An answer to the text "On the Anarchist Response to the Global Pandemic".

An answer to the text "On the Anarchist Response to the Global Pandemic".

The world we used to fight in is changing, that's a fact. The COVID19 pandemic is pushing us to our political and personal limits. And it is true that after a year of waiting, of limited actions, of being subjected to the half-hearted decisions of governments who do not hesitate to apply severely measures that do not work we all feel frustrated and tired. Also reading a continuous flow of information on overloaded media networks (TV and internet) where reliable information is lost, does put more confusion in the whole story. Meanwhile, the richest or most privileged people allow themselves to applaud at the windows and visit their second home in the countryside, just to spend a "quiet" lockdown, while we are dying of boredom, depression lack of work and social link. The anger is growing.
But this anger, as legitimate as it is (especially since it is not new) must, as always, bring a valid criticism to the capitalist society and the state. And to do this among all the misinformation we find, we suddenly have to sort out the real criticisms, based on valid arguments, and the fanciful theories, fed by certain “undisclosed” capitalists, and happy to find, once again, allies in the workers' ranks.
This is why reading articles like this one ( ), spread by anarchist networks, makes the task of some comrades all the more difficult.

It is a well-written text that appeals to many feelings very much rooted in the anarchist tradition, and in doing so, makes its arguments more admissible. But perhaps a little too much. We propose a little critical exercise.

From the begining we are given a division between "those who believe in a fully autonomous and liberated life" and those who "thus comply with the mandates of technocrats and politicians". refusing de facto the possibility for anyone to agree with the majority of scientific studies (we will come back to this). This does not take into account the fact that we do not need a threat from the state to ensure that we respect the lockdown (as an anarchist or not).
In the context, there is nothing to prevent following the lockdown and criticising the state's responses, because that is what it is all about. Going along with it is not an endorsement of the State. To imply otherwise is fallacious.
And unfortunately this is not the only argument that leaves an aftertaste. Indeed, many points that could have been genuinely debatable are covered with a layer that is usually only found among "conspiracy theorists" and the far right.

Arguments such as:
"Science is definitely NOT a matter of consensus".
or even
"It is absolutely wrong to suggest that there is a complete and irrefutable understanding of its characteristics and dynamics, and that all scientists, researchers and doctors around the world are in agreement on the public policy to combat it. ”
Shows that the author(s) have a bias that biases their judgment.
It is not wrong in itself, but it is wrong to not to acknowledge it.
No, indeed science is not a consensus. On the other hand, a large number of studies that point in the same direction CREATE a consensus, which is the case here (again, we will come back to this later). If we deny it for COVID19 we can deny it for climate change, the harmfulness of asbestos or nicotine. This is the slippery slope we have to watch out for.
And of course we don't need 100% approval from doctors/scientists to act. This is a parallel to ecology, because it is an argument used by capitalists to counter measures that do not go in their direction and which they support with arguments such as "the scientific community does not agree on the subject" when the ratio is 98/2.
Moreover, some arguments are not even arguments, they are just judgemental such as :
"experts locked away in laboratories using esoteric methods are the only voices generating single policy statements for entire nations”. This is a caricature (or straw man) of the real arguments to be made against Big Pharma. Especially since this straw man completely ignores the fact that it is not scientists who dictate political measures, despite the rhetoric of the authors. To be convinced of this, one only has to read the data from the studies that come out and are freely available online and see the political measures taken afterwards.
But the worst part is probably the "esoteric methods".
This suggests that scientists are making it up as they go along without knowing what they are doing, which is nonsense. If this is true for the politicians, there have been more and more pandemics since 1980, epidemiologists have been waiting for "the big one" for the last 5 or 10 years and they have prepared a lot of measures for the occasion (1). But the states did not apply them correctly in order to spare capitalism and the economy (and the re-election of its leaders). And now everyone is being blamed except the main culprits: Capitalism for having reduced the distances between humans and biodiversity because of the overexploitation of resources (which creates pandemics) (2) and which has greatly reduced the distances between countries (which allows viruses to spread rapidly), and the states which are taking inappropriate measures by listening halfway to the studies done, to satisfy the economy. As a result, we have semi-rigid measures that are harshly enforced by the police, which adds to everyone's frustration. We are forced to work face-to-face, to socialise with our colleagues, but not with our family and friends... which is ridiculous in every way.

The "funny" part of the story is that most epidemiologists agree that COVID19 is just a rehearsal for the "real" pandemic (3), the one that will have the potential to disrupt the production chains and precipitate the collapse of our society.
All of the above could only prove a certain bias, which is rather regular in a text addressed to anarchists. After all, we are not impervious to conspiracy theories (4).

In the "SCIENTIFIC" section, we find their arguments and the studies that corroborate the arguments. Apart from the fact that these arguments are obviously opposable, such as the fact that the hospitals would not have been overloaded (which should please our comrades in the medical sector) we will look at the sources.
The study to contradict the implementation of lockdown can be quickly countered by more comprehensive ones (5), and when you look at the methodology, they take the USA in "strong containment", and they almost don't take into account if the measures have been respected or not.
But it's even worse than that in fact.
This study is funded by the Stanford COVID- 19 Seroprevalence Studies Fund. The same Stanford that is behind a criticized study ( here: ). A whistleblower reported that this study was indirectly funded by Jetblue (a very anti-lockdown airline), to go along with their agenda...(Buzzfeed article but whatever: ).
And here we notice that a certain John Ioannidis was the director of this study financed by Jetblue.
We'll give you a hint: who is in the study that "proves" that lockdown doesn't work? John P. A Ioannidis and Eran Bendavid, also a member of the previous study.
In addition, Eran Bendavid appeared on Tony Robbins' podcast with Michael Levitt, Nobel Prize of Chemistry, who made a number of bad predictions about COVID19 over the past year, including that Ireland would not have a second wave or that it would be surprising if Israel had more than 10 cases. Fanciful predictions that never came true (the podcast in question: ). In this 2h38 podcast from March 2020 we hear recurrent arguments from the anti-lockdown / anti-masker community such as the diminishing impact of COVID19 on the general people's health, the economy, and plenty of misinformation about virus detection methods etc...
We can also find former Minnesota Republican Senator Scott Jensen, who was later sued by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice for "reckless medical advice" for comments he made on Facebook and for an interview he gave on 7 April 2020 in which he claimed to have been ordered to inflate the numbers of COVID19 victims in his state. He also cast doubt on some of the subsidies hospitals would receive per person declared dead from COVID19. There is no evidence to date to confirm such claims.
Dr. Dan Erikson and Dr. Artin Massihi are also around the table, both of whom have participated in conferences that have been widely criticised by the medical community: "What these doctors are doing is corrupting the process from the start to make it look like they're doing an honest policy analysis," added Noymer, who is an associate professor of population health and disease prevention at the University of California, Irvine." (6)
In short, this podcast is a panel of people with dubious motives, which makes it a goldmine of fallacious and conspiratorial arguments

