If events since March 2020 have shown us anything, it is that fear is a powerful weapon for securing hegemony. Any government can manipulate fear about certain things while conveniently ignoring real dangers that a population faces.
Author and researcher Robert J Burrowes says:
…if we were seriously concerned about our world, the gravest and longest-standing health crisis on the planet is the one that starves to death 100,000 people each day. No panic about that, of course.”
No panic because the controlling interests of the global food system have long profited from a ‘stuffed and starved’ strategy that ensures people unnecessarily go hungry when corporate profit rather than need dictates policies.
US social commentator Walter Lippmann once said that ‘responsible men’ make decisions and must be protected from the ‘bewildered herd’ – the public. He added that the public should be subdued, obedient and distracted from what is really happening. Screaming patriotic slogans and fearing for their lives, they should be admiring with awe leaders who save them from destruction.
During COVID, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern urged citizens to trust the government and its agencies for all information and stated:
Otherwise, dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.”
In the US, Fauci presented himself as ‘the science’. In New Zealand, Ardern was ‘the truth’. It was similar in countries across the world – different figures but the same approach.
Like other political leaders, Ardern clamped down on civil liberties with the full force of state violence on hand to ensure compliance with ‘the truth’. Those who questioned the COVID narrative – including world-renowned scientists – were smeared, shut down and censored.
It was an internationally orchestrated campaign involving governments, the big tech companies, media and the WHO, among others.
The EU Times reported on 17 December 2022 that the US Centers for Disease Control worked with social media to censor facts and information about COVID that ran afoul of official narratives.
The organisation America First Legal noted in a press release that the fourth set of documents it released – obtained from litigation against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – revealed:
…further concrete evidence of collusion between the CDC and social media companies to censor free speech and silence the public square under the government’s label of ‘misinformation’.”
Twitter ran a ‘Partner Support Portal’ for government employees and other ‘stakeholders’ to submit posts that it would remove or flag as ‘misinformation’ on its platform.
The US government was actively working to ‘socially inoculate’ the public against anything that threatened its narrative. Big tech corporations monitored and manipulated users for the purposes of censoring unapproved information and pushing government propaganda. Facebook sent written materials to the CDC in which it talked of censoring more than sixteen million ‘pieces of content’ containing opinions or information the government wanted suppressed.
AFL noted that the CDC was “collaborating with UNICEF, the WHO and IFCN member and leading civil society organisation Mafindo” to mitigate ‘disinformation’. Mafindo is a Facebook third-party fact-checking partner based in Indonesia and funded by Google.
What is clear is that the United States government, big tech platforms, and international organizations were fully entangled in an intricate campaign to violate the First Amendment, to silence the American people, and to censor dissenting views.”
The CDC’s mask guidance policies for school children were also shown to be driven by politics rather than science.
Across all the major Western nations, there was a clamp down on dissent and a massive censorship campaign to justify a policy framework of social and economic lockdowns, masking, distancing and state intrusion into almost every aspect of private life.
The findings of AFL indicate how centres of power can and do act in unison when they need to. The fact that it involved a worldwide campaign shows something huge was at stake.
The official narrative was about protecting populations from a deadly virus. And any dissent that did seep into the edges of mainstream discourse (like Tucker Carlson on Fox News or a few presenters on Talk Radio in the UK, for instance) tended to focus on politicians going too far on lockdowns and restrictions and being caught up in their egotistical lust for power and control.
Such a superficial explanation avoided a deep, critical analysis of the situation. Indeed, any focus on big finance’s – Wall Street and the City of London – role in this was conspicuous by its absence.
In March 2022, BlackRock’s Rob Kapito warned that a ‘very entitled’ generation of people would soon have to face shortages for the first time in their lives as some goods grow scarce because of rising inflation. BlackRock is the world’s most powerful investment fund.
Kapito talked about the situation in Ukraine and COVID being responsible for the current economic crisis, conveniently ignoring the inflationary impact of the trillions pumped into imploding financial markets in 2019 and 2020 (dwarfing the crisis of 2008).
The war in Ukraine as well as COVID are being used to explain the roots of the current economic crisis. But COVID policies were a symptom not a cause of the crisis – they were used to manage what by late 2019 was regarded as an impending economic meltdown. Draconian COVID policies had little to do with a public health emergency.
That much is made clear in the article A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Systemic Collapse and Pandemic Simulation by Professor Fabio Vighi.
On 15 August 2019, BlackRock issued a white paper instructing the US Federal Reserve to inject liquidity directly into the financial system to prevent “a dramatic downturn”. The message was unequivocal:
An unprecedented response is needed when monetary policy is exhausted and fiscal policy alone is not enough. That response will likely involve ‘going direct’.”
