Languishing in Faux Democracy

Thoughts on democracy are generally considered to be high-minded – detached from reality, the concern of others. I would allege that to be deliberate; the effect of social conditioning, manufactured consent and psychological operations. Apathy and ignorance are essential for ruling class dominance, and such rule by elites has dire humanitarian consequences.

The oligarchs buy politicians, capture institutions and manipulate media to sway public opinion in their favour: colonizing minds and bodies, draining the commons, dividing and disempowering.

The Ruling Class

Simply put, the ruling class are the excessively wealthy. With tremendous wealth comes tremendous power, enabling a cycle where one increases the other; that power inevitably coalesces into influence over public affairs and ultimately, rule.

Source: The International Pub Co. via Wikimedia (CC0)

In South Africa, some of the examples are the Guptas, Ruperts and Oppenheimers. Globally, examples of power players are Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, the Rockefellers, and the royal house of Windsor. Some lesser-known members are Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase), Larry Fink (BlackRock), Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), and the Walmart family. They are the billionaires, major landowners, industry titans, media moguls and financial behemoths – the puppet masters of discourse, finance and public policy. In the social strata beneath them sit the media, bankers, politicians, armed forces, intelligence agencies, supranational NGOs and the like. Via political and economic entities, from Wall Street and Silicon Valley to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and World Economic Forum (WEF), the ruling class enacts its will and secures its interests.

Most of the ruling class are heirs to the spoils of slavery, colonialism and apartheid, further empowered today with capital concentrated in their hands by an exclusive economy. Their corruption, greed and self-interest, combined with their outsize influence, create conditions of ubiquitous strife, in a feudalistic hierarchy with the rich at the top – an oligarchy. The oligarchs buy politicians, capture institutions and manipulate media to sway public opinion in their favour: colonizing minds and bodies, draining the commons, dividing and disempowering. Even the state today functions as the public arm of corporations, cronies in service to overpowered businesses, owned and operated by an ever-shrinking subset of privileged people.

No compelling defence can be made for oligarchs; obscene fortunes in a sea of inequality can only be due to ill-gotten wealth: no one earns unimaginable billions; no good person hoards riches, deceives to maintain power or profits from misery. No people-centric system encourages deregulation, privatization and austerity. Neither do admirable people employ propaganda, tax evasion, regulatory capture, lobbying, union-busting or collusion.

Almost all of the world is poor. People live paycheck to paycheck, indebted, under the constant threat of financial ruin and social exclusion.

The Reality of the Ruled

It is less about money than the material conditions which money creates. Since basic needs sit behind paywalls, money is necessary for a dignified life. Steep inequality means far too many cannot afford a decent life – a right of theirs, and the responsibility of governments to provide. It is not a matter of “hard work” when finite resources are exclusively owned, extracted or exploited by commercial interests, whose only concerns are infinite growth and increasing shareholder value; when opportunities are beyond an individual’s means, and when power sits with a tiny, self-serving minority.

Without wealth or capital, all people have left is their labour to sell in exchange for the money they need. We spend at least a third of our lives working for money to afford food, shelter or medicine. Yet for most people, it is far from enough. Almost all of the world is poor. People live paycheck to paycheck, indebted, under the constant threat of financial ruin and social exclusion. This chronic anxiety is destructive, encouraging awful traits: fear, envy, materialism and anger. While the system rewards sociopathy. The status quo reduces us to livestock squandering our labour, working unfulfilling jobs, sacrificing our wellbeing, trampling over one another, to power a helicopter-money economy servicing ruling class opulence.

To believe that this system works or is fair is delusional; only severe cognitive dissonance would allow one not to grimace at the state of civilization or its unsustainable trajectory.

Consider the consequences: mankind endures climatological devastation by unfettered commerce; non-stop war for profit’s sake; an ever-escalating cost of living; debt, hunger, homelessness, poverty, crime, and the ensuing sickness and mental anguish. While there exists the ever-present danger of surveillance, censorship, gaslighting, restriction of movement and otherization. The plight of people should naturally invoke empathy. But the globe-spanning profit mega-machine, and its façade: liberal politics, co-opts our agitation for its own ends and works overtime to root that out: keeping us self-involved, exhausted and distracted.

A vast majority endure multi-generational trauma. And talk of relative prosperity, technological and economic advancements are skewed by selective preoccupations; stocks and CEO salaries are not reflective of ordinary people’s living conditions – economy is decoupled from society. Factoring in advances in civilization will highlight that humanity is not where we should be: we can produce enough food, we can shelter everyone. Yet misery and injustice run rampant, racism and sexism remain commonplace, crime and inflation rates soar, vice and dysfunction abound. Society is a cauldron of indignation and mass violence threatens at the gates. Billions are locked out, forced to grind out an existence, alienated by socioeconomic divides, fences and guns.

Even the relatively unscathed, if they are concerned for their loved ones or their own happiness, must face the grim reality. The middle-class bubble shrinks each day as more wealth and power is appropriated upwards.

The Empire

We live within an empire of money, an arrangement far more sinister and covert than empires of the past. History demonstrates European powers colonizing the world with violence, gradually evolving the force of empire to incorporate economics. Understand that slavery and apartheid are highly profitable. So is war. The ruling class lust after land; after the uranium in the Congo, sugar in Cuba, diamonds in Namibia, oil in Argentina, platinum in South Africa. They desire control of the gas deposits of Vietnam, textiles of India and opium of Afghanistan. It is all about money, power and control – wealthy interests want every countries’ resources, labour and markets. It is a conspiracy with its seat of power in the United States. Hostile foreign policies and escalations against nations such as Russia, Iran, Venezuela and China are cynically motivated; they threaten Western hegemony. Challenges to the existing power axis are intolerable. Whereas the West’s war machine is a far greater source – by orders of magnitude – of injustice, terror and death. Sophisticated ideological justifications: marketing, public relations and propaganda are deployed to convince the ordinary working-class person that this is not the case, that everything is fine, that power belongs where it is. The devil’s greatest trick is convincing you that he does not exist.

Even the relatively unscathed, if they are concerned for their loved ones or their own happiness, must face the grim reality. The middle-class bubble shrinks each day as more wealth and power is appropriated upwards. Your children may earn twice your salary but they will pay four times the prices and suffer eight times the pressure while facing extinction-level threats. As we are driven towards a post-human future, compassion will be punished; a dwindling privileged will serve the ruling class as they engage in destructive entertainments behind electric fences and armed guards, separating them from those deemed expendable by the Empire.

Profits over nature, profits over God, profits over science, profits over community: all things subject to the profit pathology.

Dēmos and Kratos

Our defence is a word thrown around often in post-apartheid South Africa: democracy. Parenti asserts that the purpose of democracy is to protect people from the offences of wealth. In What Is Democracy? the history of the concept is revealed to have begun with a relatable concern: how do we achieve happiness? Philosophers inevitably recognized happiness’s dependence on the dynamic between wealth and its counterpart: poverty. They believed wealthy men would look out only for their own interests, and continually seek to expand their domain, accumulating power and control while antagonizing the common man. Inevitably, there will be conflict – leading to mass unhappiness.

Capitalism is not democracy, as much as that belief is baked into education and culture. The stenographers of empire will have you believe this self-serving lie but capitalism, especially neoliberal capitalism popularized by the likes of Reagan and Thatcher, is not rule by the people; it is rule by capital – and thus the psychopaths who monopolize capital. Unfettered capitalism infringes upon freedom, censors speech, rewards injustice, trashes the biosphere and neglects human needs. Profits over nature, profits over God, profits over science, profits over community: all things subject to the profit pathology.

Just call me a Thatcherite.

Former President Thabo Mbeki

This is why the ruling class are saboteurs of democracy: democracy is an obstacle to profit. Why succumb to costly cries for living wages, national sovereignty, socialized healthcare, environmental regulations or drug safety? Democracy is the opposite of a few special interests having all the power. Democracy means to give ordinary people a voice: to say no to exploitation, no to pollution, no to war, no to profiteering from suffering. And yes to self-determination, yes to peace, yes to harmony with nature, yes to livable wages, yes to progressive taxation, yes to workers focusing their efforts on addressing human needs, yes to collectively deciding our future.

