The Crony Capitalist Origins of Our Oligarchy

by | Mar 28, 2023

The Crony Capitalist Origins of Our Oligarchy

by | Mar 28, 2023

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Republicans have of late been setting the stage for war with China, which would seem to explain the sudden interest—after years of apathy on the part of nearly everyone but Senator Rand Paul—in determining the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Was or was not the deadly bug which upended the entire world released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Was or was not the creation of SARS-CoV-2 funded by the U.S. government, and made possible by gain-of-function research advocate Dr. Anthony Fauci, the very person appointed to lead the country’s pandemic response? Or perhaps the origin of the virus was entirely natural: a pangolin kissed a turtle, or something along those lines, and the rest is history.

Early inquiries about the matter were ridiculed, shut down, and even denounced as “racist” back when Trump was president. How dare Trump call COVID-19 “The China virus”?! The Biden administration, however, has made “anti-China” sentiment acceptable again, which explains why both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives voted in a rare show of unanimity to declassify all intelligence relating to the question of virus origins. Why such documents were ever classified in the first place should emerge in due course, assuming that the Biden administration actually abides by the law. President Biden signed the legislation on March 20, 2023, but offered the following qualification:

“In implementing this legislation, my Administration will declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security.”

What the recent unanimous vote by Congress reveals is that while there may be superficial differences between the reds and the blues, those differences are akin to rounding errors given the War Party duopoly’s unerring support of the military, including the budget ratified each year in the National Defense Authorization (NDA) Act, which is on track to exceed one trillion dollars in the not-too-distant future. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives lavish funds upon the Department of Defense and prioritize the support of war above any- and everything else. Given the difference in magnitude between military and nonmilitary spending, most discretionary spending debates between Republicans and Democrats have become petty squabbles over chump change.

The spigot of money and weapons for the Ukraine-Russia conflict has yet to be turned off, but a warmaker’s job is never done, and China appears to have been selected as next in line to serve as bogey man du jour—assuming that those of us with no access to fall-out shelters are not vaporized in a nuclear holocaust first. While serving as the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, despite being a confirmed Faucista, did everything in her power to foment conflict with China by making a much publicized and highly contentious visit in August 2022 to Taiwan, which appeared to be designed and timed precisely in order to antagonize China.

The unanimous vote to declassify all documents relating to the COVID-19 virus origin was certainly not a salubrious sign that the American republic is alive and well, and that we managed to dodge the dreaded totalitarian bullet. Indeed, shortly after the Twitter Files congressional hearing on March 9, 2023, in which journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified, many members of the House of Representatives voted against H.R. 140, the “Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act,” which would prohibit the federal government from pressuring social media companies into muffling the voices of citizens exercising their right to free speech. The act narrowly passed with a final vote of 219 to 206.

A great deal of the government-instigated censorship over the past three years related to the pandemic. Also noteworthy is that most of the same loyalist bloc of Democrats (201 representatives) voted on February 8, 2023, against lifting the illogical and unscientific vaccine mandate on foreign visitors attempting to enter the United States. The measure passed in the House (227 to 201) but was blocked by a Democrat in the Senate. That requirement protects no one, while keeping families and friends apart, for the sole purpose, it seems, of punishing persons who declined to participate in the largest experimental trial of a novel medical device in human history. The only reason to uphold the mandate of a “vaccine” which prevents neither infection nor transmission is to support what has become the pathological predilection of U.S. presidents to issue executive orders. So what exactly is going on here?

The Twitter Files hearing spectacle made it clear that congress has become so detached from the concerns of its constituents that fully half of its members are prepared to sign off on whatever the current administration wants to do, regardless of the likely consequences. As though programmed by whoever is running the Democratic party show, surly representatives derided Taibbi and Shellenberger as “tin foil hat conspiracy theorists” and “so-called journalists,” in all likelihood because those soundbites would make excellent inquiry-shutdown headlines. Predictably enough, the general response to the journalists’ revelations by the networks has been a facile dismissal.

Given the anti-China march to war clearly underway, the networks may find hearings on the matter of virus origin more newsworthy than the sprawling Censorship-Industrial Complex (as Shellenberger termed it)—depending of course on what emerges. On March 8, 2023, witness Robert R. Redfield testified that the lab origin narrative was actively suppressed early in 2020 by Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins. According to Dr. Redfield, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fauci and Collins, who were serving at the time as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), persuaded scientists who initially favored the gain-of-function hypothesis (as is documented in their email correspondence) to change their tune. The abrupt change in view was apparently effected during a conference call from which Redfield was excluded. Some months later, those same scientists were rewarded with millions of dollars of funding by the NIH.

