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Why We Are All Economic & ‘Globalization’ Slaves: The True Reason Behind The 40-Hour Work Week

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(EV via anonhq) Economic slavery, or wage slavery, refers to one’s total and immediate dependence on wages to survive.

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Although people throughout history have had to work to get by, we now live in a culture where we are led to believe we have economic freedom, when unbeknownst to most citizens, we are in fact bound in servitude.

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We automatically accept a 40-hour workweek with meager hourly pay as normal, even though many work overtime and still struggle to survive. There are also those who make enough to live comfortably but are unable to request less hours—you either work 40 hours a week, or you don’t get to work at all. We submit when told what to wear, when we have to arrive and depart, when we’re allowed to eat, and even when we’re allowed to use the restroom. How is it we have come to allow this?

The 40-hour-work week came about during the Industrial Revolution in Britain when at one point workers were putting in 10 to 16 hour days and began to protest. Working situations for Americans began to worsen as well, and by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek. Citizens in both situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily accepted. This system is unnecessary now, if it ever was, but we still accept it due to the effects of our capitalist society.

There are many contributing factors that have led to our current economic system and continued acceptance of the 40-hour workweek, three major factors being consumerism, inflation, and debt. First, it’s important to understand exactly what inflation is, how it works, and how it leads to debt.
Inflation:

To put inflation simply, let’s say the U.S. government needs money for whatever war they’ve decided to wage this year. They ask the Federal Reserve for a loan, and the Fed agrees to buy bonds (sort of like IOU’s) from the government in the amount of the requested loan. The U.S. government then prints up a bunch of pieces of paper that say “Treasury Bond” while at the same time, the Federal Reserve prints up a bunch of little pieces of paper that we know as money. A trade is made between the government and the Federal Reserve—the bonds for the money—and the U.S. government directly deposits this newly printed money in a different bank, which in turn, takes its cut in fees and interest. Voilà, money has been created out of thin air.

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—Find out why we are living in the most important time in our history.

Although this process takes place electronically now (only 3% of money is in physical form, the other 97% exists in computers) the problem either way is that it depletes the worth of the dollar. At one point in time, currency was worth gold. That was what gave money its value, but now the value of money is trusted to the Federal Reserve who has no moral objections to reducing that value by printing more money (basically legal counterfeit). For the cost of printing, the Federal Reserve creates money that the U.S. government has promised to pay back—money that didn’t even exist in the first place.

It works like this with private bank loans to citizens as well. Each time a transaction of this sort happens, it reduces the value of actual currency, and thus we have inflation. One dollar in 1913 required $21.60 in 2007 to match its value. That’s a 96% devaluation since the Federal Reserve came into existence. How does this lead to economic slavery? By the debt inflation has caused.

DEBT:

Since money is created through loans, that means it’s created through debt. Money equals debt, and debt equals money. So the more money there is, the more debt there is, and vice versa. What this means is, if somehow the government and every citizen in debt were able to pay back those loans, there would not be a single dollar in circulation.

Interest plays an important role in this equation as well. When you take out a loan and the bank gives you money that technically doesn’t exist, they also expect you to pay additional interest with it. If the money loaned is coming from the Federal Reserve, where is the money for the interest supposed to come from?

The answer is nowhere.

That means no matter what, the nation will never be able to get out of debt, and that is exactly the purpose of this meticulously orchestrated system. Like a toss of the coin, somebody somewhere will always go bankrupt to make up for the interest that is being paid with even more debt. And so, as the nation sinks further in the hole while the cost of living increases, surviving in the economy becomes more difficult. This desperation to survive, coupled with the fact that we were born into this system, is ultimately what causes us to accept the 40-hour workweek without a moment’s thought.

So now we understand the element that forces us to accept our predicament, but how does the 40-hour workweek benefit banks and corporations? After all, studies show that the average office worker gets less than three hours worth of work done in an 8-hour work shift, and according to reports, US corporate profits are soaring while wages are declining. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that productivity has increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, while hourly pay only increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, and this has been the basic pattern for some time—it adds up after a while. Corporate profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years, so why aren’t we being paid more, working less, and providing additional jobs to those who need them? This brings us to consumerism.

