Victory Will Not Solve the Problem
by Charles Eisenstein | Nov 3, 2022
Stella and I like to bicker at the breakfast table about the nature of evil. That’s what we were doing one morning as we watched Tessa Lena’s interview with Alexandra Latypova on the topic of… well, I won’t tell you.
If I tell you it will suggest too narrow a scope for this essay. My main theme is not Covid, but power, evil, war, politics, and what it is going to take to heal.
Our bickering about evil is part of an effort to makes sense of events of the past three years. A new instance of the egregious abuse of power comes onto our radar, and Stella says, “They know what they are doing! This is deliberate evil, there’s no other explanation.”
I will attempt to condense my response to Stella into 20,000 words or less. I think there is another explanation—a much scarier one, yet ultimately more empowering. Deliberate evil is one percent of the explanation for the horrors that have unfolded over the past three years (and really much longer). By focusing on that one percent, we discharge the energy of transformation and thus preserve the conditions in which evil flourishes.
And there is no doubt to anyone whose eyes are open that evil is flourishing today. (Or at least what we call evil—as I hope to make clear, the very term contains the seeds of its own perpetuation.) Whether one identifies the locus of evil in Covid policy and the totalitarian impulse beneath it, or in the ongoing destruction of nature and culture worldwide, we must agree that the world is in dire need of transformation. What I will share in this and especially the next essay, which I wrote in 2010 and never published, far transcends Covid issues. So, though I will launch my discussion with those issues, I hope that those who locate evil elsewhere will smooth their ruffled feathers and fly with me to higher elevations.
Sometimes, the Covid dissident community suspects me of being naive or unwilling to countenance the scope of the crimes against humanity that have been committed during the Covid era. Others accuse me of hiding behind my philosophizing, playing it safe, avoiding a fight, and shirking my responsibility to call out evil. I addressed these suspicions in another essay. Here I’ll observe that cowardice is an accusation often leveled at the pacifist: You oppose the war because you are afraid to fight. And I am 99% a pacifist. I think the pervasive habits and reflexes of war thinking hold humanity in a hellish stasis. And, there is also a time in life’s drama for a fight. There are situations where fighting is appropriate; in the Covid arena, necessary fights include legal battles to reinstate fired workers, win compensation for vaccine injuries, challenge delicensure, rescind mandates in schools, fulfill FOIA requests, and so forth. However, though there may be fights and victories along the way, the place we seek cannot be reached by victory alone. If we are ever to transcend the age-old horror we have called the human condition, we need to cultivate alternatives to war consciousness.
As for the crimes against humanity that have unfolded over the Covid era, I want neither to exaggerate nor understate them. Before I list some, I’d like to offer a little historical perspective. You see, I know that some readers will disagree with these points and were probably long ago sick of hearing about them. However, the main theme of this essay series is independent of the crimes of the Covid era, for they stand alongside a litany of atrocities extending back to the dawn of civilization. In their company, the crimes of the Covid era are unexceptional. How do they compare to the Great Leap Forward under Mao, when some 30 million people starved to death under forced collectivization of farmland? Or the Nazi Holocaust, with its millions upon millions of victims? Or the Soviet Gulag? Or the countless genocidal campaigns of the colonial period that exterminated most of the world’s indigenous people? Or the enslavement of Africans over three centuries? How, indeed, do they compare to the prevailing global economic system that has visited poverty and misery upon most of the world throughout the last century? My point here is not to excuse or trivialize the crimes of the Covid era, but rather to paint the problem of evil in broader outline. But my purpose is not to make comparisons; it is to investigate the mechanics of evil. Because, in case you haven’t noticed, the War on Evil hasn’t been going very well.
So here is my partial list:
– The laboratory origin of SARS-CoV2 and the coordinated attempt to hide it.
– The suppression, through fraudulent studies, censorship, and prohibition, of generic and natural treatments for Covid, which could have reduced the death toll by at least 80%.
– Inflation of death statistics to justify extreme public health measures.
