Thema des Monats

Thema des Monats

Thema des Monats

TOPIC 3 / 2021

PERSPECTIVES IN THE CORONA CRISIS

THEORETICAL APPROACHES

▪ THIS IS WHAT SCIENCE HAS TO OFFER ON THE CORONA CRISIS

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, […], The General Assembly, Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights […].“ (VN, 10.12.1948)

“In the Corona crisis, the voices of experts in social sciences or political science are hardly heard. Many are concerned with the deficits and conflicts of other countries, but there seems to be little interest in the preservation of our own democratic culture. However, it needs to be explained why fundamental rights have to be restricted in order to manage the dangers of a pandemic. Why is Europe going the Chinese way with lockdowns and de facto forced vaccinations instead of trusting the expertise, creativity and self-regulation of open societies? This article shows why this can only lead to a dead end, in mass surveillance and drug dependency that reduces people to the intellectual level of machines.

This study is intended as a plea for a revival of humanistic values and is based on a meta-theoretical analysis of Corona politics with five approaches. First of all, the catchword conspiracy theory is taken up, which does not exist in any research discipline, but serves to control public discourses. This can be used to denounce any political scientist who studies open and hidden stakeholder interests. In free societies, such defamations contradict the press code; in authoritarian regimes like China, they are a tool for ostracising government critics. Beijing’s current Corona policy is not only rooted in Maoism, it also rhetorically harks back to the Cultural Revolution that victimised millions.

Currently, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is on everyone’s lips because it gives politicians the green light to print money in the Corona crisis. In combination with structural analysis, the risks become visible: A second ‘level of instrumental measures’ has been established in the European Union (EU), which controls finances outside the EU treaties and national law. This loss of control also affects health policy. The approach of bio-power shows that its dissolution leads to a ‘seizure of power over the humans as living beings’. Transhumanism glosses this over with the promise of an evolutionary leap forward. Humanists, on the other hand, rely on a future in which people can preserve and develop their self-determined, creative nature.  …” 

Source: Sabine Riedel, Analytical Perspectives in the Corona Crisis, in: Forschungshorizonte Politik & Kultur 7/2021.

KEY STATEMENTS

▪ THE THEORIES LEAD TO DIFFERENT INSIGHTS

THE TERM CONSPIRACY  THEORY IS A CREATION OF TH MEDIA

♦  The term “conspiracy theory” is an external description and always used by an outside person in order to cast doubt on claims and to exclude their authors from the discourse. That is why this term is often used to discredit and expose.

♦  It is a creation of media language and is not used in any scientific discipline. A free research culture, on the other hand, thrives on the pluralism of theories and the competition of approaches. The accusation particularly applies to political science, which analyses open and hidden interests.  

♦ The case of Roland Wiesendanger shows the dubious methods with which he and his laboratory hypothesis on Covid-19 were defamed (through false statements, defamation, exclusion). They belonged to the strategy of “decomposition” of the state security of the former GDR.

♦  In this case, journalists violated the press code and thereby showed their real interest, namely to ban explosive topics from public discourse. It is about the proposal to outlaw gain-of-function research on biological warfare agents worldwide.

THE CORONA CRISIS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MAOISM / CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION

♦ The World Health Organisation (WHO) accuses China of withholding important data from the international commission investigating the four hypotheses of origin. Beijing defends the assumption that Covid-19 was imported through frozen food. It sees itself in the competition of political systems and presents its authoritarian Corona policy as exemplary.

♦   Behind the facade of “successful” anti-Corona measures are methods of a totalitarian political system. This is indicated by the Communist Party’s (CPC) absolute claim to leadership in the economy and society. Despite all reforms, critics of the dominant role of the state economy are punished and “re-educated” (Constitution 1985, Article 28).  

♦   To justify the drastic measures such as compulsory vaccinations, the government draws on the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). But unlike Mao, who incited young Red Guards to take violent actions against regime critics, Xi Jinping relies on structural violence. Since 2015, a social credit system has been used for control and moral education.

♦   Just as the regime quarantined the Hubei region for 12 weeks on 23.1.2020, it declared the pandemic to be over in October 2020. The screening programme in Wuhan with about 10 million people showed that the risk of infection by people without symptoms is low. China is currently using this finding to catch up economically.

ACCORDING TO MODERN MONETARY THEORY (MMT) MONEY EXISTS IN ABUNDANCE

♦   Before the Corona crisis, MMT led a niche existence. Only with the worsening of the money shortage in the Corona crisis does it receive greater attention. It contributed to the polarisation in the election campaign for the US presidency because the Democrats opened up to MMT. Under Joe Biden, the national debt once again rose to the record sum of 28 trillion US dollars.

♦   The central message of MMT is that a sovereign state with its own currency could print unlimited amounts of money to finance necessary expenses. The dangers of inflation could be controlled by increasing taxes or cutting spending. This message appeals to all strata of constituencies and is particularly tempting for politicians before elections.

♦  Immediately at the beginning of the Corona crisis, the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted the MMT. Contrary to the EU treaties, it takes on debts in order to distribute the aid money among the member states. However, according to the MMT, this would require a common EU fiscal policy. This deficit will increasingly cause controversy in the EU.