CONSUMERISM:

Consumerism is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services. At one point in time this belief may have rang true, but with the current capitalist system and cost of living, consumerism has begun to have negative effects on our society, especially when you take inflation and the increasing debt into consideration. The more we buy, the more we feed the corporations and banks who are in turn pushing us into economic slavery.

Since the 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution, “consumers” have been spending increasing amounts of money on frivolous purchases. This over-indulgence has been nurtured and fed by the corporations using commercialism (the attitude or actions of people who are influenced too strongly by the desire to earn money or buy goods rather than by other values—Merriam-Webster) as a tool. Psychological insinuations have been planted into society’s subconscious for generations through consumer advertisements which have ultimately led to certain habits and beliefs. Some examples are:

“Buy now pay later” – The General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) started this mindset when it was established in 1919 and began to promote giving loans to people who bought cars. Americans eventually started to use the new credit plans on just about everything.

“Keeping up with the Joneses” – Commonly thought to be the beginning of the American consumer culture, this mindset began when GM introduced the yearly automobile model change. People wanted to have the latest model each year, and soon this idea spread out. Most of us, whether we want to admit it or not, are familiar with this mentality. Rather than keeping our old toaster that works perfectly fine, we want the new retro-style stainless steel model because it looks swanky sitting on our kitchen counter.

“1929-1945 Depression and War” – Soon after The Depression came WWII, during which advertisers promised products to be available when there was peace. As a result, customers (consumers) were eager to take up spending immediately after the war was over.

“Peace” – When the war ended, consumer optimism and economic growth accompanied victory.

“Charge it!” – Credit cards were first promoted through the Diners Club—a charge card company that services affluent and well-traveled individuals from around the world. Other companies followed suit and started advertising credit cards as a “time-saving device” rather than a way to spend money that wasn’t actually there.

“Bigger is better” – During the 1970’s, companies began to send credit cards out by the masses to those who had not requested them. While Americans had already been developing the idea that “bigger is better”, the credit card boom ended up exploiting that idea. Now people had the means to obtain extravagant items they couldn’t before, even though it put many in colossal debt. Congress soon had to regulate the credit card boom, and ban sending cards to those who never requested them in the first place.

Companies in all kinds of industries hold a huge stake in the public’s penchant to be careless with their money, and they encourage this habit of casual or non-essential spending when they can. For example, in the documentary The Corporation, a marketing psychologist discussed a method she used to increase sales that involved encouraging children to nag their parents to buy toys. Studies showed that 20% to 40% of purchases of this sort resulted after children nagged their parents.

“You can manipulate consumers into wanting, and therefore buying, your products. It’s a game.” Lucy Hughes, co-creator of “The Nag Factor”.

The 40-hour workweek is the ultimate tool for corporations to sustain this culture of over-indulgent spending. Under our current working conditions, people are forced to build a life in the evenings and their days-off. We find ourselves more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because we rarely have any free time. When we do have time to ourselves, it’s usually fleeting, and we eventually find ourselves neglecting those activities which are free—walking, exercising, reading, meditating, sports, hobbies, etc.—because they take too much time.

While having extra money comes at the sacrifice of personal time for some, for others they not only are robbed of their personal freedom, but they struggle to make ends meet on top of it. The “perfect” consumer works full-time, earns a fair amount of money, indulges during their free time, and somehow just makes it by each month. However, even those who don’t earn fair wages sometimes find themselves wasting small increments of money on unnecessary items for the wrong reasons—a cup of Starbucks here, a McDonald’s cheeseburger there, and those really cool fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view of your 1993 Honda Civic.

Any way you look at it, we have become an unhappy, mindless, over-worked society. We buy silly items for a few moments of happiness before getting bored and moving on. We feel a need to keep up with fads, or to fulfill our childhood vision of what adulthood would be like. We hide our insecurities, avoid issues, and replace psychological needs with material items. By keeping society’s free time scarce, people will pay more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy.

