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“Emergency Talk” used to implement Covid restrictions will be repackaged and weaponised again

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The architects of military coups and revolutions love to invoke “national emergencies” to suspend civil rights, impose curfews, and get around awkward constitutional constraints. The advantage of declaring a national emergency is that you can legitimate violent and anti-constitutional interventions, and unprecedented power grabs, under the pretext that you are saving the nation from imminent doom.


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By David Thunder

The fact that demagogues and dictators are particularly fond of invoking emergencies to legitimate their power grabs does not mean that all emergencies are fabricated by budding tyrants. But it does mean we should be extremely wary when politicians declare emergencies as grounds for suspending rule of law or expanding their power over citizens’ lives.

The Declaration of a Covid Emergency

When a nation comes under military attack, it may be legitimate to declare a state of emergency, impose curfews, and redirect some economic resources toward national defence. But this was not the sort of situation represented by Covid-19. We were not under military attack, and we were not facing some sort of civilisational threat. Rather, we were faced with a nasty respiratory virus with an estimated infection fatality rate in the range of 0.2-0.3%, that our healthcare systems were not properly equipped to respond to.

In the face of this nasty virus, governments declared national emergencies, suspended the right to protest, shut down businesses and schools, mandated universal masking, prohibited religious services, severely restricted travel, and attempted to regulate the number of people one could entertain in one’s home. At the time, it was predictable that this sledgehammer approach to public health would cause far-reaching and disproportionate harm to human health and well-being. But the Covid “emergency” was presented as an irresistible justification for every conceivable Covid intervention, irrespective of its potential collateral harms.

Were Covid Emergency Measures Justified?

Some people claim that the Covid emergency was basically invented out of thin air in order to legitimate illicit power grabs. The truth is more subtle than that: the corona pandemic constituted a genuine emergency, at least in the initial months that it swept across the globe, but the rhetoric surrounding it – the Covid emergency talk – was hyped up to a point where it lost touch with reality, and became little more than a thinly veiled excuse for expanding government powers.

Here is one dictionary definiton of an “emergency”: “something dangerous or serious, such as an accident, that happens suddenly or unexpectedly, and needs fast action in order to avoid harmful results.” Stated in this very general way, we could plausibly describe the corona pandemic as a public “emergency” – likely the result of an artificially enhanced virus leaked from a Wuhan lab. Whatever the origin of SARS-CoV-2, there was a broad consensus among epidemiologists and political leaders that some sort of concerted response was required, to minimise its potential impact in hospitals, care homes, and vulnerable populations.

The Devil is in the Detail

But the devil is in the detail. The manner in which the Corona emergency was represented to the public by political leaders, public officials, public health authorities, and journalists, had two extremely troubling features:

First, it involved a gross distortion of the facts, of the sort that tended to vastly exaggerate the likely impact of the pandemic – for example, by continuously reporting PCR positive tests as if they corresponded neatly to confirmed clinical cases of Covid-19 disease, or focusing on highly speculative, empirically unsubstantiated upper limits on projected deaths and hospitalisations, as occurred in the public reporting of Imperial College’s doomsday projections.

Second, it was assumed in an uncritical and routine manner that suspending civil liberties and expanding political powers were justified by the emergency. Little serious consideration was given to the dangers this posed to a constitutional order, and the evidence produced to show that such measures were necessary and unavoidable was scant, at best.

Emergency Talk Can and Will Be Weaponised Again

It would be reassuring to believe that the excesses of emergency talk seen during this pandemic were an unfortunate blip unlikely to happen again anytime soon. But emergency talk is becoming increasingly popular among our political classes and among certain classes of political activists, not only in relation to Covid-19 but also in relation to other alleged “crises” such as climate change. There is no doubt that the sort of rhetoric and ideology that was used to justify Covid emergency measures can and will be repackaged and weaponised again to justify another slate of intrusive and illiberal interventions, whether to “save the climate,” or keep us safe from some other collective threat, such as terrorism.

A critical antidote to the weapon of emergency talk is awareness of its existence and the threat it poses to our freedom. Emergency talk is notoriously malleable and susceptible to abuse because, by definition, it is difficult to define the conditions of a public emergency independently of the judgment calls of political leaders. Emergency talk is especially dangerous when it is thought to empower a highly autocratic style of top-down interventions and to disempower local civil society and political actors, as it has been interpreted during the recent pandemic.

