Germany’s Wrongest Man (Lauterbach) visits Washington, warns of imminent Covid catastrophe

[900 words]

The German news today informs us that the excitable and extreme CoronaPanic-loyalist Karl Lauterbach has made an appearance in Washington July 21, 2022. The White House hosted him. The visit looks to have been an international Covid strategy session by Panic-loyalists.

After leaving the White House, Lauterbach spoke to the German press in Washington and there regaled his captive audience with alarmist predictions about a coming “catastrophe.” (ZDF, “Lauterbach warns of ‘catastrophic’ autumn,” July 22, 2022). Lauterbach’s song-and-dance before the German press corps of Washington hints at the contents of the closed-door White House meeting.

Although this man is sometimes called Germany’s Doctor Fauci in U.S. media, I prefer to call Herr Professor Lautcherbach by this name: “Germany’s Wrongest Man.”

The mad-doctor seems to do this a lot, hector those willing to listen that a Covid Catastrophe is coming, very soon (believe him), if new measures are not put in place. If a “catastrophe” doesn’t come, it’s because of the heroic efforts and faith of himself and loyal Panic-supporters.

“Without new protective measures, we are threatened with a catastrophe this autumn,” [Lauterbach said.] “If we head into autumn like we’re doing, without further protective measures, that is to say without masks, without anything, that would mean that the case numbers would rise sharply and the ICUs would overflow.”

He has long been known to be an alarmist and extreme Panic-pusher with a special immunity to facts.

The visit by Germany’s Wrongest Man was not much covered by the U.S. media, as far as I’ve seen (they give so much space “January 6th hearings,” there is little time for anything else). But via the German media, we get this little snapshot of the beleaguered Corona-loyalist Pro-Panic forces regrouping.

We already see signs they want to take the offensive again. It may be hard to really get momentum again, as there are now highly committed Anti-Panic forces who will not easily surrender or allow themselves to get outmaneuevered (as they did in spring 2020). And there are important (Panic-loyal) forces still with the Biden people.

The Corona-Panic, as a social force, is a mere shadow of its former self of six months ago. Alas, aall is not quite lost to the Panickers.

Here we see mad-doctor Lauterbach with his White House by his counterpart, the Biden Covid policy Czar Ashish Jha:

(Pictures of Dr. Lauterbach’s Washington visit for a July 2022 Corona-Panic summit, Twitter.)

The White House counterpart holding the banner of Corona-Loyalism on behalf of Team Biden, Ashish Jha, is hardly in the news, and nor did the German press reports quote him. We can assume Ashish Jha nodded along with the various rantings of Germany’s Wrongest Man about a Covid Catastrophe coming to ye of so little faith.

(I know, I know: “Ashish Jha” sounds like an implausible, made-up, joke name. It’s actually a Brahmin-Hindu name. The former Prime Minister of Canada, Trudeau the Elder, got hopped up on powoer and demanded exotic immigrants be let in, apparently to soften up his enemy of old-line Anglo-Canadian conservatism. Canada took in Brahmin Jha’s parents in when the future Corona-czar was a boy of age nine, in 1979. He later he came to the USA.)

Meanwhile, Corona-Ayatollah Fauci has said he will retire in or about December 2024, but like many of the others he conspicuously refuses to admit any errors. Was Doctor Fauci at the German–US Corona-Panic summit of July 21, 2022?



What do we make of Herr Doktor Karl “Germany’s Wrongest Man” Lauterbach, his surprising resilience and his ongoing, active Panic-loyalty?

This despite many of the best and most active Corona-dissidents ant Anti-Panickers also being from the German-sphere, and before the victory of the Panic Germany being one of those that seemed to visibly lean Anti-Panic.

Amyway, spring 2020, this man Lauterbach has been not just consistently alarmist and consistently wrong, but consistently unwilling—or somehow psychologically unable—to admit his errors, to question whether the tenets of the Corona-Panic really are God’s Holy Word.

Lauterbach has been curiously secure in his Fauci-like role despite being on the extemist end of the Corona-ideology spectrum, a “Panicker’s Panicker” let’s say.

I should add that Lauterbach is not Europe’s wrongest man, for that dubious title must be the evil Neil Ferguson. The fantasy charts of doom produced by Neil Ferguson were a highly useful service to the Corona-Panic monster. The Panic monster used the Ferguson and his fantasy-charts to hypnotize, blackmail, and puppetize European leaders and political-cultures, falling like dominoes, caving in and joining up with the Panic during the critical period in March 2020. Lauterbach was an early convert and remains a loyalist to the Corona-Panic’s 2020-orthodox line. Since late 2021, he has even been Health Minister.

None in power seem to care about how wrong he has been. The only exception among organize-political-entities is the beleaguered AfD, consistent critics under constant pressure from the government. They have called for his resignation, but they are effected blocked and a cordon-sanitraire against any other party cooperating with them holds.

There are many extraparliamentary forces strongly critical of German’y Wrongest Man, Corona-fanatic Lauterbach. And the facts, reality, truth and beauty are Herr Professor Lauterbach’s harshest critics of all. As for those in power, they seem to care not how wrong he has been. It’s as if the entire political class were, and remain, a mix of hypnotized and scared of challenging power.

I am interested in why this is.



(Coming soon: Something almost completely different, an investigative post on the Georgia Guidestones. Bombed by a team of hotheads two weeks ago, I am interested in what that act and the shift in views on the Guidestones over the years says about our politics and culture.)


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72 Responses to Germany’s Wrongest Man (Lauterbach) visits Washington, warns of imminent Covid catastrophe

  1. Dieter Kief says:

    Professor Karl Lauterbach has settled in well – especially well in his fictional crisis world. 

    TV audiences are increasingly reluctant to differentiate between fiction and reality. Man, as the supplement “Welt im Spiegel” in the satirical magazine “Pardon!”used to know, – man does not so much stem from the apes but is rather aping the TV-talking heads now and worshipping their studios  as the stem-cells so to speak. The TV newsrooms as – the stem-cells: Of modern life itself.

    This modern form of “pre-established harmony” (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz) makes Professor Lauterbach a well-respected celebrity and permanent TV-personality. He manages to excell in this idiot-mill: He feeds it whenever possible with exactly his Lauterbach-toned doomsday messages, which he never serves without Professor-Lauterbach-fixes. And people love this mixture of horror and release, that he so perfectly well delivers, from the morning news-shows half past six on till late at night. He is a vegetarian and he eats no salt, what seems to give him superhuman patience and perseverance at a freakish mixture of low and high energy-levels. His rare rhetorical strategy relates directly with the public uncoscious.*** – The permanence and ubiquity of his daily doses of argumentative horror/release fit into the mood of the German majority in the most wondrous and cute way. You rub your eyes, but the nightmarish doomsayer remains on top of the dark waves he constantly emanates. An underestimated virtuoso on the high command of the Corona-public-sphere. Btw. – did he do nothing but  harm? – No, he did not. Will he win and stay on top of his scaremonger-game further on? Maybe; but this is not necessarily so.
    *** in this regard, he is a true virtuoso. And very few people realize that, what means: As a media professional, he is widely underestimated and I at times think, that this underappreciation is one of his very strong  weapons… Another big one in his arsenal: His personal half whiny half directive (= quite suggestive all in all…)  tone and his slumbering voice with the tonme of an exhasusted preacherman.
    So – he might well be one of the few politicians in Germany who are very good at influencing people’s behavior and beliefs.

    • Bo says:

      If his “rhetorical strategy relates directly with the public unconscious,” does it make him…

      An effective religious leader…?

    • Hail says:

      Your depiction of this man in part suggests a gentle(-seeming) man with hypnotic powers.

      Two US parallels come to my mind from late-20th-century TV personalities: “Mister Rogers,” is one; the other is Bob Ross, who did a surprisingly popular painting show, The Joy of Painting). Mister Rogers was a children’s show but the Bob Ross show was for all. Both were soothing and became iconic in their ways. In recent times, both became Internet “memes” to an extent despite being long gone.

      Mister Rogers and the painter Bob Ross both had influence and power, in their own way. Neither being what we classically would consider a dynamic “leader.” What was attractive about them? — This seems to lead us into the deep cultural causes of the Corona-Panic but my thoughts are not fully formed on this.

    • Hello Dieter and Mr. Hail,

      It’s been great reading so far. Thank you both! I have not heard of the man before, but I will take your word, Dieter, on his “prowess” as a media figure. The problem is with the German people*. How would it be possible now to get people weened off of their screens, or basically, the reliance of these sources of “news”, or the way you put it, their source of daily horror and comfort?

      It’s either that or get sane people into the Establishment, but that’s pretty difficult when the Establishment picks its own for the media jobs, government positions, etc.

      I may have written this before (sorry), but one gets and entirely different perspective on lots of things, not just the Corona-panic, when one is completely off TV. (That would include not being hooked on any or many political youtube-channels either – for me “any”. I’m not kidding when I say that I’ve only heard the idiot Fauci speak about 3 or 4 times, and then only 10 seconds to a couple of minutes. Of course, those times were by accident, when walking by a live TV somewhere.

      You like polling results and such, Mr. Hail. I wonder if there is any data out there that correlates propanicness with time spent in front of TV screens.

      * Same with Americans, mind you, but we’re discussing GERMANY’s wrongest man here, not ours.

  2. Bo says:

    Ashish Jha’…sounds like some kinda mangled-up Rastafarian.

    Is he media shy?

    • Hail says:

      Is Ashish Jha “media shy”:

      Maybe for tactical reasons they do not let him speak to the press, I would think, but he does seem to speak to the press. He just gets no attention.

  3. Dieter Kief says:

    Bo wrote: “If his “rhetorical strategy relates directly with the public unconscious,” does it make him…
    An effective religious leader…?”

    Blog host Mr. Hail noticed (and analyzed) this phenomenon of Covid as an emanating new crypto-religion. – And I tend to think in this direction too. Social Democrats/ Democratic Socialists in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe) were traditionally a mixture of Christians and atheists.

    Professor Lauterbach left the Catholic church a few years back and Germany overall has become quite atheist – so our Hyperactive Professor goes with the flow and fills the public metaphysical gap very intuitively (being a professor and a medical doctor helps of course with his mission: The German saying speaks of medical doctors as The Half-Gods in White…..).

    A detail that speaks volumes methinks: Professor Lauterbach celebrates publicly that he eats No Salt.

    – Now think of the Salt of the Earth.. – : – The Rolling Stones – : – “God bless ya!” is what Mick Jagguarrr is saying at the end of each and every show (since when, btw.? – – – Since Altamont?!). So: The Rolling Stones are better mercenaries of the traditional Western amalgamation of individualism and Christian (=collective) values, than Professor Lauterbach.

     The dry professor might not follow the Stones when they sing The Salt of the Earth with its rough (=salty!) Christian overtones/implications (and they do it perfectly well!!!) – Or when Jagguuur says while waving a charming good-bye: “God Bless Everybody!” at the end of their shows.

    Lauterbach is far from this kind of folk-mataphysics because he is – (= he thinks he would be… – he understands himself as): An enlightenment mind – estranged from the Catholic faith he grew up in.

    The reason he gives for his Catholic estrangement is Catholic child-abuse, he says. And therefore: As a No-Catholic-Any-Longer rationalist, he might well think that he is trying to save the Hail to Jesus tradition by – healing the masses… (Cf. Steven Pinker: Enlightenment Now! – or see: Sam Harris. Both atheist rationalist liberals/ (= Social Democrats (= Francis Fukuyama’s (utopian…) Danes…)). 

    The transformation of the religious public sphere is widely misunderstood/and or wrongly categorized: We are indeed seeing the transformation of large parts of the  the traditional Christian/Western mindset/value system into something more // feels-based and tribal and less // competitive, individual and analytical and with regard to various forms of important realities: With overall less competence/productivity (cf. Hegel’s thought about the tendentially interchangeable//intermittend roles of – the master and the slave).

    Ironically enough, the masterminds of the Frankfurt School (with their senses sharpened by maverick Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch (“Atheism in Christianity” (notice the IN here – Bloch means it) – – – the  Frankfurt School masterminds saw the danger of their critical (=destructive) work and were the ones who developed quite a few philosophical warning signs against this tendency. One of those reads: Be careful not to fall for the repressive de-sublimation (repressive Entsublimierung – a term coined by Herbert Marcuse). But that is exactly what wokism is now – A repressive form of de-sublimation (=a repressive form of a collective (=cultist) regression.
     And the sharper minds within the Frankfurt School knew from the eighties on at least that these postmodern/ deconstructivist life-reformist…tendencies are a developing (looming…) thought-train springing off the rails of proper reason- and  that they are (at least in part) responsible for this mishap . . .  Did I mention that this is ironic? – It is indeed quite ironic. (At this point I often think of Alanis Morisette’s playful take on self-deceptions: Isn’t it Ironic. A song I like a lot. – As I like Heinrich Heine’s quite comparable ironic self-mockery – not least with regard to his socialist ideas! – (The world is full of wonders!)


    Btw.: Firmly atheist Karl Marx was the descendant of an impressively long row of rabbis. The rabbis in his family went back a whopping ten generations. His father cut the jewish ropes then and became a protestant. What did not work out too well, – unfortunately, I’d say.
    (Not only) in this hindsight, I am a Lutheran. 

    • Hail says:

      “We are indeed seeing the transformation of large parts of the the traditional Christian/Western mindset/value system into something more // feels-based and tribal and less // competitive, individual and analytical and with regard to various forms of important realities: With overall less competence/productivity”

      I am reminded of this:

      Soll Revolution sein, so wollen wir sie lieber machen als erleiden.“ — Chancellor Bismarck, 1866. (A possible translation, “If Revolution there is to be, better that we do it than have it be done to us.”)