Keeping America unhealthy has become extremely profitable for big-business, and so far their efforts have paid-off beautifully. Our society has been transformed into an industry fueled by economic slavery, and consumerism is a key factor in this corrupt system—one the people have direct influence over. Consumers are the only ones who can stop consuming.

Sources:

Cain, David. True Activist. Dec 7, 2014. (http://www.trueactivist.com/your-lifestyle-has-already-been-designed-the-real-reason-for-the-forty-hour-workweek/)

Ethos. Dir. Pete McGrain. Cinema Libre Studio, 2011. Documentary

Graph supplied by: (http://economagic.com/)

Jones, Shannon. World Socialist Web Site. Dec 4, 2014. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/04/wage-d04.html)

Mt. Holyoke College Research Study. American Consumerism and the Global Environment. 2009. (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~kelle20m/classweb/wp/index.html)

Zeitgeist: Addendum. Dir. Peter Joseph. GMP LLC, 2008. Documentary.

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Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.

  • Reflect On:

    Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.

In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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New Stanford Study Claims Lockdowns Are Not Effective To Stop Spread of COVID

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Four professors from Stanford School of Medicine have published a paper showing that lockdowns, stay at home orders and business closures are not an effective tool for stopping the spread of COVID. There are many studies claiming the same.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is information, science and evidence that opposes recommendations that governments are making sometimes ridiculed, censored, and largely unacknowledged? Why is scientific debate being discouraged?

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

What Happened: A study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus. Although they do mention that “the data cannot fully exclude the possibility of some benefits” they mention that “even if they exist, these benefits may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures.”

The authors used England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United States for the study. They found “No clear, significant, beneficial” effects of the methods being implemented (lockdowns, business closures, stay at home orders etc) to combat COVID case growth in any country.

You can access the full study here for a deeper discussion/analysis.

This Isn’t The Only Study: The recently published study by the Stanford professors is not the first. There are many examples.

A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes” by Rabail Chaudhry, George Dranitsaris, Talha Mubashir, Justyna Bartoszko, Sheila Riazi. EClinicalMedicine 25 (2020) 100464. “[F]ull lockdowns and wide-spread COVID-19 testing were not associated with reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.”

Was Germany’s Corona Lockdown Necessary?” by Christof Kuhbandner, Stefan Homburg, Harald Walach, Stefan Hockertz. Advance: Sage Preprint, June 23, 2020. “Official data from Germany’s RKI agency suggest strongly that the spread of the coronavirus in Germany receded autonomously, before any interventions became effective. Several reasons for such an autonomous decline have been suggested. One is that differences in host susceptibility and behavior can result in herd immunity at a relatively low prevalence level. Accounting for individual variation in susceptibility or exposure to the coronavirus yields a maximum of 17% to 20% of the population that needs to be infected to reach herd immunity, an estimate that is empirically supported by the cohort of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Another reason is that seasonality may also play an important role in dissipation.”

Comment on Flaxman et al. (2020): The illusory effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe” by Stefan Homburg and Christof Kuhbandner. June 17, 2020. Advance, Sage Pre-Print. “In a recent article, Flaxman et al. allege that non-pharmaceutical interventions imposed by 11 European countries saved millions of lives. We show that their methods involve circular reasoning. The purported effects are pure artefacts, which contradict the data. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.”

Did COVID-19 infections decline before UK lockdown? by Simon N. Wood. Cornell University pre-print, August 8, 2020. “A Bayesian inverse problem approach applied to UK data on COVID-19 deaths and the disease duration distribution suggests that infections were in decline before full UK lockdown (24 March 2020), and that infections in Sweden started to decline only a day or two later. An analysis of UK data using the model of Flaxman et al. (2020, Nature 584) gives the same result under relaxation of its prior assumptions on R.”