I am sorry to inform you that you will not join the ruling class. I also have to assume that if you have read until here, you are incapable of ripping out your conscience for an invitation to the blood-soaked table of the robber barons. One should recall the fate of nobility during the French Revolution.

You cannot outrun the spectre of global capitalism; it affects your wages, your investments, your mortgage; your mental health, your physical wellbeing, your bodily autonomy; the education of children, the treatment of the sick, the safety of your neighbourhood; the price of bread, the availability of water, the nature of travel. If you care about anything, you care about politics – politics encompasses everything. If you do not examine the glaring contradictions of modern life, if you do not care, it reduces your vote, taxes and donations to empty rituals. A vibrant social fabric requires accountability and emotional investment.

You will find comfort, hope and inspiration as you engage with so-called radical perspectives.

Simple Personal Politics

Democracy does not work without dēmos, without people. People need power – the power to break their chains, the power to live with dignity.

The people have to have the power: it belongs to the people.

Fred Hampton

Which raises the question: what can one do, realistically? The foremost recommendation: seek the truth. Read or watch Parenti, Roy, Biko, Pilger and others. You will find comfort, hope and inspiration as you engage with so-called radical perspectives.

Challenge history and the news – look up the destruction of Libya, the assassinations of Lumumba and Sankara; the beneficiaries of apartheid; the demonization of Russia, hybrid war on China, looting of India, sanctions on Cuba; the seemingly-benign machinations of ruling class elements like Bill Gates.

Follow the money, call out deception, and guard against fearmongering using pre-packaged threats: socialists, terrorists, viruses or whatever else the ruling class claims they want to protect you from.

Continuously refine your worldview. Observe society from a class perspective while avoiding ideological echo chambers and the pitfalls of the false binary.

Resist the culture of rugged individualism. It exists to obfuscate systemic issues. Instead, exercise your humanity and embrace natural calls for collaboration and community.

Stop idolizing totems of inequality – no pampered billionaire deserves adoration or emulation. They may pay lip service to democracy or equality but they are all disciples of fiscal conservatism. Billionaires are the abominable products of a perverse system.

Finally, immunize yourself against corporate media. They are a component of the ruling class orthodoxy, tasked with social engineering, cheerleading war, excusing suffering and misleading the public. Independent media outlets and sincere journalists exist. Support their work.

You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere.

Julian Assange

Pandemics Must End

This is Part 5 – the conclusion – of Covid-19: Sceptics Have Reasons.

A closer look at the situation highlights that the virus alone is not half as dangerous as claimed, while the countermeasures have been, and will continue to be, disastrous for the general population. Every negative statistic has increased: anxiety, depression, overdoses, suicide, unemployment, small business closures, delays to medical care, school failures, debt, poverty, hunger…

I believe, if this is about anything, it’s about further enriching the rich, empowering the powerful and domesticating the masses – another application of Shock Doctrine, of colonialism.

Have you looked at the real impact of Covid-19 on life expectancy? You will find that the measures compound actual habits and circumstances that shorten your life: fear, loneliness, poor diet, vitamin deficiencies, etc.

Financial interests first and foremost

Facts, not fear, should drive pandemic responses. While the application of science and technology must be guided by morals and ethics.

Don’t take my word for it. Follow the links (I’ve done my best to vet them); call out lies and inaccuracies. This is about your life, your job, your business, your children – it’s important. We should not just do unprecedented, unproven things because we are told to. Especially when the cost is massive. The words of authorities/experts are not inherently good. If you ignore everything else, then I recommend you at least engage with the following:

Likewise, there are many repositories of compelling knowledge. If you want commentary from experts, consider:

I’ll end with a personal testimony of what’s lost. I mainly hung out with four other guys during high school. We had a system to eat lunch together. Each of us brought four slices. We’d open one lunchbox every round. There were five rounds. To ensure everyone ate the same amount, every round, two people shared half. Every person gave half once. And received half once. It was fair. It was fun.

Will children ever do that again?

We are not just vectors of disease. We are people. People taken for a ride far too often.

Covid Denier

This is Part 4 of Covid-19: Sceptics Have Reasons.

“We are asking political questions. We are questioning the apocalypticism of the discussion around Covid-19. We are questioning the government’s use of the politics of fear, even of terror, to force compliance with its lockdown measures. We are asking why the entire population had to be locked down, decommissioned, for almost a whole year instead of being galvanised to the dual task of keeping society going and assisting in looking after social groups that do require shielding. We are asking for a breakdown of the health and economic costs of the lockdown. We are asking why the state hasn’t found a way to continue educating children. We are asking when our liberties will be returned. We are asking if there might have been another way. We sceptics have nothing to be ashamed of. The shame belongs to those who have tried to crush dissent and who have defamed critics of lockdown, because they are killing something that is absolutely central to every free society – the right to ask if what we are doing is wrong.”

“Don’t you dare call us ‘Covid deniers’” (Spiked)

Most people labelled “Covid Denier” have been misunderstood. I can’t speak for all sceptics, but when we were told there’s a plague upon humanity, we practiced due diligence. We asked for evidence. We asked for information: origin, risk, symptoms, affordable treatments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), evidence-backed mitigation strategies. We questioned the social, economic and political dimensions.

It appears the majority did not. Few, if any, bothered to look – at the actual severity, at the costs, at the consequences, at the sustainability. They just heard: be scared, and they were. They secured themselves in their comfortable homes and howled about corpses in the streets.

Source: The Guardian

When we talk about losing our freedom, people imagine Proud Boys in star-spangled jumpsuits shouting about guns. No, we’re talking about not being reduced to cubicle inhabitants whose only purpose is to consume infotainment, junk food and work – either in warehouses or remotely for technocrats.

“Covid Deniers” are choosing sanity over a false sense of safety against a campaign of fear for political and financial gain.

We have forgotten a lot. How to think and feel on our own. How to read and comprehend. We forgot that people die, that infections can kill. Especially when it’s the holidays; especially under this amount of stress, after experiencing loss; after being less active, exposed, social and wise about nutrition. We have forgotten how vital the normal functioning of society is.

If you have kept faith with the media, I can’t see a reason for it. Governments, and the corporations they’re beholden to, are notoriously opaque, letting out only what serves their agenda, spinning the rest. I understand that looking is hard work.

Sceptics are not all saying the virus is imaginary or does not have the potential to kill. We lose hundreds of thousands of people to respiratory illnesses a year. But based on what we know, we know who is especially at risk: sickly or elderly people – as they are from any infection. We also know that there is almost nothing we can do – that humanity has done successfully before – to halt a viral wave. Clearly, that is the case; knee-jerk policies have accomplished almost nothing.

Here are the two biggest questions:

  1. Will lockdowns exact an even bigger toll than the virus let rip?
  2. Clearly, the virus has become the pretext for authorities to consolidate control, loot and claim more power. How can we tolerate this?

The profiteering is clear to see. We are saying – and it’s not just a few quacks; many prominent, qualified voices echo the sentiment – that there is clearly a political and economic agenda. Our enforced (coerced) myopic focus on just one potential cause of death is preventing us from perceiving the full extent of the collateral damage. Don’t just believe me, the fearmongering media, or the screenshots on WhatsApp and Facebook; look at the statistics, the studies, the investigations, the commentary of myriad specialists, past hospitalizations and infections; the actual causes of deaths and the efficacy and impact of the extreme countermeasures.

Source: Forbes

We must scrutinize those in charge of humanity’s response:

You can’t dismiss people as conspiracy theorists for theorizing on the conspiracy of billionaires and corporations financing policies and bankrolling news that serve their pocket:

Financial interests cannot be ignored. Examining the numerous conflicts of interests involving the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – advisor to the U.K. on Covid-19 – Dr Zoë Harcombe finds:

Narrative managers study ways to generate public compliance:


What many are denying is the claim that we’re doing right by humanity, that the response is backed by science, and not simply the wish list of insanely wealthy people and complicit institutions who want to grab more wealth and power. That’s why, be wary of malfeasance: misleading PCR tests, inflated statistics, overcounting, misdiagnosis of symptoms, misclassification of deaths, etc.

