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Institutionalized Disrepair

United Confusion

If you divert your attention to the UN website, Mattias Desmet points out, you discover that they recruited more than 100,000 digital “first responders” during the “corona crisis” so called.

The UN head of global communications, Melissa Fleming, made it unambiguous. The aim of this horde of responders was to “detect and neutralize ‘misinformation.’ They were there to take on “fake news” as they deemed it, and were to respond with immediate “accurate, reliable, information” (as assessed by some oracle at the UN no doubt).

Self-congratulation is ladled on, indicating that these “digital first responders” are a voice for good, they are suppliers of “lifesaving” information. These are in addition to the almost ubiquitous “fact checkers” who regurgitate official talking points and seek to eliminate any dissent. Nuance and complexity are clear casualties of this approach.

The digital first responders are unpaid, allegedly “selfless” citizens who advance science and solidarity. Or are they digital thugs, unpaid and therefore unfettered by any ethical considerations, their mission to criminalize, ridicule and undermine those “dissident” voices?

Robert W. Malone MD, MS, did some wonderful reporting, in lieu of any done by actual “reporters” and discovered that the ideology imposition business is flourishing far and wide. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (not so lovingly known as the CDC) actively paid organizations to actually seek to muzzle critical doctors through the less than benign practice known as “cyber stalking.”

In a tally of facts that have emerged since, those victimized “stalked” doctors turned out to be correct on virtually everything (efficacy of early treatment, futility of lockdowns, danger of the mRNA jabs and so much else). However, this seems beside the point, the aim is a new society envisaged by the elite, so sacred that facts needn’t be allowed to get in the way.

The UN is of course involved in many laudable undertakings from eradicating hunger to removing plastic from the oceans to provision of clean water and seeking decent work for all. And if this is where focus will stay, we can all cheer and salute.

Too many of the goals though seem to have explicit ideological biases. Being concerned about the environment surely should invite scientific debate and cost-benefit assessments and evaluations of various technologies and options.

But again the “ecomodernist” evangel has been taken on board and we have surreal recommendations by Gates about millions of tons of chalk dust being dispersed into the atmosphere, or manipulable mirrors being suspended between the Earth and sun…are any of these up for a challenge, or perhaps the aims are amenable to less grandiose tactics?

Gender equality gets the same treatment. Men and women should certainly be considered equal. But that doesn’t mean they are literally “the same.” In some politically charged quarters now, suggesting that there is a distinction between women and men can be construed to be a criminal act. True confusion abounds.

Ideological foundations, fielded by anyone, no matter how well endowed, should invite open disclosure, discussion and debate. However, the digital first responders are ready to ensure that doesn’t happen, lest it destabilize the paradigms of the day.

Melissa Flemings is unbridled in her enthusiasm for the UN’s collaboration with social media platforms to promote the dominant narrative and point people towards “good content” defined as UN, WHO, CDC. This can be done by “flagging” certain content, or burying it via their logarithms, or by outright banning of certain groups or individuals.

However, dissenting views are asserting themselves, and showing up on alternative channels, in podcasts, in conferences, even in the odd mainstream newspaper when too many facts stockpile (like lack of excess mortality in 2020 then flourishing excess mortality after the interventions in 2021). We cannot trust people with free speech clearly!

It may come to dawn on enough of us that a middling virus was never the real enemy. But on its heels, what we are battling, more than the climate, more so even than poverty, is fanaticism with a progressive gloss.

When you need to forbid other ideas, because you are either so cocksure of your own, or utterly terrified to have your ideas exposed, then the virus of ideological blindness is in full flow.

The UN is admirable on numerous fronts and their Sustainable Development Goal number 16, Desmet points out should be their, and our, rallying cry. Namely to create open, inclusive institutions in a society in which everyone feels heard. Magnificent!

Alas, hordes of “digital first responders” seeking to censor or discredit discordant ideas, or opinions other than the “official” line, will hardly advance this noble aspiration. We must all rise to take up the cudgel and challenge this disconnect.

Addled Scientists

We saw this coming. With the explosion of the postwar university system, there was also a mushrooming of administrative positions, particularly in the Anglosphere.

We all can point to wokeness as a symptom of this decay, but it is far more pervasive. We have “paint by the numbers” scholars, technicians in thrall to their own discipline and its prevailing orthodoxy. Publishing is to secure tenure or promotion, not to rattle the cages of our complacency, or advance knowledge, as once was more the case.

There was always conformism in scientific circles, from critics of Ptolemy to Copernicus and beyond. But we also looked, in more Enlightened times, to scientists to break new ground, those disagreeable visionaries that disrupted accepted knowledge. Today these agitators would be filtered out, and their brilliance would be ignored. Hence, the vast, banal wasteland we have in academia.

This can creep up on us. Science is not a celebrity sport. Only a few scientific findings directly have relevance to ordinary people. Most scientists labor in closed ecosystems, with a language exclusive to that domain.