 Professor Ben Israel’s Analysis of virus transmission. April 16, 2020. “Some may claim that the decline in the number of additional patients every day is a result of the tight lockdown imposed by the government and health authorities. Examining the data of different countries around the world casts a heavy question mark on the above statement. It turns out that a similar pattern – rapid increase in infections that reaches a peak in the sixth week and declines from the eighth week – is common to all countries in which the disease was discovered, regardless of their response policies: some imposed a severe and immediate lockdown that included not only ‘social distancing’ and banning crowding, but also shutout of economy (like Israel); some ‘ignored’ the infection and continued almost a normal life (such as Taiwan, Korea or Sweden), and some initially adopted a lenient policy but soon reversed to a complete lockdown (such as Italy or the State of New York). Nonetheless, the data shows similar time constants amongst all these countries in regard to the initial rapid growth and the decline of the disease.”

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 in Europe: a quasi-experimental study” by Paul Raymond Hunter, Felipe Colon-Gonzalez, Julii Suzanne Brainard, Steve Rushton. MedRxiv Pre-print May 1, 2020. “The current epidemic of COVID-19 is unparalleled in recent history as are the social distancing interventions that have led to a significant halt on the economic and social life of so many countries. However, there is very little empirical evidence about which social distancing measures have the most impact… From both sets of modelling, we found that closure of education facilities, prohibiting mass gatherings and closure of some non-essential businesses were associated with reduced incidence whereas stay at home orders and closure of all non-businesses was not associated with any independent additional impact.”

Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic” by Thomas Meunier. MedRxiv Pre-print May 1, 2020. “This phenomenological study assesses the impacts of full lockdown strategies applied in Italy, France, Spain and United Kingdom, on the slowdown of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. Comparing the trajectory of the epidemic before and after the lockdown, we find no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, and reproduction number trends. Extrapolating pre-lockdown growth rate trends, we provide estimates of the death toll in the absence of any lockdown policies, and show that these strategies might not have saved any life in western Europe. We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures (as opposed to police-enforced home containment) experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic.”

Lockdowns and Closures vs COVID – 19: COVID Wins” by Surjit S Bhalla, executive director for India of the International Monetary Fund. “For the first time in human history, lockdowns were used as a strategy to counter the virus. While conventional wisdom, to date, has been that lockdowns were successful (ranging from mild to spectacular) we find not one piece of evidence supporting this claim.”

There are dozens upon dozens of examples of published research showing and claiming that lockdown and other non-pharmacological methods for combating COVID have no benefit whatsoever on reducing the spread of the virus, so why are we being forced into these measures?

Below is a video of Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician and epidemiologist (also one of the authors of the study mentioned at the beginning of this article)  where the initiators of the declaration. Together, they created The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration has an impressive list co-signers, and has also now been signed by more than 50,000 doctors and scientists and more than 700,000 concerned citizens, which is pretty impressive given the fact that it’s received no attention from mainstream media.  Follow their twitter account here.

The declaration explains why these health professionals and scientists strongly oppose lockdown measures, and also brings up the topic of herd immunity. In the video below they explain their belief of why there should be a different response to the pandemic.

The Consequences of Lockdown: The consequences of lockdown are many. And we are doing so for a virus with a 99.95 percent survival rate for people under the age of 70, and a 95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70.

In Ontario, Canada, a member of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s caucus is speaking out against his own government’s policies and calling for an end to the province-wide pandemic lockdown.“The lockdown isn’t working,” writes York Centre Progressive Conservative MPP Roman Baber in a letter to Ford.  “It’s causing an avalanche of suicides, overdoses, bankruptcies, divorces and takes an immense toll on our children. Dozens of leading doctors implored you to end the lockdowns.” (source)

A letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

Many experts  who are opposing lockdowns are not advocating for no measures to be taken, instead many of them believe we don’t have to shut down businesses and keep people inside to protect the vulnerable. They advocate for a more focused type of protection, especially in light of all the harms that lockdown measures seem to be creating.

