From independence, freedom and truth

Covid

The Decline of Reason in the West

Many years ago, Nobel Laureate Albert Schweitzer was asked in an interview, "Doctor, what is wrong with man today?" After pondering for a few seconds, Schweitzer replied, "Men simply don't think." If this was the answer decades ago, I wonder what it would be like today when the cell phone has reduced our attention span to the level of an ape.

Fernando del Pino Calvo Sotelo

September 13, 2022

What is thinking? Thinking is forming and combining ideas in the mind after careful reflection. Do we think before we act or judge or do we just imitate others? Because knowing in real time everything that happens around the world or repeating like a parrot what we hear from others is not thinking. As the great Colombian thinker Nicolas Gomez Davila writes, “in a century where the media spread endless nonsense, the educated man is not defined by what he knows but by what he ignores[2]“.  

Thinking requires attention, time and effort. Blathering, however, requires none of these things, which is why it is a more popular activity. But thinking has an additional attribute: it is the shield that protects our freedom.

For this reason, the power junkies try to dissuade man from thinking for himself, for they do not want thinking individuals but obedient clones, just as they do not want free and independent men but mass-men, dependent and controllable.

To achieve this, the first thing they do is inflame their passions, since these make it difficult to think, and incline them towards vice, which always enslaves (just as virtue liberates). Indeed, it is rare for a politician to propose to voters sacrifice, generosity, effort, responsibility, keeping one’s word, truthfulness or respect for those who have a different opinion.

Rather, he will teach them to fear (and, therefore, to detest) the political adversary, will encourage envy and greed for the goods of others (under the alibi of “solidarity”) and will promise fantasies such as living without working (that is, from the labor of others) while avoiding assuming any responsibility, which will be assumed by the Leviathan State, benevolent jailer. Therefore, in the words of Gomez Davila, “even without wanting tyranny, the people want ends that imply it”.

Therefore, the perverse incentive system of elections in “Welfare” democracies leads to the gradual moral weakening of the individual and, as morality and freedom are inextricably linked concepts, the loss of morality leads to servitude.

The power of fear

The power junkies know a shortcut to make man stop thinking, allow himself to be dominated by his passions and accept servitude. It is fear.

Fear can be a control tactic to direct our passions (usually anger) towards third parties: a fear is created, real or fictitious; a culprit, real or invented, is pointed out; and “saviors” are postulated to protect us and give us back our security in exchange for giving them our freedom. Fear and freedom, therefore, end up being incompatible.

But fear can also be used to bend wills more directly. Do not forget that power is defined as the ability to modify the situation of another person by administering rewards and punishments, that is, to subdue the will of others.

One way to achieve this is to intimidate through peer pressure. How does it work? On the one hand, it deliberately confuses truth with majority opinion, a confusion facilitated by the democratic fiction. As the gregarious and social animal that he is, man believes that if the whole herd heads for a place there must be food and water (even if it is a cliff). It is not strictly necessary for the real majority to think one way; it is enough for the individual to believe so, and this is achieved by the junkies of power through constant media hammering.

Likewise, this same social nature moves human beings to fear going against the tide and risk being stigmatized and ostracized. Indeed, loneliness frightens them and they often build their opinion of themselves on the basis of the applause of others.

Do not forget that standing up to the masses requires a lot of courage. As Hannah Arendt reminds us in The Origins of Totalitarianism, “there have been men capable of resisting the most powerful monarchs and of refusing to submit to them, but there have been few who resisted the multitude, who stood alone before the manipulated masses, daring to say no when a yes was demanded of them”.

The last instrument of manipulation I would like to comment on is the abuse of the principle of authority. In the past, authority could be political, military or religious, but given the discredit of politics, the military being out of fashion and the decline in religious beliefs, the power junkies have decided to turn Science (with a capital letter) into the new god and scientists into the new high priests, useful servants of power. “Science” says so, so don’t argue: obey.

Naturally, all this has been invented for millennia and the students of previous centuries, more intelligent than those of today (because they didn’t have “smart” phones), studied it in any Logic course before they turned 16: it is the ad verecundiam fallacy, which defends something only because someone considered an authority has asserted it, the ad hominem fallacy, which instead of arguing discredits the person defending the contrary position, and the ad populum fallacy, which defends that something is true only because that is the opinion of a majority or “public opinion”.

