By Murray Hunter
BANGKOK, Thailand--As the world is going through a generational transition in political, administrative, and bureaucratic leadership, governance has been plagued with crisis after crisis.
Climate change has been turned into a crisis of action, leaving concerns over energy security. The Covid crisis triggered politicized public health systems. Supply chains have become disrupted.
There is now a war raging in Europe with no initiatives being made to end it. Military alliances are replacing diplomacy, as the world is now in a second cold war.
The Doomsday Clock, a symbol representing the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe, now stands at 100 seconds to midnight. This is the closest the Doomsday Clock has been to midnight, since its inception back in 1947.
National governments around the world are in crisis, where many have failed miserably in their duty of care and responsibility towards the wellbeing of their citizens.
Covid Pandemic (Mis) Management
The manner in which many national and regional administrations managed the pandemic was very telling upon the way the government is headed in the future.
As the Sars-Cov 2 virus went around the world, various government administrations took a number of public health measures in an attempt to control the local spread. At first, the espoused objective was to cap local daily cases to prevent hospitals and other public health facilities becoming overloaded. Initial restrictions upon the freedom of movement, assembly, and right to operate businesses was to be short. However, with administration objectives appearing to change, without public announcement in many cases, these movement restrictions, or ‘lockdowns’ as they became popularly called, lasted for much longer periods of time.
International and even regional borders were closed to prevent the spread of Sars-Cov 2 into local populations, which in many situations already had large local cases. People transiting across borders were required to undergo periods of quarantine in hotels, while the vulnerable in aged care homes were not afforded much in the way of special protections. People died alone, while schools were closed depriving children of much needed education. Patients were prevented from visiting hospitals for the treatment of other diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
These restrictions were on the whole very inconsistent and not supported by research. The decisions about restrictions and their enforcement fell into the hands of public administrators, who were both unelected, and in most cases unqualified to make such public health decisions.
Evidence is now emerging that movement restrictions or lockdowns did more harm than good. The use of vaccine certificates as a requirement to travel or enter shops and restaurants created two classes of citizens.
Government spokespeople regularly resorted to fearmongering to scare citizens into compliance. Those who didn’t comply, were often socially castigated. An atmosphere of fear was created which divided society between those who complied and those who resisted.
Lowering the regulatory bar
Many issues have arisen over pharmaceutical registration during the pandemic. The rigorous requirements in approving the use of Sars Cov 2 vaccines was circumvented by emergency use authorizations. Mass vaccination across the world occurred, where much of it was mandated by authorities. This has been done before full safety data had been collected and analysed.
Vaccine mandates ignored the issues of natural and adaptive immunities. Public health administrations also neglected to advise citizens on how to maximize natural immunity through exercise, diet, weight loss, and supplements.
Vaccine mandates and adverse reactions are now becoming a major area for class legal actions against authorities.
The vaccine strategy was a single tier strategy, even though vaccines were not available to all for some months. The mandates have signalled the loss of individual oriented patient care, to a one size fits all approach in medicine. This is a great regression in international public health.
Medical practitioners in some jurisdictions have been forbidden to prescribe particular medicines they believe would assist their patients. This was state interference in the doctor-patient relationship, not on a medical basis, but on a political basis.
The relationship between public health authorities, regulatory bodies, and pharmaceutical corporations requires greater scrutiny, so as to avoid future conflicts of interest. Failure to do so will result in the public loss of confidence in public health and pharmaceuticals.
Fiscal policy blowouts with record deficits and high debt, and monetary policy which has brought about a massive expansion of money supply, has created a bout of runaway inflation, growing unemployment, recession, and stagflation. This has been primarily blamed on Ukraine, but probably has its roots in 2020-21 Covid-19 policies.
Prolonged economic restrictions during the pandemic saw many SMEs stifled and sent into bankruptcy, while large corporations were primarily left alone to operate. One of the results of this has been a vast redistribution of wealth in many societies, where the middle-class has been threatened with extinction. Public sector employees through rising wages have become the economic elite in society. The increasing wealth gap is widening, where many households are heading rapidly into relative poverty due to the rising cost of living. Rising interest rates will bring on further economic slowdowns and raise company operational costs.
