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The Covid regime has fooled us all Did mass formation psychosis make us vulnerable?

(Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)


February 15, 2022   5 mins

In the late stages of the American Covid regime, “The Science” has become dramatically less important to the ruling class. Notably missing from a new debate about masking policy, in which President Biden has cast doubt on the recent decision by seven Democratic governors to lift their state’s mandates as “probably premature”, is any indication that either side had registered the mounting evidence that mask mandates have not worked.

“ICU Doctor here: I skied 4 hrs in an N95 + a ski mask on top of it! Did not get hypoxic or hypercapnic!” an anaesthesiologist named Ilad Sharifpour tweeted last month. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that “in general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors”. But such is the enthusiasm for masking among some people, including medical professionals, that the doctor felt moved to boast about outdoing the CDC guideline while engaging in a solo sport that involves high-speed travel through wide-open spaces.

Last May, in a particularly striking example of the “permanent pandemic” mindset, two American doctors wrote an article arguing that masking should “remain with us, becoming part of our everyday lives even as the Covid-19 pandemic, science willing, subsides”. Yet that emotional attachment to masks is even more pronounced today, amid a backlash to the governors’ move and proposals to lift remaining mask requirements in public schools. The New York Times‘s Covid reporter David Leonhardt — a pro-vaccine, pro-masking moderate liberal — was denounced online by hundreds of people last week simply for pointing out that mask mandates involve tradeoffs.

It seems that for a certain group of pandemic diehards, the fact that the guidance on masking has been so overtly unreliable and politicised has actually made masks more, rather than less, potent as instruments of public policy. In less than two years, the CDC has changed its position on masks at least three times. The agency originally discouraged their use before endorsing it, before finally acknowledging the cloth masks used by most Americans cannot stop the fine aerosols that spread Covid — which is exactly what Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote in a private letter from February 2020.

Given that we now know that these public health decisions are not rooted in The Science, the crucial question remains: Why did tens of millions of people willingly give up their freedoms and embrace the ever-changing dictates of such transparently incompetent and undeserving authorities?

So far, two types of answers seem to hold the most explanatory power. The first focuses on the psychology behind the mass adoption of fear-based emergency measures. The second looks at material rather than psychological factors, using the formula favoured by Lenin: “Who, whom?” In other words, which groups have benefited from the Covid regime, and at whose cost?

The most compelling account of the “permanent pandemic” mindset, it seems to me, is one that recognises the confluence of these two forces. The Covid regime provided a grand life-or-death psychological drama that enlarged the power of the government and its partners in the tech industry, while enabling the destruction and economic displacement of small businesses that make up the base of the Republican party. Some 20% of small businesses and roughly 41% of black-owned small businesses in the US have been forced to close since the start of the pandemic. In the first year of the pandemic alone, there were an extra 200,000 business closures above historical levels. Hardest-hit, according to the Wall Street Journal, were: “Barber shops, nail salons and other providers of personal services.”

One popular psychological theory of the pandemic is ‘mass formation psychosis’, also known as mass formation hypnosis or, simply, mass formation. Developed by Mattias Desmet, a psychology professor at Ghent University in Belgium, it posits that the response to Covid in countries with strict policies illustrates how people can be brought into a collective trance that makes them easy to manipulate and prone to acting in ways that are contrary to reason and evidence.

Such mass formation can only occur, according to Desmet, when four conditions are met: the society has to be atomised and lacking in social bonds; most people living in it must feel a pervasive sense of meaninglessness about their own lives; they must also feel a free-floating anxiety that is not attached to any particular cause; finally, there must also be high levels of free-floating frustration and aggression that, again, have no specific source.

It’s plausible that these conditions were met in the United States when the pandemic broke out. A survey of 10,000 adult American workers taken between July and August 2019 found that three out of five reported being lonely, a 13% increase from the previous year. The number was even higher for heavy social media users, 73% of whom reported feeling lonely. Then came the pandemic, one year into which Americans reported having fewer close friends. In circumstances like these, 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 in confronting the supposed menace.

The theory, with its obvious evocations of 20th-century totalitarian movements, was popularised when it was brought up on 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. Something about the mass formation hypothesis clearly struck a nerve with state authorities and information commissars and it was almost immediately censored and scrubbed from Google results. Desmet neither denies the existence of Covid nor attacks vaccines. He merely argues that the response to the pandemic has entailed a series of unscientific overreactions that have whipped the public into a dangerously susceptible state.

