With the Brownstone Institute.
Gigi Foster, senior scholar of Brownstone Institute, is a Professor with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, having joined UNSW in 2009 after six years at the University of South Australia. During the Covid era, with the exception of Professor Ramesh Thakur of the Australian National University, since early 2020 most Australian academics have sung true to their government and vaccine funding sources. Following on from her book The Great Covid Panic, Gigi Foster is one of the very few who have spoken out against the multiple Covid insanities inflicted upon the population by its increasingly authoritarian ruling class.
Here are samples of her recent work with the Brownstone Institute, the world’s leading scholarly institute questioning the Covid narrative.
Leaders in the West have been very busy these last 12 months setting up international institutions, regulations and technologies that legitimise, formalise and entrench the powers they have gained during lockdowns.
They’ve got their central banks devising protocols for implementing new digital currencies that simplify surveillance of their populations’ financial transactions; vaccine-based ID systems (such as the EU’s digital Covid Certificate, the Hong Kong Health Code and Australia’s Digital Passenger Declaration) that make tracking individuals across and within countries easier; and CO2 budgets and social credit systems that can be used to adjudicate who is worthy of travel and a reasonable standard of living, and who is not.
Western politicians went way out on a limb during the covid period in suspending normal liberties and controlling people’s daily lives. Their authoritarianism was so extreme that, in retrospect, its legitimacy needed to be cemented in Western eyes via a permanent set of internationally coordinated command-and-control structures. These would provide a bulwark against challenges in and out of court, protecting the backsides of covid-era politicians and also furthering their careers: their reelection prospects will improve because voters are more likely to keep swallowing the ideological sales pitch if it is seen to be supported by a global consensus.
In Geneva in late May at the 75th meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), amendments to its International Health Regulations (IHRs) were debated and voted upon. If passed, they would grant the WHO the right to exert unconscionable pressure on countries to accept the WHO’s authority and health policy actions if the WHO decides that there is a public health threat that might spread beyond a country’s borders.
As Ramesh Thakur, the second man at the UN for years, noted, the amendments would mean “the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers and budgets will depend on outbreaks of pandemics, the more the better.”
This is the first clear instance of a globalist coup attempt. It would subvert national sovereignty worldwide by putting real power into the hands of an international group of bureaucrats. It has long been suspected that the authoritarian elites arisen during covid times would try to strengthen their positions by undermining nation states, and this 75th jamboree is the first solid evidence of this being true.
Back in 1983, Ronald Reagan colorfully described the Soviet Union as “the focus of evil in the modern world.” Today, it seems we have a new candidate for the headquarters of all evil: the World Economic Forum headed by Klaus Schwab.
The WEF has no borders, includes all nationalities, embraces governments, NGOs and big business, has no military, nuclear arsenal, flag or anthem, and purports to solve all the world’s problems at its annual conference each year while delegates down champagne and caviar. It sponsors a leadership training program that boasts such covid cultists as Emmanuel Macron, Jacinda Ardern and Justin Trudeau. Is Klaus Schwab the first honest-to-goodness Bond villain, bent on taking over (or depopulating) the world?
Professor Schwab certainly looks the part with his German accent and his prize place on top of the Swiss mountains. He also certainly pretends to run the world. In fact, he has been pretending to run the world since the 1970s, when he started his yearly conferences, hoping to get noticed. Getting noticed took decades. Many of the WEF Young Leaders program graduates presently in power around the world only entered his ‘classes’ 30 years after the WEF started. For decades Klaus has lived the ‘fake it till you make it’ adage. Has he finally made it?
The gossip implies that the WEF is secretly plotting to take over the world by means of a secret collaboration between government and big business, as if rich and powerful people needed a vehicle like the WEF for that. It feels satisfying to those wronged by covid policy to think they have identified the head of the snake responsible for the mess.
The WEF, they claim, is the coordinating platform for all the secret deals that make the rich richer and the entrenched heads of government more powerful, while national and local sovereignty is being clandestinely forfeited, leaving the ordinary person to rot away slowly with neither resources nor rights.
