Category Archives: COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Masks are a Psychological Preparation for Mandatory Vaccinations

This respirator does not protect against the risk of contracting disease or infection.

Warning with a box of N-95 respirators.

You have no right not to be vaccinated. You have no right not to wear a mask. You have no right to open up your business …. If you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.

Alan Dershowitz 

The lockdown, along with the fear campaign with its daily doses of death statistics and warnings of impending spikes, is a full assault being advanced stepwise toward a dystopia of globalist design. The masks that now dominate on faces everywhere place wearers and non wearers into one or the other of two sharply defined categories, each category carrying a list of traits in the minds of those in the opposite category. What a perfect, visible way to split The People into competing teams. Wearers are sheep!; the maskless are public hazards!

Corporate media is pushing the division with all of its corporate gusto, and if one is looking for a stark example of MSM divisiveness, it would be hard to beat this from Politico: “Wearing a mask is for smug liberals. Refusing to is for reckless Republicans”. Simple, no? In such an either-or world, fine distinctions within complex issues are not to be entertained, with the result that life-long leftists, if contending against the mask, are assumed to be solidly in the hardcore, rightwing Trump camp, fit for a MAGA hat.

There are different motives for wearing a “respirator”. It is no secret that some people are so terrified of death that they fear the remotest risk. What a helluva a way to live! Others, despite history’s countless lessons, blindly trust any governmental claim. A huge fraction, though, perhaps a majority, wear them simply to avoid the public shaming program and so opt to go along. As Lewis Lapham wrote in Gag Rule, “The willingness to go along to get along is as American as the Salem witch trials and apple pie.” But when “everybody does it”, the spectacle psychologically reinforces the perception of legitimacy of even the fraudulent. In the current environment, just going along — which is not unrelated to apathy — lends support to an unelected global elite now attending to details of an impending Great Reset that will form the basis of the New Normal.

One commentator states, “The only way to survive in Gates’s ‘new normal’ will be to develop a network of service providers who work off the surveillance grid of Big Brother. These will be small mom and pops and sole proprietors.” Alas, small businesses that might serve an underground economy are, as an objective of the lockdown, failing by the tens of thousands monthly. And now, as authorities with endless financial resources can persuade the upper managements of surviving chains and big box stores, what began as a guideline is hardening into an ironclad policy of “no mask, no entry, no exception” that is enforced throughout a company, all the way down to the minimum-wage guards who see that you get masked, or you are barred from buying food. Checkmate!

The screws tighten every week now as Orwell’s vision plays out in plain sight in workplaces and neighborhoods and on TV. Given the impact of masking on those with respiratory diseases, the “no exception” mandate seems a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but during the Covid-19 offensive neither agency is enforcing directives. Besides, how many citizens concern themselves with such details when the specter of impending death dominates daily news cycles? And how many will see conformity to governmental demands as the only logical option when the coming global digital currency makes “off the surveillance grid” a quaint concept of a past era?

The thesis of mask versus the antithesis of anti-mask will be settled, one way or another. If the public obediently accepts, as a resolution of the conflict, that we must be masked or be hit with fines and imprisonment, the self-appointed global elite will see that the masses yielded, conclude that they will yield again, and understand that the road is clear to their world of mandated vaccinations. Refusal to wear a mask is now being framed as making oneself a danger to others. That deception appears to have been a success, and it indicates that those in the future who take a militant stand against mass vaccination will be depicted by the Alan Dershowitz’s of the New World as walking bioweapons.

In the the final analysis, the choice to be vaccinated or not, like the choice to be masked or not, will be based less on one’s political or social views than on the understanding and trust one has gained in a powerful government, and by extension, on a willingness to face down a government grown tyrannical. Benjamin Franklyn, when asked what kind of government we were going to get, answered “A republic, if you can keep it”. Given his response, one suspects that he had doubts. If so, it appears his doubts were justified.

• Postscript: Catherine Austin Fitts, former bank president, Wall Street investor, and Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has the history, the connections and the fine eye to make observations worth one’s serious attention. Having “left the establishment” (her words), she explains the history of vaccines vis-à-vis the law, the freedom from liability that is gained for anything that can be labeled a “vaccine”, and the prospect of what might be incorporated into injectables. If you read anything today, make sure it’s this!

Cuba: From the Moncada to the Front Lines of the Pandemic

Santiago de Cuba. Photo: Bill Hackwell

Today Cuba celebrates the 67th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks that mark the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. From this beginning, Cuba’s altruistic view of making the world safer and healthier began.

It has developed into a society that gives everything it has without expecting credit. There are hundreds of examples of this; for instance, what took place in 1986, after the nuclear catastrophe of Chernobyl, when blockaded Cuba took in over 20,000 young cancer victims and their family members from 1989 to 2011 providing medical care, schooling, clothing, food, accommodation, playgrounds – all free of charge.

Another story worth remembering is one of forgiveness in 2007 when Mario Terán, the Bolivian sergeant who murdered Che Guevara on October 9, 1967, was operated on for free by Cuban doctors who restored his vision in a hospital donated by the Cuban government to Bolivia and inaugurated by President Evo Morales in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

And now Cuba is on the world stage in the midst of this dangerous global Pandemic and Cuba is continuing to save lives, while the US government and its media, instead of being constructive in the battle, have intensified the campaign to discredit Cuba’s collaboration. The misinformation is not surprising from a country whose president’s main vocation is preaching an endless stream of lies.

Even Trump’s faithful followers must be starting to see that there is a contradiction in how the richest country in the world has not been able to put any brake on the virus, is accumulating the highest number of infections and deaths, with no end in sight, while attacking Cuba, a nation that not only has been able to control the pandemic but has extended their full solidarity to other nations.

Why the Trump administration puts priority on discrediting Cuba’s international missions abroad that save lives instead of focusing on the social and human cost in the US is mindboggling and criminal. Trump, his anti-Cuba friends in Florida, and the mainstream media are mixing up a concoction of ignorance with malicious intention, never mentioning that Cuba has flattened the curve of the virus and has had only one death in three weeks.

All the empty words we hear about the Cuban Medical Brigades going to other countries being forced labor is not only without proof but fails to explain why there are many more medical professionals who volunteer to go than openings. Furthermore, the White House, the State Department, and the media fail to mention one word about the 60-year-old US blockade and its impact against the island that causes unnecessary suffering for the Cuban people. As we have become accustomed, the Trump Administration likes to throw things at the wall to see what sticks.

A few days ago, Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, an organization with a long history of parroting the official line of the US,  jumped on the bandwagon with a tweet, “Cuban doctors deployed abroad offer valuable service but at the expense of their freedoms”. At least Mr. Roth admitted that Cuban doctors offered valuable services but Roth offered no proof about what he meant. He continues, “They can be disciplined for being friends w/ people who hold hostile or contrary views to the Cuban revolution and face prosecution if they “abandon” their jobs. This is the Executive Director of an international so-called human rights organization talking with no examples.

Cuba, with a little more than 11 million people, has more than 95,000 doctors, 9 for every 1,000 inhabitants, and more than 85,000 nurses that are part of the 492,000 Cuban health professionals according to the latest Statistical Yearbook at the beginning of 2019.

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the first brigade of Cuba health professionals to provide services abroad was in Algeria in 1963. Since then, more than 400,000 professionals have served in 164 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and even Portugal.

These services, popularly known as “medical missions,” include sending health professionals to countries that officially request them from the Cuban government. And those who go do so voluntarily because they are part of a society that puts human lives at the center. They leave their families behind for a just cause but they also know that the Cuban government will take care of them.

Cuba is so respected around the world that recently eight Cuban Scientists were chosen as Advisors for the World Struggle against COVID-19 as part of an Inter-Academy Panel (IAP). In 2000, the IAP founded the Inter-Academy Council (IAC) and the Inter-Academy Medical Panel (IAMP).  Currently, membership includes 140 national and regional Academies of Science, including all branches of science, engineering, and medicine from around the world.

Despite the slander, Cuba continues to extend its solidarity with great pride. Currently, there are three thousand members of the Henry Reeve medical brigades (designed to fight pandemics and natural disasters) who are on the front lines of the pandemic in 37 countries with 43 brigades.

But the attacks never quit.  On May 8, 2020, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) added another $2 million to undermine the work of the brigades and a month later, head Cuba hater Marco Rubio joined other Republican Senators and presented a bill to “punish” countries that sign agreements with the Cuban government to receive this support. Rubio’s credibility has been suspect ever since he was caught in his own lies by claiming his parents ‘came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover’ of Cuba when, in fact, they came to the US in 1956, three years before the revolution during the repression of the US-backed Bautista regime.

One would think that government officials in Florida like Rubio would be focused on containing COVID-19 in their state that has become an epicenter of infection rates and deaths instead of being fixated on tarnishing the success that Cuba is having in beating back the pandemic.

Some of the medical personnel are now returning to Cuba from their missions and have been telling their experiences in their own words to the people through video conferencing, welcomed by President Miguel Diaz Canel.

Dr. Edelsy Delgado, an Intensive Care specialist from the Gustavo Aldereguía Hospital in Cienfuegos, kept a journal during the three months he spent in Andorra. He said upon his return “Believe me, we represented Cuba at the highest level.”

Leidisbet Lopez Cantero, a nurse from Camaguey, was the flag-bearer who couldn’t hold back her tears when she got off the airplane that brought her to Havana and saw her mother and son speaking of her in the welcoming video.