The mob calling others selfish and complacent can be accused of a few things:

  1. Shaming people for being human and not following unprecedented, unverified, largely ineffective, public mandates.
  2. Wanting public policy to be dictated by their subjective experiences. Authorities should be objective – balancing any burden of Covid against the cost of the NPIs, vaccines, etc.
  3. Not being diligent in finding evidence to base their fear on. Hearsay, secondhand accounts, media hysteria and unverified claims from Facebook, Whatsapp, etc. is not proof; not reasons to shutdown and alter everything, and demand others do the same.
  4. Virtue-signalling – claiming the moral high ground simply because their germaphobia is being validated by the media (who serve corporate interests profiting off of public fear).
  5. Myopia and cognitive dissonance – seeing things from their narrow, personal experience and ignoring the socio-economic devastation and cultural degradation wrought by mitigation strategies and new policies relative to the impact of the virus.
  6. Moral cowardice – out of fear of running contrary to the mainstream narrative, of being labelled a “conspiracy theorist”, “anti-vaxxer” or some other weaponized slur used to dismiss valid points without argument, people are accepting, complying with and even defending measures that are clearly devastating.
An actual group

What those of us on this side of the argument are asking for is an objective, transparent and evidence-backed approach. If we could (or even should) undertake any public mitigation strategies, those should save more lives than they cost. That is not the case. In fact, public policy dictators have been found looting, profiteering and power-grabbing. This period has been exceptionally good for the wealthy, especially in a year that was meant to experience a global recession. 

It is important to scrutinize corporate influence on Covid-19 responses.

As over 225 million jobs were lost worldwide, the world’s richest have seen their fortunes skyrocket.

There is clearly an economic agenda disguised as public health policy.

Proceed to Pandemics Must End.

Numbers Game

This is Part 2 of Covid-19: Sceptics Have Reasons.

We only think in extremes – Covid Compliant or Covid Denier. What many are trying to point out is that the virus is relatively less severe on its own (sickness and deaths vs incidence). Additionally, what is vital to put on display is how the people in charge can:

  • Exaggerate severity – with nonstop hysteria, fraudulent testing, misdiagnosis of disease, statistical malfeasance and misclassification of deaths.
  • Cause more death – from fear, stress, isolation – the ensuing mental illness and domestic issues; overdoses and suicides; loss of income; job losses; lack of exposure for the immune system, lack of activity, fresh air and sunshine; loss of routine healthcare and missed treatments.
  • Profit – there’s been a tremendous increase in the net worth of the people lobbying for extreme countermeasures; big gains for pharmaceutical and technology companies; and open transfers of foreclosed properties and businesses shut down to wealthier people.

Before you say “Covid death,” you have to be certain Covid is the cause. As insensitive as the questioning may appear, it is necessary at this point, where our collective reaction has long-term consequences.

We should ask: was the person sick? Was the person unhealthy? Was the person particularly old? How had the fear, stress, inactivity, poor diet, loss and lack of exposure affected that person? What was the primary and secondary cause of death? If someone had a heart attack or stroke and they previously tested positive, are they labelled as a Covid death?

Read the subtext

What is a Covid death? It appears, in many cases, you don’t even need a positive test – “probable” or “suspected” cases – based on very common symptoms – are counted. And the Covid datasets informing lockdowns are not available for public auditing:

The momentum behind this global fear campaign started when the WHO said that the CFR for Covid-19 was ~3.4% i.e. over 3 in 100 people would die. This was informed by very little data. A later study estimates the IFR – a better measure of mortality – to be “0.15 [to] 0.20% (0.03 [to] 0.04% in those <70 years).” Another says the median is 0.23% while mentioning that “[i]n people < 70 years, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.31% with crude and corrected medians of 0.05%.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimates ranging from 0.00003, for ages 0-19, to 0.054, for ages 70+.

Two numbers underscore this pandemic: cases and deaths. 

A case used to mean someone was sick; now it’s anyone the test says is infected with Sars-Cov-2 – even if they have no symptoms of a disease. The RT-PCR test itself – treated to a remarkably quick turnaround time for acceptance – is said to be prone to contamination. Or rendered medically meaningless at high cycle thresholds (Ct). Or by finding dead, partial or other viruses. Peer reviews of the testing standard were not accepted, even sabotaged. Petitions to drop the Ct were ignored – claimed to be the responsibility of private companies. All in all, a significant amount of cases appear to be found through misdiagnosis: via unreliable tests or on the basis of suspicion.

The World Health Organization (WHO) themselves have recently issued instructions to ensure more accurate case numbers, indirectly recognizing the problems with mass testing of symptomless people and high cycle thresholds.

The testing protocol was reviewed and criticized by many experts. The biggest issue is the high, unreported number of cycles:

And again:

Most countries report positive cases without the Ct value which is often 35+. Attempts to highlight and change this have been met with strong opposition, and sometimes blatant unprofessionalism, backed up by thin arguments.

Here are some highlights from an exposé on the PCR testing method:

And here, in The Lancet:

These are the tests that give us the cases that brought society to a screeching halt.

Likewise, deaths have been misclassified.

While I can’t validate the following stories, they are not so far-fetched:

Due to myopic hyper focus on a single disease – a condition being referred to as Covid Tunnel Vision (CVT) – people are having to wait on coronavirus tests for any treatment. No one appears to be getting sick of anything other than Covid. No one appears to be dying of anything other than Covid. Every death (while a tragedy) is a red alert.

Here’s an example: when Ramaphosa shared condolences regarding the passing of 83-year-old Jonas Gwangwa, every second comment mentioned the virus. Yet the virus was not the cause.

In the UK (1, 2), Canada and the US, moving elderly, at-risk people from hospitals to care homes – to create capacity for Covid-19 – resulted in significant death. The virus ran rampant in a vulnerable population, spiking the initial figures. Likewise, in the UK, among other countries, healthy people were encouraged to get tested. Most countries employing mass testing found “cases” amongst healthy people. Those cases are the numbers scaring people.

In South Africa, we’ve done up to 60 thousand tests a day, even swabbing dead people to find cases. In many of the hard-hit countries, such as the UK, anyone who died between 28 and 60 days after a positive test, for whatever reason, even if it was a car accident, was counted as a Covid death. There is a clear and deliberate shirking by parties tasked with objectively assessing the risk and severity of Sars-Cov-2. Calls for focused protection were ignored.

It seems that judging prevalence based on these “cases” has the potential to tremendously overstate impact.

By now, we know who is at risk. We should have protected those people.

In fact, you could argue, authorities have done the opposite – they’ve waged war on the 99%. They’ve also sustained a climate of fear where dissent and criticism are labelled conspiracy theory (ultimately, by those who profit from The New Normal and The Great Reset) or outright mocked. There has been ruthless censorship of even the most qualified. Expertly, corporate media appeals to our emotions to reinforce the fear-based narrative and claim the moral high ground; anyone who questions them is called, basically, selfish or stupid. Meanwhile, there’s evidence that parties in charge have altered how statistics are kept (1, 2), how infections are counted, how cases are reported and how deaths are classified – all in favor of painting a grimmer picture of Covid-19.

Pro-business, US-aligned South Africa accounts for 42/60k deaths (WHO)

A lot more South Africans were infected than you think. The Daily Maverick reported: “Extrapolating their results to the whole population, the researchers estimated that 63% of people in Eastern Cape have been infected since the epidemic started, 32% in Northern Cape, 46% in Free State and 52% in KwaZulu-Natal.”

Previous infection is the best defense

Many people I know tested positive. Many of them suffering from chronic conditions such as cancer and diabetes. Almost all living an unhealthy lifestyle, especially now due to restrictions. Few were sick. Fortunately, all recovered. I’m saying that experience tells us that this is not a death sentence. Even in the worst cases, early treatment and healthy routines – not panic – gives a person the best chance of beating this (and any) disease. Even vaccines depend on your immune system; it is your only defense. There are tried and tested ways to support it. Fear and constant sanitizing undermines it.

