20 September 2021 | Draft
There is clearly a major global consensus by authorities on the strategy of universal vaccination as the primary response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is justified by them in the light of interpretations of available evidence and modelling with regard to herd immunity -- for which there is necessarily no hard evidence in the current case.
It has already become apparent that, even when fully vaccinated as required, people remain vulnerable to new variants of the virus and as agents of its transmission (Noga Tarnopolsky, Ultra-Vaxxed Israel’s Crisis Is a Dire Warning to America, Yahoo News, 24 August 2021; Sara Middleton, The COVID shot is a complete failure, according to scientific data, NaturalHealth365, 10 September 2021; Helen Sullivan, Singapore reports biggest spike in Covid cases in a year despite 81% vaccination rate, The Guardian, 15 September 2015; Joshua Cohen, Among Fully Vaccinated, Breakthrough Covid-19 Infections Are More Common Than Previously Thought: Does It Matter? Forbes, 22 July 2021; Julie Steenhuysen, US data show rising ‘breakthrough’ infections among fully vaccinated, Reuters , 25 August 2021; Robert Hart, Covid Surges in 4 of 5 Most Vaccinated Countries: here’s why the U.S. should worry, Forbes, 11 May 2021).
Another indication of probable future failure is the expressed concern at the waning effectiveness of vaccines (Is Vaccine Immunity Waning? The New York Times, 30 August 2021; New CDC studies point to waning immunity from vaccines, Politico, 24 August 2021; Covid infection protection waning in double jabbed, BBC News, 25 August 2021; Experts show waning effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines over time, News Medical Net, 1 September 2021). This frames the question as to the requisite frequency of booster shots -- yearly, quarterly, or more frequently? (Breakthrough infections and booster shots: what you need to know, The Guardian, 21 August 2021).
Such difficulties have been compounded by the lack of attention by health authorities and the media accorded to uncertainities regarding use of the PCR test and its capacity to detect COVID-19 "cases" on which strategic modelling has been so dependent. This had resulted in new guidance from WHO and an announced cessation of that method by CDC (Marco Cáceres, WHO Issues New Guidance for Determining PCR Test Results, The Vaccine Reaction, 21 February 2021; CDC ends PCR testing for Covid due to it being useless, Nexus, 21 July 2021).
It remains unclear whether the vaccines will be adequate to contain the future evolution of the pandemic -- despite unquestionable formal assertions by authorities of a return to normality following comprehensive vaccination, whether 70%, 80%, 90%, or complete. The degree of commitment to the strategy has nevertheless been emphasized by the executive order of the President of the USA in September 2021 mandating the vaccination of 100 million American employees -- irrespective of their wishes in that matter (Biden announces new vaccine mandates that could cover 100 million Americans, CNN, 10 September 2021). Other countries are expected to follow that example.
In this context it is therefore prudent -- according to the Precautionary Principle -- to explore the possible future need of authorities for an "exit strategy" from the global commitment to universal vaccination. Such an exploration calls for recognition of the role in the popular imagination of the unprecedented global consensus enabled by authorities and the credibility that it has evoked.
Such imaginings could be understood as having acquired mythical proportions, as indicated by a degree of acceptance of vaccination as a panacea and a "silver bullet" through which the terrifying virus could be eradicated. This is matched by a promised return to normality as a "light at the end of a tunnel", as discussed separately (Enabling the "New Normal" through "Renormalization", 2021). The quest for the ultimate vaccine in response to viral threat is even reminiscent of the mythical quest for an "elixir of immortality" (India frets over wastage of 'elixir-like' Covid-19 vaccines, Reuters, 18 March 2021)
Other than widely disseminated imaginative depictions of the form of the virus, missing from public discourse are images indicative of the significance of both universal vaccination and of the desired normality to which return is promised. Both are presented verbally, typically in the form of text, possibly enhanced by challenging statistics. The mainstream narrative merits enrichment by imagery with which people can engage. Presentation of such experimental images is the purpose of the following argument.
Evoking imaginative engagement is a means of preparing people for other ways of responding to unforeseen risks in the event of failure (Engendering 2052 through Re-imagining the Present, 2012). Arguably the future may come to deplore the extent to which, in strategic terms, authorities have placed "all their eggs in one basket", rather than spreading the risk between complementary strategies in response to the pandemic. This unquestioned tendency has been only too evident in the catastrophic failure of the costly intervention in Afghanistan over a period of two decades.
The problematic consequences are compounded, as is only too evident in the case of vaccination, by ever increasing suppression of alternative perspectives and their systematic condemnation as misinformation. Even when presented by medical professionals, these are either ignored or deliberately conflated with dangerous misinformation (130+ UK Doctors: Failed COVID Policies Caused ‘Massive’ Harm, Especially to Children The Defender, 27 August 2021). For example, the latter highlights:
Ironically, a challenge for authorities in the quest for any exit strategy from universal vaccination is that the greater the suppression, and the greater the percentage of the population forcibly vaccinated, the fewer will be the pool of people that can be upheld as blameworthy in the event of any strategic failure. Curiously this challenge is not acknowledged in the current modelling of the pandemic (Misleading Modelling of Global Crises: unquestioned bias in authoritative representations of reality by science? 2021).
The argument concludes with consideration of the envisaged need for a Nuremberg-style trial to clarify the legal question as to whether mandatory universal vaccination with experimental vaccines is in violation of the Nuremberg Code (1947) -- as variously claimed and vigorously denied. Potentially understood as a memetic disease, consideration is also given to the possible need for corrective deprogramming of those infected by a memetic virus which has semingly mutated from other variants in the past. In that sense deprogramming can be recognized as having been deployed under other names, including deradicalisation, re-education, and denazification.
Will anything be learned from the questionable preoccupation with exit strategies from Afghanistan or Iraq -- or with dependence on non-renewable resources?
Rather than the primary focus on the "exit strategy" of the instigators of "universal vaccination", this argument may also be explored in terms of the "escape strategy" for those exposed to their "universal indoctrination".
Whilst they may reflect individual perceptions of vaccination requirements, the following caricatures are clearly inadequate to collective imagination of universal vaccination, as discussed separately (Jabbercovid from the Jabberplex: in celebration of the jabber strategy ensuring a jab-for-all as a global panacea, 2020). Reference to the hunt for Lewis Carroll's nonsense beast, the Jabberwock, does however offer a means of framing other virtual wars based on flimsy evidence, as argued by Binoy Kampmark with respect to the Global War on Terrorism -- known as the GWOT (The Messianic Failure: Pursuing the GWOT Jabberwock, Australian Independent Media Network, 11 September 2021).
|Speculative representations of Jabbercovid
|Adapted from the original illustration of the Jabberwocky by John Tenniel (1871)||Produced by David Avocado Wolfe of Memedrops|
Since the strategic response to the pandemic has been framed by many authorities as a "war" -- to the point of invoking wartime emergency measures -- it is appropriate to consider how extraordinary warfare has been framed in the popular imagination following the The War of the Worlds (1897) by H. G. Wells, and to its many subsequent adaptations.
Authorities could, for example, now be seen as having effectively positioned themselves like the extraterrestrial Daleks of science fiction (below left). The Daleks appeared in the UK TV science fiction series Dr Who from 1963. Their simplistic response to opponents -- Exterminate -- entered popular culture over subsequent decades. With the call of authoritarian science to repress all arguments which contradict its own in mainstream discourse, there is a delightful irony to the degree to which that is coming to resemble the call to exterminate.