Dr Michael Cabrera Laza, head of the group of five distinguished consultants in Nicaragua, was deeply moved as he spoke of traveling through all 17 regions of Nicaragua, and finding in absolutely all of them the marks left by some Cuban doctor or teacher or the presence of some community leader trained in Cuba. “And in every action that we carried out, Fidel was there.”

Nurses Francisco Gonzalez Prada of Sancti Spiritus, Liliana Martinez of Holguin, and Aldo Moreira of Camaguey, who were all part of the Antigua and Barbuda brigade testified about their own feelings when they saw the positive changes in how their patients felt when they found out they were being cared for by Cubans. “I didn’t make a mistake; I am right where I should be.”

Cuba is right where it should be without hesitation.

7/20/20: The Moment of Truth Is Now for COVID and Economic Relief

The US Senate returned to work this week after a two-week vacation during which COVID-19 exploded and the economy imploded. The moment of truth has now arrived. Will the House and Senate now bring forth a Covid relief package adequate to the Covid health and economic crises?

The last six months of the pandemic and economic collapse show that the two governing parties are presiding over a failed state. Most other organized societies have test, contract trace, and quarantine programs that have suppressed community spread of the virus and enabled a safe reopening of businesses and schools. The two major parties in the US have continued their dogmatic faith that private enterprise alone can deliver health care and economic recovery. It has been a dismal failure.

With 4% of the world’s population, the US has 25% of the world’s Covid deaths, more than 140,000 deaths so far, with public health experts predicting as many as 800,000 deaths by the end of the year.

Trump gave up. Covid won. Trump is a loser. But where is Biden? He lives within commuting distance of the White House press corps. He can command their attention as the presumptive Democratic nominee. Why isn’t he holding press conferences to pound away on the need for a test, trace, and quarantine program to suppress the virus and safely reopen the economy? He has only done one press conference with questions and answers since he became the presumptive nominee four months ago.

Meanwhile, the economy is now in a depression, with over 35 million unemployed, over 32 million receiving unemployment benefits, and six million dropping out of the labor force entirely since February. With tax revenues collapsing, the failure to provide federal funding to state and city governments risks the jobs of 22 million public sector workers. As of May, states and cities needed nearly $1 trillion in federal aid by this summer to keep operating without big layoffs of public workers.

The last COVID-19 bailout, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), turned into a feast of corruption by members of the Trump administration, Congress, and their families, donors, and political cronies. The disgrace was made worse because one-third of the people could not make their rent payments. 14 million children went hungry in June, three times the number of children who went hungry during the Great Recession, according to an analysis of Census data. The US government is infested with corporate crooks and flunkies. The next COVID-19 relief package must put in place protections against the theft of government funds by politicians, government insiders, and their confidants

Direct federal payments to individuals and small businesses are urgently needed if the US is to prevent long-term job loss by the destruction of Main Street small businesses, which accounted for nearly half of all jobs going into the COVID-19 economic lockdown.

The impact of the economic collapse will hit even harder next week because the temporary weekly increase of $600 in unemployment benefits ends on July 25, as does the federal moratorium on evictions from federally-subsidized housing.  The Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey found 30 percent of renters had little or no confidence that they could meet housing payments in August. 28 million people could face eviction by September. An estimated 27 million people have lost their employer-linked health insurance.

In April we put forward an urgent agenda to address COVID-19 and the economic collapse. The health and economic crises have only deepened since. This updated agenda for the duration of the crises needs to be enacted by Congress now.

  • Medicare to Pay for COVID-19 Testing and Treatment and All Emergency Health Care
  • Defense Production Act to Rapidly Plan the Production and Distribution of Medical Supplies and a Universal Test, Contact Trace, and Quarantine Program to Suppress the Virus so the Economy and Schools Can Be Safely Reopened
  • An OSHA Temporary Standard to Provide Enforceable PPE Protection for Workers
  • $2,000 a Month per Individual (Including Children) Making Less Than $120,000 a Year
  • Loans to All Businesses and Hospitals for Payroll and Fixed Overhead, To Be Forgiven If All Workers Are Kept on Payroll
  • Moratorium on Evictions, Foreclosures, and Utility Shutoffs
  • Cancel Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Payments; Federal Government Pays Those Bills; High-income People Pay Taxes on this Relief
  • Continue the expanded unemployment benefits that provide $600 to the amount received when people receive benefits.
  • Suspend Student Loan Payments with 0% Interest Accumulation
  • Federal Universal Rent Control
  • Aid to State and Local Governments Sufficient to Keep Essential Services Running
  • Emergency Funding to Cover US Postal Service Revenue Shortfalls Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Universal Mail-in Ballot Option for the 2020 General Election

The US needs to immediately hire several hundred thousand people to test and contact trace those infected or exposed to COVID-19. This program is essential to re-opening the economy and schools safely. It is unpardonable that the leadership of both governing parties have failed for six months into the pandemic to implement this basic public health measure to suppress the virus.

The housing crisis is becoming more acute. Even before the economic collapse, US cities suffered from chronic homelessness for hundreds of thousands of people. The homes for all program in the Hawkins/Walker Ecosocialist Green New Deal is a 10-year, $2.5 trillion program to build 25 million units of public housing to ensure that every person has access to affordable housing within a decade. The private housing market has never provided affordable housing for all.

Direct support to people must increase. Hawkins/Walker supports Senator Bernie Sanders’ Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act that would provide a monthly $2,000 check to every person, children included, making less than $120,000 a year. This support must continue until the US achieves economic recovery.

With consumer demand depressed, private investors are not risking job-creating new investments. Economic recovery requires public investment, with an immediate investment on the order of $4 trillion and a long-term public investment of the same yearly scale to sustain an economic recovery and to address the looming economy-killer in the background, the climate emergency.

Hawkins/Walker have called for the Green New Deal to be the engine of the recovery. The 10-Year, $42 Trillion budget for an Ecosocialist Green New Deal would create 38 million new jobs by rebuilding all our production systems for zero-to-negative greenhouse gas emissions, zero-waste recycling, and 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 in order to reverse the climate crisis and other environmental problems. It will employ public enterprise and planning, particularly in the energy, transportation, and manufacturing sectors, in order to make the clean energy transformation in a decade. The Economic Bill of Rights in the program will end poverty and economic insecurity through a job guarantee, a guaranteed income above poverty, Medicare for All, and doubling of Social Security benefits to provide a secure retirement for all seniors.

The COVID-19 health and economic crises are devastating. But they also present us with the opportunity to institute economic justice, public health, and climate protection measures that will build a sustainable prosperity for our future.

GloboCap Über Alles

So, how are you enjoying the “New Normal” so far? Is it paranoid and totalitarian enough for you? If not … well, hold on, because it’s just getting started. There is plenty more totalitarianism and paranoia still to come.

I know, it feels like forever already, but, in fact, it has only been a few months since GloboCap started rolling out the new official narrative. We’re still in the early stages of it. The phase we’re in now is kind of like where we were back in February of 2002, a few months after the 9/11 attacks, when everyone was still in shock, the Patriot Act was just a few months old, and the Department of Homeland Security hadn’t even been created yet.

You remember how it was back then, when GloboCap was introducing the official “War on Terror” narrative, don’t you?

OK, maybe you do and maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re too young to remember, or you were caught up in the excitement of the moment and weren’t paying attention to the details. But some of us remember it clearly. We remember watching (and futilely protesting) as GloboCap prepared to invade, destabilize, and restructure the entire Middle East, as countries throughout the global capitalist empire implemented “emergency security measures” (which, 18 years later, are still in effect), as the corporate media bombarded us with official propaganda, jacked up The Fear, and otherwise prepared us for the previous “New Normal” … some of us remember all that clearly.

Personally, I remember listening to a liberal academic on NPR calmly speculating that, just hypothetically, at some point in the not-too-distant future, we might need to sacrifice our principles a bit, and torture some people, to “keep America safe.” I recounted this to other Americans at the time, among my many other concerns about where the post-9/11 mass hysteria was heading. Most of them told me I was just being paranoid, or that they didn’t really care, because we needed to do whatever was “necessary” to protect Americans, and, in any event, “the terrorists deserved it.” Shortly thereafter, I started making plans to get the hell out of the country.

I mention that, not to signal my virtue — leaving the U.S.A. didn’t achieve anything, except for improving my standard of living — but to jog your memory, and maybe prompt you to compare that period to the one we are in now. The parallels are overwhelming. The “state of emergency.” The propaganda. The mass hysteria. The mob mentality. The exaggeration of the actual threat. The police-state atmosphere. The suppression of dissent. The constant repetition of the new official narrative. The exhortative catchphrases and meaningless slogans. The confusion. The chaos. The existential fear. And so on. It is all so very familiar.

I’m referring to the simulated pandemic, of course, but also to the racialized civil unrest and identitarian polarization that GloboCap has fomented throughout the United States, and, to varying degrees, the rest of the empire. I’ve been covering the War on Populism and GloboCap’s “Trump-is-literally-Hitler” propaganda since 2016, so the civil unrest isn’t terribly surprising. But, I confess, I did not see the fake plague coming. Running the two psy-ops together was brilliant. The effect on people has been devastating. Everyone is either depressed or enraged, or in some stage of paranoid paralysis. Some have been so thoroughly terrorized that they are literally refusing to leave their houses. Others are lining up at gun shops. White people are getting down on their knees and publicly washing Black people’s feet in “symbolic demonstrations of forgiveness.” Condiments are changing their names. It’s like we’re all trapped in a gratuitously didactic Netflix zombie-apocalypse series set in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, written, directed, and produced by Spike Lee.

