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conspiracies & anti-conspiracies

This is very much a work-in-progress to which many other aspects of this Covid epoch will be added and developed. It has no pretension to being finished, let alone “definitive”. Watch this space.

1: The automatic knee-jerk

“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought… Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?”

– George Orwell, 1984

The automatic knee-jerk reactive insult hurled at those who have the “arrogance” to question significant aspects of this Covid crisis as “conspiracy theorist!”, “conspiralooon!”, “anti-vaxxer!”, Covid denier!” etc. ad nauseam has to be questioned as much as those who genuinely adhere to the simplistic idiocies immersed in conspiracy theories [i].

Conspiracy theorist!” has become a put-down endlessly repeated, as an easy way of pushing away all questioning, a soothing mantra to push away the anxiety, to go back to sleep. One can dispense with actually ‘thinking’ it – that is, with going through the complicated logical acts involved in verbal formulation of it, an examination of the contradictions of the facts, of how one selects the facts, of how they are interpreted. The concrete melts into an easy cliché and no one seems able to think of expressions that are not unearned received ideas, that are not a ready-made response to something that may well be far more nuanced than the usual either/or Manichean choices proffered by a servile media, or by their milieu. Such mechanization is essential for the repression of critique [ii] .

Caricaturing someone’s position is often a way for people, fearful of their own doubts, to repress looking at the current forms of complicity between different sections of capital. This is because recognising the enormity of the lies and manipulations going on tends to release an uncontrollable anxiety, which also involves being seen as a tinfoil hat conspiraloon themselves. To even approach such questions is likely to make themselves vulnerable to the conformist unthinking contempt that so many have for those who dare question aspects of science, the automatic dismissal of them as being “anti-science” (and/or anti-vaxxer) – they fear being shoved into the same mad category as David Icke. So people repress and harden themselves, because the onslaughts of this epoch have already made them feel fragile and they don’t want to make themselves more vulnerable by exposing themselves to the easy put-downs of those they assume they’re closest to, such as their family, their milieu, their friends. Incapable of seeing something beyond the false choices of conspiracy “theories” v. anti-conspiracy ideologies, they claim themselves to be anti-ideological in their mostly unnuanced support for what science has become much in the same way as those who accept without question the necessity of the economy and of money also see themselves as anti-ideological when others critique the economy and money. Now no-one is immune from ideology, particularly in this unprecedentedly confusing epoch where those trying to make sense of things are confronted with aspects of life that they hadn’t had to think too much about before – it’s a question of striving to undermine the ideological aspects of oneself, the untested assumptions. However, the ideological core of anti-conspiracy theorists has similarities with conspiracy theorists insofar as they both express not a struggle for communication, but the need for separation, for a superior arrogance, an image of self-assured confidence involving putting down those who don’t accept their largely received and rigid ideas. The anti-conspiracy theorist may even go so far as to claim they’re critiquing hierarchy and capital but in the current context of Covid it’s pretty meaningless, largely abstract, a rejection of how hierarchy manifests itself in details. If the conspiracy theorist can’t see the wood for the trees, the anti-conspiracy theorist can’t see the trees for the wood.

In all this “reason” is instrumentalised, taking on a kind of blind positive obviousness: such an ideological transformation of rationality hides its historical choices and asserts itself as representing undeniable facts, an interpretation that doesn’t even seem to be an interpretation. It becomes an easy method of waving away all arguments, a method of repeating what society has proclaimed as being as taken-for-granted as the blueness of the sky without making the effort to get your head around what someone is in fact saying so as to contest it honestly. So, for instance, even the mere healthy suspicion about the safety of the vaccine is caricatured as “conspiracy theory”“Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is meeting resistance due to conspiracy theories and fake news cropping up on Arabic-language social media, among other reasons…The main reason is fake news. They’re telling us that they want to wait and see what happens to the people who get inoculated,” said Fuad Abu Hamad, the director of the Clalit Health Services branch in Beit Safafa. “The rumors that two people died after receiving the vaccination didn’t help.” In fact, two people DID DIE after getting inoculated – whether this was due to the vaccine or not – so these were not “rumors”.

So if a criticism can’t be contested honestly it can only be utterly distorted to fit into something one has already found arguments against. This unthinking language is the ideological cage of the spectator who accepts without question being caged by the language of the consensus, the refuge of the ruling society. And acceptance of the language also becomes practical acceptance of the rules of this cage: follow the experts’ rules and you won’t get sick. When hierarchical power wants to avoid resorting to its material arms, it relies on dominant language, the language of domination, to guard the oppressive order. Concepts like “conspiracy theorist/conspiraloon/anti-vaxxer” become ‘streamlined’, rationalized, labor-saving manipulative tools. No need to try to think for oneself: thinking is thus reduced to the level of industrial processes, subjected to a tight schedule – a short cut which, in short, cuts off all chance of communication. As part of the reproduction of ideology, it contributes and intensifies divisions among those who potentially could contest this world, divisions reinforced because the working class has already been weakened by years and years of retreat from revolutionary perspectives.

2: In Germany

In Germany, during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Ministry of the Interior called in scientists from several research institutes and universities and instructed these scientific researchers to create a calculation model on the basis of which the authority of the Minister of the Interior would be able to justify the planning of “measures of a preventive and repressive nature”. In just four days, they developed in close coordination with the Ministry, the content of a document, which was declared secret, but was partly disseminated via various media in the following days. In this document, a “disaster scenario” was calculated, a so called “communication strategy” in which the authors pointed out how to induce a “shock effect” on the general public to make them accept repressive measures more easily. According to this document more than a million people in Germany could die of coronavirus if social life continued as before the pandemic. Apparently, emails between the Ministry and these scientists show the extent of the scientists’ collaboration and betrayal of the so called “autonomy of science” – which is, as we know, a myth anyway. See this in German – and this in English – [iii].

In most of its aspects, this affair has been known by the general public in Germany since spring 2020 – without causing much of a scandal. Apparently the shock strategy worked so well that it was not dangerous for the German ruling class to reveal its fabricated nature later. It’s not hard to imagine that similar things have been going on in many other countries as well. The scientific councils that surround the various governments, many of whom have direct links with the pharmaceutical industry, have an intrinsic financial incentive to maximise the terror and to minimise basic cheap immune-boosting methods of resisting Covid, or other means of helping to cure people if they get it. And have a “scientific” ideology utterly complicit and compatible with the reduction of human beings to their use for the accumulation of capital.

3: Why mention this

Why mention this here? Because if you’d said this as a possibility back in March 2020 without the definite proof which was revealed later you would have been instantly dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, a nutter.

Apparently when people – about 10 years ago or so – started to point out the fact that Facebook and Google sell the information they get about what sites are being clicked on by whom or the comments and tastes of their customers, Facebook and Google hit back by calling these people “conspiracy theorists”. Since then it has become a dominant strategy. This is certainly not to deny that some people genuinely are ridiculous conspiracy theorists but this indicates how essential it is to be vigilant, discerning – to recognise the difference between a conspiracy theorist and a person pointing out basic mutual capitalist interests, whether those of a single business or state or national ruling class in the more general sense [iv] or between different sections of capital usually seen as separate: in relation to Covid in particular, scientists and other “experts”.

The main philosophical critic of the “conspiracy theory of society” of the last century was Karl Popper who was possibly the most brilliant, if nauseating, exponent of positivism and liberalism during that epoch. In his 1963 book “Conjectures and Refutations” he wrote “The conspiracy theory of ignorance is fairly well known in its Marxian form as the conspiracy of a capitalist press that perverts and suppresses truth and fills the workers’ minds with false ideologies.”. There’s a certain irony in the fact that a version of his “critique” is now something that many people who claim to critique capitalism also espouse, albeit selectively. Popper saw this “conspiracy theory” in the Marxo-Hegelian dialectic. His was the philosophy of positivism, the cult of progress, of science, of open and pluralist democracy, of, in short, liberalism. This liberalism has now become neoliberalism – the vast imposture dominating materially and ideologically the world today: the “road to serfdom” and totalitarianism. Dominant mainstream perspectives now sometimes make a link between the critique of commodity science (based on the cult of exteriority, on the “objectivity” from which subjectivity has been expelled) and the current critique of the Covid-inspired pretext for social control as “conspiracy theory”. The end result of this dismissal of critique as “unscientific”or “anti-scientific” is the superficial and positivist glorification of appearances, seeking nothing beyond that which is endorsed by the ruling show backed by the reifiers of science and the media. But this time with the additional backing of “revolutionaries”.

When it comes from the Left or “libertarian-communists”, one can see the idiocy of this unthinking dismissal of any significant critique of the massive manipulation surrounding Covid: such logic, in another epoch, would have been enough to have made them dismiss Chomsky and Herman’s “Manufacturing Consent” or Debord’s “Commentaries on Society of the Spectacle” as conspiracy theory. There’s an irony in the fact that “consensus” is evoked as somehow “objective” to describe anyone who opposes the dominant consensus as a conspiracy nutter, whereas – when it comes to aspects of society that could be defined as “political” or “economic” or “military”, these libertarians are not at all complicit with the “consensus”. But because it’s scientists and doctors, they are somehow considered “objective”, despite their obvious interests either directly in the pharmaceutical industry &/or their ambitions to rise in the hierarchy of state advisers or just their fear of the consequences for not toeing the line [iv b]. Politicians and the military have an interest in manipulating submission (in particular, via the media) but any critique of scientists and doctors outside of a rather obvious critique of the more modern developments in food-as-commodity production and distribution (the capitalist food industry) is reduced to purely subjective opinion at best. And the relatively small number of dissident scientists and doctors (especially in the anglophone world) have to be invariably associated with the Right, even when they’re not, and thus are claimed to have a secret agenda, even when they don’t. Apparently it’s the dissidents who are conspiring against the “objective truth”. These “libertarians” thus create a toxic atmosphere that automatically represses, censors and self-censors in advance any nuanced but fundamental critique as unscientific or loony-cum-conspiracist. Any little deviation from mainstream “logic” nowadays, to any critique of the vaccinations programme or of masks or of other aspects of this crisis are manipulatively linked to the miserable ideological form of such criticisms by the Right. Nowadays much of the so-called “libertarian” milieu adopts a classic amalgam technique, previously associated with Stalinism and other brands of Leninism, by attributing a “guilt-by-association” to critiques that have nothing to do with the so-called “libertarian” Right.

The term “conspiracy” evokes images of men in pointy tinfoil hats whispering to each other in dark and dank cellars. The dark web [v ] is the modern equivalent of all that, but somehow the image of “conspiracy” still conjures up something rather cartoonish and absurd. But you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to recognise that the ruling class and those high-ups who identify with and see their interests in defending them, do not invariably make public their discourse and strategies, however much they pretend to be “transparent” (no more than their rivals for power, whether it be in the official opposition, rival states or rival would-be states). For instance, the Israeli state has kept secret most of its contract with Pfizer.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to recognise that the state almost invariably takes advantage of crises that happen unintentionally but indirectly as a result of the logic of their political-economy in order to impose and reinforce social control. As Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, said in 2008 “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Or as the foremost ideologist of neoliberalism, Milton Friedman, said, “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable”. Of course the fact that the rulers or someone else benefits from an event doesn’t automatically mean they must have caused it.

Usually capitalism “conspires” at a very different level from that which classical simplistic conspiracy theorists expound. For one thing, often the information is, as they say, “hidden in plain view”, like Edgar Allen Poe’s “Purloined Letter”. And nor is it really useful to research endlessly the possible events and evidence that aim, but are almost never able, to prove such things. We have to deal with how the state uses these things. But for those who are into it, conspiracy ideology becomes a strategy which mediates all of reality, where secrets are wrapped in a nebulous environment that seems to bring the mundane to life. “Facts are relevant only as details in the landscape which jive or don’t jive with what the believer wants to see…. Conspiracy ideology does not set out to demonstrate the real motive forces behind human practice (including the actual role, if any, of conspiracies within the development of events), but rather takes the conspiracy as beginning and end, the totality of its substance”. (Chris Shutes, “Two Local Chapters In The Spectacle of Decomposition”)

Conspiracy “theory” is usually an obsession which aims to sell the “theorist” as a particularly lucid opponent of political intrigue. And, as a possessor of esoteric knowledge, feel they’re making themselves especially interesting and unique for being able to propound their “secret facts”. Whereas in reality, it’s just a grandiose internet-fueled political version of what used to be seen as petty gossip. Substitute “Jerry’s sleeping with his ex-wife’s girlfriend” with “Xi Jinping hates Zhou Xianwang because…”. In the past the largest section of society objectively reduced to being spectators of history – women – often resorted to gossip as a form of manipulation substituting for direct ability to influence events (this is not to be moralistic by implying that gossip is worse than other consolations for being reduced to a spectator). But nowadays there are many who essentially remain spectators who feel that they overcome their separation from history by spreading conspiracy “theories”. And of course such pretension to something deemed powerful compensates for the fact that we live in a world which previously had far more extensive daily direct forms of communities of class struggle which were genuine expressions of the power of resistance in a far greater practical way than the simplistic reductionism of conspiracy theories. And compensates for an inability and unwillingness to strive to understand what contributed to the defeat of these struggles, defeats which are the basis for our current impotence and impasse. Conspiracy theory becomes a shortcut version of “critique” that ignores a genuine critique of the hard-to-see contradictions of hierarchical social relations and their history.

In many ways, conspiracy ideology is a reflection in ideas of commodity production: each new detail at once creates the need for more details and confirms the value of all previous investigation (just as in commodity production, each new product at once creates the need for more commodities and confirms the value of all previous commodity production). Each detail is a commodity in and of itself. The goal – discovery – is always a letdown, a pageant of bureaucratic tedium. The process is everything. And it remains an interpretation that leaves you passive in relation to what you think you have revealed. After all, if, in the eyes of the conspiracy theorist, the ruling society can conspire at such a delirious level it’s obvious we are impotent to change anything. [vi]

“Conspiracy theories offer us a false target, a distraction. The remedy cannot be to expose and take down those who have foisted these trends upon us. Of course, there are many bad actors in our world, remorseless people committing heinous acts. But have they created the system and the mythology of Separation, or do they merely take advantage of it? Certainly such people should be stopped, but if that is all we do, and leave unchanged the conditions that breed them, we will fight an endless war. Just as in bioterrain theory germs are symptoms and exploiters of diseased tissue, so also are conspiratorial cabals symptoms and exploiters of a diseased society: a society poisoned by the mentality of war, fear, separation, and control.” – Charles Eisenstein, The Conspiracy Myth.

