Progressives’ Vaccine Mandate Meltdown

Three people have sent me links to Paul Kingsnorth‘s recent two-part diatribe opposing vaccines and vaccine mandates. Two of them said they were persuaded by his argument. Here’s what I replied to them:

“The Vaccine Moment” is a warmed-over op-ed, driven by fear, poorly thought out, and pretty much fact-free. You know, like a Thomas Friedman piece.

I respect your opinion, and Paul Kingsnorth’s, though not without great sadness.

My viewpoints and decisions on CoVid-19 are informed by the science, in particular by the work of epidemiologists, a number of whom I worked with for two years with the Ontario Ministry of Health during the aftermath of the SARS pandemic, preparing for the “next” pandemic, which we are now struggling with.

I have no love of government bureaucracies, and even less for “law enforcement” agencies. But I believe absolutely in the wisdom of getting vaccinated, including getting a booster now, not only for my own protection but for the protection of my fellow citizens.

When Paul Kingsnorth says “It is [a] fact that these vaccines, whatever their efficacy in other areas, do not prevent transmission of the virus”, he is simply wrong, and in saying that he is spreading misinformation. The facts are:

  • Vaccines drastically reduce the likelihood of being infected, and, even when a vaccinated person is infected, they are dramatically less likely to infect others because their body produces much less of the virus.
  • When you are vaccinated, the probability of getting infected (and hence possibly getting chronic Long Covid diseases) is much lower, the probability of being hospitalized even if you do get infected is much lower, and the probability of dying if you are hospitalized is much lower.

On that basis, I have been double vaxxed and boosted, and did so as soon as I was able to and without hesitation or concern. We have a century of experience with vaccines, their development, and their risks. The risk is not zero, but is much lower than the risk of not being vaccinated.

My opinion on that is completely unconnected to my opinions on government oppression, or on what steps should be taken when people refuse to get vaccinated. Those are political issues, and they should not be muddied with the scientific issue of whether vaccination is effective.

I know people of colour, and people who are poor and/or sick, and the way they are treated by government and law enforcement and health agencies is deplorable. They have every justification in distrusting people and systems which have never done a thing for them except to label and harass them. I still encourage them to get vaccinated, because it is the informed and morally appropriate thing to do, not because if they don’t they’re going to end up in some “camp”.

For the same reason, I wear seat belts and I don’t drink and drive, because it is the informed and morally appropriate thing to do, not because I fear being arrested if I fail to comply.

Am I concerned about overreach by the rich and powerful in the exercise of control over citizens? Of course. We have been propagandized and conditioned by the rich and powerful all our lives to act in their interests (go to school, don’t challenge authority, go to work, be a ‘responsible’ adult ie responsible consumer, accept that corporations have the same rights as citizens, pretend you live in an actual democracy, do what you’re told, obey the rules etc). That’s ghastly, and it’s getting worse.

But to conflate this outrageous abuse of power with a belief that vaccines that happen to have been developed and urged by the powerful are evil by association, is just muddle-headed thinking, and it has largely created the horrible mess we’re in right now.

But we believe what we want to believe, and no one can change what we want to believe.

Paul is a brilliant thinker and has done some excellent research and writing on collapse and how we might best prepare for and/or cope with it. But when it comes to epidemiology he knows diddly-squat, and his spreading of misinformation on vaccines is, in a way, an abuse of the power he has acquired by virtue of his recognition as a leading thinker on collapse. He’s not alone — collapsniks from The Automatic Earth to Dmitry Orlov to Charles Eisenstein to Jim Kunstler have gone down the same path, pontificating on epidemiology when they know nothing about it. Doing a little personal research does not make you a credible expert on anything.

That’s my rant. I’m immensely disappointed in Paul’s articles, and in Dmitry’s and Ilargi’s and Charles’ and Jim’s. They are a sign of the madness that accelerating collapse is inflicting on all of us. We are no longer thinking clearly. We have given up on the truth as even something that exists, and are now reacting purely with our emotions, following the same pattern as the Trumpists and the other neo-fascists. It does not bode well for our capacity to deal with the catastrophic crises we are just beginning to witness.

As you probably know, I don’t believe we have free will or control over what we believe or what we do. So while I am disappointed, I am not surprised, and don’t blame anyone for their particular way of acting out their distress over what is happening. We’re all doing our best. What that will lead to, is anyone’s guess.

