Sep 9, 2021Liked by Rhyd Wildermuth

I'm a huge fan of Charles Eisenstein and keep up with all his work - and I was always fascinated by his ability to avoid cancellation. But yeah his luck has run out. Or maybe it wasn't blind luck that ran out, he probably knew quite well what would happen.

For what it's worth, my respect or Charles grew through this. We are at a point where all the best, most interesting voices get cancelled and I was wondering if and when that would happen to him. I agree that we all need to wait and let that wave break.

I think Covid will be one of the deaths of cancel culture, by the way, because it is just so plain that neither vaccinations nor lockdowns nor masks can really defeat it, that politics and media don't know how to deal with it. The powers that be have thrown a lot of weight behind shutting up the anti vax/mask/lockdown crowd and despite that Covid has been running rampant all the while. How long until they have to admit that?

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I agree. Right now it seems like the attempt to police thought has gotten super extreme as a reaction to fear. Screaming at people with deviant thoughts regarding masks or anyone pointing out the power governments are accumulating through mandates and restrictions is a way of drowning out the fear.

Eventually fear gets too tiring though, and they'll all realise how really awful they had become in that fear.

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Sep 10, 2021Liked by Rhyd Wildermuth

Fear of the end of the state's unquestioned might? Because I think that is at play here, and not fear of Covid.

I think that by now, the vax thing in particular but also the rest is like a moment where the state and it's media have to show their might and their ability to get a grip on it, both on Covid and on the population's actions... (maybe, implicitly, by doing as well as China) and everyone who is rooting for the status quo is deeply, deeply rooting for that to work. In the US, these people tend to root for the Democratic party of course, but the same general thing is at work outside the US as well. And all the antivax/antimaskers are (I believe) not super afraid of masks and vaxes things either. They basically want to see the state fail to get them to heel.

I want to add, since that's apparently important for many people who might be reading, if I were from the US, I'd cut my hand off before voting either Democrat or Republican.

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" want to add, since that's apparently important for many people who might be reading, if I were from the US, I'd cut my hand off before voting either Democrat or Republican. "

They would cut your hand off for saying that, of course. :)

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I had never heard of Eisenstein, and read the essay. I found his false equivilence of the voluntarily unvaccinated to persecuted Jews to be appalling. I recommend this rebuttal:


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I read that rebuttal as well. She is actually the person who first accused him of being antisemitic.

Interestingly, someone had read my essay on Antifa and said I was "clearly blaming Antifa for Heather Heyer's death." I do nothing of the sort, but it's quite evident their filter convinced them that was what I had said.

Rankin is doing the same thing to Eisenstein in her smear of his essay. He does not compare them to Jews nor suggest that they are the same; rather, he is pointing out that the mechanism of mass hysteria that blames a specific group for a society's problems is a universal mechanism that appears in many forms.

Rankin says (the all caps are hers): "The unvaccinated are KILLING PEOPLE."

They are not.

That doesn't mean I am in agreement with their decision not to be vaccinated (but here I will disclose that I am not, either, because it is not available to me, but in her logic I am a murderer I suppose?) but their personal decisions about their own bodies cannot be in any way be construed as an act of murder as Rankin states in her "rebuttal."

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Eisenstein very clearly states that persecution of Jews and what he views as persecution of the unvaxxed are both instances of what he views as mass hysteria. I could not possibly disagree with anything more strongly than I disagree with this.

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Just before I left social media in August, I saw quite a few people suggesting that people who do not get vaccines should not be allowed in any public place, including grocery stores, even with masks.

That, I think, is some pretty extreme social hysteria. Whether it is now a mass or majority opinion in the US I don't know, but that reminds me a lot of the quarantine programs for HIV+ people that were proposed by right wing US people in the late 80's (and enacted in Cuba).

I am fortunate where I live that the government lets me still go be human as long as I wear a mask, and I can attend indoor events with an instant test rather than being required to get a government COVID passport. Were I in a country with less social cohesion and more instability, I'd be pretty terrified of this kind of social mobbing that I was seeing on Facebook before I quit.

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Nothing remotely like this is happening in the US. I live in one of the most highly vaxxed areas of the country, and in my local grocery store yesterday there were a couple of unmasked people who were going about their business unbotherered by anyone, despite a local health policy that requires indoor masking (a policy I totally support).