By contrast, given its role in the popular imagination, it is appropriate to ask whether the Death Star (a galactic superweapon featuring in the Star Wars space-series since 1977) is indicative of imagery of value to depiction of universal vaccination. Since its first appearance, the Death Star has become a cultural icon. As the images below suggest, it could well be imagined that the primary weapon of the Death Star was inspired by the design of that of the Daleks -- as well as bearing a degree of resemblance to the vaccination needle.
|Images of extraterrestrial weapons from science fiction|
|Dalek from Dr Who
|Death Star of Star Wars|
|Prototype||As featured in films|
|Adapted from Wikipedia||Reproduced from Starwars Fandom Wookieepedia||Reproduced from Wikipedia|
|Imaginative animations of universal vaccination on Earth|
The Star Wars mythology has the Galactic Empire as constructor of the Death Star to eradicate all opposition to its hegemony. The opposition in the form form of the Rebel Alliance takes advantage of the one weakness of the Death Star. This is an exhaust port which, when hit with a precise shot, triggers a chain reaction throughout the station's entire infrastructure. Asserted to be a fundamental threat to the "Empire", are the "unvaccinated" thereby framed as the "Rebel Alliance"?
Living with terrorism? A primary strategy of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has focused over two decades on the eradication of terrorism. This is a concept central to a variety of other virtual wars -- and presumably to be recognized in relation to global warming (Eradication as the Strategic Final Solution of the 21st Century? 2014; Review of the Range of Virtual Wars: strategic comparison with the global war against terrorism, 2005).
The defeat of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, constitutes a total reversal for that strategy which will be a focus for historical analysis in many decades to come (Anurag Roushan, US, NATO Allies Back To Square One In Afghanistan After The Taliban's Takeover: IFFRAS, Republic World, 8 September 2021). The supreme irony is the current obligation to find ways of engaging with the Taliban, long upheld as the exemplification of terrorism (America should engage with the Taliban, very cautiously, The Economist, 4 September 2021; How should Europe engage with the Taliban? RFI. 25 August 2021; UN chief underlines importance of engaging Taliban, aiding Afghans, Xinhua, Asian News, 12 September 2021)
Living with COVID? In the same period, curiously, this radical shift in strategy with respect to terrorism may be compared with that from the preceding "COVID zero" eradication strategy:
The shift has been articulated in terms of various understandings of "living with COVID" or "living with the virus" -- previously framed as strategic anathema. It has necessarily evoked controversy (The Great Divide over living with the virus, Financial Times, 3 September 2021; New Zealand not willing to risk UK-style ‘live with Covid’ policy, says Jacinda Ardern, The Guardian, 7 July 2021; Coronavirus: Living With COVID in Europe vs. America, American Council on Science and Health, 26 August 2020). For some this is currently framed as dependent on a achieving a percentage of universal vaccination (Stephen Duckett, et al, Race to 80: our best shot at living with COVID, Grattan Institute, 29 July 2021).
Any strategy of "living with the virus" is increasingly related to the challenges of "long COVID" (Top expert warns that Long COVID is America’s next big health crisis, Diabetes, 20 May 2021). The mental health implications are now well recognized (Depression triples in US adults amid COVID-19 stressors, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, 3 September 2020; Alisha Arora, et al, Understanding coronaphobia, Asian Journal of Psychiatry, December 2020).
Living with criminality? Understood in terms of percentages, this could then be understood as raising the question as to what percentage of corruption or criminality is tolerable in a society -- given the ineffectual attempts at their eradication? This in turn raises the question of what percentage of injustice and domestic violence is tolerable -- to whatever extent it is vigorously asserted to be "unacceptable"? How does society "confront its demons" and "come to terms with them"?
Living with "evil"? The question is then what credible imagery is available to articulate how the "angelic" forces opposing threats to their understanding of global civilization might be appropriately arrayed against the "demonic" forces held to be destructive of that civilization. One major difficulty is the questionable manner in which those exemplifying "evil" are detected -- and by whom. Not infrequently opponents in political discourse label each other as "evil" --d despite their obvious need to collaborate in some manner. The challenge can be variously articulated:
|Existence of evil as authoritatively claimed to be an overriding strategic concern
Framing by others of claimants of evil as evil
Epistemological and definitional challenges to profiling evil
Adapting a proven problem profiling methodology to profiling of evil
|Employing a problem profile as a template for an evil profile
Evil loops and sigils as a pattern language
Engaging fruitfully with deadly opposition and fear of transformation
Angelic and demonic forces? One exercise in presenting the array of such opposing forces has been developed and discussed separately (Engaging with Hyperreality through Demonique and Angelique? Mnemonic clues to global governance from mathematical theology and hyperbolic tessellation, 2016; Reframing the Righteousness Enabling Repetition of the Titanic Disaster: comprehension of 144 Distinctions -- Mahjong as "Angels" versus "Demons", 2020). Part of the confusion lies in the manner in which those claimed to be "of darkness" by some may perceive themselves to be "of light" -- whilst perceiving those "of light" to be "of darkness". There is no lack of misinformation in this dynamic.
These exercises have the advantage of employing a traditional distinction between 72 angelic forces and 72 demonic forces -- an articulation much greater than in many conventional sets of distinctions of either (in which conflation and confusion is common). As metaphors of strategic and problematic modalities, they offer further clarification in the light of the preoccupations of mathematical theology (Mathematical theology as source of mnemonic clues to global comprehension, 2016).
Of particular interest are the mathematical reframings cited there of Peter Collins (Angels on a Pinhead -- qualitative numbers: transfinite, 1994). In clarifying the relation between angelic and demonic forms, the latter notes:
I mentioned before that the angel hierarchies essentially deal -- in reduced form -- with the transcendentual aspect of spiritual development. The highest of these hierarcbies relates to transfinite reality. Likewise the matbematical system of number -- which mirrors the logic of the angelic system -- also leads to transfinite numbers as its highest "hierarchy" dealing -- again in reduced form -- with the transcendent aspect of transfinite numbers. In dealing with angcls I suggeskd that they rcpresentcd essentially (unconscious) projections. Thus something inherently intuitive and subjective could be appropriated in objective rational fomst. This particularly applies to the highest hierarchy of angels. It is precisely the same in relation to transfinite numbers. They represent most clearly that aspect of number which is most intuitive and subjective projected outwardly so as to be appropriateded in rational fashion. As we have seen angels are not really separate beings at all, but rather represent the infinite potential inherent in all personalities.
Such arguments help to clarify confusion between any finite strategic plan and the challenge to human values from a transfinite perspective -- framed otherwise through mathematical theology (Adhering to God's Plan in a Global Society: serious problems framed by the Pope from a transfinite perspective, 2014; Is the World View of a Holy Father Necessarily Full of Holes? Mysterious theological black holes engendering global crises, 2014).
Iconography of angels and demons: In the quest for suitable imagery, there is a strong case for having recourse to the extensive iconography of angels and demons in many cultures over centuries -- to which reference continues to be made. Both have of course changed with respect to what they may represent although correspondences can be found.
One of the advantages of that iconography is past efforts at its documentation and organization. These could be exploited to frame the current strategic challenge of the engagement of the "forces of light" with the "forces of the darkness" -- recognizing that both labels tend to be questioned (Susantha Goonatilake, Toward a Global Science: mining civilizational knowledge, 1999).