Some sessions do make the stomach turn. For example, in one, Pfizer announced an “Accord for a Healthier World,” with its CEO sitting alongside Bill Gates and two African potentates. Announcements like this are made at the WEF, but would they really not exist if not for the WEF? Unlikely. By providing a platform for such announcements, however, it becomes a lightning rod for suspicion. The WEF styles itself an “International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation,” and like any large entity of its kind, it wants to get even bigger and more influential. But at heart, this is business. Klaus Schwab’s business.
For more than two years, the world has been swept up in covid mania. Ordinary people of almost every nationality have accepted the covid ‘story’, applauding as strong men and women have assumed dictatorial powers, suspended normal human rights and political processes, pretended that covid deaths were the only ones that mattered, closed schools, closed businesses, prevented people from earning livelihoods, and caused mass misery, poverty, and starvation.
The more these strong men and women did these things, the louder the applause, and the greater the disapprobation and abuse levelled at those who decried such actions. Police bullying of those speaking out against the covid story was cheered on by populations keen to see the naysayers brought to justice.
The past two years have proved that the Germans of the National Socialist period were really nothing special.
The West refused to learn, or by now has forgotten, the central lesson of the Nazi period (1930-1945) despite the plethora of eyewitness voices in post-WWII art and science that made it abundantly clear what had happened – from Hannah Arendt to the Milgram experiments to the fabulous play, ‘Rhinoceros’. The key point made by the top intellectuals writing about the Nazi period was that anyone could become a Nazi: there was absolutely nothing odd about the Germans who became Nazis.
They did not become Nazis because their mothers did not love them enough, or because they had rejected God in their life, or because of something inherent in German culture. They simply got seduced by a story and swept off their feet and out of their minds by the herd, making up their reasons as they went along. The brutal lesson that the intellectuals of that era wanted to pass on was that pretty much everyone would have done the same under the circumstances. Evil, in a word, is banal.
As Hannah Arendt pointed out, the most committed Nazis were the ‘Gutmensch’: Germans who genuinely saw themselves as good people. They had been loved by their mothers, were dutiful followers of the local faith, paid their taxes, had ancestors who died for Germany, and were in loving family relationships. They thought they were doing the right thing, and were roundly validated and supported in that belief by friends, family, the church, and the media.
The intellectual class had come face to face with this truth in the 1950s, but the relentless wish of humanity to look away from uncomfortable truths made societies, and over time even scholarly circles, forget. We told lies about the Nazis to feel good about ourselves. This self-rejecting cowardice grew over time and fed into today’s debilitated, self-hating woke culture in which you can hardly reference the Nazi period at all in polite company, much less try to open people’s minds to its lessons, without being accused of being a Nazi deep down yourself.
For the past two years, what Western governments have done to the next generation — all in the name of keeping them safe, of course — has been calamitous. Instead of trying to ameliorate problems for our children that were already clear, well-documented and steadily worsening over time, in March 2020 the authorities began to perform particularly gruesome social experiments on them. What kind of generation will result?
A 2021 Lancet paper gives us a grim picture of the result, based on data from 204 countries. The key finding was a spectacular increase of more than 25% in both anxiety and depression disorders. Those just entering adulthood (ages 15-25) and women were the hardest hit.
IQ and cognitive functioning develop based on investments in early life and are then generally thought to recede beyond early adulthood. What do we see as the harvest of covid mania for our kids in this area?
Researchers already knew the West was in big trouble on this score before the pandemic, with the best data coming from a study of army conscripts in Norway and showing a 5-point IQ drop between the cohort born in 1975 and the one born in 1990 (see panel C on the far right below), with the drop after 1975 undoing the gains made after WWII.
The finding of a large IQ drop pre-2010 holds also for the UK and the US. While we don’t know why for sure, the front-running explanation is that this decline is the product of the mental distractions introduced into society by mobile phones and the internet, which have increasingly damaged the ability of their users to focus and to hold complex abstractions in their heads. Thinking hard has become passé.
