As we enter Dystopia: Or how to introduce a new system by using a health emergency (Deep Dive)
No, I’m not an “anti vaxxer” and not here to push “Qanon conspiracy theories” either, let me just start with that. I wouldn’t even mention it if it wasn’t necessary in 2021 to actually distance from these “modern curse words”. But when you start talking about certain facts and observations like I’m going to do in this article, it is inevitable that the first attempts to attack this story will be done by using exactly those definitions. In this article I will not talk about theories that Covid-19 is either a bio weapon or fake. I won’t talk about who to blame either. Because I believe that in the end it makes no difference. What does make a difference is how the situation is presented to us, what solutions are given, and the effect those solutions will have on us.
In my previous article I talked about the Society of Fear and how a “fear appeal” can be utilized as an effective propaganda technique in order to oppress even the brightest minds, especially if they are kept in ignorance. In regards to health issues, officials willingness to use the fear appeal to help change behavior has had it’s effect on society for a very long time. From the late 19th century into the early 1920s, public health campaigns commonly sought to stir fear. Examples include flies menacing babies, immigrants represented as a microbial pestilence at the gates of the country or voluptuous female bodies with barely concealed skeletal faces who threatened to destroy a generation of soldiers with syphilis.
Shortly after World War 2, epidemiological data became the foundation of public health and the use of fear fell out of favor, at least for a while. The primary focus at the time was the rise of chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease. But the research also concluded that campaigns based on the Fear appeal often backfired. An early but influential study suggested that when people became anxious about their behavior, they could tune out from the message or they would engage more in dangerous behavior, like smoking or drinking, to cope with their anxiety stimulated by the fear based messaging. But by the 1960s, health officials were trying to change behavior related to smoking, eating and exercise and they grappled with the limits of data and logic as their tools.
So they went back to using scare tactics as a method to deliver the message. It wasn’t enough to know that something was dangerous, we were made to react emotionally. Although there were many concerns about using fear to manipulate people, leading ethicists began to argue that it could help people understand what was in their self interest. A bit of a scare could help cut through the noise created by industries that made fat, sugar and tobacco attractive. Anti tobacco campaigns were the first to show the toll of smoking. These campaigns used graphic images of diseased lungs, of smokers gasping for breath through tracheotomies and eating through tubes, of clogged arteries and failing hearts.
And then came AIDS. Fear of the illness was hard to untangle from fear of those who suffered the most: gay men, sex workers, drug users, and the black and brown communities. The challenge was to remove stigma’s, to help promote the human rights of those who stood to be further marginalized if they were shunned and shamed. But when it came to these public health campaigns, human rights advocates argued, fear caused exactly that, stigmatization, and it undermined the effort. When obesity became a public health crisis and youth smoking rates and vaping experimentation were sounding alarm bells, public health campaigns once again adopted fear as their primary method.
Now let’s talk about Covid-19.
In the picture above you see a campaign from the NHS, the healthcare authority in the United Kingdom. The first question we should ask ourselves is: Why are people terrified of catching one particular virus (but, apparently, not scared of being killed by their doctor or catching other viruses, heart disease, cancer or diabetes) and acting insanely as a result?
A short answer to this question could be: The so called establishment is using its international organizations (particularly the United Nations and its agencies), governments, education systems, corporate media and other agents to suppress people’s awareness and trigger people’s fear in relation to Covid-19 so that a greater degree of control can be achieved and greater profits can be secured by exploiting certain opportunities (such as “short selling” on the stock market and profit making by pharmaceutical corporations) that the panic arising from the virus generates.
But is this the only reason? Or is there something else at play, is there a bigger goal than just getting more control and making profits?
The WEF (World Health Forum) states the following:
“The Covid-19 crisis, and the political, economic and social disruptions it has caused, is fundamentally changing the traditional context for decision-making. The inconsistencies, inadequacies and contradictions of multiple systems –from health and financial to energy and education – are more exposed than ever amidst a global context of concern for lives, livelihoods and the planet. Leaders find themselves at a historic crossroads, managing short-term pressures against medium- and long-term uncertainties.”
“To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.”
As the end date, the WEF mentions the year 2030. It then gives us a list of “New Champions“, apparently partners in achieving the goals of the WEF. This group of partners include such human rights powerhouses like Angola Cables, Byco Petroleum Pakistan, RUSS-INVEST, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Vietcombank (Yes I was being sarcastic there for a second). The Great Reset will have an effect on nearly every aspect of our society. In fact, these goals are not so different from the goals of United Nations Agenda 2030 that they adopted in 2015. This new plan is just even more intrusive as you can see on the image below.