These harms were pondered early on in the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″  has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .

response by Professor David Paton, Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham and Professor Ellen Townsend, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, to an article  published in the the BMJ in November titled “Screening the healthy population for covid-19 is of unknown value, but is being introduced worldwide” states,

Taken together, the data are clear both that national lockdowns are not a necessary condition for Covid-19 infections to decrease and that the Prime Minister was incorrect to suggest to MPs that infections were increasing rapidly in England prior to lockdown and that without national measures, the NHS would be overwhelmed…Lockdowns have never previously been used in response to a pandemic. They have significant and serious consequences for health (including mental health), livelihoods and the economy. Around 21,000 excess deaths during the first UK lockdown were not Covid-19 deaths. These are people who would have lived had there not been a lockdown.

It is well established that the first lockdown had an enormously negative effect on mental health in young people as compared to adults. The more we lockdown, the more we risk the mental health of young people, the greater the likelihood the economy will be destroyed, the greater the ultimate impact on our future health and mental health. Sadly, we know that global economic recession is associated with increased poor mental health and suicide rates.

According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, lockdown and social distancing measures are strongly correlated with an increase in suicidal thoughts, attempts and behaviour.

According to Dr. John Lee, a former Professor of Pathology and NHS consultant pathologist,

Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public…They lead to only economic meltdown, social despair and direct harms to health from other causes…Scientifically, medically and morally lockdowns have no justification in dealing with Covid.

Bhattacharya, MD, PhD wrote an article  for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.” In that points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures.

The media have paid scant attention to the enormous medical and psychological harms from the lockdowns in use to slow the pandemic. Despite the enormous collateral damage lockdowns have caused, EnglandFrance, Germany, Spain and other European countries are all intensifying their lockdowns once again.

By lockdowns, we mean the all-too-familiar shuttered schools and universities, closed playgrounds and parks, silent churches and bankrupt stores and businesses that have become emblematic of American civic life these past months. The relative dearth of reporting on the harms caused by lockdowns is odd, since lives lost from lockdown are no less important than lives lost from COVID infection. But they’ve received much less media attention.

The harms from lockdown have been catastrophic. Consider the psychological harm. Reader, since you’re reading this in lockdown, you can undoubtedly relate to the isolation and loneliness that these policies can cause by shutting down typical channels for social interaction. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in four young adults had seriously considered suicide. Opioid and other drug related deaths are on a sharp and unsurprising upswing.

The burden of these policies falls disproportionately on some of the most vulnerable. For example, isolation led to a 20 percent increase in dementia-related deaths among our elderly population. Moreover, retrospective analysis of the lockdown in the United States shows that patients skipped cancer screenings, childhood immunizationsdiabetes management visits and even treatment for heart attacks.

Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.

Other Strange Happenings: A lot of people are also raising concerns about COVID deaths being marked as COVID when they’re not really a result of COVID. You can read more about that, in detail here.

Concerns have also been raised with regards to PCR testing, you can read more about that in detail here.

Furthermore corruption and conflicts of interest also seem to be a big concern, you can read more about that in detail here.

The Takeaway: Never before have we seen actions taken by Western governments come under such scrutiny from so many people. COVID has really been a catalyst for more people to question what we are doing here on planet Earth, why we live the way we do and why we give so much power to governments that may not have the ability to make the best decisions for us due to a number of different factors.

The suppression and muzzling of scientists, journalists, doctors and people during this pandemic for simply providing information, evidence and opinions that oppose mainstream rhetoric has also forced many more people to question what’s happening here. The shutdown of open scientific debate is quite concerning, and social media platforms have completely banned the accounts of what seems to be thousands of health professionals, journalists and independent media outlets while someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci is given instant virality on television when expressing his views.

