 5-11 years of age.

As of January 28, 2022 (70 days since approval), there are now 1,453 reported vaccine adverse events (injuries) in children ages 5-17 years on the Canadian Government website. [age 5-11: 226, age 12-17: 1,227]

Of these injuries, in the 5-17 year old age bracket, 330 are categorized as serious. The categorization of “serious” includes death.

[There are 36,164 adverse event reports in total (see chart below). This number is now increasing at a rate of approximately 1,000 per week.]

Figure 3. Number of adverse event reports by age group up to and including January 28, 2022 (n=36,164)

Figure 3. Number of adverse event reports by age group up to and including January 28, 2022 (n=36,164)

 

Figure 2. Number of adverse event reports for people 5 to 11 years by vaccine name and dose number up to and including January 28, 2022 (n=225)

Figure 2. Number of adverse event reports for people 5 to 11 years by vaccine name and dose number up to and including January 28, 2022 (n=225)

Figure 2. Number of adverse event reports for people 12 to 17 years by vaccine name and dose number up to and including January 28, 2022 (n=225)

Figure 2. Number of adverse event reports for people 12 to 17 years by vaccine name and dose number up to and including January 28, 2022 (n=225)

 

Canada’s population is over 38 million. The age bracket of 0-17 years represents approximately 7 million.

The deaths of children in Canada, with COVID-19, are as follows:

Up to and including February 4, 2022: deaths with COVID-19 (most, if not all, terminal illnesses or multiple co-morbidities), age 0-11 years: 19

Up to and including February 4, 2022: deaths with COVID-19 (most, if not all, terminal illnesses or multiple co-morbidities), age 12-19 years: 10

Here it must be noted that as of February 4, 2022, of the 33,717 deaths in Canada with COVID-19, 16,377 of these deaths (as of February 8, 2022) occurred in long-term care facilities. [1] [May 9, 2021, The Globe and Mail: Patients died from neglect, not COVID-19, in Ontario LTC homes, military report finds: ‘All they needed was water and a wipe down’.]

Figure 7. Age and gender distribution of COVID-19 cases in Canada as of February 4, 2022, 8 am EST (n=33,717)

Figure 7. Age and gender distribution of COVID-19 cases in Canada as of February 4, 2022, 8 am EST (n=33,717)

 

This must be considered a small percentage of the actual injuries (both serious and “non-serious) due to the complicated/difficult task of filing reports and the actual number of reports being accepted or rejected. As this process if difficult and time consuming, one must contemplate if the “non-serious” category itself, is the minimizing of serious events. Here it must be noted that in 2017 the Canadian Government quietly announced that the funding of Health Canada by the pharmaceutical industry would increase to 90%. The fox is not only guarding the hen house, the fox owns the hen house.

According to the Canadian Government website, “an event is considered serious if it:

  • –results in death
  • –is life-threatening (an event/reaction in which the patient was at real, rather than hypothetical, risk of death at the time of the event/reaction)
  • –requires in-patient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization
  • –results in persistent or significant disability/incapacity, or
  • –results in a congenital anomaly/birth defect”

 

For children and people in their twenties and thirties, COVID-19 poses less risk of mortality than the flu. This has been understood and undisputed since the early days of the said pandemic. No, the “benefits” do not outweigh the risks.

“Under NO circumstances, under ANY circumstances should a young person EVER receive one of these vaccines. Let alone ever be pressured to receive a vaccine.”

 

Dr. Peter McCullough, renowned cardiologist and epidemiologist

 

“The denial of natural immunity after Covid disease is the worst unscientific folly in the past 75 years. How will universities and hospitals recover public trust after that? ”

 

Martin Kulldorff, epidemiologist, former Harvard Professor of Medicine

 

“I’m outraged by the fact, that we want to vaccinate children.”

 

Dr. Luc Montagnier, Nobel Prize-winning virologist

On January 17, 2022, Toronto resident Dan Hartman gave testimony to the Toronto Board of Health (meeting 33). Hartman shared what had happened to his son. After more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions, Sean Hartman, 17 years of age, took the Pfizer injection in order to play hockey. Sean died shortly after. The meeting was chaired by Joe Cressey, a Toronto City Councillor (representing Ward 10 Spadina—Fort York), who expressed his condolences. In an outrageous and cruel act of censorship, Dan Hartman’s testimony was edited out of the recorded meeting (a public document). The Twitter account @Answers4Sean, created by the grieving father looking for both answers and support, quickly vanished from Twitter.

Accounts of injuries and deaths slowly break through the walls of censorship in Canada and beyond. In Texas, Ernest Ramirez’s son, Ernest Ramirez Jr., was only 16 years old when he died, five days after receiving the Pfizer injection. [Testimony of Ernest Ramirez, whose son died of myocarditis following Pfizer vaccination.] In Argentina, Miriam Suárez’s 3-year old daughter Ámbar was injected on December 15, 2021. The toddler died one day later from sudden cardiac arrest. Like so many others, the mother was coerced. Ámbar would not have been allowed to go attend kindergarten without the injection due to a vaccine mandate.

Who will bear responsibility for serious injuries and deaths of healthy children who were never at risk? Members of Parliament that serve capital at the expense of people? Doctors in the pocket of the system? Trudeau in the pocket of the World Economic Forum? A secretariat slash think tank that represents the 100 most powerful corporations on the planet – including Pfizer and the pharmaceutical industry?  The media owned/controlled  by the same entities? Pfizer, in control of Health Canada?

Never have we witnessed such blatant disregard for the emotional and physical well-being of children. The abuse of children re-wrapped in a political veneer of wokeness. We will never be forgiven by them, nor should we.

The injections, proven to be a spectacular failure, continue to be pushed, defended and celebrated. The collective psychological damage is unprecedented. We find ourselves adrift, in a sea of mass mental illness.

 

“Children are the only beings to whom we must accord privileges– they are the flowers of our life and it is for them that we make all the sacrifices so that they should live happily.”

 

— Amílcar Cabral, PAIGC

 

Sources:

COVID-19 daily epidemiology update:

https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19-cases.html

Reported side effects following COVID-19 vaccination in Canada:

https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety/

End Notes:

[1]

How the Left betrayed the Truckers

The convoy is despised by those who should support it

Unherd

February 9, 2022

By Malcom Kyeyune

 

A protester walks in front of parked trucks as demonstrators continue to protest the vaccine mandates implemented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 8, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

They call it “The Honkening”. Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is currently being besieged by a novel kind of protest. Honkening is a fairly appropriate name for what’s going on. Thousands of truckers have driven to the capital, and barraged the city with the noise of truck horns creating a cacophony of sound. Elsewhere, on the border between the United States and Canada, truckers, farmers and cowboys have blockaded traffic.

As the protests enter another week, Ottawa’s mayor has declared a state of emergency. Jim Watson described the truckers — ostensibly protesting against Canada’s harsh Covid mandates — as “out of control”. Watson sees anarchy; the truckers fulminate against Covid authoritarianism. But this battle is really about working-class discontent.

The naive among us could be forgiven for thinking that this protest signalled something auspicious about “late capitalist” society. For decades, the common folk wisdom for both the Left and the Right was that the West’s working classes had been completely neutralised as a political force, and that class conflict itself was a relic of the past.

This idea took hold in the Sixties, when Herbert Marcuse theorised that Western workers had been subjected to a “socially engineered arrest of consciousness”. Their vested interest in the existing capitalist order made them impossible to radicalise. Ever since, finding new theoretical models to explain the unreliability (and stodgy conservatism) of workers has been a recurring activity on parts of the Left. Marxists had made a horrific discovery: the working class were not their foot soldiers. As Joan Didion once put it: “The have-nots, it turned out, mainly aspired to having.”

OTTAWA, CANADA, FEBRUARY 3: Truckers continue their rally against coronavirus (COVID-19) measures and vaccine mandate in Ottawa, Canada on February 3, 2022. (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

 

Many on the Left came to believe that without their corporatist union structures, and without their shop stewards and political organisers, the working classes were done for. They were little better, to paraphrase Marx, than a “sack of potatoes”.

Without proper leadership, the workers would be too inert and stupid to do anything about their plight. As such, the decades after the fall of the Soviet Union (and the defeat of the strike waves of the Eighties) saw many Leftists indulge a wistful nostalgia for a time when the workers stuck it to the powers that be. Celebration of the good old days of the Left, and of “working-class power” in general, was thus central to the aesthetics of the now completely defunct wave of Left populism in the 2010s.

With that backdrop in mind, the explosion of worker militancy over vaccine mandates — and, on a related note, high fuel taxes in Europe — ought to have been greeted by enthusiasm by the Leftist activist and organiser set. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The truckers in Canada have instead triggered a primordial sense of dread in the hearts of the urban classes, in the people who Canadian trucker Gord Magill has dubbed “the email job caste”.

 

This sense of fear and dread at the machinations of the proles is hardly something unique to Canada. Indeed, even the United States saw a large increase of worker militancy and wildcat strikes over oppressive vaccine mandates. Like their compatriots in Canada, America’s various professional friends of the working class responded with horror and scorn. The well-known Marxist economist, Richard Wolff, was mobbed on Twitter for suggesting that workers striking over mandates were actually part of something called “class struggle”, rather than merely an expression of “fascism”.

Ottawa’s truckers are a symptom of the massive class divide that is opening up across the West. Marxists are sticking their heads in the sand about this generational moment, or papering it over with absurd topsy-turvy leaps. In one recent display of moon logic, the Canadian activist, writer and self-described socialist Nora Loreto complained that “labour” was invisible in the resistance to the “fascist” truckers that had occupied Ottawa. An exasperated comrade chimed in with a story of being a shop steward for a teamster (truck driver) union, and — horror of horrors — the painful truth was that many teamsters were more likely to be in the protest themselves than protesting against it.

The exchange is modern Western Leftism in a nutshell. Is there a single better illustration of the contradictions of the moment? An “activist” and organiser” recoiling in horror at a bunch of truckers — people who work in the real, material economy, ferrying the foodstuffs and goods we all depend on to survive — staging a political protest, only to then ask “but where is the organised working class in all of this?”. Isn’t it obvious to the point of parody that the workers are the people inside the trucks?

It’s easy to laugh at this sort of absurdity, but the lesson here is anything but a joke. The divorce between “the Left” and “the workers” is now complete and irrevocable. Nora Loreto may not be a person with calloused hands, and she may very well belong to Gord Magill’s “email jobs caste”. But for the longest time, the political rhetoric and worldview of the Left depended on the idea that the trucker and the activist were merely two sides of the same coin.

Without the activist and the “organiser”, the trucker would never be able to know how to organise himself and his fellows politically; without the trucker, the activist and the organiser would not have a cause for which to organise. Now it seems that the trucker — and by extension, the pilot, the garbage collector, and the bus driver — does not need or want this caste of self-appointed leaders.

Paul Aubue: ‘This whole thing has been going on for two years and it seems everyday there’s something more. We don’t need a vaccine passport.’ Photograph: Amru Salahuddien/The Guardian

This divorce has happened all over the world in recent years. After the massive rejection by Red Wall voters of Jeremy Corbyn and his activist base in the smart, urban, and highly credentialed parts of Britain, one started to see a rhetoric of open loathing for the dumb, uneducated gammons and proles. In Germany, the Left party Die Linke has endured several rounds of severe internal fighting and strife. As in the UK, the younger, more urban, more credentialed parts of the Left have fought a running battle — and thrown pies — against pro-worker “racists” such as Sahra Wagenknecht.