The official propaganda could not be more Orwellian, nor could people’s willingness to go along with it. It doesn’t even have to appear to make sense. Doublethink has taken over. For example, most of the developed world has been in some form of totalitarian lockdown, and subjected to other police-state measures (like being beaten and arrested for not wearing a mask), for no justifiable reason whatsoever, for going on the last five months, but, according to the corporate media (and the millions of people they have apparently brainwashed), it’s only now that Trump has sent his Homeland Security goons into Portland that, suddenly, “democracy is under attack!”

But wait … no, I take it back. The Orwellianism gets even more Orwellian. According to GloboCap and its sanctimonious minions, that sentence I just wrote about Portland is racist, because nearly everything you can imagine is racist, or is a potential threat to the public health. Calling riots “riots” is racist. Silence is racist. Free speech is racist. Refusing to wear a mask is racist. The BLM protesters are immune to the virus, but other large gatherings (which, it goes without saying, are probably racist) all have to be banned. Normality, as Americans knew it, is over, and it is never, ever, coming back, because white supremacy caused the pandemic. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland (where life has been going on without mass hysteria) do not exist. They have never existed (and, if they ever did, they were probably racist). Talking on public transportation is deadly. Interacting with children is potentially deadly, as are most other forms of human interaction … unless you’re tearing down a racist statue, or burning down a local family business, while wearing a designer anti-racism mask.

Seriously, though, just like in 2002, when GloboCap was still rolling out the “War on Terror” narrative, the facts are all available for anyone who cares. The falsification of Covid statistics and hospital capacity figures, the unreliability of the tests, and so on … it has all been repeatedly documented. Anyone with a positive test result who later dies of any cause (including a fatal motorcycle accident) is counted as a “Covid death.” Anyone admitted to a hospital for anything who tests positive for the virus is a “Covid hospitalization.” And, I’m sorry to disappoint my liberal friends (assuming I have any left at this point), but systematic racism and police brutality did not suddenly begin in 2016.

What suddenly began in 2016 was a concerted effort on the part of GloboCap to put down a growing populist backlash against global capitalism and its soulless ideology. Yes, most of that backlash is neo-nationalist in character, but it also includes a significant number of old-fashioned lefty-types like myself, and a lot of other un-woke folks who aren’t quite ready to embrace their new identities as interchangeable human commodities.

We are experiencing the culmination of that effort (or what they hope is the culmination of that effort) to put down this motley populist insurgency, and ensure that it never happens again. GloboCap is teaching us a lesson. The lesson is:

This is what you get when you fuck around with GloboCap. This is what voting for Trump, Brexit, and all the rest of that ‘populist’ nonsense gets you … global pandemics, civil race wars, riots, lockdowns, economic depression, societal collapse, chaos, fear. Go ahead, fuck around with us some more. We will make you wear ridiculous face masks forever. We will paint little arrows and boxes on the floor to show you where to walk and stand. We will bankrupt your businesses, shut down your schools, psychologically torture your children. We’ll inject them with any fucking thing we want. There is nothing you can do about it. We will make you get down on your knees and apologize for fucking with us, or we will stigmatize you as a ‘racist,’ sic our mobs of fanatics on you, and ‘cancel’ you and your entire family.

This, essentially, is the message that GloboCap is delivering to disobedient populists (left or right, it makes no difference; GloboCap doesn’t care which political labels we cling to or slap on each other). It is our final warning to quit playing grab-ass, get with the global capitalist program, and start behaving and thinking as we’re told … unless we want to get locked down again, and ordered to wear things on our faces, and be otherwise ritually humiliated.

See, the so-called “New Normal” (i.e., the new ideological narrative that GloboCap is rolling out) is actually not that new at all … or, OK, the pathologization part is (and I’ll be paying close attention to that aspect of it), but, basically, it’s just plain old totalitarianism. It isn’t state-totalitarianism, because our world isn’t ruled by nation-states. It is ruled by global capitalism. We are being reminded of that fact at the moment … and being shown what happens if we start to forget it.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. My hunch is, it is only going to get worse until they can get Trump out of office, which Americans are liable to help them do, simply to make the whole nightmare stop. Once he’s gone, they’ll probably retire the fake pandemic, call off the riots, and stage some sort of international celebration of the Rebirth of Democracy, after which they can get finally back to the business of ruthlessly destabilizing, restructuring, and privatizing the planet, sanitizing history, curing humanity of racism, hate, and other pathologies, and otherwise enforcing rigid conformity to global capitalist ideology.

Maybe they could get the Hamilton composer to write them a hip hop Deutschlandlied to use as a supranational anthem. They could call it GloboCap Über Alles … it kind of has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

All Confusion and Contradictions in Trump’s Apocalyptic America

In front of White House

Americans are angry. I suspected they would be, but I got confirmation that they are, all over the place: in Miami, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Minneapolis, New York, and Boston. Basically, everywhere I went, while “taking pulse and temperature” of this country where I used to live, cumulatively, for more than a decade, I felt frustration and bewilderment.

“What is your job?” Shouted an African-American lady, right in the middle of the Union Station in the nation’s capital. Obviously, it was a rhetorical question, as she almost immediately answered her own query: “There are no jobs!”

Mr. Floyd got murdered by perverse, sadistic police officers. The economy is collapsing, at least for the poor and the middle class. The COVID-19 pandemic is like a rollercoaster, up and down, up and down, with no end in sight.

People are confused, while the government is increasingly aggressive. Much of the so-called “progressive media” is suddenly not behaving progressively at all. Racism is sometimes fought against with brand new types of racism. Anti-racist movements get periodically infiltrated by the extreme right-wing groups, as I witnessed in Minneapolis.

The U.S. government is basically confronting countries like China, Venezuela, Russia and Iran. Not just verbally, but militarily. And the reason why our world is not in the middle of WWIII, yet, is because of tremendous restrain and wisdom of the U.S. adversaries.

*****

At home, no jobs, no coherent policy on how to fight against the COVID-19; no national unity in the moment of disaster.

What I have been witnessing so far were some jerky, inconsistent moves on the part of the governments (the federal and the state ones), as well as the ensuing confusion, complimented by half-hearted, and patchy solutions. Quite the opposite of what I experienced in Asia, be it in socialist China and Vietnam, but also in the far from the socialist nations such as Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines.

Just a quick reality check, and it becomes clear that the U.S. system already failed, squarely and patently: 30 million people out of jobs since the pandemic began. Three million infected, and probably, by now, much more. Over 130.000 U.S. citizens lost their lives. Of course, it all depends on how the total number of victims is calculated. Still, no matter how it is done, even if the lowest numbers are correct, the United States is the most affected country on Earth, which is an absolute shame, considering that it is still one of the richest.

The Trump Administration is, of course, aware of all this, and just a few months before the Presidential elections, it is desperately searching for someone else to blame for this enormous national disaster. The President and his men are frantically pointing fingers in all directions: from China (P.R.C.) to the World Health Organization (WHO). From the Communist Party of China, from President Maduro to the U.S. state governors and those very few “disobedient” members of the mass media who still dare, at least occasionally, to challenge the official narrative.

Conspiracy theories are abundant. Demonstrations and protests are taking place all over the nation. In New York City, the murder rate is up. Sirens are howling. People are uttering clichés. “Follow the money,” I hear everywhere.

Who is to blame? Inept regime? Monstrous outdated capitalism? Corporatism? Shitty education system? People don’t now. While ‘false prophets’ are thriving.

Government, mass media, as well as a great majority of the so-called ‘progressive’ media (do not confuse it with left-wing media, which hardly exists in the United States, anymore), are blaming socialist China, as they are blaming Russia, Iran, and other independent-minded countries.

*****

This is clearly a political fight. The pandemic is there, of course, but for the White House, it is nothing else other than background noise and stench. On all fronts, the U.S. regime is fighting for its survival. Trump is clashing with various foreign countries, those which have a real, left-wing ideology.

Much is at stake. The survival of the entire repulsive system is now in question. If this terrible scheme collapsed, the whole world would rejoice; it would benefit. But the majority of North Americans would lose. Even those who like to paint themselves as ‘progressives’ or ‘different’ or “also victims”. And so, there are thousands of conspiracies aimed at discrediting the fury which followed the killing of Mr. Floyd. There are countless theories about the origins of the pandemic, as well as its management, or, more precisely, mismanagement.

For both the Trump and his Democratic Party opponents, it is now absolutely essential to discredit morally and socially much more successful countries like China, Russia, even Cuba.

Monstrous propaganda tsunami has been unleashed in the United States, but also the U.K. It is unprecedented and overwhelming. Alternative voices are silenced. Censorship, even amongst the so-called ‘alternative’ Western publications, is becoming bulletproof. And it all happened literally overnight. While my essays used to be reprinted just 2-3 months ago by at least 20 major outlets in the United States and Canada, now it is at most five which dare to publish me. My internationalist, unconditionally left-wing angle did not change at all. But true colors of the U.S. and Canadian “progressive” and “independent” media got exposed. Simultaneously, my work has been gaining great support in non-Western countries. This says a lot about the situation!

Back to Trump. He is attacking foreign countries, horrified that people could notice how optimistic and compassionate some other nations are. And how nihilist, over-rated, empty and depressing is the United States.

