The synthetically produced COVID-19 is still around and its devastating consequences for peoples and economies are long-lasting. What has changed since it first appeared in December 2019? Everything actually. Never before have we seen such a drastic shift to totalitarian-style policies and strategies claiming to contain its spread and save lives but actually destroying every aspect of our usual way of life and most of our hard-won freedoms for centuries.
Despite differing perceptions about its impact, nothing is the same anymore. Our private and professional lives have had to be adjusted. Our way of thinking has changed and, more importantly, our rights and freedoms have been gradually lost in the process of shielding the world from the Chinese virus.
I will not comment in this article on the effectiveness of existing vaccines, produced at an unprecedented rate against COVID-19. My words will go to the use of the vaccines to install an authoritarianism on a scale never before imagined and which the Soviet and Chinese communists could not even dream of in their most audacious totalitarian dreams.
The COVID-19 crisis is the moment in history when governments felt empowered to decide on our behalf what is good or bad for all of us. This is the time when they ended our legal rights to choose and our legitimate freedoms to own our individual and collective destiny. This is when the nightmare of imposed mandatory behaviors designed by the rulers for our “well-being” began.
So, first and foremost, their line of attack was to create a huge panic. This fear tactic worked well in the past, as described below, and was the easiest, since many people were dying at the outset even if not always because of COVID-19.
Then governments reinforced the fear by naming catastrophic numbers of people who would potentially die, and now they are playing us all by this collective fear of new strains and new risks of mass death and collapse of hospital facilities. Nothing helps control entire populations like fear and those in power know it.
For one thing, fear does not exist in a vacuum. Larger forces have a way of influencing how people respond to threats. Thus, in the last two years, the world has been rocked by fear far more than expected. This is especially true in countries that are usually leaders in freedom and courage. I have therefore serious apprehensions myself, but not about COVID-19 and its spread. My fears are about the future world that our children will inherit from the current generation of fearful leaders.
Paralyzed by the number of uncontrollable contaminations and seeing more and more elderly people dying a few years before their natural death, governments have taken drastic measures ultimately enslaving people’s souls and minds. They have progressively imposed various “collective protection measures”, the most controversial of which is the mandatory vaccination promoted in recent months.
Think about it, what an evolution. From a voluntary vaccine for the seniors at the very beginning, we now arrive, in less than a year, at mandatory vaccination even for children aged 5 to 12. Where will this insane health policy end? With the compulsory vaccination of newborns? This may sound like an exaggeration, but wait until scientists discover a new, “very dangerous and never seen before” strain of the virus in the coming months, before you think so…
Fear and anxiety have a long theoretical record and have fascinated many bright minds throughout history. Ancient Greek philosophers had diverse explanations about their origins, mechanisms and consequences and it’s still captivating to learn how inclusive their thinking on fear was. Aristotle believed that fear was the opposite of confidence. For him, the world was reducible to pairs of opposites (hot and cold, wet and dry, etc.). It is also from his school of thought that great men and women are associated with those who suffer from fear and eventually overcome its effects. The remedy for fear was to act virtuously, namely by being courageous. This is in stark contrast to the current mantras of weak leaders who run impotent governments.
The medieval period and the Renaissance saw little evolution in this respect. The mechanism from the imbalances of the elements to the interactions of the atoms in the soul and body continued throughout this period. Medieval physicians and thinkers likewise believed that a person’s health and well-being was dictated by the balance and imbalance of their body fluids. In many ways, the concept of bodily humors, including fear, an extension of the irreducible elements of the Greeks, dominated the thinking of the Middle Ages and parts of the Renaissance.
Today, people’s equilibrium has been disrupted, both mentally and physically, by the controversial set of measures taken by policy-makers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Few things go uncriticized in that process. From the announced uselessness of wearing a mask to its indispensable usefulness and its compulsory wearing, from the selective social distancing to the closing of bars and restaurants that served no purpose but slowed down the herd immunity, to the vaccinations that prevented neither the spread of the virus nor new contaminations, a whole series of decisions destroyed people’s confidence in the capacity of their governments to manage the pandemic. And the peaceful but also violent protests against the most controversial mandatory measures, will only tend to increase.
Nazism is a further example of successfully crafting and enforcing global fear first at national level. The Nazi party terrified the Germans for years. The Nazi invention of “dictatorship by consent” was explained by the Nazi leader Hermann Göring, who detailed how to get people to fear and support a war and a political regime they would otherwise oppose: “The people don’t want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
Unfortunately, this same mechanism still works well today. The viral attack is there, those who put the country at risk as well, because they do not want to be vaccinated, and the majority ought to live in fear. Obviously, it works the same way, not only in most countries, but at any time in history.
Communist dictators Stalin and Mao also largely controlled their nations through absolute fear: fear of government, fear of security agencies, fear of institutionalized injustice and fear of nuclear war. The result was a comfortable situation where their rules went largely unchallenged, which led to many costly mistakes for their people and the world. For example, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward in China, comparable to Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union, were disastrous for these countries.
The sources of American fear were compounded, from the 1940s onward, by unusual national exposure to repeated foreign threats and crises. The anxieties of participating in World War II were then deepened by Cold War scares amid the nuclear threat. Specific crises like the Cuban Missile Crisis generated panicked rhetoric. The public showed growing propensity to expect a major threat from the external world and to merge new problems with old.