In Canada, that loathing has now turned into fear — and into outright hatred. The problem of the truckers is not really the honking (which the Guardian sniffily calls “crude behaviour“), because sooner or later, that honking will stop. The state of emergency will end. But the protests, significantly, have shown how confused and weak the opponents of the working classes are today.

During the pandemic lockdowns, the email jobs caste loved to talk about essential workers, and luxuriated in public displays of gratitude for them. But this caste of genteel urbanites never realised that this choice of nomenclature was in fact much more meaningful — and ominous – than they understood. Some people, it seems, simply are critical to the functioning of the economy, pandemic or no pandemic. Once those people — and truck drivers are perhaps the most critical of them all — start to demand to be listened to, they have ways to make those demands felt.

For the Left, the problem of the truckers is their newfound political independence. Nostalgia really is a thing of the past now; the dinosaurs that were thought long extinct are back now, and they are hungry. Gone are the halcyon days of dreaming about halcyon days – where serious working class militancy was just a distant myth.

The real danger of any trucker’s strike, or any pilot’s walkout, or any fuel tax protest in Europe, is that every new confrontation sets a precedent: a precedent that says that the Gord Magills are done taking orders from the Nora Letos of the world.

 

[Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden]

As Workers Resist, the Left Recoils

That recent working class anti-vaccine mandate protests have been met with either silence or derision from the Left speaks volumes about their allegiances.

The Bellows

January 30, 2022

by Edwin Aponte

Photo by Leila Mechoui

 

If you consider yourself on the political Left, you might be forgiven for not knowing very much about the many acts of worker resistance against the COVID-19 vaccination mandates that have taken place all around the world over the last year. This is because the professional Left media and activist class—while happy to cover traditional strike action over union contract disputes, such as with last year’s John Deere Company and the more recent Kroger strike in the United States—have completely ignored comparable labor struggles undertaken by working people over an issue which defies contemporary cultural associations; leaping over most racial, gender, and social divisions.

By making social and economic participation contingent upon the taking of a speedily-developed medical product, average members of the global labor force are being placed in a dehumanizing position—either participate in the world’s largest clinical trial, or be cast into a life of social alienation and privation. Resistance to these vaccine mandates has been expressed through walkouts, picketing, coordinated sickoutsmass resignations, and most recently in Canada, massive truck convoys. And while COVID lockdown-related supply chain backups continue to play out, such revived worker militancy is adding to the already existing crises in the shipping, healthcare, and retail industries.

With such abundant unrest on the labor front it is interesting to note that the Left press appears more concerned with covering the class character of the sport of cricket, or asking whether or not it’s OK to laugh at the unvaccinated when they die of the COVID-19 virus.

This silence betrays the Left’s allergy to the varied social character of the working class as it actually exists in 2022. Any amount of social conservatism among the lower and working classes flies in the face of the Left’s condescending narrative of the downtrodden as the most morally dignified political subject. (After all, that is how the chattering class see themselves, and do they not have workers’ best interests in mind?)

The most spectacular anti-mandate protests of late have been seen in Canada, where a 50,000-strong truck convoy has wound its way from British Columbia to Ottawa in protest of a recently implemented regulation requiring all truckers returning from the United States to show proof of vaccination before they can re-enter the country. Even so, the demonstration has broadened to include Canadians of all working-class professions who have had it with pandemic restrictions in general, and with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in particular.

(Predictably, Left-wing activists have met these protests with insults, mockery and accusations of racism and fascism.)

Such political outbursts are reminiscent of a spate of similar demonstrations last year. In October, Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights during what was widely rumored on Twitter to be a coordinated anti-mandate sickout. (Hard evidence for a coordinated strike is elusive, however Southwest walked back its policy only days after the mass-cancelation incident.) In Quebec, despite stern demands from the Interprofessional Health Federation and the Order of Nurses, healthcare workers demonstrated against the province’s looming mandatory vaccine deadline, which would have put thousands out of work. As was the case with Southwest, Quebec’s health minister backed down and delayed its implementation by a month.

“It cannot be stressed enough that these workers have mobilized against corporate colossi.”

And it didn’t end there. Teachers and students all over the state of California staged a large-scale walkout. Target and Walmart workers coordinated sick absences, and countless police and state troopers—sometimes with the backing of their unions, sometimes not—have clashed with local governments over the policy. An In-and-Out burger restaurant was temporarily closed by the city of San Francisco because its employees were flagrantly in violation of mandate rules.

But the October 2021 protests reached beyond North America. In Europe, Italy’s “green pass”—a COVID-19 vaccine passport mandatory for all workers in the country—was met with intense pushback from dock workers in the port city of Trieste. Their demonstrations were countered by police water cannons and tear gas in what has been one the most violent anti-vaccine mandate protests in the world.

It cannot be stressed enough that these workers have mobilized against corporate colossi. Pfizer, Moderna, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca, make up the majority of the global vaccine market share. Johnson & Johnson, for example, reaped $766 million from its single-shot product in the first nine months of this year. But those numbers are nothing compared to what Moderna has reported. In August the company said that they had earned just under $4.2 billion from their own vaccine.

Absurd profits are but one aspect of big pharma’s power. Public Citizen, an American consumer advocacy group, published leaked Pfizer contracts last month demonstrating the company’s ability to “silence governments, throttle supply, shift risk and maximize profits,” by strong-arming states into accepting preferable terms, such as blocking countries from donating vaccine doses to other countries, unilaterally changing delivery schedules, and permitting public assets to be used as private collateral.

This isn’t to suggest that these workers are all protesting vaccine mandates out of any sort of conscious ideological opposition to corporate monopoly power. What matters is that it has typically been the Left that pushes back against this sort of exploitation. But recently the lawmakers of the major Left-liberal political parties (which, let’s be honest, all Left media outlets and even the most fringe activist movements are beholden to) have accepted huge sums in campaign cash from the pharmaceutical industry.

Conspicuously, in the run up to the 2020 US presidential election, big pharma flipped its decades-long strategy of primarily donating to conservative Republican lawmakers in favor of spending most of it on Democrats, instead.

As a result we have an ostensibly socialist publication like Jacobin arguing that, because we are already subject to a litany of more dramatic more dramatic intrusions upon our civil liberties (such as mandatory drug-testing for many workers and welfare recipients) and restrictions on freedom of movement for certain individuals under the pretext of “national security,” Americans may as well submit to a likewise invasive, but ultimately benign, state edict. In Canada the same argument is being made against the trucking protesters. Over in Spain, the communist website, Communia—usually among the better niche outlets—went out of its way to portray all COVID vaccine hesitancy as a type of reactionary anti-capitalism. That is to say, a movement composed of backward-looking reactionaries who only want to reverse those elements of capitalism which negatively affect them, while posturing as anti-capitalist more generally. Per their reasoning, resistance to these mandates signifies a desire for an individualist, a-la-carte style of capitalist domination. (As much as the term correctly applies to movements such as veganism and anti-GMO farming—you can’t turn back the march of technology—conflating the specificity of COVID-19 vaccination mandate resistance with all vaccine mandate resistance is dishonest and, frankly, anti-scientific.)

But the most alarming conflation made by the political Left apparatus is between anti-mandate protest action and domestic terrorism. In Chicago last year, Democratic mayor Lori Lightfoot accused the Fraternal Order of Police of trying to “induce an insurrection” by urging its police officers to ignore the order and risk disciplinary action from the city. It is true that such labor action runs afoul of the law, but it is also true that wildcat strikes and out-of-turn work stoppages are some of the most effective means of worker leverage.

Chicago’s police union ultimately asked the county court to step in, and eventually a temporary restraining order was issued against the mandate. But if the Lori Lightfoots of the political world do eventually succeed in getting their way, protesting workers may find themselves not only on the wrong side of the law, but under threat of serious and life-destroying criminal charges. The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about the “heightened” threat posed by “extremists” opposing vaccination, and President Joe Biden’s Justice Department went so far as to ask the FBI to keep a lookout for potential violence committed against school administrators and staff by concerned parents.

As we have seen from the legal proceedings of the January 6th Capitol protesters, politicians have no compunction about bringing the full force of the state on individuals who act out of line. Opposition to such brutality used to be the principled domain of the Left, and should be especially important now that their faction is in a relative position of power.

If the institutional Left is unwilling to lift a finger, then it is up to workers on all sides of the cultural and political divide to take it upon themselves to apply the appropriate amount of popular pressure, even at the risk of personal ruin. That the Left feels it has bigger fish to fry is on the one hand a grave betrayal of its historic rhetoric against capital, and on the other hand in keeping with its century-plus tendency to cozy up to the bourgeoisie when the going gets tough. Who needs them?

 

[Edwin Aponte is a writer and journalist based in Brooklyn. He is the editor and publisher of the Bellows.]
Now is the Time for Mass Resignations from Within the Ruling Class

Now is the Time for Mass Resignations from Within the Ruling Class

Brownstone Institute

January 30, 2022

By Jeffrey A Tucker

WKOG: Fueled by working class rather than foundation money – the growing global resistance is distinct/free from chains of non-profit industrial complex. Scores of those that attempt to undermine the resistance are tied into this very complex – willing instruments of their own oppression. To be fair, many confined within this complex are not willing instruments, rather they are oblivious to the invisible hand that feeds, that colonizes the mind and spirit. Mass resistance outside the control of the non-profit industrial complex is a true fear of the ruling class. No war but class war.

If there is a historical precedent for the truckers’ revolt in Canada, and the populist protests in so many other parts of the world, I would like to know what it is. It surely sets the record for convoy size, and it is historic for Canada. But there is much more going on here, something more fundamental. The two-year imposition of bio-fascist rule by diktat seems ever less tenable – the consent of the governed is being withdrawn – but what comes next seems unclear.

We now have two of the most restrictive “leaders” in the developed world (Justin Trudeau of Canada and Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand) hiding in undisclosed locations, citing the need to quarantine following Covid exposure. Streets globally have filled up with people demanding an end to mandates and lockdowns, calling for accountability, pushing for resignations, denouncing privileged corporations, and crying out for a recognition of basic freedoms and rights.

Note too that these movements are spontaneous and from “below:” they are populated mostly by the very workers whom governments shoved to face the pathogen two years ago, while the ruling class hid behind their laptops in their living rooms. It was the lockdowns that sharply divided the classes and the mandates that are imposing segregation. Now we are facing a modern allegory to the peasants’ revolt in the Middle Ages.

For a long time, the workers complied bravely but have been forced to accept medical shots they neither wanted nor believed they needed. And many are still being denied freedoms they took for granted only two years ago, their schools non-operational, businesses wrecked, places of entertainment closed or severely restricted. People turn on the radios and televisions to listen to lectures by ruling-class elites who claim to be channeling the science that always ends in the same theme: the rulers are in charge and everyone else must comply, no matter what is asked of them.

But then it became screamingly obvious to the world that none of it worked. It was a gigantic flop and the sky-high cases of late 2021 in most parts of the world put a fine point on it. They failed. It was all for naught. This clearly cannot continue. Something has to give. Something has to change, and this change probably will not wait for the next scheduled elections. What happens in the meantime? Where is this going?

We’ve seen what revolutions look like against monarchies (18th and 19th century), against colonial occupation, against totalitarian one-party states (1989-90), and against banana-republic strongmen (20th century). But what does revolution look like in developed democracies ruled by entrenched administrative states in which elected politicians serve as little more than veneer for bureaucracies?

