Decades ago, when smoking was all pervasive and a huge multi-multi-billion dollar industry, evidence started to emerge that perhaps smoking is not a positive as the adverts suggested, that perhaps it is actually quite dangerous, deadly even. This reality threatened that multi-multi-billion dollar industry, and so they set about spending a wedge of those billions of dollars – not to counter the danger, but to counter anyone stopping the danger. They used a two-pronged attack on both the science that was accumulating the proof that smoking is dangerous, and on any lawmakers that might deign to regulate to protect people. These two tools in the toolbox, despite all the camouflage of ‘individual freedom’ and ‘just asking questions’, exist to keep the rich, very rich. Nothing else, nothing more.
The same thing has been going on with climate change, using the same methods of attack and often the same paid scientists and organisations. A huge multi-multi-billion dollar industry, the oil industry, saw that evidence started to emerge that perhaps burning carbon fuels is not a positive as their adverts suggested, that perhaps it is actually quite dangerous, deadly even to the planet; they set about spending a wedge of those billions of dollars – not to counter the danger, but to counter anyone stopping the danger.
This time however, they planted the seeds into the antiscience ground that they had made fertile in the anti-smoking wars, which allowed them to grow a powerful and active opposition to any serious political action on climate change and obfuscate the science. It has (and continues) to both delay serious action and dishonestly muddy the reality of science.
That anti-regulation, ‘the-individual-is-god’ ethos continued to mutate, spawning a whole host of conspiracies that spread like weeds in that fertile ground into many corners of normal life. Anti-Vax is nothing more than a mutation of that same idea; it puts the individual ‘choice’ above the community, as if people can chose if they get infected and choose who they will infect in turn. It pushes the same anti-science idea that somehow some random dude making YouTube videos is as valid as researchers who spend decades understanding the complexities of the natural world and how we interact with it. Why do these matter? Because all these conspiracy theories; that somehow climate scientists are making shit up, that alien DNA is in the vaccine, that smoking is actually healthy, that COVID is fake; they can all be traced back to the same root; to a tool designed to ensure that neither reality nor politics constrains the ability of the rich to get richer and stay really, really rich. The rest is just details.
Vaccinations are a collective, community effort; the people who develop them, the factories that manufacture them, the health care workers that administer them; they are a cost-effective, efficient and deployable way to ensure that us ordinary people are not hammered by disease. Accepting this reality is not the same as accepting that big pharma is all good, far from it. But like Rupert Murdoch having the COVID vaccine while allowing his Fox News to muddy the waters of its safety, we can see the deployment of an anti-regulation tool at work. A tool designed to ensure that neither reality nor politics constrains the ability of the rich to get richer and stay really, really rich. The rest is just details.
Meanwhile Murdoch’s Fox News broadcasts anti vaccine misinformation.
Even from him, the hypocrisy is quite something https://t.co/Ehg9mJas13
— Dr Louise Raw (@LouiseRawAuthor) December 30, 2020
Image credit here.