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13 Responses to Progressives’ Vaccine Mandate Meltdown

  1. realist says:

    You live in a parallel universe, beware of Philip K. Dick curse:
    “Reality is that which doesn’t go away when you stop believing in it”

  2. Ray says:

    Dave, I’m 100% with you.
    Science, is probably the only tool we have to try and make sense of this world. Of course, that includes the study of viral evolution and epidemiology.
    It makes me cringe when I read stuff from people, who often write with enormous sense, but who seem to completely lose it when they write about vaccination and other viral aspects.
    We are a truly fucked-up species, dual in ourselves.

  3. Steve Landau says:

    Dave- having read you collapse essays for years now, i am surprised there is no questioning of the “official” narrative.

    Like-
    Latest press on twitter about pfizer fudging data,
    Silenced discussion on risk reward analysis.
    Bogus research on vax vs immunity in the recovered.
    Increase in Vaers records of vax side effects?
    No long term data.
    IFR of < 0.1% for the young and healthy.

    No questions? Its not like you.
    .

  4. Brutus says:

    I’ve written nary a word on my blog about the pandemic or the vaccines or the mandates. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. However, I do have my own decisions to make in response to bullying from all quarters. Many of those bullies want to remove my decision-making sovereignty, starting with easy stuff (such as distancing and masking), to which I generally accede, and ending with some truly nasty stuff (unnamed), which I uniformly resist. It’s not all seat belts and helmets (easy stuff), ya know, and the large, gray middle ground is difficult to navigate. Moreover, the scientific basis (only one root of knowledge, BTW) for sound decision-making has been politicized and destabilized, making this era of history into a mad, mad, mad, mad world. Societies under stress do that periodically, and stresses keep mounting. As a result, release valves and escape hatches lead to derangement, not clarity. So judge and bully and berate and express your embarrassment and disappoint that others think for themselves and have the temerity to come to different conclusions from yours with whatever tools are available, intellectual or otherwise. Knock yourself out. You don’t decide for me.

  5. Joe Clarkson says:

    Your reference to “reacting purely with our emotions” was spot on. But the high emotional level is kind of surprising, especially in people who should realize that this whole covid pandemic is small potatoes compared with what’s coming at us.

    I can’t understand how people who know about collapse, who know the immense suffering and mass death that is coming with a resolution of our massive overshoot, can get so worked up about “the machine” or a modest amount of societal and governmental pressure on individual behavior during a pandemic. What happened to their emotional perspective?

    This is why I made my “don’t worry about fascism” comment to your previous post. This is the time to ignore geopolitical affairs (even national affairs) and buckle down to preparing for the impact of collapse on our individual lives and our local community, an impact that will make these pandemic times under the “boot” of the “machine” seem heavenly.

    And if you want to enhance your chances of living through the collapse preparation process and you care even a little about those at highest risk from covid, get vaccinated. Get some risk perspective along with some emotional perspective.

  6. Jim W says:

    “But we believe what we want to believe, and no one can change what we want to believe.” You’ve been hammering away at this point a lot of late. Paul Simon phrased it a little differently in The Boxer “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Belief’s a motherfucker ain’t it? Ever read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer? Highly recommended! Seems all our chasms are widening and it’s beyond our control!

  7. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks everyone. We do indeed have a flood of conflicting narratives on every subject that affects us. What we absolutely do NOT have, in ANY complex situation, is an “Official Narrative”, singular, with capital letters. We do have narratives that are based more on science and the preponderance of evidence, and others that are based more on fear, ideology and myth. You know which group believes most fiercely that there is One Official Narrative that must be resisted and opposed at all costs? The QAnon sheeple.

  8. Ton says:

    I suggest that WHEN the inventor of the mRNA Technology “as a whole” is against this toxic injection, so am I.
    That, in my humble opinion, is following the science emanating from a man who fully understands the mechanics AND potential implications!!!

  9. Dave, I’m going to take you to task on the central point in Paul Kingsnorth’s essay, which is solidly backed up, and with which you do not concur — and thus are spreading misinformation yourself.

    Paul writes: “Amongst the vast flock of contested facts that wheel around this virus like a murmuration of starlings, darkening the skies and addling the mind, one stands out. It is the single fact that blows a cathedral-shaped hole in the strategy being pursued by governments at present, and which offers a glimpse into the crypt. It is the fact that these vaccines, whatever their efficacy in other areas, do not prevent transmission of the virus.”

    This is supported by what every manufacturer of the “vaccine” all claimed in their early trial results (before expanding to the global clinical trial now ongoing): their injection will reduce symptoms if one gets COVID. The injections were not tested for reducing transmission. You can check this on Pfizer, Moderna, etc. from over a year ago. This information is not opinion, not belief, not falsified science. It is simply all the manufacturers claimed it would do. The results from the past year validate their claim.