Since John Locke, it is an accepted idea that people have the right to rule themselves and even to replace governments that go too far in denying that right. In theory, the problem of government overreach in democracy is solved by elections. The argument made for such a system is that it allows for peaceful change of a ruling elite, and this is far less socially costly than war and revolution.

There are many problems with matching theory and reality, among which that the people with the real power in the 21st century are not the people we elect but those who have gained their privileges through bureaucratic maneuvering and longevity.

There are many strange features of the last two years but one of them that stands out to me is how utterly undemocratic the trajectory of events has been. When they locked us down, for example, it was the decision of elected autocrats as advised by credentialled experts that were somehow sure that this path would make the virus go away (or something like that). When they imposed vaccination mandates, it was because they were sure that this was the right path for public health.

There were no polls. There was little if any input from legislatures at any level. Even from the first lockdowns in the US, occurring March 8, 2020 in Austin, Texas, there was no consultation with the city council. Neither were citizens asked. The wishes of the small business people were not solicited. The state legislature was left out entirely.

It was as if everyone suddenly presumed that the whole country would operate on an administrative/dictatorship model, and that the guidelines of health bureaucracies (with plans for lockdowns that hardly anyone even knew existed) trumped all tradition, constitutions, restrictions on state power, and public opinion generally. We all became their servants. This happened all over the world.

It suddenly became obvious to many people in the world that the systems of government we thought we had – responsive to the public, deferential to rights, controlled by courts – were no longer in place. There seemed to be a substructure that was hiding in plain sight until it suddenly took full control, to the cheers of the media and the presumption that this is just the way things are supposed to be.

 

Klaus Schwab, Founder, World Economic Forum: “What we are really proud of now, [is] the young generation. Like Prime Minister Trudeau, the President of Argentina, and so on. So we penetrate the cabinets. So yesterday, I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau. And I know that half of this cabinet, or even more than half of this cabinet, are actually [World Economic Forum] Young Global Leaders of the world.”

Years ago, I was hanging out in the building of a federal agency when there was a change of guard: a new administration appointed a new person to head it. The only change that the bureaucrats noticed was new portraits on the wall. Most of these people pride themselves in failing to notice. They know who is in charge and it is not the people we imagine to elect. They are there for life, and face none of the public scrutiny much less accountability that the politicians face daily.

Lockdowns and mandates gave them full power, not only over the one or two sectors they previously ruled but the whole of society and all of its functioning. They even controlled how many people we could have in our homes, whether our businesses could be open, whether we could worship with others, and dictate what precisely we are supposed to do with our own bodies.

 

Whatever happened to limits on power? The people who put together the systems of government in the 18th century that led to the most prosperous societies in the history of the world knew that restricting government was the key to a stable social order and growing economy. They gave us Constitutions and the lists of rights and the courts enforced them.

But at some point in history, the ruling class figured out certain workarounds to these restrictions. The administrative state with permanent bureaucrats could achieve things that legislatures could not, so they were gradually unleashed under various pretexts (war, depression, terror threats, pandemics). Moreover, governments gradually learned to outsource their hegemonic ambitions to the biggest businesses in the private sector, who themselves benefit from increasing the costs of compliance.

The circle has been completed by enlisting Big Media into the mix of control via access to the class of rulers, to receive and broadcast out the line of the day, and hurl insults at any dissidents within the population (“fringe,” etc.). This has created what we see in the 21st century: a toxic combination of Big Tech, Big Government, Big Media, all backed by various other industrial interests who benefit more from systems of control than they would from a free and competitive economy. Further, this cabal leveled a radical attack on civil society itself, closing churches, concerts, and civic groups.

We’ve been assured by David Hume (1711-1776) and Etienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) that government rule is untenable when it loses the consent of the governed. “Resolve to serve no more,” wrote Boetie, “and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall off his own weight and break into pieces.”

 

That’s inspiring but what does it mean in practice? What precisely is the mechanism by which the overlords in our time are effectively overthrown? We’ve seen this in totalitarian states, in states with one-man rule, in states with unelected monarchies. But unless I’m missing something, we’ve not seen this in a developed democracy with an administrative state that holds the real power. We have scheduled elections but those are unhelpful when 1) elected leaders are not the real source of power, and 2) when the elections are too far in the distant future to deal with a present emergency.

One very easy and obvious path away from the current crisis is for the ruling class to admit error, repeal the mandates, and simply allow for common freedoms and rights for everyone. As easy as that sounds, this solution hits a hard wall when faced with ruling-class arrogance, trepidation, and the unwillingness to admit past errors for fear of what that will mean for their political legacies. For this reason, absolutely no one expects the likes of Trudeau, Ardern, or Biden to humbly apologize, admit that they were wrong, and beg the people’s forgiveness. On the contrary, everyone expects them to continue the game of pretend so long as they can get away with it.

The people on the streets today, and those willing to tell pollsters that they are fed up, are saying: no more. What does it mean for the ruling class not to get away with this nonsense anymore? Presuming that they do not resign, they do not call off the dogs of mandates and lockdowns, what is the next step? My instincts tell me that we are about to discover the answer. Electoral realignment seems inevitable but what happens before then?

The obvious answer to the current instability is mass resignations within the administrative state, among the class of politicians that gives it cover, as well as heads of media organs that have propagandized for them. In the name of peace, human rights, and the renewal of prosperity and trust, this needs to happen today. Bury the pride and do what’s right. Do it now while there is still time for the revolution to be velvet.

[Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. tucker@brownstone.org]

Parasite Empire Unravelled

January 10, 2022

By Hiroyuki Hamada

 

Struggle for Emancipation, David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1961

So before Covid, a local school where one of my kids used to attend had prominent race issues. Namely, teachers were being accused of being blind to obvious racist incidences against black students. The normalized notion of racism was so rampant that the school was forced to embrace some sort of deprogramming sessions by a parent-led committee on the issue.  However, this committee itself was ultimately deemed rather racist in its own way by the school’s black alumni group. To me, at the end, it became rather obvious that the whole momentum was part of a corporate political campaign for the Democratic Party establishment.  The same people who raised their fists and said “Black Lives Matter” turned out to be the supporters of Joe Biden who has bragged that he was the architect of crime bills and The Patriot Act—the very root of the school to prison pipeline, the racist, colonial “war on terror,” the prison industrial complex and so on.  Is irony completely dead as “reality” continues to be stretched to fit the ruling class interests? In the end, I felt so dirty and violated to be a part of that committee’s activities.

Fast forward to the Black-Lives-Matter-only-if-you-are-vaccinated era, and this school is voluntarily implementing a strict mandatory vaccine policy with few exemptions.  My son doesn’t like to gossip and he never really talks behind anyone’s back. But the other day, he said that the whole school is basically bullying the few kids that have not received the experimental injections.  He was particularly upset about his Black friend being given a hard time, after being subjected to the blatant racism previously.

There are some harsh numbers regarding race related matters and the Covid “vaccines”.  In NYC, where Covid “vaccine” mandates are effectively shutting people out from indoor activities, roughly half the Black people have chosen not to receive the experimental injections. How can anyone justify segregating half the Black people from indoor activities? What is that?  And what is wrong with businesses that, without a mandate, voluntarily exclude unvaccinated people from entering their premises when statistical risk factors for getting the illness in question range from obesity to old age to having chronic conditions.  To be clear, the efficacy of the Covid injections are being debated by scientists and doctors vigorously, along with their safety issues. Yet, there are business owners who are calling themselves “community leaders” for being medical cheer leaders for big pharma, proud of being brownnosed social climbers at the expense of those who make their own medical choices.  And if we take the whole US,  40% of small Black-owned businesses have been wiped out.  This whole virus event is a giant urban renewal push disguised as war on virus—don’t they realize what people have gone through with war on crime, war on drugs and so on?

The cozy Covid life for privileged, resourced people who can work from home or afford not to work is propped up in many ways at the expense of many who are suffering under the economic restructuring process for the oligarchy  An unprecedented wealth transfer from the already exploited population to extremely rich and powerful people has been ongoing for the past two years, while the kind of neoliberal restructuring they’ve been dreaming about has been implemented in the name of saving lives.

It’s really demoralizing to really understand that the mechanism of exploitation and subjugation is rather simple.  The power of the wealthy oligarchs is so huge that they own everything.  They own the media.  They own the politics.  They own the governments. They own the scientists.  They own the military.

And the same people who own everything tell us that we have to respect the separation of powers, we have to rely on “representative democracy,” and we have to obey the legal system which is ultimately ruled by Supreme Court judges who are appointed by, well, the same people who own everything. Needless to say, the whole thing is made to divide us and consecrate the rich and powerful as priests of capitalism, because they own everything and all powers are designed to concentrate in their hands, while  the people are effectively deprived of all power.

In the US, the power of the people is represented by two corrupt corporate political parties.  I mean, they don’t really represent people, but they pretend that they do.  The situation is so obvious and blatant that it is tedious to even mention, but the reality is that this mechanism of two corporate entities engaging in ritualistic battles within a strictly curated capitalist framework has been so effective in staging the appearance of “democracy” that it is hard to discuss the social dynamics in the US without it.  No matter what ideological leaning one has as an American, the larger than life theater of historical myths, dramas, glories of wars, nationalistic emotions and the reverence of the American flag are likely to be a part of the internalized authority which builds its footings in the minds and the bodies of those who are born on this land.  Today, many of the rich and powerful are associated with the Democratric Party—for example, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Bill Gates, and so on. This is strange because it is the Republican Party that is supposed to represent business interests. Recent numbers also indicate the trend:   “Some recent US figures on the distribution of income by party: 65 percent of taxpayer households that earn more than $500,000 per year are now in Democratic districts; 74 percent of the households in Republican districts earn less than $100,000 per year. Add to this what we knew already, namely that the 10 richest congressional districts in the country all have Democratic representatives in Congress.”

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter because when people play politics—meaning you cheer for one of the corrupt political parties—you are not supposed to talk about how money controls social institutions and how our values, beliefs and norms are determined by the interests of the ruling class, and how the economic caste order effectively enforces capitalist imperatives to perpetuate the reign of money and violence.

Believe it or not, today, this sort of understanding is labeled as “conspiracy.”  Right, you are a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nut case if you happen to call out corporate crimes, their criminal conspiracies and so on and so forth.   How obvious can it get? Rich people dominate corporate politics with the good old righteousness of exceptionalism, and a colonial attitude with the kinder, gentler face of liberal politics, and it is perfectly OK to call a simple Marxist analysis of exploitation a “conspiracy.”

The tendency to obscure the mechanism of capitalism is mirrored exactly among many of those who oppose the overwhelming push for Covid lockdowns, Covid “vaccine” mandates and so on. For many of those who stand on the other side of the virus event, the entire mobilization is described as a “communist takeover.” That’s right.  All those diehard capitalists who have been conspiring to perpetuate their interests through World Economic Forum, IMF, World Bank and so on are communists now. How convenient?  You can’t have capitalism without opportunism.

