Dis-information and mis-information.
It is undoubtedly the case that there has been much misinformation (spun through ignorance) and disinformation (spun deliberately) in the various media by many actors during this entire pandemic. Scarcely anyone has avoided putting their own particular spin on what has occurred or is still occurring in relationship to Covid19. However, we need also to be clear that those with the most money, power and influence are the ones who can publicise their chosen viewpoint most widely and consistently. In this regard, what used to be classified in the UK as the ‘establishment’ (the elites in Government, Civil Service, Media, Academia, Armed Forces) have a consistent track record of dis-information and mis-information and the ample means to broadcast it.
The existence of ‘official secrets’ (recently revealed by Snowden, Manning etc), ‘gagging orders’, ‘false accusations’, ‘trumped up charges’ (against Assange, etc) and ‘dodgy dossiers’ (Blair) are so openly admitted and well known as to not require any further conclusion than that members of the ‘establishment’ are full time, professional promoters of mis-information and dis-information. The more subtle ways of controlling their preferred narrative, such promotions, demotions, honours, retractions, blackmail, although universally denied are also widely known. So with regard to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic it is not surprising that the dominant section of the UK and US establishments (among others) have preached – almost in complete unison – the most one-sided version of deadly potentials facing us since the Iraq War.
Tensions and unity within the Establishment.
It should also be remembered that the capitalist mode of production has created two distinct methods of benefiting from the capitalist exploitation of wage and salaried labour. The most dominant sector of capitalism is finance-capital which benefits from loans, credit and futures speculation. The second sector comprises of the productive and commercial sectors which require bums on seats and endless purchases of commodities. The two sdctors do not always see eye to eye. For example, in the UK, the finance capital (banking) sector heavily backed the Brexit campaign for leaving the European Union and despite dis-information on both sides – the financial sector won. At the outbreak of the Covid19 Pandemic the two sectors again had very different perspectives.
The industrial and commercial sectors did not want any lock downs at all, whilst the finance sector didn’t mind for they can make money out of any crisis, including lock downs, supply chain interruptions, bets on ‘future’ development’s (including future pharmaceutical vaccines). The political classes in the UK, US and elsewhere, tried for a time to placate both sectors, by subsidising wages, salaries and rent and rate freezes along with conducting confused alternations between ‘lock downs’ and ‘freedom days’. However, this initial – in for a while, then out for a while – strategy was a failure so a second more unifying strategy was sought. For both sectors of capital, the idea of ‘vaccinate the world’ became the preferred method of returning to profitability simply because their hope was that finance, industrial and commercial businesses could all return to a semblance of capitalist normality.
That is to say cafes, theaters, sports venues, holiday destinations, shopping centres could all fill their seats, car parks and malls, whilst financial investors could continue to reap profits not only from speculation, monopoly and quantitative easing handouts, but also from pharmaceutical investments. All these sectors are now the behind the scenes, elite supporters and backers of this vaccinate everybody strategy. Of course people needed to be scared out of their wits in order to accept this increasingly authoritarian – do as we tell you – vaccination mandate. The only flies in this one-sided universal injection of intravenous fluids, were the few remaining critics and skeptics who no longer trusted government narratives and of course – the really big fly in the ointment – is unfolding reality! Consequently, all critics and skeptics had to be ridiculed, marginalised or silenced and reality had to be denied or obscured.
Statistics are a good way of obscuring reality, because what is counted and revealed is often less significant than what is not counted or revealed. For example, governments using statistics have recently claimed that more working class jobs have been created in the gig economy than have been lost. However, they fail to mention, that these jobs are part-time, precarious, zero hours occupations that have caused losses of homes, health, increases in malnutrition and fuel poverty. Statistics can be a source – par excellence – of mis-information and dis-information.