  10. Dave Pollard says:

    As I said in my post, the vaccines do not eliminate ALL transmission of the virus, but (1) they drastically reduce the likelihood of being infected, and, even when a vaccinated person is infected, they are dramatically less likely to infect others because their body produces much less of the virus; and (2) when you are vaccinated, the probability of getting infected (and hence possibly getting chronic Long Covid diseases) is much lower, the probability of being hospitalized even if you do get infected is much lower, and the probability of dying if you are hospitalized is much lower.

    The vaccine makers don’t claim this — their claims are limited to what their pre-vaccine release research substantiated. But a ton of subsequent data shows this unequivocally to be the case — the great preponderance of evidence, which is what is guiding all the public health practitioners I know in their recommendations.

  11. Dollyboy says:

    Going to parrot Alex Berenson here: “If the vaccines work, what’s going on?”

  12. FamousDrScanlon says:

    It’s sadly too obvious that there is more going on with many than just a disagreement on Covid issues.

    Why is it that many intelligent & insightful people, whose blogs or comments I’ve been reading for years, who have a counter establishment view of Covid & covid vaccines just happen to unload a closet full of other beliefs they had never brought up before?

    Like jew hating? Ten years I’ve been reading them & never once did they give any indication of their Jew hating. Covid hits gets politicized & suddenly these people, who never did before, are spewing far right talking points.

    What gives? Newly converted or in the closet (living a lie) all along?

    If you were in the closet, were you just waiting for A Covid to come along & release you? And what’s it like living a lie? It must be exhausting having to constantly stay in character & hide that secret hate.

    If you’re newly converted, what part(s) of far right ideology appeal to you the most?

    I just find it interesting how so many very intelligent people changed or accepted so many previously un-held beliefs? What does all this other stuff have to do with Covid & Covid vaccines?

    White supremacist and far right ideology underpin anti-vax movements

    “Moments like these connect anti-vax movements to far right and white supremacist extremist groups and conspiracy communities in Europe and white settler nations around the world including Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand. ”

    “White supremacist and right-wing groups are capitalising on vaccine hesitancy to distribute conservative ideologies to new audiences via protests and social media. Among these are complex narratives about resisting a “New World Order”, which supposedly threatens a bygone Australian way of life.

    Many involved in these movements probably do not realise they are aligning with people whose values and ideas are steeped in white supremacy.”

    https://theconversation.com/white-supremacist-and-far-right-ideology-underpin-anti-vax-movements-172289

    I recently read Orlov denying global warming, because ‘global cooling’ is real.

    “Many involved in these movements probably do not realise they are aligning with people whose values and ideas are steeped in white supremacy.” IOW they are Dupes. Even if proof that Covid vaccines don’t work is shared on line tomorrow, they’re still dupes.

    It’s shocking to see so many leftwingers lured to the far right by conspiracy theories

    It’s not just anti-vaxxers. The themes of resisting power and regaining control of our lives have been cynically repurposed

    “Anti-vax beliefs overlap strongly with a susceptibility to conspiracy theories. This tendency has been reinforced by Facebook algorithms directing vaccine-hesitant people towards far-right conspiracy groups. Ancient links between “wellness” movements and antisemitic paranoia have in some cases been re-established. The notion of the “sovereign body”, untainted by chemical contamination, has begun to fuse with the fear that a shadowy cabal is trying to deprive us of autonomy.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/22/leftwingers-far-right-conspiracy-theories-anti-vaxxers-power

    Part of me is lmao watching all these smart white people with university degrees fold like a cheap suit when for the first time in their lives collapse is no longer abstract. When Covid hit & society all but shut down. That made it real & formerly sane people around the collapse-O-sphere, lost it. The irony is so beautiful. Society runs out of toilet paper & millions of soft middle class white folk, including loads of journeymen doomers, lose their shit. In hindsight, it’s a no brainer – Covid hits-fear. Governments lied about masks from day 1 & there were other lies to cover up incompetence, not CDC-NWO death camps & 5G mind control microchips. Given the sad state of politics & especially US, any & all issues become politicized & contrarianism has become the default position – if they say up, we say down. Add in people who have never go without can’t find products which makes them even more fearful. No agenda seekers are going to let an opportunity to gain power & converts go. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity with the potential to get 50 years worth of converts & influence in one episode. Conversely, governments did/have used Covid to father non Covid agendas. Lying & profiteering across the world. Far right has offered things – has seduced some scared & angry people. Covid is the best thing to happen for them. They’ve been waiting for it & so have the people funding them who don’t care about the ideology or Covid or people. The only surprise would have been if no agendas tried to use Covid as cover. No brainer. No student of collapse should be surprised.

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