Such suspicious machinations suggest that the concerned parties had something to hide, but shortly after Redfield’s testimony, on March 16, 2023, author Kathryn J. Wu rushed to the rescue with a shiny new zoonotic theory about how it was not a pangolin and a bat kissing but a raccoon dog shedding virus (through sneezing?) near the wet market in Wuhan which gave rise to SARS-CoV-2. One machination leads to another, and the publication of this novel theory in The Atlantic so soon after Redfield’s testimony appears not to have been coincidental. (See the “yacht theory” of the Nord Stream sabotage for a similar example of deus ex machina.)

While inquiring minds mull over the raccoon dog hypothesis, the pharma-sponsored networks continue to invite recently retired Dr. Fauci to speak on their programs to bestow his latest words of wisdom upon the masses who came to view him as their savior throughout the Coronapocalypse. No matter that the outcomes for both virus and nonvirus excess deaths in the United States were worse than nearly anywhere else in the world. Such Tertullian believers regularly commit the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, thoroughly convinced as they are that, no matter how bad the outcomes were, they would have been much worse, if not for Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Even more remarkably, despite having coauthored a journal article published in January 2023 which plainly and unequivocally asserts that rapidly mutating viruses such as the flu and SARS-CoV-2 cannot, in principle, be controlled by vaccines, Fauci persists in making the rounds to chat with his chummy circuit of television talk show hosts, soberly explaining how “we” will be getting annual COVID-19 shots along with “our” flu shots. Notwithstanding the demonstrated mediocrity of both of those products, “we” will need to roll up our sleeves for the latest experimental elixirs apparently until the end of time, because, as Fauci puts it, “the virus is not going away.” Nor is the common cold or the flu, neither of which, for the very same reasons elucidated in Fauci’s own January 2023 publication, can be eliminated through the distribution of a vaccine. But habits die hard, and like a street corner pill pusher, Fauci cannot seem to refrain from peddling pharmaceutical wares to people who may or may not need them.

The evident plan is for new variants to be addressed through the creation of new “boosters,” and Fauci can be depended upon by the product companies to use his perceived medical authority to promote a continual requirement of healthy persons to serve as experimental subjects for unnecessary remedies, which in some cases increase their risk of illness and organ damage. Difficult to believe though it may be, some universities continue to this day to require COVID-19 vaccination of their students, even bivalent booster shots already demonstrated to be of dubious efficacy. The COVID-19 shots, which offer healthy young persons a risk reduction on the order of 1%, at the same time significantly increase the risk among especially college-age males of developing myocarditis and other heart conditions. Some private companies, too, persist in requiring vaccination as a condition of employment. In addition, a variety of arbitrary and nonsensical travel restrictions remain in place. When public health authorities make policy recommendations, managers and administrators assume that the prescribed measures are designed to protect the persons in their domain.

Recently leaked company documents made public by Project Veritas indicate that Pfizer was well aware, very early on, that their deceptively marketed leaky vaccine had as serious adverse side effects heart inflammation (myocarditis) and related infirmities, including heart attacks and strokes. When grilled on this topic by Senator Rand Paul in a recent hearing, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, a newly minted billionaire (thanks to the pandemic), professed ignorance of and indeed flatly denied this danger. Senator Paul entered into the congressional record six peer-reviewed scientific studies all of which conclude that myocarditis is a serious adverse effect particularly among males aged 16 to 24. But for the pharma giants, even deadly side effects are just a part of business as usual. Inured to the deleterious effects of their products on individual patients perfunctorily dismissed as outliers, the companies are driven only by the quest to sell more and more. If that requires marketers to hide or omit the truth, or executives such as Bancel to preserve a state of willful ignorance so that they can sleep at night, then so be it.

Even more significant then Bancel’s professed ignorance of the dangers of vaccine-induced myocarditis was his answer to Senator Paul’s inquiry regarding a conflict of interest created by Moderna’s payment of $400 million of COVID-19 vaccine royalties to the NIH. Bancel did not deny that giving government officials money might influence their judgment on where, when, and to whom to prescribe the use of the very product from which they are profiting. Instead, he matter-of-factly replied,“This is for the government to decide.

Therein lies the crux of the problem. In an oligarchic system such as our own, officials receive kickbacks for promoting the products of companies which reap hefty profits primarily as a result of government policies. (Strikingly, the first product ever brought to market by Moderna was the COVID-19 vaccine commissioned by the government.) In this way, a feedback loop is created whereby the interests of companies and bureaucrats are mutually supported, while the interests of the citizens whom elected officials supposedly serve are ignored. When institutions assess their own practices, there is no plausible scenario under which the very people who have allowed potentially compromising payments to take place would conclude that they were improper.

