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Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

Excellent essay.
The doctor skiing in the N95 mask (and then boasting about it on Twitter) should be put somewhere safe to be observed – he sure as hell shouldn’t be anaesthetising people.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
11 months ago

Yeah, the number of nails being hit on the head in this essay made me feel sorry for nails! It wasn’t just that observation. The succinct summary of the class warfare angle was especially on point – the way lockdowns have been so destructive to the sort of people who aren’t usually on board with academic/bureaucratic hegemony, is surely not a coincidence.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
11 months ago

Yup. He just about says it all.
The only thing I like to add is the religious dimension, which by no means contradicts Desmet’s excellent formulation of mass formation hypnosis:
The idea is that we all require a system of beliefs upon which rational argumentation ultimately must rest, because observation is insufficient for us to understand reality. The demise of formal religions leaves us aimless, vulnerable to pernicious influences of this kind. These influences of course are quasi-religious in nature, but unlike formalised systems they lack the structure, continuity and codification to anchor our irrationality enough for rational debate to take place.
In other words: we are better off with communion bread, habits and St Anthony of Padua than with vaccines, facemasks and St Anthony of Brooklyn, because it gives that crazy skiiing doctor a more stable place to exercise his irrationality / spirituality. That, in turn, makes it harder for self-interested actors to profiteer off irrational fearmongering.

Last edited 11 months ago by Graham Stull
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Excellent comment

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
11 months ago

Go raibh maith agat, Annemarie

jim peden
jim peden
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

What an insightful comment! The notion of formal religions as a gated village for those who struggle with their understanding of the world is becoming popular. As Neil Oliver recently said: “those who have nothing to believe in will believe in anything.” Perhaps a more formal cult will emerge from the hysteria that surrounds us.

Greg Moreison
Greg Moreison
11 months ago
Reply to  jim peden

Agreed! I think Chesterton said it first.
Neil Oliver has been a real light in the darkness though.

David B
David B
11 months ago
Reply to  Greg Moreison

I thought it was Dostoevsky

Peter Ouwehand
Peter Ouwehand
11 months ago
Reply to  David B

Chesterton is usually given credit. But Wikipedia, fount of all knowledge, informs me that it was the Belgian poet Emile Cammaerts, in his book 1937 book on Chesterton.

Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Ouwehand

Yes, fount of all knowledge… Probably better off not citing it except in inconsequential things.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
11 months ago
Reply to  Dana Jumper

Still, I like the way we started with Desmet, then circled all the way back to another Belgian. If only we could get in Geert Van den Bosch’s contribution to the ongoing question of the role of evolutionary pressure on vaccine-resistant mutations, we’d be ready to sing the Branbançonne over a heady glass of Rochefort 10.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  David B

His version is that without God everything is permissible.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
11 months ago
Reply to  jim peden

Except in my diocese, the church wholeheartedly endorsed all covid measures with zero complaint and total compliance. No struggle here. No difference between a church member and a progressive activist. with the minister preaching on the evils of the freedom convoy.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

I would walk away from that church.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
11 months ago

One probably would if it was not universal

dave fookes
dave fookes
11 months ago
Reply to  jim peden

Perhaps a more formal cult will emerge from the hysteria that surrounds us.”

The issue, as always, involves leadership – or more to the point, the systems used to install and make leaders accountable – and perform for all citizens.

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence, is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” 

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Deborah H
Deborah H
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Couldn’t agree more. I told my husband the same thing re: religion. But you stated it better.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Everybody, except the unhinged, put their trust – their faith – somewhere, in something or Somebody. Despite hackneyed claims that the Bible serves fragile psyches, it has been shown to be correct, when properly interpreted – which doesn’t include the Message or the pope – at every point it touches. The God that martyrs Tynedale, Wycliffe, Cranmer, Ridley, Cargill, Taylor, Hossein Soodmand, Shabbaz Batti, Saeed Tanveer et al and then there’s craven me trust with our souls is emminantly more logical and trustworthy than every politician, scientist or medic, skiing or otherwise. And,surely we don’t need priests, altars or st anybody to exercise it.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago

Skiing is “solo sport that involves high-speed travel through wide-open spaces”.

Fair enough, but it also involves frequently squashing into a gondola with maybe 7 other people for typically 15 minutes at a time.

As a more vulnerable 65 year old, I chose not to partake during the pandemic. Even for healthy young people, it may be a risk too far

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

The doctor’s quote was that he skied for 4 hours with the mask on. Not that he put the mask on while in the gondola.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

A risk too far for young healthy people? This sort of comment says that we have a loooong way to go.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago

I said “may” be. With Omicron it may also be worth the much smaller risk

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

There’s absolutely no way that I would ski with a mask on. I wouldn’t be able to take in enough oxygen

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

So you didn’t bother to go and read the Twitter thread ?
Shame, it’s quite entertaining.
The message this anaesthatist was trying to get across was in the initial Tweet :
“…Did not get hypoxic or hypercapnic!”
as there has been some misinformation regarding this particular aspect of wearing masks in the past.
Looking at the comments on this board and the Tweets in response to his original comment it is clear that most people can’t / won’t read.
As for Mr Siegel it appears that he didn’t read / understand the Tweet either and also didn’t bother to read the entire thread.
Dr Sharifpour clearly viewed the intial Tweet and the misplaced comments that followed as all part of life’s rich comedic pattern judging by his responses. Some equally jokey rejoinders about getting funding for an RCT from NIH to fund an entire season’s ski-ing and how you take an arterial blood gas while dressed for sub zero temperatures.
So I guess Mr Siegel doesn’t have a sense of humour either.

Last edited 11 months ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Nick Wade
Nick Wade
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Do you suppose there are many vulnerable 65 year old ICU doctors who can ski for 4 hours? How much has he reduced his risk of Covid, given N95 masks are proven to have limited efficacy? This doctor is an idiot.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

I agree, skiing with a mask in the open air is pointless. Also, they are not practical inside a gondola because of helmets, and likely ineffective. Therefore, I chose not to ski

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

This is the problem with irrational fear. If you are ill with Covid, there is one thing I can guarantee you and that is you won’t be participating in any type of arduous sporting activity whether skiing, cycling, running or anything else. You’ll be lying at home in bed.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

It’s not irrational to fear catching Covid in a gondola. People don’t necessarily have symptoms

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Actually there is NO evidence of asymptomatic transmission. Grant you that was a big concern at the beginning of the pandemic, but subsequent epidemiological work has shown that asymptomatic transmission is simply not a thing – it’s very very rare. To transmit and infect somebody else you have to produce a sizable viral load. If you do that you will have symptoms.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

You have to be aware that “Even for healthy young people, it may be a risk too far” is quite over the top. The risk of death for those in decent health under 50 is quite low. The oft quoted death data are heavily skewed toward seniors, average rates are misleading.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
11 months ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

The risk of serious illness or death in healthy under 50s was extremely low prior to vaccination. It is now vanishingly small.
At no point during the pandemic did Covid get close to overtaking the main cause of death in under 40s males, suicide.
I wonder how lockdown affected numbers for suicide though I would guess not in a good way.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

I too think lockdowns for all were probably over the top

Rhonda Culwell
Rhonda Culwell
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Probably? How about definitely.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

There is a reasonable risk of long covid. At 65 I’m fairly senior

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Averages maybe misleading, but the average age of death when attributed to Covid is 82… the average age of death from all causes is 81.

Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

May be a wise choice, since wearing a mask would have done nothing to help protect you, and if you’re vulnerable, you’re wise indeed to look to your health.
The others skiing, the ‘healthy, young people’ you cite, would probably have benefited greatly from the exercise, sun and immunity conferred by expose, which would have helped to protect you also as the virus recedes.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Dana Jumper

Partially right, it’s other people wearing masks that will protect a vulnerable person.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago

Yep, but I find it hard to imagine anyone taking off their helmet and donning a mask while manhandling skis onto a gondola. Everyone would be unprotected breathing everyone’s air in a small space.

This is a virus that was much more dangerous than flu. Granted, it’s much less dangerous now

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

IFR of about .15% is worse than flu? I would like to see some comparisons of the worst flu years compared to the worst cold years. The obvious one – HK flu alone, with stats adjusted to accommodate for increase in population will blow this to smithereens.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  Dana Jumper

A more sensible comment. It is up to young people to decide for themselves, but it “may” still be too risky

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

I think that all healthy people should die, so that the sick and weak can live forever. It is all about solidarity.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
11 months ago

Well, if Nietzsche is to be believed, this ship may already have sailed . . .

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

In the US, about 90% of deaths with Covid-19 occurred in people aged 55 and up, most with comorbidities. Healthy younger skiers are not at high risk, especially since they are roughly 70% vaxed.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago

True, but the chance of getting it in a gondola would be high so they would have to take that into account. I’m 65,

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

And by the way you can easily open the window of a gondola.

Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

How about we let healthy young people decide by themselves which risks they’d like to take?

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago

Of course. That’s why I’m unhappy with prolonged lockdowns. Provide good information and evidence, and let people decide

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Rodney, they are not providing good information or evidence.

rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago

Thanks, I agree. It is about judging risk. I am happy to sit in a cafe for lunch every day for an hour without a mask (like I do), but not in a tiny gondola

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
11 months ago

People are not informed enough regarding the science. Experts must lead and control.

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
11 months ago

I bet he’s in many of those famous TikTok nurse videos – a young psychopath in action

Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
11 months ago

You have to pity these people
He couldn’t even enjoy skiing without thinking about what tweet he would put up to attack the “anti maskers”. What a sad little life.

Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
11 months ago

Yes, very well said.
A daily virtue signal, say, instead of a vitamin supplement, goes far to improve mental health of the laptop class. Never miss an opportunity.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
11 months ago

..but it surely demonstrates – unless sheer sarcasm – that at least one member of the scientific aka medical fraternity (possibly not the only one?) isn’t above giving rationality the piste.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago

When I saw that statement I must admit I interpreted it as his trying to show that it’s possible to wear such as mask whilst engaged in strenuous activity and not suffer any ill-effects. I really don’t think he was advocating doing this.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

Actually he was grandstanding and playing to the fearful people who don’t know better….that masks work in any circumstance and are here for the long haul.
Many of us thankfully know better.

Last edited 11 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Rick Fraser
Rick Fraser
11 months ago

Perhaps the doc can hike up the mountain and then get back to us.

Jordan Flower
Jordan Flower
11 months ago

On the plus side, I’m sure it kept the windburn off his face and lips

miss pink
miss pink
11 months ago

I wouldn’t go skiing because I think it is a high risk sport. Higher risk than covid presents to me. The mask makes no sense and is stupid.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

You’re right, that’s truly scary. I am told that here in the San Francisco area there is a professional-class only nudist resort, Bear Buttes, where it is now required that all wear masks, even when in a state of nature and out of doors. The so-called educated class seem to have discarded common sense long ago.

R Wright
R Wright
11 months ago

The modern Salem experience. In five years these psychotic ‘liberals’ will profess no knowledge of any of this ever happening.

William Murphy
William Murphy
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

As some cruel writers noted, come September 1944 at least 100% of the French population had been fearless and lifelong members of the resistance….

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Incorrect, it was 110%.
‘Vive la France!’

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott
11 months ago

Much as I hate to say this, the Covid panic has made me realize that if the Germans had succeeded in invading the country in 1940 we would be in no position now to look down on the French.

Dan Gleeballs
Dan Gleeballs
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Scott

I’ve said the same thing, but on reflection, I thought about the country as it was then – the unified culture, the absolute certainty. Even the ruthlessness of empire, perhaps, or the stoicism. Hard to break, that generation.

Perhaps today, we would fold like the French did, riven by factions and traitors. I hope not, but I can’t say for sure. We’ve certainly encouraged a sort of anti-culture to undermine us from within, like rust spreading unseen in a sheathed bridge cable.

But not them. They’d been brought up on stories of Horatius on the bridge – not discussing his pronouns. They’d have fought to the last.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

Up Guards and at ‘em!

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

Sadly, nowadays I would be surprised to be corrected if I mis-quoted “for the temples of his fathers and the ashes of his gods”

Dan Gleeballs
Dan Gleeballs
11 months ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

Nghn…have to resist. Other way round!
Good line.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Scott

We did have a nano- occupation of the Channel Islands where the ‘authorities’ behaved dismally.

Some should have been hanged as Traitors like Joyce and Amery, but the forces of denial were too strong.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Indeed. Who will write the History? Already the mainstream media is a state of instant amnesia about it having deliberately instilled fear and hysteria via one sided propaganda from 2020. Fear was a narcotic. Never ever will they acknowledge that the multiple socio economic horrors now unfolding is the Reckoning the Few warned of, unheard; the price of suffocating enterprise culture and focusing on Covid above all else. Borderline criminal when History tallies the costs.

Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
11 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Yes, you’re right. I couldn’t help, while reading this article, but think that the corporate media does not care at all about ratings, reputation or history. They are well supported by tech oligarchs, have no fear of revenue lost, and are immune to criticism since all of that will be censored and suppressed.
History may well catch up to them, but it will be long after they are gone, with no consequence to them whatsoever.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Fortunately future historians of this synthetic crisis will be able to access such sites as UnHerd and realise that there was vociferous opposition to this nonsense from Day 1. *

(* Assuming off course that the record is not expunged for the ‘greater good’)

Andrea X
Andrea X
11 months ago

From the CDC website (link from the article):
“If you are 2 years or older and are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, wear a mask indoors in public.”
Leaving aside any other consideration, has anyone at the CDC stopped to think what it means to convince a 2 yo to wear anything, like socks or shoes or a coat before advising them to wear a mask??
Clearly at the CDC condition of entry must be a vow of celibacy as there is no way whoever worked on that policy has kids.

Last edited 11 months ago by Andrea X
Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Still, it’s pretty decent of them to give written advice to 2 year olds.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  Dana Jumper

They obviously expected the two year olds to read it, and not use their favorite word, “No!”

Richard Hopkins
Richard Hopkins
11 months ago

Governments worldwide lost the plot over the pandemic. We should remember the extent to which Covid-1984 restrictions twisted the institutions of the State out of their intended shape. They lost their sense of purpose, proportion and priority. One British example will suffice. The uncle of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes contacted the police to tell them of his concerns for his nephew’s safety. He said that he was so worried that he intended to visit him. The police responded by threatening to arrest him if he did so as this would contravene lockdown restrictions. The six year old was later killed by his father and partner.

Jan Hinchliffe
Jan Hinchliffe
11 months ago

I agree fully with your general point Richard and the case you cite is a very pertinent example – if true.
We know that little Arthur was abused and had his life so brutally ended at a time when the agencies, which should have protected him, were distracted by the Covid hysteria/psychosis under discussion here, but I would be grateful if you would provide your source for this particular claim (that the uncle was threatened with arrest), so that we can consider it further.
Thank you.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
11 months ago

“individual professionals may not have become richer …” but, then again, if the stock portfolio owning class just went out and bought Pfizer and Moderna stock in 2020, they will be. This is one of the problems facing those who want to end regulatory and journalistic capture … the bad guys don’t even have to bribe people any more. They’ve got a system set up where the supposedly independent actors can arrange to bribe themselves.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago

And a bit of Pilosi-esk insider trading keeps the politicos happy too.

stephen archer
stephen archer
11 months ago

And the Moderna CEO is reportedly selling off a large portion of his shares before the bubble possibly bursts.

