By Toby Rogers: University of Sydney
When the Commons was Eden
“The commons” is a foundational idea in left political philosophy. The commons refers to shared spaces — oceans, lakes, rivers, forests, the air — that are not owned by anyone. It can also refer to cultural spaces — the town square for example. I could make a case that the internet is a commons — even though there are millions of individual owners of particular spaces no one owns the whole thing.
The left loves the idea of the commons because it harkens back to the era of hunter gatherers who were free to hunt, fish, and live off of the abundance of the earth. The commons is also essential to the left imagination because they don’t believe in private property, so on some level they think that the entire world is or could be the commons. And because they see themselves as more empathetic, educated, and wise than everyone else, they believe that they are the best stewards to manage the commons.
On the left, entire careers are made by writing and teaching about the commons:
Henry George was an early theorist of the commons in the 19th century.
In 2009, Elinor Ostrom became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work documenting examples of successful management of the commons.
And heaps of additional left public intellectuals have done important work on the commons including feminist theorist Silvia Federici, Marxist geographer David Harvey, and newcomer Raj Patel (with his bestselling book, The Value of Nothing).
Anyone who wants to remain a member in good standing of the left must be able to speak at length about the commons. This discussion of the commons is almost entirely concerned with protecting the collective space from encroachment by greedy individuals and rapacious corporations. The worst thing that one can do (a sin usually reserved for feudal lords, kings, and corporations) is to “enclose the commons” — make private and exclusive what was formerly open and accessible to all. I’ve long admired the idea of the commons and think it represents the left at its best.
And then a very strange and terrifying thing happened. Over the last several years, the bougie left, without even a hint of self-awareness or irony, enclosed the global commons — seized it is a better term — in the name of public health, based on false assumptions about how viruses work.
As I will explain below, this is the mechanism by which the bougie left slid from liberalism into fascism.
The birth of modern Pharma fascism
The battle against SB276 in California in 2019 was one of the most sickening and heart breaking things I’ve ever witnessed. In 2015, California banned all religious and philosophical exemptions to school vaccination requirements with SB277. But SB276 went further.
Sponsored by Richard Pan, a man with no empathy who is controlled by Big Pharma, SB276 revokes the medical license of any doctor who writes more than five medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements. In a state with 9,100,000 children, five exemptions per doctor is not very many. Fearing the loss of their livelihood, doctors in California stopped writing medical exemptions altogether.
Disabled by DTaP? Too bad, you still have to take all of the other shots. Your sibling died from a vaccine? Too bad, it wasn’t you that died (yet) so roll up your sleeves. This approach to public health contradicts two centuries of best practices in medicine. Prior to SB276 the entire scientific and medical community acknowledged that some people should not be vaccinated because of underlying medical conditions, previous reactions, or family history.
But Pharma was in a hurry to wipe out the unvaccinated control group that would reveal the extent of their crimes so they introduced SB276 in a state they already owned before rolling it out to the entire country.
As the bill moved through the legislature, Richard Pan stood at the front of the room grinning like the Cheshire Cat, while thousands of parents, mostly mothers, testified about vaccine injuries in their kids. It was like something out of a Holocaust documentary.
As the bill sponsor he was allowed to respond to the public testimony prior to the vote by each committee (Health, Education, and Appropriations). At every hearing he made a strange little speech that conveyed the new ideology of the Pharma Fascist Left.
Pan explained that “your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.” But he argued (and this is the sleight of hand) the same principle applies to viruses. Because viruses exist, and because the unvaccinated may be carrying a deadly virus, the act of breathing, by an unvaccinated person, is the legal equivalent of punching him in the face. Thus the unvaccinated, by their very existence break the law because they violate his right to be free from disease.
The only way to prevent this grave miscarriage of justice then is to either a.) force children to be vaccinated; or b.) remove the unvaccinated from schools and the rest of society — Pan wants the unvaccinated banned from all public spaces.
Let’s just pause for a moment to note that he clearly does not believe that vaccines actually work because if they did, the unvaccinated would pose no threat to the vaccinated. When confronted with this fact he moves the goalposts to claim that his real concern is the “immunocompromised who cannot be vaccinated.” But like everything else he says this is a lie because in California and all blue states they vaccinate the hell out of the immunocompromised as well.
This is the “logic” of Pharma fascism.
