“NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE”1
The World Amidst Coronavirus Hysteria and Beyond – Response to Y.N.Harari (FT) by Irene Eckert
Times of crisis in a business sector can often lead to an overall improvement in the community. Weaker entrants often leave the game …Those that remain therefore have reduced competition ..3
Citizen Empowerment Versus Democratic Rights
We face two choices: between „totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment“ and between „nationalist isolation and global solidarity“ says Financial Times author Yuval Noah Harari reflecting upon the post Corona virus area4. He also urges that „we have to act quickly and decisively“ in order to prevent short term emergency measures to become a a permanent pattern of our future life. Harari is also ringing the alarm bell against biometric monitoring on the horizon – a truly frightening vision in an „open society“ as we are used to, at least by name. The Snowdon disclosures about our tapped e-mails and telephones seem to have been forgotten.
As much as the notion of „citizen empowerment“5 sounds good at first glance, but why does Y. N. Harari avoid reference to enshrined democratic rights? It is indeed breath-taking that Western democracies are presently confronted with an unheard of uncontrolled demolition of constitutional rights.
Unheard of? During the night of the burning Reichstag in Berlin, January 1933, the German Nazis turned to emergency laws. The prepared documents had been stored in an office drawer. The German name of the emergency drawer laws is „Ermächtigungsgesetze“, in English „Empowerment Acts“.
People over Profit
When the People’s Republic of China declared their „war on the virus“ early in January, the central political leadership mobilized not only their entire country, they even put the army in. What they jugded to be the outbreak of a newly detected lung disease in the industrial hub Wuhan in the Hubei province was met in full combat order. It was not for the first time that such an epidemic hit the most populated country in the world.6 From the first day, they worked intimately with the World Health Organization. Given the bad reputation of the WHO, which ist mostly funded by private donations, this even raises questions. However the Chinese administrative measures were limited in time and focused on the regional outbreak of Covid 19. Their struggle seems to have been successful so far. Their procedures, implying advanced scientific methods and technologies were praised several times by the WHO. Their harsh administrative interventions were guidelined by the slogan ‚people over profit‘. In the meantime life in Wuhan and Hubei province has been gradually brought back to normal
Stretching out a Helping Hand to friends and Foes
As soon as the leadership judged the danger as contained, China offered gracious help to other countries in distress. They stretched out their hands to friends and foes alike, as did Cuba, Venezuela and Russia. China’s approach to the recent challenges must be seen in the light of threats that this country is facing. Chinese globalism is philosophically grounded. Stoic poesy accompanied their first planeload of help to virus stricken Italy.7 “We’re waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden.” These words from ancient Roman philosopher Seneca reflect the spirit of the Chinese „New Silk Road Project“. It is a proposal for global networking, grounded on a basic attitude of humanistic togetherness that comes from far and goes along with the material assistance. The Chinese win-win approach, also named as One Belt and Road Project8 , is bitterly and fiercely challenged by the US hegemon.
Fault of „Advanced Technologies“?
In sharp contrast to the cooperative Chinese ideas which see the human species in their oneness and consequently seek to connect countries and continents, Noah Harari is playing the blame and shame game. In his article for the Financial Times he blames first and foremost the Chinese for their wrong approach. In his eyes the Chinese were applying „totalitarian surveillance technologies“ surpassing even KGB surveillance tools. The People’s Republic was wrongly applying face recognizing cameras and biometric monitoring. He by-passes though, that his home country, Israel, has been developing and using such like techniques for quite a while.
Beyond any horror scenarios that will lame resistance by spreading fear, we have to ask: Can technologies develop a life of their own? Or is possible under democratic conditions to apply technologies under strict and permanent public control for the good of the society. While it is necessary to be on the alert and to keep an eye on the maneuvers of authorities the FT journalist is calling for trust. Trust in whom? Harari is recommending general trust in authorities, trust in the media, trust in scientific data from health care experts. Furthermore he calls for ‚honest reporting‘ versus ‚conspiracy theories‘. What a dichotomy. Who defines the trustworthiness of data collection? Who develops and frames the criteria for honesty and what kind of information is classified by whom as conspiracy? Y.N. Harari does not raise these questions, instead he insists on willing cooperation and compliance with administrative measures. Beyond this he recommends handwashing techniques.