D Glover
D Glover
11 months ago

Do you suspect that the reason AstraZeneca got such a bad press was that it was being provided at cost price?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Maybe, but I would still like to see a deep dive into the money that passed hands around bringing AstraZeneca to market. Maybe someone here knows? I somehow doubt it was all clean.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
11 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

It’s all pretty tangled. I think that the ‘provide at cost’ meant that Pfizer and Moderna stock was more attractive to the stock holding class, which meant that when a chance to slag the competition came up, some people in the press could not resist. But the blood clot thing is real. The real question, I think, is not ‘why did AstraZenica get bad press’ but rather why didn’t Moderna and Pfizer get worse press?
There’s also a known psychological effect, in choice theory, in that if you present consumers with 3 choices, where X and Y are safer/cheaper/better than Z, you can get people to go buy X or Y, when if you only presented them with X and Y they would decide that neither was worth buying. If you see some ridiculously expensive item on sale in a store beside some lower priced items, that do the same thing, and have ever wondered ‘who on earth would buy that at that price?’ this may be what is going on. Nobody is buying the thing, but it makes the second most expensive item look like a good deal, and sell a lot better.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

No, it was Melinda Gates who threatened to withdraw funding from Oxfor University. So the position was reversed and the price was hiked up. This follows from a FOI request filed with the Dutch government. Ms. Gates told the Dutch PM in a phone call that he had to drop the plan that the Oxford University vaccin was produced by AZ on a cost plus basis. Otherwise, Oxfrd University would feel it in its purse. This story is confirmed by two independent websites. A Dutch one and a US one.
Remember the original coalition of certain European countries that procured vaccines. The EU did not like it, nor did the Gates’s, for reasons mentioned above. Plan was dropped and 6 months later the EU procured vaccines on a commercial basis (read monopolistic basis). To add to insult Ursula von der Leyen ordered vaccines for the amount of 28 billion euros via whatsapp. Unfortunately, she did not save the messages.
Of course, there is anxiety and agression, but unlike professor Desmet I believe the sources are well known. It will all end in tears, I am afraid.

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott
11 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

I’m an accountant and take it from me you can make a LOT of money at ‘cost price’.

D Glover
D Glover
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Scott

Can you explain this please? I’m not an accountant, I’m genuinely interested.

https://fortune.com/2021/11/12/astrazeneca-vaccine-profits-results-oxford-agreement-low-income-countries/

it says “In its third-quarter results Friday, AstraZeneca said the vaccine had had slightly negative effects on earnings throughout this year, though the effect turned mildly positive in the last quarter. Its shares fell nearly 4% after it delivered the results.

“The company is now expecting to progressively transition the vaccine to modest profitability as new orders are received,” AstraZeneca said in the results announcement.”

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
11 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

I am not familiar with specifics of AZ, but I can explain you the difference between an ordinary profit and a cost plus profit calculation. In an ordinary profit model (highly simplified) the profit is the difference between the sales price and the costs of goods sold. The sales price is formed in the market. What the customers (read: governments) are willing to paym(or are forced to pay). By influencing its customers (marketing) and by reducing costs (Mckinsey), the company can increase its profits.
A cost plus system rewards a company for a service rendered, i.e. the manufacturing of a vaccine. The company gets rewarded via a mark up on its costs, i.e. salary expenses, utility bills etc. But there is no costs of good sold, as this is not taken into account when calculating the mark up. In this case, Oxford University would procure the materials, hand them over to AZ and tell them to produce x quantity of vaccine, to be delivered within x weeks. Plus provide and overview of your costs and we will pay you your costs plus a mark up of, say, 5%. This arrangement is also known as tolling agreement, a well known arrangement in the petro chemical industry. Oxford University has now x quantity of vaccine and can sell it at a price level it wants to sell.
Assuming it is not run by money grubbing harpies, it would sell it at a modest price so that everyone in the world can benefit from the fruits of its R&D. As it turns out there is no pandemic because poor countries have great difficulties obtaining vaccines and refugees get not vaccinated because there is no sovereign entity that will indemnify Big Pharma for potential side effects. Same issue with African states who are not considered credible indemnitors.
Covid-19 is not about health, it is all about money.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
11 months ago

Very clear explanation (doesn’t happen very often here)
Thank you

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
11 months ago

… Joe Rogan’s podcast by Robert Malone, a scientist known for his warnings about the risks of mRNA vaccines. That interview may have been the beginning of the end for Rogan.

Not necessarily the end for Rogan, though maybe for his deal with Spotify – Rumble has offered him $25 million a year for four years. It would depend on the terms of his contract with Spotify, but he has an out.

Also, it turns out that the top holder of Spotify stock is also the top stockholder of Moderna. It’s a consortium, or similar, of 47 people whose identities are currently unknown.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Yes, besides the Rumble offer, it is clear that Rogan is where the viewership is. The likes of CNN are going downhill as fast as the idiotic doctor wearing the N95 mask.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
11 months ago

I love that comment!

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago

“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”
― Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

Interestingly, this works both ways

M P Griffiths
M P Griffiths
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Yes- it seems to me that far too many of our fellow citizens were far too ready to surrender their fundamental liberties to authority, may be because exercising autonomy requires a bit of hard work and thought. I think that deep down, the majority of those who do surrender in such a fashion are aware of their failings in this respect; the trick is to assuage their consciences by dressing compliance in the clothing of moral righteousness, which then permits the “lambles” to overlook the obvious historical parallels.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago
Reply to  M P Griffiths

I see where you’re coming from but that wasn’t quite what I meant.

Poor old Joe Soap has had an awful lot on his plate. He is worried about keeping his job, keeping the kids in line, paying the mortgage; all the usual detritus of every day life. He has neither the time nor the interest to make any in depth investigation of what he is being told. He does understand that there is a disease abroad. He’s aware it’s like flu and probably has sufficient knowledge to know that is spread by close contact with the exhalations of other human beings.

Wearing a barrier and keeping a distance therefore, intuitively, seems quite sensible. The government seems to back that view so he probably hasn’t got much incentive to investigate further.

Now he has a zoom class drastically overstepping the bounds of what is necessary or sensible, while vigorously signalling it’s virtue. If he doesn’t go along with their every whim he’s a granny killer, racist blah blah

On the other side he has another zoom class, now screaming at him that he’s a sheeple, a moron, a craven coward, while virtue signalling their superior intelligence, their prescience, and their membership of The Resistance by … not wearing a mask in Tesco.

The former are considerably more dangerous than the latter, and more culpable as they have the power.

It doesn’t mean the latter aren’t indulging in that “most delicious of moral treats.”

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I will admit some schadenfreude, but the axis of evil are busy doubling down to protect themselves. Trudeau is imposing martial law in Canada – how much more proof do we need.

Arild Brock
Arild Brock
11 months ago

I accept Bollis’ reminder (it works both ways), but I also fully agree (with Reenen) that the situation is not at all symmetrical. The sirens of the alarmists are so strong, than anyone thinking can hardly hear his/her own thoughts. The extra costs of expressing (critical) thoughts are also high. Even if not always able (or willing) to express them purely without, say aggression or contempt, we must react – if there shall be any hope for humanity.

andrew harrison
andrew harrison
11 months ago

After having covid before the first UK lockdown and not suffer that much I looked on to all the government mandates as stupid and an overreaction, I was in a small minority, it was only after more and more people contracted it and had mild symptoms that I became less of a minority, people are finally waking up to the lies and deceit by our world “leaders” using covid as a major power grab.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
11 months ago

The missing parts of mass formation psychosis are that 1) people are generally stupid and unthinking, 2) people are generally uneducated. Desmet does include though that a significant portion of people are weak cowards (a la Ashe, Milgram).