      Some of the other quotable sayings associated with Bismarck (a man said to be a lover of Latin maxims) may help us understand the Corona-Panic phenomenon. After all, what was the Corona-Panic if not a “Revolution from Above”?

    • Mr. Kief,

      I am not sure what you mean with the part about the worries of Herb Marcuse and the sharper minds of the Frankfurt School*. Were they worried about the destruction of society – which I thought was their goal – or the destruction of the Frankfurt “School” of thought from within, before they got a chance to finish destroying society?

      On the salt thing, I think this guy is full of it. Is it that he puts no salt on his food – heck, I’ve been doing that for 30 years. It’s fooling yourself, because there is salt in so many foods. What the heck does the guy eat, then?

      I liked your take on Mick Jaguar (?) and the Stones. Salt of the Earth indeed.

      * BTW, was that Frankfurt on the Main or Frankfurt on the Oder – I figure the former, but you know how I like geography.

      • Dieter Kief says:

        Mod. – destruction of reason was the Frankfurter’s true .c.o.n.c.e.r.n.

        The idea that they were against reason itself stems from people who think that Karl Popper’s or Roger Scruton’s attacks on the Frankfurt School would be correct in that hindsight. They are not – they are oversimplifications.

        Best fruit of the Frankfurt/Main, please, School’s defense of reason is Jürgen Habermas’ full frontal attack on postmodern/deconstructivist thinking in his modern classic The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1985 (!)). – What if people would have studied this book more thoroughly…
        I’m glad you liked my Stones remarks! – Utterly English lads, those!

        Salt and stuff:

        eugyppius’ latest article about Professor Karl Lauterbach and science is great also:
        “Karl Lauterbach cites new mask mega-study – punks himself brutally!”

  4. Hail says:

    Dieter Kief wrote:

    “The permanence and ubiquity of [the Corona-fanatic and now-Health Minister Lauterbach’s] daily doses of argumentative horror/release fit into the mood of the German majority in the most wondrous and cute way. You rub your eyes, but the nightmarish doomsayer remains on top of the dark waves he constantly emanates. An underestimated virtuoso on the high command of the Corona-public-sphere”

    What you say about his popularity is a useful base-line to the role this strange man has had over these past 2.5 years.

    I find this poll on his personal popularity, dated April 2022. It asked two Corona-questions:

    46% – support mandatory vaccine for over-60s
    7% – No opinion
    47% – against mandatory vaccine for over-60s

    36% – Satisfied with Lauterbach’s work as Health Minister
    9% – No opinion
    55% – Not satisfied with Lauterbach’s work as Health Minister

    (The same polling firm had found 53% approve – 21% neutral – 26% disapprove when he started as Health Minister, December 2021, and that after his already-long career as the top Corona-Panic-pusher.)

    They Bundestag had then just blocked a morally and legally-constitutionally questionable ‘mandate’ proposal (April 7, 2022). This was another sign, of many in late winter and spring 2022 everywhere, that the orthodox pro-Panic Corona position was finally weakening in a serious way.

    Taking the two results together, there were still a lot of Corona-Panickers as of spring 2022.

    The relatively lower stated approval of his work as Health Minister I interpret to be tied into party-politics , and to the relative position of his party. Maybe some of the most extreme fanatics “disapproved” because the government didn’t suspend the constitution and issue the mandates, maybe go door-to-door with armed needle-teams to force vaccinations on resisters? I hope this particular type is relegated now to the “dustbin” of 2020-2021…

    36% is still objectively very high, for what this man is. His bizarre and delusional behaviors and statements should put him at much lower than 36%.

    BTW, this is from the polling firm INSA, which I believe usually gives the AfD several points higher than others. In other words, while INSA found 36% approval, other polling firms might produce a circa +5 result (low 40s).

  5. Dieter Kief says:

    Mr. Hail wrote: “After all, what was the Corona-Panic if not a “Revolution from Above”?”

    I – Death Then

    In the deeply somewhere-village I grew up in (and later left…), relatively old people wanted to die (and often talked about it – I remember that well). And it wasn’t that terrible for them to die, because – you know: They had the idea to return to their father…and they knew that their offspring would take care of the world after them…and they were often bodily exhausted – they had worked themselves to death (kaputt geschafft). I remember a vividly visiting my grandma in the Diakonissen-hospital in Speyer and she told me she had talked to the (young and very apprehensive…) female doctor and she had told her what she deep down knew for a long time already: Her bones were all gone. – Nothing to do about that. She was not sad, when she told me that (I was maybe nine years old, she must have been eighty-nine (and she always was deeply (and happily!) – catholic.
    When I talk to older people now, I talk to people who fear death and cling to life in a grim manner. Those are the readers of the Süddeutsche Zeitung for example with its Corona panicker (and not too bright) Dr. Christina Berndt at the helm of the science department (Corona-blogger eugyppius focuses on her lately on twitter and on substack). And: Christina Berndt is a prominent TV-Corona-expert too… This is a special problem: No German quality paper has strong science writers right now.

    II – – Death Now

    The Malaise of Quality Journalism And the Rise of Women In It
    The FAZ is very weak on Corona with Joachim Müller-Jung, an analytically incapable biologist in the leading position – and a young woman (astronomy professor… – and former science-blogger), Sybille Anderl, as his sidekick. Sybille Anderl does not know how to think properly too and produces one feely Corona-panicker-piece after the other – as does her boss.
    The leading journalist in the FAZ is editor at large Jürgen Kaube, for whom the same is true. Kaube was the assistant of once famous (half-genius) sociologist and systems-theorist Niklas Luhmann – it might sound a bit repetitious, but Jürgen Kaube too – knows not how to think properly, even though he is (like his trophy-science writer Professor Sybille Anderl) a definitely brighter guy than your regular journalist. 

    III – – – Beware Of Bright People Who Rationalize

    As Jordan B.Peterson (and – in his footsteps – Jonathan Haidt too) repeatedly remarked – (and I have written about, especially in some of my 2015f. – Uz-comments…) – rationalizations of bright people are harder to disentangle. 
    I even put that in a formula which I called Kief’s law – if to no effort, I have to say… Nevertheless: I’m right, Peterson and Haidt are right too. But: We all are in a not that well charted terrain here. Because both aspects: How 1) to think properly and 2) how not to fall for rationalizations (and all kinds of other neurotic defense-mechanisms) are both – maybe because of their very nature – rather obscured truths (at least for the time being). So: We all stumble along on these rough fields.

    IV – – – Christian Drosten – Special Thought-Deflecting Corona Agent And  – – – Women’s Special Corona Hero Professor Drosten as the Most Influential Scientist at the Side of Angela Merkel

    Things get even more muddy if I add that Jürgen Kaube decided early on that prominent virologist and PCT`R-Corona-test creator Professor Christian Drosten was the expert to follow. The FAZ took over Professor Drosten’s NDR Covid podcast, which he made weekly and later bi-weekly over 50 minutes. Christian Drosten too is – sigh, not dumb, but  – – – analytically weak as week asFAZ-head Kaube. But Drosten had (he seems to have lost it) the clairvoyance of your way over average dope-head (my fantasy is that smoking weed is what formed his mentality quite a bit). – Anyway: Drosten too went full throttle with the scary flow…fueling Corona-scare time and time again.
    Needless to say, that Drosten as the most influential person overall appealed a lot to women – and to the feels-aspect of the zeitgeist. – see Angela Merkel (who did so too – she was also personally scared because of Covid), but also think of the popular political talk show hosts Anne Will, Maybritt Illner and Sandra Maischberger (the bulk of the popular political talk shows in Germany is run by women) who all firmly believed in every word the good looking and soft-spoken dark haired Professor Drosten ever let slip over his lips…

    V – – – 1, 2, 3, 4 – Can I Have a Little More – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, I SaveYou!

    So – you have 1) a metaphysical crisis, which makes death more of a problem than before. You have 2) a significantly older society (death more in the focus as well).  You have 3) a basically feminine zeitgeist, that denigrates quantitative reasoning (feels over facts). And you have 4) social media and TV that both favor the personal/ ego-centered approach and thus stabilize ego-bubbles and – 5) Michel Houellebecqs’s super-individualisation (see his above mentioned novel Particules Élémentaires/ Elementary Particles).

    VI – – – the res – Mr. Hail comments-differences// The Unz-Commentariat and James Thomson as the Incarnation of a Respectable Corona-Panicker

    Sober and sound quantitative reasoning – that point lets me remember Unz-commenter res’ attacks on your early Swedish calculations/ predictions. There were – few – people around who did that, but they did not all know each other/about each other. Michael Levitt and Ivor Cummins did both read one another and John Ioannidis – and agreed that the Diamond Princess was a – excuse me: a watermark, öhh – it carried with it a very telling set of Covid-data, that allowed for very precise predictions. as we know for sure now. I don’t know, why res did not fully get this context – and I don’t know from when on you, Mr. Hail,  realised, that you were not alone in stating, that Covid was definitely not as dangerous, as the wider public assumed, and that the Swedish way was the right way to go? res is young and a bit wild (impatient) at times. And: He is an informal part of Unz’ Psychological Commenter’s James Thompson’s team – and that might have been a bit confusing for him, because at times quite clearheaded James Thompson was – on team super-cautious – if not on team panic even in the Corona case. res was clearly on the anti-panic side later on, but sounded still a bit uneasy and defensive even last winter.  

    VII – – – Coda – More thoughts on Sweden – Namely Why This Stunningly Clear Positive Example

    Causes Still Resistance   When I try to understand, why the Swedish example is still not acknowledged and I let aside all that I’ve written above, I am left with this idea: The – WEIRD – super-individualism of our times makes people comparison-averse: The current super-individualism makes people prisoners of their own uniqueness in that it does not allow comparisons. We are super individualists – we are incomparable (a form of malignant narcissism, too****). – ***** The uncomparableness of the holocaust comes to mind… And the super individualism that is part of the superstar-system as a modern form of – proto-religion. And – asso often: All that is closely knit together: The Holocaust as a proto-religion (the last realm of sacredness -Rolf Peter Sieferle), the star-system, modern super-individualism as a direct consequence of the entertainment-industry’s super-star-system, the Super-Star as the incarnation of the secularised proto-religion of the entertainment industry…and the waning forces of tritonal religion (if I may, I come back to Professor Karl Laurtérbach’s reason to leave the Catholic church: Child-abuse. – Now think of Hollywood-Babylon… – he does not get that in leaving Catholicism, he opts for the entertainment industry. Because seen from a structural point of view, the two are flip sides of the same coin… (and therefore  – I have still my structural glasses on – suffer from the same sins. 

     Addendum: A Short Remark About Corona and Right Wing Politics In D and CH

    Corona, it turned out, was a very good tool to fight the AfD. During Corona, the AfD suffered severe losses in regional and local elections. The main driver: The AfD electorate was split into two halves: Pro and anti-vaccine groups quite evenly: 50:50. The AfD did not really know how to handle the resulting tensions, but their opponents and the media dug right away that this is an Achilles’ heel. Those voters who feared for their lives and thought that the vaccines would save them, were appalled by Alice Weidel’s and Tino Chrupalla’s and other leading figures’ (party-intellectual (and very good writer – see his blog acta diurna – and his – numerous – books****!) Michael Klonovsky’s (often sharp) anti-vaccine statements. The most damaging factor was that they did not explain the resulting tensions in – liberal (choice!) terms. The Swiss SVP – much firmer rooted in the liberal tradition of free choice and self responsibility of the Bürger, did not suffer from Covid.

    **** great and very funny (!) novel Zeit der Wunder about the end of the GDR and the following years

  6. Hail says:

    Jesuitism vs Corona-ism

    (This comment may be a draft for a future post.)

    Dieter Kief’s several mentions of the powerful Covid-fanatic and Corona-orthodoxy-enforcer Professor Lauterbach’s origins with the Catholic Church make me think more about the Corona-as-Religion hypothesis, at least indirectly.

    If we first assume that the Corona-Panic was a social-religious phenomenon, we cannot escape that part of the Anti-Panic coalition became an instinctual opposition to para-national politics based in religion. There was one kind of Anti-Panicker who even believed (or didn’t disbelieve) in the recklessly highly death estimates but still opposed the Panic because of this paranational-religious-political problem, operating on instinct because the Corona-Panic of course never declared itself a religion or acting on behalf of God or a holy, priestly network of his holy spokesmen on Earth.

    The Pro-Panic side demanded, early on, a coordinated international response because it was too serious a matter to allow skeptics, dissidents, neutrals, or heretics (Anti-Panickers) to rule the show. The panic social contagion did not act alone like a free-floating entity, but with an international political pressure to (1) galvanize and mobilize the people awed by and emotionally under the control of Panic to one degree, (2) put pressure on sof-tliners, non-lockdowners, and any sign of heresy (Anti-Panick-ism) in any government, (3) coordinated international policy and agenda-setting.

    This part of the Corona-Panic reminds me of the former intense opposition to the Jesuits.

    The Panic side’s leaders and most effective agents can be seen as a class of moral entrepreneurs (to use the term discussed in a previous post, the book review of Politics of a Moral Panic) who worked in an international scope for political goals and undermining national-sovereignty and heretical Anti-Panic attitudes to make all submit to the Corona-Moloch and its demands for blood. This is where Mad Doktor Lauterbach comes in. He is a moral entrepreneur and a political agent of the Panic.

    Some of the reasons for opposition to Lauterbach are not just because he is “wrong” (or even the “wrongest” man in the EU’s largest state). They strike me as resembling the reasons for anti-Jesuitism all across among our recent ancestors, in every part of Protestant Europe and America and in many Catholic-majority places too.