But the whole thing makes perfect sense. Both ends of the capitalist spectrum, fascists and social democrats, have always struggled to perpetuate capitalist hegemony together. At the end of the day, their ultimate goal is to perpetuate the capitalist caste hierarchy and their righteous positions within it.  One step with the left leg goes forward as the right leg moves forward to balance the momentum of the imperial hegemony — just as the hopelessly corrupt Hilary Clinton gives birth to a Donald Trump Presidency, which, in turn, gives the Democratic Party a reason to exist.  Left, right, left, right, the empire moves forward as it gently shifts its weight left to right.  As they march the imperial-scape together, they sing derogatory smears against any revolutionary momentum.  Both sides are free to argue and fight as long as they adhere to the imperial imperatives of capitalism.  The corporate media ensure that the narratives are told to fit this dynamic.  Those who do not belong to the dynamics are portrayed as “others”–fringe extremists to be demonized from multiple angles.

How does the empire gain its mythical aura of authority?  Easy. They play a good old protection racket scheme against unsuspecting “good people.”  For example, they tell people that terrorists are coming, while “secretly” funding the killers in ways which are not so secret to the people. People get the idea: “Oh I see. we have to pay the protection fee. Otherwise, we get fucked up.” Or, for example, they tell people that plague is coming, and force people to get injected with special medicines.  If the people refuse, their jobs are taken away, their families are split apart, you can’t eat at a restaurant and so on. They can effectively turn everyone into a dangerous element with an infection until proven “healthy” by the designated means of the authority.  There goes the presumption of innocence along with informed consent out of the door.

This is a big deal. There is a huge reason why an authority must prove someone guilty without a reasonable doubt.  Otherwise, people can be arbitrarily accused of committing any crime and then punished for it.  And without informed consent, people can be forced to drink Cool Aid just because they are told to do so. Moreover, as soon as the feudal overloads deal with the life and death of the people, they effectively consecrate themself as gods.  A politician would claim that Covid “vaccines” are sent by God.  Cultural figures would start accusing those who refuse the medication of “defying the law of nature,” defying “science” and so on, effectively turning Bill Gates and the rest of the snake oil salesmen into gods of our times.

So now it seems that even this pretend “democracy” is being taken away by the acceptance of decrees under an “emergency” just like any other fascist take-over.

Colonizing humanity and nature

The Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, California, 1875 - Marianne North

The Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, California, Marianne North,1875

How is it even possible though?  The capitalist assaults come in stages. First, it attacks to destabilize, infiltrate and tear communities apart.  It destroys the fabric of communities and turns vital institutions useless.  It cultivates the ground on which the invaders can turn themselves into the new providers of artificial social relations, resources and facts. Then the colonizers embark on domesticating people with their own beliefs, norms and values to exploit them and subjugate them.

Social institutions are taken over by capital. As they lose their functions for the people, they are further bought and sold by the oligarchs to transform themselves into machines for the ruling class interests. In every step of the process, people are mobilized to destroy and reassemble their own institutions only to be domesticated by the resulting fake institution for the ruling class. Corporate NGOs, corporate think tanks, paid academics, paid scientists, corporate politicians are always ready to help in this regard.  This is how education has been taken away from the people.  This is how healthcare has been taken away.  This is how politics has been taken away.

The people’s institutions are intentionally deprived of resources so that they must rely on the rich and powerful to function.  Then, privatizing and corporatizing transform the institutions into entities for profit, indoctrination and domestication. The more you struggle financially, the more you are likely to be trapped in a cycle of exploitation—an ironic reality imposed by the capitalist hierarchy in which those who could gain the most by overthrowing the establishment are pressured the most to obey the capitalist imperatives. Meanwhile those with privileged positions are conditioned to protect the status quo.  Hierarchies of ideas, ideologies, religions, and people are formed.  The caste system built by all elements permeates the empire—what’s good for the empire naturally floats as the opposing elements sink systemically and structurally. People are forced to compete in serving the interests of the oligarchs regardless of the ultimate consequences to them.

This is how people are indoctrinated to hate the system that gives power to the people—socialism, and are forced to crave the system that strangles them—capitalism.  Here is a brief summary of how socialism is actively demonized in our society:

  1. Point out results of imperial assaults against socialist countries and claim socialism doesn’t work.Examples:Give them economic sanctions, then call the countries “economic disasters”.Send death squads to destabilize their countries, then call the enemies of the western hegemony “strong man,” “dictator,” “butcher” and so on.Attempt to overthrow the government by massive propaganda campaigns, then call them oppressive.

    2. Claim that no ideology, country or government is perfect, in order to ignore the injustice and inhumanity systematically and structurally imposed on the entire capitalist hegemony and beyond by the western ruling class.

    Examples:

    Claim that socialism and capitalism are the same when they are not historically and in practice.  Capitalism is a system guided by forces of accumulated wealth and power. It manifests as imperialism at the global scale. Historically, socialism has emerged to counter imperial exploitation and subjugation.  Socialist countries have been vehemently assaulted by organized forces of imperialism.  The equation totally dismisses these obvious historical dynamics, while also obscuring the very nature and mechanism of capitalism itself.  This position is often expressed with the use of the word totalitarianism.  Although the term has been largely normalized in the western cultural sphere, historically, this term has been used by reactionary forces to equate fascism (which operates within the framework of capitalism) and socialist countries with the intention of demonizing socialist countries.

Claim that all violence must stop as the capitalist hegemony targets a socialist country, knowing that the imperial hegemony can topple the socialist country by many means if the country stops engaging in self-defense.

Demonize political leaders who defy the western hegemony saying that although the West is atrocious the dictators aren’t worth saving anyway.

3. Utilize an emotional personal anecdote in demonizing “socialism” in its entirety, totally ignoring its inner workings to forward the interests of the people, imperial dynamics and so on.  Reactionary voices of those who betray their countries of origin in seeking to secure positions within the empire are often promoted by the capitalist media.

Examples:

“My grand dad was killed by communists.”

“My family members were imprisoned by a socialist regime.”

“So and so is killing its own people.  I know because I’m from there and you are not.”

4. Simply rely on propaganda lies concocted by capitalist social institutions.

Examples:

Just mock, ridicule and demonize socialists.  The notion is fully normalized so there is no need to explain. The burden of proof is on those who defy the notion.

Engage in 1, 2 and 3 using the propaganda lies.

Where is this giant monster swinging right to left, guided by the selfish motives of the ruling class, going?  Is it going to put us all in a digital prison as it continues to digitalize, financialize, and transhumanize, colonizing humanity and nature?  Is it going to declare a war against China?  These are very significant concerns but it is unlikely that they will be on the table for all of us to examine anytime soon.  Our thoughts and ideas are constantly, systemically and structurally beaten into shapes by layers of capitalist institutions over and over so that they fit into the capitalist framework. Then the momentums of pros and cons are safely exchanged within the imperial framework at the expense of the people who struggle to secure their livelihood within it.

When we are beaten by the capitalists, we are put against each other.  As we fight back, we are forced to attack our fellow community members as our institutions are further colonized as I described above. In the corporate political theater billions of dollars are spent in picking between hardened corporatist Joe Biden, and “reality TV show star” Donald Trump, but we cannot embrace the political institution which can truly function as our own—such a drastic shift is firmly demonized, again, as “socialism,” “communism,” Marxism and so on.

Look at how doctors and nurses are forced to be complicit in the ongoing virus event. They are forced to limit treatment options.  Effective early treatments such as Ivermectin or HCQ, which have saved countless lives in other countries, are being ridiculed as snake oil, because as long as there are effective treatments for the virus, the experimental gene therapy drugs can’t have emergency use status.  All this goes on as Covid “vaccine” deaths are blatantly covered up in the US and in other Western countries. The health professionals are forced to put people on deadly ventilators, deadly remdisivir, and deadly sedatives—the real reason why there are so many deaths in the US, along with the fact that obesity is a hidden killer in patients with seasonal respiratory illness.  The more they try to protect their positions within the institution, the more they compromise the whole institution. Doctors, scientists and the rest of the healthcare professionals who wish to protect the institution by speaking the truth about the virus and experimental injections are censored, harassed and fired for doing so, while those who obey are forced to be complicit in failing their patients with profit-oriented protocols.

This is what the system does when it’s driven by and for the oligarchs.

Their exploitive schemes create crises on many fronts—environmental crisis, health crisis, housing crisis, economic crisis, psychiatric crisis, you name it.  The ruling class officially designates a chosen crisis to impose prepackaged corporate “solutions” for more profits, more power grab and readjustment of the capitalist trajectory.  In the process, they destroy vital social institutions and reassemble them for domestication.  Nothing else matters other than the chosen crisis and the associated corporate schemes. Other crises deepen as the capitalist trajectory is recalibrated and the capitalist hierarchy is readjusted. They will not run out of crises as long as they exploit and subjugate.  Crises are not predicaments for those who can buy their way out of anything, they are opportunities for them.  And they have nothing to lose in the process.  We are forced to do their work of destroying our own institutions.  We are forced to do their work of turning them into our cages.  They can buy most of anything, and if they can’t, they destroy it, then they can simply buy and sell any remaining elements, repackage them as something else and sell them back to the people.

See how it works?

As we further lose our connections to ourselves, to each other, to our community and nature, we are freely subjected to propaganda and indoctrination through ruling class sanctioned entities. Psychology has been applied to adjust individuals to the hardships of capitalist behavioral conditioning. Sociology has been applied to shape collective behaviors within the capitalist framework. Economics has been applied to justify the capitalist domination. Politics has been applied to ritualize the normalization of the feudal hierarchy. Now, we see science being applied to shift the trajectory of exploitation and subjugation.

Our behaviors are largely based on establishment supplied social relations, facts, culture, and so on.  We don’t generally act because we perceive actual events in our lives.  Most of us go through our lives on auto-pilot mode within the structurally sanctioned capitalist framework.  The Covid event clearly shows this aspect of our lives.  People wear masks, social distance and follow lockdown measures when clearly stipulated; however, at the personal level, most of us do not act like there is a deadly plague out there.  The masks, very possibly contaminated with the “deadly virus” are thrown away everywhere without being treated as biohazard materials.  People wear masks only to enter a restaurant, then take them off to eat with strangers stuck in an enclosed space. As soon as we are born into our society, we learn to perceive the capitalist framework as our guiding principle over our actual perceptions.  This makes us extremely vulnerable to top-down mobilization, as we see with the virus event.  As soon as we are systemically and structurally forced into following instructions, then facts, our perceptions, and experts’ opinions become totally irrelevant before the decrees coming out of the establishment. The process of colonization of humanity and nature has been ongoing for generations, deeply affecting how we are, and it is accelerating.

The Perpetual Renewal of the Revolutionary Struggle, 1926 - 1927 - Diego Rivera - WikiArt.org

The Perpetual Renewal of the Revolutionary Struggle, Diego Rivera, 1926 – 1927

Being deprived of our actual perceptions based on material reality, and the subsequent manufacturing of our perceptions based on the imperatives of the ruling class interests contributes to acute divisions among dissidents as well.  The urgency of capitalist oppressions together with marginalization of ideological positions has often cornered those who voice their concerns into prescribing “solutions” based on their own condition, regardless of the consequences to others.  This often happens over class lines, or against those who are victims of imperial violence.  The classic example was seen during the imperial war against Syria.  Many anti-war dissidents had taken a position in support of the US military intervention of Syria to varying degrees due to the western demonization of the Syrian government, western propaganda that glorified the US backed terrorists as victims of Syrian violence and etc.  (Those who stand with enemies of the empire are strongly urged to amend their anti-imperial positions. This urging comes from across the spectrum; for instance, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and others who are considered “dissidents” adamantly demonized leaders of targeted countries and repeated official propaganda narratives justifying the toleration of violence against those countries–By the way, both Chomsky and Hedges also hold starkly discriminatory opinions against unvaccinated people, echoing their strong condemnations of the middle eastern leaders.)

