Authoritarianism, Propaganda, and Censorship in the COVID Era, Part I: Coercing the “Vaccine Hesitant”

Today is the beginning of a form of discrimination that has never been witnessed in history, and this in “the land of liberty and human rights.”  I have not been able to enter a store for a long time now because it is out of the question that I put a sanitary napkin on my face. Since July 21st I have not been allowed to go to the cinema, to the theater, to a concert. And from this day on, I am not allowed to go to a bar or a restaurant, nor to take a train or a plane. Some people have mentioned the yellow star, but the comparison is irrelevant: the yellow star did not prevent you from going to the restaurant or taking the train. Some have evoked apartheid, but the comparison is irrelevant: apartheid did not prevent blacks from having their own restaurants or from traveling.

–Yves Daoudal, French journalist


Covid Patriotism

We have now entered that perilous phase in the psychic pandemic that can only be called “Vaccine Pride.”  Wherever two or three Covidians are gathered together, the first question is, “Have you received your second dose?”, whereupon the twice-inoculated proclaim the fact with born-again triumphalism. “The jabs” (surely the most infelicitous metonymy in the history of the language) are now the stigmata of righteousness, and yet another invitation to the postmodernist’s defining pose of moral superiority. When universal forced vaccination becomes the law — depending on where you live, it’s either already here or imminent — and showing written proof of vaccination is obligatory for admission to stores, workplaces, government offices, airports, subways and buses, for keeping your job, or merely leaving your home, don’t be surprised if those untermenschen who demur are required to wear something equivalent to the yellow star of David to advertise their moral insalubriousness and physical danger to the general public. (Not my comparison, by the way, but that of Vera Sharav, a Holocaust survivor appalled to see an ugly historical atavism re-asserting itself.)

Governments around the world are already broadcasting their talking points into mainstream media megaphones: the unvaccinated are incubators of vestigial disease, and seedbeds of the outbreaks of the “new variants.” (President Biden attributed 100 percent of current COVID infections to the unvaccinated; Dr. Fauci’s made-up number was more conservative, at 95). Right on cue, the social media mobs have picked up their torches and pitch forks, and the virtual witch hunt has begun.

That the unvaccinated are disproportionately represented in the new case count is a baseless lie, of course. The CDC announced in April that it has stopped tracking COVID cases among the vaccinated that do not result in hospitalizations or deaths and is now assuming that all new cases are among the unvaccinated remnant.  As Dr. Peter McCullough has observed, “This intentional misinformation and propaganda scheme has been used to drive an incredible fury of vaccine mandates” for schools and universities, government agencies, veterans’ administrations, and so on, notwithstanding that there have been no reported outbreaks in these locations.

But demagogues have always known that a population will willingly cede its civil liberties to their maniacal ambitions if it has been sufficiently discomposed by panic, and once a scapegoat has been expediently identified upon which to project its anxieties and hatred.  Disease has always been the objective correlative of moral evil in the propaganda of the almighty State. It is instructive that a brilliant and civilized nation allowed itself to be persuaded by the Nazis that the Jews as a race were breeders of disease. In times of hardship or famine, other civilized European peoples imagined that the toxic auras of witches or heretics in their midst had polluted their drinking water or blighted their crops. As Piers Robinson (an academic who has made the study of propaganda his lifelong specialty) has admonished, stigmatizing the unvaccinated minority in this way can only get ugly.

Government fear-mongering in the cause of “eradicating” COVID — impossible, and thus unprecedented in the history of public pandemic response — has certainly reached a new low.  An old alumnus, otherwise of sound mind and body, recently declined to gather with fellow students on a pub’s outdoor patio because he didn’t know how many of the attendees had been double-vaccinated. Needless to say, he had been double-vaccinated, which means that he was protected against serious illness even if he became “infected” with the delta variant (highly transmissible but much less pathogenic than the ur-form of the virus, as is always the case with inevitable mutations) from one of the unvaccinated untermenschen. In his decision to self-quarantine, the clincher was his desire to be able to visit his pre-teen grandchildren. Now, transmissibility to and from children is so minuscule as to be statistically insignificant, leading one to wonder:  Has the media’s censorship of this non-sensationalist good news been so effective that he has never heard of it? Or has the government’s fear campaign been so effective that his brains have become addled to the point that he hasn’t been able to take it in?  (Did I mention that he was double-vaccinated?)