Perhaps it is time to remind everyone that people die. Often from avoidable causes: the stress of their awful, obligatory jobs; debt; lack of proper healthcare; inability to sustain nutritious, balanced diets; treatable/curable diseases: TB, malaria, flu and pneumonia. We’ve also forgotten that ICUs run at 80-90 per cent capacity normally because they are expensive to run.

When someone we know tests positive – regardless of whether they are actually sick – we bury them under fear and woe, conditions that are unhealthy. We also ignore their medical history, preexisting conditions, poor diets, lack of exercise; the effects of lockdown, missing flu and pneumonia cases this year…

No lockdowns in 2018
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Source: Statista
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Where is the Flu? Source: WHO
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Hard as it is to consider, especially if you’ve experienced genuine loss, the burden of Covid-19 is relatively small, and viruses are common – a significant percentage of the general population carry at least one. People pass with them all the time. Sad but true. The burden of flu and flu-like infections (including coronaviruses) is tremendous. I sympathize with anyone who has had people they know get seriously sick or pass on due to Covid-19, but, regardless of the subjective experience of some civilians, authorities have the responsibility to be objective, implementing measures that cause the least amount of upheaval, loss, misery and death.

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A closer look at the statistics, testing methodology, testing regime, classification of death and consequences of mitigation strategies may cause us to wonder if we grant this virus too much credit.

Source: worldometers

Almost all deaths happen within vulnerable populations: the elderly and/or those with serious, preexisting health conditions (1, 2, 3, 4). Children are relatively unharmed (1, 2, 3, 4). Many instances also highlight death caused by medical intervention (1, 2). Here’s the main point: yes, the disease has the potential to contribute to death – as is the case with all respiratory infections – but what the statistics tell us is that Covid-19 is not deadly enough to justify the hysteria and countermeasures, all of which guarantee misery and death.

Not a death sentence

People appear to be resuming life just fine. But the goalposts keep moving. When mortality and hospitalizations weren’t enough to keep the campaign going, they shifted to cases. Then waves of cases. Then variants of cases. Then waves of variants.

Prof of EBM, Director
@CebmOxford, NHS Urgent Care Doc & all things evidence

Proceed to The Lockdown Tragedy.

The Never-ending Pandemic

This is Part 1 of Covid-19: Sceptics Have Reasons.

This I write to attest that I am not a monster; to affirm that I share the exact same concern as you: people’s lives. I hope that is demonstrated in the efforts made to read and share.

First, let me say, my sincerest condolences for any loss experienced over the past 18 months or so. I wish you strength and recovery.

I follow the crimes of capitalism and its agents in media and politics. When I noticed a novel virus being used as another tool in the hybrid war against China, I posted about it. When I noticed incidents and statistics being exaggerated and gamed for political gain, I wrote about it.

I’ll say this now: our response to Covid-19 is not only unprecedented but unnatural, inhumane and, as you may have noticed, ineffective. We have never reacted in such a way before. Not with Tuberculosis, Ebola, Swine Flu or MERS.

If you’re going to wholeheartedly accept fundamental changes to your life and the lives of your loved ones – restriction of movement, loss of income, loss of business, loss of schooling, mandatory masks, expedited vaccines, etc. – then you should at least do so after reading and critically analyzing, within context, the evidence serving as motivation for these changes. That’s democracy; that’s, at least, the right of taxpaying voters. Hearsay, secondhand accounts and media hysteria is not enough reason to trust anything at this scale. The proof for the severity of this virus, the integrity of the statistics and the efficacy of the countermeasures appears extremely thin.

The unspoken promise behind society’s extreme reaction to Covid-19 was that we, the people, would accept short-term curtails on our basic freedoms to grant respite to authorities to reinforce healthcare capacity, while experts study the new virus. Now, it appears, that this is forever; the excessive power and control over civilian life will never be relinquished by the people we handed it over to. We even reached the point where we, as a nation, applaud the corrupt ANC, even calling Ramaphosa a hero.

Everyday, at roughly the same time, the government reminds me to “stay safe”

But it is impossible to argue with fear. Fear short-circuits rational thinking and suppresses immunity. Fear sells.

You can’t stem the mass psychological operation, the billions pumped into keeping panic on the airwaves. People parrot the noise almost unconsciously now. And they follow any instruction, no matter how unintuitive and impractical; empty rituals in a worldwide cult. We shame people, children and old folks, for being human (socializing, celebrating, going outdoors, questioning) while most lack the privileges to #stayhomesavelives (remote working; safe, spacious, comfortable homes). I understand fear. But why do we not instead call to account our leaders? Why do we not question the unchecked power of corporations? Why do we not criticize the authorities, and their short-sighted, ineffective, poorly-backed policies or lack of transparency? Why do we always punch down instead of punching up?

It has been over a year of gaslighting. From my perspective, Covid-19 is real and novel but its severity is grossly exaggerated. Millions more will suffer and die from whatever is said to be done to prevent it, while those in charge profit handsomely.

Being uncritical of the hysteria, being unquestionably compliant, and even defensive, is to be silent – and possibly complicit – with what will too late be recognized as a crime against humanity. Look closely at the actual severity (1, 2) and impact; at the people pushing, and profiting from, humanity’s response; at the consequences short-term and long-term. This is an outrage.

If we did want to do anything in response to a novel coronavirus, it should have been to protect vulnerable groups (hard-hit countries did the opposite), encourage better hygiene and improve health and social services. That’s all. Perhaps the wave – prolonged by inconsistent exposure – would’ve ended a lot earlier. Humanity has never been able to proactively gauge the severity of or mitigate a new viral wave before. It is hubris to think we’re equipped now. It is naïve to believe that your wellbeing is the primary concern of the parties dictating public policy; their hypocrisy and abuse are on full display.

When people defend and justify the mainstream Covid-19 narrative to me, it’s always with hearsay and mainstream-media-fueled rhetoric.

It’s been over a year to “slow the spread.” At some point, we must ask: Will we return to normal? Can we? Or is this “The New Normal” – fear, panic, isolation? If that’s the case then:

  1. Public health authorities must admit that their policies failed. We couldn’t slow the spread. And they didn’t increase our capacity to handle any potential influx of sickness.
  2. We must ask: how much more information do we need to be sure that every new measure and policy is necessary and, more importantly, the lesser evil?

I can never understand the faith people have in for-profit media. The media serve an agenda. The media lies. The state lies.

The Patriot Act – and two decades of Middle-eastern war – were sold as solutions to terrorism. The state never gave up that power. The #resistance (of Trump) was sold as the solution for authoritarianism and public misery. Both Terror and Trump were false flags.

“[F]or ZeroCovid believers, we cannot rest until that level is zero. On paper, this approach may sound rather sensible. After all, surely we’d all rather live in a world without Covid? Yet having attended last week’s conference, I keep returning to a question that didn’t seem to particularly trouble the speakers: at what cost?”

Inside the Zero Covid campaign (Unherd)

We’re holding society up to an impossible standard. Look at ridiculous things we’ve been asked to do: shut down schools, constantly douse yourself and your children with chemicals, wear a mask during sex, wear two masks, see each other less, talk less, drive with our windows down. And we do it. Without a second thought. There’s also the pervasive, inhuman message: physical = bad, digital = good.

It’s not fair to ask you to stop doing what you’re doing to feel safe. But you should be brave enough to ask the basic questions: Why? How? For how long? Is it working?

You’ve heard the stories: people arrested for breaking curfew to buy food, increases in begging, arrests for improper use of masks, parents with children chased away from parks, a pregnant woman being arrested for anti-lockdown posts, protestors being beaten and harassed, people disputing hospital staff incorrectly labelling their loved one’s death as Covid, people avoiding hospitals out of fear and dying at home…

What is lost in the futile binary debates, such as “vaxxers vs anti-vaxxers,” are closer looks at the economic injustice, profiteering, and how vaccines are used as tools of imperialism. We tend to overlook systemic problems, and their solutions: better healthcare systems, food security, income equality, clean water, active lifestyles, liberation from the stress of debt, etc.