The utilitarian logic of the new emergency talk – the notion that no value or right, no matter how precious, can stand in the way of measures that are perceived as “effective” responses to an emergency – is especially insidious. Confronted with any emergency, whether real or perceived, you can use emergency talk to convince people that we absolutely must arm the government with a blank cheque to do “whatever it takes” to avert a catastrophe.

Because emergency talk activates powerful emotions of fear and terror, the invocation of emergencies can bypass people’s critical faculties, speaking instead in a direct way to their sub-rational survival instincts. This is a distinct advantage for political leaders who would prefer to save themselves the trouble of being held accountable for their actions before the tribunal of reason.

Here are some of the defining features of the sort of emergency talk we have heard during the pandemic, features that are eerily similar to the emergency discourse of environmental activists:

  • speculative and unsubstantiated scientific projections suggesting very bad things will happen to us “unless we act now”
  • speculative and unsubstantiated attributions of efficacy to policy interventions that nobody really knows will work
  • a preference for interventions that involve a massive amount of coercion and top-down control, over interventions that trust citizens to do the right thing, or simply foster voluntary cooperation in the service of the common good
  • a revolutionary spirit, that views traditional rights and constitutional conventions as inconvenient obstacles to progress
  • a blindness to potential collateral harms of revolutionary, top-down interventions in the social fabric

So next time you hear a government talk about the revolutionary changes we need to make to “fix” global warming, whether steep carbon taxes, centrally imposed limits on energy usage, or the elimination of cars from our streets, you might ask yourself:

  1. First, do we actually know that these top-down interventions will “fix” global warming and its effects? Just how compelling is the scientific evidence for their efficacy?
  2. Second, have the architects of such policies given adequate consideration to their knock-on effects on human health and well-being, and economic development, whether in the developed or developing world?
  3. Third, even granting that environmental reform is needed, do I have any reason to trust that eliteactors and institutions that used emergency talk to justify the suspension of basic liberties during the pandemic, will act in good faith and respect our fundamental liberties in the context of climate change and other emergencies, whether real or perceived?

About the Author

David Thunder is a researcher and lecturer of political philosophy at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.  His passion is the study of conditions under which a functional human society can be created and preserved over time.  He is author of the book ‘Citizenship and the Pursuit of the Worthy Life’.  He writes and publishes articles on a Substack page titled ‘The Freedom Blog’ which you can subscribe to and follow HERE.

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Greg
Greg
1 month ago

We weren’t even faced with a nasty respiratory virus.That’s why they killed people with Midazolam and Remdesivir and fiddled the actuarial tables. It was a hoax from start to finish.

Dr TRUTH
Dr TRUTH
Reply to  Greg
1 month ago

Hoax is the wrong term. You need to ascribe the nefarious nature of the entire event, from planning to execution, to the appropriate individuals, and refer them for Nuremberg II

LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  Dr TRUTH
1 month ago

Forget about it, never will be a Nuremberg 2 and by the way the first was fake. The most important people, nazis were saved, research Operation Paperclip. For the rest, see my other comments here.

Rikki
Rikki
Reply to  LittleRedShoes
1 month ago

I think you’re wrong about “Nuremberg 2.0”, this thing is way too big to be swept under the rug.

LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  Greg
1 month ago

Never any virus was properly isolated and proven to cause a thing. Ever. This knowledge nowadays is so important it should be shouted from the roof. Everywhere. If no virus, no virus’ dictated emergency, period.

THE GOVERNMENT KNEW THIS, WATCH THE DATE.

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LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  LittleRedShoes
1 month ago

This is the case we supported several times back then, after a time we gave up as sadly they reached nothing, it looks even the juridical system is full with criminals or cowards or both.

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1 month ago

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vlamp66
vlamp66
1 month ago

amazing the same ppl responded to this that responded to aids and hiv..the first was more dangerous and not resolved and flares up from time to time..covid is not anywhere as dangerous as hiv aids mers zika h1 n9 nobody is even tested for these before entering any country.there used to be a shot list you needed for certain countries..and yet covid needs to be treated as a planet killer..ebola a far more deadly disease has never gotten this much attention..monkey pox has been treated with small pox vaccines for decades..now they want new mrna drugs for all of this.i been calling the recent event the covid empire fauchi is king the vaccine companies being exposed were almost out of business with so many chinese investors they had to restore those companies..china is the key player in al of the illnesses i mentioned.

Names
Names
Reply to  vlamp66
1 month ago

hiv aids mers zika h1 n9 …. all fake

LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  Names
1 month ago

True and it was proven.
As of September 11, 2022: 211 institutions and offices in over 35 countries have responded thus far, as well as some “SARS-COV-2 isolation” study authors, and none have provided or cited any record describing actual “SARS-COV-2” isolation/purification. All of the responses in our collection are available from this page.’