And then with the pandemic, as commentator Eugyppius says,

“a doubtful class of pallid, prognosticating virologods were thrust upon the public stage”

-- a cross between court astrologers and jesters. They were given undue deference, and their consistent insular charlatanism was taken out for a spin, leveraged to bellow dubious conclusions before the entire world. They mastered the art of being obstinately, dogmatically wrong.

They were wrong about masks (useless with particles of that size), they were wrong about seasonality even, wrong about school closures (robbing a generation in ways we cannot even properly fathom), disastrously wrong about ventilators, spouted rubbish about lockdowns which global facts and collateral impacts clearly contradicted, and they were wrong about “vaccines” which weren’t that but second-rate therapeutics. And they continued to be egregiously incorrect in “predicting” what the virus had done or would do next.

And some of the most noted were either themselves part of virus enhancement programs or had been drafting apologia for the funding of pointless and hazardous tinkering in labs.

Any complicity had to be covered up, their blindness airbrushed. And this soldiers on today with meticulous avoidance about the origins of SARS-2, belied by scientists’ own leaked communiques (Fauci emails show him and Christian Drosten, the druids of panic, debating how to address the lab origins hypothesis circa Feb 2020 and on).

An entire industry with decades of pandemic scaremongering behind them, utterly impotent in the face of this airborne agitator. And now we find they not only couldn’t prevent it, but they may also have caused it!

Those doing the media circuit were usually confirmed mediocrities. The truly talented researchers only reluctantly came out of their research warrens to rebut, as they tend to avoid such sizzle like the proverbial plague.

As falsifications of their pieties mounted, the publicity seeking “scientific” loons doubled down on their confusions, and universities metamorphosed into hygiene prisons, insisting on masking and “vaccines” long after the world had moved on.

No Institutional Firewall

It’s not just scientists of course, the entire assortment of leaders, thinkers, journalists, medical experts, and others all capitulated to what was being rolled out.

It was a descent into madness of a type. Remember that our public health consensus, globally, including throughout the US, UK and Australia was until late 2019, anti-masking, anti-lockdown, anti-vaccinating in the midst of a pandemic and all for leveraging natural immunity.

This was the playbook from many decades of medical wisdom, drawing on centuries before that, honed and updated. And then one fine day, it all was turned upside down. There were no new studies, no data, nothing to show that we were wrong before. Just a magic wand waved by Wuhan, some spurious WHO reports and social media truth contortionists suddenly everywhere.

In fact, though the Diamond Princess cruise ship should have staved off the mounting tsunami of lockdown hysteria – given that what should have been a floating morgue showed the extremely mild lethality of COVID, even in an elderly population cloistered together – this was studiously ignored. When Professor Ioannidis of Stanford and others brought this up, they were savaged in the press. And this continued even when seroprevalence studies kept proving them right!

In multiple continents, this about-face occurred, and so the argument emerged that there was some “global conspiracy.” However, no matter how powerful the Davos baton wielders are purported to be, they surely did not get so many once credible people to change their views overnight. This was a surge of self-interest orchestrated by corporate and financial power brokers. It is not “minds” that were being addressed.

Writing then from Sri Lanka, I pointed out futilely that Asia (then, pre jab), and Africa were flourishing relatively, with mild cases, and nominal mortality, and yet the “playbook” was being written out of jurisdictions that were doing the worst!

Of course, they were from the West and well credentialed, but everything they said seemed to backfire. And Sweden, that blessed outlier, with some of the mildest excess mortality of the period, open schools, no lockdowns, provided the exclamation mark to this demonstration. However, all this was flatly ignored.

Leadership objectivity revealed itself to be a myth, and hystericists seemed to be the principal advisors who were listened to. For example, for years, and yet again recently, study after study had told us masks are ineffective against viral infections. But what is that against the “masterpiece theater” that was put on by political stage managers and a few dodgy YouTube videos?

As Desmet pointed out, people with threadbare inner lives (popular culture has been an assault on quiet and stillness and self-communion or reflection) and transactional relationships (and depth and savoring emotional connection have also been chipped away at by our attention deficit disordered tempo and rhythms of life), develop an anxiety that is only assuaged by some type of group affiliation, some bogeyman to blame the disquiet on, and an anger to stamp out the offenders.

And so it was catastrophism that took a once obscure Christian Drosten originally and correctly stating COVID for most would be a “mild cold”, and made him into the alarmist darling of the German political elites. And his fingerprints ended up everywhere including the establishing of the absurd PCR test (admittedly non-diagnostic as per its own paperwork and with no globally agreed upon amplification settings making it more of a lark than anything else).

Today back in Sri Lanka, people wonder if IMF infatuation is somewhat akin. How many times has the IMF come rolling through with economic prescriptions of austerity that seem to leave the populace in acute misery (10 times)? And yet doing a deep dive into the fundamentals, looking at the seeds of corruption, and the engines of innovation would require a bold audacity that the pandemic period was all too eager to smother, and has left everyone struggling to muster.

Political structures regulate, fund and direct the prevailing party line. By choosing the arena of science or economics or education or social policy that are bestowed with political relevance, this corrupts them, perhaps irredeemably, as they become policy tools primarily.