Follow the trajectory from where we are. We inhabit a society that has myriad obstacles to a decent standard of living. Masses struggle without access to nutritious food, clean water, basic healthcare, comfortable housing and active lifestyles. Likewise, we are saturated with fear, kept in constant fight or flight mode. Our minds are stressed, our bodies are strained. This is the problem. The solutions are unnatural; they skirt the problems for symptomatic relief. We turn first to corporate or technocentric options: masks, lockdowns, constant sanitizing and vaccines; instead of addressing the structural issues that leave people vulnerable to near-anything. This mechanistic view is short-sighted and undermines our humanity. How is any of this sustainable?

America went to war against Iraq with the (manufactured) consent of the public. Like the war on “terror,” so too now are the same financial interests waging war against humanity.

Question your, seemingly unshakeable, faith in the World Health Organization (WHO) (1, 2, 3), the efficacy of, and our compliance with, mass masking (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), lockdowns and looming obligatory vaccination (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). It is our right as human beings to question, despite what the warmongering New York Times or oligarch-worshipping Forbes says.

No one bothered to ask what should we do, what can we do. We keep blaming “stupid” or “selfish” people but where is the evidence from authorities that this must be done, that any of this is effective? Clearly, the measures have been great for the rich and devastating for the poor.

Why is all the collateral damage – far worse than the virus’ impact – not blamed on governments? Why do we always, so easily, blame civilians for not staying home (where they are likely unsafe, uncomfortable, hungry and miserable)?

It is alarming how authorities and the media have convinced you that this is your problem to solve. Is anything the public was forced into doing working? The more we test, the more we find. The cases rose and fell with all the masks, social distancing and lockdowns in place. Do we have any experience, history of success or evidence that it does work? Are the countermeasures natural, humane, sustainable, less harmful and rooted in science? (Shouldn’t we have checked?) When did the point change from slowing the spread to stopping death (from one virus) altogether?

We have come to a point where people would rather be “safe” – according to an unrealistic, unnatural standard – than be happy:

Proceed to Numbers Game.

The Lockdown Tragedy

This is Part 3 of Covid-19: Sceptics Have Reasons.

“Oppressors have always wanted people to believe their lives are fated, that they live in a prison and there is no escape.  It is the key to successful slavery. Many institutionalized religions have promoted such a belief, contradicting their founders’ messages of freedom. So have secular ideologies. There is nothing you can do, so rollover with Beethoven; it’s hopeless. ‘Do what you’re told,’ as the great wise leader Anthony Fauci has said.”

What Time Is It in Lockdown?

What those claiming the moral high ground forget is that “lives” are not only their own lives or the lives they can see. They have no awareness of the precarious nature of life in the profit machine. Lockdowns have not demonstrated to be effective at curbing the disease (emphasis added):

  • “[T]he present Covid-inspired forced lockdowns on business and school closures are and have been counterproductive, not sustainable and are, quite frankly, meritless and unscientific. They have been disastrous and just plain wrong! There has been no good reason for this.” – AEIR
  • “If I were thinking of running a clinical trial where the hypothesis was that a lockdown was the best way to prevent deaths from COVID, then I would start by looking at observational data such as this. I would find that the ten countries in the world with the highest death rates all locked down at similar times, with similar restrictions. […] In fact, the evidence up to this point could suggest that lockdowns may actually increase the death rate.” – RT
  • “We can discern no sign in the data that general lockdowns have any beneficial impact on epidemic mortality curves. International comparison reveals that stringency is associated neither with reduced deaths nor with increased duration to peak.” – PANDA
  • “Since the so-called ‘second wave’ began in the autumn, the public has been forced to endure regional lockdowns, another national lockdown and ever more complicated tiers of restrictions. Yet none of these authoritarian bureaucratic impositions have proved effective. […] Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public. […] Scientifically, medically and morally lockdowns have no justification in dealing with Covid. […] The ineffectiveness of lockdowns was highlighted by the Lancet medical journal recently in which it examined their impact across the world. It concluded that restrictions – no matter how tough or loose – showed no relation to the measured infection rates.” – Daily Mail
  • “Claimed benefits of lockdown appear grossly exaggerated.” – Effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19: A Tale of Three Models
  • “National lockdowns are medieval, unscientific, counter productive & politically amateur.” – Maajid Nawaz
  • “While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less-restrictive interventions.” – Assessing mandatory stay-at-home and business closure effects on the spread of COVID- 19
  • “[T]he use of universal lockdowns in the event of the appearance of a new pathogen has no precedent. It has been a science experiment in real time, with most of the human population used as lab rats. The costs are legion. The question is whether lockdowns worked to control the virus in a way that is scientifically verifiable. Based on the following studies, the answer is no and for a variety of reasons: bad data, no correlations, no causal demonstration, anomalous exceptions, and so on. There is no relationship between lockdowns (or whatever else people want to call them to mask their true nature) and virus control.” – AEIR
  • “Lockdowns have become central to any discussion of Covid-19. The assumption that lockdown is the only way to prevent Covid deaths has become embedded in mainstream thinking. Apparently, the only permitted questions are if we are locking down early enough, hard enough or for long enough. Lockdown has similarly become the default response to rises in cases (though sometimes these now take local rather than national form). But the conventional wisdom that more lockdown means fewer deaths simply does not hold true in the real world. There is globally no association, let alone causation, between lockdowns and Covid deaths.” – Spiked
  • “‘…government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality,’ the study concluded. […] ‘Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate,’ the researchers concluded. […] ‘We would have expected to see fewer Covid-19 fatalities in countries with a tighter lockdown, but the data reveals that this is not the case,’ the researchers explained. […] ‘there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities — a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends,’ the report concludes. […] Public health officials believe they can manage a virus through effective central planning, but this is folly and hubris.” – FEE

Here’s one source looking at South Africa:

And there’s more. How much has been informed by uncompromised, high-integrity research? We can only guess in this age of hasty science, for-profit public policy, corporate censorship and power-serving echo chambers.

Watch Corbett explain an interesting fact about lockdowns here.

“Which takes us to lockdowns. The most expensive, invasive, and potentially destructive medical intervention ever attempted by humanity. Was there any evidence from anywhere, in history, that lockdowns would work? No, there was none.” 

Dr Malcolm Kendrick

The lockdown experiment actually violates several points of the Nuremberg Code. Their consequences are catastrophic. You know the indisputable, overall consequences: cancer screenings were suspended, acute cardiovascular deaths increased, children and elders suffered isolation; mental health deteriorated; addictions increased, famine increased, domestic abuse increased; global vaccinations came to a halt.

The public deserve a say when the policies directly affect them

The consequences should give us pause. Let’s look at what the reports say (emphasis added).

  • In South Africa, the anticipated health burdens are: “Increase in incidence of malnutrition, especially among children (who did not benefit from the school feeding programme during lockdown); increases in mortality due to HIV and TB as a consequence of disruption of treatment programmes; disruption to vaccination programmes with possible associated disease outbreaks; disruption to maternal and infant care resulting in increased mother and infant mortality; disruption to cancer treatment and surgery; outbreak of infectious diseases associated with poverty, malnutrition, and disruption of vaccination; and reduced life expectancy at birth as a consequence of all of the above.”
  • In the UK, 220,000 people will be the total lives from this pandemic; nearly half lost to non-Covid causes such as cancelled operations and economic contraction.
  • According to The United Nations, poverty caused by Covid [countermeasures] could kill more people than the virus itself. It’s estimated there could be as many as 400,000 excess deaths from tuberculosis alone due to missed diagnoses. The International Monetary Fund warns that more than a decade’s worth of closing the gap between developed and emerging economies could be wiped out.
  • Student suicides are at alarming levels as children battle without school.
  • In the US, unemployment during the pandemic is expected to cause an additional 900,000 deaths as time goes on.
  • In Ohio, with less street activity and increased opioid abuse, sex trafficking has tripled during the pandemic.