As Jung observed in his magisterial monograph, The Undiscovered Self, fear and loathing, when strategically inseminated by power-hungry rulers, can reduce a population to a state of collective psychosis:

If the affective temperature rises above [a certain] level, the possibility of reason’s having any effect ceases and its place is taken by slogans and chimerical wish-fantasies. That is to say, a sort of collective possession results which rapidly develops into a psychic epidemic…. In a state of “collective possession,” … chimerical ideas, upborne by fanatical resentment, appeal to the collective irrationality and find fruitful soil there, for they express all those motives and resentments which lurk in more normal people under the cloak of reason and insight.

On such occasions, the most deranged and fanatical elements of the population are invested with authority and become “dangerous sources of infection.”  As the viral infection deliquesces, we might wish to spare a thought for the epidemic of irrationality it has bred. Certainly, insisting that not only you, but everyone around you, must be double-vaccinated, wearing masks, social distancing, quarantining on return from travel, and (for the most part of the past 18 months) locked inside their dwellings — all at the same time — is either insanity or an example of the cautionary principle of redundancy run amok.


The general public’s only excuse is that, like socialism, egalitarianism, and most other bad ideas, the current covideological madness is a socially top-down phenomenon. There was never a seething grass-roots movement for self-muzzling, universal house arrest, and economic suicide. Whether you believe that COVID-19 is tantamount to a serious seasonal influenza or a plague on the scale of the Black Death, there can be no doubt that the campaign mounted over the past 18 months by governments and medical bureaucrats to promote social distancing and lockdowns, and persuade citizens to obey mask, and now, vaccine mandates, has been ubiquitous and relentless.

The treacly “Masks Keep You and Grandma Safe” slogans on the backs of buses, digital overhead highway signs, and TV and internet ads have now elided into “Vaccines Keep You and Grandma Safe,” with the economy of a few brushstrokes.  The aforementioned Piers Robinson has described the incessant State sermonizing as the biggest propaganda operation in human history. It is soothing for some to know that it’s propaganda in our own interests, save that the same pleading was used by the communist totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century to justify their Ministries of Truth (everyone’s favourite Orwellism). That fact will not convince progressives who believe that the Nanny State is by nature beneficent; but then, as P.J. O’Rourke has remarked, such ideological credulity is merely the adult phase of the belief in Santa Claus. In any case, the general public’s unquestioning acceptance of what the medical “experts” have told them about COVID-19 will surely be remembered as one of the most dire pandemics of religious fideism in history.

Whither departeth the scepticism that supposedly defines the secular and scientific temperament?  Even when propaganda has been employed by democratic governments for arguably worthy ends — to maintain Allied morale during World War II, for example — no one doubts that it has trafficked in at least the occasional stretcher. During every war since, the Left’s lie detectors have been calibrated to a more exquisite sensitivity than that of the PCR test. And remember, this is war (as officially declared in early 2020 by Uncle Tedros, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, and practically every other world leader). But this time, progressives are all in, and as far as they are concerned, those who refuse the vaccine are (literally) giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

On the Left, Trump Derangement Syndrome has thus mutated into COVID Derangement Syndrome, and in such a way that the enemy conveniently remains the same. Even as Afghanistan is dissolving into another fundamentalist Islamic State, the Biden administration’s DHS has just enumerated the two greatest terrorist threats facing America today, emerging from the cells of (in reverse order):  2. those who continue to question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election; and 1. those who have questioned the government’s COVID measures.  Got that?  Question the efficacy of masks, social distancing, or the wisdom of the State’s vaccinating you and your toddler against your will, and you are a terrorist, indeed, a terrorist who poses a greater threat to America than al-Qaeda, ISIS, or the Taliban. You are a walking IED, a biological weapon ready to go off at the next mass gathering of virtuous, socially-distanced, masked, and double-vaccinated Americans. For questioning the Democrats’ electoral victory, you are an insurrectionist; for questioning their COVID measures, you are a dangerous anti-science jihadist.