Lost faith in US-leadership role?
Now, we all know who the conspiracists are, according to news outlets like the Financial Times and their creditors. Such labels are easily put upon ordinary citiziens, who question the mainstream legend. Those who raise the slightest doubt vis a vis the officially approved of narrative, whoever expresses dissent will be smeared. Brave and brilliant experts like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange belong to the non-trust-worthy community. They are treated like traitors. Those who dare to express dissent, bloggers, non certified journalists, any alternative medium, any scientist who is questioning the approved of mainstream story are being slandered as conspiracy tellers or fake news spreaders. This has been so ever since 9/11 – another event that shook the world at the beginning of the millenium. The newly renewed patriot act allows for prosecuting those dissident voices without much ado.
Why and what for is Harari deploring ‚the lost faith in US‘ leadership role‘ during the last couple of years? Without mentioning the name of the present US president, every reader knows, that he is referring to president Donald Trump. Blaming the real estate investor who won the presidency for his albeit hampered efforts to withdraw US forces from foreign theaters of war is an easy game. But is Y.N. Harari really suggesting that US foreign policy has been more trustworthy before Donald Trump took over the Oval Office? Has the US-Israeli journalist forgotten about Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945? Has the intentional bombing of North Korea back to the Stone Age in the early fifties passed by unnoticed? What about the US army dropping of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the silent bombing of Laos and Cambodia, the Bay of Pigs, the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia, the starving of children in Irak? Did the well grounded questioning of the official version of 9/11 by US scientists, engineers, architects and its terrible global fall out go by unnoticed? Whose responsibility must be called for the ongoing US war on Afghanistan. Who is to blame for the controlled demolition of Irak, Yemen, Libya, Syria, the never ending blockading of Iran, the recent illegal murder of its leaders? Are all these crimes to be put on President Trump’s account? What kind of alternative leadership role does Harari have in mind to fill in the allegedly ‚deplorable void‘ that Donald Trump’s reluctance in maintaining US hegemony over the world has left? Does he regret the Obama/ Biden/ HillaryClinton/Susan Rice era? In contrast the vast majority of the world’s citizens feel, that they will do better without the warmongering policies of their ancient leadership policies. The world can do better without almost 400 biolabs and 1000 US military posts around the globe, most of which are encircling China and Russia.
Globalism versus Nationalism?
The term globalism commands the adjunct neoliberal. Neoliberal globalism, however, is a strategy that has been causing mayhem and major distress the world over. The term nationalism on the other hand must not be confounded with chauvinism. Unfortunately, ever since the German NAZIS violated and misused the concept ’nationalism9 for their own disastrous, inhumane sake the phenomenon is connoted negatively in the Western hemisphere. But be aware to what extent the use of terminology is shaping hearts and minds. Terminology is being defined for us by hirelings of the empire. Uncounted spin doctors design and twist our way of thinking, even our emotions. Key strategems like ‚globalism‘ are connoted positive other than ’nationalism‘ which is supposedly evil.
FT writer Noah Harari’s call for ‚a global plan of action‘ and for ‚gobal governance‘ in times of crisis may therefore sound progressive at first glance. Especially the younger generation of international travellers may like the idea. But think twice. The notion ‚globalism‘ has been seriously poisoned by its companion neoliberalism. Neoliberal globalist policies have ruined the lives of millions. Neoliberal policies have ruined the environment. Since 1989 the stratagem „globalism“ has served for hegemonic purposes.
After the Fall of the Berlin Wall with all its disastrous consequences for uncounted numbers of people US historians have declared the end of history. From then on the US empire has claimed undisputed hegemony until 2014. However, this unfortunate reality began to gradually change after the brutal destruction of the prosperous African nation Libya. When the US hegemon rallied their friends and orchestrated a similar strategy of aggression against Syria10 , the „globalists“ were challenged for the first time. China and Russia threw in their double veto in the UN Security Council and signalled the coming end of US/NATO hegemonic power.