Well, we could possibly say that it is a misunderstanding, a coincidence or a mistake. Indeed, there are mini debates around some of these stories that may cast doubt. One thing is certain: the earlier study by John Ioannidis and Eran Bendavid was ripped apart by other professionals in the field: "The study dismayed epidemiologists who said its tests were imprecise and its methods sloppy. “(7)(8)
Not enough data and studies done to fit their views... like the article here: the search for "truth" is only done in the direction that confirms the bias. The mere fact that of ALL the available studies, many of which refute these points even in part, the authors took this one is rather telling.

We are not going to dwell on the fact that the second study that is cited comes from Frontiersin, which is a journal with a reputation for accepting anything and everything and which has generated a lot of controversy (anti-vax articles, editors seeking to interfere with studies...)) "According to Allison and James Kaufman in the 2018 book Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science, "Frontiers used internal journal management software that does not give reviewers the option of recommending rejection of manuscripts" and that the "system is set up to make it almost impossible to reject papers".

The last study is just a criticism of the inefficiency of capitalism and private health services. The delays (especially in the US...) are precisely because the hospitals are overloaded, contrary to what the authors claim at the beginning.

The American Scientist article is actually truncated, as the quotes are made to fit a rhetoric that suits them. They quote just enough to make it look like the division among scientists about lockdown is 50/50:
"In the fight against Covid-19 today, the global scientific community is divided. On the one hand, some strongly favour active and sometimes even draconian public health interventions, including widespread cessation of non-essential activities, prescription of masks, travel restrictions and quarantines. On the other hand, some doctors, scientists and public health officials are questioning the wisdom of these health interventions because of the great uncertainties that remain about their effectiveness, but also because of the growing evidence that such measures may not work in some cases, and may even cause net harm. As people are thrown out of work as a direct result of temporary closures and more and more families find themselves unable to pay their rent or food, there has been a sharp increase in domestic violence, homelessness and illegal drug use."
In fact, the majority recommends rather drastic measures, as explained below in the same article:
"The two sides of the COVID-19 war are illustrated by two documents, the John Snow Memorandum and the Great Barrington Declaration, which were released online in October. The former represents the majority position, which supports strict measures to limit human contact and movement in all areas. The Great Barrington Declaration, the minority position, advocates "targeted protection", allowing younger and healthier individuals to continue to live, work and go to school, while aiming for greater protection measures for those most vulnerable to the virus - the elderly, the institutionalised and other high-risk individuals. This approach has been most widely used in Sweden.
Sweden is well known for having failed to respond to COVID19 effectively and admitting it (before applying lockdown measures).

We come to an important point here: this is exactly the principle of the manufacturing of consent used by industries (cigarettes don't kill, asbestos is fine, and especially global warming that doesn't exist that much kind of rhetoric). They are capitalists who want to instil doubt in people's minds so that they can continue to sell their production, making us believe in the famous 50/50 in science (when it is clearly not the case). It's a shame that anarchists are falling for this when there could be many solid critiques of the capitalist and state management of the COVID19 crisis.
In fact, we could make a parallel with the environmental issues : scientists look at a problem, find the source and argue that if you remove the source you remove the problem, and talk to politicians. Politicians look to the bosses and their electorate and try to bargain for a middle ground. The problem is that for ecology (or health) there is no middle ground... It's either we react or we get the problem. The COVID19 was either a “stop it or we take more terrible variants” kind of situation (and we see where we are now). Since June-July 2020, scientific papers and press articles have been talking about the appearance of variants and the dangers they represent... And the decision-makers have not taken ANY decision since. The public opinion is not in a position to put pressure on the leaders because of studies like this which blow a wind of doubt only to serve the rhetoric in the company's bosses support.
We have to say, there are nuances to be made on certain points according to new studies, but this does not negate the rest.

There are studies and arguments to be made, and of course everything needs to be continually checked as much as possible, but this kind of pro-capitalist inspired criticism, without realising it (or not, that is the question), is terrible because it impinges on the dissemination of information that is essential for people's decision-making.
The text talks about the fact that it is up to the people themselves to make their own informed judgement. But how can you do that when the real news is drowned in a flood of useless or contradictory information? (Knowing that contradiction is there to push into inaction).
It's a shame they're talking about it there:
"Prolonged lockdown and severe curfews have made many people aware of the danger posed by Covid-19, but the threat posed by the virus is not really understood. “
And this is true. But they use John P. Ioannidis as an example, citing one of his studies (which in fact is not a study, it's an opinion piece made on 17 of March 2020) at the very beginning of the pandemic: .
Just note how he already had the idea that lockdown was useless so early in the pandemic.

The Scientific American article makes an observation: it is hard to go against the majority in the case of COVID19. But we must also take into account that some studies are not serious and have no place in the decision-making process, whatever the opinion of Dr Raoult, Dr Levitt, and so many more. It is not because one brings an argument or a study that goes against the majority that one is right.
This is exactly what Malatesta was warning about in “Democracy is a lie : thoughts and notes on Anarchism” : “There is among us a tendency to consider true, good and fine everything that appears under the agreeable cloak of revolt against the accepted “truths”, especially if supported by people who are, or call themselves, anarchists. This shows a deficiency of that spirit of investigation and criticism that should be maximally developed in anarchists.”