He is also antagonizing those who are now bringing down statues of Western bigots, genocidal cadres, slave owners, and conquerors.

He is clearly soiling his pants.

In the same breath he is smearing the health officials, who dare to paint bleak (read: realistic) picture, and urging him to put people’s interests above those of the economy, particularly the private sector.

On July 8, 2020, even pro-regime CNN reported:

Five months into a still-raging pandemic that has killed more than 130,000 Americans, the long-simmering tensions between President Donald Trump and the health experts who staff his government have escalated from private griping to shrugging disagreement to now open dispute.

The result, people at those agencies say, is a new sense of demoralization as they continue their attempts to fight a once-in-a-generation health crisis while simultaneously navigating the whims of a President who has shown little interest or understanding of their work.

That Trump does not trust nor follow the advice of experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, is hardly new. The President has not attended a meeting of his coronavirus task force in months, and recently its sessions have been held outside the White House, including on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Department of Education. Fauci was told to participate in the meeting remotely by videoconference, preventing him from participating in a midday task force press briefing…

Precisely, nothing new. Except that even CNN, one of the mouthpieces of the empire, is finally noticing!

*****

It is all about spreading nihilism, on both domestic and foreign fronts.

China is getting attacked in the most extreme, unreasonable, and even bizarre fashion by both President Trump and his team, but also by their adversaries. After winning the fight against the COVID-19, the P.R.C. has been blamed for virtually everything, from withholding data, negatively influencing the WHO, and even for the manufacturing of the virus in one of its laboratories based in Wuhan, and then spreading it to all corners of the world. “Chinese Virus,” the White House has been calling it, while no one knows yet for certain, where it actually really originated. Naturally, Beijing and entire China have been indignant.

None of the U.S. government accusations have been proven. Allegations after allegations have been ridiculed by the U.S. medical, scientific community, and often by the academia. But the administration already went too far, and it is clearly unable to stop its own attacks anymore. Trump ignores ridicule, hoping that his macho, vulgar and provincial rhetoric would appeal to certain group of uneducated, extremist part of the population, and win him the second term.

Even some individuals related to the U.S. diplomatic community in China, such as Tzu-i Chuang Mullinax and Roseanne Freese, are voicing disagreement with the official White House narrative.

Analyzing the uprising which followed the murder of Mr. George Floyd (who happened to be COVID-19 positive), I spoke to dozens of Americans of all races and social standings. The majority of them have been outraged by the government’s handling of the epidemy and the unrest. Not one person that I spoke to actually blamed China or any other foreign country, directly, for the dire situation in the United States.

Minneappolis burning

Anti-Chinese rhetoric is clearly a political football played by both Republicans and Democrats. The same goes for the anti-Russian sentiments, including belittlement of the Russian foreign aid sent to the United States, at the very beginning of the pandemic.

The strategy of the U.S. government is simple; some would say primitive: “Whatever terrible is happening inside the country, just counterattack and blame everything on the political opponents, and if you can’t, attack the foreign countries; China, Russia, even Iran or Venezuela. Or smear the United Nations agencies, like WHO.  Guide insults to all corners of the world, but also don’t forget to send the battleships.”

There is much that is going wrong in the U.S., very, very wrong. Tents with homeless people could now be spotted all around the downtown Washington D.C. The White House has been converted into a fortress. And while millions of American people are marching, protesting against the endemic racism and discrimination, the K.K.K. and its affiliates like Proud Boys, are burning cities and infiltrating legitimate anti-racist demonstrations (something that I will soon be addressing in my essays).

Images are apocalyptic. The situation is explosive.

This is one of the most dangerous moments in world history. But, shockingly, not much is being written about the urgency and threat which our planet is facing!

• Originally published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook (a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

Lessons from the pandemic not yet learned

As the coronavirus, once again, surges out of control in the United States, it is safe to say that even those few lessons learned have been cast aside by those who place profits before people. Greed and ignorance, not public health policy, is deciding the fate of tens of thousands in our nation who are likely to die and many times that who will suffer from COVID-19 as we stumble from one surge to another. As other nations succeed, the US continues to fail under incompetent political leadership and a privatized health care system unprepared to handle a domestic epidemic, let alone a global pandemic. This analysis brings together in one place the reasons for this failure and posits remedies the nation could embrace.

Virus control, absent a vaccine, is entirely dependent on the ability of a society to prevent its spread from its point of origin. The new coronavirus, as we have painfully learned, is not an exception. This is the context for the lessons noted here. Scientists studying the transmission of the coronavirus estimate that without any travel or social distancing restrictions, one infected person on average transmits the virus to 2.5 others daily. Roughly estimated, this means if there were 10 cases on day one, in seven days about 10,000 people could be infected.

However, this depends on the individual’s activities. In April, an outbreak in Minnesota occurred in which one person infected 14 others at a house party attended by dozens of people. This outbreak was quickly contained, but had it not, those 14 infected could have increased to hundreds in a few days. In the US, the inability to prevent transmission meant that infections climbed exponentially from 710 confirmed cases on March 14, one day after the national emergency was declared, to 20,000 just 14 days later on March 28.

Social distancing guidelines aim to bring the transmission rate below 1.0, a rate at which any infected persons on average would only infect only one other person per day. At this rate, the virus spread plateaus. Yet, to successfully quarantine the virus, instead of the virus quarantining society, requires pushing the rate down to 0.30, the point at which three infected people on average would only pass the virus on to one other person. Put another way, dramatically reducing the rate of infection entails preventing transmission about 60­–70 percent of the time. At these rates the virus can be managed, perhaps even extinguished over time.

As a nation, we have been reluctant to accept what the virus requires of us in order to put it in check. Deaths and infections, though less than that at the peak, continue at about one thousand deaths and nearly 20,000 new cases daily. At this rate, estimates show at least 100,000 more people will die by Election Day. The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Ashish K. Jha, called this stark trajectory “unconscionable.” Jha said, “It’s stunning to me that we have just decided that it’s okay for tens of thousands of Americans to die and we aren’t going to do what we know we can do to prevent those deaths.”

The following lessons speak for themselves. However, the nation’s institutions and political and corporate leaders are still reluctant to heed them. Americans must demand they do their jobs. If, as predicted, the virus persists and reasserts itself during the upcoming flu season fall the nation must be prepared. Americans should accept no excuses.

Lesson number one

For decades political and corporate forces plotted to cut health care budgets, downsize health facilities, and privatize hospitals and health care systems to make a profit. In this pandemic Americans are reaping the deadly consequences of their scheming. The result is a fragmented US corporate health care system, comprised of a myriad of private for profit hospitals and other medical delivery systems, that was unprepared, under-resourced and under-staffed to effectively respond to the virus.

Correcting this will require bringing all major health care providers into the public domain and replacing the inefficient private insurance system with national health insurance – Medicare for All. We need a system where all are insured in a seamless, efficient, service-focused public health care program. This is lesson number one and requires a systemic solution. The critique and lessons that follow are specific to the shortcomings and failures of the past five months.

Delaying quarantine actions was costly

The US was slow to identify the New York City (NYC) area as an epicenter of the infection. The evidence was in sight but was overlooked or ignored. A study released in early April from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC found that the high traffic volume from Europe and, to a lesser but still significant extent, travel directly between the US and China imported the virus to NYC. As the infection began to rage in Italy by mid-February, typical volumes of passengers were arriving at NY-area airports until the federal government blocked most travel from Europe on March 11. By then the damage had already been done, seeding as many as 10,000 cases before the first person tested positive for COVID-19 in NYC.

Even as deaths mounted in NYC, New York political leaders rejected adopting quarantine-level travel restrictions in and out of the NYC region. Instead, travel continued, and tens of thousands of New Yorkers traveled out of the city, spreading the virus further into the region and nationally.

A recent Yale University genetic epidemiological study confirmed this. Within the US, the coronavirus traveled largely from the NYC region to other parts of the country. A smaller portion traveled from Washington State, where the virus arrived with travelers directly from China, seeding infections in California and Oregon and a few other locales. Surprisingly, the study showed an estimated 50 percent of the California cases resulted from travelers transiting through or arriving from NYC.

Restricting travel in or out of the NYC area, except for essential goods, may still have been effective had a quarantine action been taken when Italy locked down its infected northern cities on March 8, an action restricting the movement of 16 million people.

On March 22, when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued the stay-at-home order for NYC, tens of thousands of passengers had already returned from Italy and Spain and other EU countries. Between these two dates, thousands more were infected in the NYC region and beyond. According to media accounts, few passengers were screened upon arrival. Yet, passengers reported they were only asked if they had been to China, Iran, or South Korea, not France, Italy or Spain.

A Columbia University study showed that had tighter nationwide control been put in place on March 8, fewer than 4,300 would have died by May 3. Instead the tally rose to 21,800. A little arithmetic would lead to conclude, then, that instead of 1,000 dying daily today in May it could be under 100. Restricting unnecessary domestic travel to and from NYC on March 8 in conjunction with enforcing strict quarantine rules and contact tracing for those returning from Europe would also have limited the spread of the virus to uninfected areas. In Minnesota, where I live, 72 percent of the virus cases were transited from the NYC area, while just 15 percent were transmitted from the West Coast. Passengers arriving in Minnesota were screened if they transited from China or Europe but not domestic travelers from New York airports. A costly omission.