A Beclowned Reality

Self-criticism is called for as is deconstructing a silly fable of uncomplicated answers and ready panaceas and unambiguous “heroes” and “villains”. We need to interrogate reality, not seek to whip it into obedience.

Globally, for the “crime” of noticing incongruities, being unpersuaded by specious arguments and delving into real data, people were considered “conspiracy theorists” to be excluded from polite society.

Remember there were to be “mandates” and if you violated them, you were to head to an internment camp, or not be allowed to travel, or go into a restaurant, because some goons had proclaimed this, usurping your autonomy and your civil liberties.

The regime faithful were fortified by oblivious fact checkers who just regurgitated conclusions fed to them. Original, penetrating thinkers had to find new platforms. Real scientists who have actually treated COVID and other diseases successfully, who conduct independent research, generated their own Conferences, and still continue to try and “persuade” those who alas never rationally came to any of these conclusions, but instead voted with their desire for preferment, and so cannot be “talked” down.

Now, among the “intelligentsia,” while the most evident crackpots posing as sages have been finally sidelined, so many intelligent dissenters still cannot be heard or seen except by those who dig for real answers.

Therefore, the echo chamber reverberates ever more plainly with nonsense. Those who willingly proffer their credulity can be rewarded with acceptance, a sense of “order” and can continue to be entertained and diverted by popular culture and not troubled by grappling with legitimate outrage at having our lives and liberties vandalized.

No matter how erratic our leaders, how unproven our experts, or how illogical our policies (war is how we spread peace for example), they oversee the talking points. They have a monopoly in the spheres of power that matter.

While hard to imagine, the writer and satirist CJ Hopkins for writing a best-selling book deriding the “new normal” in Germany faces criminal prosecution for Nazi analogies. He lives in Berlin, and surely historical parallels may be good or bad, illuminating or in bad moral taste, but these things should get dealt with in the to and fro of a free society. Who endowed the censors with universal judgment?

Watch as what we call “expertise” kowtows to everything from AI (which to some indicates the death of thought as it is about programming what is known and expanding that, rather than discovering what isn’t and being expanded by it), to multiculturalism as a civic religion, to anti-biological transgenderism to mass immigration with no cost-benefit assessment or climate hysteria immune to being critically assessed. We need our rational wits about us, and we need the best of our human intuition and community sense.

Philosophy, literature, science, all get aligned (or maligned) with politics and bureaucracy, with incremental myopic “progress”, and a fear of originality or of anything that falls outside or is contrary to their anchoring assumptions.

Years ago, the late great Isaiah Berlin warned of the danger of societies going comatose on a bed of unexamined dogma. When politically endowed, said dogma becomes that much more dangerous, as questioning it becomes an unpatriotic act.

Imagine as pseudo-scientists, credentialed kooks, political hacks try to take over from those who are genuinely seeking to advance our knowledge, those who sacrifice and selflessly seek to improve our health, advance our knowledge, or enhance our social sanity and wellbeing. Apocalyptic scenarios are great diversionary tactics from facing real issues and tackling real opportunities.

And we must ask as things happen. Currently debt restructuring is underway in economically battered Sri Lanka, taking on the three demons identified by Murtaza Jafferjee of high debt to GDP, high Gross Finance needs and high interest to GDP (among the highest in the world). Are the just passed prescriptions going to restore equilibrium, providing needed breathing space for debt load relief and maneuvering room for economic recovery, or are is it tap dancing with asset value and time to maturity and ignoring principal or interest rate or having to give co-equal priority at least to external debt? In all such situations, let’s have the necessary, heady debates rather just posturing and political talking points.

Ask also of any social engineering effort, any mobilized response, how does this advance national wellbeing? How does this make children more capable, give dignity to those who are the worst off, raise the bar of opportunity or give small businesses the lifeblood to move forward, despite challenges?

How does this add to the productive capacity of the nation in response to a challenge? How does this make us smarter, more enterprising, or humane?

And can we answer this with specifics, not specious generalities and vague aphorisms?

If none of the above, ignore it as best you can, resist it legally if you must, and if you have the power, help to consign it to the dustbin of history.

Speaking of justly admired whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg who recently passed, peace activist Diane Perlman developed a theory of “the courageous personality.” She coined the term “Verido” to describe the “instinctual drive for truth and justice.” Perhaps less loftily, for sanity and humanity and a measure of fairness and compassion.

Those seeking a mystified, pliable populace are threatened by these “veridos.” Perlman says they may be less than 5% of the population. Well, perhaps in this day and age, that ethos can go viral, and our kids looking for something to be inspired by, can be pointed in that direction. Myopic? No doubt. But we have to keep planting seeds, and together do what we can to make sure they land on fertile soil.

It will take education. Carl Jung wrote,

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man (or woman) who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.”

A community of such would be a glorious thing. What else can we do, as we emulate people like Ellsberg, but communicate, lead, parent and educate in that direction?

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