Last edited 11 months ago by Jeffrey Chongsathien
Sam
Sam
11 months ago

This pandemic has been a revelation for me. To see how few people actually *think*. How few people engage in critical thought and ask questions about what’s happening. My view of humanity has become much, much not darker really but I no longer have faith that my fellow man is using his head to think things out.

Philip L
Philip L
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam

It’s been an illuminating time. The realisation that so many people would put their trousers on backwards if the newspapers told them, without questioning why the folks who came up with that rule had clearly put their trousers on normally.

Last edited 11 months ago by Philip L
R Wright
R Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam

The response to the pandemic has convinced me that if there was a coup tomorrow that justified itself as being on a technocratic basis, it would be celebrated by most of the British population.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam

The freedom-security trade has never been so stark. If the pandemic was a test to calibrate resolve, the data are in.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam

I was surprised by my how some of my highly intelligent &/or anarchist friends bought into all the claptrap. The glazed expressions of baseless adherence in the face of the biggest land/power/money grab in my lifetime.

Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam

I was shocked as well, but on reflection the signs have been there for quite some time. These are the same people who claim to worry about climate change while going on 3 foreign holidays a year; who tweet about modern-day slavery on a device made by modern-day slaves; who complain about gentrification while queuing for a €5 coffee in a rapidly-gentrifying neighbourhood. And no doubt they’re the ones who are now lamenting the human and economic costs of lockdowns that they actively supported. We’ve become very good at letting ourselves off the hook, passing the problem to some ill-defined group of ‘other’ people.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
11 months ago

 “1) people are generally stupid and unthinking, 2) people are generally uneducated …. a significant portion of people are weak cowards”

Is that fair? Most people have the media serve up every wicked problem in the world to them, every day. They know that they don’t have the time or tools to sort it all out. They are tired out by their own families and jobs. It makes sense to rely on trusted others for guidance. Doctors are usually trusted experts – they’ve studied and worked in the field for a long time. The drift to accepting what experts say has gone too far, especially when it comes to forming policy. I don’t find most people stupid or unthinking in their daily lives; I do think the experts have a little too much hubris, and the policy-makers have accepted advice they should have at least queried.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

Maybe that would have been true in the past, but the past two years has certainly given people an opportunity to apply some logic, if not intelligence.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
11 months ago

Well, the past is another country. Were people in the past expected to have an opinion on so many things? There’s still plenty of everyday ones – problems at work, issues kids are having, financial etc. etc. but now there is a new political ‘crisis’ every 24 hours, saturation coverage of climate change doom, trans kids, drug epidemics, unaffordable housing … it goes on and on, and has all become so polarised, people so angry, that many people turn off, they don’t want to participate. Life is stressful enough.
There have been so many knocks to trust in authority figures – I can remember back to Nixon as a time when respect for political figures went out the window, then we had the church and sexual abuse, so that was their authority gone … ‘science’ was one authority people were still clinging to. Now, the internet makes a vast amount of information, and misinformation, accessible, but who has the time, or background knowledge to wade through it. I don’t blame people for latching onto the opinions of people in positions of authority – that is one of the ways we’re taught to evaluate information: is the source authoritative? Conflicting authoritative sources is really difficult.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

The difference is this time they locked people up – many with nothing to do and even those employed found time on their hands. The ones with brains started investigating.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago

Here’s a short guide. The people who say everything is a crisis are scaming you. The people who say censorship is required to protect you from misinformation that the government doesn’t approve of, aspire to be the Ministry of Truth. The people who want to cancel commenters for making a single comment, are totalitarian. People who say the rule of “experts” is superior to the rule of law want you to forget hundreds of years of successful govenrment by the consent of the governed, and thousands of years of “expert” failures.

The people who prefer the rule of “experts” also get to pick the “experts.” Why trust them?

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
11 months ago

Agree.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

Agree with your post. In general, those who encourage fear are using it to manipulate you. Encouraging prudence and resolve in the face of a danger is one thing — but “Be afraid, be very afraid” is usually followed by “Trust me”, which of course is a polite way of saying blank you.

Arild Brock
Arild Brock
11 months ago

Exactly, there is a lack of moral authority. The lack is so huge, that we have almost forgotten that there is such a thing.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
11 months ago

It is a close race between the total failure of leadership of the political class, and the hysteria of a media forever chasing “scoop” headlines, as to which has caused more damage over the past two years. Of course, the relationship is entirely symbiotic.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jonathan Nash
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

In the US, most of the media is populated by Democrats who identify as journalists.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

The formula is now clear: Whatever governments and their media say, the opposite is the truth. Act accordingly.

Last edited 11 months ago by Allison Barrows
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago

The counter argument is that it’s generally the uneducated who are objecting to government overreach: truck drivers, residents of rural areas and other deplorables. The educated, by and large, are the ones who seem to want vax mandates, lockdowns and censorship.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

I believe Dr Robert Malone is a truck driver….

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
11 months ago

For every educated person there are at least 10 highly credentialed morons. They are called educated by other credentialed morons.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

Very good remark, n the spirit of Ambrose Bierce, maybe the last honest journalist. In the US, amusingly, “credentialed” and “certified” are often used interchangeably on mainstream media…illustrative of happy ignorance, of nations divided by a common language, perhaps — but on the other hand, sometimes there is Truth in Randomness!

N Forster
N Forster
11 months ago

The ABC news described an unvaccinated Australian politician who used Ivermectin as having taken a horse dewormer. Yesterday.

Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
11 months ago

The pandemic has proved beyond all doubt (for me, at least) that the traditional idea of a political Left and Right has no meaning in the world we now live in. The so-called Left are now the political partners of Big Tech and Big Pharma; the instigators of vaccine mandates, digital ID cards and stay home orders; the censors of dissenting voices. As someone who has always identified with the traditional Left I feel as though I can’t recognise many of the traits that define it in modern day ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ politics. They not only abandon but actively shun the working class who they claim to represent. They are unwilling to discuss opposing viewpoints, and indeed in many cases demand “protection” from having to even engage with certain ideas. The sort of challenging, anti-establishment voices that used to be championed by the left are now treated as dangerous cranks who are opposed to progress.
So maybe it’s time to ditch the concept of a spectrum from Left and Right and recognise it for what it is – a spectrum of high to low authoritarianism.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

The spectrum is as it has always been since the Industrial revolution: class.

The culture war is a class war.
The mask rules are a class war.
The vaccine mandates are a class war.
The trans-activism is a class war.
BLM / anti-racism is a class war.

It’s not accidental that the same lower-class, blue collar people ended up on the losing side in each of these issues. It’s blue collar people that resist mask mandates, abortion on demand, vaccines, “men can get pregnant”, and “white people are always racist.”

The Left forgot about class solidarity in the 1960’s; it’s been simmering with no political champion since that time. Since 80% of America is blue collar, that can only go long for so long. We’ll see if the GOP has learned how to capitalize on it in 2022.