A point of origin quarantine model proved effective in Wuhan, China, even once the virus had spread in small numbers to other cities. A modified version of China’s lockdown regime was adopted by France, Spain, and Italy, after other measures failed. By March 1, Italy banned travel in and out of infected areas with the aid of law enforcement and succeeded in minimizing the virus spreading to southern Italy.

The difference between US results by late May and those of Italy is astonishing. In Italy, new daily infections dropped from a high of 6,000 to 1,000 over a period of just one month, an 80 percent decline. In sharp contrast, in mid-May, 115 days into the pandemic, US daily infections fell just 33 percent, from about 30,000 to 20,000. With the virus still not under control states began to open their economies. The result: 50,000 plus cases a day by late June. Until these lessons are heeded disastrous consequences lie ahead.

In recent weeks, new daily cases in Italy, France, and Spain have averaged under 500. The total population of the three countries is 172 million, roughly one-half of the US. A little math shows that if the US had deployed a national coordinated response following these nations’ protocols, new daily US cases would now average just 1,000, not 50,000. What we are witnessing is a national failure. Neglect, denial and unpreparedness has cost tens of thousands of lives, several million to be needlessly infected and incalculable economic suffering. US scientists predicted in March that if the virus is allowed to rule as many as a million may die. Countless others are likely to have scarred lungs and damaged organs after recovering. Learning from these lessons is the only means to avoid such consequences.

Testing, contact tracing and a quarantine regime

Robust contact tracing regimes must be in place, not invented on the fly. Five months after the virus first appeared in the US, we are still implementing a program of testing and isolation. South Korea had such a program in place and quickly implemented it and contained the virus. Those individuals testing positive who could not safely quarantine at home were provided lodging for 14 days. Tracing and health monitoring were done via cell phones. Americans may be reluctant to be monitored like this, but the alternative is to let the virus monitor us. So long as such a regime is not in place, the virus will rule.

Isolating hot spots

In Minnesota and elsewhere, we have heard a lot about hot spots in meat processing plants. In April, a lack of foresight and the capacity to respond caused the virus to travel from a Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to the JBS plant in Worthington, Minnesota. Since the plants are only an hour’s drive apart, workers employed at one plant often have relatives and friends working at the other. The virus was identified at the Smithfield plant the second week in April and two weeks later at the Worthington JBS plant. Could this have been avoided or at least minimized? If a quarantine practice were in place, travel between the two areas would have been prohibited immediately after the Smithfield report (even proactively in March). JBS would have been shut down for cleaning and for testing of workers. JBS workers had earlier expressed concern among themselves the virus would spread from Smithfield. They were not heard.

Nursing homes: again a quarantine regime is needed

Testing residents does not solve the problem unless all staff are deemed virus-free and remain virus-free. Once staff leave a COVID-free workplace, they are susceptible to contracting the disease during their daily activities. Extraordinary precautions are the only means to prevent a virus that has a high mortality rate among the elderly. How might this be possible? Medical and all other staff need to be isolated from public interactions. One trip to the grocery store could infect residents the next day. One option is to rent hotel rooms paid for by COVID-allocated funds. Staff who are mothers with infants should be paid to stay at home. Food and other essential needs for quarantined workers should be delivered.

These measures would not only protect residents but also the health care workers’ families and coworkers. Given what we see unfolding daily, it appears that if dramatic steps are not taken, we can expect more infections and a steady stream of deaths arising from nursing homes and assisted living facilities month after month.

Testing failure

Clearly, the US was unprepared to implement a testing regime. Wholly inadequate supplies of fast and reliable testing made effective contact tracing out of reach until recently and even now cannot meet demand. The federal health administrative system and pharmaceutical firms lacked stores of reagents, testing swabs, and equipment. This was inexcusable negligence at the outset and five months later is still causing illness, death, and economic hardship. So long as we cannot test, track, and isolate, we will be forced to stay at home or, as we are now doing, opening the economy facing high rates of infection and deaths.

Public mandate to wear face masks

The failure to immediately mandate wearing face masks in public spaces and for front-line workers clearly increased the spread of the virus. For yet inadequately explained reasons, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and scientists on the president’s coronavirus task force delayed recommending this preventive measure until April 3rd, weeks after the national emergency was declared. The effectiveness of mask wearing to prevent spread is well established. Asian nations with experience managing epidemics immediately require anyone in public or providing a public service to wear a mask. Why such a logical, well-established preventive measure was not immediately mandated here demands an investigation. Come fall and winter, quality masks for everyone will be needed to prevent the spread of both the coronavirus and new strains of the flu. According to infectious disease control officials in Taiwan, if everyone wears the proper mask, the spread of infection could be reduced by as much as 99 percent.

Are we prepared for fall?

Clearly, not yet. In an interview in May, Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, suggested we are lagging behind the virus. “We have to stop promising people everything will be okay, because that’s not going to be the case,” he said. In other words, so long as the virus dictates our future, we are all in jeopardy.

Five months after the pandemic began, production of personal protective equipment (PPE) still lags behind the need. Firms are still unable to provide frontl-ine medical personnel with adequate PPE, unable to produce tens of millions of high-quality masks for public use and unable to produce sufficient materials needed for mass testing. By fall they must be ready. They dare not fail again.

Collective action is the only remedy we have until a vaccine is available. Any institution, business, and governmental entity impeding taking effective action must be forced to measure up to the challenge. State and federal political leaders found wanting and beholden to profiteers, beginning with the current president, need to be swept out of office. If the top management of private health systems and pharmaceutical firms cannot meet the nation’s needs, they should be replaced. Profit is irrelevant; we need performance. We need cooperation between firms, not competition. The lessons described here require collective cooperation and effective leadership. If one or the other falls short, the virus will prevail.

Total Masking: Victoria’s Coronavirus Response

Melbourne — The Victorian Premier turned up for his weekend delivery of coronavirus infections, gruffly delivering the news.  It has become grim if compelling viewing: the announcement about the next spike in coronavirus infections, the next gruesome statistical spread on transmission.  On Sunday, Daniel Andrews had a pose that has become legend, a cross between plasticine figure and instructive despair.  Stern, humourless, with little to be humour filled about, his role of late is telling people what to do.  With stern command he had a message: All those in the state of Victoria, had to wear face masks.  “Most of us wouldn’t leave home without our keys, we wouldn’t leave your home without our mobile phone – you won’t be able to leave home without your mask.”

The evidentiary account did not quite square with the urgency of the message.  The largest transmissions were taking place in workplaces, not outdoor places of recreation.  But it did not matter.  This was the sledgehammer of public health, being taken to the public for a quarantine system that failed with abysmal effect.  Anyone leaving their home in the Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from Thursday without a mask risk fines of $200.  Not complying with such measures will also encourage the government to take further intrusive measures: limitations on shopping; confinement of exercising to a person’s local postcode.

The measure is indiscriminate, but all absolutism comes with its carved exceptions.  According to the Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos, surgical masks, reusable cloth masks purchased or made, can be used. “Or if you don’t have one, you can use a scarf or bandana to cover your nose and mouth. Wash your hands before putting it on and after taking it off.”  Those with disabilities who struggle with putting on such face wear and those with breathing difficulties will also be spared the fining wrath of the state.

The catch-all measure casts aside criticism and critics about masking protocol.  Putting on such wear comes with its canonical tips and tried methods.  Avoiding them, and you risk doing greater harm to yourself than otherwise.  Brett Mitchell, professor of nursing at the University of Newcastle, is distinctly apocalyptic in describing the consequences for the sloppy mask wearer, and others.  “The front of the mask will ‘catch’ pathogens.  Every time you adjust or touch your masks, your hands could become contaminated.  Everything you then touch could become contaminated.”

The focus on the face mask remains problematic. It arises from a discipline that was never quite sure about its effective use in coping with pandemic transmissions.  Positions have been upended, adjusted, revised.  On June 9, the Australian deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth explained that vulnerable people who had to use public transport might well use masks, but did not “think that general, healthy members of the community need to be considering wearing masks in that context.”  On June 22, Coatsworth reiterated the point in a press conference, despite “an increase in the absolute number of cases in Victoria”.  In instances of “very low levels of community transmission the value of face masks in the community is limited, and that recommendation has not changed.”

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton has now come around to the idea of total masking, suggesting that recent evidence showed that wearing a mask “makes a practical difference”.  Those “who wear masks and the settings in which masks are worn has shown that there’s a really significant – two thirds or more – reduction in transmission.”

Sutton would be placing much stock in such studies as those made in the journal Infectious Disease Modelling.  The authors, using model simulations based on data from the US states of New York and Washington, found that “broad adoption of even relatively ineffective face masks may meaningfully reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and decrease peak hospitalizations and deaths.”  Masks were also “found to be useful with respect to both preventing illness in healthy persons and preventing asymptomatic transmission.”

The shifting sands in the advice on face masks can also be found in the assessments of such epidemiologists as UC San Francisco’s George Rutherford and infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong.  For Chin-Hong, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its initial advice in insisting people mask up because of accumulating evidence.  Initially, the CDC was “preaching that the juice isn’t really worth the squeeze to have the whole population wear masks in the beginning – but that was really a reflection of not having enough testing anyway.”  This led to a “false sense of security.”  Rutherford takes a harder line.  “We should have told people to wear cloth masks right off the bat.”

