Nuremberg, Covid, and Anthropology: Never Again
The silence is final. It's over for anthropology. We are now in the time of Zero Anthropology.
This is an extract from a larger article. It is rare that I will use this platform for this purpose, but the occasion warrants and necessitates it:
First and foremost, the right to informed consent stands out as the critical ethical point of Nuremberg. Some have laboured away at trying to force understanding of informed consent as conditional upon the performance of experimentation—and thus cannot be applied to mandatory “vaccination” in the present (“because the vaccines are not experimental”). This is both false and illogical. It is illogical because anthropological fieldworkers do not engage in medical experimentation as such, and yet the Nuremberg-derived principle of informed consent still applies. Nobody in Anthropology argues that “informed consent” does not apply because what we do is not experimental. The assertion is also based on a plain, easily disproven falsehood: that the gene therapies are not experimental. The most basic definition of “experimental” involves the trial of a new product which has not yet been finalized. The mRNA gene therapies that are the subject of “vaccine” mandates in North America and elsewhere, are currently undergoing Phase 3 human trials—and those trials do not end until next year. Indeed, the FDA itself indicated that Pfizer had yet to complete 13 safety trials, some of which do not end until 2025. These trial products are thus only authorized for “emergency use” (which inevitably brings up debate about the real nature of this “emergency” and whether the term is warranted).
As I have already pointed out elsewhere, we are dealing with experimental gene therapies that are not vaccines: “First, because the CDC changed its definition of ‘vaccines’ in August of 2021, to accommodate the new products developed for the market, which did not meet the previous CDC definition of ‘vaccine’. Second, because these are called gene therapies in the pharmaceutical industry itself; by the FDA they are formally referred to as investigational new drugs; in the legal arena, they are classed as prototypes by Pfizer itself. Note also that ‘emergency use’ investigational new drugs are defined by the FDA itself as ‘experimental’. We can thus call these products experimental gene therapies to be brief, all complaints notwithstanding.
I do not even need to go into the volumes of publications that have established serious problems with the safety trials conducted by Pfizer and Moderna (they are not conducted by any independent medical review agency), and the large and still growing evidence of injuries, as well as the failure of the products to achieve even their most minimal of promised tasks (and, no, they were never tested for preventing hospitalizations or deaths). My worry here is much narrower and more specific.
Where have anthropologists stood when it came to the violation of everyone’s informed consent, including their own? If bodily autonomy is to mean nothing, what does it then mean to be human? This cuts to the very core of the purpose of their mission.
Anthropologists—given their resounding silence—have possibly been deceived by all the talk about “safe and effective,” “experimental,” “unsafe and inadequate,” etc., and may have forgotten that the basic principle that should concern them is that of free, voluntary, and prior informed consent.
Anthropologists Had Every Reason to be Concerned
Anthropologists had every reason to be concerned when they witnessed their own universities mandating injection, requiring personal disclosure of private medical information, in an effort to clearly scare and/or blackmail students, staff, and faculty into taking these shots lest they be expelled, suspended, or fired. Everything about that should have sounded deafening alarm bells that something was wrong, very wrong.
They should have been equally alarmed about what was happening across their society, across a wide array of occupations, professions, and social settings. Locking down, “until a vaccine is ready,” already implied that the shots would be made mandatory: “because the only way we get back to normal is if everyone gets vaccinated”. This was the common refrain repeated ad nauseam from officials around the world. The implied threat, the blackmail, and the extortion were baked in from the outset. No shots? Lockdowns continue, or perhaps the lockdowns are narrowed down like a fence around a particular group of persons—the “unvaccinated”—who faced restrictions on mobility, and who were denied the right to access education, the right to work, the right to unemployment assistance, and in some countries were also denied the right to medical care, and to top it all off, were subject to fines and detention. The “unvaccinated” were thus all placed in a virtual camp. In Canada, some discriminatory measures remain in place. Never in our lifetimes have we witnessed a designated category of human beings being treated in such a manner. Never in our universities have we witnessed students physically dragged out of classrooms, by police, in front of the professor and other students, because of that student’s health status.
Anthropologists could have been worried not just by the level of coercion, that deprived consent given freely and voluntarily, but they could have also grown shocked by the denial of information necessary for making an informed decision. They should have been perplexed at the level of censorship, specifically directed against doctors and nurses around the world, with tens of millions of videos and posts deleted, and accounts terminated. They would have noted that the very premise of censorship is a denial of information. They should have been outraged to see segregation practiced right in front of their very eyes, and done in their name. They might have grown worried when the absolute affirmations from medical authorities began to fracture and crumble—whether it was Fauci asserting that “vaccinated” people become “dead ends” for the virus; that “vaccination” builds a “brick wall” against Covid-19; that the “vaccines” would give us “herd immunity”; or then, sure, “breakthrough infections” are a statistical probability, but hey come on now. Anthropology professors and students might have asked questions, when after the second, third, fourth, and maybe the fifth jab, and after all the masking, they still got infected and got sick. And besides, who here can list the known long-term effects of the mRNA shots? Anyone? No: because it was neither informed nor was it consent.