People disposed to strictly rational explanations of large-scale events will find Desmet’s mass psychology unconvincing, but much of what has happened over the past two years defies rational accounting. Why did certain drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin become stigmatised as politically untouchable and subject to gross distortions in the press, with CNN calling ivermectin, a Nobel prize-winning drug that had previously been used to treat over 100 million people across the world for ailments like River Blindness, a “horse dewormer?” These kinds of hyper-polarised rituals resemble past collective frenzies and moral panics.

Yet there are obvious limits to what psychology can account for in the past two years. There’s no psychological phenomenon sufficient to explain why the pandemic has been so beneficial to financial capital or led to the technology industry making a record-setting $1.4 trillion in 2021. As Marketwatch put it in a recent headline: “Big Tech’s pandemic year produces mind-boggling financial results”.

It’s not simply that the rich have gotten richer, though that’s certainly true as America’s billionaires added $2.1 trillion to their net worth during the pandemic. It’s Silicon Valley corporations with close ties to the Democratic party, like Google, that have benefited most.

While the tech companies have few actual employees compared to older productive industries, their largesse now directly subsidises whole sectors of the professional class economy, including journalism. Individual professionals may not have become richer during the pandemic but, unlike hundreds of thousands of American workers who lost their jobs — many of whom worked in the small businesses that were shuttered over the past two years — their employment was mostly secure.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that those professionals would instinctively internalise Covid policies that enriched their tech oligarch patrons as a personal victory and defence of their own status. Few would put it that way, of course. Instead, they accuse protesting truck drivers of being fascists and call for them to be arrested because they recognise that medical mandates provide a ruthlessly efficient — yet morally sanctioned — means for sorting the populations between rulers, who deserve to monopolise power, and subjects, who can follow the rules or be crushed. That seems to be the underlying logic animating Juliette Kayyem, a former homeland security official under Obama who spoke for many in her circles when she recommended the best way to deal with the protests: “Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks.”

Recently Toby Green and Thomas Fazi, both self-described Leftists, posed a series of questions about the Left’s relationship to Covid policies that had been devastating to the working class and global south. “Why has the mainstream Left ended up supporting practically all Covid measures?” they asked on UnHerd. And how, they wondered. did the Left end up ridiculing the very notion that there might be motivations from the vaccine manufacturers other than “the public good” at play?

The answer, it seems, is fairly clear: the Left did this because the Public Good has become, along with The Science, largely a costume worn by the professional classes who, quite rightly, suspect that they have more in common with a Moderna executive than an anti-vaccine mandate truck driver.


Jacob Siegel is Senior Writer at Tablet Magazine

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Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Graham Stull
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Excellent comment

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years ago

Go raibh maith agat, Annemarie

jim peden
jim peden
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg Moreison

I thought it was Dostoevsky

Peter Ouwehand
Peter Ouwehand
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Ouwehand

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

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  David B

His version is that without God everything is permissible.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

I would walk away from that church.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 years ago

One probably would if it was not universal

dave fookes
dave fookes
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Nick Wade
Nick Wade
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

I too think lockdowns for all were probably over the top

Rhonda Culwell
Rhonda Culwell
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Probably? How about definitely.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

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

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Jumper

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

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

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

Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Rodney, they are not providing good information or evidence.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago

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

Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Rick Fraser
Rick Fraser
2 years ago

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

Jordan Flower
Jordan Flower
2 years ago

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

miss pink
miss pink
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

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

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

Up Guards and at ‘em!

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

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

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Andrea X
Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

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

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago

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

D Glover
D Glover
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

I love that comment!

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Jeffrey Chongsathien
Sam
Sam
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Philip L
R Wright
R Wright
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

Agree.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Jonathan Nash
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

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

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

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

Last edited 2 years ago by Allison Barrows
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years 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
2 years ago

I believe Dr Robert Malone is a truck driver….

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Jimminy Timminy
Jimminy Timminy
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by Keith Dudleston
Fam Barr
Fam Barr
2 years 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 2 years ago by Fam Barr
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years 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 2 years ago by Douglas Proudfoot
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Storm B

Good for her!

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

With you on this!!…

Vincent Verschoore
Vincent Verschoore
2 years 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
2 years ago

Cults? Possibly a misspelling….

Malcolm James McKillop
Malcolm James McKillop
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Robin P
Robin P
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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 2 years ago by rick stubbs
dave fookes
dave fookes
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

This has gone way beyond incompetence.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell