"Public Health" Totalitarianism
And the export of a US model of perpetual dominance by technocrats
As long as human bodies are somehow involved in something, anything, one could unscrupulously argue that raises a “public health” issue. Unfortunately, we happen to live in a time of a global crisis in the supply chain of scruples, while myth-making experiences massive inflation, and democracy suffers from its worst recession since WWII. “Public health” is becoming, at least for some, the feel-good varnish for an attempt to secure a new totalitarianism.
If the concept of “public health” was meant to be interpreted so broadly as above, then it would become a useless concept: public health is everything, so it is in fact nothing. Nothing sits outside the boundaries of public health, thus we cannot know what constitute the contents of public health. I very much doubt that the concept, “public health,” was originally intended to be used as an amoeba term. Now “public health” is becoming something else, or something that stands for something else, thus “public health” becomes metaphor, simile, analogy, sophistry.
“Listen to your doctor”. In North America at least, generations of people have been raised with the expectation that their doctor is an expert, one on whom you can rely, a person you can trust. This is perhaps why a “public health approach” has been chosen to address all sorts of non-health issues. It is about command and control by an expert elite, a technocracy. It is about maximum intrusion into every aspect of everyday lives. It is about diminishing if not outright erasing individual rights. And it raises the pitch of public discourse to hysterical levels, when anything and everything can be said to “endanger others”. Those who defy, are ignoring the white coat of truth, virtue, and “safety”.
Exporting the Model
Last week, we saw how in Trinidad & Tobago the step was taken by the government to declare a “public health emergency”—and no disease was involved. The focus was “crime,” meaning the “crime” of a particular class of people, lower down the social pyramid. We wondered about the origins of this approach. The prime minister made these announcements after spending weeks in the US, and meeting with Biden advisers.
We might now be getting a clearer picture as to the origins of Trinidad’s public health approach to crime. The US is exporting its model of “public health” totalitarianism to dependent regimes overseas. In the past year, the government has furnished Trinidad as a dumping ground for the unwanted and expired “vaccines” of countries such as the US, Canada, and recently Spain. It is now a dumping site for all sorts of other harmful waste: Planned Parenthood has just set up shop in Trinidad as well—with the organization defending the notion that abortion is to be defined as “reproductive health,” while spreading other products of US identity politics.
In 2021, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky declared gun violence a “serious public health threat”. (Keep in mind that there is no such thing as “gun violence,” only violence. Guns, if this needs to be recalled, have no agency.) Before Walensky, Joe Biden said the country was facing “a gun violence public health epidemic”—as if this alleged “gun violence” could “spread” and “infect” bodies. It was following that when Walensky declared: “I swore to the President and to this country that I would protect your health. This is clearly one of those moments, one of those issues that is harming America’s health”.
In 1997, Congress ended funding for the CDC to research “gun violence”. It was resumed in 2018, by Donald Trump.
Then, following partisan doctors who conveniently went against their own confinement and distancing dictates and supported mass congregations for Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020, in 2021 Walensky continued to expand the domain of “public health” to include “racism” (guns and race being two of the most salient American obsessions). “What we know is this: Racism is a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans,” Walensky said, “as a result, it affects the health of our entire nation.”
This model of command and control has now been exported to a Biden-friendly regime in the Caribbean. Let’s see where else it ends up, and how much more social, political, economic, and cultural territory it consumes.
Thus far, however, the approach seems to have little to show for itself, and “the science” backing it up is in tatters.
“The Science” is Partisan Rubbish
In the process of trying to provide “scientific” legitimation for the US gun control agenda, and American attempts to frame homicide as a public health issue (the well from which Trinidad now drinks its poison), “the science” itself has come under fire and the result is massive damage to its reputation and credibility. Sound familiar?
In this article we read of Don Kates and two other gun policy scholars who noted in a 1997 Reason cover story, that the studies funded by the CDC “were controversial precisely because they seemed designed to promote a political cause”.
“Contrary to [the] picture of dispassionate scientists under assault by the Neanderthal NRA and its know-nothing allies in Congress, serious scholars have been criticizing the CDC’s ‘public health’ approach to gun research for years,” noted Kates and company. They described some of that criticism:
In a presentation at the American Society of Criminology’s 1994 meeting, for example, University of Illinois sociologist David Bordua and epidemiologist David Cowan called the public health literature on guns “advocacy based on political beliefs rather than scientific fact.” Bordua and Cowan noted that The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, the main outlets for CDC-funded studies of firearms, are consistent supporters of strict gun control. They found that “reports with findings not supporting the position of the journal are rarely cited,” “little is cited from the criminological or sociological field,” and the articles that are cited “are almost always by medical or public health researchers.”
Further, Bordua and Cowan said, “assumptions are presented as fact: that there is a causal association between gun ownership and the risk of violence, that this association is consistent across all demographic categories, and that additional legislation will reduce the prevalence of firearms and consequently reduce the incidence of violence.” They concluded that “incestuous and selective literature citations may be acceptable for political tracts, but they introduce an artificial bias into scientific publications. Stating as fact associations which may be demonstrably false is not just unscientific, it is unprincipled.” In a 1994 presentation to the Western Economics Association, State University of New York at Buffalo criminologist Lawrence Southwick compared public health firearm studies to popular articles produced by the gun lobby: “Generally the level of analysis done on each side is of a low quality. The papers published in the medical literature (which are uniformly anti-gun) are particularly poor science”.
It is still too early to predict exactly where the Trinidadian regime will take its “public approach to crime” and what shapes it might take. But clearly, and almost explicitly in the prime minister’s own words, the US is investing in the project. That Planned Parenthood sets up a de facto embassy in Trinidad at the very same time, is no mere coincidence. If “the family” has already been pinpointed as the origin of “crime” in Trinidad, then there are few organizations better qualified than the International Planned Parenthood Foundation for penetrating family life and breaking up the cycle of human reproduction.
Since this article was posted, I have encountered two documents that help to explain the configuration of actors and interests vested in the “battle” against “crime” in the Caribbean. The United Nations and USAID stand out as two of the most prominent. See the articles, which are also archived below.
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Listening shouldn't be an act of obedience.
In the last few years, I was directing my GP. I take advice and know when to defer. But to just blindly listen to authority is foolish and dangerous.
One of the difficulties of our current plight is untangling just WHO is doing what. The term "US is exporting" is no doubt accurate on some level - in describing the front end of funding streams, diplomatic and academic contacts, etc. But is the "US" really more of a broker, a convenient cut-out for entities who are developing programs and agendas? I refer of course to that nebulous "international community" of NGOs, multinational firms, "partnerships", and individuals (Gates et al) all of whom operate quite outside of any political accountability anchored to any sovereign state.
By the way, I don't think you have mentioned: is Trinidad currently in some sort of "State of Emergency" (of "exception" if you read Agamben) ? The US regime just extended that here; and this time, as I understand, did not stipulate an expiry date.