Pan has never had an original thought in his life so this angle of attack was likely developed by a Pharma PR firm and focus-group tested before sending it out to spokespeople in the Democratic Party. And now it’s the dominant ideology in the Democratic Party and ruling parties throughout the developed world.
There is a multitude of problems with this flawed ideology. But what I want to point out in this article is that it leads to enclosure of the commons — even before Covid. Democrats would really like to enclose the air itself but that is too difficult.
So instead they enclose schools by kicking out some kids. SB276 kicked 56,000 kids out of public school. Vaccine mandates enclose our bodies by allowing corporations to trespass with their toxic products. And Democrats try to enclose the public square (digital and otherwise) by setting up a vast surveillance system to censor, shadow ban, demonetise, and deplatform anyone who disagrees with their increasingly zany ideology.
Pan’s “logic” is absolute horsesh*t
Democrats do not understand viruses, vaccines, or the law and it leads them to make catastrophic policy decisions that are destroying the health of the American people.
Viruses don’t work that way
There are a quadrillion x quadrillion viruses in the world, more viruses on earth than stars in the known universe.
Research on the global virosphere has concluded that, “Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day.” From the New York Times:
Scientists have surmised there is a stream of viruses circling the planet, above the planet’s weather systems but below the level of airline travel…. Each day some 800 million viruses cascade onto every square meter of the planet.
“Human cells, GOOD! Bacteria and viruses, BAD!” is how public health officials usually frame the discussion. But that’s not how health actually works. Instead, our bodies are a complex ecosystem of different types of cells. Only 43 percent of the cells in our body are human — the rest are various bacteria and viruses that communicate and exchange with our human cells and DNA in ways that make life possible.
Human consciousness itself is said to have emerged as a result of the beneficial exchange between viral and human DNA. Between 40 and 80 percent (an admittedly large range) of the human genome came initially from viruses. Viruses (and bacteria) regulate all living systems on earth.
So we’re never going to get rid of all viruses and bacteria nor would we want to. But what about the small number of viruses (about 200) that can be harmful to humans?
Vaccines are ineffective and dangerous
The large gains in life expectancy and declines in infectious disease in the 20th century happened before the introduction of mass vaccination campaigns. Improved living standards, sewers, water treatment facilities, food safety, organized solid waste disposal, along with “improvements in housing and decreased crowding in US cities” are responsible for “nearly 90% of the decline in infectious disease mortality among U.S. children.”
That’s not me talking, that’s a review of a century of public health data published in Pediatrics. In an earlier era, when public health focused on large public works projects, health improved. Now that public health focuses almost exclusively on promoting vaccines, health and well-being have plummeted.
An analysis, by Danish researchers, of the best vaccine data set in the world indicates that all of the vaccines on the US schedule cause more harms than benefits.
None of the vaccines on the US schedule (with the exception of a tiny subtrial of the Gardasil vaccine) were tested against a saline placebo in a true randomized controlled trial. ICAN’s December 31, 2018 letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services proves this fact and it is perhaps the single most important document ever written during the vaccine wars.
Pan’s approach ignores all the rest of medicine. In the current hysteria, it seems that people sometimes forget that there are medical products other than vaccines! We can treat various diseases with antivirals, antibiotics, and a thousand other medicines without forcing one-size-fits all toxic vaccines on the entire population.
Pan’s approach ignores all of the toxicants that can cause ill health. Zach Bush points out that waste ponds from industrial livestock production are breeding grounds for all sorts of viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Pharmaceuticals introduce toxicants into our bodies. Factories and freeways produce a wide range of toxicants that impair health. We could find common ground on regulating those sources but Pharma controls the political process and so the entire focus of public health is on vaccines.
Pan’s approach also ignores all the rest of health. Why do two people with similar environmental exposures have different outcomes? Nutrition, exercise, rest, and sunshine (factors now ignored by allopathic medicine) make a significant impact on whether someone will get sick. Furthermore, as Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC, author of Healing Without Hurting points out, most diseases that are usually attributed to viruses and bacteria often have an underlying vitamin deficiency that can be addressed through food, supplements, or intravenously in acute cases.
For Covid-19, the corresponding deficiencies that need to be addressed are usually zinc and vitamin D.
Individualized medicine will always be superior to one-size-fits-all Pharma-captured medicine.
The most extreme enclosure of the commons in history
No Pharaoh, no king, no feudal lord, and certainly no political party has ever before claimed that they own the air and that the mere act of breathing by the citizenry was an assault that must be managed by a police state.