Finally, when soft intimidation fails, power will increase the pressure by silencing the dissident through censorship or judicial persecution, and at the extreme, it will use its privilege of physical violence, for example, by arresting the individual in question, legally or illegally.

We have thus traveled the road by which the power junkies manipulate, deceive and intimidate man from thinking and control him through fear.

It is ironic that this destruction of reason has occurred precisely in the name of the goddess Reason in societies that, having abandoned the idea of God and the sense of transcendence, felt at last liberated to reach enlightenment through a scientism that promised to be the pinnacle of civilization: man, at last, had declared himself god, definer of good and evil and master of life and death.

“You were given a choice between dishonor and war; you chose dishonor, and you shall have war,” a foreboding Churchill blurted out after Chamberlain’s infamous agreement with Hitler. To use a paraphrase, it could be said of Western societies: “You were given a fallacious choice between faith and reason. You chose to lose faith, and you will end up losing reason”. As a Catholic, I can only admire the foresight of John Paul II when he defended in Fides et Ratio that “faith and reason are like the two wings with which the human spirit soars towards the contemplation of truth”.

The decline of reason has accelerated in the last decade. Examples of this would be gender ideology or radical environmentalism which, as in primitive times, worships Mother Earth, but I am going to focus on two issues: the official narrative about covid and its parallelism with climate religion, whose main common ground is control through fear. In both cases we are commanded not to use reason and to trust blindly in authority (“scientific”, naturally). Let us disobey, of course.

Terror and covid lies

SAR-CoV-2 appeared at the end of 2019 in a Chinese city where there is a laboratory partially funded by US institutions that was researching or rather genetically modifying that particular pathogen.

Imagine a cocoa spill in a town where there is a chocolate factory. As you will understand, the probability that, of all the places on Earth, of tens of thousands of cities in 195 countries on five continents, the coronavirus epidemic arose precisely in a city where there was a laboratory working with that coronavirus without the origin being that very laboratory is negligible. It could have arisen anywhere, but it did so precisely in Wuhan. Too good marksmanship.

Then the reason clearly suggests that the origin of the coronavirus was an accidental leak from that laboratory. I say accidental because obviously if the Chinese government had wanted to unleash an epidemic they would not have done it in China but in the US.

In spite of this, the media immediately echoed the official Chinese-American version of the supposedly zoonotic origin of a pangolin that is still on the run. The irrational and improbable explanation of an accidental jump from animal to human prevailed over the rational and probable explanation of negligence in a laboratory using the ad verecundiam fallacy (something is true because an authority says so), and those who dared to dispute the official version were branded as paranoid conspiracy theorists (ad hominem fallacy, criticizing the person and not the argument)

After this smokescreen, came control through fear: the political-media-pharma complex launched an unprecedented terror campaign to get the population to accept mind-boggling restrictions on their freedom and to inject themselves with largely experimental “vaccines” and gene therapies.

This artificially created panic allowed for dictatorship-like scenarios, such as police abuses, curfews and confinements, while the figure of the collaborationist rose like mushrooms in fall, something typical of totalitarian regimes, pathetically denouncing his neighbors.

The key to the terror campaign was the concealment of an essential fact: since the mid-2020s it was known that covid was only a dangerous disease for a minority of the population at risk, defined by age and four concomitant pathologies: obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiopathy. For the rest, covid was a statistically mild disease, as shown by numerous epidemiological studies carried out in many countries[3], including Spain[4].

Absurd, despotic and arbitrary measures

Despotic and irrational measures followed one after the other. The illegal lockdowns were a complete disaster that mentally[5] and economically ruined tens of thousands of people without any epidemiological benefit, reaching the barbarity of condemning our elders to die alone.  

After denying the usefulness of masks, they were whimsically imposed on us even in the countryside and on the beach, something so ridiculous that it is embarrassing to remember. Indoors, the mandatory use of masks was also a resounding failure (except for the commission agents), as it did not prevent wave after wave of contagions[6]. What the damned mask did achieve was to create a permanent sensation of danger that turned the other person into a potential health threat, contributing to hypochondria, discord, and isolation.

The nonsense went as far as forcing families who lived together and traveled in the same car to sit separately in a restaurant, remember?

Another example of irrationality was the denial of natural immunization by those who nevertheless glorified experimental gene therapies even before they were developed, a very unscientific act of faith and a glaring contradiction, since passing an infectious disease almost always generates a more powerful and long-lasting natural immune response than vaccination against it[7].  