For more than 30 years neoliberal globalism has brought about more and more cruel austerity measures and never ending wars. Countries and leaders who would not comply were destroyed or physically removed. Neoliberal globalism born in the USA ( to be more precise her Deep State, namely her arms industry, her finance sector, her digital industry and her intelligence machinery) became very slowly recognized for what it really was. Neoliberal globalism stands for the melt down of humanistic and national cultural traditions, family values, educational standards. Protective health policies have been replaced by „Bio-Defense“ or „Bio Security“ directed by Johns Hopkins/ Bloomberg School for Health Security or their re- baptized babies. Their companions are military action and terror. The consequences of globalist strategies, PNAC-strategies, neoliberal strategies have lead to the destruction of freedom, of democracy, of peace.
But more and more citizens are becoming aware that globalist and identity politics, the fostering of minority rights have nothing to do with democracy but lead to the rise of right wing populism. While the historic ‚Left‘ in all its shades was succumbing to the fake values of US enforced identity politics it lost its teeth. This attitude has left a void, which was consequently filled by the global rise of populism.
Wether we like it or not, Donald Trump with all his defaults and weaknesses is part of the populist opposition to the above mentioned illnesses of neoliberal globalism. His MAGA resolve to Make America Great Again implies the recognition of real US imperial weakness. His rise to power reflects the status of US hegemonic decay. The national interests of the American people demand to stop the unhealthy overstretch of the US Empire. This is why the real estate agent Donald Trump wants to bring US-troops back home. May the Europeans, may NATO protect themselves against allegedly aggressive Russia and pay for it. This attitude is naturally fiercely opposed by the powers that be. Kennedy and others have stood in their way before and after him. The real migthy ones got rid of such political leaders with all conceivable means, always playing the card of moral superiority.
Hariri’s journal FT is one of their instruments.
Neoliberal Globalism is Chauvinism
Defence of national interests is a good thing. This is what elected politicians, what true patriots are supposed to do. Globalism is an artificial term invented by spin doctors of the hegemon. Its true meaning is chauvinism. Globalism aims at power over those considered weak and poor. This coining of new names is meant to hide vicious intentions. False flag operations under the shield „Responsibility to Protect“ and „Human Rights“ are meant to hide the simple brutality of interventionist wars of aggression. Taking away national sovereignity rights under the pretext of „Bio Defense or Bio Security“, using a simple virus as pretext is no less a violation of international law than any other forceful intrusion. National leaders who stand up for the economic, cultural, social interests of their very nations are rare. Smearing them must be prosecuted as helping to committ capital crimes. Those who want to keep their questionable almightiness against the need of the peoples have no legal or moral right to denounce others as chauvinists, nationalists, racists, misogynists and what else not. The media outlet Financial Times is on the side of the global players. May these players have a legion of people on their pay role, highly trained in making us believe that they represent progress and human rights. They are in the wrong and will not prevail.
No Problem Solved From Top to Bottom
There is no solution to the basic needs of the human species nor for the environment that should nurture us all by circumventing the people on a national scale. No health issue can be solved, no security guaranteed, no poverty be overcome without taking into consideration familiar, communal, regional, national concerns. Democracy means people’s power on a national scale. The struggle for democracy is defending constitutionally guaranteed citizens rights, freedom rights, rights to live in peace with our neighbours. Such defense can only be organized on a national scale. Legal opposition, the very constituence of democracy must and can be organized on a national scale. Health care institutions must be funded properly and put into function on a communal, a regional, a national scale. Due procedure in passing law is not a luxury. It must be and can be upheld in times of crisis. Functioning administrative, public bodies, power control are essential to serve the needs of the people. Administrative orders are no substitute for legal and due procedure.
Any meaningful call for a ‚Global Plan of Action‘ must be developed form bottom to top, not vice versa. ‚Decisive action‘ which Mr. Harari advocates for, is a means of dictatorship, which never in history led to the good of the people.