Nevertheless, given the massive distortions and contradictions even amongst experts about everything surrounding this epidemic, it’s almost inevitable that people speculate about what they conveniently give massive publicity to, what is referred to only fleetingly, what they’re hiding and how much has been deliberately allowed to happen. Only those utterly credulous and compliant, those submissive to the authority of experts even if these experts are as consistent as an alcoholic on speed trying to walk a straight line, would repress any sense of doubt or skepticism.

You need to be very discerning not to take sides between conspiracy theories and anti-conspiracy theories, to try to make sides. Clarity demands steering a winding path between the frying pan of “conspiracy theory” and the fire of “anti-conspiracy theory” ideologies. Two ideologies, each containing a partially true critique, including critiques of each other, fall into various forms of reductionism, losing a striving for some attempt at a coherent unity of historical thought but instead setting themselves up as an ideological authority in competition with each other. In an age of confusion and uncertainty, “conspiracy theory” and “anti-conspiracy theory” function like other forms of dogma – as a way of affirming a fixed idea that seems to rise above the turmoil of confusion. But each dismisses what is true in the other and doesn’t question what is false in themselves. In a world that’s utterly insecure, those on the absolute margin of existence seek out fixed certainties that substitute for confronting the complexity of this increasingly chaotic world, that substitute for a more open ‘nuanced’ attitude towards people and ideas. If one were to follow conspiracy “theory” routes one would end up constantly researching – and often twisting – evidence with the sole aim of proving something that’s largely impossible to prove without having direct access to the hidden secrets at the centre of Power, something that would take a successful revolution to achieve (even now, some classified state secrets remain secret despite 30-year or 50-year or 70-year rules before being released). And almost invariably this would involve ignoring any evidence that may conflict with the conspiracy ideology: having decided dogmatically on the fact that a situation is a conspiracy, it would grate and be inconvenient to look at anything that might run counter to such a possibility. And likewise the opposite: anti-conspiracy ideologists ignore any evidence that may conflict with the anti-conspiracy ideology. Having decided dogmatically on the fact that a situation is not at all indicative of elements of a conspiracy in the slightest, it would grate and be inconvenient to look at anything that might run counter to such a possibility. Ideology unchallenged within oneself allows for a smooth and easy interpretation that isn’t compatible with a difficult struggle for the complex truth.

4: The Chinese origin

The Chinese origin of Covid is a good example of how conspiracy theorists and anti-conspiracy theorists relate to aspects of Covid.

Firstly, it’s necessary to be aware that the Chinese state deliberately destroyed evidence concerning Covid’s origins.

On 27th December 2019 a Chinese lab found the new virus and then hid the COVID-19 genome sequence test result for 14 days: “Upon testing, a lab in Guangzhou found out that the genome sequence of the new virus was 87 percent similar to Bat SARS-like coronavirus. The lab shared the results with the China Institute of Pathogen Biology and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on 27th of December. However, the National Health Commission issued a new regulation banning all the labs from sharing and releasing their test results in early January. China only allowed the release of the genome sequence of COVID-19 to the World Health Authority (WHO) on 11 January, two weeks after they got hold of the result.” A report about this on 3/3/20 was censored by the state, surprise surprise (see also this).

Subsequent events can be summed up like this:

The state began censorship of information about it shortly afterwards (end of December 2019). On 7th January 2020 Xi Jinping admitted privately the severity of the virus : “… during a speech Xi delivered February 3, which was published by state media on Saturday [15th February 202], he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as January 7. It was not until late January that officials said the virus could spread between humans and public alarm began to rise.”

The WHO were informed on 11th January 2020.

But it wasn’t until 22nd January 2020 that Xi made a clear request that Hubei province impose control: “On January 22, in light of the epidemic’s rapid spread and the challenges of prevention and control, I made a clear request that Hubei province implement comprehensive and stringent controls over the outflow of people.” (here again).

Yet in early February Xi warned officials that efforts to stop the virus could hurt “the economy”. That is, their economy; the need for money, which is the basic form of misery that capital has expanded to every single need, continues as before. What was feared for the ruling class was above all the Chinese economy’s competitive edge on its rivals. In other words, either through incompetence or through conscious policy, the virus spread or was allowed to spread.

As against the dominant story of its origins, it seems pretty likely that the virus did not start in Wuhan’s wet market. “Experts have ruled out the idea that the pathogen was concocted as a bioweapon. They agree that it began as a bat virus that probably evolved naturally in another mammal to become adept at infecting and killing humans. But so far, after months of concentrated research at sites and laboratories in China and elsewhere around the globe, no clear intermediary has come to light. The first three of Dr. Lucey’s eight questions center on the Wuhan wet market — a sprawling marketplace that sold fresh fish and meat before being shut down. It was initially viewed as the viral point of origin. That idea was quickly thrown into doubt when a study by Chinese scientists reported that roughly a third of the earliest hospitalized victims — including the first — had never visited the market. In a May blog, Dr. Lucey quoted the head of China’s Center for Disease Control as ruling it out as the pandemic’s place of origin. The market, the Chinese health official said, “is just another victim.”…no direct evidence has come to light suggesting that the coronavirus escaped from one of Wuhan’s labs….Finally, Dr. Lucey asks the W.H.O. team to learn more about China’s main influenza research lab, a high-security facility in Harbin, the capital of China’s northernmost province. In May, he notes, a Chinese paper in the journal Science reported that two virus samples from Wuhan were studied there in great detail early this year, including in a variety of animals….” (from a 10/7/20 article here). In fact, the first publicly stated suspicion backed by some kind of evidence that it came from a lab seems to have been as early as February 2020 (see this and this).

Moreover, this says “It can also be revealed the Australian government trained and funded a team of Chinese scientists who belong to a laboratory which went on to genetically modify deadly coronaviruses that could be transmitted from bats to humans and had no cure”. This confirms the support and co-funding of the Australian government and adds that the People’s Liberation Army had been doing secret classified animal experiments in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Despite this, it’s 99.9999999999% unlikely that the virus was deliberately allowed to escape this lab so as to infect the world (I’m never absolutist about anything other than the obvious). The conspiracy theories, such as those which say that it was a deliberate Malthusian attack on the human race manufactured in a Wuhan lab designed to reduce what is commonly assumed to be the “overpopulation” of the planet, don’t make sense, not least because there are far more efficient methods of killing off masses of people, methods already happening – nuclear power-induced cancer, mass starvation, TB, malaria, air pollution, horrible work conditions etc. For anti-semites, this lab was inevitably one financed by George Soros, because it’s clear that Soros’ clones hide under everyone’s bed ready to come out at night to infect them with any hangover or belly ache they find themselves waking up with, obviously caused by him.

However, the cock-up theory of history is often just as simplistic as conspiracy theories [vii] , insofar as it ignores how the state can turn an accident to its advantage by elements of Machiavellian manoeuvering. In this case, not just to give the state the image of subsequently being the saviour, giving it a pretext for a “benevolent” intensification of social control, but also to manipulate the means of control so as not to ruin their precious economy. Hence all the contradictory state exigencies: as a Weibo user said What’s the point of such lockdown measures if we are still required to go back to the office to resume work, where we are vulnerable to infections and human transmissions” here. This latter, whilst being a basic implicit critique of the contradictions of wage labour and exploitation and social control in this Covid-epoch, is nevertheless the most obvious one to make, which often ignores and even suppresses others equally important.

The WHO investigation into the origins found that it was “very unlikely” it came from a lab, although how they can say this given the massive restrictive limitations imposed on them (see this March 4th 2021 open letter calling for a full and unrestricted international forensic investigation into the origins of Covid: “we wish to raise public awareness of the fact that half of the joint team convened under that process is made of Chinese citizens whose scientific independence may be limited, that international members of the joint team had to rely on information the Chinese authorities chose to share with them, and that any joint team report must be approved by both the Chinese and international members of the joint team. We have therefore reached the conclusion that the joint team did not have the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses to carry out a full and unrestricted investigation into all the relevant SARS-CoV-2 origin hypotheses – whether natural spillover or laboratory/research-related incident”) and the fact that the Chinese state refused to hand over vital data, is at best a mystery based on nothing but a hunch (see also this). More likely is that the essentially Chinese-dominated investigation was heavily leant on by the Chinese bureaucracy to state this. Some scientists say that it is highly likely – 90% certain – that it came from a lab (see this interview and this one). According to this interview, the People´s Liberation Army took over the virology institute immediately after the outbreak.

Here is an article by the interviewee in this last video laying out his views in detail:

“The closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 is a virus sampled by Chinese researchers from six miners infected while working in a bat-infested cave in southern China in 2012. These miners developed symptoms we now associate with Covid-19. Half of them died. These viral samples were then taken to the Wuhan Institute of Virology—the only facility in China that’s a biosafety Level 4 laboratory, the highest possible safety designation. The Level 4 designation is reserved for facilities dealing with the most dangerous pathogens. Wuhan is more than 1,000 miles north of Yunnan province, where the cave is located. If the virus jumped to humans through a series of human-animal encounters in the wild or in wet markets, as Beijing has claimed, we would likely have seen evidence of people being infected elsewhere in China before the Wuhan outbreak. We have not. The alternative explanation, a lab escape, is far more plausible. We know the Wuhan Institute of Virology was using controversial ‘gain of function’ techniques to make viruses more virulent for research purposes. A confidential 2018 State Department cable released this month highlighting the lab’s alarming safety record should heighten our concern. Suggesting that an outbreak of a deadly bat coronavirus coincidentally occurred near the only level 4 virology institute in all of China—which happened to be studying the closest known relative of that exact virus—strains credulity.” “Gain of function” is research that deliberately makes viruses found in nature more virulent, more infectious to humans, more contagious and potentially more deadly. There are several labs around the world conducting this research with the aim of learning how to avert or diminish damage caused by hypothetical future pandemics. Apparently, it is possible, perhaps likely, that as is the case with many other aspects of this pandemic, the “cure” inflicted on the world by that holy alliance of medical science and the state is worse than the threat from nature ever was, and the whole world has literally become an experiment gone wrong. Which shows that nothing was gained from any of the “gain of function” research conducted by the lab in terms of learning how to avert a pandemic caused by coronaviruses.

Given the fact that the doctor (Li Wenliang) who originally discovered this virus was arrested and accused of “rumour-mongering”, speculations that the Chinese bureaucracy intentionally wanted this virus to spread abound. Some suggested that the CCP, faced with the possibility of having this crisis undermine its own global bid for world market supremacy (the effect of the virus was initially to weaken Chinese capital) decided to let it develop in order to infect its competitors and maybe also to help suppress the threat of internal subversion perhaps triggered by the limited revolts in Hong Kong, and Wuhan itself. Whilst there are too many incalculable risks that makes it unlikely that the State would have proceeded in such a Machiavellian manner and implies that the State is omnipotent and invariably in control of forces that are often beyond its control, it’s worth noting that the Chinese economy is the only major economy to have achieved growth in 2020. However, far more likely is that the ideology of the omniscience of the Chinese state (by which they delude the Chinese masses and also partly themselves) meant that they had to repress Dr.Li Wenliang and probably let him die when he contracted the virus. And, though this is pure conjecture, perhaps conveniently blame the local bureaucracy in Wuhan of gross incompetence so as to get rid of rivals in the CCP’s internal battles.

However, conjecture is the only way this works – one endlessly speculates about this and that without ever being able to come to a conclusion let alone a practical use of a conclusion. Whilst such skepticism is healthy as compared to just accepting the dominant narrative, it’s very limited going down this road of hypothesis-fantasy. After all, it’s how the state actually uses this “crisis” that’s the most important not constantly trying to track down the manipulations and manoeuvres that seem to be behind it. An endless task that, as said in the 3rd paragraph above, “is a reflection in ideas of commodity production: each new detail at once creates the need for more details and confirms the value of all previous investigation”, though one can overstate this comparison. After all, since the whole of the situation over the last year or more has been permeated by mass manipulation on an unprecedented scale, uncovering aspects of these manipulations is essential as part of the project of providing evidence for this manipulation.

5: The apparently more obviously delerious “conspiracy theories”

The apparently more obviously delerious “conspiracy theories” are a mixture of half-truths and one-and-a-half-truths, partial truths distorted by lies and ideology.

The most obvious one is the idea of vaccinations introducing microchips into the body of the vaccinated.

Let’s look at the contradictions of what at first sight seems utterly absurd.