In June, the World Health Organization also reversed its position on face coverings, premised on the basis that encouraging such wear would deprive health workers of essential safety equipment while encouraging a false sense of security.  As the body’s director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus observed, “in light of evolving evidence, the WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.”

The trend towards recommending and even mandating masks despite an initial opposition to that policy was already taking place in April.  France’s Académie Nationale de Médecine (Academy of Medicine) took the position that donning such facial wear should be compulsory for outings during and after the lockdown.  Physician turned television personality Marina Carrère d’Encausse did her little bit to sabotage trust in public health expertise by suggesting that the official line against masks was a “lie” initially told “for a good cause”: ensuring that health care workers had adequate supply.

In all of this, it is hard to avoid the feeling that millions of people have become part of an enormous, live experiment in public health, a trial-by-error approach that has already proven to be very costly.  Science is marked by the operation of the falsifiable hypothesis; but with each falsification, notably in the field of epidemiology and disease, can come staggering loss.  The “we are all in this together” message is starting to look a bit tatty.

Masked, Homeless, and Desolate

Personality is persona, a mask…The mask is magic…Larva means mask; or ghost…it also means mad, a case of demoniacal possession.

– Norman O. Brown, Love’s Body, 1966

Walk the streets in the United States and many countries these days and you will see streaming crowds of people possessed by demons, masked and anonymous, whose eyes look like vacuums, staring into space or out of empty sockets like the dead, afraid of their own ghosts.  Fear and obedience oozes from them.  Death walks the streets with people on leashes in lockstep.

That they have been the victims of a long-planned propaganda campaign to use an invisible virus to cower them into submission and shut down the world’s economy for the global elites is beyond their ken.  This is so even when the facts are there to prove otherwise.  It is a clear case, as Peter Koenig tells Michel Chossudovsky in this must-see interview, that is not a conspiracy theory but a blatant factual plan spelled out in the 2010 Rockefeller Report, the October 18, 2019 Event 201, and Agenda 21, among other places.

Who can wake the sleepwalkers up in this cowardly new world where culture and politics collude to create and exploit ignorance?

Fifty-five years ago on this date, August 20, 1965, Bob Dylan released his song “Like a Rolling Stone.” It arrived like a rocking jolt into the placid pop musical culture of the day. It was not about wanting to hold someone’s hand or cry in the chapel. It wasn’t mumbo-jumbo like “Wooly Bully,” the number one hit. It wasn’t like the pop pap that dominates today’s music scene.  It wasn’t Woody Guthrie in slow time.

It beat you up.  It attacked.  It confronted you. Maybe, if you were alive then, you thought Dylan was kidding you. You thought wrong.  Bitching about his going electric was a dodge.  He was addressing all of us, including himself.

Still is. But who wants to hear his recent “Murder Most Foul” and read Dylan’s scathing lyrics about the assassination of JFK, the killing that started the slow decay that has resulted in such masked madness.  “And please, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” he tells us in capital letters for emphasis.  Exactly what all the mainstream media have done, of course, and not by accident.

There are no alibis.  “How does it feel/To be on your own/with no direction home/A complete unknown/Like a rolling stone?”

It was in the mid-1960s when confidence in knowing where home was and how to get there disappeared into thin air.  If you left mommy and daddy, could you ever get back from where you were going?  Who had the directions?  Absolutes were melting and relativity was widespread.  Life was wild and the CIA was planning to make it wilder and more confusing with the introduction of LSD on a vast scale. MKUltra was expanding its scope. Operation Mockingbird was singing so many tunes that heads were spinning, as planned. The national security state killers were in the saddle, having already murdered President Kennedy and Malcolm X as they sharpened their knives for many more to come.  The peace candidate, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had been elected nine months earlier with 61.1% of the popular vote and went immediately to work secretly expanding the war against Vietnam.  War as an invisible virus.  Who knew?  Who, but a small anti-war contingent, wanted to know?  War takes different forms, and the will to ignorance and historical amnesia endure. War is a disease.  In 1968 Richard Nixon was elected on a “secret plan” to end the Vietnam War and then ramped it up to monstrous proportions, only to be reelected in 1972 by carrying 49 out of 50 states.

Who wants to know now?  The historian Howard Zinn once said correctly that this country’s greatest problem wasn’t disobedience but obedience.

What’s behind the masks?  The lockstep?

On the same day that Dylan released “Like a Rolling Stone,” Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, just back from a “fact-finding” trip to Vietnam, recommended to LBJ that U.S. troop levels in Vietnam be increased to 175,000 and that the U.S. should increase its bombing of North Vietnam dramatically.  This was the same McNamara who, in October 1963, had agreed with JFK when he signed NSAM 263 calling for the withdrawal of 1,000 military personnel from Vietnam by the end of 1963 and the remainder by the end of 1965.  One of the moves that got Kennedy’s head blown open.

Poor McNamara, the fog of war must have clouded his conscience, confused the poor boy, just like Secretary of State Colin Powell holding up that vile vial of “anthrax” at the United Nations on February 5, 2003 and lying to the world about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Powell recently said, “I knew I didn’t have any choice.  He’s the President.”  How “painful,” to use his word,  it must have been for the poor guy, lying so that so many Iraqis could be slaughtered.  Of course, he had no choice.  These war criminals all wear masks. And have no choice.

Masks, or demonic possession, or both.  You?

It’s tough being on your own.  It hurts to think too much.  Or think for yourself, at least.  To obey an authority higher than your bosses.  “I was tricked” is some sort of mantra, is it not?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all did tricks for you

Dylan was lost and disgusted when he wrote the song. His own music sickened him, which, for an artist, means he sickened himself. He had just returned from a tour of England and was sick of people telling him how much they loved his music when he didn’t.  He needed to change.

What else is the point of art but change?  If you’re dead, or afraid of getting dead, you aren’t going to change.  You’re stuck.  Stuck is dead.  Why wear a mask if you know who you are?

Knowledge, or more accurately, pseudo-knowledge or mainstream media lies, is a tomb “the mystery tramp” sold to us, a place to hide to avoid pain and guilt.

I have read more books than anyone I know.  It sickens me.

I know too much.  That sickens me.

I sicken myself. All the news sickens me.

I know so much no one believes me.

As Francesco Serpico once told me: “It’s all lies.”

Of course.  Dylan and Serpico are blood brothers.

Only art tells the truth.  Real art.

Not bullshit pop art.  Some say “Like a Rolling Stone” is about Edie Sedgwick, “the girl of the year” in 1965 and one of Andy Warhol’s superstars. Perhaps to a degree it is, but it’s far more than that.  It’s about us.

Poor Edie was poisoned by her wealthy family at a young age and barely had a chance.  She was an extreme example of a rather common American story. People poisoned in the cradle.  Thinking of her got me thinking of Andy Warhol, the death obsessed hoarder, the guy who called his studio “The Factory” in a conscious or unconscious revelation of his art and persona, his wigs and masks and the hold he has had on American culture all these years.  Isn’t he the ultimate celebrity?

Warhol once took my photo on a deserted street.  His and my secret but this is the truth.  West 47th Street on an early Sunday morning, 1980.  I guess he thought he was doing art or collecting images for his museum of dead heads.  When I asked him why, he said I had an interesting face.  I told him he did too, rather transparent and creepy, but I didn’t want to capture him.  He was a ghost with a camera, a face like a death mask, trying to capture a bit of life.  I told him I didn’t give him permission to shoot me, but he turned and walked away into the morning mist.  The shooters always just walk away in pseudo-innocence.

I then went down the street to the Gotham Book Mart that was my destination and asked James Joyce why he had written “The Dead,” and Joyce, secretive as ever, quoted himself, “Ed,” he said, “Think you’re escaping and run into yourself.  Longest way round is the shortest way home.”  Now that was direction.

Only those who know how to play and be guided by intuition are able to escape the living tomb of so-called knowledge; what Dylan called, lifelessness.  But that was from “Desolation Row,” released as the closing track of Highway 61 Revisited on August 30, 1965.  The only acoustic song on the album.  Slow it down to make the point another way.  “Like a Rolling Stone” was the opening track.

Do you feel all alone or part of a masked gang roaming the streets incognito? Miss and Mr. Lonely, does that mask help?  How do you feel?

Desolation means very lonely. From Latin, de, completely, solare, lonely.

Does that mask help?  Do you feel alone together now, one of the crowd?

Do you really want to know about desolation row?  It’s here. It was here in 1965, too.  Only the true lonely know how it feels to really be all alone.

The Umbrella People, those who some call the deep state or secret government under whose protection all the politicians work, say they want to protect us all from death and disease.  They are lying bastards who’ve gotten so many to imitate their masked ways.  They can only sing a mockingbird’s song.

Listen to real singers. Dylan has arched the years, as true artists do. Who has paid close attention to what he said this year about the assassination of President Kennedy in his song, “Murder Most Foul”?  Or were many caught up in the propaganda surrounding corona virus, and rather than contemplating his indictment of the U.S. government and its media accomplices, were they contemplating their navels to see if a virus had secreted itself in there. Viruses lurk everywhere, they say, and the corporate media made certain to circulate a vaccine about the truth in Dylan’s song.  This is normal operating procedure.

We are on still on Desolation Row.

“Take Off the Masks.”  That was the title of a book by Rev. Malcolm Boyd that I reviewed long ago.  He was a gay priest who decided that his mask was a lie.  He came out into the light of truth.  He had guts.

It is time for everyone to take off the masks.  Escape from Desolation Row.