By understanding the previous points, some arguments suddenly become much more visible in their bias:

"We feel it is necessary to clarify that a new coronavirus is not something that would be detected immediately by doctors or researchers when first transmitted from animal to human. Given that coronaviruses are common and because they induce similar symptoms (as well as having a similar symptom course to other forms of respiratory viruses) and that SARS-COV-2 is not symptomatic in a third of the people who contract it, it would not be surprising if it was circulating on Earth before anyone knew to look for it. “

A totally illogical conspiracy argument: if a virus capable of killing more than two million people in one year had been around for a long time, it would have been seen and sequenced.
And we know the answer anyway : "Phylogenetics estimates that SARS-CoV-2 appeared in October or November 2019"(9). And in a hyperconnected world where we travel around the world in 24 hours, we can obviously understand that the virus was everywhere when it was discovered in December 2019 in China... This ties in with the anti-capitalist argument we made earlier.

There are also some good and bad things in the conclusion:
"In the current paradigm, the state and its selected technocratic experts filter the available data and highlight only what supports the policy decisions they have already decided to implement without any consideration of public opinion."

NO government wants to implement lockdown. It is very clear in the decisions taken, it is very clear in the economic stakes, it is very clear in their desire for re-election... So why pretend?
The state clearly did not wait for the pandemic to turn into a fascist body. Most of the laws passed against opponents or reducing freedoms do not date from 2020…
It is mainly the fact that the measures taken are not in line with what is needed to make COVID19 disappear, and at the same time the state enforces its half-hearted measures very severely that creates the initial problem.
The “filter” we are talking about here only bothers them because it partially cuts off the spread of their conspiratorial ideas, not because it harms individual freedoms.

"massive crimes against humanity".
You know who uses this kind of expression? The German anti-vax pseudo "Dr" Fuellmich, who wanted to do a class action lawsuit against governments in order to put the anti-vax vision and science on an equal footing on a legislative field at international level. We know this because some comrades have done a complete debunk of the announcement video.

This passage leaves some of us wondering:
"As anarchists, the autonomy of our minds and bodies is a core value. We believe that human beings are intelligent enough to decide for themselves how to evaluate their environment and determine how to move forward in life by meeting their needs and desires.

Intelligence is not immense knowledge and facility in maths. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to a context, we agree. But to be able to adapt, we must be able to read and understand our environment to make good decisions.
To make good decisions you need good information... which we don't have because of the doubt created by the companies, and the people who fall for it and feed the networks with "counter-information", to the point that we all have doubt about many subjects that are totally proven by science or reach consensus.

A good passage from the text might be this:
"Science is a tool to enlighten humanity by elucidating the mechanisms of cause and effect. It is a process of discovery. What we do with this enlightenment, how we live our lives with the information discovered, depends on us as individuals and communities. ”
Which is partly true, but to be able to do that we need to be in a world without political and capitalist interference. Because that's the problem here: the hindrance of information by people with financial interests, and that's very clearly a criticism that we can make as anarchists. To see this, just listen to another interview with Dr. Alan Preston, one of the protagonists of the podcast revealed earlier: "You don't want the cure to be worse than the disease itself, that's not the direction we want to go. And unfortunately, some of the things that you [the interviewer] mention, can make the very good argument that the cure is worse than the disease itself. So the cure of making everyone stay at home, and the cure of closing down businesses to save lives... it's not to say that lives aren't important but, of course they are, but we can make that argument for all sorts of deaths. We just can't, as a society, function by wanting to mitigate all of that. It will not happen.
I'm now going to talk about unemployment, which is probably the most unique situation we've ever had in the United States from that perspective. A lot of people are paid much more today as unemployed people than they would have been if the Care Act had not been passed. Why do I say that? Because in the state job search offices, it's not uncommon for you to get up to 50% of your income when you apply. But because of the Care Act and some of the financial conciliations that have been given to these people it's, not all of them, but some of them, that are getting up to 150% of their income [inaudible]. So, I mean, think about that. These people are not so desperate as to say, "Oh my God, I have to go back to work because I'm getting one hundred and fifty percent, and I can do it for 26 weeks, six months [...]" (10)
This is a partly false and partly a capitalist remark by a privileged person who tells us in a contemptuous tone that making a part of the population die of COVID19 is less important than the economy and the companies. And it's a pity that these employees are not "desperate" enough to return to their jobs! Who will serve us now? And anarchists are basing themselves on this kind of people for arguments? Let's be serious for a moment!
From our point of view, if a person who is working earns less than if he or she were unemployed, this means that wages are much (much!) too low to live properly. Do we need to point this out?

The world we live in is not conducive to decision making. COVID19 is a perfect example, and it also ties in with our ecological response: we don't have the time to know, so we let others do it (who do without knowing, apparently).
If we had all the precise scientific information, if we were collectively able to understand them correctly without distorting them (as done in the article), we would follow the way more easily and it would go in the direction of the "common objective", because yes, the objective of the well-being of all passes by drastic measures on our personal life (it is not us who affirm it, it is the majority of the scientists who know what they talk about and who do not have any interest to lock up people at home during more than one year). The state is irrelevant in this personal choice: those who don't want to put on a mask don't hesitate to do so. Those who want to confine themselves find themselves in the category of "sell-outs" according to the authors of this text.
The last point is that the problem is not the state and its totalitarian tendencies (since they are always present), it is the fact that a logical decision is being passed off as a political decision.

The anarchist critique of COVID19 is not in the response to how people react to it (anarchist or not) when they have the right informations, it is the critique towards the responses that capitalists and states have brought:
- Counter-informations that sows doubt in order to continue their profits.
- Decisions without any head or tail, or even no action at all.
- The social response of these two governing bodies.
- The disregard they had for the lives of members of the poorer classes to maintain their privileges.
And many other topics.
Capitalism and the state, in addition to being responsible for the pandemic (indirectly), have provided no solution. It is up to us anarchists to argue that without the interference of these two entities, the crisis would already be if not behind us, at least we would be a little bit better as a society.