Perhaps the greatest irrationality was the imposition of the covid passport[8]. The covid vaccines and genetic therapies never prevented the contagion or the transmission of the disease, but the political-media-pharmaceutical complex, with the sole purpose of promoting vaccination and creating the precedent of a population control mechanism and knowing the falsity of the argument, made believe that the vaccinated were protected and unleashed a witch hunt against the unvaccinated, falsely accusing them of propitiating the continuation of the epidemic. Thus, the necessary triad was completed: one fear, one culprit, one savior.  

Although the vaccinated continued to be infected in droves and to die from covid[9], new doses of injections continued to be proposed which not only did not work but caused an unprecedented level of adverse effects[10].  

Finally, those who denounced these contradictions based on data were labeled “negationists” (ad hominem criticism) and their writings were censored. Meanwhile, the medical associations threatened the few courageous physicians who dared to raise their voices in defense of scientific evidence. “Just obey,” was the slogan. All very scientific.

Terror and climate lies

The covid totalitarian experiment has many parallels with the climate religion. It is even probable that its intellectual authors are the same (evil but not very creative), since it is not by chance that the denigratory term “negationist”, chosen to label those who did not agree to swallow the covid lies, is the same term used to criticize those who question the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

What similarities do we find in both mass hysterias? As with covid, climate fanaticism has built a Himalaya of falsehoods for propaganda purposes based on some real premises, such as the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and the slight global warming of 0.14°C per decade since 1979[11]. The data, however, dismantle their favorite slogans, so that the catastrophist litany has become a tiresome reiteration of nonsense: the polar bear population is increasing[12], coral in the Australian Great Barrier Reef is at a 35-year high[13], and the planet’s tree-covered area is growing[14].

Arctic ice, subject to huge seasonal variations and influenced by poorly understood phenomena such as ocean currents, is reversing its previous trend and has been growing for several years: 2021 marked the second year with the most ice since 2003[15]. Moreover, because it floats and already occupies a volume, its melting would not lead to a rise in sea level. Pour an ice cube into a glass of water, wait for it to melt, and check it out.  

Given that Antarctica contains 1,250 times more ice than the Arctic, the ice we should be concerned about is Antarctic, but Antarctica has cooled slightly since 1979, which perhaps explains why it is stable or gaining ice[16]. In fact, in 2021 it experienced the coldest six months ever recorded[17].

The reassuring reality is that whereas ocean levels have risen about 120 meters since the last Ice Age, in the last century have only risen between 1 and 3mm per year[18], a negligible and normal rate for an interglacial epoch.  

Likewise, hurricanes are decreasing in number and intensity at least since 1990[19], the total area burned by forest fires globally has decreased by 25% in the last two decades[20], and “there is still no global evidence regarding the sign of the trend, magnitude and frequency of floods and droughts since the mid-20th century” (IPCC, AR5, WG I, chapter 2.6, p. 214-217).

When future generations study the collective hysterias of the 21st century, they will wonder how the so-called Western “elites” decided to impoverish their population in the name of an eccentric theory by substituting cheap, efficient, and reliable energy sources with others that are expensive, inefficient, and intermittent (aka “renewables”), which only work in certain latitudes, when the sun shines or when the wind blows. Mind-boggling.

Control through fear

The media-political cabal first tells us what we should be afraid of. Then it looks for a culprit: the unvaccinated, the “irresponsible” youth or fossil fuels. Next, it intimidates us through peer pressure and authority figures (the famous “experts”).

Debate is denied, any information that does not coincide with the official lie is censored and those who dare to be skeptical are labeled “negationists”. Evidently, this is not science but the antithesis of science, a dogma of mandatory belief that is not allowed to be discussed and cannot be subjected to the scrutiny of data.

As is well known, the scientific method (or the inference of theories from observed facts) has an inductive part, in which from a limited number of observations we try to extract laws, rules or general principles that allow us to make predictions, and a deductive part in which we apply the general theory and observe whether the actual data validate the hypothesis.

With both covid and climate change the deductive process has failed, so if the process were scientific these hypotheses would have been discarded.

In the case of covid, non-pharmaceutical interventions (confinements, masks, etc.) have not worked: Sweden, which did nothing, has had much lower excess mortality than most countries that did take such measures, including Spain[21], and in the USA, states that did not take any coercive measures (such as South Dakota) have had similar or lower mortality than other states that did adopt them[22]. On the other hand, “vaccines” and gene therapies have not only been ineffective in ending the epidemic but have caused unprecedented adverse side effects (just look at the “unexplained” excess mortality[23]).