This has resulted in acceptance of the US military attacks and the US support for violent opposition groups inside Syria.  Those American people who insisted on saving the children of Syria by bombing Syria and by supporting brutal terrorists, who would behead children, failed to see the great sacrifice paid by the majority of Syrian people, who were in support of their government and their military.  Activist communities were split into pieces, while the momentum greatly exacerbated the US led war against the Syrian government.   The situation began to turn as independent journalists—Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and others—started to report from Syria on the actual situation—in which the majority of the Syrian people have approved the determined government policy against the west backed terrorists and the US colonial policies which had strangled Syrian people on many grounds.

The war on virus, which has directly targeted our entire society, as well as the global dynamics, has presented itself as a great divider among us.  Our alienated perceptions have effectively prevented our ability to understand the course of action taken by others.  The excruciating hardship of those who wear masks 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, or more, to keep their jobs, or the anger and bitterness of those who were forced to be vaccinated against their will to remain employed,  or the predicaments faced by those who chose to be fired for their medical choice, are not shared by those who do not share the circumstances and perspectives.  The virus event kept people away from each other, prevented freedom of speech, and prevented freedom of assembly while deeply dividing people on many grounds.  It is appalling that US media outlets actually told their audience to cut their ties to friends and family members who are not vaccinated.  Anger, frustration, fear and hatred have been boiling in our communities.

Sadly, the situation is not any better among those who oppose the draconian virus measures. For example, some people see anyone who complies with a government mandate as an enemy, even if non compliance would have meant a total loss of livelihood.  I’ve seen a sad instance in which a bar owner, who courageously spoke against the government “vaccine” mandate for his customers, was mocked and ridiculed for complying with the strict mandate, though not doing so could have resulted in loss of his business.  This sort of atmosphere effectively prevents constructive community actions.  It prevents natural growth of genuine social relations among the people based on creativity and practical means.  The real struggle involves real observations of facts and spontaneous reactions to associated events. Ultimately, it cannot be prescribed by those who stand outside of the particular circumstance.  Without the existence of a genuine institution for the people to coordinate overall strategies and educate people about the mechanism of exploitation, this sort of arbitrary behavior of purging would emerge only to exacerbate alienation and division among those who should be united to counter the ruling class assaults. What Lenin said in last century still stands on this regard. It also cultivates a defeatist attitude to embrace martyrdom as the only plausible goal of resistance.

The establishment understands this mechanism very well.  That is why organized efforts of socialists, communists, and Marxists have been vehemently attacked by the US empire.  As long as we stand with the establishment in demonizing any potential to build revolutionary momentum, we are bound to stay within the framework of the exploitation. Our goal is to change the exploitive system to the one that benefits our mutual well-beings.  We are not the enemies of each other.  On this point, we have a lot to learn from the Syrian government, which has been allowing reconciliation between those who took weapons against the people and those who lost their family members by the violence.

Anti-Chinese sentiment

I have already written briefly about China and the virus event here, and here.  This topic continues to be crucial because China continues to present itself as the biggest obstacle to the western capitalist hegemony.  Although China is fully integrated in the global market economy, it continues to resist western domination of its social fabric through western neoliberalization and financialization.  This makes total sense if we understand the very reason why China opened itself to the market economy—it has done so to put its economic activities under the guidance of the Communist Party of China.  It allows China to grow economically in providing for its people while preventing western propaganda infiltration, development of western guided blackmarket, and western capitalist restructuring of Chinese social structure.

That is why we are flooded with anti-Chinese rhetoric today.

All western wars are ultimately imperial in nature.  War on virus is not an exception. Those who operate within the capitalist framework— including those who claim to resist the lockdowns and the experimental Covid injections—express their disdain toward the imperial enemy as a gesture to express their allegiance to the empire even when they must oppose their feudal overlords.

Historically, the western capitalist mobilizations—war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror and so on—that reshape and perpetuate its structural integrity occur in tandem with imperial dynamics. The slogans and talking points have always included anti-communist/anti-socialist elements.

The war on drugs was about destruction of minority communities as much as about destruction of Latin American movements to defy the US hegemony.  The war on terror ended up destroying the middle eastern countries which have cooperated with the US hegemony to varying degrees.  The US simply does not tolerate an alternative system that demonstrates the viability of social relations outside of the imperial framework. Millions have perished.  One out of hundred people became refugees. Countries were destroyed. The momentum of war on terror exacerbated institutionalized racism and structural violence within the US as well, ultimately depriving people of legal rights through the National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act, installation of the surveillance state, militarization of police and etc.

China has experienced capitalist onslaughts of colonialism, colonial wars, chemical/biological attacks, proxy wars, propaganda campaigns, regime change operations, trade embargoes, trade sanctions, economic war and more even before it embarked on the path of socialism with its revolution.

China has seen it all.

There is a reason why we keep hearing “China is complicit,” “the Chinese system is coming,” and “China is violating human rights” over and over. Because the war on virus follows the same rule.  It restructures our society to perpetuate the oligarchy, and the momentum of exploitation and subjugation parallels the imperial violence against targeted countries.  This is why hundreds of military bases are surrounding China, while multiple propaganda projects are being carried out—Hong KongTibetUyghur, continued lies about Tiananmen Squareoutright deceptions stating China has killed millions of its own people.

As long as the movement of resistance being built in the west stays within the framework of imperial exploitation and subjugation, ultimately, it will serve the empire very effectively.  The oscillation between fascism and social democracy applies within imperial dynamics as well.  For example, within the imperial framework, Nazi Germany was cultivated by the US industries to assault USSR, its failure to do so then became a justification for the US to construct its imperial hegemony.  Famously, Nazi scientists and even some political figures were absorbed into the US empire (see operation paper clip).  The current atmosphere emerging is not new or any more deadly than the imperial essence itself.  This dynamic is crucial to understand.  Failure to do so would allow another oscillation within the empire which could perpetuate the empire.  On the surface, China seems to be a part of the momentum generally referred to as the “Great Reset.”  However, meanwhile, the western allies in the pacific are also arming themself to encircle China militarily.  China is under tremendous pressure to accept western led financialization and neoliberalization of their social structure.  The situation greatly echoes how USSR and its allies were subjected to containment and encirclement.  China seems to recognize the dynamics very well as I explain shortly.

Or, down the road, the fascist “Great Reset” might grow into a modern day economic Nazi to give a legitimacy to its counterpart within the western hegemony just like how the US achieved its imperial status after the WW2.  The history could certainly rhyme.  Such a possibility can’t be ruled out, but who wants to become another Nazi to be destroyed by the empire?  All players understand these dynamics,  The US won’t allow its own allies to threaten its own interests, while some allies are very eager to please the empire by playing their role in enforcing imperial imperatives—see how draconian measures in pushing big pharma vaccines, along with digitalization, financialization and the rest of the 4th Industrial Revolution, are forcefully forwarded in Australia, Canada and so on.

Perhaps the role of Israel in the imperial dynamics should be pointed out here to illustrate the dynamics.  The violence which has been inflicted by the Israeli regime against neighboring countries and beyond serves the war-based US economy while punishing those who defy the imperial hegemony. Israel plays a violent guard dog for the empire under US protection, takes on the blame for it and sustains itself in this imperial relationship. Israel has been faithfully playing its role in the war on virus by relentlessly vaccinating its people while introducing various associated measures as well.  Again, understanding the war on virus requires understanding imperial dynamics.

Meanwhile, China clearly understands its position within the imperial dynamics.  China is not about to impose on itself a deadly neoliberal restructuring such as the USSR suffered as it was being demolished. China is not about to accept colonial war on its soil in any form including biological attacks, proxy war or economic war.  If China sees its economic sphere as a part of its socialism with Chinese characteristics, it stands to reason that China would have to confront the waves of the western socio-political-economic restructuring associated with the virus event appropriately.

It’s none of western business if China decides to prepare itself for potential western biological attacks with any measures it deems necessary considering that the US owns the biggest pile of WMDs along with hundreds of bio weapon facilities across the globe, along with the history of actually using such weapons during the Korean War and on other occasions.

It’s none of western business if China develops its own Covid vaccines and virus measures in order to protect its financial sovereignty against western waves of Covid related neoliberal restructuring and financialization.

It’s none of western business if China ends up succeeding in all of the above and turning the occasion into an opportunity to strengthen its economic viability, scientific progress and international presence with the overwhelming approval of its people.

Parasites devouring paralyzed hosts

Pin on Art in Latin America - The Mexican Mural Movement

Night of the Rich, Diego Rivera, 1928

Twisting around fear and putting people against each other in consecrating the unconditional authority of corporate entities over families torn apart, communities destroyed, and individuals rendered hopeless and hateful is not anything nature meant for us humans.

We are looking at parasites devouring paralyzed hosts.  This is the very essence of an inhumane social formation called capitalism described precisely by Karl Marx. It is revealing that the formation is called “communism” even by those who claim to “resist”.

Again, the colonized institutions ultimately act as cages for capitalism. They work together to recalibrate the caste system.

Over and over we’ve been deceived.  We are mobilized to play ritual battles on political theaters. We are mobilized to play “activism” on social theaters.  We are mobilized to play good citizens on cultural theaters. We are mobilized to fight “others” on colonial theaters of war.  As long as we run around within the framework of the oligarchs, we just shift the blame among ourselves and we keep fine tuning the very feudal hierarchy that traps us as expendable beings.

The wealth and power hoarded by the parasitic minority never belong to them. They are blessings of nature and humanity belonging to the harmony among us. Those oligarchs have only one thing—they are astronomically richer than the rest. They monopolize what belongs to us all in order to domesticate humanity and nature. But life can’t be contained by their primitive cage.  So they have been modifying life to fit within the narrowly defined framework of their own kingdom. We became dumber, we are less brave, we are more cynical and hypocritical.  None of it is acceptable from any angle from which we look at it. The current social formation is extremely destructive to our species. If we fail to grasp the situation, gene therapy drugs, psychotropic drugs, behavioral conditioning and so on will be fully used to exacerbate the situation, commodifying our minds and bodies as our lives are more and more digitized and financialized.  If we become the products to be consumed, we are subjected to planned obsolescence, reduced quality, reduced diversity and so on just like any other items around us.  They spread their tentacles in taking over social institutions.  They freely attenuate and amplify the roles of institutions in orchestrating the material reality to suit their interests.  Again, they paralyze people with illusions, lies, deceptions, drugs, carrot and stick and eat us alive.  We do not deserve this parasitic social formation.

We need a system which firmly ensures that the material reality reflects a harmony of man and nature.  For one thing, the ridiculous rituals of corporate politics, corporate slogans for health, and so on have no place in getting us out of this feudalism of money and violence.  How can we all step back a little and take a look at what is really going on, calling out the parasites for what they are?  How can we recognize that the same colonizers who destroyed countries across the globe have embarked on psychological asymmetrical urban warfare against us? We are told that we are all in this together only to find ourselves shooting each other. We are told to flatten the curve only to see our communities flattened to be swallowed by corporate entities. How can we build our communities with social relations based on our needs?  How can we build social institutions which can help us build a social formation that serves us all.

The parasites devour the hosts because they do not have the ability to engage in the creative process of life. They must lie and deceive to imprison the subject population so that the captive beings are forced to construct the kingdom for the parasites. Parasites are not the all-seeing gods which they present themselves to be.  In order to survive and embrace the blessings of the universe as one of the species on our planet, we must recognize this destructive state of being and somehow move beyond it.