IMO, masking and vaccine requirements are completely reasonable policies for battling a deadly disease. I have a cousin in St. Louis whose 23-year-old son refused to get vaccinated, and now his same-age best friend (also unvaxxed) is in the hospital, unable to get from his hospital bed to a chair without help. He's been there for 3 weeks now.

Vaccines are a godsend. I am old enough to remember how relieved my mother was when the polio vaccine first became available for me as a kid.

Eisenstein is a fool. I think his publisher overreacted, but his essay was as odious a thing as I have read in a long time. I am strongly anti-woke overall, but I view this as being in an entirely different category.

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Beyond respecting that many are weary of being vaccinated while the vaccine is still technically experimental, there are those who are unable to access it regardless, either because of medical exemptions or social limitations. The socially limited tend to fall into categories that already restrict privileges, i.e. poor, of color, immigrant. In which case, it is questionable whether vaccine passports would truly be an act of viral prevention or a method to exacerbate the divide between haves and have nots...

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In the US, vaccines are readily available to all at no cost. Yes, some people cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons (because it won't work for them); I know some people in this category (cancer patients), and every single one of them is very much afraid of covid and wants ALL THOSE WHO CAN to get vaccinated, to keep THEM protected!

There is simply absolutely no question that the disease is FAR more dangerous than the vaccines. "Long covid" is prevalent and can be extremely debilitating. Awful symptoms like loss of taste and smell may be very long lasting, perhaps permanent. There is no comparable risk from the vaccines. HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people have received the vaccines with only tiny numbers of serious issues (and in many cases it's not even possible to be sure the vaccine was the cause and not just the coincidental onset of something else; with numbers this large, that sort of thing happens). Yes of course the vaccines are "experimental". Anything new is. But the basic mechanisms of how they work are well understood, and there is no reason to expect significant problems later.

Life is about balancing risks, and there is no rational calculus that ends with the conclusion that the vaccines are more dangerous than the disease.

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I am not going to add to the Charles Eisenstein issue, I feel that you and Sistersmith covered it sufficiently.

I do want to comment on your essay on Anarchism and Antifa. First, I found it fairly informative, you filled in holes that I had about them. Very well done.

Second, when I left the USMC in 1991, just as Desert Storm was winding up, I was an avowed pacifist and anarchist. I had seen all to well in the 14 years I was enlisted what violence does to the tools of empire and their victims.

I have distanced myself from most anarchists due to their excessive reliance on violence to incite state repression, it reminds me of the KGB tactic of using cells to create an oppressive police state so that the masses will rise and overthrow the government with the help of the USSR.

Also I grew tired of being marginalized because I did not wear spikes, have tattoos, or spiky colored hair.

I continue to work within a select group of people that I trust.

I draw inspiration from my ancestors, both recent and distant.

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Perhaps there are two separate questions: 1) The efficacy or desirability of vaccination, and 2) the somewhat hysterical self-righteousness of anti-anti-vaxxers.

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I just don't understand the notion that wanting to avoid a disease that can kill me or permanently debiliate me can somehow be "hysterically self-righteous". If you want to risk permanently losing your senses of taste and smell (among many other possible awful consequences), it's fine with me; go for it! But I quite like having those senses, and so I want to avoid you. I feel I should have the right to do so.

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And here's what's happening in the unvaxxed areas of California right now:

>The Delta variant surge reached critical levels in parts of the Central Valley this week, with some hospitals overwhelmed by a crush of COVID-19 patients and Fresno County officials warning they might take drastic action if conditions continue to deteriorate.

>Parts of the Central Valley as well as rural Northern California have become the hot zones for COVID-19 in the state even as hospitalizations are beginning to fall in many parts of California, most dramatically in Southern California and the Bay Area, which generally have higher vaccination rates.

>In a sign of how severe the crisis has become, Fresno County‘s health officer said Friday that hospitals may be forced to ration healthcare — choosing who receives lifesaving measures — because of dwindling resources.


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The accusation of "hysterical self-righteousness" is not only hyperbole, but quite an example of projection, I'd say. ;)

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