In my last post (Managerialism 19), I was very critical of current Australian attempts to ‘govern’ the Covid 19 ‘plague’. That’s kind of easy as this has been the most astounding case study of abjectly dysfunctional governance of, really, any issue in living history. Read that previous post if you want to know why. It’s all about managerialism out-of-control.
In the past week (pushing Monday November 8), things have been hotting up in the ‘you MUST get vaccinated’ routine. Actually, the State Governments (and even Local Governments), or even just the local cafe latte glitterati pontificating over their $5 froth - have turned the % double vaccinated target into Australia’s national sport. That any government of any kind could possibly convince around 90 % of its population to take on a vaccine, let alone this vaccine, is astounding, if not miraculous. Imagine if the Australian Government had managed to push greenhouse emissions down by 90% or get within 90% of its ‘zero by 2050’ emissions target!
Let’s be ruthlessly accurate here. All our governments are applying everything other than ‘vaccinate or go to jail’ demands on the population at this point; and one rather gets the impression that compulsory vaccination is really, really close on all bureaucrat agendas at this stage.
I was stunned in fascination this morning to be hearing a diatribe from the Mayor of a nearby town suggesting that vaccination was utterly critical to the future of our region: that Mayor is the proprietor of a local fish and chips shop (as opposed to, say, being a part of the relevant epidemiological research community that has generated the advice currently being espoused by governments at all levels).
If you tune in to anything at all these days - radio, newspapers, the TV news, Facebook (where it is now illegal to post anything ‘anti vaccine’ these days) or just chat in the local fish and chips shop… you will be hearing obsessive diatribes of the utter life shatteringly critical need to vaccinate! Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Un-vaccinated = infected. Vaccine = life. Un-vaccinated = threat. Un-vaccinated = stupid. Un-vaccinated = irresponsible. Un-vaccinated = evil. These are memes. Memes should never be the foundation of government policy. These memes are currently the language of government policy on Covid. It seems to me that the entire engine room of government policy making in this regard is nothing more than a bunch of memes. The intelligence of governance has, it seems, disappeared. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Particularly the last one. Big Brother. 1984.
On and on and around and around. Governments are devoting themselves to every conceivable manifestation of blackmail and threat to indoctrinate the community towards universal vaccination. We are monitored via QR codes at every door, every venue, every place. We are tracked, and the folk have agreed to be tracked. How did that happen?! Now we have to display private heath records (vaccination records) to anyone who possesses a cash register or a debit point, or who blockades a public venue, or even a polling booth. Roll back time and consider how we all reacted when it was revealed that Facebook was tracking peoples’ online histories. Remember the outrage? The public inquiries? The threats from governments at all levels? What a transition society has made from then to now. Has government become a militarised manifestation of Facebook?
But, I hear the WOKE all say: we have to get vaccinated to save mankind. Really? Are you sure?
Here is a game to play. When confronted by that proposition, whether it comes from your local politician or the Covid Marshall guarding a shop entrance door, ask them this: Why?
Why are we all going to die if someone does not get vaccinated. Ask them to explain the details underpinning their assertion. Ask them for the evidence that lack of vaccination is apparently a threat. Ask them to quote their sources.
What you will hear by way of response is something like this: ‘because the government said so’. What government? Who in that government? And who, in turn briefed that government spokesperson. Your doctor said so? Get that doctor to table the research papers to back up the claims.
Why do we put any kind of credibility in the advice or pronouncements of our government representatives. My local Federal member is Barnaby Joyce. Are you kidding?! My State Government representative is Adam Marshall. Really? Do I trust what he says because he wears an Akubra hat?
These politicians will, if pressed, universally declare that they are voicing the advice they have received (directly or indirectly) from ‘science’. They are, apparently listening to the advice of health scientists. What are their names? What, in turn are their credentials? We do see quite a few tame scientists on TV mouthing the government/get-vaccinated line. Professor this and Professor that. They are the same faces, over and over again. These scientist talking heads are becoming part of the furniture of State.
Here’s the problem or the issue that needs to be addressed. Who is advising the scientist advisors? We are never told. We are never given any kind of CV or credential information for these authorities. What’s been their research record in this specific epidemiological field of late? Let’s see their publication records. Do they represent unanimity in their professional areas? Or are they a lone voice. Are there dissenting scientific voices out there? We certainly don’t get to hear from them. Or most of us don’t. I do. Because I am interested. It’s fascinating to dig.