In Covid terms, how many of the deaths publicised during the first wave of Covid (and since) were caused by Covid19 and not some other environmentally induced factor? Some critics have guessed that to increase fear and vaccine uptake the true deaths from Covid19 were obscured by quoting all deaths which included deaths from all co-morbidities. I do not have access to such statistics to check this claim out but we do now have sight of a government research project which reveals how little danger there was (and is) to the average healthy adult.
At a specialist unit in the UK a ‘Human Challenge Programme’ was conducted by infecting 36 un-vaccinated (and not previously Covid infected) volunteers with a small amount of the first Covid19 strain to reach the UK – the one apparently killing so many people that it put absolute fear into the hearts of most people. The research programme was to examine the real pattern of infection, it’s extent, its duration and it’s severity. The report concludes that not one of the infected volunteers “..developed severe symptoms”.. or raised “clinical concerns”. Symptoms began within “42 hours” of a drop containing the original Covid 19 virus being administered. Nasal load ..”peaked at 5 days”, and lasted between “9 and 12 days”.
Throughout the research programme, the symptoms varied from ..”mild to moderate, cold like symptoms”. The participants were given regular lateral flow tests as these tests became “a good indicator of viable virus in nose or throat”. The nose invariably contained more viral load than throat indicating masks which covered the nose were better than those just covering the mouth. This sample of 36 healthy adults is indeed a very small number, but it confirms a familiar but neglected two year pattern of known Covid19 effects.
Many healthy adults have had asymptomatic infections and many others have only experienced low level symptoms, with all variants, before final recovery. In other words, effective, masking, testing, isolation and full recovery were enough for the bulk of healthy adult members of society. However, publicising this reassuring probability, rather than emphasising the possibility or probability of death, did not fit the vaccine story the pro-capitalist establishment prefers us to accept. Furthermore as the January 2022 edition of Foreign Affairs noted with regard to reality rather than the vaccinate the world fantasy;
“Wealthy governments might continuously seek ways to “boost” their citizens, at least until SARS-CoV-2 evolves from pandemic to endemic or milder disease status. But that is a daunting challenge, as it will be unfeasible to try to vaccinate the entire world’s population once, or even twice, every year against the virus.”
Indeed, the ‘world’ has not even had one dose yet.
Silencing critics and skeptics.
We need to be clear that there are people who love to exaggerate bad things and those who exaggerate good things. Some will even invent fantastic things. These are traits of a small section of humanity evident down the ages. However, there has been a concerted attempt by supporters of the capitalist and pro – capitalist ‘establishment’ to paint all criticism of the official vaccine narrative as cranky or dangerous. The most recent ‘labeling’ of vaccine criticism as dangerous disinformation has been amplified by some entertainers with an obvious greedy finger plucking on the lucrative strings of the capitalist system. These musical parasites, preying on the emotional needs of the lonely and alienated, should stick to singing their wealth-appropriating, commodified songs instead of exposing their one-sided intellectual ignorance. Others lucratively clowning around the rings of their political circuses should get back to their party-gate meeting rooms and cease to arrogantly lecture and disrespect working class anti-establishment critics.
Resisting the establishments.
In this regard, it is welcome news that the truckers in Canada have resisted their establishments attempts to split working people into pro-vaccination and anti – vaccination camps in order to steamroller their increasingly authoritarian, Trudeau – led governance over the whole of the working class in Canada. It is to be hoped that other workers in other countries follow suite and refuse to allow themselves to become split asunder with one section becoming part of the pro – capitalist efforts to stabilise their system at the expense of the poor and desperate sections of working class humanity. Of course, a sprinkling of cranks and misfits, will try to attach themselves to any principled movement for human emancipation and change. That too has always been the case, but these marginal elements can be understood and rejected humanely as alienated symptoms of the system not as a sufficient cause to be imitated or followed.
Roy Ratcliffe (February 2022)
(follow the link – imperial.ac.uk/news/233514/covid-19-human-challenge-study for a fuller review of the above noted Covid19 study and the official comments it prompted.)