The following passage is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration address in 1933: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.” Roosevelt’s approach forms an intriguing contrast to more recent American formulations, in which leaders have attempted to encourage and manipulate fears and have systematically avoided opportunities to urge Americans not to be unreasonably afraid.
Thus, after the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, instead of mobilizing people with messages of hope, the U.S. government’s message was one of fear. As a result, many Americans stopped flying for months, and some extended this practice to buses and trains. Some reported being frightened even in parts of the country quite far from the attacks. The Bush administration’s repeated assertions that Saddam Hussein could be compared to Hitler or Stalin, or that the so-called war on terror was another instantiation of the Cold War with a battlefield stretching from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, show the links very clearly. The external threat has become an expected constant, its fear potential a constant as well, which explains the propensity for exaggerated responses and excessive fear.
Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argues that the use of the term War on Terror was intended to generate a culture of fear deliberately because it “obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue”. This is exactly where we stand today with the Biden administration response to the COVID-19 plague and therefore efforts to contain its detrimental policy must be intensified.
For example, the U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday, December 8, against Joe Biden’s vaccine requirements. All Republican senators, joined by two Democrats from conservative states, voted in favor of a text specifically targeting the executive order unveiled by the U.S. president in September, which requires employees of companies with more than 100 people to be compulsory vaccinated against COVID-19. This measure in the land of individual freedoms is causing an uproar among Americans.
“President Biden’s absurd vaccine requirement is an abuse of power,” thundered Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Like him, many Republicans say they support the vaccine, but oppose its requirement. “Let it be clear, I am against any vaccine obligation formulated by the state to private companies,” explained Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of the two Democrats to support the initiative, prior to the vote.
Along with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a new type of growing global fear is propagating through societies. Nothing fuels anxiety like uncertainty. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak, a wide range of nonsensical government responses dampened the overall response to danger signals. For individuals more sensitive to fear, this created great distress, sometimes disproportionately so. To prevent the population from falling into panic, it is necessary to “reassure” people, especially by giving the impression that the situation is under control through vaccines. Thus, fear management has become a permanent element of political action.
The world has overcome various pandemics throughout history that have generated a much larger death toll than COVID-19: smallpox – 56 million, Spanish flu – 50-80 million, HIV/AIDS – 35 million, not to mention the plague that heralded the “imminent end”, “The time is near” (John, 1:3). The first wave of the Black Death, from 1347 to 1351, caused over 200 million deaths. The plague was death as an equalizer. The pope, the emperor, the nobles, the workers, the monks and the children were all killed.
It is therefore hard to understand why the recent appearance of a new COVID strain, the Omicron variant, with still unknown real effects, immediately triggered off massive panics and the frightened world was rushed in to get a new jab. This week, even the U.N. that is certainly not a paragon for protecting human rights, came out with a statement opposing enforced vaccination. “Mandatory vaccination must always respect human rights and forced vaccination is never acceptable”, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned in a video message Wednesday. “Under no circumstances should people be forcibly vaccinated, even if a person’s refusal to comply with a vaccination obligation may have legal consequences such as an appropriate fine.”
Clearly, mandatory vaccination is not the solution, but politicians like it because it seems to provide a quick and effective response to the problem and shows that they are working with the welfare of the citizens in mind. The tricky issue here is that most people would agree that protecting lives is a primary goal for every government. On the flip side, though, legislation must balance public objectives with individual rights to freedom of choice, privacy and non-discrimination.
This is the crux of the current problem. Mandatory vaccination may indeed discriminate against people with disabilities for whom the vaccine is not recommended because of their underlying health condition, as they will be unable to comply with the mandate. The mandatory policy may also have a disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities and/or religious groups if, for some reason related to their ethnicity or religion, they are unable to comply with the policy.
There are also groups of individuals who are not yet willing to be vaccinated given the short time the vaccine has been tested and who may not have full confidence in the system. Trust is a major factor, and the government is clearly not in a position to build trust in its vaccination program. This is why mandatory vaccination is the preferred option and an easy solution for politicians who lack arguments and do not even want to debate these issues in a transparent manner.
In general, mandatory health care plans in times of crisis will always be counterproductive. No matter what a government does in this direction, it will be met with opposition. The COVID-19 restrictions in particular have been protested around the world, and mandatory vaccinations are another detrimental step in mandatory health mandates. The enforcement of masks has largely produced the desired compliance, but when it comes to vaccines, people think differently and anything that is administered into their bodies will not be viewed the same way.
The political establishment must therefore forcibly question the ethical use of State power in imposing mandatory measures to protect public health. The government has the full burden of proof for justifying such unethical and controversial interventions.
From fears limited in time and scope, the world has moved to a global fear that even the Cold War could not reach this point. Nazism, communism, fascism and now vaccinism. The same propaganda mechanisms are obtaining the same results: frightened populations that obey their masters blindly. But there is at least one reason to breathe a little easier, because Americans are still able to act and think rationally, so fear levels will not remain this high forever. New leaders will bring back the confidence of the American people. Until then, the only way forward is the unambiguous damage control of President Biden and his administration’s handling of the crisis.