It is not without reason that Washington DC is teeming with lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry. Politicians who determine the laws of the land are showered with money by the Big Pharma giants. That money is then used in election campaigns, and the politicians once reelected become inclined to support the policies pushed by the lobbyists. Elected officials also appoint persons from the industry itself to government positions, for example, to head up the CDC, the NIH, the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services), and the VA (Veterans Administration).

In his analysis of the latest trove of Twitter company communications, Matt Taibbi has revealed how federal employees and their associated NGOs (sounds like a contradiction, I know) actively suppressed not only what they perceived to be disinformation, which in some cases was not, but also Tweets containing what the censors themselves believed to be true information, including reports of genuine vaccine injuries, on the grounds that such news would exacerbate vaccine hesitancy. The significance of this finding cannot be overstated.

There are two obvious ways in which to understand the censorship of what is believed to be true information in an effort to diminish vaccine hesitancy. The most charitable reading is that the censors embrace a quasi-utilitarian moral framework according to which the right action maximizes the outcome of the greatest number. The pretext for censorship is, then, that more people would be harmed by the news than would be helped by it. Withholding the truth about the possibility of vaccine injury might persuade persons who would not otherwise have agreed to incur such a risk to undergo vaccination. But at the same time, it would serve to encourage persons who needed the shots to get them. On balance, then, so the censor’s reasoning goes, the news should be suppressed. While a few outliers may be harmed by the vaccines, many more persons will be saved than would be the case if the truth about adverse effects were allowed to be freely discussed among people still on the fence about whether or not to roll up their sleeve. This “benevolent” interpretation rests upon the now known to be false assumption that the COVID-19 “vaccines” are vaccines in the traditional sense, that is, capable of preventing infection and, most importantly from a public health perspective, transmission.

Censoring true stories of vaccine injuries negated informed consent by coercing compliance through deception. People were not only cajoled but in fact misled into taking the shots, which implies that those who were harmed can state without hyperbole that they were the victims of a government-perpetrated crime. What’s more, the “greater good” or utilitarian pretext for maximizing vaccine uptake was a fable all along, for the willingness of persons to undergo vaccination did not save anyone’s grandparents, given that the leaky vaccines did not stop transmission. That some universities and private companies still require vaccination reveals that the erroneous belief that the COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection and transmission continues to guide the behavior of administrators and managers whose psyches were pommeled by a powerful propaganda campaign of fear-mongering funded and perpetrated by coopted (or confused) government officials from 2020 to 2023.

Every bit as resilient as the lies used to garner support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and was in cahoots with Osama bin Laden, the notion that “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective!” can be expected to remain firmly lodged in Branch Covidians’ brains. Some of the most ardent vaccine advocates still occupy positions of government at the federal, state, and local level, and they will likely go to their graves muttering denunciations of what they have come to view as the evil antivaxxers. In reality, much of the vaccine hesitancy observed throughout the pandemic involved only a quite reasonable opposition to the notion that any human being should be forced to undergo an experimental treatment of which they have no need. It does not matter in the least what the consequences in the real world end up being, for “public health” drug pushers, just like warmongers, take refuge in their own good intentions and what they cast as the viciousness or stupidity of anyone who disagrees.

The second, far less charitable but more plausible hypothesis for the censorship of true information about the new vaccines—especially given that they were never even tested in the initial trials to determine whether they effectively prevented transmission—is that the overarching concern, from the very beginning, was never to protect patients but to maximize the profits of the product companies. Such an interpretation, while admittedly unsavory, coheres well with the widespread and highly visible efforts to persuade pregnant women to undergo vaccination, even though members of that cohort were explicitly excluded from the trials used to secure Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The same hypothesis would explain the incessant push to vaccinate small children for whom the risk of succumbing to the worst effects of COVID-19 has always been known to be minimal.

The primary reason why Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger were treated at the Twitter Files hearing as disreputable by the Democratic representatives who questioned them is because they were reporting the very troubling fact that the U.S. government has in recent years invested no small amount of time, energy, and taxpayers’ money in censoring citizens who dare to defy the official story of what is going on. That censorship and control of both social media and the mass media are carried out with the “good intentions” of protecting the people is just the latest version of the all-too-familiar line regularly recycled for every new military intervention abroad.

According to censors and warmakers, “We meant to do well!” That vacuous apology has paved the way for untold havoc wreaked on the people of other lands, but now we are facing the same delusional despotism draped in democratic robes at home as well. It is no coincidence that the advocates of censorship also stand ready to support any and every military intervention pitched in humanitarian terms, with no regard for the actual consequences on the ground. “Mistakes were made!” and “Stuff happens!” suffice in the minds of virtue-signaling “humanitarian interventionists” to wipe the moral slate clean.