What can we learn from this?

Firstly, that we are not, despite our best efforts, immune to capitalist shenanigans. It is important to recognise and accept this, as it will allow us to better understand these rhetorical and propaganda tools if we pay attention to it.

Secondly, that any criticism of the state or of capitalism is not in fact a good thing. Indeed, using flawed argumentation or dubious theories will only give weight to our political opponents and destabilise us. We all agree that debate is vital, and necessary in any case in a free society, but that debate is increasingly tending to become opinions against facts, rather than opinions on how to deal with the facts.
Observing the data, admitting mistakes and modifying one's speech if necessary, is a better way of approaching things and adapting to situations such as the one here.

Thirdly, we must realise that such biases only serve the interests of capitalists and states. Now that we have vaccines available, they will be quick to reopen everything, to pretend it never happened and to leave the basic problem untouched. Capitalism is still there, it is imposing itself in new corners, and the anarchist response is not present, too busy as we are checking the false from the true in the crumbs of selected information given to us by the same capitalists.
In the meantime, our efforts are nothing but blunders. The proletarian and poor classes are increasingly divided politically, the rich are increasingly rich and united thanks to the sticks they place in the wheels of free and reliable information and access to knowledge. It is not our role to participate in the placing of these sticks in the system. Our struggles are directed at the economy, patriarchy, power, and the fascists, racists, homophobes, and other movements that allow the division of the proletariat for the benefit of the powerful.
There is also a critique to be made of the way we understand and convey information. Obviously John Ioannidis, Eran Bendavid and Michael Levitt (among many others) all had an opinion on the COVID19 issue as early as March 2020 when they tried to diminish the facts in order to "put things into perspective". So they were biased even before they did their studies, which conveniently go their way. The fact that they are renowned (or even that they have won a Nobel Prize) is no protection against error and personal bias. If it is proof of anything it is that there can be no idol, or person with such power in science as in politics or anything else. It seems rather ridiculous that we have to point this out to anarchists…
Finally, the critical spirit that has accustomed us to constantly oppose the vitiated doxa of the world in which we live must not become a posture independent of changing facts and circumstances. Protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and helping each other through self-imposed restrictions not to obey laws and the state but because conditions demand it is an act of solidarity and not some blind ignorance of "sheep following the herd". Even animals in a herd or pack will close ranks to protect the older or more at-risk ones in order to saves them.

We will end with the words of Malatesta once again, as he sums up the situation excellently:
"The freedom we want, for ourselves and for others, is not an absolute, metaphysical and abstract freedom which in practice inevitably results in the oppression of the weak; but it is a real freedom, a possible freedom, which is the conscious community of interests, voluntary solidarity. "











10 (around 48 min)

There are 18 Comments

This whole critique is pretty trash. The attempt to smear Ioannidis by associating him with some other people who went on some podcast with one of his colleagues that the author of the original piece never even mentions or cites is a massive “pee in the punchbowl moment. Also, the whole “Jet Blue funded this guy!” Doesnt seem true at all. Reading the buzzfeed link, a Jet Blue exec put money in a anonymous Stanford University funding pool, and some of that went to Ioannidis’s April study, which the original piece doesnt even cite. The original piece cites and Ioannidis study from October.

It goes on and on. Bad faith effort.

"Doesnt seem true at all"
The original article is based on the October 2020 study, it's true but the first version of that study date back from May 2020, at the same time the whistleblower blowed the whistle on the study.

" The attempt to smear Ioannidis by associating him with some other people[...]"
As it it said here :
"Well, we could possibly say that it is a misunderstanding, a coincidence or a mistake. Indeed, there are mini debates around some of these stories that may cast doubt. One thing is certain: the earlier study by John Ioannidis and Eran Bendavid was ripped apart by other professionals in the field: "The study dismayed epidemiologists who said its tests were imprecise and its methods sloppy. “(7)(8)".
The October study, even if it was re evaluated, and then peer reviewed is not the one's the far right and the capitalist used all along 2020 to force a re opening on the expense of the working class. Also we could argue that using statistical values to express a death rate, is nonsensical. For everyday people around the world it represent so far 2,798,637 dead, countless persons with long COVID and we're not close to the end. So that 0.03 % of fatality rate is not reflecting the actual life lost or destroyed. And this numbers are contextual depending on the area as it is said in his October study :"he infection fatality rate of COVID-19 can vary substantially across different locations and this may reflect differences in population age structure and case-mix of infected and deceased patients and other factors. " which is not taken into account in the original article. They make it look like it's everywhere uniformaly the same when it's clearly not.
As they did with missquoting that article from Scientific American.
As they did by passing that Ioannidis "opinion piece" from the 17th of March 2020 as a "study".

The authors have a blind spot that they have not considered. Public health is presented as part of the power of the state, as Foucault mentions. So the scientist has a duality: on the one hand, he is part of the power, so he must link the virus to the problem of security, so the myth of a "blockade" is promoted by officials. Science, as part of biopolitics, does its best to ensure the "health of the population", that is, it helps in saving lives. But on the other hand, science can also determine death, because death can be a part of health.

What is the "health of the population"? It is like saying, is an aging society healthy? So that's where the complexity of the issue lies. Public health is essentially a matter of population governance. There is no contradiction between older people dying to be healthy and society living to be healthy.

That's how the discourse of power dominates science and health. The health it refers to is no longer the health of private lives that we are concerned with, but a social directive. Many people are confused because of the confusion between the two. It also seems to create a split in anarchism: it seems that wanting to help the vulnerable is contradictory to opposing the blockade. However, this is a dialectical trap. Because it always starts with the big picture and public politics, forgetting that the real resistance is against the logical order. To give an example, what exactly is the so-called health? It determines both the life and the death of a part of the population. This is the Logos and science - health no longer has anything to do with people's lives. Therefore, a practice of deterritorialization (in the Deleuzian sense) is very important: science also has an intrinsic motivation to deterritorialize, but it is very different from "royal science".