In December 2019 this article in a mainstream French TV news channel and online news site shows that in fact a vaccination tracking device under the skin was already starting to be developed a year ago . It’s probably the basis for the silly conspiracy theories being put out. Whilst certain totalitarian tendencies may well be planning to put such technology into operation, dependent on whether or not they could pass a law to make it legal and/or compulsory, but certainly they couldn’t do it now without taking the enormous, and very costly, risk of being discovered, costly in terms of mass submissive confidence in these would-be Mengeles:

TOMORROW’S WORLD – Researchers have developed a technology which, thanks to an invisible tattoo embedded under the skin, makes it possible to display a person’s health record via the camera of a smartphone. Enough to provide doctors, especially in developing countries, with proof that the person has been vaccinated…Subcutaneous technological implants, used all over the world for livestock and pets, are starting to spread to humans, as in Sweden where several thousand people already use them as a key, train ticket or bank card. In the field of health, this time, a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced that they had developed a revolutionary process: instead of implanting an electronic chip between the index finger and the thumb, nanoparticles are injected under the skin via a special syringe. These nanoparticles have the particularity of emitting a fluorescent light imperceptible to the naked eye, but visible from the screen of a smartphone. Concretely, the idea is to establish the proof of the vaccine in the body itself, especially in developing countries where paper vaccination cards are often incorrect or incomplete and where electronic medical records do not exist. So far, the technology has only been tested in rats, but researchers hope to test it on humans in Africa within the next two years….Scientists have spent a lot of time finding components that are safe for the body, stable and able to last for years. The final recipe is composed of copper-based nanocrystals, called “quantum dots”, measuring 3.7 nanometers in diameter. These nanocrystals are then encapsulated in microparticles of 16 micrometers (1 micrometer equals one millionth of a meter…)…. The implantation, which is done with a special syringe with a patch of microneedles 1.5 millimeters in length, is almost painless. Once applied to the skin for two minutes, the microneedles dissolve and leave small points under the skin, distributed for example in the shape of a circle or a cross. They appear under the effect of a part of the light spectrum invisible to us, close to infrared. Through the camera of a modified smartphone, pointed at the skin, the circle or the cross appears fluorescent on the screen. This symbol fluoresces on the screen when you point the smartphone camera…Researchers want the measles vaccine to be injected at the same time as these small dots. Because of this, a doctor could check if the person has been vaccinated years later. The technique is believed to be more durable than permanent felt markers. In the report of their work, the scientists indicate that they simulated five years of exposure to the Sun during laboratory tests. Another advantage of this device is that it requires less technology than an iris scan or the maintenance of medical databases. …The limitation of the concept is that the technique will only be useful in identifying unvaccinated children if it becomes the exclusive tool used. Also, will people accept multiple markings under the skin for each vaccine? And what will happen to the dots when children’s bodies grow older? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds this project, is currently conducting opinion polls in Kenya, Malawi and Bangladesh to determine whether people will be ready to embrace these microscopic quantum dots or prefer to stick to old vaccination cards.” [viii]

What is dumb about the conspiracy theorists use of this is the belief that “they” will automatically make a secret use of this technological advance. The chance of the state or private interests putting a tracking device or nanotechnological softeware into people’s bodies without their consent or knowledge would be a very dangerous game to play, given the chances of them being found out. And besides, the technological means of totalitarian social control do not necessitate such crudely underhand methods. Conspiracy theories at that level take a truth and develop it into an absurdity that then makes any critique of the true situation also seem absurd (to the point where it would be no surprise to find out that in fact sections of the ruling society put out mad versions of real “conspiracies” in order to tar the real with the same brush as the crazy). Like with individuals who persistently exaggerate and blow out of all proportion something true, one ends up thinking everything they say is bullshit, even if it’s not. “In a world which really is upside down, the true is a moment of the false.” said Debord in relation to dominant ideology, but it’s also true of much of supposed oppositional ideology also. Such a conspiracy theory distracts from the real dangers of the vaccines.

6: And then there’s QAnon

And then there’s QAnon. Nowadays in the United States this conspiracy movement is expressing itself in the most delerious manner, though I’ve even heard of equally insane theories coming from a mixture of Biblical references and ideas about extra-terrestrials. All indicative of the vast intensification of irrationality. QAnon denounces an alleged conspiracy by Satanist paedocriminals, which Donald Trump is (or was) allegedly fighting. This would be a joke if the far-right demonstrators who invaded the Capitol on 6th January had not included some of the main spokespersons of this movement, including Jake Angeli, known as QAnon Shaman, whose clown outfit and buffalo horns did little to conceal the supremacist and neo-Nazi tattoos with which he is covered.

The more capitalism hurtles the world towards the abyss, the more those who avoid striving to oppose the hierarchical separations that are at the base of the intensified destruction of life and sense succumb to a mixture of religious and sci-fi delusions that give them comfort in their acceptance of such separations. In the absence of much significant and explicitly conscious opposition aiming to arm itself with the development of clear ideas, mystical distractions fill the void. Conspiracy becomes a form of response to the loss of bearings, despair, anguish, and a channel for the anger that more and more oppressed people feel in the face of capitalism – a short-cut simplistic explanation to the ongoing catastrophe, in a situation where those at the margin of society are tossed from one mad drama to another, and yet have to face this feeling of being a powerless victim largely on their own. Conspiracy theory is a false exit from the struggle to find a common genuine “exit”, thriving on the ruins of the workers’ movement.

For the right, conspiracy theories function as a method of not looking at their own complicity in the miseries inflicted on humanity, as well as not looking at the structural systemic reasons for these miseries and the interaction between the two. Reducing the source of such miseries to individuals or little clandestine groups of individuals is their method of such an evasive mentality. But more of this in a later text, one that focuses more on the left v. right politics of confusion that pervades this Covid1984 epoch.

Added 1/8/21:

“A lie repeated 1000 times becomes a truth”

According to this, this sticker, amongst innumerable others, has been produced by a French extreme right wing group connected to QAnon, though the name “la rose blanche” (“The White Rose”) is the name of a group of students who resisted the Nazis between July 1942 and February 1943 in Germany, distributing dissident leaflets. The students wrote pacifist and anti-fascist slogans on the walls, collected bread for concentration camp inmates and looked after their families. The actions of the White Rose were taken as an example from January 1943 by intellectuals in southern Germany and Berlin. The line “A lie repeated 1000 times becomes a truth” is taken from Goebells.

I suspect that most people reproducing this sticker have no knowledge of what the group “the white rose” is nor the history of where the name was taken from. If this group is, as the article states, a group of Trump QAnon supporters it’s also indicative of how recuperative the Right have become: the sticker – without the Covid references – could have been produced by anarchists in previous epochs. It’s also indicative of how this epoch is confusing to almost everyone and that trying to untangle the massively proliferating mystifications, and trying to grasp why people are disseminating these mystifications, these half-truths and one and a half-truths is one of the tasks of those who want to stop the movement towards totalitarianism and generalised madness.

7: Some events around which elements of conspiracy definitely existed

Some events around which elements of conspiracy definitely existed:

The Zinoviev Letter – a successful attempt by sections of the UK secret service to prevent the election of a Labour government, back in 1924.

The American state version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident – which became a pretext for vastly expanding the Vietnam war – turned out to be a total lie, surprise surprise.

The bombing of a bank in Piazza Fontana in Italy in December 1969, blamed on anarchists, was a bombing initiated by a section of the state with the intention of repressing the social movements that erupted in 1969 in Italy.

The Falklands/Malvinas War: clearly allowed to happen. Even though Galtieri was sabre-rattling about it being Argentina’s possession, threatening to invade, a major UK battleship was withdrawn from the island giving him the green light to put his money where his mouth was. John Notts, the Minister of Defence, during an emergency debate in the House of Commons the day after the Argentinian occupation and shortly before the fleet headed across the Atlantic, said If we were unprepared, how is it that from next Monday, at only a few days notice, the Royal Navy will put to sea in wartime order and with wartime stocks and weapons? …preparations have been in progress for several weeks.” (see Hansard for April 3rd 1982). The reasons for this? Thatcher, following massive opposition including riots in 50 towns and cities throughout mainly England the year before, was way down in the polls as a repetition of the riots were being predicted for the summer of ‘82. She clearly needed a massive boost in order to win the next election which she did, on the basis of national pride and her image as an Iron Lady who’d won a war, so as to subsequently take on the miners, something that had long been planned by the right-wing of the Tory Party.

There are undoubtedly others – maybe Saddam Hussein was given the green light to invade Kuwait, resulting in the 1991 Gulf War (amongst other obvious capitalist oil interests, it gave the world a post-cold war alternative to the bogeyman of “communism”). Maybe Pearl Harbour was allowed to happen (the evidence is contradictory on this one, though it obviously enabled Roosevelt to sell the idea of joining WWII to a formerly reluctant American population and allowed the US state to make its bid for world’s most powerful imperialist.). There’s plenty of evidence that the East German Rostock race riots of 1992 were encouraged by lack of police action – the cops were told to hold back from going in so that these riots could develop to a very vicious level.

“Watergate, COINTELPRO, Iran-Contra, Merck’s drug Vioxx, Ford’s exploding Pinto coverup, Lockheed-Martin’s bribery campaign, Bayer’s knowing sale of HIV-contaminated blood, and the Enron scandal demonstrate that conspiracies involving powerful elites do happen” – Charles Eisenstein, The Conspiracy Myth.

And there are doubtless others as well – the obvious one being the assassination of Kennedy [ix]. But also some aspects of the 1980s AIDS epidemic may be worth looking at [x].


i See, for instance, the thorough distortions from the leftists of libcom blog, who have dropped all pretension to the “libertarian” origins of their name “libcom”:, in particular the constant manipulative use of the attribute “conspiracy” or “conspiracy theorist” to Nymphalis Antiopa’s posts by Steven and Red Marriott, manipulative ad hominem amalgam techniques which are in the same vein as classic Stalinist Newspeak, even if their politics are very different. However, their perspective, their social relations, are not anti-political: Politics as rivalry, as half-truths, as a method of functionalising people is at the centre of their discourse. “It’s necessary to criticise politics within daily life itself, where it started from, and only afterwards came to dominate daily life in the form of the State, the parties and all the various representations. …Thus , the critique of politicians and of politics shouldn’t limit itself to a crude anarchistic attack on “political men”: it only makes full sense in its application in daily life itself, to the politicians of daily life, just as it has already been applied to the politicians of organisation. The politics of and in daily life is the last possible expression of the State – i.e. daily life and its relations led in a way similar to the way in which the State or a commercial business (it comes to the same thing) are led. …Thus, it’s necessary to stop understanding “revolutionary” politics as it wants to be understood, that is to say in the so-called struggle it proposes to lead against the dominant society, which is merely the external justification for the necessity of its existence: politics is less a relation between two opposing sides than above all a relation within each side.” Joel Cornualt, Pour le passage de la decomposition a des constructions nouvelles, 1978

As for Steven’s horror that my criticism of the compulsory wearing of masks outside had contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands people, see this link: file:///tmp/mozilla_nick0/Le%20Parisien%20-%204%20mai%202021.pdf

“By last summer, the mask had gradually made its way into public space in many municipalities. But in the meantime, knowledge has become more refined: scientists now agree that the possibility of contamination by SARS-CoV-2 is very limited outdoors, while enclosed spaces are more threatening. Epidemiologist Antoine Flahault even describes this risk as “extremely marginal”. “In the outdoor environment, aerosols [micro-droplets potentially containing the virus, editor’s note] exist but they dilute in the atmosphere very quickly. I don’t think there is any risk, except in the theoretical case of someone spitting on you nearby,” says the director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva. A staunch “ayatollah of the indoor mask”, he considers that imposing it outdoors is “nonsense”. In Ireland, for example, only 0.1% of positive cases originate from outdoor activities (building sites, sports, etc.), according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), reports the Irish Times.”

iiThis is a valid riposte to the clichéd caricature of criticisms: What is it OKAY to criticise with current Covid policy?
Is it okay to question:
The use of PCRs as the only diagnostic tool, despite its poor specificity?
The use of lockdowns as the only intervention?
The use of behavioural psychologists to debate how to best “scare” people into compliance?
The use of SAGE’s subcommittees to override the will of the sitting Parliament?
The flip-flopping and constant policy reversals?
The regularity with which the NHS is overrun every single Winter?
The two years of lower Winter deaths in the published statistics?
The financial gain for contractors known to be linked to the Conservative Government?
The forced Vaccination programme and Vaccine Passports?

Is it OKAY to question ANY of this? – and not be a “Covid denying conspiracist”?

iii Among other things they say this horrifically explicit bit of “Youthanasia”: “With a case mortality rate that sounds insignificant in percentage terms, and which mainly affects the elderly, many then unconsciously and unacknowledgedly think to themselves: “Well, this way we get rid of the old people who are dragging our economy down, there are already too many of us on Earth anyway, and with a bit of luck I will inherit a bit earlier this way.” These mechanisms have certainly contributed to the downplaying of the epidemic in the past.”. etc. – a reified functionalising of people which is also pretty common among these “experts” themselves, because that is how they also see themselves: you are what you’re worth is to the commodity economy.

[iv] It seems obvious that rulers will do everything to protect their power in the event of catastrophe. For instance, by having a network of underground bunkers equipped with all the means necessary for their survival and the hope of their returning to the surface should they deem it safe. But if you suggest this is happening many would define this as a “conspiracy theory”. In fact at one time, the existence of “Mount Weather” was seen as a fantasy concocted by conspiracy theorists. Yet consider the Regional Seats of Government discovered in the 1960s by the British group “Spies for Peace”, a group close to the Committee of 100 of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament fame, which included many people who considered themselves anarchists or other categories of anti-state revolutionaries. In 1963 they broke into a secret government bunker, RSG-6 at Warren Row, near Reading, where they photographed and copied documents revealing that a small group of people who had accepted thermonuclear war as a probability, were consciously and carefully planning for it, quietly waiting for the day the bomb dropped, for that would be the day they’d take over. This is just an old example of such “conspiracies”, which nobody with any radical point of view at that time would have arrogantly dismissed partly because of the concrete proof of the “conspiracy”, partly because they placed this “conspiracy” within social terms that made sense, partly because publication of the information led almost immediately to various forms of action against these RSGs (pickets outside 3 of them) and partly because the word “conspiracy” was never used – it was just a reflection of how the elite function and was seen as such.

iv b See, for example, France’s Council of Order of doctors: political police? Or this: Belgium: interview (in French) with pathologist who lodged legal complaint against the medical order and the directive sent to all doctors in Belgium in January 2021 that vaccination is an obligation and that doctors must promote the vaccination programme or risk facing severe sanctions.

v It’s obvious that the dark web – which we know is not at all open to everyone – is not just for terrorists, arms and drug dealers, human traffickers and pedophiles, but also for equally obnoxious scum such as sections of the ruling class and their states. It’s pretty much well-known that the internet, 30 years or so before it became a publicly available mediation, was an integral part of US state secret communication, so why would that change?

vi “…there is a critical perspective, a suspicion of those in power, whose interests are seen as different from and in conflict with the wider public (the ‘people’). This populist assumption of ‘people vs elite’ is married to a notion of the hidden intervention of state forces, and – crucially – the notion that these forces would succeed. Alongside an anti-elitist ontology is an elitist epistemology, for the explanation of the fact that ‘mainstream’ knowledge is wrong is supposedly that the great mass of the population are dupes –the people are ‘sheeple’ –and only the small band of enlightened conspiracy theorists see the truth. One definition of conspiracism is the belief that powerful, hidden, evil forces control human destinies. Similarly, there is the notion of ‘history as will’. Related assumptions shared by many conspiracy theories include the idea that nothing happens by accident, everything is connected; that power is the hidden motive for everything else; that who benefits from an event must have caused it; and that history is determined by conspiracies.”[2].pdf . There’s a certain irony in the fact that this quote from an Aufheben article gives an accurate description of significant elements of conspiracy theory, whilst John Drury, one of the leading theoreticians of this group, supports all the standard methods of state & capital’s suppression of the crowd under the pretext of Covid1984. And not only supports but has been part of the state’s group of people operating their Covid1984 policies (see the list under “Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours”). Of course, this is no conspiracy – the guy is simply prepared to sell any fragments of soul he ever had in his ambition to climb up the greasy pole.