A previous exercise explored a speculative mapping of 72-foldness -- provoked by an estimate of the number of protein spikes on the virus COVID-19 (Spike-endowed Global Civilization as COVID-19, 2020; Mutual entanglement of two patterns of 72-foldness? 2020). Benefitting from the traditional iconography of 72 angels and 72 demons, this gave rise to the following two mappings of 72-foldness, attaching spike-style labels to each vertex. It is curious to note that this pattern of 72-foldness was of significance to the early Egyptian and Roman civilizations as an organization of the constellations of stars.
|Indication in 3D of the dynamic nature of a "hyperdimensional" crown-corona|
|3D Configuration of "positive forces " as 72 "Angel names"||3D Configuration of "negative forces " as 72 "Demonic sigils"|
With the focus in this argument on a richer pattern of 144-foldnes, these frame the question as to how the two different mappings might be interrelated together. How can they be entangled in "battle formation" -- mapped in a pattern of 144 -- given the constraints indicated in the previous section. This would clearly be indicative of the dynamics of their relationship.
|Indication in 2D of the dynamic nature of a "hyperdimensional" interaction between radically distinctive forces
Alternative experimental configurations alternating between the 72 "angels" and 72 "demons"
|Animation of 8 sets of 9
(enlargements for detail: angels / demons)
|Animation of 9 sets of 8
(enlargements for detail: angels / demons)
|The allocation of sets to the star "tables" in the schematics is based on the tabular form in which the 72 angel names (from the Shemhamphorasch) and the 72 demonic sigils (from the Ars Goetia) are typically presented. See other presentations in the Wikipedia List of demons in the Ars Goetia (with comments on differences in variations between sources) and in The Demonic Paradise Wiki
|The rows of a more traditional schematic presented "around the tables", and the columns are presented "around the tables" in the other. The sequence around the tables is questionable, demanding further consideration.|
Curiously it is only the game of Mahjong that challenges players with 144 distinctions. The tiles by which they are depicted could then be mapped onto a spherical form to suggest visually the nature of the challenge of living with the opposition, as presented and discussed separately, and reproduced below (Mapping options for 144 distinctive features of a dynamic global system, 2020). A specific concern was integration of "problematic" forces (Systemic recognition of the "cognitive underworld" -- integrating the "netherworld", 2020).
|Attribution of two sets of Mahjong tiles to 6-Frequency Octahedral Geodesic Sphere
(showing different possible attributions by octant on 288 faces)
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
The exercise with the Mahjong tiles can be repeated (as shown below) using traditional indications of the "angelic" names and "demonic" sigils (as shown above). In the light of the clarification above in terms of the organization of global experience into octants, the design options in the animations distinguish variously between "upper" and "lower" hemispheres -- each divided into quadrants. In an "upper" hemisphere, as characteristic of overt discourse, the lighter variants are located, namely 36 per quadrant. In the "lower" hemisphere, use is made of distinctive of alternatives, notably with a dark background. Clearly the choice of attribution enables contrasting narratives to be illustrated.
|Attribution of two sets of symbols of "angels" and "demons" on a 6-Frequency Octahedral Geodesic Sphere
(showing different possible attributions by octant on 288 faces)
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
In an effort to offer a sense of the dynamics that any future mapping of systemic functional significance might embody (as with wind and ocean current maps), there is a case for illustrating the challenge of connectivity by provocative experiments with various sets of logos (as depictions of "angelic forces", in their own terms) -- in the light of any "dance of the demons". As presented separately, and reproduced below, those of the US Intelligence Community number 16, the UN SDGs are 16 in number (plus a 17th coordinating goal, excluded here), and those of the UN Agencies are approximately 16 in number, some with a variety of exceptional types of relationship to the UN (Governance via paradoxical transformation of global mapping dynamics, 2020).
|Dynamics of patterns that connect -- "angelic forces" -- framed by sets of logos?|
|US Intelligence Community||UN Sustainable Development Goals||UN Specialized Agencies (selection)|
|Individual logos reproduced from Wikipedia|
With respect to the US Intelligence Community, one related possibility of more complex mapping was addressed separately -- in the light of the NATO logo (Envisaging NATO Otherwise -- in 3D and 4D? Potentially hidden faces of global strategy highlighted through polyhedra, 2017). Consideration of a future "great game" was explored in terms of the quest of a meta-pattern of transactional games (Playing the Great Game with Intelligence: authority versus the people, 2013).
"Positive" and "Negative" -- "living together"? The challenge of "living with the enemy", now foreseen as the developement of the human relation to the viral challenge, is usefully explored in the light of current promotion of the "positive" at all costs. Universal vaccination can be understood in that light -- as perceived by many. Thus any implied criticism is necessarily "negative" -- to be condemned and suppressed by every means possible.
The major difficulty, as with angels and demons, is that one group's angels tend to be framed in demonic terms by any strategic opponent -- and the perception os reciprocated. The challenge has been explicitly framed by Edward de Bono (I Am Right, You Are Wrong: from this to the New Renaissance, 1968), and otherwise by Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-sided: how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America, 2009).
Curiously, especially with respect to the strategic response to the pandemic, this "syndrome" avoids recognition of the value attached to both positive feedback and negative feedbsack from a cybernetic perspective -- as required for the control of any viable system. Arguably "living with the enemy" involves the appropriate interplay of positive and negative (Being Positive Avoiding Negativity: management challenge of positive vs negative, 2005). The response cultivated by the syndrome could be compared metaphorically to any naive effort to condemn and remove the "negative" wire required for the operation of most electrical devices --- in the hope that they would operate (better) if only the "positive" were retained.
Ironically, with respect to "living together", society has yet to benefit from the thinking embodied in the work of Nikola Tesla through the interplay of positive and negative in the design of electrical devices now so fundamental to electrical motors and generators (Reimagining Tesla's Creativity through Technomimicry: psychosocial empowerment by imagining charged conditions otherwise, 2014).
The Death Star image of Star Wars is helpful as a reminder of how hegemonic global organization is imagined -- appropriately depicted in monolithic form with little differentiation. In particular this could be appropriately contrasted with current trends towards current trends towards a "2-sided" bipolar configuration ("us" and "them"), as might be suggested by that below left. This could in turn be contrasted with depictions of a "3-sided" global civilization. In one variant below a "fourth side" is hidden or implicit; in another all four are visible.
A further possibility is a "5-sided" configuration (below right) -- which could also be understood as the form favoured for itself by the Five Eyes group. More extensive intelligence groups of that nature include: Five Eyes Plus Three Against China and Russia, Five Eyes Plus Three Against North Korea; Nine Eyes (namely the Five plus Four); and the Fourteen Eyes Group.
|Animations indicative of simple options for a new normality|
|"2-sided"||"3-sided" (another hidden)||"4-sided"||"5-sided"|
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
In imagining a "new normal" -- a Renaissance -- such simple configurations could be further complexified exercises to depict extreme degrees of variegation and diversity, suggestive of the potential harmony of their complementarity. How indeed is the widely cited meme of "unity in diversity" to be imagined and depicted more effectively -- as the attractive "light at the end of the tunnel"?
The following images formed part of an exercise in rendering comprehensible and memorable the diversity fundamental to the richer dynamics of unity (Reframing the mapping challenge of 144 distinctions in terms of 288, 2020)
|6-Frequency Octahedral Geodesic Sphere|
|Perspective on single octant
|Rotation with perspective on
"upper/lower" hemisphere octants
|Perspective on neighbouring octants
|Alternative face type patterns
(perspective and numbering is for the first octant)
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
As the modelling of data regarding the pandemic has evolved, the need to focus more specifically than at the country level has only become progressively apparent -- given the ridiculous statistical comparisons of "Singapore" with the "USA" in media reports. Strategies have been deployed for vast areas for which data had been aggregated -- without consideration of the need to focus on much smaller "hotspots", and avoiding the need to encumber other areas with unnecessary restrictions. Statistically this is understood as a problem of data granularity with obvious administrative implications.
|Animations of geodesic spheres ranging between frequency 5 and 20|
|Based on icosahedron||Based on cuboctahedron||Based on rhombicosidodecahedron|
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
The complexity can be potentially further enhanced -- retaining pattern comprehensibility -- through "morphing" variants of the above images to their "dual" version, geometrically understood, as shown below. This helps to frame the question as to the part potentially played by morphing in the alternation between alternative strategies (Policy Alternation for Development, 1984; Metaphors of Alternation: an exploration of their significance for development policy-making, 1984).
|Animations of alternative morphings of rhombicosododeacahedron to dual|
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
Such images of course contrast with the patchwork of fenced fields and urban areas characteristic of the reality of global civilization -- combined with the arbitrary boundaries between sovereign nations. Curiously little attention is given to such disorderly patterning of "diversity", and the injustices it embodies, when considering the nature of the strategic "unity" for which appeals are so frequently made (President Biden urges unity in first UN speech amid tensions with allies, BBC News, 21 September 2021; Biden and Xi address UN, juggling differences amid calls for unity on climate and Covid-19, South China Morning Post, 21 September 2021). Through what patterns are the two extremes to be reconciled?