Keith Dudleston
Keith Dudleston
11 months ago

I don’t think you have this quite right. The non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were introduced in panic, in the first weeks of the pandemic, when UK government scientists believed that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people were likely to die from the virus.
The demographic most likely to lose most life years (55 – 70-year-olds) were the very same scared people in government, academia and the media who believed this prediction. These establishment left-leaning influencers were scared into believing NPIs were necessary and brooked no argument against them advocating widespread censorship. They, like the Prime Minister, were scared for their lives.
The virus then appeared to go away and many fewer than expected died. There was a great relief. When the virus returned later the same year these same actors assumed more NPIs were needed. They didn’t think that the main factor influencing viral spread was seasonality. However, we now know they were terribly wrong. NPIs do little except to cost a great deal of money and cause profound personal disruption and slightly delay viral spread.
The difficulty then faced by the government and their allies was the impossibility of admitting that a seriously wrong call had been made and avoidable widespread damage had been done to people’s lives, particularly children’s lives. The ‘Left’ isn’t suffering from psychosis. They are just suffering from deep embarrassment and shame.

Last edited 11 months ago by Keith Dudleston
Fam Barr
Fam Barr
11 months ago

Great essay thank you. We now need a processes to hold those to took away our liberty to account or do we just accept these explanations and move forward? No clear political alternative has been formed even though enough are in agreement on this vital point. We are still being herded into left and right. It will be an ultimate fail for society if we just end up back where we were pre-covid knowing that at any time this can happen again.

Last edited 11 months ago by Fam Barr
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  Fam Barr

Vote against the individuals responsible. If the lockdown politicians lose their careers, it will be a deterrent. Admittedly, this is easier in the US, with primary elections to choose individual candidates. But parties in Britain must have some internal mechanisms for choosing candidates that can be influenced by volunteers. If not, the supply of discontented voters should create candidates and parties to cater to it.

The laws have to change to make emergency decrees limited, and harder to justify. The tendency of Western Pseudo Democracies towards rule by executive orders, bureaucratic regulations and arbitrary court orders has to be reversed. Legislatures have to take back the power of making laws into their own hands.

Open ended laws to fight terrorism and drugs, like the US Patriot Act and Civil Forfeture, have to be reined in so government can’t use them in the next “crisis” to lock everybody down again.

Last edited 11 months ago by Douglas Proudfoot
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
11 months ago

Brilliant insightful analysis and summary of what has been going on for the last 2 years. It’s a pity our leaders in the US won’t read this essay and will claim that the UnHerd is just a fringe outlet as they did with the 3 musketeers of the GB declaration.

Storm B
Storm B
11 months ago

My daughter was at university last year in a very left leaning school with a left leaning professor. In a poli sci class she asked where is the critique from the left regarding big pharma and big tech in all this. Stone silence.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Storm B

Good for her!

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
11 months ago

In Canada this has become an exercise in raw power. Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act – despite their being no rationale for doing so. The mainstream media – particularly the CBC – will support him on this. At the end of the day all of this comes down to the failure of the media to do their job. Politicians and bureaucrats have always wanted more power – that isn’t new. The media are supposed to be a check and balance against this. Instead they are complicit in it. They are failing society.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Gunner Myrtle

I believe most of the media in Canada is state sponsored. The Emergencies Act equals martial law, not so? God save Canada.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago

“Desmet argues, mass media can inculcate a narrative that provides the public with a fixed object for its ambient anxiety, drawing otherwise isolated individuals into a common cause”

Clap for the NHS anyone? But I have been watching Trudeau declare Martial Law on Canada just now – and also the Quebec Premier say Quebec is against such an illegal action – so let us sing La Marseillaise – the French national anthem, in Honour of our Frog brothers North of our border….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MQ-SC9bmp4

Verse 1:
Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé ! (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes!
Verse 1:
Let’s go children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody flag is raised! (repeat)
In the countryside, do you hear
The roaring of these fierce soldiers?
They come right to our arms
To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!Refrain:
Aux armes, citoyens !
Formez vos bataillons !
Marchons ! Marchons !
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !
Refrain:
Grab your weapons, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march! Let us march!
May impure blood
Water our fields!

Verse 2:
Que veut cette horde d’esclaves,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés ?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés ? (bis)
Français ! pour nous, ah ! quel outrage !
Quels transports il doit exciter !
C’est nous qu’on ose méditer
De rendre à l’antique esclavage !Verse 2:
This horde of slaves, traitors, plotting kings,
What do they want?
For whom these vile shackles,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, oh! what an insult!
What emotions that must excite!
It is us that they dare to consider
Returning to ancient slavery!Verse 3:
Quoi ! ces cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers !
Quoi ! ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers ! (bis)
Grand Dieu ! par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploiraient !
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées !Verse 3:
What! These foreign troops
Would make laws in our home!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would bring down our proud warriors! (repeat)
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brows would bend beneath the yoke!
Verse 4:
Tremblez, tyrans ! et vous, perfides,
L’opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leur prix ! (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S’ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La France en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre !Verse 4:
Tremble, tyrants! and you, traitors,
The disgrace of all groups,
Tremble! Your parricidal plans
Will finally pay the price! (repeat)
Everyone is a soldier to fight you,
If they fall, our young heros,
France will make more,
Ready to battle you!Verse 5:
Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups !
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
A regret s’armant contre nous. (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère !Verse 5:
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare these sad victims,
Regretfully arming against us. (repeat)
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
But not these accomplices of Bouillé,
All of these animals who, without pity,
Tear their mother’s breast to pieces!
Verse 6:
Amour sacré de la patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs !
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs ! (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents !
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire !Verse 6:
Sacred love of France,
Lead, support our avenging arms!
Liberty, beloved Liberty,
Fight with your defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags, let victory
Hasten to your manly tones!
May your dying enemies
See your triumph and our glory!Verse 7:
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n’y seront plus ;
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus. (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre !Verse 7:
We will enter the pit
When our elders are no longer there;
There, we will find their dust
And the traces of their virtues. (repeat)
Much less eager to outlive them
Than to share their casket,
We will have the sublime pride
Of avenging them or following them!”

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Or put another way, ‘Come back Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, all is forgiven’.*

(* The advocate, but not inventor, of that most effective method of despatch .)

Last edited 11 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
11 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You’ve missed the bit that sings of killing the ‘Boche’ or has it been officially sanitized?

D Ward
D Ward
11 months ago

I am fed up with how difficult it is to “up vote” on my mobile phone. It gets steadily more difficult as you go down the posts, till it becomes impossible.

To all you out there who have made great comments – thank you, but I won’t (can’t) upvote you. Apologies.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago
Reply to  D Ward

Totally agree. Did my usual morse code hammering in the expectation of failure… and you got two!

Sally Owen
Sally Owen
11 months ago
Reply to  D Ward

With you on this!!…

Vincent Verschoore
Vincent Verschoore
11 months ago

We have the same situation here in most European countries, notably France where I published a similar article in January, also based on Desmet’s theory. https://zerhubarbeblog.net/2022/01/06/du-covid-a-la-formation-psychotique-des-masses/

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Cults? Possibly a misspelling….

Malcolm James McKillop
Malcolm James McKillop
11 months ago

Speaking through the ‘Trusted News Initiative’ the talking heads make their claims of fake news and misinformation with demonstrative statements. Never do they provide citation. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, you are to dumb to think so just trust us.

David P
David P
11 months ago

“the beginning of the end for Rogan”? Not likely. The guy will come out of this empowered – it may take a little time but I certainly wouldn’t count him out.

