By Patrick. 15 minute read.
Possibly the earliest recorded approach to workplace safety begins in ancient Mesopotamia, found in The Code of Hammurabi (c. 1750 BC). This document was a set of regulatory laws that applied broadly to Mesopotamian society including workers’ rights and responsibilities. The history of workplace (and other forms of) safety is not a single progressive line. The road to this current era of safety laws, where say, picking up a useful tool or material to repurpose from a council waste transfer station is prohibited on the grounds that this action is potentially unsafe, has been circuitous. Inarguably, we have entered an era of safetyism, and here I argue this ideology is now politically motivated.
Safetyism has morphed from an ideology to a tactic of immobilising, steering people into a permanent risk-adverse and fearful state. On the surface it appears wholesome and well-meaning, attempting to create a non-suffering world where accidents or harmful events are no longer part of life. Such a pursuit of safety, which has no real place in the living and dying, decomposing and renewing of life itself, is safety that’s gone wrong story. Governments are increasingly utilising fear tactics to immobilise populations, and notably they are labelling dissenting and critical voices of these tactics as dangerous or harmful.
While liberal threads have existed since Enlightenment Europe, the political movement of liberalism was defined in 1948 by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which outlined basic freedoms and rights that should apply to all people. The etymological root of the words liberal, libertine, libertarian and liberty is from the Latin liber, which means free. Today, liberalism is barely recognisable, liberals have become champions for curtailing free-speech and applauding safetyism as a core strategy for controlling those they believe to be inferior. In other words, the meritorious approach to workplace safety (led by both leftist and liberal politics since industrialisation) has grown into another significant neoliberal growth industry, setting up a hyper-paternalistic culture around safety, which in turn has led to broad societal immobilisation and even, as some critics are reading it, a slide into fascism.
A permanent state of fear
Fear, and encouraging its centre place in people’s lives, is a well worn strategy for controlling populations. Influencers of left and liberal politics who embrace safetyism are likewise helping to march us all into a society where thought, action and diverse ways of being are curtailed and controlled. Increasingly, any critique of such immobilising is quickly labelled libertarian, ableist, white supremacist, and even neo-nazist despite the broad ethnicities of resistance. Such reductive shame labels play well into governments’ strategies to deter people from looking at the diversity of independent voices raising red flags about how safety is being misused and how it has become an instrument of control.
In The Five Eyes (FVEY) countries of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Britain and the US, these nation-states have an agreement to spy on each other’s citizens and pass on this information across borders, in order to not breach constitutional laws that prohibit countries spying on their own citizens. These colonial-constituted countries are using the next generation of technologies to advance global development, a term that really should be treated as next generation colonialism.
An effective strategy for liberal governments throughout the world now is to spruik the message that they are in the business of protecting vulnerable peoples while in reality they are deliberately creating vulnerability – economic and social – in a range of minority groups who are actively resisting the paternalism of this new brand of liberalism.
Governments and corporations have different interests, but both use data and behavioural insights teams to help manipulate and control populations. There is a neatly crafted relationship between governments and corporations, serving each other’s interests. While financial power drives corporate interest, it’s the control of people that drives the government’s, where immobilisation and compliance is achieved by fabricating materialist ideas of social good that favour city- or human-centric modes of life-making. In the city life is controlled more than anywhere else by people, and it is this monospeciesist world view that derives from urbane monocultures that feeds such disconnected paternalism.
An example of this is how liberals continue to use masks, even if only as a form of identity, despite little evidence that hospital grade masks provide any meaningful benefits in stopping acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Liberals and leftists using handmade cloth masks refuse to educate themselves on how these masks provide no benefits and really should be considered as nothing more than virtue signalling or as a signifying textile of compliance to the order of safetyism.
Don’t climb that tree kid, take this screen and go sit inside!
While the nexus of state and corporate power is not a new thing, with new surveillance technologies the possibilities for control and manipulation have never been so sophisticated, posing new threats to peoples’ liberties and to democracy. If we continue along this path I can see a time in the near future, where blog posts such as this (on independent websites) will be barred from being transmitted, and critical voices who challenge the state-corporate nexus will be removed from sight, and even from their communities. Smear campaigns and more subtle forms of censorship are now common place. Liberal elites have made the cost of dissent too high for the expert class.
The city and indeed civilisation itself is a mirror to what I call fallen or lopsided patriarchy. The past 5000 years of city building has accompanied the past 5000 years of debt as a tactic of economic incarceration, where a civilisational kinship between banking, militarism and go-it-alone patriarchy has dominated power struggles. Patriarchy is only healthy when common lore derives from the logic and culture directives of Mother Country (Gaia) and people are earth-honouring in all their organisation and activity. Our species’ severance from the divinity of Mother Country by ‘patriarchy’s project’ (Vandana Shiva) – colonialism, materialist science, debt and permanent war – is the meta story behind this next phase of authoritarianism brought into play via a supposedly well-meaning desire for increased levels of safety.