See this and this for earlier critiques of this creep. And this for links to most references to the 9-year old scandal.

vii During the Kosovo war, the Americans bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Their story was that it was a mistake, that they had acted on the basis of an old out-of-date map. In other words, a cock-up. Later, however, it was revealed (without being seriously contested) that they had done it deliberately. The state sometimes prefers to claim its incompetence as opposed to its conscious policies. Just as sometimes it does the opposite.

viii The MIT research is confirmed by this mainstream media as well as this one and the development in Africa confirmed by Le Monde (all in French). And the information about Sweden is confirmed here and here (also in French and also mainstream).

ix Amongst people whose attempts to contribute to social movements is mostly theoretical, there are those who, so as to imagine in their heads that they are not essentially conservative in their practice, think they’re being rebellious by trying to refute such an obvious conspiracy as the assassination of JFK. Since the publication of the Warren report into his assassination there were increasing criticisms of its obviously dubious (and shoddy) nature to the point where it became pretty clear that there was some conspiracy behind his assassination and that Oswald, regardless of whether he was the guy who shot him or not, did not act alone. Since then intellectuals who give credence to any idea as long as it seems a bit different from classical alternative-type criticisms of anything and regardless of its social implications, indulge in the possibility of official definitions of what’s going on as being correct, even when most of the evidence is against this version. In this reactive manner of “criticism” they end up full circle on the side of dominant society. In relation to JFK they’ll say it was Oswald acting alone and in so saying think they’re being very unconventional and daring even if it was the conventional “wisdom” back in 1964 when the Warren Report was first published and those who dared criticise the report were vilified without end. Not that those who constantly harp on about the conspiracy behind JFK’s assassination have the slightest critique either: almost invariably it’s in order to say what a great guy he was and that Vietnam wouldn’t have happened if he’d been president (against all evidence – it was Kennedy who first increased the US “advisors” to the South Vietnam military). All that bullshit just ends up thinking one man in the “right place” (ie head-of-state) can alter the course of history.

x The following about AIDS is significant:

On March 31st 1987 there was a meeting between Reagan and Chirac (France’s Prime Minister at the time) at the White House where the 2 leaders agreed settlement to the dispute concerning who had discovered the AIDS virus HIV. The settlement included a definitive, though not exhaustive, scientific history of the retrospective contributions by the Nationaol Cancer Institute in Maryland (USA) and the Pasteur Institute in Paris, of the discovery of the AIDS virus. The 2 leading researchers of each institute, R.C.Gallo and L.Montagnier and their colleagues agreed “not to make nor publish any statement which would or could be construed as contradicting or compromising the said scientific history” (“AIDS Truce Brings History to a Halt”, New Scientist, p. 21, 9/4/87, an article not online). This degree of political involvement in the official history of medical science was unprecedented at the time. We must remember that back in the latter part of the 1980s, the universally held racist “fact” propagated by WHO and all the powers-that-be and the media (including – horror shock! – The Guardian and the British Communist Party’s journal “Marxism Today”), and virtually the whole of the scientific “community”, was that AIDS began in Africa from human contact, probably sexual contact, with a Green Monkey, something that was pretty much publicly refuted 3 years later (see, for instance this: ). This despite the fact that 70% of the cases recorded by WHO were in the USA. At that time 2 doctors who contested this racist ideology (a couple with the surname of Chirimuuta) were forced to self-publish and self-distribute their book “Aids, Africa and Racism” at considerable cost because no publisher or distributor would touch it with a million-mile bargepole. And anybody who attacked this ideology as racist was accused of avoiding scientific fact by playing the race card. It’s true that HIV migrated from primates to humans as a result of colonialist domination of Africa in the early 20th century, which led to the industrialisation of the bushmeat market as cheap food for the working class, as well as explicitly racist malpractice by colonial medical staff — it was spread by doctors because they didn´t bother to sterilize needles when vaccinating blacks. But that hardly explains why the first epidemic of it, some 60 years later, was not at all in Africa but amongst especially gays in California and New York and then needle-using drug takers.

Added 26/6/21: The connection between HIV and AIDS still seems to not be definite. In a December 1993 editorial, Nature magazine was forced to state that “almost ten years after H.I.V. was identified, the evidence that it causes AIDS is still only epidemiological”. And in the 1980s there was significant scientific research into AIDS victims that found no trace of HIV antibodies in 10% of the dead victims of AIDS.

See also “Dirty Medicine” by Martin J. Walker for some insights into how the pharmaceutical industry manipulated the mainstream gay “community” about cures for HIV and AIDS (this book is also an interesting critique of mainstream medicine in general).

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

The return of the Arab Spring? – riots in Tunisia, January 2021

“The whole system must go”

Whilst the world’s media is mostly, and conveniently, silent about this, concentrating on the very dubious vaccination programmes going on all over the place, what seems like the beginnings of a national uprising against misery is hitting the streets of Tunisia.


Tunis: further clashes

“Tunisian riot police on Tuesday turned water cannon on protesters outside the heavily barricaded parliament as they tried to quell the largest rally yet since demonstrations began this month over inequality and police abuses. Hundreds of protesters marched from the Ettadhamen district of the capital where young people have clashed nightly with police for more than a week, and were joined by hundreds more near the parliament. Police blocked the march with barricades to prevent protesters approaching the parliament building where legislators were holding a tense debate on a controversial government reshuffle…The session comes a day after protesters clashed with police in the town of Sbeitla, in Tunisia’s marginalised centre, after a young man hit by a tear gas canister during clashes last week died in hospital…mothers in the Tunisian capital have accused authorities of arbitrarily arresting their children in response to the unrest”

See also Tunisia  Resistant for a detailed description of the day

See also:

Clashes break out in Tunisia after protester dies of injuries


Tunisia: protests continue  More here  and here

“The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14. But protesters took to the streets in several parts of the country, including the capital Tunis and the marginalized interior region of Gafsa, to demand the release of hundreds of young people detained during several nights of unrest since January 14. “Neither police nor Islamists, the people want revolution,” chanted demonstrators in a crowd of several hundred in Tunis, where one person was wounded in brief clashes amid a heavy police presence. Protests were also held in the coastal city of Sfax on Friday. Much of the unrest has been in working class neighborhoods, where anger is boiling over soaring unemployment and a political class accused of having failed to deliver good governance, a decade after the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.”


Mainstream American political-economic report

“In 2020, the economy contracted by 8 percent, crucial tourism revenues dropped by 65 percent, and thousands of companies were forced to shut down. Meanwhile, unemployment among youths continued to climb well past one-third, and the decade-old trend of declining poverty reversed. The combined effects of the virus and government containment measures also spurred more Tunisians to head for Europe, with nearly 13,000 migrants reaching Italy’s shores in 2020 compared to 2,600 the previous year—a reminder that instability in North Africa carries far-reaching implications for America’s European allies. Indeed, the United States has several strong interests in seeing Tunisia’s democratic experiment succeed. In addition to the substantial symbolic cost of seeing an Arab democracy collapse, instability in Tunisia would invite spillover from the Libyan conflict next door, exacerbate the growing challenge of uncontrolled migration to Europe, and provide an opening for terrorists and other armed groups congregating elsewhere in Tunisia’s neighborhood. In the near term, then, Washington should make clear that it stands ready to assist Tunisia as much as possible. Even low-cost measures would yield strong returns. For example, the new administration can leverage America’s influence with the World Bank, IMF, and other international organizations to bolster emergency assistance, expedite Tunisia’s long-sought Millennium Challenge Corporation compact, and invite the country to attend the global “Summit for Democracy” that President Biden has pledged to hold during his first year in office. More forcefully engaging with European allies on economic and migration challenges will also be key. In any case, Tunisia’s eruption of social unrest suggests that the pandemic will no longer deter people from taking to the streets and voicing grievances over their lack of economic prospects or basic services. And as in 2011, the unrest could be a harbinger of things to come in other countries. Many of Tunisia’s neighbors have suffered similar effects from the pandemic, and as they emerge from the COVID crisis, the economic damage of the past two years could be highly destabilizing if citizens remain unconvinced that their governments will bring them adequate relief. Ten years after the Arab Spring, Tunisia’s predicament suggests that regional economic and political reform may lag indefinitely, so the Biden administration should prepare accordingly. However much the new president may want to focus on his stated priorities, the outburst of protests shows that local events can quickly push their way onto the foreign policy agenda.”


Report on Tunisia’s misery

Following a brief video of an interview with a young woman in which she says “…either I emigrate clandestinely or I set fire to myself” the report continues:

“The young people you see here are neglected and have no food at home. They go home and have nothing to eat. People are unemployed, there are no wages, there is no money, where is the money? We are being made false promises. The politicians tell us they are going to make us work, they silence us with words “. Like this resident of the popular Ettadhamen district, near the capital Tunis, many Tunisians, many of them young, have taken to the streets to express their anger and weariness in recent days as the country faces an economic crisis. , health and politics. “It happens in a context of a long-standing economic crisis, with soaring unemployment rates. You have   Covid-19 which creates even more frustrations and deprivation … Mini-markets and cash machines have been attacked”


Despite massive cop presence, clashes continue in Sbeitla following rumours of youth dying  from being hit by teargas grenade (official version is he died of drug overdose)clashes continue in Tunis and Sousseand Sidi BouzidTunisian blogger’s report here

“There are 1,000 people arrested” including many minors, said Bassem Trifi of the Tunisian League for Human Rights, who charged that many arrests had been “arbitrary,” including of people inside their homes. “Some were arrested without having taken part in the demonstrations,” he told a joint press conference of a dozen groups, also including the journalists’ union and young lawyers’ association. Some activists had been detained for voicing support for the protests on Facebook and other sites, and at least one of them now faces six years prison if convicted, the groups said….They warned that “violent security practices would only… aggravate the crisis of the rejection of the state“.

Rulers response to beginnings of movement

“Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement [mildly Islamic “opposition” party] on Tuesday called on the country’s premier to launch investigations into the riots and alleged vandalism on public and private property across the country. In a statement, the party expressed its strong disapproval of hate speech and incitement by unnamed political parties which it described as “speeches outside of national contexts.” Ennahda called on the Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi to “tell the people the truth about last night’s protests, carry out the necessary investigations, protect public and private property and apply the law.” It also strongly condemned “the attacks on private and public property, the looting and sabotage of administrative and commercial institutions,” calling on protesters not to deviate from their demands and to refrain from sabotaging and harming the country, according to the statement.”


Tunisia: 5th night of riots

“The whole system must go … We will return to the streets and we will regain our rights and our dignity that a corrupt elite seized after the revolution,” said Maher Abid, an unemployed protester. Shortly before last week’s 10th anniversary of the revolution, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi’s government ordered a four-day lockdown and a tighter night-time curfew against the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a ban on protests. However, in cities across the North African country youths have thrown stones and petrol bombs, burnt tyres and looted shops while police have deployed tear gas and batons, arresting hundreds. In a televised speech on Tuesday, Mechichi said he understood popular anger over the economic situation and the frustration of young people, but that violence was not acceptable. “Your voice is heard and your anger is legitimate… Do not allow saboteurs among you,” he said, addressing protesters…Protesters … chanted “the people want the fall of the regime”, as well as demands for jobs. Tunisia was suffering economically even before the COVID-19 crisis, with high unemployment and declining state services. Earlier, the powerful labour union and other rights groups voiced support for peaceful protests against “policies of marginalisation, impoverishment and starvation”, accusing the state of squandering the revolution’s hopes.”

More here. “In 2020 alone, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) recorded 6,500 protests, all of which were motivated by economic, social and environmental demands.” And here“Earlier‮ ‬in the day, protesters rallied in Tunis, reviving the chant that rang a decade ago in a revolution that ushered in democracy: “The people want the fall of the regime.”


Tunisia: 4th night of riots Video here

“Street clashes between riot police and youths rocked Tunisia for the fourth night in mostly working class neighbourhoods, with calls on social media for more rallies on Tuesday. More than 600 people had been arrested by Monday over the disturbances in which teenagers and adolescents have hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who have fired volleys of tear gas at them. The social unrest comes at a time of economic crisis, worsened by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism-reliant North African country, which has deepened poverty and driven up inflation and unemployment. In the latest unrest until the early hours of Tuesday, hundreds of youths in the capital battled police in several districts including the vast Ettadhamen city on the outskirts of Tunis. In Sfax, the second largest city, protesters blockaded roads with burning tyres, an AFP correspondent reported. “


Tunisia: looting, clashes and riots in 23 towns and cities on 10th anniversary of Ben Ali’s fall

“Arab media broadcast amateur video of crowds of young men setting fires and looting banks and private businesses in a second day of violence in a number of Tunisian cities. “

More here (videos and reports mostly in French)

Sample quotes: Protesters did not formulate clear demands during protests, which authorities described as riots…In the capital Tunis, a dilapidated neighborhood was the scene of clashes between mainly teenage protesters and the police, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd after having had stones thrown at them. According to several witnesses, demonstrators looted shops in several cities. “…”the majority of “casseurs” arrested were between 12 and 15-years-old”…”There were reports that a police station in Souk Lahad belonging to the National Guard was set on fire. The information was denied by a security source “…”A decade on from a revolution against poverty, corruption and injustice, Tunisia has progressed towards democracy but its economic problems have worsened, with the country on the verge of bankruptcy and public services in a dire situation. Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 9 percent last year, consumer prices have spiralled upwards and one-third of young people are unemployed.”

See also this


Tunisia: riots and clashes in 4 towns and cities

During the clashes, the youths attempted to ransack the Ettadhamen post office, before being dispersed. As for the ATM  at this office, it was destroyed and looted. The security forces, attacked with stones, responded with tear gas


Clashes following cop aggression of shepherd (video of which goes viral)

More here in English.

Clashes in 2 areas of Tunis following Covid rules-inspired cop repression of football fans celebrating victory…Video here


Clashes in 3 towns between youths and cops

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

Leftist bollocks from the usual suspects

For a chronological reflection, starting from the present and working backwards,  of aspects of the Covid1984 permanent crisis see this

head in sand

Scroll down to “ADDED 30/12/20” for my response to various crap on libcom distorting most of what I’ve said .

A response to this.