One point that I failed to make is an important one: one could be ferociously PRO-VAX…and still be disturbed at the violation of informed consent. The right to informed consent is not dependent upon one’s stance on vaxxes.
The reason this article looks through the prism of one’s position on the non-vaccines is that it was made fundamental to the entire process of denying people their basic rights. Thus what people think about the nature and value of the non-vaccines occupies centre stage–but that need not be the case.
The main point is that campuses, all campuses, our campuses have become the central loci for a massive and egregious violation of human rights. Yes, that just happened, we just experienced it, and in many cases it is ongoing. How do academics let that happen?
We anthropologists, not to mention ethics review boards in our universities, will twist ourselves into tight little knots about how, why, when, and where we can ask questions. In that case, informed consent rules supreme. However, demand that people inject a foreign substance into their bodies, which in most cases they do not need, which has unknown long-term effects, and has damaged/killed some in the short-term–and informed consent was dismissed as if it were a nutty, goofball concept, like the “crazy conspiracy theory” that was alleged to be natural immunity (until your CDC confirmed on Aug. 11, 2022, that, no, natural immunity is real and one should not differentiate between the vaxxed and un-vaxxed). And supposedly serious, accomplished professionals presided over and witnessed all of this. At the very least, don’t you feel ashamed? Don’t you feel a little dirty about it all?
We anthropologists will become rightly consumed with concern about medical testing and forced injection of Indigenous populations. Now because the majority is under direct assault, you suspend all your previous questions, concerns, and criticisms? These vaxxes have a much more powerful effect than we could have imagined, not least of which are psychological, cultural, cognitive, and ethical effects.
Our universities, whether in the US, and certainly in Quebec, also have mandatory training concerning sexual harassment. In those modules, CONSENT figures prominently. But non-consent is permitted to be accompanied with damaging, negative repercussions when it comes to making a medical choice? Again, for the overwhelming majority on campus, the anti-Covid shots are totally unnecessary. Most do not meet the profile of the high-risk categories, i.e., age beyond average life expectancy PLUS several comorbidities.
Indeed, in the past 2.5 years, not a single student in any of my classes was hospitalized for Covid, before the shots were rolled out. After, I had one student contact me from her hospital room to inform me that she was in ICU with serious heart inflammation, within 24 hours of her mRNA shot. Please do not talk about “risk-benefit” as if it favours the shots, and as if that is even remotely relevant to informed consent.
Some anthropologists like to tell their prospective research hosts that the benefits of participation in the research project is that it will help advance understanding of humanity. That sounds pretty damn vital! Does it entitle the anthropologist to violate informed consent? Absolutely not.
Please, wake up now.
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I grabbed the long version for print out and later reading; and now I know a bit more about you.
"Anthropologists could have ...." - ah! - you must find this really quite devastating on a personal level - to see how your discipline revealed itself to be such tools of the Rulers (after all). I did graduate work in sociology at a Canadian university - probably when you were in elementary school - and the anthropologists were totally bad ass - take-no-prisoners anti colonialists an on and on - they hated the sociologists (probably not too strong a term!). So what happened between then and now?!
And it happened everywhere to everyone to every discipline. I recall, right at the beginning, March 2020, Giogio Agamben taking a principled stand against the Covid Operation. He was ready; he had been writing about states of exception for nearly two decades. You are no doubt aware of him - I think have seen echos of that concept here.
And so I waited for some ground swell of push back and opposition from the Universities but only watched them shut down and then rush to mandate - everything! -masks to vax.
So, there's Agamben (from whom I haven't seen recent work ) - and .... well, you! - there must be some others. Presumably your colleagues at Zero Anthropology among them
Agamben is 80 and looked fairly frail in 2020. You have more time - and much more work ahead of you - good luck!
Great piece on ZA, Max. I'll try to share it around. Betrayal seems to be a rather large theme these days, doesn't it? It seems that the Ivory Towers of Academia we once new and loved(?) have thrown their lot in with unmitigated ambient evil and morphed in to Towers of Babble.
Can't help but remind myself of this lyric from the late Leonard Cohen:
And up through the system the worlds are withdrawn
From every dominion the mind stood upon
And now that it's over and now that it's done
The name has no number, not even the one
LC~ It's Torn