When framed as a conventional threat, an enemy typically evokes the kinds of strategic response favoured from a security perspective and cultivated with military metaphors. Terrorism and Afghanistan have been witness to the questionable outcome. The aesthetic modality is typically ignored (other than in parades) or presented through horrific images to evoke a military response. Given such unfruitful outcomes, it is appropriate to ask whether aesthetics offers more integrative possibilities, as previously argued (Aesthetics of Governance in the Year 2490, 1990). The curious possibilities of poetry have been argued with respect to Afghanistan, for example (Poetic Engagement with Afghanistan, Caucasus and Iran an unexplored strategic opportunity? 2009; Strategic Jousting through Poetic Wrestling: aesthetic reframing of the clash of civilizations, 2009).
Harmony through counterpoint? A highly developed understanding of "living with the enemy" can be usefully explored through counterpoint. As clarified by Wikipedia (which offers a sound file of an example from Bach):
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more musical lines (or voices) which are harmonically interdependent yet independent in rhythm and melodic contour. It has been most commonly identified in the European classical tradition, strongly developing during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period, especially in the Baroque... Counterpoint focuses on melodic interaction -- only secondarily on the harmonies produced by that interaction.
Counterpoint has been given a mathematical foundation. The entry cites John Rahn to the effect that:
It is hard to write a beautiful song. It is harder to write several individually beautiful songs that, when sung simultaneously, sound as a more beautiful polyphonic whole. The internal structures that create each of the voices separately must contribute to the emergent structure of the polyphony, which in turn must reinforce and comment on the structures of the individual voices. The way that is accomplished in detail is ... 'counterpoint'. (Music Inside Out: Going Too Far in Musical Essays, 2000).
In all species, the following rules govern the combination of the parts:
The much admired music of Johann Sebastian Bach (The Well-Tempered Clavier, 1722) is recognized as exemplifying the art of counterpoint. Of some relevance to this argument, counterpoint features in the study by Douglas Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, 1979).
As discussed with respect to Structuring Mnemonic Encoding of Development Plans and Ethical Charters using Musical Leitmotivs (2001), Jacques Attali has argued for recognition of the anticipatory power of the organization of music with respect to social organization, notably that of Bach (Noise: the political economy of music, 1977). Of special interest is the controversy this book aroused (see web reviews). He himself became the first president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has since written Demain, qui gouvernera le monde? (2011), the subject of a separate critique (Tomorrow, Who Will Govern the World? 2011).
With respect to the strategy of universal vaccination, any understanding of transcendent harmony offered by counterpoint is clearly severely inhbited as a result of the systematic suppression of any counterpoint in discourse. It could be said that the strategic need to reframe any form of disagreement as misinformation, if not disinformation, bears a strange resemblance to the constraints imposed on accceptable sacred music by religious authorities to the exclusion of the so-called diabolus in musica (Why is the Augmented 4th the "chord of evil" that was banned in Renaissance church music?, The Guardian; Musicae Sacrae: Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on Sacred Music, 25 December 1955).
Musical clue to engaging with "the other side" through the Möbius strip: Whilst potentially pleasing to the eye, the animations above engage only one of the senses in the quest for a more fruitfully integrative "perspective". The argument can be developed through recognition of the limitations of the unreconcilable two-sidedness evident in the rotating board presented above -- an embodiment of "us" and "them", and the threat to either of the "dark side".
Extension of the geometry of a two-sided board into a strip, with the addition of a twist, suggests paradoxical cognitive possibilities to which reference is occasionally made. This is the primary feature of the Möbius strip: the strip has only one side (as shown below left). This invites commentary on alternative ways of engaging with any other (Psychosocial Work Cycle: beyond the plane of Möbius, 2007; Psychosocial Energy from Polarization within a Cyclic Pattern of Enantiodromia, 2007). It suggests a means of "unknotting" strategic dilemmas, as these may be related to Borromean rings, as suggested below right (Engaging globally with knots and riddles -- Gordian and otherwise, 2018).
|Möbius strip as suggestive of cognitive challenge|
|Animation of the
"use" and "them" illusion
|Borromean ring configuration (with Red surrounds blue; Blue surrounds green; Green surrounds red)|
|David Benbennick, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons||Video (mp4); Virtual reality (x3d; wrl)|
The above images are far from exhausting the clues suggestive of possibilities of engaging with otherness -- remarkably clarified through the implication of the Möbius strip in the music of Bach, as discussed and illustrated musically by Tony Phillips (Bach and the musical Möbius strip, Plus Magazine, 2016; based on work with Eric Altschuler, published in Musical Times in 2015). The commentary is consistent with the arguments of Douglad Hofstadter, as mentioned above.
Phillips argument turns on the possibility of imprinting a musical score on "one side" of a Möbius strip, with the challenging implied question -- since the strip only has one side -- of how the score then relates musically to the "other side". Musical exploration of possible variants is a special characteristic of Bach's canons (Johann Sebastian Bach, Fourteen Canons on the first eight fundamental notes of the aria [from the Goldberg Variations]). There are numerous recordings of these, although far less evident is how they may then be understood to enable "living with the enemy" -- and why their value has not been explored from this perspective, especially as being potentially indicative of the forms fundamental to the architecture of any New Renaissance.
It is intriguing that Bach attached such considerable importance to patterns of numbers, as discussed by Milton Mermikides (Maestro of more than music, Aeon, 10 September 2021). This notes his preoccupation with 14. Of further interest is the fact that the Goldberg Variations consist of the aria of 14 together with a set of 30 variations. Less evident is the extent to which these constitute complete sets, and how they relate to one another -- potentially precluding additional variations, as might be evident from a mathematical perspective.
The Goldberg Variations have a complex and unconventional structure: the variations build on the bass line of the aria rather than its melody, and musical canons are interpolated according to a grand plan. There are 9 canons within the 30 variations; every third variation is a canon. These variations move in order from canon at unison to canon at the ninth. The first eight are in pairs (unison and octave, second and seventh, third and sixth, fourth and fifth). The ninth canon stands on its own due to compositional dissimilarities. The final variation, instead of being the expected canon at the tenth, is a quodlibet.
Such patterns were central to the structural interest of Buckminster Fuller, most obviously his focus on the cuboctahedron of 14 faces and its much-studied vector equilibirum ("jitterbug") transformations into other polyhedra characterized by 30 features (H. F. Verheyen, The complete set of Jitterbug transformers and the analysis of their motion, Computers and Mathematics with Applications, 17, 1989, 1-3; Vector Equilibrium and its Transformation Pathways, 1980).
The wider appreciation of such transformations through music is suggested by mapping the 14 canons onto the faces of a cuboctahedron, and noting the manner in which it unfolds. Of relevance to the above argument, Fuller's preoccupation with the management of global resources (notably in the light of the image of Spaceship Earth) was informed by geometric insights derived from the cuboctahedron (Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1968). However, despite the intention implied by the title of his 2-volume magnum opus (Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, 1975), this has not translated into cognitive facilitation of "living with the enemy" in the New Renaissance (Geometry of Thinking for Sustainable Global Governance: cognitive implication of synergetics, 2009).
|Integrative implications of music and geometry|
|Bach's 14 canons on a cuboctahedron||Unfolding a cuboctahedron with canon mappings|
|Generated using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
A possible bridge is to be found in the cybernetic insights of Stafford Beer into viable systems and syntegration, especially the role of 30-foldness in the icosahedron (Beyond Dispute: The Invention of Team Syntegrity, 1994; Tara Carpenter Estrada and Brittany Nixon May, Building Bridges With Bach: syntegration of music and visual art, General Music Today, 12 March 2019). The mystery of any cognitive core operations is: why 30, why 20, why 14? Why do such numbers "work", as tentatively explored separately (Requirement for emirps and enantiodromia in navigating songlines; Requisite variety of "voices" for psychosocial wholth: 6, 8, 12, 20, 30?; Toneship design to enable noonautics by the voices of civilization? 2015).