Elena Lange
Elena Lange
11 months ago

This article better sums up the limits of the Mass Formation hypothesis:
https://www.thebellows.org/mass-formation-deflation/

Robin P
Robin P
11 months ago
Reply to  Elena Lange

The mass formation etc is clearly worthless for two reasons.
Firstly, it predicts that the most alienated would become believers. But in reality it is the most connected successful “educated” people who believe the lies.
Secondly, the true cause is a simple combination of
(a) authoritarianism, we are trained from birth to believe the Big People, and this goes on all through the “education” system.
(b) the GIGANTIC power of GIGANTIC money in corrupt hands, completely controlling the information system.
There’s no need for Dr Desmet’s clappingtrap to understand this.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
11 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

Yeah right, the conditions described surely only fit a section of those who fell hook, line & sinker for the rules & the story.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
11 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

I think this depends on your definition of alienation. Working class people have far more of a sense of purpose, connection to their communities and are more likely to rely on traditional belief systems. The professional laptop class are more likely to live away from their families, be childless, be disconnected from traditional faith and let’s face it – deep down know that they are not ‘essential workers’. (If you scrub their MacBook Airs, close their Starbucks’s and bulldoze their Brooklyn apartments, no one would really care.)

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

Absolutely great closing paragraph. Nailed it. Follow The Science = Twister (the game). Covidism as a belief system is “highly overrated, and besides, one’s position is ludicrous.” (My father said that to me about something else, long ago, but it fits.) In general, Woke Ideology has provided an identity for those middle-class professional strivers to virtue signal and feel smug, and nowhere more than Covidophobia, which empowers individuals to feel very important, too. Why, out there is a virus with your name on it! Or, you, just on your only-lonely might be responsible for the deaths of several grannies…People who have no strong religious/philosophical sense of their place in the scheme of things will do most anything to feel important. Sad. It’s my impression that too many want to keep this “pandemic” going because they dread coming back to earth again, being reminded of their insignificance.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
11 months ago

Covid, the Great Reset, the Green agenda, BLM, trans radicalism, censorship, massive social disruption by far left activists colluding with neoliberal globalists, government and media. It all feels connected. No matter what they claim – in a neofeudal system some are more equal than others.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
11 months ago

Read the NYT picked comments about the Ottawa strike and marvel at the brownshirt tendencies of the US chattering class. Variations on “vax up and shut up, you white racist proles, and drive your trucks”. Those who view any protest of a vax based governmental exclusion of citizens from basic social goods as an illegitimate revolt are skating very close to yellow star territory. That they think organized resistance to these laws is “fascism” is a great ahistorical irony. Another is their belief that one group of denigrated deplorables eg police/military will gladly oppress whomever they make the state enemy dejure.

Last edited 11 months ago by rick stubbs
dave fookes
dave fookes
11 months ago

An excellent article. Simply put, the pandemic is just an extension of modern neoliberalism, which, among other wealth-dividing events, brought us the 1999 ‘tech-wreck’ and the 2008 GFC – with each event growing more destructive than the last. Note the approximate time lapses of around a decade between events.
There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind that the pandemic, like the GFC and tech-wreck, is – and have been, all about money and power for the establishment – and that all three were engineered. I do feel however, that this time they’ve taken it way too far. The similarities of this ‘plandemic’ are frighteningly close to 1939 Nazi Germany, except on a massive global scale; making it many times worse.
The minds of those responsible have become so consumed with lust for power and wealth, that there’s clearly little or no capacity left to distinguish right from wrong. I do think it’s time for the people of the world to step through ‘divide and conquer’ divisiveness’s like gender and generational ‘wars’, left-wing right-wing differences and racial issues. We simply must unite globally against this evil, before democracy and freedom become forgotten words.

Robin P
Robin P
11 months ago

This is a grossly incompetent understanding of what has gone wrong. It is far simpler, in reality nothing to do with “psychosis” or “mass formation”. Rather it is control of the information system by GIGANTIC corrupt money, along with decades of training to believe the Big People who know best are the only safe source of truth. Authoritarianism taken to excess. Please stop drivelling on about this “mass formation” nonsense which belongs in the same junk science bin as all the Covid hoaxery of lockdowns and so on.
If the “mass formation” theory were true, then the most alienated people would be most deceived. But in reality it is the posh privileged highly “educated” most connected people who are the most believing of the lies. That alone proves the mass etc to be garbage.

dave fookes
dave fookes
11 months ago
Reply to  Robin P

What you say about this global deception being brought about via “control of the information system by GIGANTIC corrupt money, along with decades of training to believe the Big People who know best are the only safe source of truth”, IMO, is correct. Mass formation psychosis, never-the-less, simply describes the end result.
Do you know of any studies or surveys that prove it’s the highly educated, privileged who are the most believing of the lies? From my observations, it’s every class of citizen lining up for the jab. Fear doesn’t discriminate.

Penny Mcwilliams
Penny Mcwilliams
11 months ago

A series of observations, but I do not fully accept his line of reasoning as to cause and effect. To paraphrase Napoleon, I hesitate to assign to conspiracy that which can be more readily explained by incompetence. And just because a group or sector of society had got wealthier or has done less badly throughout the pandemic does not mean that they can be regarded as responsible for every public policy decision associated with it

Keith Dudleston
Keith Dudleston
11 months ago

I agree. This pandemic response started as a giant “c_ck up” which provided an amazing opportunity that was cleverly grasped by big business. It’s a bit hard to blame them. You could blame scared government officials, but they were in a very difficult quandary. I have less time for the unquestioning subservient media; particularly government-funded television.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

This has gone way beyond incompetence.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

I agree that incompetence can almost never be underestimated, whether by the innocent tool or the rascal who means to profit. But isn’t there a saying that every crisis is an opportunity? Crisis may affect us all — some perish, some suffer but survive, and some make out like bandits! Just follow the money to see who those are.

h w
h w
11 months ago

‘Left’ has been redefined and taken over by the right. The owners of the ‘means of production’ and of communication – billionaires and trillionaires – wave ‘identity politics’ flags and are thereby absolved of the crimes they commit against fairness, farmers, environmental, health, children, and human rights by the politicians, academics, researchers, professionals, and media they sponsor.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
11 months ago

It seems to me that the article conflates what happened, with the conditions that made it possible to happen – it’s only the latter that mass formation describes.

Jan Hinchliffe
Jan Hinchliffe
11 months ago

Where’s the conflation? As you say ‘mass formation’ does describe the latter. But the article clearly refers to Desmet’s theory as ‘mass formation psychosis’ …the ‘psychosis’ is what happened!

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
11 months ago

I think it is rather patronizing to talk about “mass formation psychosis.”
We humans are a social species and when our local Big Man tells us the Russians are coming, we usually believe him.
So the young men flock to the colors, although they understand that “men are expendable.”
And women do exactly what they are told, because that is their job if “women expect to be protected.”
However, when humans reckon that they have been scammed, well, I’d say all bets are off.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago

It wasn’t just that people were duped into believing that there was a life threatening plague on their doorstep. It was the sheer nastiness they exhibited to those who questioned things. It’s still going on. Trudeau has now ordered the banks to freeze the assets of the truck protesters. These nasty people are losing everything fast and are now revealing their true colors. The whole world is watching Canada at the moment and noting the spitefulness of its leaders.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“It was the sheer nastiness they exhibited to those who questioned things.”

I think that’s really it. I don’t go for the conspiracy theory stuff about big pharma plotting the whole thing – it’s more likely to be the group dynamics of wanting to belong to the tribe, and the policing of the boundaries of that tribe, which are pretty brutal. Members of the medical profession are very intelligent (and they know that they are), but part of their prestige comes from their claim that they are never wrong (it’s all ‘evidence-based’) because … science. They are an elite group because of their intelligence, training … and income. They associate with members of other elite groups – it’s a gratifying life.