    Active opposition to the Jesuits was strong and firm enough that they even full bans on their order, which held for generations. Many of the liberal constitutions of the 19th century banned them as threats to stability. The “Kaiserreich” lifted its long-holding ban on Jesuits during and because of the panic about possible loss of the war in 1917. (The US lifted its long-holding, full-ban on Chinese immigration in 1942/43 for similar reasons). Switzerland’s ban on the Jesuits lasted until the 1970s, right?

    Why were our ancestors so worried about and hostile to the Jesuit order? They saw them as agents of a political-religion with other than local interests in mind. Like a para-national intelligence agency, with overtones of a mafia-like system, strengthened and empowered by the influence they had through religion wherever there existed a passive Catholic majority or large-minority, and strengthened by control of education in many cases. This was the view of the time, and people took it very seriously. The fact that Catholics in Germany “block-voted” for the party known as Zentrum which was tied closely to the Catholic Church (whereas Protestants split their vote based on an ideological or class basis) lends weight to that view, but of course people will dispute the particulars now.

    The opposition to Jesuitism and political-Catholicism was often seen in parallel with a skepticism of Jewish migrants and desire to limit their presence and influence. (“Two words cannot be uttered without causing a Saxon to become greatly agitated: Jesuit and Jew,” wrote Friedrich von Beust [1809-1886], a leading statesman of the Kingdom of Saxony.)

    What I see with the “Corona” era is an almost-explicit return to this kind of politics which mixes religion with politics in an “internationalist” way.

  7. Hail says:

    RE: Dieter Kief, writing above:

    “I don’t know, why res did not fully get this context – and I don’t know from when on you, Mr. Hail, realised, that you were not alone in stating, that Covid was definitely not as dangerous, as the wider public assumed, and that the Swedish way was the right way to go?”

    This question distinguishes two (or four) separate time-points: (1) when I ([1a.] suspected, or [1b.] realized) the standard position on the Corona-Panic was radically wrong and destructive, vs. (2) when I ([2a.] suspected, or [2b.] realized) that many others also held this view.

    It was hard to find any dissenters or Anti-Panickers in March 2020, that month of the revolution (that month of the collapse of civilizational-safeguards against self-destruction to panics). Mostly this persisted in April. You had to look hard for dissenters, and often would find none.

    Spring 2020 was a little lesson in ‘Big Tech’ power, too, because already by mid-March or earlier, they were censoring and de-listing sites which did not take the emerging Panic view. I remember doing searches on DuckDuckGo vs. Google (DuckDuckGo has for some reason blocked and finding a view dissident views that were nowhere on google. I don’t remember when I started reading Swiss Propaganda Research (now called Swiss Policy Research) but it must have been April 2020.

    I concluded sometime between March 15 and 30, 2020, that the then-dominant Panic position was almost certainly wrong, and looked to be potentially disastrously wrong. My previous comments on Unz in February 2020 reveal I was a skeptic even then, but I didn’t yet appreciate that a “Corona-Panic” was emerging.

    One of the earliest serious dissident views I remember reading was from a Dr. John Lee, a then-recently retired British medical professor who had a column with a British newspaper. He was publishing openly Anti-Panic columns in late March 2020, One that hit a lot of the points I had begun suspecting can be found under date March 29, 2020.

    By early April 2020, I realized that people willing to oppose the Panic were suddenly within a very-hostile system and had to act as dissidents. A few individuals like Dr John Lee there may have been (Knut Wittkowski was another who made huge waves already in early April 2020). Besides there being so few rallying-points, of course there was still the “fog-of-war.”

    I think my view in spring 2020 was not that “the Anti-Panic side might be much bigger than it seems,” but that the Panic was driven by a relatively smaller group of extremists, fanatics, and demagogues, who activated a large auxiliary of “Safety-ists” (often a certain type of woman), and that the majority was still closer to a Neutral position. This view was naive. I didn’t understand yet what the Corona-Panic was. I therefore believed in all earnestness that once the data showed the Panic was wrong on the facts, it would fall apart. This was definitely wrong.

    On (the commenter known as) res

    Probably the commenter res, whom I always liked and whose efforts I respect, was influenced by the default position at first, and fits the archetype I mean. I assumed he was still Neutral, but he was drawn into the might gravitational pull of the Panic. As far as I remember res, he was also interested in policing discourse and does it well, which is why Dr Thompson made him a moderator, and in that role he was inclined towards an “Anti-Anti-Panic position.” This may reflect less about res than about the power of the Corona-Panic as a totalizing social-political force by the time he began attacking my findings.

    In the more immediate environment of the sections of the Unz Review that res most frequented (Steve Sailer and James Thompson blogs), he probably also saw the need to defend the Panic because these two figures he admired, neither seriously entertained Anti-Panic ideas even when fully based in data. This is a mini example of how power-dynamics worked around the Corona-Panic, a microcosm let’s say. There is a lot more to the Corona-Panic than data on hospitalizations and the always-controversial “Covid-tagged deaths.”

    • Anonymous says:

      This is for Mr. Kief too, regarding commenter Res on The Unz Review. (I haven’t read Mr. Thompson’s stuff, so I refer solely to comments under iSteve posts.)

      I had it out with him way back – maybe 2 or 3 years ago on some presentation of numbers, tolerances, and precision/accuracy stuff. It was a true pissing match, and I’ll say that Mr. Res knows his stuff. He is an engineering type, as I have been. The guy really likes to present data, very willingly and also accurately, I’ll add. I think he doesn’t like any conjecture.

      OK, that can be fine, and is THE way to go with engineering/technical stuff. However, I see numbers presentations on social phenomena and (a LOT) lately on disease, illness, contagion, etc. As I and all of you have been writing about for the last 2 1/3 years, lots of these numbers and graphs are BS, because they are based on erroneous assumptions and, often purposeful erroneous data-taking. Too much data is being presented with not enough true knowledge behind it.

      I will have to put up another post about the man Ron Unz on my site, unfortunately, because that’s whole lot of his problem. He just doesn’t get out and see what is really going on*. There’s a whole lot of that around the internet. (Well, I guess a lot of people got even more used to not getting out and about due to the world of LOCKDOWNs.)

      Finally, I didn’t know about Mr. Res and the Flu Manchu – his opinions or his illness – but I will say that he hasn’t appeared very much on Mr. Sailer’s blog over the last year or more, so even after he was ill.


      * I can’t recall if you, Mr. Hail, have written about this, but this is very apparent in Mr. Unz’s take on Hispanic crimes.

      • Hail says:

        Do we know if Res is still a moderator for James Thompson’s comment-section?

        • Dieter Kief says:

          I’m not exactly sure whether moderator is the right expression for res, Mr. Hail. A great and almost untireable debater, yes – – – – I might prefer to describe his role this way. And – James Thompson doesn’t post that often any more, but res ist still around – on Steve Sailer’s blog too.
          James Thompson is Team Boris Johnson*** with regard to Ukraine, but he only brings that up on twitter.
          ***The Brits stil get nervous when they think about Russuia and Germany methinks – so they try “to throw a wedge” (Daivd Pinsen) between the two – as they did before.

      • They say don’t assume anything, but I think the commenters here all safely assumed that last comment was from Peak Stupidity too.

  8. Dieter Kief says:

    Mr. hail wrote with regard to UNZ commenter res not least: “There is a lot more to the Corona-Panic than data on hospitalizations and the always-controversial “Covid-tagged deaths.”

    This graph linked below is part of the the sociology of religion aspect of Covid (impressively represented also by the Amish video in which an Amish speaker declared that they did not care for the government’s ideas about Covid at all, that they handled Covid like any other normal disease and that – : 2020 had been their “best year ever”…!!! – my exclamation marks…).

    So – – – If you don’t want to be too angry about Covid, the best thing to do is: Go to chuch and – get married: That is the secret formula…

    One thing about res that I did not mention above: I had noticed that he had not commented for a while in late 2020 maybe and asked him whether he had catched Covid and he said that it looked a lot as if and I asked him later on whether he was over it and whether he had suffered from it and he said he thinks he was and that yes, he did.
    For soem reason I thought that he lived alone at the time. – One of the great lines in the Amish-video about illnesses and suffering is how important it is for them to live together with their ill people – as opposed to having them isolated in hospital…
    From about late 2021/ early 2022 on he definitely left camp Sailer/Thompson. I remember that he was especially fed up with the CDC’s efforts, to hide unfavorable data and even change past datasets etc. – he did not like that at all – and he got a bit resignative too. The discussions I had around this time with him about Swedish doctor Sebastian Rushwoth’s arguments against kids Covid booster-shots for example were good.

    See here (amongst others): 

    Relative vs. absolute: Omicron mild enough that booster shots barely do much for under 65s, by Steve Sailer – The Unz Review

    • Hail says:

      If what you say on Res’ move towards a firm and active data-based Anti-Panic position in late 2021 and early 2022, he was following the general tendency.

      In winter 2021-22 the Panic still seemed strong but it had accumulated many enemies, and continued to be pigheadedly wrong, and the bottom-falling-out that happened in late winter and early spring 2022 was a long time in coming.

      The question is, why did Res not come around to the right position at least one year earlier. I believe I have ideas of the outlines of the answers. It is not necessarily a personal failing of Res’, but part of the conditions of the Panic.

  9. Hail says:

    Peak Stupidity (a.k.a. “Someone”) wrote:

    “I see numbers presentations on social phenomena and (a LOT) lately on disease, illness, contagion, etc. As I and all of you have been writing about for the last 2 1/3 years, lots of these numbers and graphs are BS, because they are based on erroneous assumptions and, often purposeful erroneous data-taking. Too much data is being presented with not enough true knowledge behind it.”

    This is not a pleasant thought. It means we live in a world where many of our best people jumped on board a Bad Data bandwagon for some emotionalistic reason, as with jumping into the flashy new religion in town without enough critical examination of its key claims.

    The Corona-Panic as a social-political force introduced “taints” into the data in multiple ways, WHILE also creating an environment which blocked the recognition that there were major taints in the data itself or its interpretation (including blocking all context-thinking). Less-rigorous-thinkers became suspicious of all criticism and much more readily believed crazy anecdotes about hospitals full of sick children.

    And that strange ubiquitous media story of “Covid-Denier gets COVID and is hospitalized, recants on his death bed.” That kind of story was a key to the gate to understand of what the Corona-Panic was. The same thing affected even good and serious data people.

    This all makes me think the real Corona high-priests as not primarily interested in data or any kind of inquiry. A man like Germany’s Wrongest Man is not some kind of innumerate dunce, so there must be something else making him so consistently and actively wrong.

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Mr. Hail wrote about Germany’ s health minister Professor Karl Lauterbach: 

      “A man like Germany’s Wrongest Man is not some kind of innumerate dunce, so there must be something else making him so consistently and actively wrong.”

      The professor and medical doctor Karl Lauterbach was married to a ral world epidemiologist (they had four kids together when the professor fell in love with a young and good looking comrade a few years ago and divorced his wife…).

      That said – his ex – as I said, a decent epidemiologist, says that they have studied together and that the good professor knows zilch about epidemiology, virology and related stuff. Zilch even though he publicly claims to be an epidemiologist too.

      Professor Lauterbach has also zero (!) experience as a medical doctor – even though he claims to be one – day in day out as well. He has seen no patient  in all of his career. Not a single one, because he never practiced as a medical doctor and was awarded this honor via his good connections in the medical bureaucracy of heavily leftist North Rhine Westphalia.

      Something close to that is also true for his professoriate. As a matter of fact, he did not write the usually necessary habilitation… I’ve read excerpts of his medical doctor thesis from Harvard and it looked a lot like a short and thinly veiled piece of virtue signaling about the advantages of a public health system… – . So: This was an affair between comrades too, only this time about social medicine.

      And now we finally arrive at the sphere, in which he is indeed competent: He knows how to organize and steer huge medical bureaucracies – and that’s the field he became known publicly and respected amongst his peers and in the SPD. This is a very useful competence in modern medicine.

      I want to repeat what his ex says publicly: Professor Lauterbach knows zilch about pandemics, viruses and the like. Except that they create lots of public interest, which he is very keen to make use of – for political reasons. – Usually a quite promising medical-political synergy. I’m tempted to add that the former health minister was the openly gay and very good looking TV-personality Jens Spahn, who had even less medical knowledge than Karl Lauterbach, but managed to somehow stay on top of the constant ratings even though…
      Die Welt stickt voller Merkwürdigkeiten. (Goethe) (The world is stuffed with noteworthy things).

  10. Hail says:

    On “Technonarcissism” as an “underlying condition” for the Corona-Panic

    I am thinking about the high-priests of Covidianism, and their political auxiliaries: the Corona-demagogues, the Corona-puppets, the Corona-cowards, and the drab semi-anti-civilizational Safetyists often heard in 2020 using the stupid slogan “out of an abundance of caution…”. (It seems Germany’s Wrongest Man, Lauterbach, straddles a lot of these categories.) These people, they have used the Corona-Panic, and even helped shape and guide it, reinforce it and narrative-police it, of course they were all propagandists for it in one way or another, but I don’t think they could have created it on their own.

    I have come to believe that a threshold of “Technonarcissism” must be attained before CoronaPanic-like events can occur. I hypothesize we crossed that point in the 2010s. We didn’t realize what dangerous straits we were sailing in. There are no bells and whistles that go off when you’ve crossed this threshold of Technonarcissism.

    Technologies of all kinds, and the ubiquity of the Internet, became both totalizing and mesmerizing in the 2010s, to the extent that by 2021 you had very-powerful bozos like the Facebook leadership talking about a word circa-2030 in which everyone primarily lives in a “metaverse.”