Why is it that we fail to have proper conversations about controversial topics and viewpoints? Why do we have to shut them down, ridicule them and ignore them? What’s going on here? Is there a battle to control the perception of the masses when it comes to not only this pandemic, but other topics as well? Why do we continue to listen to and rely on entities that don’t really have our best interests at hand? Is the political realm really a representation of truth? Can it provide us with the answers and advice we are looking for and ones that are actually good for us? Should we give governments such power where they can shut down the planet at will when so many people across the globe disagree? Should people have the freedom to do as they please? Should business closures, isolation, and stay at home orders simply be shifted to recommendations? Should people be able to choose what measures they wish to take and respect the decisions of others who oppose them? When everything is not so black and white as sometimes it is made out to be, I believe freedom of choice should always remain, what do you think? I don’t have the answers, but I do know that asking questions and having discussions is very important.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

Poland Moves To Make Censorship By Facebook, Twitter & Other Big Tech Giants Illegal

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Polish Government has announced that it will be taking steps to make censorship by big tech companies like Facebook and Twitter completely illegal.

  • Reflect On:

    Do these companies really have an interest in removing harmful content, or does their interest lie in removing information, no matter how true, that threatens their interests?

Make sure you follow Collective Evolution on Telegram as we have no idea how much longer we will be on Facebook.

What Happened: The deactivation of Donald Trump’s social media accounts has sparked both praise and outrage across the globe. One fact, however, that remains unacknowledged on such a large scale is the deactivation of thousands of social media accounts which includes many doctors, scientists, journalists and people for sharing information, evidence, science and opinions that go against the grain, so to speak.

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

The Polish government has responded as officials have denounced the deactivation of Trump’s social media accounts and has said that a draft law is now being prepared, in Poland. This law will make it illegal for tech companies to take similar actions there and regulate what information people are able to see and access.

According to Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, “Algorithms or the owners of corporate giants should not decide which views are right and which are not.” He said that there can be “no consent to censorship”, comparing social media companies regulation of information to Poland’s experience during the communist era. He said that “Censorship of free speech, which is the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now returning in the form of a new, commercial mechanism to combat those who think differently.”

Below are his words taken from a recent Facebook Post.

I was born and raised among people from whom freedom was the most valuable value. In Poland we are so attached to freedom because we know what it’s like when someone tried to limit it. For nearly 50 years we lived in a country where censorship was in force; in a country where Big Brother told us how to live, what think and feel – and what to think, say and write…That’s why we look at all attempts to restrict freedom with such anxiety.

One of the synonyms of freedom has always been the Internet for us. The most democratic medium in history, a forum where anyone can speak without embarrassment. A tool that allows every person to really influence reality, to an extent unknown several years ago. Freedom related to the lack of internet regulation has many positive effects. But they are also negative: big, transnational corporations, richer and more powerful than many countries, have gradually begun to dominate it. These corporations have only begun to treat our online activity as a source of profit and strengthening global domination. And also to ensure political correctness the way they like it. And fight those who oppose them.

Recently, we are increasingly dealing with practices that would seem to have gone on in the past. Censoring free speech, the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, returns today in the form of a new commercial mechanism to combat those who think differently

The discussion is about exchanging views, not gagging your mouth. We don’t have to agree with what our opponents write, but we can’t deny anyone from spreading views that are legal.

There is no, and cannot be, consent to censorship….Freedom of speech is the salt of democracy – that’s why we must defend it. Which views are right and which are not, cannot be decided by algorithms or owners of corporate giants.

Poland will always stand guard for democratic values, including freedom of speech. Social media owners cannot operate above the law. That’s why we’ll do everything to determine how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms operate. In Poland, we regulate this with appropriate and national regulations. We will also propose that similar regulations apply throughout the European Union.

Social media must serve us – the public, not the interests of its powerful owners. All people have the right to freedom of speech. Poland will defend this right.

This does not mean Poland has not succumb to the corruption that plagues multiple governments, it seems these days no government is free the burdens of many unethical and immoral actions and measures they take and may impose on the population. This article however, is focusing specifically on censorship. Perhaps this is simply a PR move to “look good.” I don’t know.

It’s great to see censorship on the minds of many and with all of the controversy that has crept into the mainstream, more people are definitely aware of the problem. I would, however, like to emphasize again that it’s not just Donald Trump that’s been subjected to it, it’s thousands of doctors, scientists, journalist and media organizations, like Collective Evolution as well.