Like most people of my generation I have a huge respect for science and scientists – we witnessed its triumphs. But I worked for a few years in a medical library, and because I will read literally anything, I read a lot of medical journals. At the time (the 70s) conventional medicine was waging a war against ‘complementary medicine’. So I would read an account of a trial that , for example, proved that Vitamin C made no difference to anything. But the amount they gave the trial participants was tiny, nothing like the amount people took who claimed benefits for it. And I wondered ‘why don’t they test the claims that are being made’ instead of testing, basically, another hypothesis. The more I read of medical trials the more flaws I could see in the assumptions and conclusions. From then on I’ve always been a bit suspicious of the claim ‘but the evidence says …’. I guess, over the long run, the truth stands out, but our media-saturated world doesn’t care much for the long run..

But whether it’s climate change or COVID or anything else, you see the relevant expert group circle the bandwagons and pour scorn on any other analysis/interpretation of the situation. As one of those experts, you really wouldn’t want to be pushed out of your career, your life, and you would like to consider yourself to be part of the elite group that has ‘knowledge’ on your side.

Politicians, the media, certainly the education system and public service … most everybody seems to have accepted that the brahmin-like class of scientists can’t be wrong, because it’s all evidence-based! Will the lesson be learnt this time?

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
11 months ago

Very well said. It’s interesting to see all the accepted medical interventions that have fallen by the wayside over the years. Many types of back pain interventions spring to mind, including surgery, that were regularly performed in spite of the lack of any evidence that they were effective.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago

I agree the full conspiracy theory is crude. Fear and totalnpanic first gripped the bad modellers and then the scientifically illiterate dependent politicians in March 2020. There was groupthink too. But you cannot let the mainstream media off the hook so easily. They had a duty to seek out Truth. To protect us by challenging authority. They had time to reflect. Do we whip up fear and panic (so boosting ratings and a vain belief in their centrality to public life)? Or do we do our job? They caved. Knowingly. So the media stand accused of perhaps the greatest act of calculation and betrayal. But who will tell that story??

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
11 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

They had a duty to seek out Truth”

I’m feeling a little nostalgic. For the time when adults were expected to behave like adults and uphold certain principles. In the ‘greed is good’ 80s, money became the measure of so much. News sources, like just about everything else, are now mostly just businesses that aim to make profits by selling eyeballs to advertisers. There may be some old-fashioned reporting (within the boundaries set by the owners), sort of, but mostly its pandering to whatever will get our attention, the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’, story. Librarians could always tell you which were ‘the newspapers of record’ – the ones that were ‘the first draft of history’. I’m not sure there are any newspapers of record left.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
11 months ago

How true. Add to that the current crop of reporters seem to be of one stripe and believe their personal views are the truth. Somehow their education has failed them.

Robin P
Robin P
11 months ago

There’s a book titled “Experts Catastrophe” which explains how the expertise system has gone grossly wrong and caused the huge “no evidence of harm” dental amalgams catastrophe devastating millions.

Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
11 months ago

Very well said. This popular idea of “following the science” implies that science is a sort of deity who arrives with a fully-formed set of conclusions, and with no agenda. You can’t “follow” science because it isn’t trying to lead you anywhere – but people most definitely are…

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

I believe big pharma is malign. Follow the story of statins, just for one.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

What? Many of us really early on saw this Covid hustle for what it was. Who is this local Big Man we should be listening to? The one who said 3 weeks to flatten the curve? That one? The game was up after 3 weeks.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago

Precisely, and it was here on UnHerd in March 2020 that this whole titanic fiasco was exposed. In particular by one very amusing heretic, by name of Fraser Bailey, but also by others whose names I can sadly no longer recall.

As far as the smug, self-serving British Establishment went, only one, yes one, member broke cover to expose this gigantic charade. A truly pathetic state of affairs for which there can be no apology, or forgiveness.*

(* Lord Jonathan Sumption.)

Last edited 11 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Mark Burbidge
Mark Burbidge
11 months ago

‘In modern conditions, risk-aversion and the fear that goes with it are a standing invitation to authoritarian government’
Lord Sumption

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

I am in occasional contact with Fraser – and have tried to tempt him back!

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago

Thank you.
Can you by any chance recall the names of the other‘heretics’?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

What about Johannes Kreisler. The Hungarian woman…. she was entertaining. She had to reinvent herself a few times. I’ll try to remember some more.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago

He reappeared a month or two ago, for one comment.

Perhaps he changed the name … maybe to something Latin?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Snap. I did wonder myself! But I don’t think so.

William Murphy
William Murphy
11 months ago

To be fair, long before COVID, anyone who had been observing his career knew that our beloved Prime Minister was a chancer, a moneypisser and a pathological liar. As per Max Hastings’ observation that he would not trust Boris with his wallet or his wife.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Spot on!
But such was the exasperation-desperation to get Brexit done, we would even have voted for H*tler.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago

Speak for yourself there.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago

Merely a euphemism I assure you.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
11 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

To be honest there are not many people that I would trust with my wife or my wallet. But then again, I spent most of my working life amongst academics.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

To be completely fair, Boris’s first plan was shielding the elderly and health compromised and going for herd immunity. He was shouted down by the virtue signalling ninnies in the population and MSM.
Ummm – don’t know why you don’t know this, but all politicians lie.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
11 months ago

Excellent. This is one of the best non-conspiratorial analyses on the covid pandemic and government reactions that I have read.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago

Why is there is discussion of masks without any reference to trials on their effectiveness? There was a trial in Bangladesh involving 178,322 people in the mask wearing group and 163,861 not mask wearing. At the end of 8 weeks 1086 people in the mask group had been infected and just 20 more in the non mask wearing group. A study was published recently covering mask wearing in California between Feb and Dec 2021 which concluded mask wearing was beneficial but in the paper it said the results for cloth masks were not statistically significant.
Mattias Desmet did not develop the theory of mass formation. It has been known about for years, Jung discussed it.

Aldo Maccione
Aldo Maccione
11 months ago

“Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks.”
Am I the only sniggering at the thought of the Juliette Kayyem trying to move the trucks, after she had emptied their tanks and slashed their tyres ?

Donn Olsen
Donn Olsen
11 months ago

My vote: Essay of the Year!

Robert Eagle
Robert Eagle
11 months ago

deleted

Last edited 8 months ago by Robert Eagle
Vyomesh Thanki
Vyomesh Thanki
11 months ago

Few believe that a mask can fully “stop the fine aerosols that spread Covid”. For those who wear them FFP2s may be effective against viral particles.

Masks reduce the number of droplets a wearer emits – less droplets = less viruses emitted. Masks only help protect others: no preventive measure is 100% effective.

The few have benefited greatly from this pandemic. But those who clearly didn’t benefit are the 5.83 million who have died. Most of them were from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods having higher rates of underlying clinical risk factors.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

Did they die with or from Covid. Sorry, cannot resist.

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago

Oh, the wonders of hindsight. Why are so many people ahistorical? Why do so many ignore certain facts ? Choose to forget? Stupid questions. Because that’s what people have always done, will always do.
Most human beings want to preserve themselves and those around them. Yes, fear makes us irrational but then, unlike in most other animals, when sublimated, makes us co-operate for the benefit of all.
Yes, in hindsight, there have been excesses; much waste and ruin to livelihoods, but to posit that a grand plan came about to somehow crush certain sections for political and financial gain seems careless and wrong.