Listen to Dylan, long ago – today:

At midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do

And they bring them to the factory
Where their heart attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene

Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row

Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
Everybody’s shouting
“Which side are you on?”

China’s Economy and Globalization: A Look into the Future

After the corona crisis, may the world be facing a monumental paradigm shift of power towards a more balanced civilization, more social justice and equity? The global almost total lockdown, chosen by most governments around the globe in response to mastering the Covid-19 crisis, devastated the world economy, as we know it, and hundreds of millions of lives. Was it necessary? Will there be a time when those responsible for this universal, scientifically unnecessary lockdown be held accountable?

The last six months, governments around the world have almost unilaterally committed an auto-destruction of their socioeconomic fabric and collectively of the global economy. It may never return to the “normal” of the times before COVID. That, per se, may not be a bad omen, though, as our pre-corona existence, especially in the west, was everything else but an ethical “normal”.

Pre-Corona Globalization and Economic Development

Neoliberal economics have “normalized” greed, inequity, exploitation of people and depletion of resources. This was largely possible due to an ever more reckless ultra-capitalist globalization and privatization of everything – goods, services and assets through international corporatism and globalized private banking.

Global finance was – and still is to some extent – dominated by a fiat US-dollar system aiming at total control of the world’s riches towards a global economic and resources hegemony, enforced by sanctions and confiscation of assets, coercing dissenting nations under the dictate of the United States and her western allies. The countries that did not cave in – Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Yemen, North Korea – and not least, of course, China and Russia are relentlessly assailed.

The corona pandemic temporarily slowed western pressure on China and Russia, as it brought about an abrupt stop to world economic activities, causing a melt-down of assets, plunging stock markets by over 30 percent, creating untold bankruptcies, unemployment and human misery unrecorded in past history. The calamity may be far surpassing the Credit Crisis of 1772, the Great Depression (1929 – 1933) and the Financial Crisis of 2007 – 2009, possibly by orders of magnitude, once the dust settles and a more accurate accounting can take place. This may take months, if not years.

Estimates from the International Labor Office (ILO) now predict unemployment and underemployment may reach up to 2.0 billion people worldwide, more than half of the globe’s total workforce, many of them living in precarious conditions well before the corona outbreak. The World Food Program (WFP) fears that hundreds of millions of people may be affected by famine and tens of millions may die. This is a somber base from which to look forward into – let’s hope – a brighter future.

The silver lining of this dark corona cloud is that the dollar hegemony is coming to an end, and instead the world is presented with a wide-open window of new opportunities to stitch a social fabric that fits all or most of humanity, forging a new social contract towards creating a common future for mankind.

Salient features under globalization as we know it

Economic development under unfettered globalized capitalism has in the past 70 years ravaged the globe and in the Global South has drastically increased inequality, injustice among peoples and nations. The Washington Consensus (1989) has given free reign for forging unequitable trade agreements which often undermined and even annihilated national sovereignties of poorer countries, for example, driving local farmers off their land by forcing subsidized western agricultural crops into their countries.

Globalization under the neoliberal concept has also brought privatization of everything, but especially of social services and infrastructure, destroying the peoples’ accumulated asset base,  shuffling social capital from the bottom to the top, to the western private banking sector and a few oligarchs, thereby destroying the little and often flimsy social safety nets poorer nations may have established – safety nets which would come in handy now with Covid-caused poverty skyrocketing. CNBC reports that America’s billionaires added US $434 billion to their fortunes during the 3 months of U.S. lockdown between mid-March and mid-May 2020.

China’s 1949 Revolution initiated by Chairman Mao presented a new concept of economic and social development, one that still holds as of today. After western devastation of China, it started wisely in building strength by seeking self-sufficiency in education, health and nutrition, and in eradicating poverty. The Chinese society worked — and keeps working — in a flux of constant creation with natural ups and downs and trials and errors, but steadily advancing, learning and succeeding which, in turn, motivates new creation, new achievements.

After reaching this first objective of basic autonomy, China opened her gates to the world to continue the harmonious flow of creating relationships for trade and investments, educational and cultural exchange and gradually moving into research and cutting-edge science to share with the world. It is the contrary of what the west is used to. It is cooperation instead of competition, a concept hardly understood in the profit-driven capitalist west.

The idea of cooperation in economic development coupled with an endless flow of creation – avoiding conflicts and moving forward, a solid Tao principle – has grown China to where she stands today, becoming the world’s second largest economy, after starting practically from zero only 70 years ago. China is a vivid example of socialist success. Or, as the Chinese would say, “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. A nation that never seeks conflicts or invasions of other countries, but strives for partnerships and peaceful cohabitation. This worries the west, especially the self-declared US empire.

On 7 September 2013, Visionary President Xi Jinping re-initiated the ancient 2100-year-old Silk Road at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University. Adjusted to the 21st Century, it is called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but it is based on the same old principles building bridges between peoples, exchanging goods, research, education, knowledge, cultural wisdom, peacefully, harmoniously and ‘win-win’ style.

In his inauguration speech, President Xi spoke about “People-to-People Friendship and Creating a better Future”. But he went further, pointing to the history of exchanges under the Ancient Silk Road among people from different creeds and cultures: “They had proven that countries with differences in race, belief and cultural background can absolutely share peace and development as long as they persist in unity and mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit, mutual tolerance and learning from each other, as well as cooperation and win-win outcomes.”

This is the corner stone for the development endeavor of the 21st century. It signals a globalization under different terms, a globalization under equals. And, yes, a New Social Contract. Partner countries are invited, not coerced, to participate in this mammoth enterprise to span the world with land and maritime routes, for trade, for joint research and scientific exchanges, leading to an endless flow of ideas for new technologies but also of social sciences to enhance peaceful human interactions. A case in point may be the new China-Cuba collaboration in health science that emerged from the corona crisis.

Globalization under a new normal

China will play a major role in the new emerging world order, not a One World Order as a small western elite envisions, but a new paradigm built on partnership, on equality on building bridges, instead of walls, avoiding and resolving conflicts peacefully and without violence. Call it a new Social Contract to span the world for all those who are interested in participating. The corona crisis is gradually bringing an awakening for a new consciousness, one that we always had but got buried in the rush of things – greed, power, comfort and also neglect for the less privileged and destitute.

China may be a guiding light for the realization of this new paradigm. Why? Because China experienced in her 70 years of Revolution what the corona-devastated world needs today to rebuild and to restart with a new set of values towards a better equilibrium of access to goods, services and resources, while maintaining a healthy environment.

What propelled China forward was the simple principle of local production for local markets and local consumption with a local currency through a public banking system managed by a sovereign central bank working for the good of the people (not for shareholders), gearing towards an equitable development and self-sufficiency for all. This does not preclude private sector participation at all. But the State sets rules and parameters within which private interests may move. That’s why China is “A socialist nation with Chinese characteristics.”

Prospects for a new concept of globalization

China’s economy is strong. Despite a practical standstill of about two months, China has almost recovered, while the west is still struggling to find common denominators for collaboration and for revamping their economies. The IMF had originally predicted a global GDP decline of 3% for 2020, and a slight growth for 2021. In the meantime, the IMF adjusted the decline to 5.5 %; still way too little, since the world hasn’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet of this global mammoth socioeconomic disaster. For China the IMF foresees a modest growth of 1.1% in 2020. Both figures are likely underestimates. Given the massive wipe-out of much of the global economy, 2020 negative GDP for the world may be as high as 10% to 15% when the chips are down and counted.

On the other hand, China having recovered rather quickly and with a public banking sector destined to address the economy’s weak spots, 2020 growth might be in the order of 3% to 3.5%. But as a leading economist from the International Monetary Institute (IMI) of Beijing’s Renmin University says – “we are talking about quality growth”, meaning, growth will focus on the social dimension of people’s needs.

China will forge ahead with the socioeconomic development program of the century – the BRI –and expand her partner and associate members, already more than 160 today. Due to the corona catastrophe, foreign debt has been rising almost in reverse proportion as GDP has declined. President Xi has pledged 2 billion dollars to fight the virus. Additional debt relief especially to the poorer debt-strangled Belt and Road partners, might facilitate progress towards a better-connected world.

A new kind of globalization will rise from the ashes of the corona crisis. Restoring individual countries sovereignty, as well as their monetary, financial and economic autonomy and without a debt stranglehold preventing them from prospering, is crucial for becoming equal partners in a new globalized world. BRI is the new vehicle promoting self-assured partners that do not have to fear “sanctions” for wanting to preserve their sovereignty.

The west, especially Washington, may not like this “game changer” approach. Therefore, China may not be spared in the foreseeable future from western bashing and aggressions. The reasons are NOT corona guilt or mismanagement, or unfair trade, reasons Washington likes to propagandize. These false accusations are meant to denigrate China to break or weaken the world’s trust in China’s economy and in particular her strong and gold backed currency, the yuan.

China’s central bank (People’s Bank of China – PBC) has just launched a trial run in a number of cities, including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, and Xiong’an of her new crypto-currency, the e-RMB (Ren Min Bi, meaning People’s Money), or Yuan.

Eventually the new cyber money will be rolled out internationally for trade, commodity pricing – and even as a safe and stable reserve currency. The digital block chain money assures the users total security, no interference from outside. It is a protection from” sanctions” and arbitrary confiscation. This will add a new dimension to China’s economic strength. Not only will her economy soon outrank that of the United States, but the yuan may also shortly become the key reserve currency in the world.

