Friday, December 11, 2020

Welcome to the Health Dictatorship

Welcome to the health dictatorship. It’s well underway. The terror is working. All the lieutenant dictators – governors, mayors, public health apparatchiks – are pitching in in overtime to pull it off.

 

This dictatorship has the four big features that launch all modern dictatorships. First, a massive propaganda campaign by the government and mass media that focuses on an “emergency” crisis that grants extraordinary powers by decree to the governing elite and severely curtails the liberties and freedoms of associations that are taken for granted by the citizenry. For the last eight months we’ve all experienced just how much and how quickly all of these liberties have been stripped away from us. And, with no indication of how many of them might return, when, and in what limited form they might be in.

 

Second, a campaign of demonization is launched against skeptics and those reluctant to accept the restrictions. Ignorance, stupidity, selfishness, and accusations of any and every kind of cognitive and moral deficiency have rained down upon the heads of the doubters from the government and the mass-media. The mask, of course, is the visible signal of compliance, which is why mask-resistance is furiously denounced as an egregious threat to public health and safety, an act of sedition that brings down the denunciations, social ostracism, the threats of criminal charges and fines. In Germany recently, the government turned the water cannons on unmasked protestors. Masking has huge moral dimensions for the ruling class that far outweigh whatever prophylactic measures it might offer. Not to mask means you are a heretic. Dictatorships thrive on heretics. Their viciousness serves to contrast the virtue of the ruling class and enhance their guardian status.

 

Third, we see an enormous transfer of wealth from the powerless, middle and blue-collar class haves to the “must have even more” elites. Small businesses, blue collar workers, service workers have been devastated by the lockdowns – bought off temporarily by the output of the printing presses. Their children are unable to attend school regularly. Sky rocketing food prices are further impoverishing them. Entire sectors of the economy are in various stages of bankruptcy. On the other hand, Wall street, billionaires, financial services and tech industries and Big Pharma are going gang busters. The Dow is at an all-time high.

 

Which brings us to feature number four, the one I want to spend more time on because it’s in the early stages and its effects will be, well, profound.  The promise of the panacea. In ideologically based dictatorships, the panacea is abstract and well into the future.  For example, communist dictatorships promise prosperity and plenty and complete equality someday when all the obstacles (resisters, i.e. deviationists, wreckers, reactionaries, old guard capitalists, etc.) have been removed. It takes a long time, and after a while the coercion and hypocrisy seem normal.

 

With a health dictatorship, the promised panacea is more of an immediate, technical nature. Which brings us to the vaccine. The vaccine is here. We are all, or most of all are going to take it. And… the pandemic will be over, Covid-19 will be a bad memory and life will resume as normal.  That’s what my friends and family and neighbors believe. That seems to be the general consensus. That’s what the propaganda organs are telling us.

 

“Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd…”

Forget the crowd. It’s not going to happen. Here is what makes me skeptical. It’s an argument by way of analogy.

 

Analogy part one.

 

Perdue Pharma

“On October 21, 2020, Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty to 3 federal criminal charges. These charges are a direct response to the opioid epidemic spreading in the United States. According to experts, the company helped drive the opioid crisis. This problem has led to more than 470,000 opioid-related deaths since 2000. 

Charges against Purdue Pharma include:

  • Conspiracy to defraud the United States.
  • Violating federal anti-kickback.
  • Marketing opioids to doctors that it suspected of writing illegal prescriptions.

 

For years groups and states have tried to seek justice for the thousands of people affected by opioids. Purdue Pharma and other pharmaceutical companies have avoided taking ownership of the epidemic. This historic settlement is the highest-profile display of corporate accountability. The new $8.3 billion deal was announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department. Unfortunately, the likelihood of the company paying the $8.3 billion negotiated is slim.”

 

For years the public was assured by Perdue’s scientists, researchers and medical consultants that their pain relieving, opiate-derived product, OxyContin was non-addictive. Their executives testified before Congress assuring that their produce met all of the highest safeguards, that it was a safe and effective solution for pain. They lied. Their highly addictive product that turned into gateway drug for heroin made them billions of dollars. Vietnam killed 58,000 American soldiers. The Sackler family owner of this criminal enterprise killed almost eight times that many Americans. They’ve been fined, but will skate away with much of their booty.

 

Analogy part two. Big Pharma Pfizer.

 

Pfizer, known for its products like Advil, Viagra, Xanax and Zoloft. It was the second-largest pharmaceutical company in revenue in 2017. 

 

Pfizer is coming out with a vaccine that it developed in eight months. Normally it takes years, but Pfizer was “unleashed” put on a fast track, operating on the principle that no crisis should go to waste in quest of profit.

 

Lest that sound too cynical: Pfizer has a history of hanky-panky that, how shall I say this, is mind blowing. From the Department of Justice website.

 

Justice Department Announces Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement in Its History. Pfizer to Pay $2.3 Billion for Fraudulent Marketing

 

Here’s the announcement from the website:

 

“WASHINGTON – American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. (hereinafter together "Pfizer") have agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice, to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products, the Justice Department announced today.”

Sit and digest that for a moment, “criminal and civil liability” from the “largest health care fraud in the history of the Department of Justice.” So, some schmuck who robs a bank will go to prison for ten years or so. Big Pharma Pfizer a decade after the largest health care fraud in the history of the country is going to be vaccinating a large chunk of the country. Did any of their executives go to prison? I don’t know, but I doubt it.

 

Here is another piece of Pfizer’s corporate rectitude and trustworthiness.  From the BBC:

 

“US-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has made the first compensation payment to Nigerian families affected by a controversial drug trial 15 years ago – $175,000 each to four families in the first of a series of payments it is expected to make. The payouts are part of an out-of-court settlement reached in 2009. In 1996, 11 children died and dozens were left disabled after Pfizer gave them the experimental anti-meningitis drug, Trovan. The payouts were made to the parents of four of the children who died.  The children were part of a group of 200 given the drug during a meningitis epidemic in the northern city of Kano as part of a medical trial comparing Trovan's effectiveness with the established treatment. For years Pfizer maintained that meningitis - not the drug - caused the deaths and disabilities. But after a lengthy and expensive litigation process, it reached a settlement with the Kano government in northern Nigeria.”

 

So, to complete the analogy argument, I pose a question: Is there any reason a rational, empirically oriented person should be persuaded to believe that Big Pharma Pfizer claims for the safety and effectiveness of their vaccine – eight months, not years, in development – are more credible than Pharma Perdue’s claims that OxyContin wasn’t addictive? According the Department of Justice, Pfizer was engaged in criminal activity, and not just the garden variety type – the biggest fraud in health care history. The country’s health is being handed over to a confessed corporate criminal.

 

Added to the weight of that question are a couple of considerations. First, Pfizer will be making billions of dollars on back of the crisis. Second, for the American people, taking the vaccine will not be a voluntary choice. Keeping your job, your health insurance, travel on an airplane, your children’s permission go to school, any kind of government backed loans or assistance will all be contingent on you taking the vaccine. All of this will be justified on the basis of public health. No exceptions. No resistance. No questioning permitted. The health dictatorship is closing is grip around us. Get ready for the jab. Kiss “normal” goodbye.

 

Stephen Paul Foster's newly published novel

Toward the Bad I Kept on Turning: A Confessional Novel

 

 


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