– Mass quarantines and lockdowns that plunged hundreds of millions of people into poverty and caused the ranks of the world’s hungry to swell by 150 million, and the severely food-insecure by 207 million. Many of them were children. Were they included in epidemiological calculations and policy deliberations? Did policymakers consider whether their misery was a worthy trade-off for marginally slowing the progress of an epidemic whose median age of death is around 80 and whose infection fatality rate is 0.035% for those under 60 (way less than flu) and 0.0003% for under 20? Pardon the digression, but I’m still angry about that. As a leftist (yes, dang it, despite the redefinition of the term to include credulous faith in the pronouncements of corporate science, that’s what I am), I care a lot about those left out of the calculations of power and profit. At least that’s what I thought being a leftist meant. But I digress from my digression…
– Suspension of democratic rights and civil liberties, by which governments established a precedent to seize absolute power by merely declaring a health emergency. What will the next state of emergency be?
– Intimidation, censorship, cancellation, character assassination, and firing of doctors, scientists, and journalists who dared to contradict Covid orthodoxy.
– The hurried development of mRNA vaccines in disregard of plausible mechanisms of harm, and their subsequent mass deployment even though the technology had never before been used on humans.
– A massive propaganda and censorship campaign to promote the vaccines and silence their skeptics.
– The mandating of vaccines even as their harms and limited efficacy became more obvious.
– The willful failure of regulators to ensure good manufacturing practices by the drug companies making the vaccines.
– The ignoring and suppressing of safety signals by the very agencies entrusted to monitor them.
All of this happened with a high degree of coordination among all of society’s leading institutions. The media, the drug companies, the tech companies, regulators, governments, academia, and even financial institutions collaborated to manage the narrative and push authoritarian policies. It looks an awful lot like the whole thing was a monstrous, orchestrated plot toward some evil end like population reduction or totalitarian takeover. How else to explain the consistency in talking points across media? How else to explain the swift publication of shoddy or fraudulent pro-narrative journal articles? The unprecedented prohibition on pharmacists filling doctors’ prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin? The fact-checking into oblivion of true information about the benefits of Vitamin D, Zinc, NAC, quercetin, and other supplements to prevent or treat Covid? The elimination of vaccine injury support groups across social media?
There is another explanation. It is not exclusive of the conspiracy explanation, but it is broader, deeper, and more terrifying. It hinges on the very nature of power and the very nature of evil; thus, it offers a unifying principle to tie together the horrors that litter the landscape of history.
The horror must be followed to the very bottom. There we discover something gleaming in the darkness. It is hope. You see, necessary as the fight may be, we cannot achieve ultimate victory by fighting. Or to state it differently, we cannot reach our goal through victory. That is because we will never rival the evil controlling powers in their ruthlessness, violence, deceit, and weapons of war. We will not beat them at their own game. We have to play a bigger game, one that includes the game of force but far transcends it.
One of the Substack writers on Covid issues whom I follow and appreciate, Toby Rogers, ends all of his posts with the statement, “Blessings to the warriors.” Indeed. I too salute the brave warriors who have sacrificed so much to stop the crimes of the Covid era. Toby is one of them. I would add (at risk of leaving many out) Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Meryl Nass, Eugyppius, James Lyons-Weller, Alex Berenson, Steve Kirsch, Joseph Mercola, Tessa Lena, John Campbell, El Malo Gato, Jessica Rose, Robert Malone, Pierre Kory, Peter McCullough, Aaron Siri, and Miki Willis. Do I agree with every word each of these people have uttered? By no means. But in various ways and to varying degrees, each has penetrated the lies cloaking the current crimes against humanity, and each has taken risks to speak out. Many have basically committed professional suicide, sacrificing their careers and reputations in service of their moral conscience. Blessed be the warriors. We need them. But we also need something more than warriors, because our opponents are symptoms of a deeper malady. Its healing is nothing less than a wholesale transformation of civilization and the human being. How could it be otherwise?
So what is at the root of the horror, and what is the alternative to the War on Evil? I have explored this question at length in my book, The Coronation. However, I also have recently returned to an essay I wrote on this topic in 2010 but never published. I will present it next, with no substantial editing. It explores evil by drawing on one of its most lucid literary portrayals: George Orwell’s 1984. I think you will appreciate the novel interpretation I take of it.
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- If you recall, it was not that long ago that this very sentence would get this entire post removed from Facebook and other sites.
- It is a sign of our times that I even need make this disclaimer. Mention someone is a positive way, and those conditioned to us-versus-them thinking assume you must on that “side.” Then they ask, How could you be associated with so-and-so who has said such-and-such?
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