Given the role of an orbifold in ordering musics (Dmitri Tymoczko, The Geometry of Musical Chords, Science, July 2007), it is intriguing that orbifolds have a recognized role with respect to what can be termed the "moonshine" connectivity of such subtle correspondences (Michael P. Tuite, Monstrous Moonshine from Orbifolds, 1992). Curiously the "theory of variations" is also a fundamental theme of mathematics -- although how this might inform the musical insight, or that of the psychosocial life of a New Renaissance, remains to be highlighted.
Oppositional logic: A related approach to "living with the enemy", offers possible clues to the collective insight of Bach's 14 canons, namely through the geometry of oppositional logic (Oppositional Logic as Comprehensible Key to Sustainable Democracy: configuring patterns of anti-otherness, 2018). There is formal recognition from a logical perspective of 16 logical connectives, fundamental to the organization of logic gates in computers. It is remarkable to discover that this set of 16 is variously reduced in the light of arguments indicating that this or that set of connectives is unnecessary in practice -- as being trivial or redundant. Arguments for reduction of the 16 include:
The argument leads to the conclusion that 5 connectives would be adequate, and even one of those is superfluous (see Selection of Logical Connectives, Philosophy Stack Exchange; Maarten van Wijk, Logical Connectives in Natural Language -- a cultural-evolutionary approach, 2006; Rowan Patricia Garnier, Understanding Logical Connectives: a comparative study of language influence, 1992) . Further argument can reduce the connectives to two -- and even to one, understood as the Sheffer Stroke. The argument for five is to achieve a "balance between efficiency and parsimony" -- as may be convenient under certain circumstances, or a matter of personal preference.
The confusion is all the greater as a consequence of alternative terminology for the 16 distinctions, including distinctive notations. Greater clarity is evident from the binary notation with which the 16 can be associated, as presented in a separate discussion (Governance beyond the logical focus on true vs false? 2019). Also confusing is the tendency of papers to avoid offering examples of what each distinction implies in terms of natural language.
Of particular relevance, beyond the Aristotelian square of opposition is its relationship to the rhombic dodecahedron featuring in Hasse diagrams -- both involving discussion of the hypercube, as featured in the work of Lorenz Demey and Hans Smessaert (The Relationship between Aristotelian and Hasse Diagrams, 2014; Logical and Geometrical Distance in Polyhedral Aristotelian Diagrams in Knowledge Representation, Symmetry, 9, 2017, 204; Geometric and Cognitive Differences between Logical Diagrams for the Boolean Algebra B4) and by Hans Smessaert (On the 3D Visualisation of Logical Relations, Logica Universalis, 3, 2009, 2).
Arguably if there is one characteristic of psychosocial reality which is a fundamental challenge to governance it is that of "oppositon" and the framework within which it can be appropriately integrated. The argument for doing so is that literature is particularly focused on the geometrical representation of opposition as articulated in truth tables through the set of Boolean connectives. A key polyhedron used to map the 16 (-2) Boolean logical connectives in that approach is the rhombic dodecahedron of 14 vertices and 12 faces.
|Animation of 3D visualization of propositional connectives
(combining printed images by Demey and Smessaert)
| Mapped onto rhombic dodecahedron
||Mapped onto cuboctahedron|
|Animation prepared using Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
The question is whether Bach's canons can be usefully distinguished by an interpretation of the binary coding in the above animations. There is the further possibility that related distinctions could be made using some variant of the Conway notation as variously applied (knot theory notation; polyhedron notation). The relevance of such oppositional logic to issues of governance seems to be primarily explored by Fabien Schang (A Formal Semantics of International Relations; A General Semantics for Logics of Affirmation and Negation, Journal of Applied Logics, 2021; An Arithmetization of Logical Oppositions; Logic in Opposition, Studia Humana, 2013; Depicting Negation in Diagrammatic Logic: legacy and prospects; International Disagreements, 2014; Agreeing about Disagreement; Two Visual Logics: diagrams vs graphs).
Do Bach's canons, and the Goldberg Variations, offer clues to what can otherwise only be expressed formally in alienating abstractions?
Religion? There is a fundamental belief in the power of prayer, notably including some deprecated as "anti-vaxxers" (Comparability of "Vaxxing Saves" with "Jesus Saves" as Misinformation? 2021) Missing from the current controversy regarding the dangers of misinformation is the role of "belief" (Reframing Fundamental Belief as Disinformation? Pandemic challenge to advertising, ideology, religion and science, 2020). How then to distinguish the unquestionable "belief" of some in deity from the unquestionable "belief" of others in evidence-based science? Many have developed a "belief" in claims regarding the safety and protective capacity of vaccination against COVID infection.
There is a strange irony to the fact that for many, even at the highest level of authority, the key to any viable exit strategy is prayer -- and even the possibility of divine intervention. Denial of the power of prayer is readily recognized as political suicide -- despite the declared dependence of government on scientific modelling in response to crises, as discussed separately (Complicity of science in evaluation of modelling via traditional frameworks, 2021). A similar pattern is now evident with respect to vaccination.
The irony is all the greater in that it is the religion, whose adherents are held to be most closely associated with terrorism, which is perhaps most characterized by devotional prayer under every circumstance -- namely Islam. Whether or not the adherents of other religions, most Christianity, would claim greater (or more effective) power for their own style of prayer is a feature of the long-standing conflictual relationship between religions. However they too can be readily accused of forms of terrorism.
The contradictions regarding belief are especially evident in the contrasting framings of health and remedial responses (Remedies to Global Crisis: "Allopathic" or "Homeopathic"? Metaphorical complementarity of "conventional" and "alternative" models, 2009). The controversy also bears comparison with that between the claims of traditional religions. Much turns on how remedies are "authorised" -- whether spiritual or science-based. Especially problematic is the credibility attached in many cultures to ivermectin in the case of COVID infection, despite its deprecation as misinformation by science (Ivermectin use in India and Worldwide, Covid.US, 20 June 2021; Huge study supporting ivermectin as Covid treatment withdrawn over ethical concerns, The Guardian, 16 July 2021).
Strategic architecture? It is indeed Islam which has embodied in architecture a powerful range of insights into the complex subtleties of transcendence with which a new Renaissance might be associated -- whatever comparisons are made with the sacred geometry embodied in the architecture and iconography of other religions. Notable clarification in this regard is provided by Keith Critchlow (Islamic Patterns: an analytical and cosmological approach, 1976).
The animations above are indicative of this preoccupation through their articulation of the variety by which a new normal might be imagined. As yet to be explored is how this variety could be most fruitfully organized -- whether in static or dynamic terms. The animations are simple instances of what are otherwise recognized as tiling patterns -- whether in two dimensions, or in three (as shown above), or more. For example, it has been recognized that there are only 17 such patterns in 2D, otherwise known as the wallpaper group. The mathematician Marcus du Sautoy is widely cited as having noted that all these are to be recognized as having been embodied in the Islamic architecture of the Alhambra -- a "palace of symmetry" as he describes it.
The question is separately discussed as to whether, in imagining 17 Sustainable Development Goals for global civilization, the United Nations have unconsciously framed insights into strategic transcendence -- but without being able to articulate its organization more significantly (Systemic Coherence of the UN's 17 SDGs as a Global Dream: rather than merely an arbitrary outcome of political horse-trading, 2021).