    Techno-addicted lifestyles that people in the 1990s would have been considered signs of mental pathology became largely normal by the 2010s. Guess what: Those 1990s-people were right, at least if the Corona-Panic was a fruit by which we can judge the plant (as one of Jesus’ parables advises). Also, when a ‘pathology’ becomes largely society-wide, it becomes something greater than the sum of its parts.

    By 2020, people assumed technology was always right, and that technology knew it all or could know it all simply by pressing a few buttons. I encounter people like this all the time. There is no longer the same mystique to seeking of truth because people assume technology knows everything, why bother? Technology will answer all questions, as if by magic. And here we start to enter the realm of Religion. (Yes, the Corona-as-Religion hypothesis always seems to come back to me if I write enough at once.)

    This must be a lot of the reason why the Corona-Panic succeeded. Not just the existence of the devices and the state of the Internet, but (more importantly) the change of thinking whereby we now think all answers are technological and all life, indeed, should be filtered through these technologies and this superorganism should do all thinking for us. (The manifestations of this are plenty. A trivial example is when some comment-section regulars toss in things they’ve just looked up on wikipedia, contextless or otherwise-questionable factoids, for which they pat themselves on the back for being so smart.)

    I think many (including Res) put too much trust in technology and the power-structure around it (chief-priests interpreting the digital tea-leaves) itself in 2020, and that this is one reason many blocked themselves from realizing, in spring and summer 2020, that a relatively hardline anti-Panic position was the correct one.

    One of those who somehow escaped this trap early was Ron DeSantis. (Speaking of whom, I want to post something on the Daniel Uhlfelder campaign for Florida attorney general before his big debate late next week.)

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Mr. Hail wrote: “I have come to believe that a threshold of “Technonarcissism” must be attained before CoronaPanic-like events can occur.”*****

      Btw., since I’ve mentioned him above: The work of system-theorist NiklasLuhmann is in large part an antidote to techno-narcissism and to (techno) totalitarianism too – – – because Luhamnn lays bare how the functional differentiation of the modern world develops (brings with it) differing kinds of reasoning (different logics). –
      – One size never fits all when it comes to steering capacities for modern societies: To properly understand those steering capacities means to understand lots of differing logics (Wittgenstein’s rules). and to make use of these numerous specifivc logics (= to use them properly) it is .n.e.c.e.s.s.a.r.y. to interact with differing peers – much more so than to dominate underlings.
      (Btw. II: It took Jürgen Habermas a few decades before he finally admitted that (which meant: Before he finally accepted Niklas Luhmann as a peer in the field of the complex theories of modern life). – Btw. III: I see a bright future for Luhmanns work in China not least (Habermas they have already adopted big style already, Goethe too).

      II – – That said
      Since we agree a lot here, I try to be short: Religious people don’t fall for cults as easily, because they enjoy the shelter and – collective defense already, that the others lack. That they lack something (“etwas fehlt”, Brecht…) they often experience (become aware of)  in mild or severe forms of existential panic. As soon as a danger (or something that can be understood/seen/ felt (!) as a danger) appears on the scene. Modern nervosity (Baudelaire, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Freud…) is the mother of all kinds of modern hysterias, fears, panics. To panic is innately modern.   
      Now I add to that the linguistic fact of the same root of the two words cult and cultivation. – If I turn this around I get: All civilizational acts embody the danger of becoming cult-like. Cults and cultivation/civilization are close ontological neighbors. 

      III – – – I’m not awake yet – Death is a scary thing

      When half awake this morning, I also thought about French sociologist and religion-theorist  Emile Durkheim’s detection, if I might put it this way, that religious cults tame otherwise nameless fears and create unity in this very scary field, that inevitably opened up for humans in the process of becoming reflective beings and understand death.

      – Death is scary. Covid brought death with it in the middle of the modern automated world all over the globe. And all the Ray-Kurzweil-phantasies about eternal life via technological progress for example were depotentialized – almost annihilated – via the Corona panic. Which sprang not least from this very illusion: That the high-tech-world would be a useful defense line against existential threads. (Now think of Bill Gates). 
      ****Btw. IV – Techno Narcissism is a universal threat – see Wall Street’s “Masters of the Universe” and see the tech-giants, the Railroad Barons, the Oil Magnats etc. pp.. – Btw. V: The role model the Tech Narcissists  follow is that of the absolutist King. – That’s why they had no problem at all to censor free speech (via .t.h.e.i.r. internet…) and manipulate elections etc. – The tech-elite’s usual mentality is pre-democratic (with exceptions – s. Peter Thiel).

      A novel which depicts some of the (narcissistic not least) shortcomings of the mentality of the Silicon-valley Kings is David Guterson’s very well written Ed King. The diagnostic power of this novel would still have to be properly appreciated.

  11. Dieter Kief says:

    John Ioannidis talking with Vinay Prasad and looking back at 2 years of the Covid pandemic:

    1) Covid Vaccines Were No Use to Get Out of the Pandemic

    2) There’s No Reliable Data to Support Child-Vaccination

    3) John Ioannidis Felt Depressed About the Restrictions in the Covid Discourse – Restrictions Not Least Induced by Big Di/g/ck Tech (Silly-Cone-Valley) – but unfortunately also by governments (see the man above…) and – most disturbing: By scientifc journals (John Ioannidis gives some hair-raising examples).

    • Hail says:

      Thanks. John Ioannidis was right in March 2020, but all indication is that he too didn’t understand what the Corona-Panic really was, and maybe still doesn’t understand it fully.

  12. Hail says:

    Mini-essay on Deborah Birx and the role of Birx-like people in the Panic :

    See primarily two comments I posted there, one that starts with: “Birx is the chief villain in Dr Scott Atlas’ book” and “Further thoughts on the Birx Question and feminization of politics and leadership.”

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Covid and Women in Germany

      In Germany there was a whole horde of those Birxes. Television is their medium. Thirty seconds of íntense verbal and mimic presence – that’s what beams you into TV heaven. 

      Kathrin Göring-Eckhardt of the Green Party, the utterly incredibly simple minded Saskia Esken, co-leader (!) of the SPD, Katia Kipping of Die Linke.

      Angela Merkel (in cold panic all the time – she refused to be driven in a limo even and prefered the VW bus, because more air-space = less viral load… (very physicist-like (= not ,t,o,t,a,l,l,y, irrational)…
      Then the virologists and other STEM-people (biologists…):  Virologist Dr. Melanie Brinkmann of the Helmholtz-Institute: Hardcore Zero-Covid propagandist). Panicky Dr. Christina Berndt (a biologist )) from the SZ, Sybille Anderl from the FAZ, leading writer of Corona-reporting at Der Spiegel Rafaela von Bredow. She constantly featured/ adored (!) super cool and super good looking soft-voiced, hyper-suggestive top-panicker Professor Christian Drosten – – – – a permanent presence – week after week, Professor Drosten, with his sidekick virologist Sandra Ciesek.

      Plus numerous Public broadcasting talking heads – Merkel-supporter Anne Will in the first place. – It’s a feeling-avalanche. Almost everybody the FAZ hired in the last years is on the feels-track – (men too, btw. …) but they hired preferably women.
      The young physicist Viola Priesemann took the chance and started a public career as a lockdown-empiricist and talk-show regular by publishing a single, methodically utterly flawed  article (!) in the journal Science: “Was Germany’s Lockdown in Spring 2020 Necessary?”. Science, December 11th, 2021. The article was crap and soon debunked by Stefan Homburg, Christoph Kuhbandner, Stefan Hockertz et. al. in Elsevier’s journal “Futures” – but that did not matter the least bit. Because of the holy three sacraments: She – was a she; she works in a STEM field; she managed to appear in science…From then on, she was the publicly baptized lockdown expert. 
      The most important difference between men and women: Women are rather feely – and less principled. These are big advances in the mostly in person happening TV news-shows, talk-shows, interviews.

      TV is by its very nature unprincipled. One structural reason for that is: To detect the fault in a segment of one and a half minute raps and make clear to listeners what’s been wrong in that statement is a hurdle, most TV-talking heads and – most TV viewers simply can’t get over. I mean it: It is too difficult – not least in a heated atmosphere and if questions are debated that touch the distinction between life and death (dangerous and beneficial (right and wrong….). – That’s the unique field of  the written word and the exchange of thoughtful notes. Each medium, to be useful, – let alone good or – god ferbid – excellent – – – has to know (to reflect) what can be handled in which format. One thing that is impossible to be handled in such TV-nes-formats under heated conditions are complex, layered, nuanced – at times even: new – arguments and/ or trains of thought. In order to be reliable, TV has to restrict itself in such cases. But then: 70+% of advertising money for TV in the US comes from: B/Pig pharma.

      A Short Media-Theoretical Addendum  

      Something that is very important I want to add: It is harder to get through the rights and wrongs of a train of thought in person. It is much easier to argue on paper. The extrme form of this argument would be: To meet/talk in person is already a form of corruption. Not least, because the media circus needs lots of players/controversies day in day out to be able to make a show out of all these kinds of questions/ problems – often many times a day. – We need a practical handbook that makes use of the Theory of Communicative Action by sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas.  

      • Hail says:

        I would add: there was a strain of moral cowardice consistent in the Corona-Panic and which partly defined it. Limiting ourselves to “irrationality” is not strong enough, if we are speaking freely and sparing no feelings.

        Moral courage (bravery, risk-taking, achievement, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”) vs moral cowardice (safety, risk avoidance, responsibility avoidance, “better safe than sorry”-ism) is a quintessential domain of traditional male-vs-female distinctions.

        Your anecdote about Angela Merkel insisting on a vehicle with more airspace inside it as a Covid-fighting strategy seems a good example.

        But the distorting effects of the Panic (as social phenomenon) made the baseline shift for all towards moral cowardice, mandatory moral-cowardice if there are non-compliers, dissidents, skeptics, or Covid-Deniers around.

        Let me also put it this way: Actions or attitudes (or non-actions, non-attitudes) for which a male (or, specifically, a male politician) would very likely be accused of cowardice would NOT necessarily trigger the same response against a woman. This by long-developed social instinct at the least, and probably by human nature.

      • Hail says:

        Can you elaborate on how you think the ideas in Theory of Communicative Action by Habermas might have helped avoid the Corona-Panic of 2020?

  13. Dieter Kief says:

    corr. II – final corr. – – – Mr. Hail wrote: “Can you elaborate on how you think the ideas in Theory of Communicative Action by Habermas might have helped avoid the Corona-Panic of 2020?”

    A) – – Jürgen Habermas’ Scientific Discourse Rules And the Role of the Media

    Habermasian scientific discourse rule No. 1: You have to strictly follow the scientific rules of the subject at stake.
    There is no way around this advice!

    If it is unclear which scientific aspect of a phenomenon has to be looked into, make sure to answer this question. The discourse gets into muddy water as soon as the question, which reasons count in a certain context can not be clearly answered.

    II  – – How Would that Have Worked for Covid?

    Covid has many aspects. The foremost are (in no specific order) :  

    x) Medical diagnostics – what does the clinical evidence or the medical doctors’ experiences tell us about the new illness?
    x) What do virologists know?
    x) What do epidemiologists know?
    x) Medical logistics – what will be necessary in which quantities?
    x) Has the history of medicine something important to say?
    x) Pharmacological aspects.
    x) Political aspects.
    x) Medical economy – how to best make use of our resources?
    x) Psychological and socio-psychological aspects of a pandemic.

    °°) Try to sort the above (and other aspects of this new illness) out and decide over who gets to decide over what on which basis.

    °°) Bring the above in a – breathing – but nevertheless: Hierarchical order.

    Bottom line: Every participant in the public debate  shall follow the logic of the science(s) at stake as soon as he enters the discourse.

    Media shall report on political decisions and on scientific aspects at stake on separate levels and have to mark those. Media shall make it transparent for the public whether they report –

    a) on the political decision making process over what has to be done

    or whether they report on

    b) the scientific aspects of the problems at stake and the variant ways to approach them – arte lege (= in the scientific way, the aspects at stake ask for).

    Btw. – John Ioannidis is a scientist who understands this process and the difference between a) and b) perfectly well – he made that clear in his Austrian interviews with Gerald Fleischhacker on Servus TV and in the talk he gave at Salzburg (both last summer). 

    A – – Bit of Socio-Philosophical Background on the Theory of Communicative Action

    Jürgen Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action (TCA) is about arguments. The importance of arguments and argumentation. – What if this would have been practised with regard to Corona – well: The world would look a lot more like Sweden (and Scandinavia and – – – Central Europe too, I have to admit – which by and large did not too bad either overall*****).
    *****It is no too Christian idea to assume that societies are like engineer-optimised engines, which are the better, the more effective they are. It is an inevitable part of – Christian not least! – societal practices, to fail and for their participants – to suffer at times from imperfections. These are thoughts that the moderns and the postmoderns ignore wholeheartedly in unison…because they lack the understanding for fogiveness. 