And more highlights from Cost of Lockdowns: A Preliminary Report (emphasis added):

  • Worldwide, around 88 to 115 million people will fall into extreme poverty this year. The total could rise to 150 million by 2021.
  • Worldwide, the number of undernourished individuals may increase from 690 to 822 million people.
  • Worldwide, hunger caused by the pandemic [response] is responsible for the deaths of 10,000 children.
  • Worldwide, about 24 million children may drop out of school next year as a result of the lockdown’s economic impact.
  • In the US, over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period.
  • In the US, mothers of children aged 12 and younger lost 2.2 million jobs between February and August (12% drop), while fathers of small children lost 870,000 jobs (4% drop).
  • In the US, diagnosis for 6 cancers (breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal) has declined 46.4% compared to 2018.
  • In the UK, (suspected) cancer referrals have decreased 75% since Covid-19 restrictions were implemented.
  • Worldwide, Tuberculosis case notifications dropped significantly worldwide and by 25-30% in impacted countries (India, Indonesia, the Philippines).
  • In the UK, a domestic abuse charity (Refuge) reported a 25% increase in calls made to helpline since the start of lockdowns.
  • In the US, the restaurant industry is set to lose $240 billion in revenue and 8 million employees in 2020.

“[T]he present Covid-inspired forced lockdowns on business and school closures are and have been counterproductive, not sustainable and are, quite frankly, meritless and unscientific. They have been disastrous and just plain wrong! There has been no good reason for this.
No one can point to any instance where lockdowns have worked in this Covid pandemic. 
It is also noteworthy that these irrational and unreasonable restrictive actions are not limited to any one jurisdiction such as the US, but shockingly have occurred across the globe. It is stupefying as to why governments, whose primary roles are to protect their citizens, are taking these punitive actions despite the compelling evidence that these policies are misdirected and very harmful; causing palpable harm to human welfare on so many levels. It’s tantamount to insanity what governments have done to their populations and largely based on no scientific basis. None!
There is absolutely no reason to lock down, constrain and harm ordinarily healthy, well, and younger or middle-aged members of the population irreparably; the very people who will be expected to help extricate us from this factitious nightmare and to help us survive the damages caused by possibly the greatest self-inflicted public health fiasco ever promulgated on societies.”


Yet another report on the startling consequences (emphasis added):

  • “[A] median 70% of households across nine countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America reporting financial losses…”
  • “By April last year, roughly 50% or more of those surveyed in several countries were forced to eat smaller meals or skip meals altogether, a number that reached 87% for rural households in the West African country of Sierra Leone.”
  • “[A]fter two decades of growth in many low- and middle-income countries, the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens profound long-term impact: Reduced childhood nutrition could have health consequences later in life. Closed schools may lead to delayed development for some students, while others may simply drop out. When families use their savings to eat, rather than invest in fertilizer or farm improvements, crop yields can decline.”
  • “Income fell broadly. In Colombia, 87% of respondents nationwide reported lost income in the early phase of the pandemic. Such losses were reported by more than 80% of people nationwide in Rwanda and Ghana.”
  • “People struggled to find food. In the Philippines, 77% of respondents nationwide said they faced difficulty purchasing food because stores were closed, transport was shut down or food supplies were inadequate. Similar reports came from 68% of Colombians and 64% of respondents in Sierra Leone; rates were similar for some communities within other countries.”
  • Children faced increased risk. With schools closed, the risk of educational setbacks rose. Many respondents reported delaying health care, including prenatal care and vaccinations. Some communities reported rising levels of domestic violence.”

The full impact is being catalogued at

It’s not the virus that’s causing the most damage; it’s our extreme, unprecedented, unproven reaction. Many nations’ progress towards self-determination have been halted while power concentrates in the hands of ill-gotten wealth. It sets the stage for the recolonization of many “developing” countries.

I drive through affluent neighbourhoods now and again. Three-plus bedroom houses so no one is crammed; everybody has enough space. Yard, balcony, pool – so you can get some air and exercise. Air conditioning, so it’s comfortable indoors. High-speed internet so you can work and play remotely. Boutique mall conveniently down the road for groceries. It’s easy to cry for lockdowns when you live like this. Most people don’t. No one is asking you to feel guilty, only have some perspective. Recognize your Zoom Privilege.

Florida and California – different approach to lockdowns, same results

Most people enjoy insulation against the devastation caused by lockdowns provided by their middle-class bubble. That bubble is shrinking:

Our masters at Davos reckon that we need a Great Reset (1, 2) but I don’t think that’s what we need:

Proceed to Covid Denier.


How do you feel driving past a sprawl of shacks? Or seeing someone holding up a sign that says: “WILL WORK FOR FOOD”. No, such people are not lazy. They are not stupid. Their conditions are primarily due to generations of economic injustice. The poor and downtrodden are locked out by an unfair society.

If the world was 100 people, 81 people would fall in between hunger and death by starvation. 48 people are “living under threat of harassment or imprisonment”. 24 do not have access to electricity. Just 1 has a college education.


The gulf between rich and poor is tremendous. Let’s look at South Africa first.

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. It has a Gini coefficient of 0.625 (0 = perfect equality, 1 = total inequality). According to BusinessTech, earning R48,753, per month, after-tax, puts you among the top 1% of earners in South Africa, a country of 58 million people. 10% of South Africans control 86% of all wealth, with a mere 0.01% of the population – just 3500 people – owning and controlling 15% alone. The “richest” 10% take home R7,313 a month. No one that I know personally can survive on that amount – that is not a brag, I am not well off. If you earn R19,000, after-tax – a modest salary – approximately 80% of South Africans earn less than you. For perspective, as of 2018, more than half of South Africans (55.5%) or 30-million people live below the national poverty line of R992 per month. To live at a basic level of dignity, Southern Africa Labor and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) estimates that a household needs to earn at least R7,624.13 per month. Just 9% of South Africans can afford this.

Source: News24

Each day, what we earn buys less. And South African numbers don’t appear promising.

Globally, 1% of people own 44% of the world’s wealth.

The top 500 richest people in the world have added 1.8 trillion dollars to their combined fortunes in 2020. Meanwhile, 150 million additional people have been classified as being in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than ~28 rands per day, encompassing up to 9.4% of the global population.

Surprisingly, not that far behind South Africa, in terms of inequality, is the United States. According to “Inequality has been on the rise across the globe for several decades. […] Among industrial nations, the United States is by far the most top-heavy, with much greater shares of national wealth and income going to the richest 1 percent than any other country.” The U.S.A has a Gini coefficient of 0.480. WorldPopulationReview says: “In 2015, the top 1% of earners in the United States averaged 40 times more income than the bottom 90%. In the U.S., poverty is an increasing issue, with about 33 million workers earn less than $10 per hour, putting a family of four below the poverty level. Many of these low-wage workers have no sick days, pension, or health insurance.”

Since 1989, the top 1 percent’s net worth has skyrocketed by 21 trillion dollars, while the bottom 50 percent’s has plummeted by 900 billion. Watch the staggering accumulation of wealth by America’s richest over the past decade in this video by Forbes.

The Economic Policy Institutes says that the top 1%, in the U.S., saw their wages grow by 160% in the last four decades, while the top 0.1% increased theirs by 345%. Meanwhile, the bottom 90 percent’s share of wages shrunk by almost 10% in the same period. An objective look at the richest country in the world reveals a bleak reality.

This is not a coincidence. This is the deliberate outcome of a planned social order, of institutionalized theft. Theft is a strong but apt word; think about what neoliberalism does. It steals the rights of everyone – land, water, food, peace, fulfilment, etc. – and puts control of that “wealth” into the hands of a few elites, beyond an escalating cost of living and myriad systemic obstacles. Wealth inequality exacts a monumental toll.

Ganesh Sitaraman writes, “As the rich get richer, wages have been stagnant for workers since the late 1970s. […] Disappointment would be an understatement: the complete wreckage of economic, social, and political life would be more accurate. Rising economic inequality and the creation of monopolistic megacorporations also threaten democracy.”

Neoliberal capitalism has actually made global poverty worse. Jason Hickel writes, “We live in an age where more than 4 billion people – some 60% of the human population – live on less than what is required for meeting basic human needs. This is a ringing indictment of the global economy by any standard.”