♦   The MMT can only be useful for the USA because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. For the EU and for the emerging countries, the fiscal dependencies increase. Europe would do well to trust its historical experience. The controversy be­tween liberals (Mises) and etatists (Knapp as the mastermind of MMT) is more topical than ever.

STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS (ERNST FRAENKEL) POINTS TO ANTI-DEMOCRATIC DUAL STUCTURES

♦   The structural analysis by Ernst Fraenkel, the founder of political science in Germany, describes the ruling system of National Socialism as a dual state: In addition to the normative state as the executive branch of the legal system and administration, the NSDAP established a parallel state of instrumental measures, which ruled with violence and arbitrariness as the “organ of the NS dictatorship”.

♦   This approach can be used to analyse authoritarian rule structures in order to identify dangers of anti-democratic developments. If one follows this model, the Treaty on the European Stability Me­chanism (ESM, 2012) has created a structure of instrumental measures outside of the EU Treaty and national law in addition to the European normative structure.

♦   The signatory states of the ESM, the Eurogroup or EU19 with the euro as their currency, reject the European Commission’s proposal to convert the ESM into EU law. Instead, this mechanism (according to Fraenkel, the structure of instrumental measures) should be available to the entire EU27, but without jurisdiction and democratic control.

♦   Before Austria and Italy (EU19) first resorted to the lockdown in the Corona crisis, the President of the ESM Board of Governors (Eurogroup) announced that the stability criteria would be suspended (4.3.2020). The Eurogroup took this decision after a conference call during which neither risks nor alternative measures were discussed. It gave the starting signal for a debt spiral.

MICHEL FOUCAULT ANTICIPATED THE DANGERS OF AN UNCONTROLLED BIO-POWER 

♦  At the end of 2020, the European Commission pro­posed the establishment of a European Health Union to combat the pandemic. In contrast to the ESM, this project is supposed to be subject to EU law, but shift competences in health policy from the country level to Brussels. It is about the management and control of all health data in the EU.

♦  This shift of competence contradicts the EU treaties (principle of subsidiarity) as well as data protection and the fundamental right to informational self-determination. According to Michel Foucault’s approach to bio-politics, Union citizens are threatened with an unbounded and uncontrollable bio-power, according to which it is no longer doctors but politicians who distinguish between sick and healthy.

♦   Foucault describes two extreme poles of the expansion of power. One extreme is the decision-making power to wipe out the life of all of humanity (atomic bomb), the other to determine the life of humanity by using technologies. According to Foucault, the Nazi regime represented both extremes and is a cautionary example.    

♦   After the experiences of the Nazi dictatorship, doctors drafted the Nuremberg Code (1947), which prohibits testing medicines on humans. The EU (EMA) seems to evade this by allowing vaccines already after shortened test phases that result in side effects and deaths. Union citizens are insufficiently informed about the risks.

TRANSHUMANISM REDUCES HUMANS TO THE LEVEL OF MACHINES

♦   At present, the vaccine manufacturers are increasingly pointing to regular follow-ups. Together with the indirect compulsion to vaccinate through the withdrawal of basic rights, there is a threat of a whole society becoming addicted to medication. Like experiences with addicts, secondary diseases and mental disorders are to be expected, which hinder a self-determined life.

♦   According to the world view of the transhumanists, such a development is not a curse but a blessing. They strive for a transformation of the human being into a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of human and machine, and demand their legal equality. The breeding of hybrid beings from humans and animals would also serve evolutionary progress.

♦   Such biopolitical objectives recall the research of the Nazi regime. Not only Michel Foucault dealt with this, but also the writer Hermann Broch. In his analyses of mass paranoia, he describes processes of ego narrowing through permanent fear and control, which are always accompanied by a painful loss of value. 

♦   At the same time, Broch outlined the way out of a social depression, such as the Corona crisis: the individual regains his dignity when he frees himself from the ego narrowing. He must reappropriate the outside world through material possessions (consumption), intellectual debate (criticism) or emotional openness (instead of social distancing). 

CONCLUSION: HUMAN SCIENCES NEED A MULTIDIMENSIONAL SOCIAL THEORY

Humanism assumes that humans differ from machines through feelings, willpower, purposefulness and through his ability to think multidimensionally. Accordingly, analyses of the human sciences should always open up a multidimensional perspective through appropriate approaches beyond their narrow subject boundaries.

OWN PUBLICATIONS

▪ SABINE RIEDEL IN THE SCIENTIFIC DISCOURSE ON THE TOPIC:

Sabine Riedel, The Cultural Future of Europe. Democracies at Times of Global Changes. Introduction: The Convergence Theory as a Socio-scientific Approach, FPK, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2017 July 21), 13 pages. Source text: Riedel, Sabine, Die kulturelle Zukunft Europas. Demokratien in Zeiten globaler Umbrüche, Wiesbaden, 2015, pp. 1-3, 244-264, Translation by Jean Säfken.

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For questions and collaborations contact me: 
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