It also stated the need to find ways to get central bank money directly in the hands of public and private sector spenders while avoiding hyperinflation.
Six days earlier, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) had in a working paper called for “unconventional monetary policy measures” to “insulate the real economy from further deterioration in financial conditions”.
Vighi’s shows why the hegemonic class reacted so severely to a public health issue that impacted a minority of the population. This response only makes sense when viewed within the context of economics.
Come late 2019 and especially 2020, pumping trillions into the financial system followed by lockdowns (to prevent hyperinflation) were used as the “unconventional monetary policies” that the BIS had called for on 9 August 2019.
Did you really think the authorities cared so much about something that mainly affected the over-80s and those with severe comorbidities that they would lock down the entire global economy?
Did they really care so much about ordinary people, especially unproductive labour – the working class old and working class infirm – when through the years of imposed austerity, we saw the working classes being treated with utter contempt?
And did those who imposed restrictions and lockdowns really believe there was a ‘deadly’ virus on the loose?
Think of booze parties at Downing Street, Neil Ferguson’s breaking of lockdown rules to carry on an extra-marital affair, Matt Hancock breaking his own COVID rules with his lover, maskless world leaders gathering in London while their servants wore masks, various US political leaders ignoring their own rules and the public theatre of Fauci et al masking up for TV cameras then maskless as soon as they were off camera.
While such people tyrannised populations with fear and lockdowns, it is clear they themselves were unworried about ‘the virus’.
After embarking on a massive anti-Russia media propaganda campaign earlier this year to garner public support for Ukraine, the centres of power in the West are now sending billions of dollars of the public’s money into the coffers of the likes of weapons manufacturers Raytheon and Boeing.
Such corporations are more than happy to profit from sacrificing the lives of ordinary Ukrainians in the geopolitical quest to weaken and balkanise Russia so that US interests can gain a dominant, strategic foothold on the Eurasian landmass.
And while billions of dollars are being spent to achieve this, a wholly unnecessary ‘cost of living’ crisis (resulting from reckless economic neoliberalism which has finally imploded) is being imposed on working people in the Western countries – regarded as mere collateral damage when it comes to economic policies, war and corporate profit. The result is misery and poverty and the demonisation of some of the (now striking) workers who were lauded as ‘heroes’ during COVID.
But – of course – the powers that have so much demonstrable contempt for the lives of ordinary people at home and abroad will close down the entire global economy to protect their health!
Those who believe this are testament to the power of propaganda.
COVID-related policies were wholly disproportionate to any risk posed to public health, especially when considering the way ‘COVID death’ definitions and data were often massaged and how PCR tests were misused to scare populations into submission.
And the big winner has been Big Pharma, an industry with a track record of dirty tricks, false advertising and death and injury resulting from its products. If, say, Pfizer were an individual, given its corporate crimes, it would be serving a lengthy prison sentence with the proverbial key being thrown away.
But corporations with lengthy corporate rap sheets across many sectors are promoted to the public as being trustworthy and dependable. When governments partner (conspire) with such enterprises, they are conspiring with criminal recidivist companies. And when people purchase stock in them, the same applies.
Given the reference to the global food system at the beginning of this article, of particular interest are the crimes of Dupont and Bayer (see the Powerbase website), and Monsanto and Cargill (see the Corporate Research Project (CRP) website).
And, of course, Pfizer and its disturbing corporate rap sheet also appears on the CRP site.
These immensely wealthy corporations spend millions each year funding various groups and lobbying governments and international bodies. Little wonder that they wield tremendous influence and, in one way or another, become ‘trusted partners’ of governments, the WHO, the WTO and the like.
In Pfizer’s case, trusted so much as being granted ‘emergency use authorisation’ to have its ‘vaccines’ brought to market and then forced on the public via the coercive policies of governments.
Returning to Lippmann, since early 2020 so many people have feared for their lives and have admired with awe leaders who supposedly saved them from destruction. Even now as reports on vaccine injuries, vaccine inefficacy and increased mortality rates since the jab rollouts are largely taboo within the mainstream media, the public are being kept on message as the WHO and Big Pharma work towards a global treaty that will strip all their rights come the next economic meltdown or ‘pandemic’.
This article was written over the Yuletide period, an increasingly secular celebration stripped of religious connotation. These days, ‘in Big Pharma we trust’ might be more apt along with blind faith in a Zuckerberg-esque fantasy metaverse where Facebook is fact, government is truth and Big Pharma is God.
Because (heaven help us) that we should be left to think for ourselves!
Colin Todhunter specialises in development, food and agriculture and is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal. You can read his “mini e-book”, Food, Dependency and Dispossession: Cultivating Resistance, here.
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