Toroidal confluence? Curiously the imaginative anticipation of the organization of a possible future by different cultures involves a change of metaphor from "global" to "toroidal", as discussed separately (Imagining Toroidal Life as a Sustainable Alternative: from globalization to toroidization or back to flatland? 2019). Indications are evident in the comparability of:
Especially curious in terms of comparability is the major investment in the innovative toroidal design of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). This invites speculation on the psychosocial implications of its design challenges (Enactivating a Cognitive Fusion Reactor: Imaginal Transformation of Energy Resourcing (ITER-8), 2006).
Together these suggest the possibility of exploring designs which might honour their respective insights and frame in dynamic terms a new kind of strategic architecture -- if only of symbolic significance.
There is a case for considering the various ways in which the possibility of failure may be anticipated. This would be consistent with the much-cited study by Gareth Morgan (Images of Organization, 1986). This offers the following frameworks through which organizations can be perceived: machines, organisms, brains, cultures, political systems, psychic prisons, flux and transformation, and instruments of domination.
Presumably such an approach could be adapted to the failure of a global strategy, as previously suggested with respect to engaging with a crisis (Imagining complementary images of the shape of civilization, 2021). There is also a case for recognizing the many forms of failure (Variety of System Failures Engendered by Negligent Distinctions, 2016; Global Civilization Near Failure? 2015; We Are on the Brink of Failure in Responding to Global Crises: Afghanistan as a strategic metaphor, 2009).
A seminal study by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson focused on Metaphors We Live By (1980). The manner in which the universal vaccination strategy is "lived" merits clarification in that light. Missing however is the relevance of a complementary perspective (Metaphors To Die By: correspondences between a collapsing civilization, culture or group, and a dying person, 2013).
Following Morgan, possibilities that might be imagined include:
There is some naivety to early national optimism regarding an exit strategy (Ben Doherty, The Exit Strategy: how countries around the world are preparing for life after Covid-19, The Guardian, 19 April 2020). More recently interest of for-profit corporations in an exit strategy has been framed by the possibility of a successful outcome to the universal vaccination strategy (Kevin Laczkowski, et al, Why your COVID-19 exit needs 'strategy inserts', McKinsey and Company, 22 June 2021; Exit Strategies and Lessons from Covid-19, OECD: New Approaches to Economic Challenges). Doubts with respect to national exit strategies have however been expressed (Rhys Jones, Covid exit strategy? National Forum: Australia, 1 July 2021; The COVID-19 exit strategy: why we need to aim low, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 11 :February 2021).
Thinking strategically implies acknolwedging the possibility of strategic failure. The antithesis is implied by the management adage, seemingly governing the commitment to the universal vaccination strategy: Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts (Charles H. Granger, The Hierarchy of Objectives, Harvard Business Review, May 1964).
Faced with strategic failure, there are many historical studies of how the key instigators and executives have planned and organized their escape to places of safety, or where they could live incognito. The most obvious example (extensively documented) is provided by Nazis (Atika Shubert and Nadine Schmidt, Most Nazis escaped justice: now Germany is racing to convict those who got away, CNN, 15 December 2018; Dalya Alberge, Red Cross and Vatican helped thousands of Nazis to escape, The Guardian, 26 May 2011). That case includes conscription of over 1,600 Nazi scientists and engineers by the US under Operation Paperclip.
Exit strategy: Some sense of the process of designing an "exit strategy" -- prefigured by that of Iraq -- is evident from the following:
Further clues are evident in the progressive transformation of strategies in response to the pandemic as its evolution is understood by modellers, health authorities, policy-makers, and through the manner in which it is reframed for public communication processes. These changes can be appreciated or deprecated as "shifting the goal posts". This process may evolve into an end game in which the goal is transformed into a form which is no longer recognizable in terms of any earlier declaration of the nature of the challenge.
Of value in this respect are insights (or the lack thereof) from considerations of the exit strategies from Iraq and Afghanistan:
In progressively moving the strategic goal posts, the art will lie in the well-developed reframing skills of propaganda and public relations. These are already in evidence in the shift from "Covid-Zero" to "Living with COVID", as delightfully described in the case of Australia by Peter Lewis (Morrison’s bold new 'Living with Covid™' pitch sounds breezy, but the devil is in the detail, The Guardian, 31 August 2021).
Far more challenging is if it becomes necessary, in the case of universal vaccination, to recognize -- as with Saddam Hussein's hypothetical weapons of mass destruction -- that COVID-19 was never the threat it was so vigorously claimed to be by the highest authorities. In that case the subsequent investigation into the "global intelligence failure" highlighted two failures (cf Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Pre-War Assessments on Iraq, 9 July 2004; Lord Butler's Review of Intelligence of Weapons of Mass Destruction, 13 July 2004). These were groupthink and failure of imagination, as discussed separately (Learning from the 9/11 response: groupthink and failure of imagination, 2005). How indeed is their incidence to be recognized in the case of management of the pandemic?
Cover-up: A valuable typology of cover-up phases is presented in the relevant Wikipedia entry. The list (reproduced below) is considered to be a typology since those who engage in cover-ups tend to use many of the same methods of hiding the truth and defending themselves. The methods in actual cover-ups tend to follow the general order of those below.
|Phase 1: Initial response to allegation||Phase 2: Withhold or tamper with evidence|
|Phase 3: Delayed response to allegation||Phase 4: Intimidate participants, witnesses or whistleblowers|
|Phase 5: Publicity management||Phase 6: Damage control|
|Phase 7: Win court cases||Phase 8: Reward cover-up participants|
Of relevance to this argument is the historical review by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway (Merchants of Doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming, 2010). The universal vaccination strategy could be understood as calling for a corresponding study: Merchants of Certainty: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from social distancing, masking, lockdowns, sanitisation to vaccination. One example is the controversial study by Joseph Mercola and Ronnie Cummins (The Truth About COVID-19: exposing the Great Reset, lockdowns, vaccine passports, and the new normal, 2021).
Of interest in that respect, are initiatives by authorities to have sale of that book banned in some way, given the fact that its lead author is one of those identified in a survey by the extraordinarily-named quasi-academic group: the Center for Countering Digital Hate (Cecilia Lenzen, Report: Here are the 12 people most responsible for spreading COVID misinformation, Nautilus, 2021). Missing is any corresponding checklist of the "12 people most responsible for promoting the mainstream narrative" regarding the need for universal vaccination -- to the extent that this itself has been perceived by some as misinformation in its own right..
Refining the attribution of blame: Especially noteworthy, and implied to some degree by the sequence of phases of cover-up, is the manner in which the focus of blame for failure of the universal vaccination strategy is narrowing and will further intensify. The term "living with COVID" heralds a transition that may ultimately see blame for cases, illness, deaths and economic damage shifted away from government and onto the individual (Jason Thompson, Get Ready for a Shift in the COVID Blame Game, Pursuit: University of Melbourne)
In the early phases of the strategy those unvaccinated, whether by choice or circumstances, could be recognized as a normal challenge in the deployment of any remedial measures. As percentage targets have been clarified for requisite levels of vaccination enabling a "return to normality", those remaining unvaccinated have become the focus of ever more pointed public relations campaigns (Joseph Choi, Experts warn unvaccinated are greatest threat to pandemic recovery, The Hill, 26 July 2021). These have intensified recognition of the selfish irresponsibility of a group of people upheld as endangering their neighbours and public health.
There is little sensitivity to the irony of the "selfish" failure of developed countries in deliberately hoarding vaccines and in effectively ensuring very limited possibility of vaccination in developing countries. This collective pattern has even been evident between jurisdictions within some countries. Little reference is made to the "selfish" behaviour of the manufacturers of vaccines in restricting access through undisclosed exorbitant pricing and patenting constraints, nor the complicity of countries in this process.