Last edited 11 months ago by James Chater
rodney foy
rodney foy
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

Yes, I think conspiracy theories abound. Nevertheless, I fear governments will continue using their new-found powers

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

Well let me be blunt – I find stupidity and illogic wearying. I also find corruption and money grubbing wearying. I also find the very obvious agenda of big tech, governments, large organisations, corporate media and big businesses wearying.
Your examples of hindsight downplay what most here saw coming like an express train early in the pandemic:
Half a billion pushed into extreme poverty, millions of children lost to the school system (half a million in South Africa alone), development of children impacted by mask wearing, billions of the same useless discarded masks choking up the planet, countless millions of people who lost their businesses and livelihoods, corruption on a grand scale, draconian overreach by governments reluctant to relinquish their increased control, millions denied regular medical care, people being denied access to therapeutics for Covid and being sent home to see how sick they might get. Law and order collapsing as economies start tanking in many countries. Massive censorship in Western countries – lack of freedom of press and speech. On it goes.
Only the stupid, some of the wealthy and salaried and those adhering blindly to some illogical, leftist ideology still plug this course.
Do you know what it feels like to have seen this so clearly and then to watch it unfold despite your best efforts to persuade people differently?

M P Griffiths
M P Griffiths
11 months ago

Great post. “Oh, it’s only a mask- it’s a mild inconvenience”. No, it isn’t- it’s a symbol of submission to “stupid”.

Last edited 11 months ago by M P Griffiths
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

I do. In May of 2020, when people were following arrows in supermarkets and waiting outside on 6ft distant markers in make-shift rope lines wearing masks (not me; bridge too far), I told my husband, “This is controlism, and we’re going to get a lot more of it, judging from all this bovine compliance.” We moved to Florida in early 2021, but are both amused and disgusted that the New England town we left remains COVID obsessed, as if they finally found something with which to define themselves.

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago

Lesley, my goodness just how would you have coped in the in the early to mid 20th century? Two world wars and one pandemic. This sounds a bit hysterical never mind our government’s supposed overreaction. Many mistakes were made and unnecessary suffering has been caused for sure, but I’d be interested to know what the alternative might look like. A novel virus that no one knew how to deal with, killing lots of people, many still of working age, and making many many more extremely ill…

Last edited 11 months ago by James Chater
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

James, of course I feel ‘hysterical’. Moreover I am angry, angry because we have had to sit back and listen to endless mediocre arguments from entitled people about why it is ok to plunge the world into chaos for no reason at all. Let me repeat – no reason at all, for a disease with an estimated IFR of .15%. Please don’t mention it in the same breath as the flu pandemic of 1918. And please don’t conflate the discussion with wars.

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago

I think the IFR is higher than .15%. However, as we saw at the start of the pandemic the CFR was much much higher, obviously causing alarm in the medical establishment. Then the chaos was not caused for ‘no reason at all’.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

At last a voice of reason. Thank-you.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

It was clear early on that the danger wasn’t to the general population. The danger was concentrated in one demographic, people aged 55 and older with comorbidities. In the US, about 90% of deaths with Covid-19 occurred in this demographic. Scaring the general population wasn’t necessary or prudent. It was manipulation, for no good reason at all.

Why not lock down only those 55 and up? Why not report the demographics of the disease? Why impose the economic and medical costs of a lockdown on the general population, when the general population wasn’t at risk? Seizing power is the only logical answer.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

Why not “lock down” exactly nobody? If someone is ill, they can shelter in place till well. Isolation in fact actually degrades one’s entire immune system. Ageist generalizations need to be examined — perhaps the most endangered cohort are such because over time more have acquired comorbidities? I know plenty of folks over 75 who have never even had the flu, much less got Covid, and no, they don’t do vaccines or masks, except in special circumstances. Sweeping generalizations in public health harm more than they help. Tasking government to help one with anything is a trade-off of one’s agency. Not worth it, in the case of this virus du jour.

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago

As people age they acquire ‘co-morbidities’ – Covid 19 seemed to attack many different co-morbidities. In the UK the age profile from the 2011 census, 22% were over 60. Quite alot of people. They can’t be written off as not part of the ‘general population’. It’s too easy to pronounce retrospectively, when at the time alot less was known about the virus.

Keith Dudleston
Keith Dudleston
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

In the UK there are about 67 million people. The vast majority have antibodies; some have been infected more than once of course. The excess mortality reported by the ONS is, so far, a bit less than 140,000. So if everybody was infected once the IFR is in the order of 0.2%.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

On the contrary, the Diamond Princess showed early on that not everyone was susceptible – even trapped as they were. Also very early in the pandemic, the carnival held in a small town in Germany became a ‘test tube’ case and Prof Hendrik Streeck calculated and IFR of about .3%.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

The ONS average age of Covid death figure is 82.5, whilst Life expectancy is 81.1

‘’We” have made a massive and irreversible mistake. We should have followed the National Pandemic Plan and done absolutely nothing.

Fortunately we should be able to lay most of the blame for this national fiasco at the feet of Socialism.

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago

‘…done absolutely nothing.’
I think we can assume most people who write on forums like this are attention-seeking weirdos. (Of course I include myself in that category.)
Thank goodness for Socialism.

Last edited 11 months ago by James Chater
Nick Wade
Nick Wade
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

Follow the pandemic plans we had in place, which mostly involved carrying on as normal, and building up health care capacity. Doing absolutely nothing would have caused less damage.

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Doing absolutely nothing would have caused less damage’. I don’t think so. Thousands more Covid patients in hospitals with more thousands more deaths because of the overstretching of staff and resources.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
11 months ago

Your anger is obvious and I am in agreement. We depended on politicians to use the scientific advice and take into consideration the various other factors. In the early days, science knew little except we needed to contain, so we did. Then the data began to arrive which suggested we ought to consider protecting the vulnerable which was then shouted down loudly. In retrospect, that protection would have worked. A few brave politicians defied the dogma and were heavily criticized, data now prove them correct. In the US the political issues of the day were a motivation but aside from that, why did the EU refuse to try alternative strategies? The take no chances approach of our leaders by following each other says a lot about group think and reflects badly on our leaders who did not lead.

Sally Owen
Sally Owen
11 months ago

Fantastic post Lesley!.. cannot uptick you on page.

Tom May
Tom May
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

Hi James

I do not agree that this is hindsight. We knew from the beginning that it was old people in the frame, especially men who smoked (they were the first high risk group I can remember), that kids were OK and we have known for ever that masks are pointless.

It was a madness.

And those of us who were not susceptible couldn’t believe what was going on. For example, you could be arrested and fined (& jailed if you didn’t pay the fine) for sitting in the sun on a park bench alone. With or without a mask. That’s not protecting others, that’s vindictive nonsense.

It was an insane time to be alive and not be able to buy into the hysteria.

All the best,
Tom May

James Chater
James Chater
11 months ago
Reply to  Tom May

Hi Tom,
I accept that a young healthy person was/is extremely unlikely to be affected. However, I think it is mistaken to simply categorise it an old person’s disease, affecting those who smoked, most severely. Given it was a new coronavirus, highly contagious, our government had to put in measures to control its spread. I am thankful that I live in the UK and not Brazil, for example…
All the best…

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

Mortality for Omicron is 25% of what it was for previous variants. There ain’t any statistically significant differences between heavily locked down states and no lockdown, no mask states in deaths or hospitalizations. The deaths with Covid-19 are still about 90% in people aged 55 and up in the US. The real data, as opposed to The Science (TM), doesn’t justify “measures to control its spread.” It’s all about as scientific as a Dr. Who episode.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

Some strange statistics. Omicron? It is following the classic viral epidemic trajectory to more contagious and less virulent. With a few glitches, this should be the general trend. The real “long Covid” are the habits of submission to government authorities, enabling their addiction to control. Our attitude is a public health emergency. As we speak, there are untold unknown viruses out there, cooking up in the jungles, and sadly there will be no shortages of humans ready to weaponize them, under the sanitizing label of “progress”. We urgently need to think how we take back our self-determination, responsibility for hygiene and caveat emptor.