COVID has thus addled the brains of the indoctrinators no less completely than the indoctrinated. State propaganda used to be better than this. The ghosts of Lenin and Mao must now be wondering what has happened to a once high art.


New Scientific Man

Since the war on COVID has been conflated with the war on terror, President Biden might be excused for his use of the word “patriotic”— though patriotism is supposedly the preserve of right-wing nativists — to describe one’s duty to get “the jab.” Unfortunately, Biden rather undercut the urgency of his patriotic appeal when he assured us that the vaccine is “98 percent” effective at preventing the disease, forgetting that the natural immune system has been more than 99 percent effective at preventing the disease since inception, according to the data published by the WHO and Biden’s own CDC. Listening to the Commander-in-Chief of the anti-COVID battalions — the man who won the election because the American people trusted him to manage the war against the pandemic better than his predecessor — why would anyone sacrifice more than a percentage point of immunity in return for another percentage point or so of risk for “adverse events”?

But if you don’t trust President Biden, listen to Dr. Fauci, the beloved career bureaucrat whose special talent has been to incarnate the public mood. We remember that in a fawning MSNBC interview Fauci declared himself the incarnation of truth when, affecting the sense of grievance of a prophet unheeded in his own country, he admonished that folks should stop criticizing him, since “if you are trying to, you know, get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science.” Or, to put it more succinctly, La science, c’est moi. 

If Dr. Fauci has merely been “following the science,” as he has so adamantly maintained, then by his own practice, it is becoming more and more obvious that the science isn’t certain from one moment to the next what it thinks. Before he changed his mind (la science a changé), in early 2020, Dr. Fauci declared “the typical mask you buy in the drug store” useless in protecting the wearer, since airborne COVID particles are too small to be occluded by its material. (Senator Rand Paul, himself a medical doctor, recently made the same empirically-verified observation, but his YouTube video was taken down for “violating community standards,” i.e., questioning the government’s COVID measures. Senator Paul is now a terrorist. Or to put it more succinctly, La science n’est pas Paul.)  Around the same time as he denied the efficacy of masks, Fauci affirmed that “In all the history of respiratory viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks.” But with no countervailing evidence, he happily promoted the draconian lockdowns that were predicated on the neoteric theory of asymptomatic spread which he had so emphatically rejected.

The lockdowns themselves were first criticized as inefficacious and harmful by the WHO, before its tergiversation on the basis of no scientific evidence. Indeed, there has yet to be a single comparative geographical study (e.g., California vs. Florida; Michigan vs. South Dakota; the United States vs. Sweden) to demonstrate that lockdowns have reduced the spread of the disease or saved a single life, though we know that they have cost innumerable lives in suicides, delayed medical diagnoses and treatments, and consigned hundreds of thousands across the globe to unemployment, bankruptcy, and penury.

The scientific pretensions of today’s medical priesthood should have induced a sense of déjà vu amongst a wakeful, as opposed to a woke, citizenry. Their serial revisions are reminiscent of the fudging and trimming that has been required by climate-change (formerly global-warming) scientists to explain why the planet and its flora and fauna refuse to extinguish themselves according to schedule. Climate “science,” and now medical science, have more than a little in common with “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen.” Logically, one cannot claim that today’s pronouncement is apodictic truth which must be accepted with unquestioning obedience, when it contradicts yesterday’s pronouncement that was also declared to be apodictic truth which must be accepted with unquestioning obedience. When you insist that this time we should believe you, intelligent people won’t believe you. That is why itinerant medicine men in the past always made it a practice never to visit the same village twice, at least not without repainting their wagons.