A pathetic crap article, yet another Covidiocy, typical of leftism, even in its “libertarian” forms, which has totally failed to get to grips with the misery of state and capitalist impositions of social control with the pretext of the virus. It’s a reactive article almost as reactionary as the rubbish spewed out by the racist and nationalist millionaire rock stars it condemns.

For example, recent scientific research has shown that masks worn outside are utterly ineffective (see this:, but because these 2 arseholes, Clapton and Van Morrison, oppose masks this text feels the need to support them, even though they’re not only unnecessary outdoors but intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets, and are even unhealthy because you breathe in your own bacteria.

It counterposes “expertise, experience and data from healthcare professionals, epidemiologists, etc.” to conspiracy theories and reactionary talking points, as if the “expertise, experience and data from healthcare professionals, epidemiologists, etc. “ wasn’t itself contradictory and in any case open to questioning regardless of their differences.  In Science We Trust. Nowhere is there a critique of dominant science, as if to suggest, let alone embark on, such a thing would put you in the same camp as Trump and religious anti-Darwinism. The perspective of the realisation and suppression of science is beyond this Leftist ideologue. The notion of using aspects of evidence-based science against a blanket submissive respect for “Science” with a capital S  is a no-go area for people lacking in all curiosity, research and adventure outside of habitually trodden paths. Denunciation of “conspiracy theories” has now become a knee-jerk reaction to anything that dares to question the connection between scientific “experts”, state and capital, the interaction of capitalist interests.

Comrade Motopu’s criticism (one could hardly call it critique) succumbs to the false choice of pro-lockdown against the anti-lockdown positions and of anti-mask v. pro-mask. It even ends up with an uncritical pro-vaccination position. As if the constant vaccinations that will be necessary at least every 6 months because the mutations and variations of the virus will necessitate constant changes in the vaccine (a vaccination available after just 6 or 7 months’ research, when 10 years is the more usual time necessary for a safe vaccine) is the cavalry come to save us all from this shit and not something that will greatly contribute to weakening the body politic, helping to reduce resistance, both internal and external. Nowhere does this leftism point out that it will only be an informed social movement which could begin to confront the ever-tightening interaction between the state, the pharmaceutical companies, the manipulative scientists and other “experts” and the totality of pro and anti ideologies that colonise people like Comrade Motopu and the totalitarianism of present and future developments. No – until the magic wand of a vaccine, it’s “paying people to stay home” (as if various states haven’t done this, admittedly at reduced wages, though some leftists have described these as “socialist” measures) . Why has the state done this? Because going out and socialising doesn’t only mean going out to pay absorbitant wads of cash to listen to rock star millionaires in a claustrophobic atmosphere repeating the same old tunes we long ago got bored with. It also means being able to do things the state does not want us to do – discuss, organise , demonstrate, strike and occupy together. But Comrade Motopu wants us to rely on “the federal institutions … best placed to protect people and mobilize effective measures to fight the spread of the plague”.

When you take the opposite point of view of the Right you end up utterly defined by them and can’t assert a single independent point of view that recognises that “in a world that is upside down the true is a moment of the false”  and the false is a moment of the true. In the current climate, the Right are the prime recuperators of anger, with the Left demanding things some states are imposing with a vengeance. At the beginning of this crisis one could maybe forgive that but 9 months later it’s just an expression of acute laziness, of a total absence of critical vigilance, of submission to classic either/or Manichean choices.

Amongst those who define themselves as class struggle libertarians it’s become  de rigeur to proclaim the need for a total one-size-fits-all lockdown regardless of specific situations.  Daring to question the contradictions and miseries that such a “solution” imposes runs head on into a circle-the-wagons-mentality of everyone self-righteously denouncing you simplistically as an inconsiderate individualist right-wing arsehole that most people in this milieu can’t even begin to unravel, let alone express, their doubts, fearful of becoming a target of strawman arguments that will be too wearing to confront. And yet remaining silent about such doubts just reinforces the whole sense of impotence in the face of this relentless tangled  onslaught of false choices.

– 22/12/20


The above was posted to libcom by Nymphalis Antiopa who often contributes to Dialectical Delinquents.  The following is my response to the responses on libcom.

Comrade Motopu gives a good example of what  I said above: “When you take the opposite point of view of the Right you end up utterly defined by them and can’t assert a single independent point of view…”. S/he writes that Le Figaro is “far right”. It’s not – it’s mainstream right, though admittedly yesterday’s far right is now mainstream. But it’s always been standard mainstream right, but hardly worse than mainstream liberal/left-wing media. For example, France’s “Liberation” and “Le Monde”  supported the 1991 Gulf war, the UK’s  Guardian and the US’s  New York Times mostly supported it also, along with supporting the Kosovo war of 1999. Does that automatically negate everything else they say? Does the fact that the link I put to the site about Pfizer is to a Corbynite site negate the value of what the ex-soldier says about Pfizer? Likewise, even if Le Figaro  were nazis  that wouldn’t in itself negate what it says. Hitler’s scientists did research showing the link between smoking cigarettes and cancer, some 10 years or more before the American Cancer Society and thousands of US doctors and scientists reversed their previous notion that smoking was fine. If CM’s stupid reactive logic were consistent, s/he’d be recommending smoking along with all those pre-1953 American scientists and doctors. Even our worst enemies sometimes get it right. For example, the other day Marine Le Pen said the sky was blue.


Re. R.Totale’s post, whilst some of it’s pertinent, the notion that masks protect you from CCTV cameras is not necessarily correct. Apparently even those wearing surgical masks can  be identified by the latest in Facial Recognition Cameras ( )

A Chinese company says it has developed the country’s first facial recognition technology that can identify people when they are wearing a mask, as most are these days because of the coronavirus, and help in the fight against the disease.”  The head of the company that has developed this has said, “When wearing a mask, the recognition rate can reach about 95%, which can ensure that most people can be identified”. Sure, the state wants to present itself as all-seeing and all-powerful in order to reinforce our sense of impotence and the phrase “can reach about 95%” already implies that there’s likely to be an element of hype in all this, but that remains to be seen (or, hopefully, not seen). But there’s no reason to be complacent. Iris recognition is the new future. But maybe sunglasses are a protection.

Moreover when he refers to those for whom “mask-wearing frees them of social expectations from the nose down at least” that at least is a choice, but masks have been made compulsory – even in areas where before they were compulsory there were no severe cases of Covid.  Making them legally compulsory, with often a heavy fine for those who don’t conform to this irrationality, is as bad as forbidding foulards (Muslim scarves) for women

However, when I wrote that masks “intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets” I meant that you can’t even see people’s smiles or frowns, that you can’t  make funny faces at kids, that it reinforces people being trapped in their heads. This doesn’t matter to those who are already constantly stuck in their heads listening to something on their headphones or glued to the screen on their smartphone but for those who find some consolation in even the most superficial of  non-virtual human contact, it just adds to the weariness of daily life. In addition, you constantly have to raise your  voice to a strained level that doesn’t come naturally or repeat yourself because you haven’t been heard from behind the mask. This in addition to all those people who have no power finding that their masters have suddenly given them a crumb of hierarchical power because now even the lowest of the low can tick someone off for not having covered their nose in the supermarket or library or wherever. All of which gives daily alienation an extra dose of wear-and-tear, intensifying  irritability, adding to a sense of despair with humanity.


Re. Red Marriott’s quote – “A global team of public health experts at Learnaboutcovid19 also told Reuters there was “no evidence” to suggest face masks can increase the chance of developing pneumonia, “or any other bacterial, fungal or viral infection in the lungs”.… “ Well, maybe. But others have said the opposite:

The masks on the market do nothing to protect people from the virus. They’re not sterile, unlike the ones you find in hospitals and you shouldn’t wear one for longer than 15 or 20 minutes, otherwise they are transformed into incubators for bacteria. And even worse are the masks made out of material, which are veritable collectors of bacteria because they’re porous.” – Antoine Khoury, microbiologist

There’s also this:

“To give just two examples, the famous long-suspended Danish study has finally been published with the conclusions one might expect: wearing a mask in the general population does not prevent contamination by Covid. The authors have accepted some political contortions in their conclusion, but the fact remains: this measure, which no pandemic plan had ever considered, so absurd that it is, has no justification in terms of the cost / benefit balance and would therefore never have had to be imposed. Another study has just been published in Nature which concludes (based on research carried out in Wuhan) that asymptomatic people are largely not otherwise infectious. “Compared to symptomatic patients, asymptomatic infected individuals generally have a low amount of viral loads and a short duration of viral shedding, which decreases the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 5. In the present study, the culture virus was performed on specimens from asymptomatic positive cases, and found no viable SARS-CoV-2 virus. All close contacts of asymptomatic positive cases tested negative, indicating that asymptomatic positive cases detected in this study were unlikely to be infectious. There were no positive tests among 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases.”

The only possible use of a mask is for symptomatic people only during the time they are symptomatic. It’s highly probable (since in science it’s always a question of  working with hypotheses, it’s advisable to remain cautious) that everything that has been imposed on us for months – with the force of propaganda – has had no real use, with monstrous costs for individuals and for community.

Besides, Covid can enter the eyes and  be conveyed by touch, so maybe everyone should be compelled to wear goggles and gloves, and then Leftists like Comrade Motopu would probably be thankful that “the federal institutions … best placed to protect people and mobilize effective measures to fight the spread of the plague” were at long last allowed to do their job.


I see 3 very general categories of responses to the various “experts” who we are somehow forced to partly rely on if only to get some vague idea about what’s what.

First category is probably the most prevalent, which is that of Greta Thunberg, who said “We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis and we must unite behind experts and science. This of course goes for all crises.” This is a kind of “Who am I to decide if this or that is true or not?” attitude, the self-effacing avoidance of all striving for autonomy on the part of those who  submit to dominant society even if they don’t necessarily seem to respect it or aspects of it. 

Yet, given the enormous contradictory “facts” spewed out by scientists and other experts, a second stance is almost as common –  each individual, regardless of the precise extent of their precise knowledge, is forced back onto their own opinion, in  much the same way as if what you accept and don’t accept amongst all the questions thrown up by this permanent crisis is just a matter of taste.  In other words, people are cherry-picking information that confirms their previously held opinions, leaving understanding down to a purely arbitrary question of subjective choice or to your own prejudices.  Almost invariably people will find some  “scientific fact” to provide ‘objective’ proof for these tastes and prejudices.

But there’s also a third attitude, a more honest one – acceptance of your own  confusion whilst submitting  to the politics behind this confusion, justified in terms of an inability to decide which  ideas are valid because you can’t  check all the other positions/angles/facts. But this is another expression of resignation.

Whether it be those who accept the apparent objectivity of science, those who  resort to a purely subjective  selection of 57 varieties of facts dependent on whom they happen to read on the internet,  or those who more honestly admit to resigning themselves to the chaos and confusion imposed by dominant society, the imposed madness which seems to be an essential part of of its principle political strategy – all of them seem to have, at best, only one  aim – to make themselves and others as healthy as they think they were before this crisis, health being defined narrowly as being protected against the virus.  This conservative  aim, which is anyway an impossible dream and a nostalgic falsification of the misery of  pre-Covid times, thus wants desperately to believe in the saviour of a vaccine (or, more rationally, but less common in Western societies, other more tried and trusted immune-boosting methods).

Those who want to contribute to the revolutionary destruction of a society hell-bent on destroying all sense and the vast majority of human beings potentially able to destroy this senseless society, will have to pit themselves against these false choices. As part of this they will need to unravel aspects of the medical science surrounding Covid with the aim of subverting dominant discourse, past, present and future. Accepting science without filtering it through critical vigilance means acquiescence to developments that’ll be even worse than, though very different from,  the Industrial Revolution was for the peasantry. Selection of facts is inevitable, but selection that achieves progress towards clarity has to look at contradictory ‘facts’ as well as strive to unravel the reasons for these contradictions rather than be based on notions of objectivity or prejudiced taste or fatalistic resignation to confusion.  Questioning everything is a major aspect of the struggle to free oneself of received ideas,  unconscious taste, and the fog of contradictory information. It’s a major aspect of  breaking with excessive reliance on experts and science as well as  the domination of the past over the present, a major aspect of developing a genuine health – the  health of an attack on the totality of unhealthy conditions.


ADDED 30/12/20 (slightly modified 31/12):

This is my response to the latest distortions from libcom:

Nymphalis Antiopa on Libcom, in response to a mixture of quotes from me and things he said himself, got this reply from Red Marriot (RM):

“having co-ordinated a global conspiracy to securely falsify the scientific evidence; with all their resources they’ve used that to – MAKE US WEAR MASKS WHEN WE GO SHOPPING AND FOR MANY TO NOT WORK. If that’s all they have in their repressive arsenal we have little to worry about.”

In fact what I wrote, which NA quoted, doesn’t say anything of the sort – it says “For example, recent scientific research has shown that masks worn outside are utterly ineffective (see this:, but because these 2 arseholes, Clapton and Van Morrison, oppose masks this text feels the need to support them, even though they’re not only unnecessary outdoors but intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets, and are even unhealthy because you breathe in your own bacteria.”

I emphasise OUTSIDE – therefore not a reference to wearing them in shops or for whatever he means by “AND FOR MANY TO NOT WORK“. So almost all the rest of the discussion about masks is irrelevant to what I (and NA) have said. Now I may have got it wrong and perhaps been over-reactive to dominant discourse and state-imposed restrictions, as research has been contradictory, but there’s nothing in what I’ve said that says there’s a conspiracy. Far easier to have a pseudo-riposte to a caricature, a strawman, a jokey parody of someone’s position to make readers smile and warm to you than with what someone in fact says. Crude demagogy – gets all those upped votes from the libcommers eager to be manipulated by some politico because that’s what so many of them are used to doing themselves that they’re blind to it from others except when it’s directed at them.

RM virtually never concedes anything – regarding such concessions as weakness. Accepting anything from someone he dislikes would burst his ego. So, regardless of the accuracy of his “critiques” he invariably digs his heels in, whilst indulging in head-banging arguments that falsify those with whom he argues with. A politician mentality without any desire for state power but clearly with a desire to maintain his “theoretician”-type credibility on libcom, where he gets up votes for his gross distortions of someone who’s publicly an enemy of libcom. The recognition that RM has misrepresented what I have said is ignored because almost no-one on libcom likes me, and in dominant social relations what you accept from someone is unfortunately directly related to whether you like them or not, ignoring the fact that affection or repulsion or their absence  are also subject to the contradictions of this world.