Yet that is the central claim of Pan, Fauci, and the public health bureaucracy and the idea that drives vaccine mandates, masks, lockdowns, social distancing, and the rest of the modern Fascist Pharma State. The cultural enclosure is also cruel and senseless — kicking students out of universities via vaccine mandates, delicensing doctors for helping their patients survive by prescribing ivermectin, and refusing medical care in hospitals to the unvaccinated are just some examples.
As I’ve written before, the only historical parallels with Pan’s ideology are Jim Crow laws in the US that declared Black Americans unclean (thus requiring separate drinking fountains, bathrooms, and schools) and the Nazis who claimed that Jews were disease carriers and thus must be moved into ghettos and concentration camps. But now this preposterous junk science has returned from the dead and it drives public health policy in the US and throughout the developed world in the Covid era.
Ideology becomes policy and law
Unfortunately the obscene ideology described above is widespread. Naomi Klein in Doppelganger repeats this same vile notion. In Klein’s view there is no individual “I” — we all breathe the same air thus the Fascist Pharma State has the right and indeed obligation to police the bodies of the unvaccinated, lest they infect her superior over-vaccinated body. Again, it is beyond weird that the Cult of Vaccine does not actually believe in their own product while insisting on injecting it into others.
Indeed this nonsense has become the dominant ideology of ruling parties throughout the developed world. In North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea liberal democracy has been replaced with this Stakeholder Fascism based on junk science that makes Pharma rich.
You can see how it’s a short distance from this twisted supremacist ideology to concentration camps and extermination of the unvaccinated in the name of public health.
These junk science ideas about public health inevitably make their way into policy and the law. In 2020 the NY Department of Public Health created a regulation (10 NYCRR 2.13) titled “Isolation and Quarantine Procedures” that enabled the state to remove anyone from their home for any reason and detain them indefinitely without due process of law under the guise of public health. Quite literally the NY Department of Public Health decided that concentration camps were the best approach for managing Covid.
Attorney and Brownstone Institute Fellow Bobbie Anne Flower Cox spent the last two years battling the state of New York to get this regulation struck down. On July 8, 2022, a NY Supreme Court Judge, Ronald Ploetz, ruled that the “Isolation and Quarantine Procedures” regulation is unconstitutional and “violative of New York State law as promulgated and enacted, and therefore null, void and unenforceable as a matter of law.” Astonishingly, Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James appealed the decision and the appeal was heard in court just a few weeks ago.
If the NY Supreme Court Appellate Division affirms that the law is unconstitutional, it will be a small step toward sanity. If the court somehow decides that indefinite detention for any reason without right to due process is lawful, we will be living in America’s version of National Socialism.
Of course the national media did not report on the NY “Quarantine Camp” policy — why would they, they believe the same nonsense as Richard Pan. And just like SB276 in California, it appears that Pharma introduced this idea in a captured blue state as a test run before rolling it out nationwide.
It is essential to reframe this entire debate. I should not have to explain any of this but we live in The Upside Down World so let me state the obvious: Viruses and bacteria are ubiquitous. They live in us, on us, and all around us and usually contribute to our well-being. Bad health outcomes can be reduced through making healthy lifestyle choices. For acute cases there are a range of medicines and supplements that are effective. Large infrastructure projects (e.g. sewers, treatment plants and pipes to deliver clean water to homes and businesses) are the proven best path to improving public health.
Public health policy in the US is based on junk science that enriches the largest donors to the Democratic Party. Health has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you follow the advice of the CDC you are putting your life in grave danger.
Health and medicine must always be tailored to the individual needs of each person. One-size-fits-all medicine is barbarism.
No one owns the air. It is not a crime to breathe. Anyone who wants to protect the commons must recognize the universal right for people to exist without corporate trespass into our bodies.
There are no pandemic exceptions to the US Constitution. Totalitarianism is not a recommended treatment for any disease. Concentration camps are never appropriate.
The best approach to any problem is always the free and open exchange of ideas in a system of free and sovereign citizens.
Republished from the author’s Substack
Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.
Toby Rogers has a Ph.D. in political economy from the University of Sydney in Australia and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focus is on regulatory capture and corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Rogers does grassroots political organizing with medical freedom groups across the country working to stop the epidemic of chronic illness in children. He writes about the political economy of public health on Substack.