In the case of climate change, the general circulation models on whose projections the doomsday predictions are based have been failing for 30 years in their forecasts of an apocalypse that never comes. If this were science, such a dismal predictive record would long ago have disproved the original hypothesis.

An Orwellian reality

In his novel 1984, George Orwell describes a totalitarian dystopia in which an all-powerful and oppressive state tyrannizes the population through mass surveillance and ruthless repression.

An important part of the system is thought control through the perversion of language, so that the real meaning of words is the opposite of their intended meaning. Thus, the Ministry of Love oversees administering punishments and torture, the Ministry of Peace is in charge of achieving a state of perpetual war (perpetual epidemic?), the Ministry of Abundance is in charge of making people live always on the edge of subsistence through harsh rationing (of electricity?) and the Ministry of Truth is in charge of constantly deceiving (through the media?).

Are we living the beginning of this dystopian nightmare? Superstition is called science; censorship, freedom; envy and greed for other people’s goods, solidarity; hysteria, common sense; growing totalitarianism, democracy; those who offer data, “negationists”, and those who deny it, “scientists”; those who apply logical reasoning, “conspiracy paranoids”, but those who repeat the slogan like parrots, exemplary citizens.

Both the Culture of Fear and the decline of reason, which blurs the lines that separate truth from lies, are incompatible with freedom. As Hannah Arendt, a German Jewish philosopher and survivor of Nazism, warns us, “the ideal object of totalitarian domination was not the convinced Nazi or Communist, but the people for whom there was no longer any distinction between fact and fiction, between the true and the false”.

Dear reader: I would like to challenge you directly. When the new totalitarianism arrives, it will find two groups of people. The first, the majority, will be made up of people who are superstitious, enslaved by fear and addictions and corrupted by the promises of the demagogues. They will welcome the new tyrants with cheers, for they will consider them their saviors. The second group, a minority, will be formed by the sentinels of truth and freedom, sober, free, courageous and thoughtful people who will stand up to them. They will constitute the last line of defense, and I ask you: which group will you join?

El Escorial, September 3rd, 2022


[1] Conference delivered at the 2nd School of Leadership and Public Life of CEU-CEFAS.
[2] N. Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, Ed. Atalanta.
[3] An empirical estimate of the infection fatality rate of COVID-19 from the first Italian outbreak (medrxiv.org) and Bulletin of the World Health Organization (nih.gov)
[4] ITCoronavirus.pdf (sanidad.gob.es)
[5] Mental Health and COVID-19: Early evidence of the pandemic’s impact: Scientific brief, 2 March 2022 (who.int)
[6] Do physical measures such as hand-washing or wearing masks stop or slow down the spread of respiratory viruses? | Cochrane and Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers | The Spectator
[7] Frontiers | Will SARS-CoV-2 Infection Elicit Long-Lasting Protective or Sterilising Immunity? Implications for Vaccine Strategies (2020) (frontiersin.org)
[8] Spain’s Supreme Court and covid passport – Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo (fpcs.es)
[9] Actualizacion_585_COVID-19.pdf (sanidad.gob.es)
[10] The law of silence (II) – Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo (fpcs.es)
[11] Latest Global Temps « Roy Spencer, PhD (drroyspencer.com)
[12] The State of the Polar Bear Report 2021 (thegwpf.org)
[13] AIMS_LTMP_Report_on GBR_coral_status_2021_2022_040822F3.pdf
[14] Global land change from 1982 to 2016 | Nature
[15] Arctic Sea Ice Extent Second Highest in 18 Years at the end of 2021, Now Close to 13 million square kilometers, while the Hudson Bay Finally Froze in the Last 2 weeks (severe-weather.eu)
[16] NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses | NASA
[17] Antarctica’s last 6 months were the coldest on record – CNN
[18] Climate Change: Global Sea Level | NOAA Climate.gov
[19] Trends in Global Tropical Cyclone Activity: 1990–2021 – Klotzbach – 2022 – Geophysical Research Letters – Wiley Online Library
[20] A human-driven decline in global burned area | Science
[21] Excess mortality during the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) – Our World in Data
[22] • U.S. COVID death rate by state 2022 | Statista
[23] MoMo (isciii.es)      

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