The transition from a meritorious emphasis on safety in a dynamic relationship with risk, to overreaching governmental paternalism regarding anything or anyone perceived to be dangerous, to a new unfolding era of control and censorship is rarely critiqued by leftist and liberal commentators currently. Strangely it’s the commentators on the right who have taken up this vacuum of discourse, which is why the term libertarianism has become so derided by liberal academia. In recent years the neoliberal academy (the university as a branch of neoliberal corporatism) has been in a process of radically cleansing itself of heterodox thinkers and deleting from its memory the important history of left libertarianism, otherwise known as anarchy. There are many reasons for this, including the buy up of liberal media by elites increasingly behaving as the puppeteers of a new world order. This order aims to immobilise and keep people in a state of fear and deference to power. The promise of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is the most striking example of this tactic of hyper immobilisation and control, packaged as our utopian future, where you’ll live a better life.
Regulatory capture fans pharmacolonisation
A recent article by former ABC science journalist, Maryanne Demasi, exposes how billionaires like Bill Gates are bypassing democratic processes in order to manipulate the narrative alongside government agencies. She writes that “[t]en of the past 11 FDA commissioners left the agency and secured roles with pharmaceutical companies they once regulated,” and how Gates is instrumental in the capture of the FDA. And yet it appears that any mention of Bill Gates in the pejorative, at least inside liberal and leftist circles, immediately earns you the reputation of a conspiracy theorist.
This slide from left and liberal critiques of power that I grew up with as a young thinker, to the capitulation to the state-corporate nexus of left and liberal scholarship and journalism, is a travesty for democracy. Yet, it is quite understandable in the context of how universities have been captured by big money and how behavioural insights and indeed pysops teams work in tandem to first game the expert class (by position and handsome wages) and then game a large remainder of society willing to put their trust in these experts, governments and corporates.
An example that immediately comes to mind is the Green tech mining bonanza taking place where saving the world from certain destruction with lithium and other minerals becomes, in actuality, just the continuation of fallen patriarchy’s violation of Mother Country, albeit by a new, hip, liberal mining industry. This example is akin to degrowth activists who on the one hand call for decentralisation and economic degrowing while on the other put their faith in the hyper-growth medicalisation of the world, and deriding those who resist it.
Resistance to aggregating authoritarianism requires leaving behind the emergency porn and fear campaigns that media outlets like the Australian government-controlled ABC have crafted so well through the immobilising art of keeping people glued to their screens or radios. As we go into this next fire season in Australia, the ABC will again want to hold our attention and shape our thinking by amplifying certain voices while disappearing others.
In my years as a volunteer consultant in my community’s bushfire mitigation group, I have seen firsthand how governments use community groups such ours to tick boxes and appear like they are doing something, while wasting millions of dollars, setting up well-meaning local people to fail in their collaboration with government. It is by being in local and state government-initiated community groups for decades where I have developed a deep-seated distrust of any level of government in Australia. Appearance is everything in political and bureaucratic worlds.
As Bill Gates, the WHO, the US government, pharmaceutical giants, their captured regulators and many organisations such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) ‘prepare’ us for the next pandemic (as they ‘prepared’ us for Covid-19), we will need to ask ourselves again, should we trust the narrative? Should we trust the ‘experts’?
Western civilisation is inseparable from western colonialism, which continues to hone its strategy of divide and conquer. What liberal governments and their corporate bully mates are deliberately doing now is dividing populations into two camps – acceptable vulnerable peoples and unacceptable vulnerable peoples, the latter of who are the classes of deplorables, contagions, conspiracists and other resisters that will be increasingly targeted in the liberal media.
Instead of listening to the differences of neighbours and community others around us, and respecting and honouring our differences, society is standing at a threshold where reductive shame labels applied to certain groups by academia, the political class and the liberal media automatically give people the permission to be discriminatory. This podcast episode featuring academic Tyson Yunkaporta using doctoral student Tammi Jonas as a prompt to head kick heterodox thinkers like David Holmgren and myself, while lamenting how certain ‘friends’ have fallen victim to “conspiracies” and “radicalism,” is a timely example of this. Yunkaporta’s slide in recent years from important Indigenous thoughtsmith to promoter of correct-think neoliberalism is just one of the many cultural losses sustained throughout the Covid safetyism moment. Yunkaporta’s muzzling of me in this episode of his podcast is another such example of refusing to listen to the other, ironic because his podcast series is called The Other Others and he claims his emphasis is on yarning – generative conversing through threads – not positioning and posturing.
Governments, corporations, academies and behavioural insights units will continue to make sure that such honouring and respect for diverse approaches is decimated, and that mob morality rules, encouraging those who wish to keep their jobs, get promoted, and be part of the in-crowd to distance themselves from ratbags and deplorables. In this cultural milieu we wholeheartedly embrace being outside such a wrong story tent.
As we saw with Covid, the construction of a contagion class was essential for the rolling out of novel medical treatments. This strategy will be deployed again, probably with a more deadly pathogen next time, and again ‘accidentally’ escaped a gain-of-function lab. There are only 100 or so of them around the world, what could possibly go wrong?
We all heard governments confidently state that Covid was of ‘natural origin’ and the novel Covid jabs were both safe and effective, and anyone who disagreed with these proclamations was a danger to society. We saw the introduction of medical passports, the decimation of small businesses, the freezing of bank accounts of those who supported protesters, the biggest wealth transfer to elites in history, and now the rollout of misinformation and disinformation bills, affectively, giving governments, corporates and their institutional ‘fact-checkers” an unprecedented right to call what is truth and what isn’t.
Claiming the ‘correct’ narrative
Above: data showing excess deaths in Australia trending upwards since the Covid response. Health officials have not sufficiently accounted for this huge rise in deaths, many heart-related, and refuse to look into whether mass vaccination of novel GMO vaccines have contributed.
Any government or institution that claims to hold the truth, when so many have lied so egregiously throughout the Covid response, are of course the real threat to democracy. That this position is unpopular with my fellow left and liberal colleagues is deeply concerning, especially given papers like this just published in Japan where scientists show widespread (as yet) asymptomatic myocardial inflammation in people who took these so-called safe and effective jabs as opposed to the unvaccinated cohort who didn’t. There is now a deluge of sudden cardiac deaths in the most vaccinated countries, who are experiencing ‘unexplainable’ excess mortality figures, yet health officials, governments and left and liberal commentators remain tight lipped that there could be a link to the these novel vaccines, that many in the science community are now admitting are GMOs.
The doubling down on ‘natural origin’ and ‘safe and effective’ propaganda is understandable when you’ve gone down those rabbit holes so unequivocally.
Limited hangout – the well oiled tactic massaging the message
In an Age newspaper article (pictured) from a few days ago, the journalist gives a limited hangout regarding the Covid response. At the beginning of her article she states when Covid occurred health officials completely ignored the long founded response for a respiratory virus pandemic, which essentially is focused protection where immunocompromised and other vulnerable people are offered the majority of resources while herd immunity via infection is quickly established by healthy normals. But instead of critiquing the completely novel and human-rights violating Covid response and the throwing out of the prior gold standard approach, the journalist proceeds to amplify the architects of the diabolical Covid response, finishing with a statement from Brett Sutton, the senior Victorian health official responsible for one of the worlds most brutal Covid responses, seeing Victorians locked up for longer periods than most and riot squads and liberal media raining rubber bullets on those who protested. There is zero reflection in the article on what Sutton orchestrated, rather an elevation of his opinion, which expectedly is focussed not on health but more ideological attacks on those dissenting and critiquing his damaging and militaristic response.
This Age article is yet another piece of propaganda preparing its readers for an inevitable “next pandemic”, and holding its readers in a place of ‘trust the captured science’ or forever be cast into the contagion or deplorable classes.
Responding is a dance; reacting is war
In the lead up to the pandemic Brett Sutton was a public health registrar at Burnet Institute in Melbourne, which has received over a million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since 2009. This trickle feeding of monies to universities, research centres and media institutions is Bill Gate’s ingenius way of subtly, slowly controlling which narratives are heard while disappearing those that don’t conspire to grow his fortunes via the invisible threat of such funding running out. Gates’ role in pharmacolonisation is central, and puppets like Sutton are his well-paid foot soldiers who keep getting promoted up the rungs of the global health-fascism network.
Understanding what is going on is critically vital for individuals, households and communities in continuing to respond to and prepare our networks and economic lifeways to be increasingly independent of corporates, governments and neoliberal academia. Removing ourselves from dependency on corporate-government education, food, medicine, energy, and basic essentials for life making may grant us greater freedoms. Right libertarian approaches of hyper individualism are limited because of their isolationism. However, left libertarianism invites communities to be self organising and interdependent, and is by nature communitarian, compassionate and sensitive to tyranny. As I have argued before, real communitarianism is never top down, it is never meted out by power.
It is those of us who devise creative, subversive and generative lifeways to either slip away from or dance with the growing fundamentalism of the state-corporate nexus, will be those who thrive in this coming period. By building ever more relationships with life, with Mother Country – not in an ideological but in a sacred sense – and mobilising ourselves into what Artist as Family calls a flow of gifts or belonging economies, we can transition to diverse communities that will trade paternalistic urbane ‘services’ for neopeasant community sufficiency – a term we devised many years ago to signal mobilisation of both household and community economies.
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