Look at the huge continent of Eurasia which is also connected to Africa. To serve this enormous landmass no seas have to be crossed. Its easy trading, friendly relations, no conflicts, because equal partners strive for the real meaning of trade, no losers, only win-win. Then there are the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which in addition to China include also Russia, India and Pakistan – and soon also Iran, with Malaysia and Mongolia in observation status waiting in the wings.

China is also boosting trade among the ASEAN+3 countries (Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam; plus 3 = Japan, South Korea and China). Monetary transactions will take place in local currencies, not the US dollar. They will be using CIPS (Cross-Border Interbank Payment System), avoiding the dollar controlled SWIFT payment scheme.

SCO and ASEAN+3 account for about half the world population and for one third of the globe’s economic output. It is a formidable market and most of it on this huge landmass called Eurasia. No need for the belligerent west.

This new form of non-aggressive and non-invasive globalization may make example and evoke reflection. Perhaps it may serve others, Europe, for instance, as a vehicle to recover from the colossal corona collapse. Imagine a globalized world among equals – a community seeking a common future for mankind.

• First published by the New Eastern Outlook – NEO

The End of History lasted 2 Years: I’ll give the Great Reset 18 Months

The many similarities in the unfolding narrative of Covid-19 to that of September 11, 2001 — the mass hysteria, the banker bailouts, the insider trading, the censorship of dissent, the apparent foreknowledge (Lockstep, Event 201, PNAC, Catastrophic Terrorism, A Clean Break etc), the rollout of mass surveillance measures and more — make the two seem like parallel conspiracies. Covid-19 could also be compared to 9-11 in that it seems to be a ‘controlled demolition’ of the world economy by the global financial powers, one that was either planned, or at very least allowed to happen.

One of the initial red flags surrounding the events of 9-11 was NORAD’s failure to scramble a single interceptor in response to the attacks. It was later claimed that they were conducting a ‘training exercise’ at the time which created confusion. Strange how these training exercises always seem to take place during major crises. Event 201, a joint venture of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum hosted by Johns Hopkins University in October 2019 was billed as a simulation response to a novel disease pandemic. Was this also a training exercise which went live? Mike Pompeo’s remarks during a White House press conference in March would seem to suggest so:

Pompeo: “This matter is going forward — we are in a live exercise here to get this right.”

Trump (under his breath): “You should have let us know.”

The case for conspiracy in the events of 9-11 is easily made when we allow our reasoning to be guided by the principle of cui bono. Who has benefited from two decades of regime change wars in the Middle East and North Africa? Arms manufacturers and their many private investors? Big Oil? International finance? The Zionist occupation state?

The question of who was responsible for 9-11 doesn’t hinge on whether or not jet fuel can melt steel beams (it can’t.) It hinges on the fact that the US had been planning a war in the Middle east for a decade prior to the event. The US decision to invade and occupy Afghanistan and to depose Saddam Hussein was made during Western liberal democracy’s ‘uni-polar moment’, a fleeting window which Francis Fukuyama would describe as ‘the end of history’ — the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union during which the US was the world’s only superpower. 9-11 was a staged event which provided the pretext for maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military force in the new century. There are several key policy documents which spell this out if you could be bothered reading them. They even talk about the need for a Pearl Harbour like event to galvanise public opinion. At least two of the authors of these documents had specifically mentioned attacks on the World Trade Centre prior to September 11, 2001.

With the benefit of hindsight, how can policy directives such as Richard Perle’s “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”, and PNAC’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century” be seen as anything less than manifestos by the conspirators themselves? Similarly the article by Ashton B. Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow entitled Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger which appeared in Foreign Affairs November/December 1998 edition presents chilling circumstantial evidence of foreknowledge of the events.

Most incriminating of all, however, is the Patriot Act. Passed into law soon after the 9-11 attacks, this draconian bill expanded terrorism laws to include ‘domestic terrorism’ and subjected US citizens, journalists, whistle blowers and political organisations to surveillance, wiretapping, harassment, and potential criminal action.

Within seven weeks, October 24th 2001, the House of Representatives was presented with the Patriot Act and passed it the next day. After the Senate passed it President Bush signed it the following day. Later it would be revealed that not one congressman read the 900 page Patriot Act before voting for it, nor does anyone know who wrote it, which makes many believe the Patriot Act was sitting in some right-winger, globalist’s desk just waiting for something like 9-11 to happen.

— Randolph Polasek, Powers Behind JFK Assassination (Expanded Edition, October 8, 2009)

The World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform is a comprehensive plan for world governance, covering every aspect of life, from employment, to food production, to mobility, to management of oceans and forests — everything from the biggest issues — ‘great power politics’, right down to the micro-management of our daily lives — religion, ethics, human rights, mental health, and even ‘human enhancement’, aka, transhumanism. The platform is presented as a manifesto for the new era into which we are being thrust; an era of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘impact investment’ through human capital bonds. Much like the Patriot Act, it is difficult to believe that such an incredibly dense, user-interactive online document could have been written start-to-finish during the initial weeks of the unfolding Covid pandemic. It is simply too comprehensive. Was this document also sitting around in some globalist’s desk just waiting for the right moment?

The Covid Action Platform presents a blueprint for the hostile takeover of every aspect of human decision making; a undertaking which is being accomplished right now, through blockchain technologies, image recognition and mechanised translation; through deep learning algorithms which make use of our smartphones and computers and employ cutting edge technologies such as facial recognition and speech translation to assimilate whole libraries of information about us — a vast neural network capable of making accurate predictions about our behaviour — in particular, our purchasing habits. In this late stage of capitalism our value to the ruling class is increasingly as consumers rather than producers. Ever wondered how it is that products and services are advertised on our screens immediately following a phone call or private conversation? Even now artificial intelligence is plotting our behaviour and making predictions based on the data it collects. The more information we feed it, the more it is able to predict and control us.

[The human population is controlled] via digital identity systems tied to cashless benefit payments within the context of a militarized 5G, IoT [Internet of Things], and AR [augmented reality] environment. The billionaire class has built and is rapidly putting the finishing touches on infrastructure to run human capital social impact markets that will securitize the lives of most people as data streams. The technology that underlies this 4IR automation will hasten the death of the planet. The World Economic Forum is advancing a technocratic system of control and domination of humanity and the planet… Why should we agree to this? It is a profound sickness of Western culture. Hubris. Sick. And totally ignoring the impact our actions have on the natural world around us.

— Alison Hawver McDowell, Wrench in the Gears

It is the need for increased surveillance and data gathering capability that is currently driving the roll out of 5G technology. Our new augmented reality lifestyles are going to require a great deal more speed and bandwidth, not to mention all those new driverless trucks on the road. Is this perhaps also why the horse shit peddlers are claiming that 5G itself is spreading the virus? Leaving aside the potential harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation in confined spaces, blaming 5G for the pandemic is about as nuanced as blaming ‘the Jooz’ for 9-11. And yet 5G does play a crucial role in this conspiracy. It will provide the extra capacity needed to micro-manage our lives when we are eventually released from lockdown into a world of digital surveillance, biometric I.D. and social credit.

The layoffs and retrenchments of workers by the million also present new opportunities to bring online automation on a scale hitherto imagined. We should not be surprised that figures like HRH the Prince of Wales and other illustrious world leaders are now calling this a golden opportunity to reshape the world. The ruling class are literally calling for a new social contract. Would you let your employer ‘renegotiate’ your contract without your union representative present? There is no historical precedent for the ruling class giving up their power and privilege. Why would they do so now?

We are indeed entering Huxley’s Brave New World; a digital panopticon where our every move will be tracked and traced; where Universal Basic Income will function as behavioural scrip; where our Covid Passes will provide access to public spaces. All of these things will be packaged and sold as the solution to our current predicament; the way we ‘reopen’ our economies and return to normal. All thanks to Covid-19.

This is a social engineering on steroids. It is not, however, unprecedented. Our rulers have made no secret of their plans to implement technocracy, couched in terms from the sublime “the systems approach to complex global challenges” to the brazenly unabashed “the self direction of human evolution”. From Julian Huxley’s foundational philosophy of Unesco to the managerial technocracy described by Carroll Quigley and Edward Bernays; from David Rockefeller’s work on global governance to Jacques Attali’s Brief History of the Future, the conceptual framework has been spelled out clearly for more than a century for anyone willing to pay attention. Texts once dismissed as works of speculative fiction now look more like the blueprints of mad scientists, social Darwinists and Malthusian eugenicists. These are the manifestos of the elite. We are living in HG Wells Open Conspiracy; in Aldous Huxley’s Ultimate Revolution. Covid 19 is simply providing the theatrical smoke and fog between acts.

Technocracy is no more compatible with human happiness than Ayn Rand’s theory of rational self interest, but this, we are told, is what progress demands, and history shows there is little we can do to stop revolutionary change. Do we become Luddites? Do we join the masses with their pitchforks and go out and set fire to the 5G ‘cancer towers’? Or do we recognise Robert Frost’s truism that “the best way out is always through”?

It’s clear that technology is here to stay. Alas, the shape of our future will depend entirely on those who control it. Failing a return to fashion of the guillotine, power is likely to remain concentrated in the hands of an increasingly small and elite group. We might find comfort, however, in the fact that hubris seldom has the final word in human affairs, and we can be reasonably assured that Huxley’s ultimate revolution will be every bit as fleeting as Fukuyama’s End of History.