    II  – – The Backbone of the TCA

    Well reasoned arguments as the .m.i.s.s.i.n.g. .l.i.n.k. between our tradition (the Evening Empire’s well understood past times) and our present days.: This is essential TCA. – What it means to give reasons in which context – this is the main practical aspect of the TCA (Habermas looks in (sigh) painstakingly fine detail into all relevant contexts**** – which in the end adds up to 1200+ densley argued pages).The ability to trump (to calm down) emotions via – – – reason (= justified= rational= based on sound arguments – – –  argumentation) is (in his view) the most important civilizational act. That we are willing to give and take good reasons – to listen to one another while trying to honestly (!) answer with the voice of reason (Freud) – is what defines civilization for him.**** Thus Jürgen Habermas does away with all those who look out for exceptions to his main rule or try to overturn it altogether: He tires his adversaries by going the extra lap after having run fifty rounds already…. He builds a fortress of arguments around reason and the public (!) act of reasoning – being understood as a mutual obligation of all participants in a rational discourse, to answer sound arguments in a straightforward and – honest (!) manner. One quite eye-opening thought in the TCA (which he developed already in Knowledge and Human Interests (1968)  –  is that the eternal opposition between the individual and the tradition (Nietzsche’s and Heidegger’s and Sartre’s and the West’s basically main conundrum (the fight between individualism and our social lives…) – the cliff Hume and Kant and Marx, Dewey and the Jameses and Skinner, Freud, Foucault and Adorno and Kirkegaard and Tolstoi et. al. struggled in vain to overcome… were unable to circumvent, really, disappeares in Habermas’ fluid concept of language as the foundation not only of our social, but also of our individual existence. We learn to be individuals (=ourselves…) by being initiated (my words) into language – which is necessarily (by its very nature) a social effort. – Individuality and our social self spring from the same well (sind gleichursprünglich).

    III – – – The Systemically Important Move – Intersubjectivity

    That phenomenon of the interdependence of our individuality and our social lives therefore marks the systematic moment, at which he introduces his concept of .i.n.t.e.r.s.u.b.j.e.c.t.i.v.i.t.y. – and what it means for our personal and collective identity – as well as for the way in which we organize our private and our social-democratic (=public) lives in the advanced modern societies (= in welfare states). It is crucial to dig that this is not to be necessarily understood as an argument against right wing politics per se (Haidt and Peterson decipher that quite well).He holds that identities in complex modern societies are structurally of that nature. – The overarching concept is that of the last lines of Goehtes Faust: That people become free (=free themselves and others…) by productively and responsively interacting with one another (solch ein Gewimmel will ich sehn / als freies Volk auf freiem Grunde steh’n… – that’s how I’d like all folks to be: Freely and actively (productively) on their terrain…)

    IV – – – – TCA and Covid 

    Short Covid-remark: Seen from Habermas’ high flying outpost, there was much too much strategic talk – and much too little free and self-restricted***** (=disciplined .a.n.d. competent!) exchange of sound arguments.  *****The self-obligation of participants in an argument about a certain subject implies that only those speak publicly that have something substantial to offer. That’s one border post he hammers into the foundation of his theory (one basic rule). – Another is that nobody should be excluded as long as she or he is willing to accept those rules (which means that most of us should shut up most of the time – – – without feeling oppressed or restricted or suppressed or – God ferbid: intimidated…, but rather feeling proud for acting as – reasonable – citizens – and participants in a public debate).

     V – – – TCA and Religion

    Two short remarks about the shortcomings of the TCA: 1) Habermas underestimated the role of (Christian not least) religion in his opus magnum in that he here still assumed that all of religion’s central meanings could be translated or reformulated in rational terms. Nota bene: He does not believe that any longer. He saw that this idea does not work really and thus revised his theory in later books (going more in the direction of once looked down on Frankfurt peer Erich Fromm (“Erich is not our brightest lad” – that’s by and large what Horkheimer/Adorno et. al. thought – and why they kicked him out of the Frankfurt School in the US-exile: For being not too bright – and for giving in to all  kinds of argumentative weaknesses/compromises like saying that Freud was no real materialist. Herbert Marcuse strongestly opposed that view as did Theodor W.Adorno… – they thought they had to oppose Erich Fromm in this regard, because of the Freudo-Marxist (=basically .m.a.t.e.r.i.a.l.i.s.t.c.)  idea they followed). 2) Fromm also rebelled against the Frankfurt consensus by saying that religions don’t contradict necessarily the emancipative (=Marxist/ Socialist) goal of the Frankfurt School etc. pp. – In short: For saying that you can act / behave rational and be religious/spiritual at the same time. Which implies the claim that religious practises (!)  and emancipative thinking are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Fromm and Bloch held firmly together in this hindsight against the Frankfurt mainstream – as did – in a rather drugged up (opium) way, the very unhappy/melancholic Walter Benjamin. Habermas later accepted Bloch’s and especially: Fromm’s approach.

    Bottom Line

    So – with Fromm and Bloch – and Habermas too, I’d say: Instead of creating new cults whenever existential threats like Covid arise in our public sphere, it may be preferable to cultivate (to make use of) our traditions, because this is by and large what helped the West to become what it is – what means: The West is rooted in the Judeo-Christian and the hellenistic and the roman tradition and it grew (and grows, if rather slowly lately) supported by these main roots – since ages…

    • Dieter Kief says:

      A recent study in support of a main thesis of Jürgen Habermas in his Theory of Communicative Action

      Science beliefs, political ideology, and cognitive sophistication.
      © Request Permissions
      Pennycook, G., Bago, B., & McPhetres, J. (2022). Science beliefs, political ideology, and cognitive sophistication. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication.
      Some theoretical models assume that a primary source of contention surrounding science belief is political and that partisan disagreement drives beliefs; other models focus on basic science knowledge and cognitive sophistication, arguing that they facilitate proscientific beliefs. To test these competing models, we identified a range of controversial issues subject to potential ideological disagreement and examined the roles of political ideology, science knowledge, and cognitive sophistication on science beliefs. Our results indicate that there was surprisingly little partisan disagreement on a wide range of contentious scientific issues. We also found weak evidence for identity-protective cognition (where cognitive sophistication exacerbates partisan disagreement); XXXXXX instead, cognitive sophistication (i.e., reasoning ability) was generally associated with proscience beliefs. XXXXX In two studies focusing on anthropogenic climate change, we found that increased political motivations did not increase polarization among individuals who are higher in cognitive sophistication, which indicates that increased political motivations might not have as straightforward an impact on science beliefs as has been assumed in the literature. Finally, our findings indicate that basic science knowledge is the most consistent predictor of people’s beliefs about science across a wide range of issues. These results suggest that educators and policymakers should focus on increasing basic science literacy and critical thinking rather than on the ideologies that purportedly divide people. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

      “(…) instead, cognitive sophistication (i.e., reasoning ability) was generally associated with proscience beliefs.”

      Bottom line: Jürgen Habermas’ basic claim in his Theory of Communicative Action that sound reasoning is key(= foundational) is supported by the study quoted and linked above.

      Btw., an aspect I’ve not noted above: Habermas holds that the public intellectual should not take part in a public discourse about a certain subject as soon as he is materially involved in it (= might worry about personal gains & losses).

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Here is the head of the biological physicist group at the Imperial College London, Professor Robert Endres, doing the Habermas stunt, so to speak:

      Endres say: The Covid Failure Was EPISTEMOLOGICAL – Scientism***** (an early Habermasian term) Misses the Big Picture

      ******the utterly fragmented way, in which science is now mostly done.

      And here is another covid-critic: “Statistician to the Stars” Matt M. Briggs, saying basically the same thing: Science can not work properly without philosophical self-reflections:

      How I Became A Renegade Scientist – William M. Briggs (

      (a dense, short and great essay by mr. Briggs, btw.)

      So – here are two more Habermasians, without the faintest idea, most likely, that they are Habermasians (which weakens their position) – and which weakens public discourse, because the foundations of what they talk about is not seen in the most profound possible clarity and depth**).

      ((I had this discussion with iStve commenter Physicist Dave, and he laughed Habermas off. (Issas ned oag, wie ma se däusch’n kann / Isn’t it hard / How Much We Are able to Deceive Ourselves?) (Austrian No. 1 songsmith Wolfgang Ambros in his great Vienna dialect version of Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone))). 

      **Habermas did build a philosophical fortress – compared to that Briggs’ & Endres’ philosophical powers are a bit on the weaker side ( – – – – ehehhh! – – -such are the conundrums of philosophy, this does not mean much with regard to the core of Robert Endres’ and Matt M. Briggs’ statements: Their core thesis is quite right!!! – – – All I say is: In Jürgen Habermas’ version, it is much stronger!

      (I add a last – also counter-intuitive, sigh – – – remark: It is necessary and fruitful to find ways to reformulate Habermas’ basic take on the right philosophical order of all things modern, so to speak. – This fight has to be fought in a myriad of (discoursive (=debatable)) contexts and will outlast us all (not least Jürgen Habermas himself, born – 1929…), as it – as the – sigh – – last! counterintuitive remark for now: Just dawned on me… 

  14. Dieter Kief says:

    Paragraph one of Professor Lauterbachs tireless willingness to appear as cautious and protective as possibly – or unpossibly – this distinciton is out of order here… So: It’s rather : As feminine! as is ever possible (this is his masculine side: To stretch the feminine longing for protection/carefulness to the uttermost extreme):

    “The good news is, in fifty years, this Corona virus too will do no more harm!”

    Watch how much he is in hyper-lookout-mode while making his bizarre statement – his head goes left-right, left-right, left right – permanently! – This man is really watching over all possible evils for us: These are the TV-messages that really impress = guide…) the masses – deep down inside of their souls:

    From a more rational point of view, you would expect the floor of the studio to crash and the cameras to melt down if somebody masquerading as a real epidemiologist – what Professor Lauterbach does, mind you — – if such an expert says something that is scientifically that unhinged (useless)*****.

    But that is just not how TV works. In TV his statement comes across as based. Everybody knows right away what fifty years are! – And that fifty years could well be a safety-buffer zone and should indeed protect us all – finally; with this idea in mind, we can indeed relax and – feel protected by this knowledgeable minister of health and professoral expert who is on the lookout for dangers so vividly and for sure will protect and help us all in this confusing and ivisibly*** (!) dangerous world out there as good as he can…
    ***TV is what we experience together with our ears and eyes – our strongest orienting senses. And what thus calms us down, because we can see and hear. The dangers (Covid) are invisible and inaudible – and thus the absolute opposite of the TV world.
    The TV-world is brightness and sound(s) (the human voice – somehting very soothing) – the dangers out there are in the dark/unvisible sphere und – mute. TV is heaven, the world is hell.

    *****Pilippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim, also known as Paracelsus, ca. 1530 about bad science: “He who knows nothing is worth nothing!”

  15. Hail says:

    I recall writing in early 2021 on “the relative strengths of the Corona Pro-Panic vs. Anti-Panic sides, by country:

    I tried to synthesize this into three basic groupings, pegged to March 1, 2021 (the Corona-Panic at about the one-year mark):

    If circa 30% of people in Germany were committed Corona-Anti-Panickers by Feb/March 2021, and if (as we must assume) many or most of of the circa 35% “Neutrals” probably shifted to the Anti-Panic position over the coming year, it cannot be that the total of the Panic coalition is very large.

    The Active Panickers (the Pro-Panic activist core) + Passive-But-Committed Panickers, the latter being the people pleasantly hypnotized by Germany’s Wrongest Man, cannot be a majority.

    But the point is, the hypnotism works on a section of the Neutrals. This is why bad elites can be so harmful, they sway the apolitical or low-info or passive or suggestible people in the middle. We have fought against this all along. It was a eep part of the Panic itself as a social phenomenon. And the so-called “democratization” (digitization / Internet-ization) of info-consumption has ironically only this worse.

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Mr. Hail wrote about Professor + German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach:

      “The Active Panickers (the Pro-Panic activist core) + Passive-But-Committed Panickers, the latter being the people pleasantly hypnotized by Germany’s Wrongest Man, cannot be a majority.”

      A few weeks back, while meeting with a group of regulars, most of whom knew me quite well, I said with a dry liittle smile, that if the LauterbachCorona-circus will continue into autumn, I’ll go underground – …(don’t forget my sardonic/ ironic smile).

      Ok – I got no laughs really. But not much of opposiiton either. More of a genral perplexion.

      With that in mind: Corona-blogger and twitterer eugyppius undertook the task to read through 1200+ comments in the school-mam central liberal paper Die Zeit to see what Lauterbach would get in response to his absurd Corona-ideas for the autumn like testing everybody not vaccinated who want to enter a restaurant and putting kids on masks four countless hours etc. pp.
      eugyppius found, that even the red/green school-mams and the medical doctors and parishers who read Die Zeit retreat from Karl Lauterbach’s ideas big style!

      That was good news.

      I agree, that it is important to keep in mind, that the undecided in the herd count most now. The AfD has gotten that one completely wrong, btw. and gone full throttle vaccination-panic – – – without thinking about the fifty percent of their voters, who loved to get their shots. – A big stretegic mistake which has already caused noticible damage (they lost lots of votes in the regional elections in Schl.-Holst. and in NRW…).

  16. Hail says:

    The social media Corona-Anti-Panicker “K. Birbcomments:

    “Nothing good can come out of [Lauterbach’s] July 21, 2022 meeting at the White House.

    Health Minister Lauterbach & Justice Minister Buschmann submitted plan [Aug. 3, 2022] for Oct 2022-April 2023 under Infection Protection Act, now being considered for signature. Hint: lots of masks & testing. Will come alongside Fall injection campaign. Never ending…”

    With this Lauterbach-related news a big stir in the Corona-Panic world, I’ve been trying to point out that there is (seems to be) an international/geopolitical angle to the Corona-Panic itself.

    Given that Germany’s Wrongest Man held this strategy meeting with the Biden “Covid” team two weeks before he released of the latest Panic-pushing plans, there is no way around it. Strategy coordination at the least. It’s not crazy to suggest a tacit “permission seeking” element to the late July 2022 Washington visit, an alliance-liked relationship with the traditional (1950s to present) junior partner making sure they have the green-light.

  17. Hail says:

    Is the AfD wrong to take a firm and strong line against the Corona-Panic and the vaccines?