The bacteria thing was a side issue mentioned because there’s anecdotal evidence from where I live (South West France) that people have had increased coughs and sneezes without it being diagnosed as Covid. Not important really and RM may even be right. But…

In France,  Spain and Israel (and other countries) wearing masks outside is compulsory. In France since the end of July, though not everywhere. The amount of deaths in the 5 months since August, when it became compulsory almost everywhere, is considerably greater than the period before when it wasn’t compulsory. In my small town (pop. 6000) up until the imposition of compulsory mask-wearing, non-compliance with which can get you fined 130 euros, there was not one single severe case of Covid. Not exactly a study that conforms to “scientific protocol” but it should make people question things a bit more than RM’s convenient and opportunist reliance on “consensus” (see earlier posts by him), as if he conforms to the consensus on almost any other subject.

In fact, despite RM’s and others recourse to “the consensus”, there is no consensus on the efficacy of masks (moreover consensus itself is being manipulated by state repression – and not just in China.; in France, doctors are fearful of disagreeing with the consensus because of various sackings and the threat of a trial against the most well-known of the dissidents – Didier Raoult).  The Danish study – – is usually seen as inconclusive, though it says, amongst all the mathematical calculations, that wearing them outside is useless. It emphasises the uselessness of surgical masks outside, but other studies have said surgical masks are better than cloth masks. It does not demonstrate the uselessness of the mask when it comes to a sick person who is in prolonged contact with others in a confined environment, which is obvious. Other reports say that they’re not useful:

– which is then apparently debunked by this:

But these are interesting:

Google translate:

While the measures taken in Belgium making it compulsory to wear a mask in many public places seem to go without saying for some, many doubts remain as to their real effectiveness. At Kairos, we are in contact with doctors who have opinions contrasting with the official voice. We relay their analyzes and concerns.

The mask saga has kept us busy all spring and continues to do so. Tragicomic or shameful depending on the reading that each citizen was kind enough to give it. Useless to compulsory in all places and all circumstances, the reversal of politicians’ jackets has been well known to us since Jacques Dutronc’s song. The inconstancy of those we call experts is, on the other hand, a new phenomenon which surprises and is obviously likely to encourage politicians to vary their messages over time and to destabilize citizens who, more often than not, come down to following their judgment. own or that of his next door neighbor. Can this versatility in the scientific world be explained? To issue a scientific opinion on the risk-benefit of a medical intervention, whether it is a drug, a medical device (prostheses, pace-maker, implant, etc.) or a preventive gesture, requires a structured approach: appointment of experts, evaluation procedure and consensus opinion. Are these 3 essential elements met in the case of wearing a mask as an element in the fight against Covid-19?
Procedures and conflicts of interest? Move along, there’s nothing to see !

The Prime Minister formed her group of experts on April 6, called the GEES [the group of experts preparing Belgium’s exit strategy from the coronavirus lockdown] on the basis of a deep belief in collective intelligence. Contrary to what one might think, it is not only a question of scientists since we also find Johnny Thijs, director of companies such as Electrabel and Pierre Wunsch, governor of the National Bank of Belgium and a long-time Reyndersian. A mixed composition cleverly designed to qualify the opinions of scientific experts. The Prime Minister’s website also says nothing about the procedure for appointing this group or any conflicts of interest of its members, which does not bode well in terms of transparency. One of the missions of the GEES is to “provide analyzes and recommendations”. This therefore implies a description of the evaluation procedures used as each time this type of work is carried out within, for example, scientific societies or the drug reimbursement commission. Here again, the Première’s site is silent.

Let us come to the masks and the successive recommendations. On January 28, the Soir-titre: “wearing a mask is useless and ineffective according to the Belgian health authorities”. Marc Van Ranst, future member of the GEES and Steven Van Gucht, spokesperson for the government express that “it is useless and is even potentially dangerous”. On April 5, the day before the constitution of the GEES, the Minister of Health Maggie De Block communicated that “wearing a mask scientifically does not make sense”. Other scientists will gradually argue against his positions. On April 24, the GEES issues a strategic report for the deconfinement. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended in public spaces from the age of 12, but not yet compulsory. The scientific basis for this recommendation is not disclosed. At the end of April, Erika Vlieghe, who chairs the GEES, says in the Morgen that “the mask is a layer of varnish”. Finally, on July 17, a new report recommends wearing masks even indoors when spaces bring many people together for extended periods of time and social distancing cannot be respected. This new report tells us that could last until after winter, with the arrival of a vaccine.

It does not seem that opinions are necessarily unanimous or the subject of a consensus within the GEES, which is not surprising given its composition. Is there a scientific basis for these changes in opinion? Traditionally, for decades, we have relied on making scientific recommendations on what is called evidence-based medicine. The highest level of evidence which allows a strong level of recommendation is obtained by obtaining multiple studies of high methodological quality comparing an option A to an option B and which allows the recommendation that a treatment or a procedure is beneficial, useful and efficient, this which means that it presents a favorable cost-benefit. The lowest level of evidence is obtained on the basis of expert opinion or small, non-comparative studies.

What about wearing the generalized mask in a Covid-19 situation and what justifies the change in position of the GEES? On March 3, the Cochrane research group, the pope of evidence-based medicine, a non-profit association of 28,000 scientists in more than 100 countries, published that “if certain gestures such as washing your hands or wearing gloves or a mask can perhaps reducing the spread of respiratory viruses the evidence is very low ”. Another systematic study published this year by Marasinghe of the University of Waterloo in Canada also concludes that there is no evidence of the benefit of compulsory mask wearing. Since then, only a German publication using a model comparing several regions where the compulsory wearing of the mask has been introduced goes in a different direction, but here again the level of evidence is insufficient.
What should we conclude from this?

1. There is no sufficiently established scientific argument today to impose the wearing of a mask on the entire population.

2. Recommendations issued to the public by a group of experts must be justified by proven and strong scientific evidence. This is not the case with the GEES.

3. These recommendations must be transparent and the evidence on which they are based must be accessible to all. In their absence, the recommendations are likely to confuse the population, inducing rebellious behavior linked to a strong loss of confidence. The risk of accelerated spread of the virus is significant. There is also a great risk of seeing scientists who are not part of the GEES express divergent opinions in the media, further accentuating the public’s unease. This is what is happening today.

4. The current strategic option goes totally against the evolution of modern medicine: the concept of “one size fits all” is completely outdated. Different recommendations must be given to subgroups of society: health professionals, frail people, asymptomatic carriers and relatives of infected patients.

5. Experts need to provide a precise risk-benefit analysis of the systematic wearing of the mask for each of these groups.

6. The opinions issued must be in consultation with neighboring countries in view of the easy access to the media of these countries by citizens. A cacophony of recommendations also has an extremely detrimental effect on compliance with them. This is what we can observe with France in particular.

7. Finally, we may be surprised that no study has been initiated at European level on the usefulness of wearing a mask in view of the lack of scientific evidence and the particularly high cost of this strategy. The virulent criticism of Professor Raoult’s essays, imperfect though they were, contrasts sharply with a strategy based on the scientific vacuum with regard to the wearing of the mask. It is far from certain that such a study would come out positive, but at least we would be fixed. As if we already considered that only a vaccine can save us all and that it is necessary to maintain the anxiety of the wider population in order to guarantee mass vaccination of the carpet bombing type, in view of the colossal investments to which the European community has largely contributed.

– Cardiologist, anonymous

and this from the same site:

“The mask: a great opportunity to argue, to divide us, and to leave the field even more open to the power of experts and States. Because while some talk about health, others think about politics. Basically, is it so incompatible?

It would be easy to begin this article with the beautiful “inversion of the genitive” which has so much more to Marx and Engels: from the philosophy of misery to the misery of philosophy, and so on, to the Situationists who have used it. to satiety. However, if the policy of the mask is indeed a way of masking politics, it is not just any policy that masks the mask, but a specific policy. Unveiling what, in our opinion, wears the mask and which is hidden behind can only have the first consequence of separating us from a few comrades who will wear, or not, the mask, and will have, on the mask again and again, a practical position. different from ours.

This is the first success of the mask policy: far from being primarily a health barrier, it is above all a subject of discussion, and even better (for the authorities): of disputes. And these disputes, in the climate of chaos and inconsistencies and fears that is that of this year 2020 – and which is likely to intensify even further in the future since it has been at least half a century since the Fear is the basis of politics – of these disputes, therefore, it is very likely that discordances will appear such that they will amplify to divisions or even schism.

Therein lies the master stroke: if some think that the health policy of social distancing is so crucial that it must transcend the divisions between us to somehow reconstitute a human species fighting all in concert for its own preservation, and this even if the price to pay is called precisely social distancing – and in reality the rupture of a number of social ties -, then we can without much risk prophesy that those who will think “on the margins” and will not believe in the virtues of the mask as a tool of reconstruction of humanity will find themselves even more on the margins: stigmatized as enemies. Not class enemies, because it has been a long time since the recomposition of the (proletarian) class was abandoned by its very singers. The stigmatized-marginalized will be referred to simply as enemies of mankind. Even life.

In the politics of the mask, we see above all the mask of a certain policy, that which brandishes health fear, which creates fear through inconsistency, and therefore a real politics of fear. It is of course the fear of health that justifies the measures, but it is easy to show that the health policy itself is inconsistent. We wear a mask, and we have to wear it in some closed places, but some closed places are more prone to virus exchange than others. Trains, for example, usually group together travelers who share a route or a portion of a route, but before arriving at the station of departure? and after exiting the arrival station? These travelers may be carriers of viruses from afar, or take viruses contracted on the train with them when they get off the train, far from their place of origin. However, and to limit the commercial abyss of the railways in 2020, travelers are not subjected, on the trains, to measures of social distancing as rigorous as in other places which are sometimes less closed. Everyone will be able to complete the list of inconsistencies at their leisure, and possibly be satisfied with a basic banality: even if the mask is not used very much, this is never a reason not to do everything possible where we can in the goal of avoiding spreading the epidemic. Certainly, but this is where the bottom line of the mask policy comes into play: it only aims to increase the level of fear even further, at a time when the epidemic itself seems to be stalling, at least in Europe. It is not the mask itself that increases the level of fear, since it would, conversely, calm some people; what is scary is to see, all around us, all these masked people, while our imagination, and even our simple condition of living beings, invites us from eternity not to mask ourselves. If carnival offers us this possibility, it is precisely because carnival is a reversal of the usual order of norms. Could it be that the standards of our society are being overthrown? Especially not: the power of experts remains very strong, and that of States does not waver …

But if the mask is first of all the mask of a policy, the question is necessarily: was the mask imposed for health reasons, or to increase the level of fear? The second option will necessarily be qualified as “conspiratorial”, a term whose success has not been denied since September 11, 2001. Once again, the division is shaping up between us, who are to varying degrees opponents of the politics of the fear – in the absence, precisely, of being all of them to the politics of the mask. To free ourselves from this sort of semantic and political trap, let’s offer another point of view.

Among the front-line supporters of the mask, some are driven by simple health considerations, others by the banal idea that it is better to take all precautions regardless of the cost in terms of freedoms; a few others, genuinely cynical, try to stay in power by increasing fear. Let us note first of all that, in this last square, there can be both politicians and scientists, without forgetting of course the pharmaceutical trusts which also have everything to gain from this pandemic anyway. But the most important thing is that, finally, the compulsory wearing of the mask brings together these three main categories of people, all favorable to the mask, and that it is thus, whatever we may think of its health utility, a good tool to expand the policy of profiling, population control. And it does not matter, it does not even matter at all whether those who make the final decisions do so out of health concerns, out of a desire to cover themselves up a priori or out of outright political cynicism. The result is there: the end justifies the means.

In this case, we believe that no end can justify abject means, but it is an indisputable fact that “in the face”, this kind of questioning does not exist. So we are not fighting on exactly the same ground, and not at all with the same weapons.

How, then, to counter the control policy that the mask embodies? We could “over mask” ourselves, and wear for example, over the regulatory mask, that of Anonymous, Guy Fawkes (“V for Vendetta”). The answer sounds pretty consistent, doesn’t it? But this is strictly forbidden, in France at least (it is forbidden to hide the whole face, says the law). Above all, we could decide that since wearing a mask is anti-human, we might as well develop our human activities, properly human, all those that do not imply compulsory compliance with the ban.

And finally overturn the ban like a glove: we refuse the obligation to wear a mask and we will do everything possible to do without “closed places” where it is compulsory to wear it. Thus, we will no longer go to the theater but will do theater in the street; we will no longer go to the cinema but will screen films outdoors. And since we have to go to the supermarket to feed ourselves, we might as well develop collective market gardening, collective orchards, and so on.

As for the much thornier problem of the school, why not create our own schools? Because the laws absolutely do not prohibit it, and in France for example, there are very few legal constraints to create a school.

Of course, these few avenues are still very broad, even vague or difficult to implement. But the object of this text, more practical than theoretical, was to show the coherence of the ecological project, based on the refusal to achieve, decreasing, slow in the sense that this word has acquired in recent years, marked by voluntary simplicity, the ” small is beautiful ”by Schumacher.

The state, by the inconsistency of its decisions, does not disqualify what we are fighting for. And that’s a great thing because in the final analysis it’s simple proof that we’re right. As someone who may not have bought into these words once said, “History will absolve us.” Magnificent perspective!

Philippe godard

Whereas this: says “yes “ and “no”.

But let’s look at the logic of all this.

If you’re asymptomatic as opposed to pre-symptomatic (ie temporarily not having symptoms but developing them later on) you do not infect others. People who test positive form a minority of the population and symptomatic people form a minority of that minority, and the pre-symptomatic phase of the latter is quite short. A small portion of these symptomatic people will develop severe forms, some of which will be fatal. On the basis of a minority of a minority of a minority, is it necessary to mask the whole population, starting with children over 10, who almost only develop asymptomatic forms of the disease? Steven, on libcom says “the general projection now in the US [is] that universal mask wearing help save around 50,000 lives in the next few months.” On the one hand he doesn’t bother to say whether it’s a question of masks worn outside or not, on the other hand, it’s a projection, an abstract hypothesis . Macron said they’d already saved 400,000 lives with their Covid policies. But this is just propaganda based on fuck-all. To paraphrase a friend, we now find ourselves in a scenario like “Minority Report”: just as the power described by P.K.Dick claims to punish criminals even before they have acted, so the various states impose measures on people before they even have a problem on the basis of the minority of those who die, who are a minority of those who have symptoms, who are a minority of those who get Covid, who are a minority of the general population. This is even worse than P.K.Dick’s Minority Report since here it is the entire population which is the target and not simply a minority of potential patients.