But no true scientist has ever demanded such supine credulity, because real science is always theoretical, speculative, and self-transcending. No scientific postulate has ever proven to be eternal; eternity and immutability are the presumptions of religious dogma, or so atheist scientists are always remonstrating.


Admittedly, it is becoming difficult not to admire Dr. Fauci for the Clintonian charm and sprezzatura with which he dissembles. (I mean it as a compliment when I say that Fauci would have made a magnificent Iago; indeed, there is something creepily Iago-like in the way that he, with a smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eye, undermined a trusting former president whom he hated, while pretending to serve him.)  Even as his published emails flatly contradict him, he continues to insist that his NIAID did not fund virological research in the Wuhan lab (because the NIAID funded the EcoHealth Alliance, which passed the funding on to the Wuhan lab); that the NIAID never funded gain-of-function research (though, as everyone knew at the time, gain-of-function research was being conducted at the Wuhan lab); and that he did not deride or conspire to suppress the lab-leak theory (even though he pronounced it “debunked” and his crony Peter Daszak at the EcoHealth Alliance thanked him for doing so). I suppose it all depends on what the meanings of the words “debunked,” “fund,” and “gain of function” are.

More recently Dr. Fauci expressed his indignation, automatically echoed in the mainstream media, at those who continue to dally in vaccination limbo — those who suffer, that is, from “vaccine hesitancy,” as it is now officially called in the academic literature. (Vaccine hesitancy is the latest of the irrational phobias that afflict the un-woke, along with homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and so on, and the latest example of the regnant assumption of progressives that, if you disagree with them, it can’t be for any good reason, but only because you are malevolent, obtuse, or mentally ill.)

As the personification of science, Fauci dismissed vaccine hesitancy as merely “political” — vaccine boosterism being disinterestedly scientific — and while he didn’t explicitly identify its sufferers with Trump’s deplorables, it was clear that he had the same election-questioning “super-spreaders” in mind.  (Author’s Note:  Super-spreaders are always conservative-leaning Republicans; BLM rioters and the Texas Democrats who brought a planeload of COVID to Washington recently are patriots, as are the members of the Biden administration who have ordered that the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who have tested positive for COVID be released by the border patrol to abscond into the farthest reaches of the continental United States.)

Fauci is right, ironically, when he says it’s all “political.”  But in so saying he is counting on us to have short memories: to have forgotten, that is, that when President Trump was touting his administration’s success in cajoling (bribing, really) Big Pharma to produce a vaccine in record time, the Democrats and their media mouthpieces were warning gravely about its efficacy and safety, Kamala Harris proclaiming flatly that she would never take a vaccine developed under Trump, and being feted by the beau monde for her defiance. Under Trump, the Left’s vaccine hesitancy wasn’t politically motivated but the rational scepticism of the scientific mind.  Now that Biden is president, anyone who mentions the vaccine’s risks and declines to take part in its human trials is “anti-science” and treated like a moral leper. Thus Fauci’s avuncular message to them: “What is the problem?  Get over it.… Just get over it.”


The “Problem”

Now, maybe you have already recovered from the infection and are a living laboratory of natural antibodies; maybe you are healthy, younger than 65, and have calculated that the risks associated with the vaccine outweigh the benefits; maybe you are young or old, healthy or immuno-compromised, but know that the global average mortality rate for those infected with COVID is 0.15 percent (roughly the same as the seasonal flu), which means that you have a 99.85 percent likelihood of recovering from COVID even if you contract the virus (and a geometrically higher likelihood of never contracting it in the first place).

Maybe you are mistrustful of a vaccine that was developed with unprecedented haste and still awaits approval from the FDA (would “Warp Speed” be a reassuring name for a national project to develop a jumbo jet on a new, experimental, non-aerodynamic theory of lift and in half the time it normally takes to test a crop-duster, which has yet to receive NTSB authorization?; would you book a seat on the maiden flight?); maybe news has reached you of the thousands of post-vaccine deaths, or the tens of thousands of cases of breakthrough infection, myocarditis, pericarditis, thrombosis, or miscarriage amongst those who, pre-vaccination, were pristinely healthy.