    A response to Dieter Kief, who writes above:

    “[I]t is important to keep in mind, that the undecided in the herd count most now. The AfD has gotten that one completely wrong, btw. and gone full throttle vaccination-panic – – – without thinking about the fifty percent of their voters, who loved to get their shots. – A big stretegic mistake which has already caused noticible damage (they lost lots of votes in the regional elections in Schl.-Holst. and in NRW…).”

    I see the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag result (May 8, 2022) shows a one-fourth drop from the same election in 2017 (5.9% –> 4.4%). And a one-third loss from the Bundestag result in the state in Sept. 2021 (6.5% –> 4.4%). It’s not clear if we can fairly compare Landtag vs. Bundestag voting patterns.

    Another important thing is that all these results are low. The AfD were never a strong-enough force to matter in the Landtag in S-W. Being an almost pure protest party, the dataset (votes for the AfD) is quite different from the states where they had major shares of the seats in Landtage (we recall the drama of Thuringia, Feb. 2020).

    In such a case, when another strong or highly motivated protest party comes up, some of the pure-protest votes from one protest-party will go to in that new direction. I think this happened with the hardline Anti-CoronaPanic party, DieBasis, founded by Dr Wodarg and others to advocate for an aggressive war of offense (counter-offense) against the Panic.

    The goal of DieBasis, correct me if I’m wrong, is to seek out the Panic-dragon in its lair, do battle, disempower the dragon and kill it (politically), to set the people free. There is no other party program except to attack the Panic, which means contain or disempower the Pro-Panic coalition, discredit and get rid of the ringleader Panic-pushers, and set up scientific and moral and constitutional safeguards to not allow the beast to revive. Why was the Bundestag allowed to suspend the constitution to put in a permanent emergency? It makes no sense, and it’s easy to attack, for those with the courage to do so.

    If Germany had a much younger average age, this party might do quite well. But I believe you have written critically of them before in comments here.

    In any case, I see DieBasis got 1.1% of the vote in S-W in 2022. This is almost exactly the share lost by the AfD! If there was an AfD–>DieBasis shift, that is no evidence for the AfD’s position on Corona was a political mistake. It is evidence that a purer, leaner, more hardline party took away some of the most committed voters.


    I notice the national-level polls since mid-July 2022 shows the AfD has been matching its best results in a long time. Now we see AfD up to 13% again.

    AfD had previously been (often) as high as the 15-18% range in the late 2010s. Then came the Corona-Panic. The Panic had a major distorting effect on everything, including this—and the AfD immediately dropped from its comfortable (often-)15%+, down to 10% or below. Their Sept. 2021 Bundestag result was 10%. It is remarkable how fast this drop happened, and how it held.

    The AfD leaders and activists who believed in the sacredness of the cause (of introducing an actual opposition party into the BRD of the 21st century) must sense the Corona-Panic was used as a weapon against them. It’s much bigger than that, granted. But it is an unmistakable outcome of the Panic in Germany. I doubt if Crazy Professor Lauterbach and the others have thought of their crazy Panic-mandates as a political strategy to weaken the AfD. But people often operate on instinct.

    The potential scenario of the AfD winning one-fifth of Bundestag seats would be a BRD regime crisis and must frighten people like Crazy Lauterbach. I know German political culture well enough to know there is a feverish commitment, an obsession, with fears of right-wingers or ethnonationalists, and such scare-stories are a “staple” of the German news. The AfD taking one-fifth or more of Bundestag seats was a possible scenario at some points in the late 2010s. But then suddenly it was not possible, because of the Corona-Panic.

    I recall again the biggest political news in Germany before March 2020, the Thuringia election. Depicted as “AfD political-thugs use their votes to choose the Thuringia state leader; good people shocked, frightened; Chancellor wisely overturns/cancels election, suspends democracy temporarily; the good people are happy.” This was a short time before the Panic began to seep through our layer of civilizational defense and the dam burst.

    The AfD, seeing this, felt they have no choice but to fight the Panic with the intensity a man fights for survival. It helps that opposition to the Panic is the correct position rationally, scientifically, morally, spiritually, in every way. There is power in being right, even if it doesn’t immediately “pay off.”

    I am sure you know more about the AfD’s activities and rhetoric than I do, but I cannot agree with your assessment that the AfD has made a big mistake in taking a strong line, even against the vaccines.

  18. Dieter Kief says:

    Mr.Hail wrote: ” (…) I cannot agree with your assessment that the AfD has made a big mistake in taking a strong line, even against the vaccines.”

    Politics is not only about being right. It is also about being acknowledged. If 50% of the voters of a party, as was the case with the AfD voters!, are rpo vaccination (and many people loved the vaccines – they strived for their shots!) – then this is no negligible phenomenon.

    The AfD got 62 000 votes in Schleswig Holstein (= 4.4% – 0.6% short of getting into the parliament). They lost to the FDP (6000) in Schleswig Holstein, but most of all they lost to the CDU (9000) – all in all 15 000 votes but the AfD lost also to the non-voters. Die Basis got 10 000 votes. – Most of them from people who did not vote before. All of the parties the AfD lost to were super-vaxxers.

    I think that the pro vaxxers were not a thoroughly unreasonable bunch – there are lots of knowledgeable, competent and reasonable people amongst them (both Swedish top experts Giesecke and Tegnell and Martin Kulldorff – all three of them against vaxx-mandates though.) – Why not have a look at all of those aspects? The AfD failed in this hindsight and instead of taking a balanaced view, gave even room to lunatic antivaxxers, which meant they at times went full-frontal and full lunatic against a reasonable position, that 50% (!) of their base held. – If a party is very strong, a strategy like that might somehow work. If not – it will fire back – and fire back it did indeed. – If only I would have been in a position to decide over these questions in SHS…. What makes me sigh most is, that you could have invited lots of respectable experts from neighboring Danemark and play it very reasonable and safe in a balanced anti-Covid-panic position, based on real world experiences nearby! A top strategic opportunity, nobody did care for.
    (I don’t believe, that you have to learn the hard way, but I have to admit that it looks as if this would be by far the sucess-mode in which most learning procedes…).

    • Hail says:

      Mr. Kief wrote: “If 50% of the voters of a party, as was the case with the AfD voters!, are pro vaccination (and many people loved the vaccines – they strived for their shots!) – then this is no negligible phenomenon.”

      Your point is valid.

      I wonder what percent of AfD supporters who are under age 50 or under age 60 enthusiastically took the vaccines, and how many doses etc.; It could well be more like one-third or less for the younger age-groups among AfD supporters. And even of those, many must have done it under duress.

      My understanding is about as follows:

      – AfD co-founder and honorary former chairman Alexander Gauland (b.1941) willingly got the vaccine but opposes mandates for moral reasons.

      – If there is an outright Pro-Panic wing of the AfD, its leader was Meuthen (b.1961), who I understand did take the vaccines and is proud of it.

      – Then you have Alice Weidel (b.1979), co-chair, who proudly and openly refused to take the vaccine and says she will never submit to taking the vaccine.

      – The other current co-chair of the party, Chrupalla (b.1975), is also probably Unvaccinated but has refused to confirm or deny.

      – The populist-ethnonationalist figure at one time very prominent, Bjoern Hoecke (b.1972), is a typical Vaccine-mandate critic and I think also Unvaccinated.

      – Someone in the German media in early 2022 tried to do a vaccination-survey of the eighty AfD Bundestag members and concluded that “around half” were vaccinated, the same share as the ordinary party supporters.

      I think the Corona Pro-Panic vs. Anti-Panic split with the AfD long predates the Vaccines. Was there not a November 2020 AfD Party convention (Kongress) in which Meuthen tied to urge a shift to a Neutral (non-Anti-Panicker) line, and got shouted down by the majority, the morally committed Anti-Panickers?

      One of the most consistent vaccine opponents whom I know personally caved in, about June 2021, and got the vaccine. I was quite surprised at the time because he repeatedly had criticized them. He later said he would never get another Covid-vaccine of any kind. The Corona-Panic as social phenomenon distorted people’s decisions (to say something obvious).

  19. Dieter Kief says:

    corr. We’re talkin’ serious matters here, in that we are touching on magic, death and transcendence. 

    Mr. Hail wrote: “The Corona-Panic as social phenomenon distorted people’s decisions”.

    I – – The Invisible Taking Over Pubic Discourse

     As Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore resumed lately about the environmentalists having gone haywire (= panicking) and losing control over their arguments: They are, Moore said, in a great talk with Australian TV anchor Rex, increasingly drawn to the untouchable/remote and invisible. Patrick Moore  has many examples ready, like the claim that the oceans would be full of micro-particles of plastic debris; or the whole CO-2 complex, the decreasing Coral Reefs, the dying Polar Bears.

    18 Min 45 in:

    II – – – Covid, Politics, Spirits (again: the Invisible!), Safety-Struck Women and Mentally Strong Men

    If we look at Covid/vaccccine panicking as a form of – can I say rational regression (yep – now I see: That ‘s exactly what Dr. Freud did – hehe: This idea is approved and does work indeed…he called it: Rationalisation) – – – people who fall for this rational regression mode are often very scared inside, even if they are not totally aware of their state of mind. If you enter such an angst dominated mental plateau, all kinds of people on it are aroused (and that means: Prone to neglect rationality and even reality altogether at times). 

    I frequently run into otherwise reasonable (especially academics / elderly women… who answered to my remark that it is well documented, that the German hospitals are empty and have never (!) been beyond their capacity in the last two years: “Well, I don’t see things like you do…” – (Then what!? – – – Big sigh on my side).

     III – – – – Some Aspects of the Above Mentioned Structures in no Specific Order

    a) Through the lens of a classical ballad. – A few loosely connected observations, all tinged so to speak by Goethe’s (once) famous…)) ballad Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
    This ballad reflects all that and sums the confused and scared mind’s situation up in concluding that there are ghosts at work at times and we have to be careful about what to make of them/ with them so to speak… – Note that Goethe’s ballad is not least comical and borders on Stan & Ollie and Buster Keaton territory.

    b) The apprentice in Goethe’s ballad is clearly not able to handle those forces: “The spirits that I summoned/ I can’t get rid of now”, he admits while being in dire straits = inside a room that is constantly – and on in ever growing dynamic –  being flooded by water. All this just because the apprentice tried to solve a problem with the help of the spirits, instead of bending down and solving it with a little bit of manual labor. Goethe sums the thing up by saying that to handle the spirits (our unconscious fears) a strong man is necessary: The Master. Because what is impossible for the apprentice in this field is easy for the master and can be solved by him with a fingersnip.

    Confronted with the AfD dedicated anti-vaxxers and vacine-panickers (often the same or in one group of people), I had a hard time even articulating that there was a problem. I got accused right away by them as a traitor, a government agent,  trojan horse etc pp. – Heavy resistance for the remark, that fifty percent of the AfD voters were pro Covid-vaccination at that time and my question, what to make of this well established social fact?

    Alexander Gauland was very outspoken about getting the shot. I remember a clip with him in a big news-show, in which he even recommends flying to Moscow to get the vaccine for those who did not want to wait and concluded: Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! – As you said, he made it clear though that he wanted people to decide whether they would want the jab or not at the same time. Meuthen was on board with him in that – classically liberal, btw. – hindsight.IV – About the Societal Role of the Courageous Individual (The Master)It is no coincidence that Goethe favored the master to solve the apprentice’s problem with the spirits taking over the scene. – You need to be experienced and mentally strong to do so. – In other words: Experienced & courageous. – And that was your word in this context, Mr. Hail: The necessary virtue – a – nota bene: Rather manly one here. Namely: Courage. – I’d sum this up: Knowledgeable (older / firm) leaders are the  remedy to steer clear if the spirits are confusing all others.V – – – – – Women’s Lib taking the Wrong TurnThe feminization of our public sphere / media is something that gets heavily in the way here. That has to be better sorted out. – Matt M. Briggs touches on this subject quite often, as does science-blogger eugyppius – so: It’s not only us here on your blog and over at Dr. Achmed’s Peak Stupidity blog. There are some more voices in the wilderness singing this very same song:

    (See also Camille Paglia and Jordan B. Peterson arguing in this direction).

    ((Needless to say: I’m not against women’s lib.))

    VI – – – Astonishing Real World Encounters

    I still run into otherwise rational and well educated (preferably: older) people who believe wholeheartedly in Dr. Christina Berndt’s still Corona-pnicky warning and hand-waving and alarming SZ articles – and in Professor Lauterbach’s more and more (if that is possible – yes it is) unhinged, unscientific, at times clearly and purely nonsensical measures and doomish prophecies.His newest stunt these days is to order 900 (!) million new doses of Covid-vaccines and admit publicly that the actual vaccines are by now very weak – but recommending them straight faced nevertheless. The mask study he referred to in order to show how right he is in bringing up mask mandates not least for school children once again is such an obviously mad piece of scientific hackwork, that  even mild mask proponents admitted that when they first read it they were not sure if that was meant to be a serious study or – rather a Sokal-type big style put on of the scientific community. – But pur professor steers clear of all such minor quibbles and is happily installing his mask-regime once again and his vaccine-policies on top of that:Google this article from today:
    Karl Lauterbach schwer auf Achse – DIE ACHSE DES GUTEN. ACHGUT.COM

    Here is a Tweet about the mask-“study” our dear professor based his decisions on:

     VII – – – Political Covid Miscellanea Regarding the mildly conservative German AfD party

    The group the AfD lost most votes to are those over 60 in NRW – the closer to death, the closer to vaccination hopes people naturally are – and the closer to some kind of death cult.