My friend continued: “If we absolutely want to treat people who to a very small extent are sick and to apply a principle of absolute precaution, if we absolutely want to treat the problem upstream and cut off at the source any possibility of disease among human beings, the best is still to avoid being born because to be born is to take the risk of being sick and it is, inevitably, to end up dying: you might as well not live at all! As the Silenus of Greek mythology said: “It is best for man not to be born and if this misfortune happens to him the best is to die as soon as possible.”

There seems to be a massive disconnect in people’s general attitude towards the various states during this crisis (of which RedM’s is an example): almost everyone agrees that the various governments’ responses have largely been clueless in different ways, but when it comes to things like masks or vaccines or anything deemed “scientific” cluelessness is often  the last thing people attribute to such policies. As if the ruling class haven’t hidden behind the pretense of objectivity of the constantly contradictory scientific “experts” ever since the start of all this madness.

The most repulsive aspect of the dominant libcom discourse is caricaturing anyone who criticises what they have deemed is the consensus as a “conspiracy theorist”.  RM says “some always make profits from any crisis but that doesn’t prove that this is a preferred or chosen strategy for the ruling class instituted to aid more repression” as if  I had said that they chose this situation rather than they’re using it, and using it very obviously as a pretext for various forms of repression – eg in France in some departments there’s going to be a 6pm curfew from January 2nd onwards, and almost everywhere there’s an 8pm curfew. You’d have to be a fool not to realise that there’s no health logic to this measure. Saying this is no more an assertion of  “conspiracy theory” than saying imprisoning poor people for petty theft, whilst letting the big thieves thrive, is talking like a conspiracy theorist. But nowadays this so-called “libertarian” left is so utterly complicit with the dominant ideology that it conveniently jumps on all criticism of, say, suspicion towards the various vaccines, the one-size-fits-all lockdowns regardless of local conditions, or the obligation to wear masks even in virtually empty streets, as “conspiracy theory”, a sickening way of parodying and dismissing the most basic recognition of the heavy illogical measures imposed by various states as the ramblings of a lunatic. It’s basic to even the most banal of critiques that  capital and the state use such events and use them in order to attack the most applicable aspect of P.K.Dick’s story – repressing in advance what for the rulers is the crime that contains all crimes – the explosion of a class opposition that surely would have happened with the economic crisis that was predicted well before the advent of Covid. And in not focusing on that,  the  pseudo-revolutionaries at libcom and elsewhere can do nothing to oppose it except shit on all those who try, despite making mistakes, to attack the very obvious repressive uses that capital and the state have made of this situation, to contemptuously humiliate  and parody them  as “conspiracy theorists”.

How to protect yourself and others

For something on the politics of libcom from 8 years ago, see this.


SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

Egypt, september – october 2020


Protests continue whilst hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are threatened with homelessness as state destroys “illegal” buildings

“The government has stipulated residents must pay a down payment for reconciliation if their houses are constructed “illegally”, to prevent them from being demolished under the Reconciliation Law on Building Violations. They say it is part of a crackdown on illegal buildings that violate safety standards, whilst critics accuse them of raising funds and being part of a plan to gentrify the country. The settlement fee is between 50 Egyptian pounds ($3.18) and 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($127.16) per square metre. According to Reuters, authorities had collected roughly seven billion Egyptian pounds ($445.1 million) in fees by mid-September. Egyptians protested outside government buildings demanding compensation for their losses after thousands found themselves homeless and sleeping in tents where their houses once stood. Others challenged and blocked authorities entering their towns and villages to demolish their homes…Thousands of residential buildings have been demolished over the past several weeks. Since 20 September Egyptians have been demonstrating against the ruling regime because soaring living costs have made the country uninhabitable. Facing the threat of having your house demolished compounds an already dire situation following years of economic austerity, high prices and the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.”


Egypt, Luxur: clashes on 3rd anti-government demo in 2 weeks after “security forces” kill brother of suspect .  See also this Wikipedia entry and this Guardian report


 Egypt: 164 protests over last  days against cop killings and high cost of “living” over 1000 media sites blocked in order to censor information about anti-government demos


Egypt: man killed on 6th demonstration day in a row as protests flare throughout country.

“The rare protests – dubbed by demonstrators as a “Friday of rage” – took place across cities, towns and rural areas in Egypt after noon prayers, including in the capital, Cairo, and the governorates of Giza, Damietta on the Nile Delta and Luxor in southern Egypt.”


Minya: armoured cop vehicle pushed into canal

“Protesters in Egypt have seized an armoured police vehicle in the Badrasheen Centre in Giza. According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, another group of protesters in Al-Hawarta village in Minya Governorate pushed a security vehicle into a canal. The action was in response to security forces firing tear gas canisters and bullets at demonstrators. Protests in Egypt against the rule of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi continued yesterday for the second day in a row…protests broke out in Shubra Al-Khaimah in Qalyubia governorate, Warraq in Giza, Dar Al-Salam in Fayoum Governorate, Al-Ayyat in Giza. They also reached Suez, Kafr El Dawwar on the Nile Delta, Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan, where reports circulated online that the presidential residence had been set fire to.”


Egypt, Aswan: presidential building torched after cops attack demonstrators; demos in lots of different part of country as state launches attacks on informal illegally constructed buildings

“People in Kadiya in Giza Governorate, angry at the demolitions of buildings claimed by the government to have been illegally built, turned over a police truck. Protests continued on 21 and 22 September. Protest locations on 22 September included Giza, Faiyum, Minya, Luxor and Aswan. In the village of al-Kadaya in Atfih, protestors refused a police objection to the holding of a protest by overturning a police car and setting it on fire. In al-Hawarta in Minya Governorate, protestors pushed a police vehicle into a canal.”

demonstrations in several part of country against high cost of living

Google translate:

Limited demonstrations took place at night during the past few days in some areas of Cairo and the governorates to protest the high cost of living. Egyptian security sources said that ten people had been arrested for “inciting to block the highway,” east of Cairo….On the other hand, four people were arrested in possession of Molotov cocktails in Luxor Governorate, in southern Egypt, according to what security sources said….
These sources added that the arrested “were preparing to use these bottles to stir up riots” in Luxor….Limited night demonstrations took place for several days against President Sisi. The Egyptian Public Prosecutor’s Office releases 68 children who participated in demonstrations against Sisi…The security authorities managed to control the protests. This comes in light of a state of security alert in Cairo and a number of Egyptian governorates, after the Egyptian contractor residing in Spain, Muhammad Ali, called on citizens to demonstrate. During the past few days, the country witnessed limited night demonstrations in a number of villages calling on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to leave power….The Egyptian security forces have arrested dozens of people over the past week on charges of joining a banned group and assaulting the police. The Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered the detention of more than 100 people pending investigations…According to news reports, the marches covered several areas, including the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Suez, Mahalla, Fayoum, Minya, Sohag, Luxor and Aswan. In some of them, clashes erupted between demonstrators and security forces who fired tear gas canisters in an attempt to disperse them….It also comes in light of mounting anger among a sector of Egyptians over government decisions that decided to demolish a large number of homes, which the authorities say were built without a permit on state land, and statements by President Al-Sisi threatening to use the army in demolitions if necessary. It is noted that the number of violators is in the millions, and most of them are in the countryside, which makes this issue extremely important to many Egyptians. But Sisi’s supporters spoke of exaggerated coverage of the demonstrations, saying that those behind them failed to mobilize citizens.”


SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

Venezuela: massive movement, September 2020

“All you need is love class consciousness!”

…not all you need but a good beginning.


The bits quoted below are from Google Translate (my Spanish is very rusty).


Venezuela: riots in 19 of the country’s 23 states100 protests throughout country

In the south of San Carlos, Cojedes, protests continue. At 7:30 pm  citizens who were on Rómulo Betancourt Avenue, burned a vehicle due to the absence of electric service in the state….Likewise, residents of La Herrereña burned rubber due to lack of domestic gas. They register 17 protests due to lack of gasoline this Monday in Nueva Esparta. At least 76 protests have been registered this Monday in various regions of Venezuela due to failures in the supply of services such as: electricity, drinking water, domestic gas and gasoline, a situation that has unleashed numerous demonstrations in recent days . Through social networks, riots have been reported in 19 of the 23 states of the country, some of which have involved the use of tear gas and pellets by security forces…Since Friday, the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict has counted nearly 100 demonstrations in almost all regions of the country….Venezuela closed August with 748 protests motivated by the precariousness of services, especially due to the shortage of gasoline, but also due to the difficulty in accessing medicine and food and the “pulverization of wages”. The president in charge of the Republic, Juan Guaidó on Sunday urged Venezuelans to join the protests, especially one called by the teachers for next October 5.


Venezuela Yaracuy: clashes in 3 towns due to lack of everything (water, gas, electricity, food); mayor forced to leave  town

The security forces could not cope trying to  suppress the protest …The street protest took place in the municipalities Bruzual, José Vicente Peña, Cocorote, San Felipe and Independencia, where a sea of ​​people came out to demand from the government in power a better distribution of gas, food, equitable sale of fuel and better services of toilet, water and electricity….Abuses of power by representatives of Poliyaracuy were one of the most frequent complaints; The uniformed men openly entered the houses located on Avenues 4 and 5 of the Bruzual municipality to arrest the protesters, whom they mounted on their motorcycles with physical violence. This same irregular situation was seen in the municipalities of Peña and San Felipe, where neighbors reported to El Pitazo the arbitrary apprehension of a 16-year-old teenager and an athlete from the Yaracuy state cycling team for recording street activities….Likewise, State Police officials attacked a group of journalists who were covering the events of social protest in the municipality of Independencia, after throwing a tear gas at their feet….One of the most critical moments on the third day of the protests that shook the Yaracuy state was when an angry mob smashed the glass of doors and windows of the Mayor’s Office of the Bruzual municipality with stones and beat four military personnel guarding the headquarters with sticks …These actions of social discontent motivated the governor, Julio León Heredia, to move in the afternoon to the jurisdiction of Bruzual, guarded by a strong security cordon to assess the damage caused to state buildings by the social outbreak…The assistance centers located in the municipalities where there were street disturbances were not able to cope with the number of people who entered due to suffocation due to the inhalation of smoke from tear gas, as well as those injured by blunt objects.Unofficially, it was learned that of the 12 people who were injured in these street protests, eight are military personnel and four are civilians…

More hereThe municipality of Bruzual, in the Yaracuy state, in western Venezuela, turned into a nightmare. There has been no gas for four months, electricity is out several times a day and the water supply is constantly cut off. Fed up and desperate, the neighbors took to the streets. An unknown number of people were detained and at least one public building was damaged after a series of anti-government protests in the state…”Repression of special forces of the GNB (Bolivarian National Guard, militarized Police) was responded by demonstrators with stones and fire at the headquarters of the Mayor of Chivacoa, Bruzual municipality, (state of) Yaracuy,” said OVCS on Twitter. In the same message, the NGO attached a video in which around fifty people can be seen confronting riot police, who leave a sector after being overwhelmed. Later, the protesters set fire to the ground floor of the building where the Mayor’s Office operates, which also suffered serious structural damage caused by stones. …The protests in this state of the interior of Venezuela, punished by the severe crisis that the country is going through, began 4 days ago to demand the regularization of the supply of fuel, scarce like other goods, and of the electricity service, which presents failures throughout the country . According to the OVCS, this Saturday there were protests in at least 7 of the 14 municipalities of the entity, most of them dissolved by the police forces with the use of tear gas and pellets.”


Venezuela, Yaracuy: massive protests

Five days of protests leave at least 18 people injured and about twenty detained for demanding water, electricity, gas and gasoline…The constant failures of public services caused Venezuelans to return to the streets. Such is the case of the inhabitants of Yaracuy state, who since Tuesday, September 22, have not stopped protesting demanding water, electricity, gas and gasoline, receiving in return repression from state security officials. The citizens of the Urachiche community expressed their feelings through a demonstration to denounce the shortage of fuel, the collapse of all public services and the lack of public transportation in the region….The inhabitants who were stationed in the surroundings of the Plaza Bolívar, expressed that they will complete four months without receiving gas service, apart from the constant power cuts. Minutes later, the local security forces dispersed the demonstrators with tear gas canisters and detained at least eight people who were placed under the order of the Prosecutor 4 of the Public Ministry for the alleged crimes: disorderly conduct, terrorism and incitement to hatred. .
…The mayor of the Bruzual municipality, Carmen Victoria Suárez, indicated that street demonstrations are “prohibited” and that people who go out to “create” disturbances “do not have permission to concentrate on public roads.”

See also this.

A few incidents from the last 6 months


Anzoategui: cops kill man during riot over fuel shortages

This is the second death in a month in protests against fuel shortages in Venezuela – on July 17 an 18-year-old man died of a gunshot wound on an island in the state of Zulia, in the west of the country.
Since the beginning of the year, the OVCS has identified more than 4,000 events organized in the country to demand in particular an increase in salaries or the improvement of public services. Dozens of people were injured and four people were killed – including the two deaths on Sunday – during these demonstrations
Should be pointed out that this article doesn’t seem to be entirely accurate: 1 death was on the 26th, the other on the 17th.


Venezuela, Monagas: riots and looting during food distribution day


Tachira: riot over electricity cuts


Venezuela,  Guanare: “Socialist” state celebrates mayday by  murdering 17 during prison mutiny

“Public order disturbances” took place in the Los Llanos prison center in Guanare (west), when detainees broke down “the security fencing around the perimeter” outside the prison, “in a mass escape attempt”…Prison staff, guarded by soldiers, attempted mediation with the chief of the mutineers. But the inmates attacked them violently, injuring the prison warden “on the shoulder with a sharp object.”…”The conflict is underway,” said Carolina Giron of the Venezuelan Prison Observatory, an NGO that defends the rights of detainees, to AFP. According to her, the detainees rose up because they were victims of violence and “because they are not allowed any visit and they have no bread or water”. According to her, 2,500 prisoners are crowded in an establishment with a capacity of 750 places. Due to the coronavirus pandemic which is also raging in Venezuela, visits to detainees of families and relatives have been interrupted. However, prisoners often receive food and medicine through these visits. According to the Observatory, some 97 detainees died behind bars last year, 70% of them from illnesses such as tuberculosis, due to lack of medicines and medical care. Another detainee advocacy organization, Una Ventana a la libertad (A Window to Liberty), said that some 192 people died last year in police station cells due to lack of space in prisons. Venezuelan authorities say there have been no cases of coronavirus in prisons in the country.”