We are hardly the only ones screaming.  We are a fraction of a huge momentum of humanity continuing to make a point about our species’ obvious predicaments. The following words came from George L. Jackson shortly before he was murdered in California’s San Quentin Prison (I thank John Steppling for mentioning the quote recently):

“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.”

George L. Jackson

Like Fred Hampton said, “you can kill the revolutionary but you can’t kill the Revolution.

 

[Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and is represented by Lori Bookstein Fine Art. He has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the MacDowell Colony. In 1998 Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and in 2009 he was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He lives and works in New York.]

Climate Warriors and Flagships from Hell

OffGuardian

November 10, 2021

By Michael Swifte

 

There should be encampments and occupations in and near Middlesborough and Hull. There should be. If the spirit of Earth First and actual environmentalism was with us, perhaps there would be.

The EAST COAST CLUSTER (centred around Middlesborough and Hull) is a well-supported proposal for two industrial decarbonisation hubs connected by a pipeline to North Sea geological storage of CO2. It is the flagship product of the ‘Kickstarter’ initiative launched by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) in September 2019.

When the CO2 pipeline is connected and the fossil hydrogen production begins the members of the OGCI, a collection of the world’s wealthiest oil and gas CEOs, will have been installed as the gatekeepers of geological storage of CO2. Much like the Porthos project in Rotterdam, the East Coast Cluster is one of many new decarbonisation hubs projected as flagships for late stage fossil fuel extractivism.

You may have heard the argument made before that climate justice activism has crowded out classical environmentalism with an omni-problem – the greatest and most urgent issue we face. This is indeed the case. Nobody can deny that climate warriors have always called for an end to fossil fuel extraction.

Most of the credulous masses believe that keeping-it-in-the-ground is a central objective of climate justice NGOs, indeed most of the mouthpieces and paid campaigners still believe that keeping fossil fuels in the ground is what they are fighting to achieve. But, as is always the case, the truth is more complicated and insidious than most can comprehend or imagine.

Through their hegemonic networks, philanthropists have directed the action for the bureaucratic class of climate activism and limited the incubation of grassroots groups. Through their networks and discretionary funding, they have limited the opportunities for campaigning that could pose a credible threat to fossil fuel extractivism.

They have created the conditions for the perpetuation of the biomass carbon double-counting scam. The core components of the stakeholder capitalist plans for net zero in Europe require biomass as a ‘feedstock’. It will function as a key negative value on the deep decarbonisation net zero ledger. The scam is currently deployed to plump up the renewables figures when it is used to replace coal in existing power plants.

Laurence Tubiana is CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF) which is a well-funded node in the ClimateWorks empire under the Design to Win plan. Tubiana says that abatement of emissions from industry is now possible, and says that “Industry leaders are looking at totally disruptive technologies and visions”. The ECF has commissioned research into the potential role of biomass as a ‘feedstock’ in industrial clusters using carbon capture and storage.

In one significant 2019 collaboration that included one of the Extinction Rebellion funders, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, it was made clear that the necessary concession positions were in place. In effect, the ECF position is that a little Bioenergy (biomass) with Carbon Capture and storage (BECCS) is okay if heavy industry could please use less fossil fuels and not too much biomass.

In effect they have displayed their concession positions that leave the door open for business as usual, but with some abatement of CO2.

‘A little bit of BECCS and some ‘clean’ fossil fuels in exchange for a renewables revolution’ is the bargain that the bureaucratic class of climate campaigners thought they had on the table as early as 2005.

Bellona Foundation and Climate Action Network Europe (CANE) represent two sides of the NGO discourse in discussions on negative emissions technologies in Europe over the last two decades. Both are associated with Design to Win funding. This is due in part to the sheer size and scope of the regranting networks fostered by John Podesta.

The process for capturing campaigning and activism is deviously simple: new campaigns are incubated and existing NGOs consolidate their positions in the messaging sphere subject to the terms on which grants are distributed. As long as you don’t take aim at the concession positions of the funders, your campaign will stand a chance. Add the captive media with incomprehensible editorial positions and astonishing blind spots, and you have a self-reinforcing, narrative-driven fount of propaganda. Control of the messaging sphere via discretionary funding was made possible by the vast scale of the Design to Win philanthropies interests and influence.

Bellona are BECCS hawks. They are one of John Podesta’s favourite NGOs. Their positions are aligned with the Design To Win imperative/concession position to leave space for “unavoidable fossil fuels”. CANE collectively represent the climate warrior positions which have always included an end to fossil fuels, but are tempered by the pragmatics of managing a transition to renewables and energy efficiency. Everywhere in the ClimateWorks empire you see Design to Win funding for both the hawkish NGOs like Clean Air Task Force and climate warrior NGOs like Global Energy Monitor.

The rapid deployment of BECCS has been a long time in the planning. The former Head of Climate Change and Energy at WWF-UK, Emma Pinchbeck attended the launch of the Teesside Collective in July 2015. At the time she articulated WWF’s position in terms that should have shocked climate warriors, “industrial CCS is the no-alternative solution for the industrial sector”. [Source] With the help of the OGCI, the Teesside Collective’s ambitions have turned into the East Coast Cluster.

Pinchbeck is currently the Chief Executive of Energy UK which touts itself as “The voice of the energy industry”. She still supports investment in BECCS and despite her bio stating that she specialises in ‘whole economy’ decarbonisation, she doesn’t seem to care much about the externalities that will be created when the flagships from hell set sail. The economic and environmental impacts caused by the ongoing destruction that fossil fuel extraction and the large-scale uptake of BECCS are unquantifiable.

Antonio Guterres signalled his support for the industrial decarbonisation plans of the OGCI when he sent his special adviser (Robert Orr) to the Gramercy Hotel to meet their CEOs the night before Greta Thunberg’s big speech in New York. The message delivered on behalf of the UN Secretary-General (who had invited Greta to come to New York) made it clear that the ‘Kickstarter’ initiative, the subject of an embargoed media release, had the green light.

“Your industry has the assets and the expertise to demonstrate the ambition we need and to lead the way. The world needs, and is demanding, an ambitious road map to reduce the carbon intensity of your industry, and to demonstrate your commitment to align with the goals of the Paris agreement.”

Robert Orr, Special Adviser to Antonio Guterres, September 22, 2019

Philanthropies incubate and fund campaign groups and NGOs to serve particular narratives. Talking points embedded with fallacious logic are easily passed on and bolstered by access to market reach and attention metrics. Greta, AOC and XR are the three most significant examples of high-reach climate warriors. All three share a blind spot that has been crucial to controlling the narratives about what climate action should look like – they all completely ignored the output of the IPCC Working Group 3 (WG3) on mitigation.

BECCS and CCS appeared in three of the four mitigation pathways (P2-4) developed for WG3, with one pathway (P1) avoiding BECCS and CCS – labelled the ‘degrowth pathway’. Any meaningful investigations or public discourses into the various pathways might have unpacked some vital questions about the political will and the future plans of big oil, gas, coal and biomass.

While Thelma Krug (Vice Chair of the IPCC) was happy to present the WG3 pathways to the fossil fuel sector to demonstrate future opportunities, the only mainstream attention exploring the degrowth pathway came from Jason Hickel’s writing about the ‘Grubler et al (2018) ‘Low Energy Demand’ scenario’. Sadly, the degrowth movement discovered Hickel’s work too late to make a meaningful contribution to the discourse when it mattered which was between October 2018 and October 2020 during the ascendancy of Greta, AOC, and XR.

The impact of BECCS is global, but its potential for scale and implementation is currently very European. Decarbonisation hubs in Europe will be made possible by CO2 pipelines, port facilities and imported biomass. BECCS deployment in Europe will require vast quantities of wood chips and waste trimmings from forestry and agroforestry in North America.

The anticipated demand for BECCS and the application of carbon accounting trickery to woody biomass has allowed industry to once again transform waste products like the ‘forest residues’ from agroforestry into valuable feedstocks.

In turn the capturing of CO2 through the application of CCS transforms it into a value added product and potential feedstock for enhanced oil and gas recovery. It is the pipelines connecting the industrial areas near Middlesborough and Hull that form the crucial infrastructure establishing each decarbonisation cluster.

Around the globe planned and already implemented decarbonisation hubs are contingent on CO2 pipelines. Proximity to storage locations is not easily achieved. The Sturgeon hub near Edmonton is a good example of the kind of projects we are likely to see after COP26 when tax credits, border adjustments and other effective subsidies become operational. The $25 billion three train Sturgeon oil sands refinery only uses 10% of the capacity of the CO2 pipeline that forms the foundation of the Sturgeon hub.

 

A proposed global layout of carbon capture and storage in line with a 2 °C  climate target | Nature Climate Change

“Results show 3,093 carbon clusters and 432 sinks in 85 countries and regions are selected to achieve 92?GtCO2 mitigation by CCUS, 64% of which will be sequestered into sedimentary basins for aquifer storage and 36% will be used for CO2-EOR (enhanced oil recovery). Of the identified source–sink matching, 80% are distributed within 300?km and are mainly located in China, the United States, the European Union, Russia and India. The total cost is ~0.12% of global cumulative gross domestic product. Of countries with CO2-EOR, 75% will turn into profitable at the oil price over US$100 per barrel.” [Source: Nature]

 

The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line transports CO2 from Sturgeon to depleted conventional oil fields for enhanced oil recovery. The CO2, we are told, reintegrates into the rock matrix while the produced crude is pumped to Hardisty for export via train and pipeline.

Dozens of pipelines and hubs have been proposed in North America. Exxon have proposed the Houston Ship Channel – Innovation Zone to process gas from the gulf. The Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative could become a lifeline for coal creating opportunities for coal to hydrogen production while supplying enhanced oil recovery projects.

These projects have been given importance because the effective subsidies that will make the finance work have continued to expand with little to no resistance. The 45Q tax credit is the most prominent of the measures being developed to support the building of CO2 pipelines in the US. It will be further expanded under Sec. 136107 of the Build Back Better Act.

Grassroots campaigners have begun to rise up in the US state of Iowa against the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline intended to cross 5 states and if built would be the longest pipeline of its kind in the world. Look up the Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition and follow their looming fight against eminent domain. Check out a recent series of interviews by Great Plains Action Society founder Sikowis. They are a must listen.

On October 25, 2021 the International Renewable Energy Agency published a technical paper on the synergies between CCS and renewables in “reaching zero”. This is an astonishing and categorical failure by IRENA if indeed they ever held any proper ambition for wide scale implementation of renewables. The widely echoed calls for 100% renewables are fundamentally threatened by any CCS applied to fossil fuels or biomass. We should be very concerned at this time to see IRENA defy the fundamentals of its platform.

In the wash up from COP 26 we will see a deflating reality play out. Saudi Aramco will make more blue ammonia and blue hydrogen deals in Asia. Australian extractive industries will do the same. Scratch the surface of any net zero commitment and you will find partially laid out plans that suggest that fossil fuels aren’t going anywhere for a good while yet, but that the appetite for CO2 abatement and storage is growing.

We should remember the words of the Saudi Aramco chief technology officer Ahmad Al Khowaiter at the Atlantic Council: Global Energy Forum 2019,

“CO2 is a valuable feedstock, we should not forget that.”