As for the gain-of-function issue, because of Republicans’ diaphanous desire to demonstrate that China was to blame for the millions of virus victims, we can expect the mystery to be solved sooner rather than later, even if for all the wrong reasons. For now, the jury is still out, but should the true story be far more disturbing than most of us imagined, the much coveted war on China would make it a simple matter to entirely obliterate the Wuhan Institute of Virology, along with anyone in possession of potentially incriminatory evidence. Such a possibility may sound far-fetched, but lest anyone forget, in 1999 the U.S. military bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade based on CIA-sourced grid coordinates.

In the wake of the global upheaval from 2020 through 2023, the continual suggestion that there will be another global pandemic, for which, we have been repeatedly told, we must be prepared with a supranational response, perpetuates the fear-mongering to continue to push shots on people who neither want nor need them. If the SARS-CoV-2 virus was in fact developed in a lab through gain-of-function research, and that is the only reason why it spread so quickly and killed so many people, then why does Director-General of the WHO (World Health Organization) Tedros Ghebreyesus insist that we must prepare now for the next pandemic? One possibility is that he believes that gain-of-function research will continue on, and therefore another lab leak is inevitable, given human fallibility. But why should governments continue to fund gain-of-function research when the stakes are so high for humanity?

Herein lies yet another parallel (and overlap) with the military, for the analogous question can of course be asked of the incessant refinement of weapons of mass destruction, including bioweapons, and, above all, nuclear arms. We know how dangerous such weapons are, and yet they continue to be developed and produced—and made even more lethal—on the pretext that if we do not create them first, then the evil enemy will beat us to them. As usual, however, the best explanation is the simplest explanation. Economic forces impel some people to push for the development of technology which will in fact endanger everyone else. The oligarchic crony capitalist scheme obviously governs the crafting of military policy, thanks to the revolving door of officers and corporate leaders. Former Raytheon board member Lloyd Austin now serves as the U.S. secretary of defense.

Profiteers, whether from the crony capitalist pharmaceutical industry or the crony capitalist military industry—and in some cases both—have by now coopted nearly every nook of the government, including most of the representatives elected by the people. As a result, it is nothing short of ludicrous to persist in the illusion that we live in a society even approximating a democratic republic. The elected officials have nearly all been persuaded to serve the winners of the crony capitalist system, both the military industry and the pharmaceutical industry, which explains why their political appointees do the same. No one should make the mistake of supposing that officials work for the people when they obviously do not.

Bank bailouts are a third example of the very same phenomenon. How else can the support of such anti-capitalist corporate welfare by representatives who wish to eliminate entitlement programs for citizens be explained? As CEOs in not only the military and pharmaceutical industries but also finance have discovered, elected officials and the bureaucrats whom they appoint make the best profit multipliers of all because, so long as they wish to retain their positions, they will do everything in their power to shirk responsibility for past failures, and they will stand by their policies in the face of evidence that they were wrong or even disastrous. By establishing partnerships with government officials who possess the power not only to direct the allocation of public funds but also to render judgment on the wisdom of those allocations, CEOs of crony capitalist companies are able in this way to ensure ever-augmenting profits.

Many force multipliers are cultivated among the populace as well. The dynamics of narrative control by the government in evidence throughout the Twitter Files would seem to explain better than anything else why war continues to be cheered on by many people who do not even stand to profit, and despite the horrific outcomes of the obscene “Global War on Terror,” which ended the lives of millions of people and terrorized and diminished the prospects of many times more. The U.S. military finally left Afghanistan after twenty years of claiming that the Taliban had to be defeated and democracy defended. Rather than regroup and assess the abject failure of the “Global War on Terror,” the government has simply pretended that the Afghanistan fiasco never happened, pivoting smoothly to the next bogey man, whether natural or manmade.

Throughout history, ordinary people, mere cogs in the machine, have made it possible for state atrocities to be perpetrated. The most plausible explanation of the censorship of true stories of vaccine injuries, as in the censorship of war crimes committed by the U.S. military, is that individuals convinced that they were doing the right thing (although they were laboring in a state of ignorance) served as force multipliers of the bad actors whose overarching aim was obviously to profit from crisis. Precisely as in the case of the war machine, in the recently forged pharma-government alliance, the road to hell is paved by useful stooges duped into supporting, under a spurious pretext of justice and morality, the forces driving the often megalomaniacal projects of elite oligarchs and their associated amoral mercenaries.

About Laurie Calhoun

Laurie Calhoun is the Senior Fellow for The Libertarian Institute. She is the author of Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times,We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering to Assassination in the Drone Age, War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, Theodicy: A Metaphilosophical Investigation, You Can Leave, Laminated Souls, and Philosophy Unmasked: A Skeptic's Critique. In 2015, she began traveling around the world while writing. In 2020, she returned to the United States, where she remained until 2023 as a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by governments nearly everywhere.

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