Since Agamben kept his attention only to politics in concentration camps, he could not understand this issue more fully. Phenomenology, for example, is deterritorialized, just as capitalism has to ensure mobility in order to remain economically viable, so it has a drive against blockades. But this drive, this life of capital, constantly reconfigures the state and power, constituting a Westernized and territorialized narrative. Opposing the blockade (on the far right) does not mean that it leads to what Agamben calls political life (bios), because as part of the economy, it remains part of what is called "health". Economists have to believe in the scientific theory that the economy can save more people, so the blockade has to be lifted. But on the other hand, the same people blindly believe in the logic of the blockade, as if it also saves lives. The reason for this dilemma is simply because power has made them stupid. So this has caused many unnecessary disasters.

It seems that the problem we face is simply the blockade, and that (as Agamben says) it can be solved by using politics. But this seems to be a discursive trap. Because the city-state still has a kind of vertical governance, capitalism and the state simply duplicate it. There is no shame in caring for the underprivileged, except that philanthropists and politicians use it as a powerful narrative to wield authority. In reality, caring for the health of the oppressed is not compatible with the concept of "public health. The key is to create more horizontal connections; to propose a new mutual aid, rather than repeating the evolutionary metaphysics of Darwinism (Kropotkin).

The struggle is not to present a picture of some kind of resistance, but to present the image of a movement (which is still stigmatized). Like the occupation of infrastructures and tools used to transport the necessities of life, or the takeover of more areas. This is all part of the insurrection.

For a long time evil was seen as a defect, and all bad things were seen as evils that had to be overcome. This was said to be a guarantee of good health. But for the sake of health, bad things that are regarded as evil keep coming up, in this age of viruses. We are forced to conclude that justice and health are self-destructive.
What exactly is healthy? If evil is a disease, then why is it that societies that desperately try to avoid it are headed for collapse? And if there is no disease, how do we know about health?
Health and disease are just a mask. Like Zarathustra's illness and recovery, it is a constant flow under the mask. Evil is disease, but disease makes me healthy and righteous; instead, health abolishes the instinct of life.
The real defect is to see evil as a defect, and therefore it is not healthy.

You're way past beyond the point and the scope of the text though.

Either we can understand that indeed "Public Health" can be used as a tool for some form of domination and include hierachy in it's design, either we do not agree that the scientist has a duality like you say. Just by the simple example that scientists have absolutely no decisional power. They can influence, they can inform politicians, which is a form of passive power, but they are not the one who say that lockdown should be enforce with heavy police presence, or fines. They just say : "we made some studies, and people not meeting other people is a great way to not spread a virus".
From that, you, from the point of view of any kind of individual, can make the deduction yourself.
If the scientific community had half the power you prettend they have, climate change would not be still a debate 70 years later.
Or oceans would already be sanctuarized.
Or nobody would eat/drink sugar.
Those would be considered as it is : facts and we would have done something about it, either politicaly or individually. Yet nothing happen because of the use capitalists made of the doubt that is always present in science. This is litterally in the text.

Also you do not take into account the argument made in the text : governments do not want the lockdown (just look at France right now when Macron did everything he could up to now to not reinstal one) as it damage the economy and it create a break in the constant influence bosses, and managers have over their workers (just look at what tricks companies are doing right now to keep their grip on their employees).
The fact that they only impose one when the situation is starting to get catastrophic (once again, Paris' hospital are about to get overwhelmed), and they impose it in an authoritarian manner (which do not make anybody happy let's be clear) is the main problem. It is at the cost of the healthcare workers well being.

A healthy population is a kind of population where avoidable diseases are avoided when it can. We are in a better general health now than when polio was rempant for example. COVID19 is an avoidable disease on the certain context of respecting a few temporary self imposed rules and common sense. And we think it is a little bit sad that we have to argue that dying from an easily avoidable virus should not be commonly accepted, mostly when the anti lockdown argument used are the one used by the capitalist to push workers back to work.

We are opposing mandatory lockdown, and police enforcement of it, but we do not approve the use of the scientific doubt to push the reopening of the economy neither...
Yet, by using the arguments the capitalist are using (and by using more than questionnable rhetorical technics) they are pushing in the same way as them... and it is not something we should bring as anarchists.
As it is said in the text, there is quantities of arguments that can be made toward the way states and capitalists are managing the whole situation. But we tend to notice that they mostly talk about scientifics and politicians, but forgot to talk about capitalism.
Capitalism isn't even mentioned in their whole article yet it is a main cause, and consequence in the story. Why did they let it out while pushing capitalistic arguments then? That's what we are questionning.

"If the scientific community had half the power you have, climate change would no longer be a debate in 70 years."

Your point completely underestimates the world. It's as if there is an innocent science being shot down by various religious forces, idiots like Trump, or absurd metaphysics. But how the world works has not occurred to you. For example, where did your computer come from? Or where the cities we live in, the money and credit systems we use came from? It seems that you think that science is still weak. And so, the problem can be solved by simply sticking to science and then beating down the bleeding heart interest groups.
Don't you see that such a narrative is, in fact, a propaganda of power? It is as if a country always needs a "powerful external enemy" to unite itself. Yet it is a naive fairy tale.
People don't cause atrocities because of some simple stupidity, I mean, they are stupid to some degree, but there is a more frightening theory and mechanism that exploits the underlying stupidity. It's like we witness in the media how American red necks display ignorance and then that ignorance leads to atrocities. But we never think about how things happen. Even if you subscribe to a kind of scientism, you don't like to use science to explore the world. Science is just an ideology, due to a propaganda need, which requires the most ignorant people, with the most empty slogans, to mobilize the "biological power" at the bottom.
Is this not the source of stupidity? Are not those American rednecks, derided as ignorant and crass, the beneficiaries of science and technology, and its products? Yet, for the sake of propaganda, people ignore this circular argument, believing that the problem can be solved by sticking to the established discourse.
If something is wrong with the workings of power, then why don't we go and gain insight into the insidious workings of power, and instead become part of it?
Underestimating the world will be retaliated against. Again, to challenge the public's folly is not to rely on the logic of some propaganda, but to go in search of a more powerful adversary.