 

[Michael Swifte is a researcher, anti-fossil fuel activist and a member of the Wrong Kind of Green critical thinking collective. His writing can be found on the WKOG website and on his blog We Suspect Silence.]

The Left’s Covid Failure

Unherd

November 24, 2021

By Toby Green and Thomas Fazi

 

Antonio Berni, Manifestación, 1934

 

Amplifying the crisis is no way to rebuild trust

Throughout the various phases of the global pandemic, people’s preferences in terms of epidemiological strategies have tended to overlap closely with their political orientation. Ever since Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro expressed doubts as to the wisdom of a lockdown strategy in March 2020, liberals and those on the Left of the Western political spectrum, including most socialists, have fallen over themselves to adhere in public to the lockdown strategy of pandemic mitigation — and lately to the logic of vaccine passports. Now as countries across Europe experiment with tighter restrictions of the unvaccinated, Left-wing commentators — usually so vocal in the defence of minorities suffering from discrimination — are notable for their silence.

As writers who have always positioned ourselves on the Left, we are disturbed at this turn of events. Is there really no progressive criticism to be made about the quarantining of healthy individuals, when the latest research suggests there is a vanishingly small difference in terms of transmission between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated? The Left’s response to Covid now appears as part of a broader crisis in Left-wing politics and thought — one which has been going on for three decades at least. So it’s important to identify the process through which this has taken shape.

In the first phase of the pandemic — the lockdowns phase — it was those leaning towards the cultural and economic right who were more likely to emphasise the social, economic and psychological damage resulting from lockdowns. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s initial lockdown scepticism made this position untenable for most of those leaning towards the cultural and economic Left. Social media algorithms then further fuelled this polarisation. Very quickly, therefore, Western leftists embraced lockdown, seen as a “pro-life” and “pro-collective” choice — a policy that, in theory, championed public health or the collective right to health. Meanwhile any criticism of the lockdowns was excoriated as a “right-wing”, “pro-economy” and “pro-individual” approach, accused of prioritising “profit” and “business as usual” over people’s lives.

In sum, decades of political polarisation instantly politicised a public health issue, without allowing any discussion as to what a coherent Left response would be. At the same time, the Left’s position distanced it from any kind of working-class base, since low-income workers were the most severely affected by the socio-economic impacts of continued lockdown policies, and were also those most likely to be out working while the laptop class benefitted from Zoom. These same political fault lines emerged during the vaccine roll-out, and now during the Covid passports phase. Resistance associates with the Right, while those on the mainstream Left are generally supportive of both measures. Opposition is demonised as a confused mixture of anti-science irrationalism and individualistic libertarianism.

But why has the mainstream Left ended up supporting practically all Covid measures? How did such a simplistic view of the relationship between health and the economy emerge, one which makes a mockery of decades of (Left-leaning) social science research showing just how closely wealth and health outcomes are connected? Why did the Left ignore the massive increase in inequalities, the attack on the poor, on poor countries, on women and children, the cruel treatment of the elderly, and the huge increase in wealth for the richest individuals and corporations resulting from these policies? How, in relation to the development and roll-out of vaccines, did the Left end up ridiculing the very notion that, given the money at stake, and when BioNTech, Moderna and Pfizer currently make between them over US$1,000 per second from the Covid vaccines, there might be motivations from the vaccine manufacturers other than “the public good” at play? And how is it possible that the Left, often on the receiving end of state repression, today seems oblivious to the worrying ethical and political implications of Covid passports?

While the Cold War coincided with the era of decolonisation and the rise of a global anti-racist politics, the end of the Cold War – alongside the symbolic triumph of decolonisation politics with the end of apartheid – ushered in an existential crisis for Left-wing politics. The rise of neoliberal economic hegemony, globalisation, and corporate trans-nationalism, have all undermined the Left’s historic view of the state as an engine of redistribution. Combined with this is the realisation that, as the Brazilian theorist Roberto Mangabeira Unger has argued, the Left has always prospered most at times of great crisis — the Russian Revolution benefited from the World War One, and welfare capitalism from the aftermath of the World War Two. This history may partly explain the Left’s positioning today: amplifying the crisis and prolonging it through never-ending restrictions may be seen by some as a way to rebuild Left politics after decades of existential crisis.

The Left’s flawed understanding of the nature of neoliberalism may also have affected its response to the crisis. Most people on the Left believe that neoliberalism has involved a “retreat” or “hollowing out” of the state in favour of the market. Thus, they interpreted government activism throughout the pandemic as a welcome “return of the state”, one potentially capable, in their view, of eventually reversing neoliberalism’s allegedly anti-statist project. The problem with this argument, even accepting its dubious logic, is that neoliberalism hasn’t entailed a withering away of the state. On the contrary, the size of the state as a percentage of GDP has continued to rise throughout the neoliberal era.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Neoliberalism relies on extensive state intervention just as much as “Keynesianism” did, except that the state now intervenes almost exclusively to further the interests of big capital – to police the working classes, bail out large banks and firms that would otherwise go bankrupt, etc. Indeed, in many ways, capital today is more dependent on the state than ever. As Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan note: “[A]s capitalism develops, governments and large corporations become increasingly intertwined. … The capitalist mode of power and the dominant-capital coalitions that rule it do not require small governments. In fact, in many respects, they need larger ones”. Neoliberalism today is more akin to a form of state-monopoly capitalism – or corporatocracy – than the kind of small-state free-market capitalism that it often claims to be. This helps explain why it has produced increasingly powerful, interventionist, and even authoritarian state apparatuses.

This in itself makes the Left’s cheering at a non-existent “return of the state” embarrassingly naïve. And the worst part is that it has made this mistake before. Even in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, many on the Left hailed large government deficits as “the return of Keynes” – when, in fact, those measures had very little to do with Keynes, who counselled the use of government spending to reach full employment, and instead were aimed at bolstering the culprits of the crisis, the big banks. They were also followed by an unprecedented attack on welfare systems and workers’ rights across Europe.

Something similar is happening today, as state contracts for Covid tests, PPE, vaccines, and now vaccine passport technologies are parcelled out to transnational corporations (often through shady deals that reek of cronyism). Meanwhile, citizens are having their lives and livelihoods upended by “the new normal”. That the Left seems completely oblivious to this is particularly puzzling. After all, the idea that governments tend to exploit crises to further entrench the neoliberal agenda has been a staple of much recent Left-wing literature. Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, for example, have argued that under neoliberalism, crisis has become a “method of government”. More famously, in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein explored the idea of “disaster capitalism”. Her central thesis is that in moments of public fear and disorientation it is easier to re-engineer societies: dramatic changes to the existing economic order, which would normally be politically impossible, are imposed in rapid-fire succession before the public has had time to understand what is happening.

There’s a similar dynamic at play today. Take, for example, the high-tech surveillance measures, digital IDs, crackdown on public demonstrations and fast-tracking of laws introduced by governments to combat the coronavirus outbreak. If recent history is anything to go by, governments will surely find a way to make many of the emergency rules permanent – just as they did with much post-9/11 anti-terrorist legislation. As Edward Snowden noted: “When we see emergency measures passed, particularly today, they tend to be sticky. The emergency tends to be expanded”. This confirms, too, the ideas on the “state of exception” posited by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who has nonetheless been vilified by the mainstream Left for his anti-lockdown position.

Ultimately, any form of government action should be judged for what it actually stands for. We support government intervention if it serves to further the rights of workers and minorities, to create full employment, to provide crucial public services, to rein in corporate power, to correct the dysfunctionalities of markets, to take control of crucial industries in the public interest. But in the past 18 months we have witnessed the exact opposite: an unparalleled strengthening of transnational corporate behemoths and their oligarchs at the expense of workers and local businesses. A report last month based on Forbes data showed that America’s billionaires alone have seen their wealth increase by US$2 trillion during the pandemic.

Another Left-wing fantasy that has been shuttered by reality is the notion that the pandemic would usher in a new sense of collective spirit, capable of overcoming decades of neoliberal individualism. On the contrary, the pandemic has fractured societies even more – between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, between those who can reap the benefits of smart working and those who can’t. Moreover, a demos made up of traumatised individuals, torn apart from their loved ones, made to fear one another as a potential vectors of disease, terrified of physical contact – is hardly a good breeding ground for collective solidarity.

Juanito dormido | Contemporary Art Day Auction | | Sotheby's

Antonio Berni, Juanito dormido

But perhaps the Left’s response can be better understood in individual rather than collective terms. Classic psychoanalytic theory has posited a clear connection between pleasure and authority: the experience of great pleasure (satiating the pleasure principle) can often be followed by a desire for renewed authority and control manifested by the ego or “reality principle”. This can indeed produce a subverted form of pleasure. The last two decades of globalisation have seen a huge expansion of the “pleasure of experience”, as shared by the increasingly transnational global liberal class – many of whom, somewhat curiously in historical terms, identified themselves as on the Left (and indeed increasingly usurped this position from the traditional working-class constituencies of the Left). This mass increase in pleasure and experience among the liberal class went with a growing secularism and lack of any recognised moral constraint or authority. From the perspective of psychoanalysis, the support from this class for “Covid measures” is quite readily explained in these terms: as the desired appearance of a coterie of restrictive and authoritarian measures which can be imposed to curtail pleasure, within the strictures of a moral code which steps in where one had previously been lacking.

Another factor explaining the Left’s embrace of “Covid measures” is its blind faith in “science”. This has its roots in the Left’s traditional faith in rationalism. However, one thing is believing in the undeniable virtues of the scientific method – another is being completely oblivious to the way those in power exploit “science” to further their agenda. Being able to appeal to “hard scientific data” to justify one’s policy choices is an incredibly powerful tool in the hands of governments – it is, in fact, the essence of technocracy. However, this means carefully selecting the “science” that is supportive of your agenda – and aggressively marginalising any alternative views, regardless of their scientific value.

This has been happening for years in the realm of economics. Is it really that hard to believe that such a corporate capture is happening today with regard to medical science? Not according to John P. Ioannidis, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University. Ioannidis made headlines in early 2021 when he published, with some colleagues of his, a paper claiming that there was no practical difference in epidemiological terms between countries that had locked down and those that hadn’t. The backlash against the paper – and against Ioannidis in particular – was fierce, especially among his fellow scientists.

This explains his recent scathing denunciation of his own profession. In an article entitled “How the Pandemic Is Changing the Norms of Science”, Ioannidis notes that most people – especially on the Left — seem to think that science operates based on “the Mertonian norms of communalism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism”. But, alas, that is not how the scientific community actually operates, Ioannidis explains. With the pandemic, conflicts of corporate interest exploded – and yet talking about them became anathema. He continues: “Consultants who made millions of dollars from corporate and government consultation were given prestigious positions, power, and public praise, while unconflicted scientists who worked pro bono but dared to question dominant narratives were smeared as being conflicted. Organized skepticism was seen as a threat to public health. There was a clash between two schools of thought, authoritarian public health versus science – and science lost”.

Ultimately, the Left’s blatant disregard and mockery of people’s legitimate concerns (over lockdowns, vaccines or Covid passports) is shameful. Not only are these concerns rooted in actual hardship but they also stem from an understandable distrust of governments and institutions that have been undeniably captured by corporate interests. Anyone who favours a truly progressive-interventionist state, as we do, needs to address these concerns – not dismiss them.