As we enter Dystopia:
In “When the Sleeper Wakes”, H.G. Wells depicts the ruling class as being hedonistic and shallow. But George Orwell contrasted Wells’s world to the rulers depicted in Jack London’s “The Iron Heel”, where the people in power are simply brutal and dedicated to the point of fanaticism, which Orwell considered more plausible. Who knows what the truth is. But what happens if a dystopian future is actually presented to us as Utopia?
The political principles at the root of so called utopias (or “perfect worlds”) are idealistic and result in positive consequences for the inhabitants, the principles on which dystopias are based, even if they are often based on utopian ideals, result in negative consequences for inhabitants because of at least one fatal flaw. Dystopias are often filled with pessimistic views of the ruling class or a government that is brutal or uncaring, ruling with an “iron fist”. Dystopian governments are sometimes ruled by a fascist or communist regime or dictator. These dystopian government establishments often face individuals or groups that lead a “resistance” to enact change within their society, as is seen in Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta”.
Let’s start with a few examples of changes introduced since the Covid-19 pandemic, some of these I believe would never be possible without a so called emergency situation.
- Censorship of dissident opinions on centralized social media.
While used in the past against hate speech, and later “man made climate change denial”, this really became a thing since the Covid-19 pandemic started. We’ve seen the removal of Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and entire Youtube channels because the people involved were debating about the effectiveness of certain solutions and the necessity. Yes some people could argue that to urgently protect the health of citizens that is temporary justified. However, this isn’t the issue, because this censorship wasn’t just done against people advocating to not abide to certain solutions, no, simply discussing these issues or giving your feedback was no longer allowed. And as we all know, in any scientific process, we come up with a hypothesis that can only become a conclusion if it survives the critics. In other words, this is the only way we can reach a scientific consensus. Otherwise it just stays a hypothesis, a theory. And we cant change our entire society based on a theory. It happened before, and that caused innocent women to be burned at the stakes because they could be witches.
Result: We allowed those in power to control what we read and see on social media.
- Contact tracing apps.
Before the pandemic, who would ever even consider allowing the government and affiliated corporations to know exactly where you are, where you are going, who your close contacts are and what their health status is? We now accept it as reality, because we want to stay healthy and we are scared about a virus that could be present at every street corner. Some distrust their own family and friends now and need an app to tell them if they could in fact catch the virus if they approach them too close. Of course such apps do not just provide information about virus related issues, these apps follow and monitor us all day long.
Result: We allowed those in power to follow us everywhere and identify all of our close contacts.
- Digitalization of our monetary system.
While it might be super handy, the fear of catching the Covid-19 virus became the primary reason people want to pay for things in a more distant way. Using your card makes sure you don’t touch a possible infected person and taking money from the ATM is no longer necessary. As we were told early on in the pandemic, a virus can survive on a surface for 24 hours or longer and we better stay safe. However, the issue is that digital (not cash) FIAT money can be taken away with a single push on a button. If the establishment chooses so, your bank account is blocked and you can no longer do anything in a society that works solely on digital FIAT money. This even includes travel, since tickets are bought digitally now, who even remembers the friendly lady at your local station selling you your train ticket?
Result: We allowed those in power to decide if we can buy, sell or even travel.
- Forced decryption and intrusion into digital private communications.
Of course we all know our messages on social media aren’t private, but who remembers FinFisher? FinFisher is spyware utilized by governments and law enforcement that could dump and steal chats, pictures, videos, and contacts, including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Signal, BlackBerry Messenger, Telegram, Threema, Viber, WhatsApp, Line, and InstaMessage. Egyptian dissidents who ransacked the offices of Egypt’s secret police following the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reported that they had discovered a contract with Gamma International for €287000 for a license to run the FinFisher software. In 2014, an American citizen sued the Ethiopian government for installing the software onto his computer in America and using it to wiretap his private Skype calls and monitor his entire family’s use of the computer for a period of months.
But since the Covid-19 pandemic we can easily name more recent examples of NSO group’s Pegasus spyware aimed at mobile phones including iPhones, or Toka’s spyware that targets literally every device connected to the internet. We can also talk about more legal initiatives like the ChatControl or ePrivacy Derogation in Europe, approved on July 6 of this year. This allows providers of e-mail and messaging services to automatically search all personal messages of each citizen for presumed suspect content and report suspected cases to the police. And these are just examples, because all over the world governments are now introducing forced decryption laws and projects to get unlimited access to communication software such Signal and Whatsapp, and until such permissions are given, they are attacking their targets with spyware.
Result: We allowed those in power to get full access to our private communications.
- Forced vaccinations, forced testing, vaccine passports and restrictions on the right to travel.