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Rikki
Rikki
Reply to  Names
1 month ago

You can thank Dr. Death Fauci for all of it. We will never forget nor forgive.

Dr TRUTH
Dr TRUTH
Reply to  vlamp66
1 month ago

I would refer you to the twenty year history of the NIAID / Fauci development of the stabilized form of – MOUSE-SARS-CV-2002. Yes the original. Which was saved and played with. Stabilized by methylation at the six most common points of natural mutation 2004 to 2008 (Fauci at first press conference “It is never going away”. He knew from day one it was his bug), then altered at Ft. Detriek between 2008 and 2012 when the Gain of Function ban was placed (you should look up why – you won’t be happy). Beginning in 2014 the NIAID / Fauci sent his pet projects regarding HIV studies to the Ukraine labs through EcoHealth Allinace / Peter Daszac where it was passed through to China /CCP for the Gain of Function work – splice the HIV viral envelope coat glycoprotein 120 RNA code into the virus RNA, so that the CV bug expresses the same SHIELD from your immune system as HIV. COV-AIDS. Longhaulers.
For their part the CCP added the other Gain of Fucntion, the real killer in this pandemic, the ACE2 enzyme, which causes all the cardiovascular symptoms, endocarditis, myocarditis, brain fog, disrythmias, general inflammation,etc. There is a lot more, but this should be enough for anyone to realize this was our weapon to start with.

LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  Dr TRUTH
1 month ago

Yawn.
The good old virus legend again. Proof of existence?
I see you missed a very old book – among other info – Jon Rappoport’s AIDS Inc.

Or Dr Yeadon’ confession recently. There are no respiratory viruses – he said – they don’t know what causes the symptoms but it couldn’t be a virus.

Good Morning Dr ‘Truth’.

vlamp66
vlamp66
1 month ago

life insurance companies now fighting back.they are not obligated to pay out on a policy holder who engaged in experimental treatments or therapies..these drugs are still under emergency use authorization.the companies are exempt from legal law suits..you can however sue whoever administered the shots or provided treatments..any find it interesting how most actual doctors office will not administer the covid shots but will refer you to the county health department or some parking lot tent or pharmacy. they themselves wont give them..BECAUSE THEY CAN BE SUED FOR MALPRACTICE. its why all those vaccines are given at the health department..your doctor might give you the 10 year booster shots..

LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  vlamp66
1 month ago

I bet they knew it in advance.
On alternative sites it was news at the beginning of covid ‘vaccinations’ – that the insurance companies wouldn’t pay because people agreed to have an experimental treatment.

“You’ll own nothing” – including health or money to help you when you can’t work or help your family when you are dead.

Jon Gale
Jon Gale
Reply to  vlamp66
1 month ago

I don’t know where you got your information from bud but they’re giving covid shots in hospitals have been doing it from day one, okay I know people that work in the hospital field, you can go to any urgency Care and get one there too.

Augustus
Augustus
1 month ago

They may find it harder to declare national emergencies since many of their fanatical cheerleaders are no longer with us or too ill with “long covid” to mock and threaten those they disagree with. Maybe the thinking adults that remain will tell TPTB to pound sand and that there will be no compliance from the citizens. As we have learned from this hoax, selling out your freedoms for government protection, never works out the way it is intended.
These same leaders will use the global warming bullshit for the next national emergency. We are already seeing how they are using this hoax to limit the freedom of movement for people and goods. They are destroying food processing and storage facilities and much of our fuel and electrical stations. I realize there are many global warming zealots that fall for this crap, but I’m sure they also they fell for the covid con job and there is fewer of them today.

LittleRedShoes
LittleRedShoes
Reply to  Augustus
1 month ago

If only it would be just global warming and messing with the weather causing draughts, floods, earthquakes – don’t forget the Blue Beam technology and Happy New Year from China.
A whale or antichrist/christ or a couple of UFOs on the sky?