But where the Left’s response has been found most wanting is on the world stage, in terms of the relationship of Covid restrictions to deepening poverty in the Global South. Has it really nothing to say about the enormous increase in child marriage, the collapse in schooling, and the destruction of formal employment in Nigeria, where the State Statistics agency suggests 20% of people lost their jobs during the lockdowns? What about the reality that the country with the highest Covid mortality figures and excess death rate for 2020 was Peru – which had one of the world’s strictest lockdowns? On all this, it has been virtually silent. This position must be considered in relation to the pre-eminence of nationalist politics on the world stage: the electoral failure of Left internationalists such as Jeremy Corbyn meant that broader global issues had little traction when considering a broader Western Left response to Covid-19.

It is worth mentioning that there have been outliers on the Left – radical-left and socialist movements that have come out against the prevailing management of the pandemic. These include Black Lives Matter in New York, Left Lockdown Sceptics in the UK, the Chilean urban left, Wu Ming in Italy and not least the Social Democrat-Green alliance which currently governs Sweden. But the full spectrum of Left opinion was ignored, partly due to the small number of Left-wing media outlets, but also due to the marginalisation of dissenting opinions first and foremost by the mainstream Left.

Mainly, though, this has been a historic failure from the Left, which will have disastrous consequences. Any form of popular dissent is likely to be hegemonized once again by the (extreme) Right, poleaxing any chance the Left has of winning round the voters it needs to overturn Right-wing hegemony. Meanwhile, the Left holds on to a technocracy of experts severely undermined by what is proving to be a catastrophic handling of the pandemic in terms of social progressivism. As any kind of viable electable Left fades into the past, the discussion and dissent at the heart of any true democratic process is likely to fade with it.

 

[Toby Green is a professor of history at Kings College London. His latest book is The Covid Consensus: The New Politics of Global Inequality (Hurst).]

 

 

Stealth Game: “Community” Conservancies Devastate Land & Lives in Northern Kenya

Oakland Institute

November 2021

 

“They have put fear in our hearts. . .”

 

– Mohammed Kampicha Bilalo, Biliqo, Chari Ward, June 2019

 

Source: AEON

Stealth Game: “Community” Conservancies Devastate Land & Lives in Northern Kenya — reveals the devastating impact of privatized and neo-colonial wildlife conservation and safari tourism on Indigenous pastoralist communities. Although terms like “participatory,” “community driven,” and “local empowerment” are extensively used, the report exposes how the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), have allegedly dispossessed pastoralist communities of their ancestral lands, through corruption, cooptation, and sometimes through intimidation and violence, to create wildlife conservancies for conservation dollars.

Since its founding in 2004, NRT has set up 39 conservancies on over 42,000 square kilometers of land in Northern and Coastal Kenya — nearly eight percent of the country’s total land area. While NRT claims that its goal is to “transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources,” the Oakland Institute’s report elevates voices of communities — predominantly pastoralists — who allege NRT dispossesses them of their land and deploys armed security units involved in serious human rights abuses. NRT is also involved in security, management of pasture land, and livestock marketing, which according to the impacted communities, gives it a level of control that surpasses even that of the Kenyan government.

Based on extensive field research, Stealth Game: “Community” Conservancies Devastate Land & Lives in Northern Kenya, is the first independent report to provide a comprehensive review of the evolution of Kenya’s land and wildlife conservation laws; the history, structure, and functioning of “community” conservancy model of NRT; as well as land and human rights issues surrounding the privatized model of conservation in Kenya.

Created by Ian Craig, whose family was part of an elite white minority during British colonialism, NRT’s origins date back to the 1980s when Craig’s family-owned, 62,000-acre cattle ranch was transformed into its first conservancy. Today, NRT receives millions in funding from donors such as USAID, the European Union, Danish and French development agencies and large environmental NGOs, including The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Space for Giants.

In recent years, impacted communities have held protests, signed petitions, and initiated legal action against the presence of NRT on their lands. Community members have repeatedly asked for justice after years of being ignored by the Kenyan government and by the police when reporting killings of family members and other human rights abuses. The findings of Stealth Game call for an urgent independent investigation into land and human rights related grievances around NRT’s community conservancies — including allegations of involvement of NRT’s rapid response units in inter-ethnic conflict, and of abuses and extrajudicial killings.

The report’s release comes as the international community is considering adopting the “30×30 initiative” under the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity, which calls for 30 percent of the planet to be placed in protected areas or other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030. Stealth Game makes it clear that fortress conservation must be replaced by truly Indigenous-led conservation efforts to preserve the remaining biodiversity of the planet while respecting interests, rights, and dignity of the local communities.

 

WATCH: Digital ID: Freedom-As-A-Service. The Lure of Entitlement as the Method for Entrapment.

November 18, 2021

 

Our identity is, literally, who we are, and as the digital technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution advance, our identity is increasingly digital. This digital identity determines what products, services and information we can access – or, conversely, what is closed off to us.”

 

September 2018, World Economic Forum insight report, Identity in a Digital World, A new chapter in the social contract

 

November 1, 2018: “If Dave Birch of Consult Hyperion is correct, identity is the new money.” [Source]

OWI (PRNewsfoto/One World Identity)

 

 

2016: Yesterday’s ID2020 is today’s Good Health Pass, is tomorrows Digital Identity for All. Freedom-As-A-Service [Source]

Digital ID. The commodification of freedom of movement.

From the roll-out of vaccine credentials/accreditations, to obtain health passes (under ID2020 Good Health Pass framework) in order to access services – experimental jabs are the portal to achieving a digital identification global infrastructure – an imperative for a seamless functioning of “ecosystems” (digital finance/wallets, data economy, smart cities, etc.) within the fourth industrial revolution digital architecture. Via framing, marketing, and the branding of bourgeois access, what was formerly recognized as freedom of movement, “the most indelible of rights” (Steppling), is now being repacked as an entitlement in exchange for compliance, within an unfolding fourth industrial revolution economic caste system.

“By 2030, our goal is to enable access to digital identity for every person on the planet.” — ID2020 2017 Summit  

“Figure 1. Screenshots of the proposed digital solution.” – This screenshot is from the 2016 paper Travel Vaccines Enter the Digital Age: Creating a Virtual Immunization Record, by *Kumanan Wilson, Katherine M. Atkinson, and Cameron P. Bell. [*Kumanan Wilson is a physician at The Ottawa Hospital and member of the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics. Consultant to the World Health Organization on the IHR (2005). Wilson is CEO of CANImmunize Inc., Canada’s national immunization app. CANImmunize is identified as a leading achievement of the Federal Health Minister in 2014; recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC); Recognized by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and Deloitte Global, as a model for consumer-facing immunization solutions; Certified by the World Health Organization’s VaccineSafetyNet.]

Event 50 – Webinar | Vaccination Passports, March 29, 2021

Consult Hyperion: “Considerable attention is being paid to the topic of vaccination passports… In this webinar our COO, Steve Pannifer, and our Global Ambassador, Dave Birch spoke to Frank Joshi from MVine and Andrew Bud from iProov, who’ve developed one such solution in the UK.”

Consult Hyperion Global Ambassador, David Birch, is an author, advisor and commentator on digital financial services. An internationally recognized and renowned thought leader in digital identity and digital money, he holds a number of board and advisory roles across these fields. He is a Forbes contributor and a columnist for Financial World and has just been ranked one of the top 100 global fintech influencers for 2021. Previously named one of the global top 15 favourite sources of business information by Wired magazine and identified as one of the top ten most influential voices in banking by Financial Brand, he created one of the top 25 “must read” financial IT blogs and was found by PR Daily to be one of the top ten Twitter accounts followed by innovators. [Full bio] Birch is a venture partner in 1414 Ventures – a “digital identity space which supports functions such as payments, cybersecurity, and data privacy & trust.” On Nov. 12, 2020,One World Identity” announced the formation of their senior advisory board to which David Birch was appointed.

Transcript/excerpt:

Consult Hyperion director Dave Birch: “In the past, and certainly in our webinars, you know, and I’ll lump you and I together for this kind of thing, we sort of assumed it would be the government, or the banks, or whatever,  that would get it together and you know, roll out digital [ID]. I don’t know why we thought this, I don’t know, there’s not the slightest evidence they would ever do this, but we sort of thought that would happen. I wonder if what we’re seeing here is the emergence of a different identity infrastructure that’s going to come out in a much more bells and braces way, but ultimately be more effective.

And the reason I think that is, because, if you say to me “Well Dave, you know, you’re going to have a British identity card and prove who you are, well of course, I’ll riot in the streets and complain. You know, its continental tyranny and the podionic imposition and all this sort of thing. Well you say, “Well Dave, if you want to go to the Spoons, so I’m using the democratic andro, trying to be a man of the people here, the spoons, that is where the Wookey [theatre] is … so if I want to go up the Spoons or if I want to see [the] Wookey play, if I’m just told I have to have your vaccines, then I’ll do it. I don’t care. Right? And actually 99% of people in the country wouldn’t care whether that certificate, I mean this is my yellow fever certificate, which is a highly anti-counterfeitable yellow, but you can’t get this yellow paper anywhere. North Korean super note  forgers thrown down their pens in frustration (much laughter from panel). And most people wouldn’t care. I mean we have a responsibility as an industry to make sure that infrastructure is privacy enhancing,  and to make sure that peoples personal information isn’t spewed all over the internet. But actually I don’t think most people would care.

It’s like if you want to get into the Spoons you have to have one of the passports, they’ll do it. Now to your point about the shared infrastructure, I wonder if this isn’t opening up an amazing opportunity for us. Because if I’ve got, let’s do that as a thought experiment. Wetherspoons  have already got the Wetherspoons  app, it already exists. They already got people signed up to it. So Wetherspoons come and say, ‘ well we want to connect into your infrastructure to do this’, and so we tell them ‘well okay’, these guys have got grade 12 education and all this kind of thing, where are we going to get the test data from? Oh God, I don’t know, I know. I answer. ‘They’ve got the test centers and the British Airways app has got the API so why don’t we just use… and why can’t we use…’

I’m just curious if you can see this sort of Lego building up and all of a sudden, where we were going to have a national identity card, which nobody wants, and is a catastrophe and they’ll waste billions on it and all this sort of thing, instead we have kind of a national entitlement card. Which comes out, you know, we have a way of carrying these credentials around. I’m allowed in to see Wookey, I’m allowed in to the Spoons, I’m allowed to book a table at this restaurant. Just growing, and I’m sort of excited about the possibility that you guys are just growing an alternative to the kind of identity infrastructure that’s been talked about for years. And I’m just, I’m really curious about how you see your stuff evolving.”

Founder & CEO of iProov, Andrew Bud: “Dave, I think you put your finger on it.”

 

[Full webinar: https://chyp.com/webinars/span-classwebinar-vaccination-passport-prefix-event-50-span-webinar-vaccination-passports/]

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For those who have received the jabs, they may feel this does not affect them. They could not be more wrong. A “health pass” will no longer grant one entry – as soon as the next injection is dictated (by the pharmaceutical industry), or whatever other requirement “to keep us safe” comes along. Until one acquiesces with the new measure (booster or what have you), this person too will be cast out of society – grouped (and shunned) with the “unvaxxed”.

“The pernicious new selling of virtual travel is potentially a way to kill off the dream center of children, to kill their imagination. To move freely, even within the area from which you were born, is in my opinion the most indelible of rights. What is going on is a ruling class soft coup, a less overtly violent coup and their vision of a digital feudal planet is terrifying, if only because it is cannot possibly work. It is delusion.”

 

— A Solution Without a Solution, September 18, 2021, John Steppling