The corporations are the winners, especially the oil companies which are now generating bumper profits due to high oil prices. Developed economies are now heavily paying the price for dilapidated infrastructure in health, agriculture, and energy sectors.
Government overreach is exacerbating the situation. There is a sense of denial within the government, stating the source of these problems lies in Ukraine and climate change.
Societies are now finding their health systems are inadequate, where there is an increasing general health crisis in some regions. The green transition is leading to drastic energy shortfalls, which could potentially kill many during a severe European winter. Policies concerned with climate change need to go beyond the carbon paradigm, and take a more holistic approach. A massive rethink is needed very urgently. The focus on carbon emissions is just too narrow a perspective.
Neo-liberal economic policies are set to drive the western world into a deep recession. It's time to relook at economic prescriptions to solve the complex issues existing today. A cost-benefit analysis is needed on sanctions.
The leaders of today have learned little from 20th Century history and diplomacy. The world is reforming into military alliances rather than use of diplomacy. The US administration and European leaders are doing nothing to broker any ceasefire or peace deal in the Russian-Ukraine war. Western leaders rushing to the Ukraine for photo-opportunities achieves nothing.
Consequently, the Ukraine conflict will be a long and drawn out one, where European countries will suffer many consequences, even though they are not directly involved in the fighting. Energy and food shortages are beginning to make Europe very vulnerable.
Controlling the narrative
Government through its agencies and affiliates has stepped up engagement in controlling the narrative. This was made very obvious during the recent pandemic.
Government enlisted the cooperation of portions of the mainstream media to propagate establishment ideas and narratives. Media organizations such as the BBC, CNN, VOA, and The Guardian carry stories related to the government line and discredit alternative ideas. Companies like Pfizer sponsored many media programs across the spectrum. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided grants to the Guardian. Mainstream media is very influential in what news it doesn’t report.
A new vocabulary has been established to describe censorship. Misinformation, disinformation, and fake news have now become justifications for censoring information that goes against establishment ideas and narrative, and even the banning of people from social media platforms.
Fact Checking has become a new counter-disinformation industry, populated by firms funded from government, social media platforms, and corporations. These companies claim to be totally independent, however extensive review of their fact checks reveals their partisan positions on issues such as climate change and Covid-19. Individual fact checkers are primarily from the journalism field, with few actual specialists in the areas they claim to be fact checking. When fact checking organizations are presented with evidence rebuking their conclusions, they don’t answer the correspondence, nor do they modify their original opinions.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook recently admitted in an interview with Joe Rogan that his organization collaborates with the FBI to censor material on the platform. This potentially affected the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential election.
This collaboration extends to Google, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition, payment platforms like PayPal have shut down accounts of organizations and groups protesting against Covid-19 vaccine mandates, preventing them from raising funds from the public.
Britain, Australia, and Canada have used the old D Notice system informally to prevent mainstream media from reporting certain stories relating to foreign policy.
There are two major concerns over government control and manipulation of narratives. Government is directly influencing the outcomes of elections. The suppression of new research on vaccine safety issues may have cost lives with media and social media promoting the product’s safety, when evidence now shows it was clearly not. We are only just starting to learn of this grave breach of duty of care by the government to its citizens.
The biggest crisis is going on now
Perhaps the world’s most unexplained public health crisis is occurring now. There is no concern by governments today, which put the world in shutdown over covid-19. Since the beginning of 2022, there has been a significant rise in the excess mortality rate. Excess deaths is a measurement of the number of deaths from all causes above what we would expect, based upon a five year rolling average. The mainstream media is not covering this story, even though it is a major concern to public health.
Democratic societies have created bureaucracies through emergency proclamations that by-pass the democratic system, requiring public review.
National leadership has created a pseudo-fantasy world where focus has become selfish and inward. Issues like indigenous rights, gender, racism, rewriting history, censorship, migration, mandates, abortion, anti-culture, and identity have become wrapped up in virtual signalling, while nations are facing crises on numerous fronts.
If governments continue not to act on behalf of their citizens, public aggravation will continue to increase.
The danger to the world is not from totalitarianism, it's coming from the lack of competence in governance. Citizens without question have complied with the whims of bureaucracy. This has encouraged bureaucrats to take more power. The solutions are organizational, as it’s our bureaucracies that have failed the citizenry.