Nicole Aschoff says, “Nothing demonstrates the failure of the so-called free market better than the looming climate catastrophe.” Human activity is causing global temperature increases, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreats, rising sea levels and extreme weather. All these conditions spell doom for the biosphere.

Although, just a handful of corporations contribute (1, 2) almost all of the damage. And it is proven that the rich produce far more waste, pollution and carbon (1, 2, 3). Yet the burden and responsibility are shouldered by all civilians. Wealthy people just buy insulation from the consequences. The West got fat off of burning fossil fuels. Today they lecture the world on sustainability, demanding attention and money for them – the original perpetrators – to implement solutions that earn them even more money. Beware corporate solutions (1, 2, 3, 4).


3.1 million children starve per year. 821 million people – one in nine – go to bed on an empty stomach each night. One in three suffer from some form of malnutrition (1, 2). 6.8 million South Africans endure hunger.


Global debt reached 188 trillion dollars in 2018.

A lack of money, of financial security, causes anguish. Johnstone writes, “You can have anxiety without being poor but you can’t be poor without anxiety. If you want to solve the mental health crisis, start by making sure people have enough money to function.” Suicides and overdoses are often reactions to the dehumanizing conditions experienced under crushing debt.


An estimated 264 million people are affected by depression, 284 million by anxiety; close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder. 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol. One person dies every 40 seconds by suicide.

The toll of neoliberal capitalism on mental health is covered in-depth in an essay by Jimmy Wu. Wu asks, “But with the symptoms so widespread in our population, we ought to ask: what if correcting ourselves is not enough? What if the problem runs much deeper: that distress, misery, and loneliness are woven into the very fabric of our social system?”

He continues, “Modern-day capitalism, with its unshakable faith in deregulated markets, privatization of the public sphere, and austerity budgets, has of course contributed to our financial misery, leading to mass hopelessness and anxiety. But far from being confined to economic policy, contemporary capitalism (often called ‘neoliberalism’) also embodies a philosophical belief that self-interest and competition, not cooperation, should pervade every aspect of our lives. In short, our world is shaped in the image of the market. […] after all, under the reigning ideology, our self-worth is measured by our economic output.”

Wu asserts that people have adopted the characteristics of a capitalist firm, a corporation. Those who internalize the ethos of corporate culture exhibit more anti-social activities and lower empathy. Human needs – connection, security, meaning – are deprioritized and neglected. People are struggling against a culture contradicting their human nature.

From young, we are indoctrinated to choose competition over collaboration. We are encouraged to fight for limited resources. Resources are limited since some hoard when there is enough for everyone. Those with excess acquire and keep their excess with advantages in the competition, advantages we refer to as privilege. As inequality has skyrocketed over the past four decades, competition will inevitably lead to violence and upheaval. 

The system keeps us in constant fight or flight mode, encouraging our worst traits: envy, lust, greed, selfishness. By the culture it enables, the system produces the ruthless businessmen and murderous soldiers it needs to sustain itself. John Steppling writes (1, 2) that most people are living in a dissociative state, and now suffer from a general post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Judith Herman says, “Capitalism propagates traumatic stress in ways that promote the pursuit of power and status, which ultimately keeps the system functioning.”

Our dog-eat-dog culture is not producing healthy individuals. Children struggle to read emotion. Hardly anyone can pay attention. People are uncomfortable with conversation, intolerant of the human standing next to them, preferring highly-personalized streams of infotainment that gels perfectly with their comfortable, algorithm-designed worldview. Loneliness and desperation are driving young people towards dysfunctional behaviour. The atomization of humanity is deliberate and nefarious.

We’re heading in the direction of the humans depicted in WALL-E:

We are conditioned to respond to money woes, lack of fulfilment, chronic anxiety and failing bodies with corporate solutions: toxic positivity, pharmaceuticals, consumerism, binge consumption, etc. – misled by the myth; the myth that says: all that is required is to do more and grind harder. You cannot buy, hustle or self-help your way out of the position we find ourselves in.

The next part is Billionaire Scum.

The Good Billionaire: No Good Billionaires

This is Section G of IWNSPTB XI: The Good Billionaire.

Bill Gates is not a public policy expert. Being obscenely wealthy and privileged is not a qualification. Gates is a smug, controlling businessman; his philanthropy is a public relations exercise and for-profit undertaking. His altruism is insincere. Like all billionaires, he is the product of a corrupt system, profiting off of social ills.

The next part is Batho Pele.

The Good Billionaire: Corporate Solutions Only

This is Section F of IWNSPTB XI: The Good Billionaire.

“The dilemma of the poor is not about resources. It is about power. If the poor have power, they will leverage the resources needed”

Mahomed and Mayo, 2013

Gates ensures private capital’s supremacy over public affairs.


BMGF pushing dangerous products onto poor countries stunts improvements to public health systems and access to healthcare. Changes in social and economic conditions take a backseat to “more profitable, technology-centric solutions.” Global Justice Now says that BMGF’s heavy focus on developing new vaccines detracts from other, more vital health priorities such as building resilient health systems. Legge explains that Gates has a mechanistic view of global health, simply looking for “silver bullets” and supporting efforts framed as such. In 2011, Gates spoke at WHO, saying that all 193 member states must make vaccines a central focus of their health systems. Thus major social issues identified by the World Health Assembly do not get addressed.

A GAVI senior representative is on record as saying that Gates is “vehemently against health systems because it is a complete waste of money.” Social and Behavioural Health Sciences professor Anne Emanuelle Birn says that BMGF has a “narrowly conceived understanding of health as the product of technical interventions divorced from economic, social, and political contexts.” Birn says that the foundation has long championed private sector involvement and profit-making from global health. An author in Global Public Health, Katerini Storeng, points to GAVI as an example of how “global health initiatives have come to capture the global health debate about health systems strengthening in favour of their disease-specific approach and ethos.” Former GAVI CEO Julian Lob-Levitt was said to be aware of the “absurdity of vaccine campaigns that consume four weeks to plan, implement and clean up and that, when repeated eight times a year, totally paralyze the health system.” Commissions to strengthen identified weaknesses in health systems was “strongly resisted by powerful actors.” BMGF is said to be a very loud, vocal voice saying that they do not believe in the strengthening of health systems. GAVI employees speak of how they roll down Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) posters when Gates visits because he is known to hate that part of GAVI’s work.

The Huffington Post found that BMGF’s “outsize funding of global health initiatives has steered the world’s aid agenda toward the foundation’s own goals (like polio eradication) and away from issues such as emergency preparedness to respond to disease outbreaks, like the Ebola crisis.” Experts say that Gates may actually be introducing harm, or distracting us from more important, lifesaving public health projects. Overall BMGF demonstrates a preference for weak public health systems and techno-centric solutions in partnership with the drug industry.

BMGF is said to exercise power through an elaborate network of partner organizations including nonprofits, government agencies, and private corporations. And “the chief beneficiary of BMGF’s activities is not the people of the Global South but the Western pharmaceutical industry.” BMGF’s ties with the pharmaceutical industry are intimate, complex, and long-standing. Soon after its founding, BMGF invested 205 million dollars to purchase stakes in major pharmaceutical companies, including Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and GlaxoSmithKline. BMGF’s interventions are designed to create lucrative markets for surplus pharmaceutical products, especially vaccines.

Dr Romeo F. Quijano writes, “Bill Gates was able to initiate an elaborate neoliberal financing scheme for vaccines that inevitably transfers public funds to private coffers. Ostensibly, the scheme is designed to help developing countries to fund their vaccination programs but in reality, these countries are caught in a debt-trap. GAVI floats bonds which are secured by the promise of government donors to buy millions of doses of vaccines at a set price over periods as long as 20 years. Capitalists take a cut at every stage of the value chain while poor countries are supposed to benefit from access to vaccines that might not otherwise be affordable. Bondholders receive a tax-free guaranteed return on investment, suited to an era of ultra-low interest rates. Pharmaceutical firms, meanwhile, are able to peddle expensive vaccines at subsidized prices in a cash-poor but vast and risk-free market.” What BMGF is said to have achieved is a “functional monopoly in the field of public health.”