"And so, the problem can be solved by simply sticking to science and then beating down the bleeding heart interest groups."

Fuck yeah. Interest groups represent irrational drives (money, power, mainly) and this is one of the reasons why I disagree with the whole opposition to rationality. Irrational drives are demonstrating a poor aesthetic and intellectual culture in a moral order where the humans are reduced to being a bunch of brutish fat parasites (which could be called "bolsonaros") only into gangster schemes and other herd politics. One could say this tendency is a type of postmodern nihilism, but I rather see religious fanaticism in here. New-old brutalism.

Yet they are also part of the "scientific community", as the scientific community is not "science". It is just another aspect of the power establishment.

The RIGB, RAS, NASA and MIT are part of the State. They play an active role in the development of social control technologies as well as provide the public with very questionable narratives that favor a specific elitist view of the universe. Such is the NASA with their continuous problematic pretenses of knowing the internal constitution of a planet at several light years away, or completely dodging the geomagnetic factor from their climate change model. MIT also got their hands dirty with the development of tech (especially in the fields of robotics and AI- with extremely dangerous potential for the future. All of this ain't driven by a "quest for knowledge", but a quest for gains... nice careers... peer recognition and all that toxic crap inherently related to neolib capitalism.

then we are sticking to something likely funded by some sort of organization or interest group. The approach i find to science that seems the most rewarding is to main the skepticism which decent science can't function without.

As mentioned in anon 16:16, simply supporting science is itself the work of interest groups. So once again we find the hypocrisy of the narrative. Defeating interest groups with interest groups is certainly a joke.
Why would a person lack knowledge of science, but believe unconditionally that it can solve everything?
In fact simply pitting irrationality against science only shows a kind of ignorance, as it kind of presses a blind eye to the arguments of its opponents and is at best a far right-wing framing. But why is this so? Why is it blind to some important arguments? This fact is a bit cruel actually, I find is it because of the stupidity caused by power. There is always an intellectual deficit that comes from media hype and power.
This farce has long been played out by neo-scientist intellectuals. In each case, because of its clumsiness, it has been made to seem unworthy of rebuttal. The question is, why is ignorance allowed to mock wisdom, and is it not a sign of the corruption of power?
If the "scientific community" as you call it is itself rooted in capitalism, then why does it suddenly have a conscience? Is it because scientists have a "heart for truth"?
I don't need you to answer that, because for a long time all propaganda has been based on the attitude that the pursuit of truth is a good and therefore scientific thing. The main argument I am making here is that science is dualistic and questionable. But why say so?
Because first of all, the "truth-seeking mind" is consistent with capitalism. The ethics of neoliberalism, population governance, Puritan urbanization, and Soviet socialism is the quest for a world of truth. It is this Platonic worldview and practice that leads to economic hegemony and the construction of gentrification. The "truth-seeking mind" is actually a moral judgment, and thus contrary to science.
This is why science has a dual nature. The Platonist conception of truth is not scientific, but it rules in the name of science. However, the spirit of science is to doubt rather than to believe, to move towards "uncertainty" rather than "certainty". There is no such thing as eternal truth, but only truth in the here and now, which changes according to the situation and the context.
But conversely, what if we say goodbye to Scientific Realism and turn it into an operational empiricist discipline? --indeed, this is the current mainstream. That is equally questionable. For it is simply a move from one kind of vulgarity to another (vulgar empiricism). Feyerabend had the foresight: just as Newton's proposal of mechanics was accompanied by creativity, the present science is devoid of any creativity. It turns thought into lameness.
So you see, doesn't the fact that the times have progressed so far have anything to do with science itself? Society needs to be organized like slaves for the sake of so-called technological development, while their products have nothing to do with life. The development of science is the need for human rights, but how many people have died in chariots for the sake of national strength and global capitalism, and how many oligarchies have been fostered? Why are those intellectuals so incompetent, but the upper echelons of society?
Why do you still play this stupid and imbecilic game? Don't you have a vested interest? Who exactly is the one being revolutionized?

You missed the point.
It's not a defense of science for the sake of science, it's the defense of the workers that are in science.

"Why would a person lack knowledge of science, but believe unconditionally that it can solve everything?"
Solving everything is what capitalists ask from their workers in whatever field they are...
Wouldn't you trust a carpenter to build a structure for your roof? Wouldn't you trust an electrician to do an electricity related job?
Living in groups imply having confidence in the other that are part of this group and have skills that you do not have. As you can't be proficient in everything, you have to rely on others thus life in groups is a more efficient way of doing things. If you asked me what corrupt that basic interaction nowadays, I would say money, because it brings power. This is the stupidity for me. The only reason for this carpenters to scam you is literally to get more money out of you (take power - gain power). By corrupting the interraction it alterate the confidence and break the group's cohesion.
Money is a problem as money brings power. It's the same in every part of life, interractions and industries.

" the "truth-seeking mind" is consistent with capitalism"
Yet it is independent from it. People where looking for "the truth" way before capitalism set foot in people's minds. Not only "seeking truth" is a natural part of people's behaviour, curiosity is literally why human evolved and created tools that allowed it to evolve to the point it is today. We can argue if it is a good or a bad thing for sure, there is no position taken in this statement.

"just as Newton's proposal of mechanics was accompanied by creativity, the present science is devoid of any creativity. It turns thought into lameness."

That's literally what was argued just before :
"capitalistic appropriation of scientific studies corrupt the field"

"Why are those intellectuals so incompetent, but the upper echelons of society?"
Same argument as before : capitalism and money corrupt because it brings power... Never said the opposit of that.