The intensification of the blameworthiness now focused on the unvaccinated naturally increases to an even greater degree as vaccination targets are achieved -- only then to reveal the previously unimagined extent of "breakthrough" infections among the doubly vaccinated. The unvaccinated are readily seen as those primarily responsible for any such failure in the promised return to normality (Breakthrough COVID infections show ‘the unvaccinated are now putting the vaccinated at risk’, PBS, 29 July 2021).
In addition to being conveniently framed as scapegoats, evoking the requisite popular response (reminiscent of lynch mob psychology), ever more radical modes of ensuring the vaccination of the unvaccinated are envisaged. As noted above, any reservations regarding freedom of choice are set aside in the imposition of mandatory vaccination and the loss of civil liberties -- now reframed as the privilege of the vaccinated alone. Rumours abound with regard to possibilities of the past -- such as internment. Few arguments to the contrary are permitted (Gabriel Scally, Blaming the unvaccinated for Covid’s spread won’t help stop the virus, The Guardian, 21 May 2021).
Memetic disease? In the probable event of the failure of the universal vaccination strategy, there is a need to benefit from historical insights into analogous situations in the past. Any such comparison requires recognition of the extent to which a dominant narrative finally proved inadequate to the challenge for which it was elaborated. This shifts the focus from specific challenges to the memetic framing of such challenges. In that light the pandemic can be understood as a memetic disease, as argued separately (COVID-19 as a Memetic Disease -- an epidemic of panic: learning from terrorism, communism. fascism, and evil, as pandemics of the past, 2020).
Recognition of falsehoods and ignorance: It is variously alleged that the pandemic has engendered a "pandemic" of misinformation. The future may be able to determine how such misinformation is to be distinguished from what is indicated in the following:
Remedial processes? The seeming inadequacies of the items above (as credible sources of truth) highlight the dramatic role of whistleblowers, and the controversies surrounding suppression of that function. Arguably recourse to legal proceedings with respect to controversies regarding truth and truth-telling can be seen as a means of eliciting truth. Examples have ranged from the International War Crimes Tribunal ("Russell Tribunals"), to the role of the International Court of Justice, and to "truth commissions" ("truth and reconciliation" commissions). The constraints on the efficacy of their operation can however be considered a constraint on eliciting truth -- potentially in contrast to any subjective sense of poetic justice or its desirability.
Nuremberg Code: There is an emerging legal effort to recognize that vaccination, as promoted by the universal vaccination strategy, can be interpreted as having been specifically condemned by the Nuremberg Code (1947), namely a set of research ethics principles against experimentation on humans. This is understoof as deriving from initiatives by German physicians in the mid-1920s as proponents of racial hygiene as supported by the German government in order to promote an Aryan race. Racial hygiene extremists merged with National Socialism to promote the use of biology to accomplish their goals of racial purity, a core concept in the Nationalist ideology. By 1942, the Nazi party included more than 38,000 German physicians, who helped carry out medical programs such as the Sterilization Law.
Emerging as a consequence of World War II, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, notably prosecuted doctors and administrators for their roles in conducting inhumane and unethical human experiments in concentration camps, in addition to those who were involved in over 3,500,000 sterilizations of German citizens. The trials clarified the definition of "Permissible Medical Experiments" in what became known as the Nuremberg Code. This includes such principles as informed consent and absence of coercion; properly formulated scientific experimentation; and beneficence towards experiment participants. It is thought to have been mainly based on the Hippocratic Oath, which was interpreted as endorsing the experimental approach to medicine while protecting the patient.
Identification of ultimate responsibility for the experimental initiatives of agents of the German government now recalls the dilemmas associated with the primary defence of Adolf Eichman. Termed superior orders, but also known as the Nuremberg defense (or "just following orders"), is a plea in a court of law that a person, whether a member of the military, law enforcement, a firefighting force, or the civilian population, should not be considered guilty of committing actions that were ordered by a superior officer or official.
A current example is now offered by the trial of those held responsible for the Volkswagen emissions scandal (Dieselgate):
According to previewed court documents, all of the defendants will testify that they had either passed on their knowledge of the manipulations to their superiors and therefore cannot be held responsible, or that they didn't know anything at all about the wrongdoings (German Dieselgate trial begins without ex-VW boss Martin Winterkorn, DW, 16 September 2021).
Government officials at the highest level -- including the leadership -- make similar claims. It is of course necessarily the case that health experts derive their authority from models that have been developed with the assistance of AI. It is then appropriate to ask at what point those in authority cease to be agents of a higher authority and can acknowledge their responsibility in ordering the implementation of the pandemic response strategy. Clearly the matter is rendered more complex when reference is made to a model as the ultimate authority -- thereby transforming the health experts themselves into agents for the interpretation of the insights seemingly offered by the model.
Permissible Medical Experiments: As detailed in the Nuremberg Code, these include [with appended comments in italics of relevance to the universal vaccination strategy]:
The relevance to any trial of the claims and denials (noted below) with respect to the case of universal vaccination would seem to turn on legal interpretation of whether the above Code applies to "experimentation" (but not "vaccination" or use of experimental "vaccines") or whether the experimental nature of the vaccines justifies the provisions of the Code.
Current claims of violation of the Nuremberg Code:Arguing that the COVID-19 vaccines are necessarily experimental, as has been authoritatively emphasized, the controversial question has been raised as to whether mandatory vaccination constitutes a violation under the rules of the Nuremberg Code (1947), as widely claimed on social media.
Various legal initiatives are in process of elaboration:
Especially problematic may prove to be the hundreds of patents accorded for coronavirus-specific research, both prior to the pandemic and during its development, most notably in the USA, as assiduously documented by David Martin (The Fauci/COVID-19 Dossier, 2021). Given the manner in which human rights will be invoked in any trial, of future relevance are the obligations incumbent on owners and licensors of intellectual property as they constrain response to a crisis -- as the pandemic has been claimed to be (From Patent Rights to Patent Responsibilities, 2007).
Denial of violation of the Nuremberg Code: Efforts to invoke the Nuremberg Code in challenges to enforced vaccination have been dismissed as supported only by "pseudo-legal" arguments. The legal relevance of those arguments has however been extensively clarified (Alliance for Human Research Protection, The Significance of the Nuremberg Code: The Universal Right of Informed Consent to Medical Interventions, Global Research, 7 April 2021).
Policies like "no jab, no travel" and "no jab, no job" of course avoid any restrictive interpretation of the Nuremberg Code -- thereby reframing the question as to what is "forced" in the light of issues of structural violence. The argument can be taken further in questioning whether "no jab; no job" policies constitute coercion intended to evoke consent.
Of interest in that respect is a case of human experimentation in the USA (Katie Dowd, The San Quentin prison doctor who performed over 10,000 human experiments, SFGATE, 13 August 2019). The physician named in the latter, Leo Stanley, merits comparison with Josef Mengele, renowned for his experiments as a physician at Auschwitz (Ethan Blue, The Strange Career of Dr Leo Stanley: remaking manhood and medicine at San Quentin State Penitentiary, 1913-1951, Pacific Historical Review, 78, 2009, 2). Previously considered to be conspiracy theories prior to the documents being declassified, other instances have recently come to light (El Mehdi El Azhary, Shocking Secrets Declassified By the US Government, Medium, 7 March 2021).
If the prisoner is offered a special privilege (additional food?). at what point is the consent evoked to be interpreted as coercion in the light of the Nuremberg Code? "No jab; no job"?
Trials of the judiciary following the Nuremberg pattern? In addition to the trial giving rise to the Nuremberg Code, other trials were subsequently held -- of which the most relevant to the current pandemic is the so-called Judges' Trial (or Justice Trial). The defendants in this case were 16 German jurists and lawyers. Nine had been officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice, the others were prosecutors and judges of the Special Courts and People's Courts of Nazi Germany. They were -- amongst other charges -- held responsible for implementing and furthering the Nazi "racial purity" program through the eugenic and racial laws. It is appropriate to ask what resemblance this may have in legal terms with current court cases regarding human rights in the context of the pandemic and the pattern of mandatory vaccination increasingly upheld by certain courts.