    This is not least important because over 60 is still the strongest voter base of the AfD. Party leader Alice Weidel, a very healthy tomboyish no-vaccine-woman in her forties, got ill from Covid and appeared weak and a bit shocked. She got grilled constantly by the media ten – – – .She had to accept the seating in a plastic box at the visitor ranks of the parliament during debates together with other AfD rebels: An utterly public pillory. Deep down, the AfD non-vaccinators were shown as the weak weirdos. The healthy & reasonable huge majority of the Bundestag had to be protected from them, in order to be able to functionally proceed. The media celebrated the snippets that illustrated this (half-consciously situated..) thesis. This was a tough phase and an archaically loaded (=on the sub – or half-conscious level very strong!) setting. That made the AfD appear split, chopped and torn and overall in the very toxic light of the creepy outsider as the perfect loser.Party leader Jörg Meuthen lost his nerves over these( and more such toxic tensions) – an left the party, which by then had been labeled as at its core fascist and anti-liberal (one real life consequence: Nine out of ten hotels in Germany refuse to accommodate (prominent) AfD politicians, as Michael Klonmovsky started last week on his (brilliant) aca diurna blog.VII – – – Even Deeper Down Into the Spiritual RealmsMichael Levitt remarked that the vaccines did also work as a great soothing power (he made that point explicit too by saying: Let’s assume for the sake of the argument the vaccines would not  matter much (any more maybe) medically – then there’d still be the soothing effect to be in a protected huge group (= to be the great ‘n’ safe majority (the herd…)).

     – And here we are entering the placebo region. It is important to see that not everybody in politics is able to break such spells. And that you have to make use of the Kairos if you want to do that – and the right (= (being perceived as) mentally strong)) person(s) to do it. – No easy task.

    VIII – – Deeply Spiritual Now = Willing to Sacrifice

    A last one in the archetypes register: People like to sacrifice. Politics is not only about finding the best way into the light, so to speak, it is also about darker longings of people like collective sacrifices to strengthen everyones’ soul.
    Note here: Mask and vaccine- mandates and the like are also about the idea of achieving societal control: To reassure everybody by visible measures in everybodies body (and soul…) and face (!) not least, that the multicultural reality (which by its very nature displays a kind of weakness or fragility) does not fall apart, but rather develops new ways of cohesion*****).

    ***** the Greens and leftists like Canada’s Justin Trudeau go for social control not only for narcissistic personal reasons, but also because they sense the necessity for it – and they don’t solely identify 1) the “fascists”/ “climate deniers” “anti-vaxxers” as a reason to increase societal control, but also 2) the anarchic so to speak side of nature (that’s clearly one of Bill Gates’ bigger problems)  and – 3) the tensions that go along with multiculturalism (something that they feel in their guts, but would not allow themselves to openly talk about (this is why Robert Putnam’s work is so valuable. He did break the liberal muteness and speechlessness with his great essay E Pluribus Unum and other works). 

  20. Dieter Kief says:

    Here is the above left out Tweet about the hilarious mask-“study” our dear professor Lauterbach based his decision on to make masks mandatory again:

    • Mr. Kief, here’s a very simple question for you: For foreigners and for Germans, is proof of Kung Flu vaccination required to enter the country at this point? (If not, how about negative test results?)

  21. Dieter Kief says:

    No vaccination necessary Mod. PCR test required for those entering from a Virus Variant Region. Additional gov.-information: Currently there are no such regions!
    – Always look at the bright side of life!

  22. Hail says:

    Isn’t the “Covid”-vaccine requirement to enter only temporarily lifted? Don’t they reserve the right to reimpose it?

    What % chance do you think there will be a “Covid”-vaccine-requirement to enter again? Remember how effective the mesmerizing ideas of “new variant!” and/or “cases are rising!” were. Is the magic gone?

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Mr. Hail wrote:

      “Isn’t the “Covid”-vaccine requirement to enter only temporarily lifted? Don’t they reserve the right to reimpose it?”

      A shy yes. It is intended to reinstall the vaccination requirements as soon as the smallest hint appears on the horizon, that the situation might allow to do so.

      Twitter as a means of official communication creates not only high tensions/lots of nervous impulses, but also: Semantic Twilight Zones and in there, everything can mean what it seems to mean and Its contrary at the same time.  – Very postmodern, twitter, not least in this regard… Result of this – setting – I might say: The panic is kept alive no matter what!

      I – – Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow or The Corona Panic Still Lingers On!

      – Actual example: Professor Lauterbach tweeted yesterday his most bizarre statement ever. In it he – seems to say – that the plan to make mask-mandate-exemptions for the vaccinated is not what it might look like. He then went on: As soon as too many people would take the vaccine, we are absolutely prepared to change the rules immediately (!) and make sure, that masks are obligatory for those vaccinated too. – Simsalabim!

      Then he went on: And we can do that if this new law is passed. This new law will bring us in an even better position than we were before “and I am very pleased because of that”. – He clearly is in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice panic mode ***KL****.
      So – – – we are in utterly deranged/ chaotic = way out of mind German cahoots.

      On the other hand there are reasonable people like this man here, German Twitterer TheRealTom/ DaBassMan, who says these simple and impressive things and gets lots of retweets and mentions in comments etc. pp.:

      “In 2021 we had ca. 30% immun-naive people = people without Covid-infections. Now we have ca. 3% of those. And we have Omicron. This results in a risk level to die of Covid of 1% of that in 2021” – – – ! – !-! – !! –

      And people sense that. It’s dawning on lots of Germans now: The Covid story is fading away. Also: Tens of millionds of people travel now and experience how governments elsewhere react to Covid – in GB, Austria, Switzerland etc. pp. – neighboring Denmark, Sweden, Norway… – in Florida (lots of well off Germans .l.o.v.e. Florida, have houses there…).

      II – – – Florida, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump in the German regional press

      Btw.: Yesterday was a relatively thorough portrait of Ron DeSantis in our local newspaper Südkurier (=Southern Courier), written by its US correspondent Friedemann Diederichs and – wonder over wonders: He did not criticize Ron DeSantis’ Corona-politics at all! Not the least tiny little bit!

      Next wonder: The Südkurier-writer Diederichs did not criticize Ron DeSantis much – – at all!

      He even said that Governor Ron DeSantis will be running for President of the United States in the next elections and that Donald Trump has no chance to stand in his way – not least, Diederichs argued absolutely free-style associating (= being in perfect wíshful thinking mood – one of the privilages of foreign correspondents…) because: DeSantis is a Harvard-trained top-lawyer and will therefore (!) be unstoppable for Donald Trump: Ron DeSantis knows all the tricks of the law, so the dumb ‘n’ lazy and uneducated Trump-man is unable to beat him! – Simsalabim!

      III- “Südkurier” today about the Trump-raid: The Donald is Truely Gone!

      Today Diederichs comes back at Trump with this resumé: The actions the US authorities (including the FBI – a photo of an FBI-truck! before Trump’s Californian – öh: House runs with the article) have taken against him are “proof” (!) of how much Trump has obviously done wrong (stolen government documents…). Diederichs does not forget to mention Jan. 6th  with Trump in the role of the leader of an unlawful rebellion that did cost many lives against the perfectly valuable results of the Presidential elections…. – He goes almost full circle Trump = Arch-enemy of decent liberal democracy.

      IV The Permanent Covid-Scare-Mongering May Soon be Gone!
      So – I read Diederich’s DeSantis protrait as one more hint, that the Covid-story is running seriously out of steam. Things shift against our deranged strange unhinged Professor Karl quite clearly, lately. Btw. – I can’t let go of this one: Professor Karl (when I write Professor Karl, I imagine him as a bright fourteen year old (he is bright, technically speaking, I still am sure, that this is true) – so – Professor Karl also predicted in June 2022 the high possibility that the virus would become stronger and “extremely dangerous” in autumn 2022… he is prepared! He is always ready to kill the beast, coming from the underwoods…(as I said: 14 year old mindset. – A perfect leader in a state of collective regression… – as long as the spell is strong, as long as the black magic mindset dominates the public unconscious…). As soon as that changes, he stands in the arena in his sawed off underwear, as the German saying goes. – We’ll have to wait and see as – autumn is nearing…

      ******KL******* Prof. Karl Lauterbach@Karl_Lauterbach · Aug 8Glauben Sie im Ernst, dass Menschen sich alle 3 Monate impfen lassen, um ohne Maske in ein Restaurant gehen zu können??????Wenn wir das wirklich oft sähen würden wir die Regel ändern, machen die Ausnahme dicht. Allgemeine Maskenpflicht im Innenraum oder Test wäre dann Konsequenz

      • Thank you for that nice report from Germany, Dieter. It was kind of a Bad News/Good News, then Bad News/Good News kind of comment. Do you know in which part of Florida many of these Germans have bought houses? They can’t be any worse than Massholes or Californians … can they??

  23. Hail says:

    A reply to Dieter Kief writing above:

    Der Mann, der Trump verhindern will [“The man who wants to stop Trump“]
    by Friedemann Diederichs
    5th August 2022

    Who chose this “stop Trump” title? Is it the practice in German journalism that the editors usually choose titles of the journalists’ work?

    It would be better to say “The man who can stop Trump,” although even that misrepresents what DeSantis is. Or more provocatively: “The man who will stop Trump” (not the same word as German “will, [he] wants”; the German tendency to avoid future tense may make such a title in German awkward).

    I find info that suggests this journalist, Friedemann Diederichs, was born circa 1960 and lived in the USA with his wife between 1997 and at least 2008 in Arizona and New Mexico, and maybe longer than that. His wife was part of an artist’s colony in one of those places. Both had been involved in animal rescue, committed enough that he they could be “Tierschutzpartei” voters (or the more right-wing version, ÖDP).

    This is my first time hearing of Friedemann Diederichs. The hazy portrait of him, from which I convince myself I know something of the man, suggests the “world traveler” type. Per capita, this type is a lot more common among Germans than Americans, of course. It suggests also an “Observer” type, the man who forms a reasonably complete picture of a place directly, from the “spade work” of engagement and experience. It suggests not the “insider” or politics-guy, but the outsider, the independent. This personality-type gives us the best kind of journalist, which was once almost the norm in the profession but less common today.

    We should also not be surprised that Friedemann Diederichs reveals himself indirectly to be a (likely) opponent of the Corona-Panic.

    Whatever the reasons he has for coming to believe that DeSantis is the frontrunner, I came to the same conclusions.

    Of the thousands of views on my own “portrait” of Ron DeSantis published here last year (“Ron DeSantis: Son of Florida, grandson of industrial Ohio, great-grandson of Italy“), I can only assume that some are journalists who might be incorporating info I dug up in that effort, at least indirectly.

  24. Hail says:


    The AfD has bounced back to 14% in the latest “YouGov” poll.

    The last time the AfD reached 14% in this poll was — March 6, 2020. That was at the cusp of the Corona-Panic’s big breakthrough. (It reflected opinions collected Feb. 28 to March 2, 2020.)

    The AfD had been consistently at 13%-18% in this YouGov poll all through 2018, all through 2019, and the same in 2020 up to March 6, 2020. Beginning in March 2020, Germany’s only opposition party in the Bundestag (i.e., the AfD0 faded away and stayed weak during the Panic. Only its committed core remained; marginals Coronapanicked off to the ruling parties or bowed to the social force of the Panic to abandon the flag, at least under skies cleared. The ongoing Pro-Panic vs. Anti-Panic split may have played a role in their two years of weakness, and the disappointing result in Sept. 2021 (10.3% of votes).

    The new poll, with AfD at 14%, reflects opinions collected Aug. 5 to 10, 2022.

    We might interpret this (which generally also holds for other pollsters) as another in a line of symbols of the End of the Corona-Panic as social force. The data-point for when the Corona-Panic fades into the background is that the AfD, a principal political victim of the Corona-Panic in that country, returned back to its pre-Panic baseline level. But that view misses how much the Panic-regime in Germany has very recently declared that it will not call a ceasefire in the war that is supposed to be “over,” that it will continue to stay loyal to the Panic and will continue to put pressure on non-Panickers. Suddenly more are ready to embrace the Anti-CoronaPanic movement, the only firm voice of which among the major parties all throughout has been the AfD.

    Whatever the cause, this result (if it holds) is bad news for the “regime” of the Federal Republic, which much prefers very much to keep down Germany’s only “non-extraparliamentary opposition” (i.e., the AfD).

    Am I missing something on why the AfD would be rising in July/August 2022?

  25. Dieter Kief says:

    1) Thanks for the Friedemann Diederichs-infos above!

    2) To make my Covid-AfD-point clear maybe beyond any necessity: I got the impression, that the AfD failed the political Corona test. They were often on the wrong foot and were unable to profit from the very high mistake margin of the government. A huge chance they made no use of.

    Germany and Ukraine

    3) I’d add Russia / Ukraine to the picture. Lots of regular (=based) people, I have the impression, sense, that the Government’s way to handle the Ukraine conflict is – utterly idealistic (no realpolitik…)  and might hurt us badly.

    Economy minister Habeck tried to take people by surprise and win them over by saying that lots of them will not earn enough to pay their bills in the upcoming (in my eyes: in lots of hindsights (!) self-inflicted) energy crisis.

    As it turns out, this utterly straightforward Habeck-approach fires back already. His shock and awe strategy does not work that well – if at all.

    Contrary to other crises the big corporate executives like BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller now say that the government’s green energy-measures will not work. – This kind of brutal realism is new – and the ÖR and mainstream media do communicate it. And Brudermüller’s brutalist realism is echoed 1:1 by the AfD. And people add 1+1. The CDU as the other noticable opposition party is cauhght asleep at the wheel. I wonder where this might lead to… It’s scary. Bavarian big man Markus Söder (no dumb guy) looks a tad sharper here than CDU head Friedrich Merz.