"Why do you still play this stupid and imbecilic game? Don't you have a vested interest?"
Well... If you'd recall correctly, the first who used scientific "proofs" was the group this text answers to. The critic made here is just arguing that the use they make out of these proofs is only helping division and capitalist interests.
You can disagree with this statement, there is no problem with that. Yet, you can't critic the authors here for their use of the "sciences" without criticising the original authors for the same thing. Also, like stated previously in this conversation, the defense here is not in science itself, it is in the workers in science.
You said that people with knowledge dominate the "ignorant" and that is a form of power. I do agree, yet, workers in science field wants to share their knowledge but are stopped by capitalistic interests. So who is corrupting the field? How do you want to create a valuable and constructive criticism of science if not everybody is included in it?
We can argue that maybe we should not do anything with science, but this is a change of subject from the original point.

Do you see now why this :
"If the "scientific community" as you call it is itself rooted in capitalism, then why does it suddenly have a conscience?"
Makes no sense to me. This scientific community is full of individuals who would be better of united with every workers they have to fight their CEO or state, to be able to destroy that knowledge supervision imposed by capitalist interests that create that power in the first place.
The only mistake here would be the use of "scientific community" instead of "scientific industry". Because it is an industry in the end, with workers and struggles of their own. "scientific community" create a break between industrial workers, service workers and sicence workers, I'll give you that.

The explanation about interest groups is difficult to sustain. Why?
For one thing it is an oversimplified reading of society, and an ostensibly leftist posture. Because your argument is simply assuming that capitalism is profit-seeking and therefore leads to all sorts of problems, just like some of the vulgar teachings of Marxism. But no. Usually we think of capitalism as a disorderly and alienating development (Lenin), but ignore that capitalism is not based on greed but on calculated frugality, it is a system that works for the sake of working. It is not realistic to imagine capitalists as the bad guys. For example, if there is a small business that wants to grow and it wants to beat those large businesses, how does it do that? The capitalist, in order to motivate his employees, will impart the idea of friendship and equality to them, so that people feel like they are struggling like brothers in a big family. Even the boss's overtime hours are far more than the ordinary employees. Capitalism will even draw on the theory of self-organization to form new dynamics. This is why the government supports those small businesses. Because it has the best of capitalism's original intentions - competent people leading the way to prosperity. They are hard-working, thrifty, hard-working, civilized, and fraternal. And what about the financiers, who are seen as "predators"? Because of the overproduction of capitalism and the market, there is a need for a profession to regulate it, and that is what finance is. Capitalism is a system and not a "disorderly mess" because it is self-regulating and has the virtue of "professional conduct". With the rise of industry and investment, there is a place for everyone to fight with good intentions. It is not because people want to be bad that they become capitalists. It's just that as a system, it expands itself blindly. If, according to Nietzsche, modernity allows reactionary forces to prevail, the expansion of capital depends on the mechanical physiological response of man (like Trump). So man is reactionary.
Second, capitalist society is not left to immoral development. The very purpose of the antitrust cases is to limit unfair competition. So what is the obsession with money (the general equivalent), you may ask? Although Marx attributed it to fetishism, it is easily misleading. People can go crazy over money, it's true. But for serious capitalism, it is only an inferior form. With the development of financial markets, the debt economy has completely flipped the reign of money. Many countries now rely on debt and overdraft (of youth) for their future development.
And there are even checks and balances between the different interest groups (or sectors) of capitalism. Guy Debord gave such examples, where companies or institutions can create spy wars between themselves, and even different government departments can come into conflict over their own needs. So just assuming that interest groups and lobbies corrupt society is too superficial. It fails to realize the most fundamental logic by which people become dependent on capitalism.
The justification for capitalism's blind expansion of itself comes from the humanitarianism of satisfying needs, rights and the dignity of labor. Science has always been a partner of capitalism, not, as you think - "capitalistic appropriation of scientific studies corrupt the field". Otherwise it would be difficult to explain, why the development of science in capitalist countries. And socialist countries, as a form of capitalism, consider scientific development as the main goal (the first productive force). Most of our current economic activity is actually aimed at the development of scientific programs.
Is it true that the development of capitalist society has no purpose? Another question is what happened to the idea of truth? Why are they said to be consistent?

You believe that people seek truth as a natural behavior. I disagree with this statement. In fact the pursuit of truth is a courageous, praiseworthy and rare quality. But why start a criticism of the idea of truth? --because truth has been placed in a position of non-existence, which is millenarianism. The pursuit of truth by science has produced the same change; it has placed truth on the other side, producing a pathological paranoia. With the development of political economy, the humanities and linguistics, science has long since become dominant in society. The failure to recognize this is simply the result of unlearning.
For a long time we have been told that revolution is an act of truth, that it seeks an impossibility and non-existence. But this attitude is not only a false self-satisfaction, it is a product of the stage theory of social development (Marx and Engels). They take Christian millenarianism as the driving force of historical progress. First it uses the masses to seize power through this discourse, and then postpones and suspends its fate in anticipation of the coming of the communist messiah after a certain stage of social development.
But here comes the problem. Marxism is still accepted by many capitalists. The development of capitalism now has a fatalistic overtone: it knows its destiny of certain extinction, but it is constantly postponed. This gives it even more vitality to expand like a wild beast - it expands so wildly for its own death that it becomes a mad gamble.
This is the mess of history that we are facing.

That answer bother me honestly.
You kind of put yourself up by litteraly saying that some people are "stupid to some degree". Far from me the idea of doubting of your "intellligence", but by doing so you exclude yourself from the "people" and do not treat them as equal. You impose yourself as a superior to the bit of the population you deem "stupid". I don't like the tone you are using toward me too. I don't need to be patronised.
That "american redneck" may not be your "comrad" but treating him as you are, he will never be one. One more worker abandon to the capitalist's domination...
Anarchists fight a system, not people you should know that. Yes, sometimes you have to fight people but it is only as a last resort to destroy an oppression, not to impose another one.

You forgot a big thing in your reasoning : people working in science... work. They are employed by companies, or universities or state funded programs, but they all have a life, struggles of their own and are not this monobloc you paint them in. Many in every scientific areas are actually criticising their own hierachy, and the way the system works. A lot of them are actually defending the free share of knowledge that was hoarded by capitalist. Like every worker in any area, they have ideas, but no organisation thanks to the capitalist propaganda, and all the disinformation.
Many of them would beneficiate of being unionized, and strong enough to be able to seize their workplace for all to share. isn't it how a revolution work?