The future historical legacy of the current treatment of "informed consent" in the courts -- confirming the government position on "human rights" -- may well be usefully illustrated by the situation in Germany subsequent to the Judges' Trial (Ben Knight, Reinhard Strecker, the man who exposed German judiciary's Nazi past, DW, 26 January 2015; Ben Knight, Case against Oskar Gröning highlights Germany judiciary's Holocaust problem, The Guardian, 17 September 2014; Klaus Wiegrefe, The German Judiciary Failed Approach to Auschwitz and Holocaust, Spiegel International, 28 August 2014).
Future prospect of children suing parents? As noted above, there is an increasing tendency to require the vaccination of children of an ever younger age -- however this may be understood with respect to children's rights. With the as yet unknown possibility of long-term vaccine adverse effects, notably associated with "Long COVID", there is the prospect under some jurisdictions of children suing their parents, especially once they reach maturity (Dana Hinders, How to Sue a Parent for Past Physical and Mental Abuse, Legal Beagle). Children may choose to sue others for their parents death (Can Adult and Minor Children Sue for a Parent’s Wrongful Death? Kanner and Pentaluga, 2 November 2020). Although historically the legal focus of the thalidomide scandal was on the capacity of parents to sue the phamaceutical company responsible, this suggests the possibility of children born as a consequence of suing their parents for having ingested thalidomide prior to their birth with defects.
Precedents and parallels? As noted above, the strategic reaction to the pandemic can be recognized as constituting a memetic disease in its own right -- especially through the degree of panic promoted by media attentive to government requirements. However, rather than focus on the current pandemic, it is appropriate to recognize instances of such a memetic disease in the past -- possibly including the culture of fear deliberately engendered by the strategic response to communism, socialism, terrorism, fascism -- and evil in its archetypal sense. Religions and their priesthoods have been especially active in the case of the latter -- as an uncritical development of the practices of witchdoctors of the past.
Indeed it is religions through their missionaries who have been most active in re-educating indigenous peoples unduly influenced by beliefs in animism and fetishism. In such cases the target of deprogramming was framed in terms of "conversion". Unfortunately the particular challenge for religions is the sense in which adherents of other religions call for such deprogramming in conformity with the the Great Commission of Christianity to spread its teachings of Christianity around the world through missionary work (Matthew 28:19,20). Thus the Great Commission Roundtable was formed in 1999 to coordinate the efforts of the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization, the AD2000 Movement and the World Evangelical Alliance. There is a Catholic equivalent under the name Evangelization 2000.
As a driving commitment it bears comparison with the Aleinu as the fundamental expression of duty in Judaism and with the commitment of Islam to extending sharia through jihad. Through these mutually competitive injunctions towards universal indoctrination, each of these Abrahamic religions stresses an early historical understanding of a global perspective which bears comparison with that of universal vaccination -- if only in systemic terms.
Similar arguments could be made with respect to science and technology in the light of the commitments of their most fervent adherents -- understood in terms of scientism. There is the delightful irony that in the form of memetic diseases of pandemic proportions such beliefs are engendered by a memetic analogue to COVID-19 -- a memetic virus, one subject to mutation from variants in the past. Such a framing has been presented by Richard Dawkins (Viruses of the Mind, 1993) -- although understood by him to apply primarily to religion. The characteristics he detects are however in many cases of relevance to ideological beliefs in general -- of which the current pandemic may be but one instance. Any such interpretation is subject to the continuing debate on the nature of a meme (Derek Gatherer, Why the Thought Contagion Metaphor is Retarding the Progress of Memetics, Journal of Memetics, 2, 1998; Sebastian Funk, et al, The spread of awareness and its impact on epidemic outbreaks, PNAS, 106, 2009, 16).
The pattern noted by Dawkins might however be generalized to include:
In that sense "deprogramming" can be recognized as having been deployed under other names, including deradicalisation (in response to terrorist tendencies), re-education (in response to political wrong-thinking), and denazification. It may also be recognized with respect to rehabilitation in response to substance abuse.
Ironically, despite the extent and focus of the criticism, it is unclear that capitalism as such evokes any corresponding need -- except as evident in the practices of its deprecated ideological opponents. Would every political party have a suppressed desire to deprogram its opponents?
Cult? One approach to any memetic disease is to reframe those perceived to suffer from it as forming a cult. This is controversially defined by any unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by a common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal. Efforts to do so are evident following initiatives -- themselves controversial -- to clarify those deemed to be problematic (Governmental lists of cults and sects, Wikipedia).
A careful contrast is made between such cults and the problematic "cultures" which are highlighted as of major strategic concern, including:
As "cults", in addition to the "usual suspects", of particular relevance are the many references relating to Donald Trump, including the following:
Especially relevant is the manner in which that cult has been associated with national trauma:
The conflation of that trauma with that of COVID is highlighted by Lloyd Green (Nightmare Scenario review: Trump, Covid and a lasting national trauma (The Guardian, 3 July 2021)
COVID-19 cult? It is in this light that it is useful to review adherents to a particular perception of COVID-19 as forming a cult:
For Ron Pau (The Covid Cult, Mises Institute, November 2020)
This is the greatest public health fiasco in the history of the world, and the media has distorted it so badly, that much of the general public is celebrating villains and hissing at heroes. And, even -- perversely enough -- celebrating the destruction of their own lives and their children's lives.
For CJ Hopkins (The COVID Cult, OffGuardian, 13 October 2020):
Such people are neither ignorant nor stupid. They have been successfully initiated into a cult, which is essentially what totalitarianism is, albeit on a societal scale. Their initiation into the Covidian Cult began in January, when the medical authorities and corporate media turned on The Fear with projections of hundreds of millions of deaths and fake photos of people dropping dead in the streets. The psychological conditioning has continued for months. The global masses have been subjected to a constant stream of propaganda, manufactured hysteria, wild speculation, conflicting directives, exaggerations, lies, and tawdry theatrical effects.
Deprogramming cult members? It is perhaps the Allied denazification initiative following World War II which offers most clues to an appropriately ordered response to the COVID-19 cult. That earlier initiative aimed to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of the Nazi ideology. It was carried out by removing those who had been Nazi Party or SS members from positions of power and influence and by disbanding or rendering impotent the organizations associated with Nazism. The program of denazification was launched after the end of the war and was solidified by the Potsdam Agreement in August 1945.
Many people had to complete a background form, called a Meldebogen (replacing the widely disliked Fragebogen), and were given over to justice under a Spruchkammer, which assigned them to one of five categories:
Curiously that sort of classification is already detectable as a feature of what is envisaged by authorities in their development of immunity / vaccination / health passports and the freedoms they entitle -- now enabled and enhanced by the use of QR codes.
Keith Critchlow. Islamic Patterns: an analytical and cosmological approach. Thames and Hudson, 1976
Edward de Bono:
Marcus du Sautory:
Susantha Goonatilake. Toward a Global Science: mining civilizational knowledge. Indiana University Press, 1999
Douglas Hofstadter. Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. Basic Books, 1979
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press, 1980
Joseph Mercola and Ronnie Cummins. The Truth About COVID-19: exposing the Great Reset, lockdowns, vaccine passports, and the new normal. Chelsea Green, 2021 [summary]
Gareth Morgan. Images of Organization, Sage, 1986
David Mumford, et al. Indra's Pearls: the vision of Felix Klein. Cambridge University Press, 2002
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. Merchants of Doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. Bloomsbury Press, 2010
Nicholas Rescher. Ignorance: on the wider implications of deficient knowledge. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009
David Robson. The Intelligence Trap: why smart people make dumb mistakes. W. W. Norton, 2020
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