International cooperation, can only be based on the cooperation and under the control of nation states and their elected and democratically controlled leadership. Action plans must be worked out through existing interactive, democratically justified bodies like the UN, the G20, the WTO, the WHO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization et al. But such bodies must exclusively be funded publicly and it has to be stressed controlled publicly. Transparency and democratic decision making procedures are to upheld. Democratic procedures take time. Global dictatorship, ‚decisive action‘ rely on force. Force means Violence and repression and this is definitely unhealthy. Any security matter, any health issue, relies on the governance of nation states. Decison making on such wide spread public concern must be taken out of private hands. In times of crises nations may close their borders. Especially in times of an allegedly exponential spreading lethal virus this may sound a wise decision. But such wide ranging measures must be limited in time and put under parliamentary control. It’s effectiveness must be challenged as the proof of the pudding lies in the eating.
Coronavirus a Major Test for Democracy!
But what ever decisions are taken on a national scale citizens, people of all nations have the right and the duty to criticise and question decisions of their elected leaders. Citizens have to be encouraged to critique and question raising. According to their constitutionally enshrined rights they must be allowed to organize against authoritarian measures if they feel the necessity. Times of crisis are a test to individual and responsible thinking and to enlightened reasoning. Doubt, not trust is the call of the day. Decision makers are advised to listen to critical voices. Citizens must be encouraged to inform temselves independently. Mass media and experts chosen by the same personnel that have deserved public mistrust for quite a while must be put under scrutiny.
The journalist Y. Noah Harari is rightfully warning against biometric data collecting. But the financial elite behind his news outlet FT are not known as paragons of democracy, of people oriented thinking. Consequently Mr. Harari is only finger pointing against China and North Korea, publicly denounced enemies in the West. At the same time he misses completely out on the economic and social fallout of the draconic measures taken in terms of shutting down small business, schools, universities, cultural and sports events, religious cult services, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, the confinement of the elderly and sick people in our Western societies.
Millions of people laid off, millions of bankruptcies will of course help clear the field for the big players. The Corona crisis will help the Masters of the Universe to hide their bankruptcy with its expected fall out for the many. The blame will be put on the virus.
Democracy will be buried. If we are not on the alert, the cure will be worse than the disease. If people do not collectively stand up and demand their democratic rights back, their right to control the spending of public money, the right to speak out against an indeed lethal brainwashing machine.
The most serious infection is the virus that is softening the brain.
As human beings, as citizens of democratically structured societies we must wake up to this enormous danger. We must reclaim our dignity, reclaim our right to question elected politicians, to question scientific and journalistic experts. We simply can not allow our minds and our daily lives to be controlled for a any period of time.
No biometric data collecting machine will be able to set critical thinking out of control, if we, the people resist in time.
Irene Eckert, March 29, 2020 Potsdam, Germany
1Churchill quote see: https://realbusiness.co.uk/as-said-by-winston-churchill-never-waste-a-good-crisis
2 In response to Yuval Noah Harari the world after coronavirus, Financial Times https://www.ft.com/coronavirusfree, German:https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/coronavirus-yuval-noah-harari-ueber-die-welt-nach-der-pandemie-ld.1547988
3Andrew Low, managing director of JE Invest and the owner of DiscussingBusiness.com. https://realbusiness.co.uk/as-said-by-winston-churchill-never-waste-a-good-crisis
5 „Citizen empowerment defines opportunities and accessibility provided to citizens by their leaders and representatives“ https://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/methodologies-for-engineering-learning-and-teaching-melt/50714 Citizen empowerment is a relatively new term, aiming at or focusing on individuals, identity groups, civil society, NGOs rather than the people of a national state in its entity, namely their enshrined citizen rights!
6See the most insigthful articles by Pepe Escobar , published in AsiaTimes (Honkong), The Saker and other néws outlets Reference to ‚Event 201‘ in October 2019, where the head of the Chinese CDC Dr. George Gao participated raises questions.
7See Pepe Escobar https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/we-are-all-stoics-now/
9 Socialism, too, but that is another story, to be told another time. But to be clear, the NAZIS were neither nationalists nor socialists.
10See PNAC – Project For a New American Century