Venezuela, Margarita: hotel looted

a group of vandals looted the tourist Hotel Portofino located in the Manzanillo sector, Nueva Esparta. Photos and videos published on the Twitter platform demonstrate the theft of mattresses, furniture, chairs and even washing machines … at least 35 people who participated in the robbery were captured by REDI officials, including women, men and minors. Mattresses, furniture, beds, air conditioners, kitchen implements, plastic chairs, televisions, among others, was part of what the security forces were able to recover.


Venezuela, Miranda: looting in 2 areas as scarcity bites during lockdownMore about other looting in April


Venezuela: looting in several areas of  2 towns

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

US head of “health” & “human” services warns of post-election insurrection

“The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false accusations on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump, even if that opposition bolsters the Covid-19 death toll.

Mr. Caputo, who has faced intense criticism for leading efforts to warp C.D.C. weekly bulletins to fit Mr. Trump’s pandemic narrative, suggested that he personally could be in danger from opponents of the administration. “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get,” he urged his followers.

He went further, saying his physical health was in question, and his “mental health has definitely failed.”” –

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

Democrats take up Trump’s ideology

US: on the Democrats taking up Trump’s ideology

X writes:

The analysis offered here is a joint project of IGD and Crimethinc. The critical points it makes about the Democrats adopting Trump’s talking points and making the demand that “anarchists are prosecuted” echoes the prescient comment of the comrade who said more than a fortnight ago that the election was going to be “the party of law and order vs. the party of law and order.”

The additional point that the Democrats, in their increasing anxiety that Trump may actually thumb his nose at them and stay in office if the outcome of the election doesn’t suit him, will  have to depend on the very forces of BLM and antifa they are presently using as their scapegoats, the only entity with the chance of effectively counteracting what will amount to a right-wing coup d’ etat, is well taken. What is missing from this, or insufficiently pursued it seems, is what the anti-authoritarians and and anti-racists are going to do right now to make themselves strong enough that the natural evolution after a coup is thwarted – namely the suppression of the ‘unruly elements’ that will have allowed the parliamentary pseudo-opposition to Trump to crawl back out of the ashcan of history – is thwarted as well. That is where the real discussion now must begin.

Trump endorses summary execution

““That’s the way it has to be,” Trump said after U.S. marshals killed a man suspected in a deadly shooting in Portland, Oregon, last month….Trump also appeared to suggest that law enforcement officers take similar action against demonstrators suspected of committing violent acts. He made his comments as protesters across the country demonstrate against racism and police brutality amid the police killings of Black Americans. “You can’t throw bricks at guys with shields on them,” he said. Reinoehl’s shooting death came the same day that Trump took to Twitter to call for Reinoehl’s arrest, calling him a “cold blooded killer.”…One witness told The Washington Post that he never saw Reinoehl pull out a gun. Nate Dinguss said he saw officers pull up to Reinoehl in two unmarked police vehicles, get out without identifying themselves and immediately start firing their weapons at him. But two other witnesses told The Olympian that they saw Reinoehl fire what they thought was an assault rifle at the unmarked SUVs after the vehicles pulled up to him…If Reinoehl threatened officers or posed a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to them, they would not need a reason to warn him before opening fire. The American criminal justice system presumes that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Taking punitive action against a suspect before then would run counter to that system.”

X writes:

Keeping in mind the statement of Trump ally Stone that Trump impose martial law if he is not elected, we can see an increasingly clear profile of one section of the US ruling class that has left bourgeois legality completely behind, is not effectively challenged by the proponents of legality (principally because they must support a law enforcement that is already heavily disposed toward extra-judicial measures and composed largely of fascist sympathizers) in government or civil society, and is increasingly committed to an eventually unsustainable rule by means of state and vigilante/Freikorps terror. Trump’s speech here amounts to open advocacy of political murder of anyone who manifests a public physical opposition to the regime and who advocates self-defense against the state-sponsored domestic terrorism presently taking shape.

WWII 2.0 is looking like it’s going to be a planet-wide civil war, with the anti-fascists starting in a considerably more dire situation than they did in 1918-1937, when they were effectively defeated before the war moved on to become a conflict between imperialist powers. Those expecting the Democratic Party or the US military to provide a bulwark against this accelerating movement towards fascism are to be sorely disappointed.

Trump does not always endorse summary execution

Cops sadly not executed

“A handful of protesters gathered outside the hospital where the injured deputies were being treated. The protesters tried to provoke deputies stationed outside and at one point were prevented from entering the emergency room…Videos from the scene recorded at least one person in the crowd yelling, “I hope they … die.” A radio reporter who was near the protest scene was taken into custody. The sheriff’s department later tweeted that the reporter interfered with the arrest of a male protester.”

More here

“…ambush on two deputies ‘was a revenge attack against officers for recent police shootings against black men in LA’…the neighborhood had been ‘plagued by deputy gangs that inflict fear and violence in the community’. ‘These deputies murdered, framed and stole from the community just because they could…Good deputies never turned on bad deputies for fear of retaliation and when caught most of these bad deputies kept their jobs and continued on their criminal career.’ “

A study in contrasts:

Heavily armed federally-deputized gunmen murder an antifascist whose only crime was to defend a friend of color against a fascist with a knife, and “that’s the way it has to be,” says Trump. “There has to be retribution” so that fascist trash can invade and terrorize communities with impunity and not have to worry that someone will get the idea to finally finish off all fascists, in and out of uniform. Meanwhile, the notion that we have a right to defend our communities against neo-nazi filth who invade them and inflict violence upon us is a topic on which Joe Biden, and the rest of the Democratic Party pseudo-opposition, remain silent. Now there’s a surprise!…But a single person (with perhaps a lookout) and a single pistol shoots two members of the notoriously brutal LA County Sheriff’s Department, and it’s a “cold-blooded shooting” which is “unconscionable,” and whose perpetrator must be brought to “justice.” (see this) Now there’s another surprise! Even at the scene of the shooting, LA law enforcement found themselves incapable of restraining their proclivity for unprovoked violence as they beat up and arrested a member of the press. About that attack Biden was silent again. A night of surprises! The Democratic Party’s attitude toward the struggle against the ultra-right in the US is at “best” one of passive obstruction. This is the “practical alternative” neo-liberalism presents as its tepid alternative to Trump’s aggressive and increasingly overt neo-fascism. On such a frail and rotting reed depends bourgeois democracy (the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie) in our time. But then the bourgeoisie and its allies have always played with  fascism &/or let it develop if they feel threatened – from the Freikorps of 1918 to the present day via Churchill’s admiration for Mussolini. The uprising  in the US following George Floyd’s murder threatened the multi-millionaire Biden as much as it did the more obvious advocates of dictatorship. The election poses a clear choice: the party of law and order versus the party of order and law. “Order” here  being a synonym for the chaos and constant disorder imposed on the majority of people’s lives by the constant  “anarchy of the market” system, which just as you think you’ve got some sense of stability pulls the rug from right under you.

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

Some articles on Coronavirus vaccines

Posted 17th September 2020

This, from a Green EU politician,  states that the European Union, on 10th July 2020, gave the go-ahead for the production of Genetically Modified vaccines without verifying, through experiments, any environmental or health safeguard!!! This means the whole world – or at least EU countries –  have  been explicitly transformed into involuntary guinea pigs. Meanwhile, this story that hit the headlines for 5 minutes before being buried under endless pictures of people not maintaining social distancing,  reports “The Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial is facing a “challenge”, the health secretary has admitted, after it was put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in one of its volunteers…The nature of the adverse reaction and when it happened are not currently known.” However, after 4 days the trials were resumed without  any official indication of what had gone wrong. But the New York Times reported that the just mentioned volunteer in the UK trial had been diagnosed with transverse myelitis: “Symptoms include weakness and numbness of the limbs, deficits in sensation and motor skills, dysfunctional urethral and anal sphincter activities, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system that can lead to episodes of high blood pressure….sensation to pain or light touch is impaired. Motor weakness…mainly affects the muscles that flex the legs and extend the arms…Back pain can occur at the level of any inflamed segment of the spinal cord…all four limbs may be affected and there is risk of respiratory failure Lesions of the lower cervical region (C5–T1) will cause a combination of upper and lower motor neuron signs in the upper limbs, and exclusively upper motor neuron signs in the lower limbs. Cervical lesions account for about 20% of cases…A lesion of the lumbar segment, the lower part of the spinal cord (L1S5) often produces a combination of upper and lower motor neuron signs in the lower limbs. Lumbar lesions account for about 10% of cases.”

Not hard to recognise what might happen if GM vaccines are permitted without even standard trials which are not even a guarantee of much safety anyway (eg the hundred thousand or so people each year who die in the US from totally “safe” – ho ho – drugs, drugs that have passed these standard tests). And these scum complain Dr.Raoult’s specific mix of hydroxychloraquine and the antibiotic azithromycine has not been subjected to any “scientific” health experiments . Certainly further proof that this crisis is an opportunity for the maniacs who  rule us to do things that they think they could not do before. Whilst anti-vaxxers can often be simplistic and dogmatic, there’s a fundamental basis for such fears.

And now there’s this: Scientists are working on vaccines that spread like a disease. What could possibly go wrong?

“Self-spreading vaccines could indeed entail serious risks, and the prospect of using them raises challenging questions. Who decides, for instance, where and when a vaccine should be released? Once released, scientists will no longer be in control of the virus. It could mutate, as viruses naturally do. It may jump species. It will cross borders. There will be unexpected outcomes and unintended consequences. There always are. While it may turn out to be technically feasible to fight emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19, AIDS, Ebola, and Zika with self-spreading viruses, and while the benefits may be significant, how does one weigh those benefits against what may be even greater risks?”

Second coronavirus vaccine volunteer suffers rare neurological condition 

“A 37-year-old woman suffered a rare neurological condition that left her struggling to walk…”
Marvelous the way they say “the two cases were unlikely to be associated with the vaccine…” A rare disease amongst 2 people volunteering for the trial of the vaccine. Pure coincidence! Like the melting of the icecaps being just something that happens naturally every few thousand years – nothing to do with commodity-induced rich-man-made climate change, nothing to do with the car economy and capitalist industry in general.
This article also says that only one third make a full or near full recovery from this ‘transverse myelitis’ “with most of their symptoms gone” after 2 years. Nothing to worry about then.

Cons like snake oil at least had the advantage of not usually having an adverse effect on those seeking a quick cure

On the 19th of September in London there were  clashes with cops on an anti-mask anti-vaccination demo. The demo was a mix of right-wingers, left-wingers, anarchists and unalligned, symptomatic of this crazy confused epoch. Pertinent critiques mixed with excessively simplistic stuff by terribly muddle-headed weirdos. Some of these people believe  in the absurdity of vaccines being the state’s or private interests’ method of injecting microchips into people’s bodies. Which distracts and distorts the very good reasons to be against vaccinations (though not dogmatically – there are some situations where they may have some uses). Even if some of these ideologies fall into  fantasy conspiracy theories , there’s still a great deal of validity to a critique of vaccinations being developed by the powers-that-be, as the horrific implications of what’s above show.

For a long chronological list of aspects of things relevant to the Coronavirus crisis see this

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.

“Extremist watch” group says “Anarcho-Socialists” are  responsible for riots

US: “Extremist watch” group says “Anarcho-Socialists” are  responsible for riots, partly by preaching hate crimes against whole groups (ie cops etc.)

Original report here

X writes:

This, linked through a Voice of America “extremist watch” segment, notes that the people who put this together, “affiliated with Rutgers University” ultimately are to be considered part of the “Contagion Network research Institute, an independent non-profit that tracks hate on social media. The group lists the United Nations, the Anti-Defamation League and the liberal billionaire George Soros’ Open Society foundation as its affiliated patrons.

Effectively then, this amounts to liberal counter-insurgency’s attempt to understand (their characterization, “anarcho-socialist” suggests they have a rather long way to go) the anti-authoritarian anti-capitalist movement and its allies, something it clearly sees as a threat. One notable feature evident from a superficial glance: the report considers that it is dehumanizing “hate” if one sees individual members of a group of people who are part of an organization whose actions are structually determined to undertake repression of spontaneous social movements (against captalism, the state and the reactionary constellation of beliefs – racism, sexism, patriarchy, authoritarianism, etc. – that reinforce them) and act uniformly as per their organizational discipline, such as the police, FBI, etc., as enemies to be uniformly detested and opposed. Would George Soros think it were “hate” to uniformly detest those in the SS? And if not what are the unspoken and underlying values that would account for this apparent inconsistency?

SF write: Surely this, by its own logic,  is a hate crime against “Anarcho-Socialists” (whatever that is) – dehumanising them by bunching them up all together.

T writes:

These type of articles or police reports reminded me of a part in W. Reich’s account of treating a schizophrenic patient, where he wrote:

“It was soon after the FBI had mistaken orgone research for German (or
Russian?) spy activity and had taken me into custody (as an ‘enemy
alien’) at the entry of the United States into World War II. The fact
that I was soon released unconditionally after a hearing did not matter
much to the patient. What mattered was the fact that I had been
suspected of subversive activity, and this, of course, was in harmony
with the general attitude of neurotics as well as psychotics to distrust
everything, especially their own inner feelings. Our patient wanted to
be able to trust me because, as she said plainly, she needed my help in
her fight against the ‘forces’. I assured her that I was not a German
or, for that matter, any other type of spy and never had been. Thereupon
she said that everybody thinks only in terms of his own nature or
character structure and that hence the FBI could not think of anything
but spy activity when they could not understand what I was doing. I had
to agree with this statement, and I found my liking of the schizoid mind
again justified. Schizophrenics are able in their lucid periods to see
through individual and social matters intelligently, as no other
character type can. Later we shall see that this lucidity of
intelligence in the schizophrenic is one of the major dangers which
threaten his existence in present-day society.”

SamFanto was born, and then he lived a bit but never enough.