We are living in an age where there is a digital authoritarian Orwellian type of “fact-checker” patrolling the internet telling people what is and what isn’t. Should people not have the right to examine information openly and transparently and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?

All of this censorship obviously requires a mass amount of surveillance. It’s no secret that tech companies like Facebook and Amazon, for example, have strong connections to intelligence. If you look at Facebook, Google and Amazon employees for example, there are many who have come from very high positions within the Department of Defense.

Amazon appointed Keith Alexander, director of the NSA under Barack Obama. NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden pointed out in a recent interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald,

He was one of the senior architects of the mass surveillance program that courts have repeatedly now declared to be unlawful and unconstitutional…When you have this kind of incentive from a private industry to maintain the warmest possible relationship with the people in government, who not just buy from you but also have the possibility to end your business or change the way you do business…You now see this kind of soft corruption that happens in a constant way.

In secret, these companies had all agreed to work with the U.S. Government far beyond what the law required of them, and that’s what we’re seeing with this new censorship push is really a new direction in the same dynamic. These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour…

Snowden goes on to explain how people get upset when government tries to set the boundaries of what appropriate speech is by attempting to stop big tech censorship, he then says,

If you’re not comfortable letting the government determine the boundaries of appropriate political speech, why are you begging Mark Zuckerberg to do it?

I think the reality here is…it’s not really about freedom of speech, and it’s not really about protecting people from harm…I think what you see is the internet has become the de facto means of mass communication. That represents influence which represents power, and what we see is we see a whole number of different tribes basically squabbling to try to gain control over this instrument of power.

What we see is an increasing tendency to silence journalists who say things that are in the minority.

I would argue, however, that big tech may not just be censoring “minority” opinions. When it comes to the coronavirus for example, there seems to be, in my opinion, a large majority of doctors, scientists and journalists who are presenting information, science, evidence and opinion that strongly oppose certain measures taken by governments to combat Covid, like lockdowns, for example.  Yet somebody like Dr. Anthony Fauci can go on television anytime he wants and is given the gift of instant virality while other experts in the field with opposing views seem to be completely ignored.

I would argue that the mainstream can make the majority feel like the minority, and the minority feel like the majority.

Final Thoughts: Censorship of information, thoughts, opinions and more can be a tricky subject to debate. At the end of the day, information that should not be censored seems to be censored simply because it threatens various corporate and government initiatives, or because it opposes a narrative that we see within the mainstream media. This is exactly why people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, among many, face difficulty. What does it say about our world when we silence and jail those who expose unethical and immoral actions by those we give the most power to?

This, in my opinion, is just wrong and not something humanity should stand for. Already we’ve seen a massive growth of other social media platforms that don’t work with and engage in big tech censorship, like Telegram, for example, and this doesn’t really come as a surprise. Many people are under the opinion that Facebook or Twitter can do whatever they like because these are private companies, and we the users, choose to use them. That may be true, but at the same time why censor so much information that is clearly not false, but simply because you don’t want people to think that way? What we are seeing today is not censorship of harmful information but rather the continued and concerted effort to control the way people think. The information that is censored is constantly labelled as “misinformation” and “fake news” when again, that’s clearly debatable and in many cases simply not true.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. – Edward Bernay’s, Propaganda 1928

The good news is that censorship measures have exploded and have also acted as a catalyst for more people to question what’s happening on our planet, why, and ask themselves what can we do about it. The number of people asking questions today is more so than ever before, and although sometimes it presents itself and seems like chaos, perhaps we are simply experiencing birthing pains as humanity transitions into a new experience. The more this kind of activity happens, the more our collective eye begins to see our planet in another light. The veil is being lifted.

Right now all of this is simply a reflection of human consciousness, the need to control, the need for power, control and more. Once human consciousness shifts and as it continues to shift, perhaps one day we will have more “conscious corporations.”

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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