Jon Gale
Jon Gale
Reply to  LittleRedShoes
1 month ago

AS WELL AS HARP, THEY’VE BEEN TERRAFORMING FOR A LONG TIME AND THEY CAN CONTROL THE WEATHER THEY’VE HAD THE ABILITY TO DO THAT FOR THE LAST 70 YEARS BUT THEY’VE GOTTEN REALLY GOOD AT IT IN THE LAST 20, I’M NOT SAYING ALL THE WEATHER PHENOMENON IS ARTIFICIALLY CREATED, BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT SOME OF THESE MEGA DROUGHTS ARE ABSOLUTELY CREATED I KNOW THAT THEY CAN CREATE HURRICANES AND TORNADOES IF THEY WANT TO! HARP IS PLAYED A BIG DEAL INTO THIS, BUT WEATHER CONTROL IS ALSO A GOOD WEAPON AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES! THEY’VE BEEN CLOUD SEEDING SINCE THE FIFTIES, PROJECT BLUE BEAM IS ANOTHER ONE THAT YOU MENTIONED!! I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY ARTICLES I’VE READ IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS WE’RE NOT ONLY US BUT CHINA THROUGH SATELLITES, ARE BLOCKING OUT THE SUN IN CERTAIN AREAS OF LAND THAT COVERS A HUGE SWATH OF TERRITORY, AND WHEN THEY DO BULLSHIT LIKE THAT IT MESSES UP THE NATURAL BALANCE OF THINGS ESPECIALLY IN NATURE AND PLANTS ANIMALS IT WILL LITERALLY CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR IN A WHOLE ECOSYSTEM INCLUDING CO2, SOUND IS ANOTHER ONE THEY CAN ABSOLUTELY CREATE EARTHQUAKES IF THEY WANT TO THROUGH SOUND WAVES !IF YOU YOU HIT THE RIGHT FREQUENCY YOU CAN BUCKLE STEEL AND CAUSE IT TO SHATTER AND BREAK LIKE GLASS, that is no shit either! They got sound weapons as well that runs on the same frequency as a human brain and it’s torture I’ve talked to guys that were in Iraq that were under it when they used it on insurgents and that’s just on a small scale! Theyve actually had that technology since the first Persian Gulf war it’s a bit refined since then, if they wanted to they could use it on the whole city and fuck up the population real bad and it’s a horrible way to die, when you’re hit with it you instantly feel nauseous it causes you to shit your pants and it gives you the worst headache you’ve ever felt and if you’re under it too long it’ll kill you, it’s extremely painful and uncomfortable from what I understand and everything I’ve learned about it through veterans who experienced it! They got technology out there we don’t even have a clue!

Abdiel
Abdiel
1 month ago

What a dangerous argument, that some emergencies warrant curtailment of rights. No, as the Siracusa Principles set out, no emergency, even one that threatens the life of the nation, may set aside any right!

fgsjr2015
fgsjr2015
1 month ago

As disturbing as it sounds, due to increasingly common privatized research for big-profit aims, even science, and perhaps by extension scientific ‘fact’, has become commercialized. Research results, however flawed, can and are known to be publicly amplified if they favor the corporate product, and accurate research results can be suppressed or ignored if they are unfavorable to business interests, even when involving human health.

Plus, the term ‘science’ does get used a bit too readily/frequently, and one should be cautious against blindly buying into (what I generally call) speculative science.

Mega-corporation lobbyists largely lead Western nations. Such lobbyist manipulation does not belong in any government body established to protect consumers’ safety and health rather than big businesses’ insatiable profit goals.
 
For example, Health Canada was established to act in Canadian consumers’ best interests, yet it’s susceptible to corporate lobbyist manipulation. For one thing, it allowed novelty-flavored vaping products to be fully marketed — even on corner stores’ candy counters — without conclusive independent scientific proof that the product, as claimed by the tobacco industry, would not seriously harm consumers but rather help nicotine addicts wean themselves off of the more carcinogenic cigarette means of nicotine deliverance.
 
A few years before that, Health Canada had sat on its own research results that indicated seatbelts on buses would save lives and reduce injury; it wanted even more proof of safety through seatbelts before ordering big bus manufacturers to install them in every bus.
 
Over the last 18 years or so, Health Canada has dramatically refocused a large portion of its resources from consumers’ health/wellbeing and onto the industry’s business interests. Health Canada places about four times more of its resources, such as staffing and funding, toward getting new drugs onto the market than it does on consumers’ safety, notably monitoring and recording adverse effects caused by the drugs.

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Cynthia
Cynthia
1 month ago

We did NOT come down in the last shower to consort or have ANY TRUCK WITH A FOREIGNER LIKE TEDROS THROWING HIS WEIGHT ABOUT. THERE IS ONLY 1% Of these Renegades and 99% of us who are FREEDOM FIGHTERS.

They are sick in their heads because they are in the hands of the devil whose end has been established and he is taking them all with him. GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!