Already in the lead-up to 2020 then, fewer and fewer teenagers were scoring impressively on tests of mental ability. A front-running explanation was that social media and the internet were distracting them away from what is needed to build intelligence. You might think that a key lesson would be to keep kids off mobile and electronic devices. Yet, what do we know schools were forced to do during lockdowns? What will have happened in 2020-2022?
Data suggests that two years of covid madness has inflicted severe, long-term damage on our children.
From this we may infer that a year of school closures is effectively a year of education lost, at least for children from poor backgrounds. That is on top of the large IQ declines already occurring before 2020. The data are consistent with the rise of a generation of permanently cognitively damaged children.
Can it get worse than this – a generation depressed, anxious, obese, and operating at cognitive levels thought to be long extinct? We are afraid it can get much worse.
The West is raising a crippled generation. People born in the past 5 to 25 years are more obese, less intelligent, more depressed, less happy, more conflicted, more prone to drug abuse, less proud of their country, and less encouraged by the authorities than those born even 10 years prior. A monstrous generation, ideologically besieged by what external observers looking for our weaknesses call a ‘bizarre horde of savages,’ is currently being shaped by our schools, media, and propagandists. Our youth have been taught to hate themselves, their own culture, and their own history. Their weak intellectual ability means they will struggle to decipher what has happened to them or who they are. Relative to generations as recent as Generation X, our youth are unhealthy, anxious, socially shy, prone to flee towards online gaming and offline drugs, stuck in victimhood narratives, angry at the world, and lonely.
What is this crippled generation going to do once it gains adulthood and power? We know they will have low productivity, low social skills, and a poor understanding of the world. What about their hearts though – will they at least have humanity and compassion for their fellow man? Sadly, what we have taught them in this area leads us to predict that when the going gets tough, they are not going to blink twice about sending millions into death camps if their weak minds can be manipulated into thinking that doing so will save them. We are producing a Frankenstein generation.
Today’s children will be tomorrow’s monsters because our societies are raising them, right now, to be monsters. A generation taught to take pleasure in draconian, bureaucratic rules oriented toward face-saving, with no regard to victims. A generation used to propaganda and make-believe certainty. A generation blind to millions of deaths, whether at home or abroad. A truly frightening generation – not only crippled itself, but ready to cripple others – is on its way out of the blocks.
Our tendency towards “mateship” and our pro-social nature caused us to obey rules they and others in positions of power sold to us as “for the greater good” that in fact delivered horrific losses to our country that will cripple us for a generation.
Few in Australia publicly questioned these policies in 2020 and 2021, in part because when they did, speaking from personal experience, they were vilified in the public square of social media as granny-killing Trumpkinaut death cult warriors and pieces of human excrement.
In short, the trusting Australian people have been had. Australia has been shown to have produced some of the most docile, authority-loving, uncritical people in the developed world: people ripe for brainwashing and manipulation. Unlike our COVID results, our sheepish national culture cannot be explained by our geographic location, our high levels of sunshine, or our demography. It goes back far further than that, as I have argued elsewhere.
How damaging, exactly, has the Australian COVID policy suite been? Independent scholars around the world have produced damning cost-benefit analyses of the COVID policy decisions taken in many countries, from the UK to New Zealand, while governments themselves have been conspicuously mum on the topic. Australia’s government, like most others, has left its COVID policy choices undefended except by brazen claims and selected monocular “modelling simulation” results.
Unlike the costs of COVID, the costs of lockdowns are spread far more widely across age categories, with massive losses in areas like mental well-being, physical well-being, future government expenditure, and future earnings due to decisions such as stay-at-home orders and school closures – not to mention the effects of extended lockdowns on less-measurable drivers of social flourishing like the development of anti-social habits, productivity losses, and lower levels of trust in institutions like our healthcare system that were complicit in COVID policy mismanagement.