Quijano goes on to report BMGF/GAVI activities in Sri Lanka highlighting a phenomenon called “pharmaceutical colonialism.” GAVI is said to have targeted the country in 2002, offering to subsidize a high priced, patented pentavalent DtwP-hepB-Hib vaccine. In exchange for GAVI’s support, the country agreed to add the vaccine to its national immunization schedule. The story goes: “Within three months of the vaccine’s introduction, 24 adverse reactions including 4 deaths were reported, leading Sri Lanka to suspend use of the vaccine. Subsequently, 21 infants died from adverse reactions in India.” While Quijano writes, “The real underlying cause of deaths in epidemics is the dysfunctional health care system brought about by chronic socio-economic underdevelopment characteristic of a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society victimized by imperialism. Corporate hijacking of the health care system with the complicity of government, international institutions, mainstream medicine and various cohorts deprived the people of their right to health. Profit has become the primary driving factor in addressing a public health problem, not public welfare. Deregulation, privatization and liberalization, the hallmarks of corporate globalization, the new face of imperialism, have practically wiped-out whatever remaining affordable basic needs and social services, especially health services, are available to the majority of the population. Under these circumstances, infectious disease epidemics and other serious health problems are bound to arise and worsen. The root cause of epidemics in this country is imperialism. Liberation is the answer, not vaccination.”


BMGF has worked to ensure that the Global South is dependent on Western industry, whether for drugs or high-tech seeds and agrochemicals. BMGF, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, created the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The misplaced philosophy of AGRA is that world hunger is due to a lack of Western technology, instead of the result of inequality and exploitation. The African Center for Biosafety comments that it is striking that no African is at the forefront of this revolution: “No different from the colonial project in Africa, this new revolution is created and most ardently advocated by white men claiming to fight for the emancipation of Africans from the clutches of hunger and poverty.” BMGF helped highly controversial pharmaceutical and chemical giant Monsanto Corporation gain a strong foothold in Africa. BMGF pushes for patented, genetically modified (GM) seeds and fertilizers, which help corporations like Monsanto but often undermines food security. The Ecologist asserts that Gates and Monsanto partner in the “inappropriate and fraudulent GMO project which promotes a technical quick fix ahead of tackling the structural issues that create hunger, poverty and food insecurity.”

Many social movements, experts, and NGOs agree that international agribusiness – boosting agricultural productivity through the use of pesticides, hybrid seeds, and other external inputs – is not the key to ending global hunger. BMGF’s “Green Revolution” has failed, but it has upped corporate agriculture’s profits. The myth that the answers come from the Global North, that hunger is a problem of production, and not an unequal distribution of power, resources and control, has left farmers empty-handed while hunger increases. Governments in the Global South – especially Africa – are pressured to modify their agricultural sectors to favor Western agribusiness. It said that the “particularly prominent initiative driving corporate agriculture’s agenda” is AGRA. In AGRA focus countries, hunger has actually increased by 30 percent – that’s 30 million more people hungry. Statistics from these countries show that cereal production is down 21 percent. Likewise there has been a yield decline of 7 percent for root and tuber crops. AGRA created a framework to privatize plant resources (and thus generate profits). The effects of the framework restricts farmers’ right to store, exchange, and sell the seed they save from cultivating their own farms. The rules strengthen corporate seed while farmers’ own seeds are criminalized. And corporate power puts up enormous resistance against all alternatives to AGRA. Jan Urhahn writes, “All in all, AGRA reduces the diversity in farmers’ fields and thus also the variety of seeds being used. This development in turn makes agriculture even more vulnerable to the consequences of the climate crisis.”

BMGF is known to influence African governments to change laws to accommodate the agricultural industry. In Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi, AGRA enabled more private sector involvement, more pro-business seed laws, the privatization of seed production and new pricing and trade policies. Like its efforts in public health, BMGF’s work in agriculture is fraught with conflicts of interest.


In addition to health and agriculture, Gates also has an agenda in education. Associated Press says there is no bigger champion of Charter Schools than Bill Gates. Charter schools effectively privatize the public school system; it remains a bill for the public to pay yet they have no say in how it is run. A vast majority of unionized public school teachers oppose them. They have not been found to improve performance. Gates pours millions into the movement and even funded the pro-charter school documentary Waiting For Superman.

It is shown that, for twenty years, Gates has been trying to dismantle the public education system. Indicators Gates promotes are those that can be easily quantified and mined. In reimagining education, children will be monitored through surveillance systems to check if they are attentive while they are forced to take classes remotely, alone at home. As Shiva says, “The dystopia is one where children never return to schools, do not have a chance to play, do not have friends. It is a world without society, without relationships, without love and friendship. As I look to the future in a world of Gates and Tech Barons, I see a humanity that is further polarized into large numbers of ‘throw away’ people who have no place in the new Empire. Those who are included in the new Empire will be little more than digital slaves.”

Gates is also preoccupied with controlling population growth and, as Alan Macleod writes, “he appears almost more interested in eliminating the people who are suffering than the source of the suffering itself.” The Grayzone report says, “22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Yet socio-economic causes of health problems can be neglected when industry aligned interests call the shots. Such is the case with the Gates Foundation’s primacy in the global health arena.”

Gates isn’t interested in solving the underlying problems: food and water insecurity; income inequality; militarism. All his solutions are technology-focused and suit his pocket, solutions that he is invested in. His foundations facilitate private corporations dictating public policy for the benefit of their investors’ bottom line.

Dr Vandana Shiva’s writes that Gates is spearheading a “war against life.”

Shiva reveals that, in March 2020, at a peak of the coronavirus pandemic and in the midst of the lockdown, Microsoft was granted a patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Patent WO 060606 declares that “Human Body Activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system…” Shiva points out that the “body activity” that Microsoft wants to mine includes radiation emitted from the human body, anything that can be sensed and represented by data. The patent is an intellectual property claim over our bodies and minds. Shiva reminds us: “In colonialism, colonisers assign themselves the right to take the land and resources of indigenous people, extinguish their cultures and sovereignty, and in extreme cases exterminate them. Patent WO 060606 is a declaration by Microsoft that our bodies and minds are its new colonies.”

“The mechanical mind connected to the money machine of extraction has created the illusion of humans as separate from nature, and nature as dead, inert raw material to be exploited. Health is about life and living systems. There is no ‘life’ in the paradigm of health that Bill Gates and his ilk are promoting and imposing on the entire world. Gates has created global alliances to impose top-down analysis and prescriptions for health problems. He gives money to define the problems, and then he uses his influence and money to impose the solutions. And in the process, he gets richer. His ‘funding’ results in an erasure of democracy and biodiversity, of nature and culture. His ‘philanthropy’ is not just philanthrocapitalism. It is philanthroimperialism. The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have revealed even more clearly how we are being reduced to objects to be controlled, with our bodies and minds as the new colonies to be invaded. Empires create colonies, colonies enclose the commons of the indigenous living communities and turn them into sources of raw material to be extracted for profits. This linear, extractive logic is unable to see the intimate relations that sustain life in the natural world. It is blind to diversity, cycles of renewal, values of giving and sharing, and the power and potential of self-organising and mutuality. It is blind to the waste it creates and to the violence it unleashes. The extended coronavirus lockdown has been a lab experiment for a future without humanity.”

Dr Vandana Shiva

Shiva sums up the process: “You create a new field, you invest in it. You force governments to invest in it, you destroy the regulation. You destroy the alternatives, you attack the scientists. And you create a whole machinery for your monopoly.” It is said, “The foundation’s leadership in previous global health efforts displays an allegiance not to public health, but to the imperatives of Western capital. It prefers not to strengthen health systems, but to ensure nations remain dependent on Big Pharma and/or Big Agriculture for as long as possible.”

The Grayzone report asserts, “…strong evidence suggests that the Gates Foundation functions as a trojan horse for Western corporations, which of course have no goal greater than an increased bottom line.”

“Bill Gates is not just some rich guy who is unsure about paying more tax: he’s a menace to society.”

Alan Macleod

The next section is No Good Billionaires.