Let’s get one thing straight. Everyone has opinions. Even scientists. There never has been any scientific proposition without divided views. That’s the essence of good science. Science is all about hypotheses. Testing. Learning, Evolving. Maybe reconfiguring. Evolution. That’s how science progresses. If that were not the case, we’d all still be believing that the sun rotates around the Earth. A professorial title is most definitely not a definitive statement of omniscience. Some of the most profoundly stupid people I have ever met have been professors and I have met and worked with lots of them. I even was one once. You can’t trust a title. You can trust propositions that are delivered via reason. Not via reputation alone.
Here’s how we academics consider new propositions. The proposer holds a seminar. Anyone can attend. And do. Because we academics love this kind of stuff. Maybe a paper has been written and maybe not. The seminar is open for discussion. Propositions are questioned. References are required. References are discussed. The axioms underling propositions are revealed (or should be if the seminar is properly managed). We dig. We dig down into the foundations of propositions and identify areas around which we might need more convincing. We consider how that followup consideration might happen. We develop an agenda for what needs to be researched or resolved before a proposition is regarded as having legs.
Here’s what I want to consider my choice to get vaccinated or not. I don’t accept the advice of any politician for a start. Or a bureaucrat. Or anyone who fails to reveal the pedigree of the proposition they are espousing. I want the reasoning. I want, to be technical, to understand the epistemology underneath what is being promoted. I want to hear contrary views. I want to be, at best, part of the debate to consider. Or, at the very least, I want to witness a debate such as that. I want to watch a televised learned debate at the source. I am not interested in political debates on matters that are based in science. I want to touch the source. Not the interpretation of people who are profoundly clueless and are merely mouthing marketing memes propagated in cabinet meetings. Or memes emanating from the local fish and chips shop. I might be interested in the views of the local shop Covid door Marshall on his or her views on why I am not permitted to enter. Or the mouthings of all those vaccinated who are desperate to self-validate their uninformed choices. But I am not obliged or likely to believe those mouthings. I know they are mouthed opinions delivered tenth hand from sources that probably emenate from memes; and nothing more. This is the essence of Critical Thinking. Critical Thinking is in serious short supply within and around the Covid debate (and, really, everywhere else). Critical Thinking is the essence of intelligent, informed reasoning.
If this Covid vaccine thing is honest, why have we not been presented with the opportunity to access debates from the scientific source? I am not saying that everyone who fronts up to be vaccinated needs to dig down into the academic domain. But I do say that the opporurtinity should be available. These vaccines are most definitely not trivial. The side effects have been demonstrably concerning. And the empirical evidence pertaining to their effectiveness (especially over time) is a major concern. The mere fact that the current public sector rhetoric is now all about the need for booster shots is evidence of something seriously amiss with vaccine effectiveness. If someone wants me to sign up for a lifetime of six monthly booster followups, I demand something better than ‘because I said so’ from some moronic State Premier or a local member noted mainly for his choice of rural hats (and climate change denial..)
We all can access the scientific literature to a degree (via Google if you must). But unless your are signed up to a university with journal access, all you are going to get is abstracts. For an issue like Covid vaccination, I want access to the full source of the advice we are being threatened with. If I am to be locked down until December 15 because I have yet to be convinced on vaccination, I think it only fair that I be given open access to the source. I am not an idiot. Or a child. I can access a medical dictionary. I want to read deeply into all this. Unless we really have descended into a dictatorship and legally sanctioned deprivation of liberty. I might be a minority in this (and given that around 90 % of Australians have, apparently, been double vaccinated, it would seem that I most certainly am in a minority), but access to information should have been provided from the start. Any person should be given the right to dig as deeply as he or she might like. If you are fine with taking advice from the local fish and chips shop Mayor, fine. That’s your choice. I am not going to listen to certifiable morons like all the State Premiers (especially that toxic imbecile in Victoria). Or to Barnaby Joyce. I refuse to get vaccinated until I do get access to the reasoning underlying the threats and hysteria from politicians and their bureaucrat minions. I want intellect, not memes. I want educated discourse, not opinionated Facebook sludge.