"Are not those American rednecks, derided as ignorant and crass, the beneficiaries of science and technology, and its products?"
Nop... the primary beneficiary of science is other scientifics for the devellopement of their understanding of things.
Whatever happen from that discovery is let to capitalistic imagination, you know, the famous "innovation".
If you want a random example, when the team that discovered the LASER discovered it (or rather build one and it worked), they just made the discovery. Now thanks to certain comapny , with laser you can startle cats, read CDs and DVDs, have cool concert effects or be deadly effective at killing people from drones. But who developped that? Capitalists, CEO and well paid engeneers, not the scientific team.

And that's the main point : capitalistic appropriation of scientific studies corrupt the field, as the capitalistic appropriation of the method of food production corrupt the gathering of ressources (surexploitation of the soil and lands), the way we eat (fast food and too much shit in it), our health, and so on.

"powerful external enemy"
Nop again, like for the case of racism that divide workers in ethnical boxes, excluding workers form the "worker group" because you think their work is serving the capital is a division in itself (aren't we all serving the capital by working anyway?) The capitalist classes tend to implement those divisions so us, worker do not turn our attention to them. This is the powerfull enemy you're looking for.
Creating that division between workers and other workers only benefit the capitalists (you know, the main problem that the original text this one critic, does not talk about once).

There is plenty of form of power, but the main one, and the most dangerous one is, and stay the capitalism who is actually destroying the planet while traping us in a never ending road of debt that keep our head under water and does not help us see the bigger picture. If you add to that the propaganda against the union of workers, the racism, and missplaced critics (because there is valid critics to do to science in general, and plenty of other industries), you have the situation we are in.

I have no particular scorn for "American rednecks. Because I know that's what the media has fed me. I mean, the Enlightenment needs to create such counterfactuals in order to maintain its authority, and it's often a deliberate stereotype created by the media. The media often says that the more ignorant the underclass is, the more biased it is towards racism. But in reality this narrative comes from the liberal upper class's side of the story.
But doesn't stupidity exist? If you think that being against stupidity is being out of touch with the people, I don't accept that. This is not to highlight how wise I am myself, or to deliberately belittle other people, what I want to express is a criticism of power. Because power always has a mechanism for the production of stupidity, a stupidity machine.
That's why there is a critique of Enlightenment. Enlightenment has long been seen as a heroic task of a masculine social elite, and therefore it has a pathological esteem for knowledge, while at the same time trying to degrade the unenlightened. The contemporary elite, although they are assholes, take this "task of enlightenment" as their privilege and excellence.
So, what to do to carry out this task? --Use the masses. Let me give you an example. If someone always praises the masses, says what they love to hear, says they have a "discerning eye", it is because they want to use them. This is a tactic used for the purpose of social evolution.
On the one hand, the upper elite followed the Socratic teaching that ignorance is a sin, and used knowledge and morality as a means to reach the world of truth; but on the other hand, they used the mass movement to defeat dissent.
Thus, it created a kind of inward-looking subject. People are ashamed of their ignorance and stupidity, which is forced by a vicious environment. But as enlightened discourse and elites become more and more powerful, corruption runs rampant, and the gap between rich and poor grows wider. More and more people in society are being thrown into the ranks of stupidity. To some extent, so am I. I knew that I would inevitably constitute a kind of stupidity, and I equally knew that I would inevitably be ridiculed. The elite would rather have me believe that it is my fault. But is that really the way things are?
It is precisely the mechanism of power that leads to the production of stupidity. Enlightenmentism is self-destructive, for it is it that has itself created stupidity and put itself in jeopardy. But now it is pointing the finger at the bottom, and so it leads to absolute bad governance. So the question arises, who is the stupid one? Is it not the enlightened elite itself? It not only creates social stupidity, but stupidly blames the bottom. It makes society like a hell.
The stupidity of the status quo is real. But I accept my stupidity rather than treating it as a form of self-deprecation. It is a way of dealing with myself. But again, it's not a reason to rest on my laurels, because if I don't know Other worlds, how will I know if I've said goodbye to stupidity?
At least that's where I'm at, like Leibniz's monads without windows. Progressivism has a two-tier structure. The upper layer is a golden dome, and a divine purpose, while the lower layer is suffering. In order for everything to be evolutionary and purposeful, the golden dome of the upper layer is indispensable, as is the cry of suffering. This is in fact a kind of stupid production.
So how to change this situation? -- Open the window and change monad to nomad.

Huge waste of time and effort. Complete and utter shit. How's it looking now that vaccine passports loom large on the horizon???

It's going to be popular, but I think a few countries might start doing that.

Science-lover is science-noob... "if a disease capable of killing 2 million people was around it would be detected"... nope, AIDS has existed since at least the 1950s and probably the 1890s, it just never "went viral" or got identified. AIDS still kills 1.5 million every year by the way.

Not bothering reading the rest of this bilge since they can't even get the basics right.

Compare what is comparable.
In the 1950 or before, DNA sequencing was not much of a thing.
The best way to detect AIDS is the PCR test, which was invented in 1983...
Also AIDS do not kill you in 2 weeks if you are vulnerable, it kills you in 11 years which can mess with the diagnostic of the origin if you don't know about it.
Also you do not spread AIDS by talking to a contaminated person, you need a blood exchange or unprotectd sex, so of course it's "slower", at least at first.
Then you said it never went viral before saying it kills 1.5 Millions people a year... Pretty viral to me, that might be why we noticed it, BECAUSE it was killing a lot of people suddenly (around 300 000 a year in 1990).
COVID19 killed 2 million people in 2020 alone in just one year, in it's FIRST year AIDS by it's design, did not killed that much in it's first year and was way slower in it's spread.
Aslo in 2019 it's 690 000 people who died from it, so half your number (which date back to 2013). Not to diminish it, just to recontextualise.

If you take the Black Plague (which is an extrem example), who killed between 75 to 200 million of people, I'm pretty sure they noticed.

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