You might even suspect that such “adverse events” are more numerous than reported on the VAERS database, since reporting them is entirely voluntary, and at this point the vaccine stakeholders in government and Big Pharma, and the vaccine shills in media, the medical establishment, and Big Tech, have done everything they can to discourage, discredit, and cover them up as “conspiracy theories.”  Maybe, even if you accept the official number of vaccine fatalities (more than 11,000 at the time of writing), you remember that the swine flu vaccine was pulled immediately after 53 of its recipients had died.

Maybe, in spite of the ubiquitous censorship, information has leaked out from some of the hundreds of eminent physicians and virologists, including pioneers of mRNA technology Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Michael Yeadon (former vice-president and chief scientific officer at Pfizer Global R&D), and University of Guelph virologist, Dr. Byram Bridle, who point out that the spike proteins in genetic vaccines are uniquely designed to overcome the body’s immune response at the site of the injection (where, with traditional vaccines, the infection is intended to be neutralized), and (uniquely once again) to spread, via the body’s fluids, into every organ including the brain.

Maybe you take the long view, and remember that governments have a sordid history of inducing their citizens to submit to experimental drugs and novel medical procedures in the name of the advancement of science and the good of mankind, including — but leaving aside Nazi ethnological “research” and Soviet “psychiatry” and counting only our own well-meaning democratic governments — the sterilization of “mental defectives” in the early twentieth century, or the experimental Anthrax vaccine forced upon American soldiers in Iraq, who continue to suffer “adverse events.”

Or, maybe you are inclined to demur on the quaint philosophical principle that the State has no natural or even positive legal right to compel you, as a free and law-abiding citizen, to do aught against your will.

Well, it’s time to realize that the ruling elites always know what’s best for you, and to stop thinking for yourself. It’s time to accept that science is what they tell you it is, and that whoever tells you differently is not a scientist — even if they are — because, well, they disagree with the real scientists, whose opinions are, well, real science.  In the words of our Scientist-in-Chief, it’s time to “get over it.”

And if you don’t, we may have to compel you for your own good. Both the Trudeau and Biden administrations are already musing openly about the need for their subjects to be vaccinated against their will and under threat of fine or imprisonment (will banishment be next?), notwithstanding that, according to the CDC, anyone under the age of 65 has a 99.95 percent COVID recovery rate, and the pandemic is in any case winding down. Once upon a time, voluntary consent was a foundational pillar of medical ethics. But as Tucker Carlson has observed, even the hallowed progressive principle of “choice” and “control over one’s own body” has apparently been repealed in this context. The head of Biden’s HHS suggested that the government will soon have no choice but to keep a database of the unvaccinated. For what purpose?  To roust them from their beds at midnight, load them into box cars, and ship them off to vacci-concentration camps; or merely to send a few government agents around to their homes every once in a while, for an edifying heart-to-heart chat?


Of course, it is entirely possible that the doubts of the “vaccine hesitant” are unfounded.  They might all turn out to be dead wrong (and dead as a result).  I can’t say.  But neither can anyone who calls himself a scientist.  It is rather too early in the experiment to know with any certitude.  There is too much data to be collected.  And for this reason, it behooves governments and their public health officials to proceed with open-minded caution.

About a few things we should all be in agreement, however.  It is abhorrent on principle for a democratic State to coerce free citizens to do anything against their will, especially to their own bodies, except in the most extraordinary circumstances, and then only after the State has proven that the circumstances warrant the suspension of their fundamental civil liberties, and only after a protracted period of study, public consultation, and political debate.  It is ethically dubious for the State to publish information selectively, vigorously promoting data that supports its policies, and suppressing scientific findings that do not.  A democratic government ought to respect the citizens who elected it to make up their own minds about what is true or false.  It is morally repugnant for the State to demonize a minority of its population, treating them like second-class citizens or enemies of the people.  It is undemocratic and unconstitutional for the State to censor its citizens, even when, and especially when, their views are at variance with those which the current government sincerely and vehemently believes to be true.