While this is not (yet) happening everywhere, several countries have already imposed restrictions on people who are unvaccinated. France 24 reported that the French parliament approved a law requiring a Covid-19 pass for restaurants and travel starting in August. Greece recently ordered mandatory testing twice a week for unvaccinated workers in restaurants and tourism companies. Indonesia made Covid-19 inoculations mandatory in February of this year, with the capital Jakarta threatening fines of up to 5 million rupiah ($357) for refusing the vaccine. Kazakhstan introduced mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for people working in groups of more than 20. Russia sas unveiled a plan requiring 60% of all service sector workers to be fully vaccinated by August 15, according to the Moscow Times.
The European Union last month implemented a vaccine passport system that allows anyone who is fully vaccinated with any of five Western made vaccines to travel freely within the European Union. Malta became the first country in the European Union to ban any visitor over the age of 12 from entering unless fully vaccinated.
But how is this even legally possible? In my own country The Netherlands, Article 11 of our constitution guarantees that Everyone has the right to inviolability of his body. Everyone can decide for themselves what happens to his or her body, whether medical treatment is performed and whether prescribed medication is taken. The European Charter of Fundamental Rights supports this in Article 3, and this was confirmed in a European court of Justice judgment of 9 October 2001: In Case C-377/98 Netherlands v European Parliament and Council  ECR-I 7079, at grounds 70, 78 to 80, the Court of Justice confirmed that a fundamental right to human integrity is part of Union law and encompasses, in the context of medicine and biology, the free and informed consent of the donor and recipient.
And regarding the right to travel, let’s take the United States as an example. As early as the Articles of Confederation the Congress recognized freedom of movement (Article 4), though the right was thought to be so fundamental during the drafting of the Constitution as not needing explicit enumeration. The U.S. Supreme Court in Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 (1868) declared that freedom of movement is a fundamental right.
And Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads:
- Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
- Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights incorporates this right into treaty law:
- Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
- Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
- No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
Result: We allowed those in power to limit or even remove our constitutional rights such as “Inviolability of the body” and the “Right to travel”.
- Attacks against our right to protest (or freedom of assembly).
In February, Human Rights watch released this article: Covid-19 Triggers Wave of Free Speech Abuse
The article states: “At least 83 governments worldwide have used the Covid-19 pandemic to justify violating the exercise of free speech and peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities have attacked, detained, prosecuted, and in some cases killed critics, broken up peaceful protests, closed media outlets, and enacted vague laws criminalizing speech that they claim threatens public health. The victims include journalists, activists, healthcare workers, political opposition groups, and others who have criticized government responses to the coronavirus.”
Abuses include firing live ammunition at peaceful protesters, beating them at checkpoints, and assaulting them in detention, with apparent impunity. In most cases, these forces said they were enforcing Covid-19-related regulations. In Uganda, security forces also killed dozens of protesters. Authorities in at least 10 countries have arbitrarily banned or broken up protests against government responses to Covid-19, in some cases citing social distancing concerns, or have used Covid-19 as a justification to disperse protests and other gatherings critical of government policies unrelated to the coronavirus. In all cases, the authorities intervened despite permitting other large gatherings.
But let’s give Europe and the UK as an example. The right to protest is guaranteed in the Articles 10 and 11 of the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights). This is acknowledged in UK common law:
15. The right of the public to assemble or march together in peaceful protest has long been acknowledged by the common law of England and Wales. Lord Denning M.R. noted in Hubbard v Pitt  QB 142:
“Here we have to consider the right to demonstrate and the right to protest on matters of public concern. These are rights which it is in the public interest that individuals should possess; and, indeed, that they should exercise without impediment so long as no wrongful act is done. It is often the only means by which grievances can be brought to the knowledge of those in authority, at any rate with such impact as to gain a remedy. Our history is full of warnings against suppression of these rights.”
The European Court of Human Rights has placed particular emphasis on the importance of political free expression in Article 10: “in a democratic society based on the rule of law, political ideas which challenge the existing order and whose realisation is advocated by peaceful means must be afforded a proper opportunity of expression.”
Result: We allowed those in power to at least temporary remove our right to protest and our freedom of assembly when they wish.
So now, after reading this summary of things (it’s really just the tip of the iceberg and I will surely write another article about this), I believe it is time to make up your own mind. Are we moving towards a possible Utopia as the plans of “The Great Reset” portray? I don’t believe so. While I understand that some emergency situations require quick responses, in the long run is it acceptable to give up our fundamental human rights for safety? I am convinced that is never the solution and that we should not aim for a “new normal”, we should go back to normal and accept that dangers and illnesses are part of life. And to be alive, we should be free to live our life as we want it.
“Don’t give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero’s facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem. It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced, in a word, insane.”