    What’s also new: Liberal public intellectuals like the well known statistician and game theorist Professor Christian Rieck and Philosopher Richard David Precht and ex-SPD leading figure Klaus von Dohnanyi******  say quite clearly: The Ukraine conflict is nothing we should be worried too much about – because this is not our bottle of beer. A big surprise and a cold shower for the greens from their longtime supporters Rieck & Precht. The Greens and the Social Democrats – and the Liberals shut down perfectly well working nuclear power plants ín Germany now: In a state of utter energy shortage – and supply the Ukrianians with weapons that they use to fire at – a huge and perfectly well working nuclear power plant, since the Russians have conquered it. A bizarre situation, which it turns out, is hard to explain to the German Public.

    *****His 2021 book Nationale Interessen is quite clear with regard to the necessity to avoid the anglo-sphere-dominance over our: National Interests…. Very clear, very simple! -Fine! But: The reception was poor, saying he’s bringing forward – AfD positions (leaning in Hitler’s direction….). Historian Heinrich-August Winkler said that about von Dohnanyi’s latest book in the Wirtschaftswoche….Note: They are both Social Democrats – since ages, really! – And von Dohnanyi’s father died in the Hitler-resistance…. Unfortunately, methinks, nobody in the AfD did quite see that von Dohnanyi’s book was indeed a first rate opportunity to articulate – national interests and mark common ground together with von Dohnanyi, which would undoubtedly have strengthened the AfD position too. – Win-win!
    I want to hint at the fact here, that the Danish Social Democrats articulate at times more radical immigration criticism than the AfD does. And Denmark ruled last week that it is against the law to vaccinate persons younger than 18 years against Covid… – Nobody could say the least bit against this great decision, I’d hold, simply because the Danish Social democrats are – European (and worldwide too- see Francis Fukuyama…) icons…So: The AfD could play this ball too quite easily… Low hanging juicy fruit aplenty…

    The other public intellectual that chimed in here big style was former super-leftist Konkret-editor then Spiegel-editor-in-chief and now weLT-senior -editor Stefan Aust, who wrote lots of quite sharp articles showing that the sanctions against Russia are not in our interest. In his nordic cool way he said: How much shall it impress the Russians if we threaten them with our economic self-annihilation? – Why not run a few ads with this quote by Stefan Aust? Nothing easier and a surer hit than such ads.

  26. Hail says:

    “…the Government’s way to handle the Ukraine conflict is – utterly idealistic (no realpolitik…) and might hurt us badly.”


    What Would Bismarck Do?


    The problem here seems easy to identify. It is this: Western Europe is, in practical terms, only semi-sovereign. It is under the U.S. security umbrella and deeply and profoundly influenced by U.S. power and culture and politics, now for over half of a century.

    Germany still has the least sovereignty of all relative to what it “should” have, if judged based on a paper calculation of Germany’s theoretical power level.

    I can offer this:

    The economist-blogger Tyler Cowen (b.1962), of the USA, is a postmodern-detached-libertarian (favors open borders in principle). He has recently been turning some of his attention on Germany, and last week attacked the SPD for failing to expel former chancellor G. Schroeder over his Russia ties. He has attacked Germany for not doing enough to fight Russia since March.

    Tyler Cowen is a significant peripheral power-player in his own right, these days. Although not a “foreign policy guy,” his views are probably representative. But why would Tyler Cowen be “picking on” Germany? His words and attitude and tone and approach to it, suggests he believes Germany is not a sovereign state, and that the Bundesrepublik should always-always be a simply extension of U.S. policy in foreign affairs when such is deemed of sufficient importance by the USA. (To use the cruder example from a cruder person, the U.S diplomatic figure Victoria Nuland once said: “F*** the EU.” She said that in 2014 in an angry conversation about which Ukrainian presidential candidate U.S. power and influence should begin to push for. Why would Europeans get a voice in Ukraine? It is her decision. This thinking points to the same attitude.)

    It is not a relationship of equals. Although this seems like a rather immoral view, it can hold a long time if conditions allow. There is a huge and powerful lobby in Germany to keep this kind of relationship going for complex reasons.

    As long as I have been observing, there is little indication Germany wants to change this, no organized voice (except the AfD, sometimes?) against NATO as such. They are stuck. The Ukraine crisis and its potential harm to Germany is a perfect example, the kind of thing International Relations scholars have debated and studied for years.

    “The AfD could play this ball too quite easily… Low hanging juicy fruit aplenty…”

    I wonder, if the AfD is worried about doing this today because there is still pressure to ban them, and they don’t want to touch this “third rail” of geopolitics. I think for years already they have been doing to the AfD a similar thing to what is done to the Right in the USA, accusing them of having dirty ties to Russia or being controlled by them. In a word: treason.

    There is reason to believe the AfD feel under pressure (because it’s true), and demoralized. Some of what they do shows me this. They behave like what they are: cornered. They never quite made it to the kind of respectability they’d have gotten if they had taken several state governments. They seemed right on the cusp of doing this in early 2020 (Thuringia), then the Corona-Panic threw ice-cold water over burning fires.

    • Dieter Kief says:

      Politics is a game in which lots of actions define themselves or make themselves real – by the resonance they create.
      I might say this from the outside: About the AfD: Nobody could do the least bit against an ad-series featuring Stefan Aust quotes: That it is no impressive statement and thus no working strategy to do what we do: Threaten Russia with our industrial self-annihilation.

      One more aspect here is that the Greens seem to like this industrial self-annihilation, because they fear traditional industries per se as a – – – – planetary threat.

      One more aspect: They fight Putin not only as the Ukraine-aggressor, but also the “climate-denier”. – This is utterly idealistic but undoubtedly part of their mindset. The best way to lay that dangerously idealistic side of the Green motivations bare would be to point at what they risk to reach their lofty goals: Our industrial self-annihilation – Stefan Aust found this wonderful formula, to get lots of this string of aspects/ arguments into one reasonable and clear slogan. Why not make proper use of it?!

      Or pointing out that Denmark has made it illegal last week to Covid-vaccineate those younger than 18. Also a one-sentence-claim of great revealing power (one more mental ice-bucket!)

      You could also hint at the simple fact that sanctions usually don’t work. (Another potential one-liner).
      There had been arguments why this time would be an exception, especially the claim that the meltdown of the Ruble would let Russia economically crumble. Unfortunately, this case is solved since this strategy did not work as intended.

      John Mearsheimer has said in June in Venice, that Germany fears the US threat to eventually withdraw the European US forces (this the German establishment thinks was not only a Trump talking point).
      What is true: The US military withdrawal would mean more military efforts of our own. The problem here would be to leave the collective regressive-mode we’re in. – One more political ice-bucket challenge!

      • Mr. Kief, as Denmark officials use their sanity regarding the vax, Washington FS, a place I couldn’t give a rat’s hootie about, is apparently still requiring it for school kids. I was scanning Instapundit and here’s the blurb from Stephen Green:

        ““In response to a question from The Daily Signal about how 40% of black school aged children were unvaccinated, Bowser responded, ‘I don’t think that that number is correct. We have a substantially few fewer number of kids that we have to engage with vaccination.’”

        “Engage with vaccination” is the new “mandate.” Update your Newspeak dictionaries accordingly.”

        Engage with vaccination. I’m disengaging with all of this crap.

  27. O/T (can we do that here?):

    What do you think of this article, Mr. Hail?

    The Covid Reckoning Is Coming by Noah Rothman of Commentary magazine. He is concentrating mostly on the intentionally and unintentionally wasted $$ – it’s BIG money.

  28. Hail says:

    Dieter Kief wrote:

    “John Mearsheimer has said in June in Venice, that Germany fears the US threat to eventually withdraw the European US forces (this the German establishment thinks was not only a Trump talking point).”

    What do you think of this, from the U.S. academic Paul Gottfried, writing in 2001/2002:


    “[T]he postwar occupation pushed a defeated and humiliated nation into accepting a ‘democratic civic culture,’ which could only be built, or so it was explained, by imposing censorship and social engineering; and ever since the 1940s, the Western media and American Jewish organizations have played up the insufficiency of German atonement for the German past. By now there are no strong sources of opposition to thought control in Germany […].

    Indeed, the more energetically that ‘antidemocratic’ and ‘nationalist-conservative’ enemies are pursued by the courts and interior ministries, the more ‘world opinion’ presses down on the Germans to deal with the ‘burdens’ of their history. A common lament heard among Germans is ‘Sie lassen uns die Meinung nicht aussprechen‘ (they don’t let us give our views).

    The questions to be asked are: Who is doing the censoring, and what prevents the Germans from removing the censors and making their society more tolerable?”

    The above is from Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt.

    In the following paragraphs, Gottfried responds to his own “removing the censors” rhetorical question. There have been, and still are, he says, important elements within Germany itself responsibly for this process. They use various political labels and represent various ideological or material interests, and after a while simply become the Establishment. A consensus is formed and the machine keeps going. It seems irrational only viewed from afar, that such a system would develop and become stable. But “here we are.”

    Eighteen years after Gottfried’s grim assessment of German political culture (a view similar to the one I came to on my own a few years later), Germany embraced the Corona-Panic. A lot of the same mechanisms seem to have been at work as with the general political culture.

    Germany should not have embraced the Corona-Panic and run a pro-Panic regime. It was a costly and frightening mistake, or mega-error. Of course they were not alone, but over 2.5 years we saw Germany digging into an irrationalist Pro-Panic regime, which dissidents identify as existing in a parallel-universe.

    Germany could have been a “Sweden” in a plausible alternative world. But what we know of the way German politics works (see Gottfried’s comments) suggests that a ‘Panic’ regime could dig in deep and crush its opposition, especially when there are geopolitical pressures, and if the “umbrella” provider (the USA) and Israel are both on board.

    I mentioned last week, in the comments of this post, a geopolitical factor behind the Lauterbach visit to the USA (ahead of his drive to reimpose a fuller Corona-Panic regime on Germany). I see a parallel with Corona-politics and with international-relations theorists’ assessment of today’s Germany and the US/NATO superstructure. “Corona” may be more deeply tied in with geopolitics than most people think, indirectly at the least–and for the reasons Paul Gottfried and many others have identified.

    • Dieter Kief says:


      Mr. Hail wrote: “Corona” may be more deeply tied in with geopolitics than most people think, indirectly at the least–and for the reasons Paul Gottfried and many others have identified.”

      I would agree right away with the “indirectly” part in your conclusion. And I too wondered what his American visit did to our tragically-comic and at times scaringly effective health minister Dr. Karl Lauterbach.

      I thought it at least fuelled him – gave him new energy to do what he is trying to achieve: To keep the Corona panic up over summer and retaliate in autumn with new drastic measures – while everybody else around us is slowing down visibly (and at times incredibly clear: See Denmark) – almost to point zero (in Denmark, the still existing covid measures are a tiny fraction nwo of what they once were: Down to maybe quite reasonable, actually 2%.

      That said, I want to say a bit more about Paul Gottfried,the US, Canada (a bit) and Germany:

      This is the article Paul Gotfried wrote in reply to Gregg Hood’s review of his latest book on American Renaissance.

      In it Professor Gottfried contradicts Hood’s critique of his take at anti-fascism.Paul Gottfried explicitly states:

       “I regard the current obsession with a no longer even minimally recognizable fascism to be pathological, and those who incite anxiety about a return to Nazism or even to a more generic fascism to be dangerous totalitarians. Equally frightening has been the spread of this madness outside the US and the introduction of speech codes and steady indoctrination throughout the Western world to contain a phantom danger. A far graver danger is coming from an increasingly repressive Left, which in the name of resisting fascism seeks to destroy all traditional human relations and to abolish our civilization.”

      I wrote this comment on Paul Gottfried’s article:

      “Mr. Gottfried you sound quite like Jordan B. Peterson. Two voices of reason. I hope your distinct and clear voices will be heard.
      I want to thank Gregg Hood too for his insightful review book Antifascism -The Course of a Crusade.”

      Gregg Hood’s AmRen review is here:

      Understanding Our Oppressors – American Renaissance (


      Paul Gottfried and Dresen – a case study of his German reception

      I have read and I like Gottfried’s articles for years. I’ve also read his book Multikuluralismus und die Politik der Schuld. For some time the TUMULT mag. ran articles by Gottfried regularly.

      TUMULT’s (now) senior-editor Frank Böckelmann often writes editorials and essays reflecting on – or even – may I say: being transfixed by – – – – by Paul Gottfried. Lots of German mainstream intellectuals fear Gottfried, not least because they hesitate to openly criticise him.
      So they go after minor figures like the poor and brave Frank Böckelmann, who cannot find public rooms anymore in Dresden (let alone elsewhere…) for his TUMULT literary evenings and debates etc. pp. Two driving forces in the east German literary scene are two Dresdeners: Novelist  Ingo Schulze and lyricist and essayist Durs Grünbein; Both recognizable literary talents, but somehow insufficiently learned intellectuals; – – – – and both perfect examples for those being caught in the huge (!) East-German anti-fascism-echo-chamber.

      If you step back just a little bit, they both appear as figures in a Commedia Dell’arte play: Two characters, fooled by their own deeds and sayings. Their imaginary world being a mirror-cabinet in which they themselves look monstrous and scary – what lets them panic even more, now hinting at their own distorted images – as proof that everything confused and flatout wrong and dangerous.

      Mick Jagger once said, looking back on a successful Rolling Stones tour: Life consists of fractions of: Reflections in pieces of a mirror. – Durs Grünbein and Ingo Schulze have yet to reach that stage of this kind of Jaggerian enlightened existential insight. I’d like to call this state of mind the Broken Pieces Stage which is characterised by the (Grown Up…) realization, that our world is not whole / or pure (pure = just another word (=just another symbol) for something being whole…. – and sound).

      Jagger is a Montaigne/ Joseph Joubert / JWv Goethe/ Tom  Stoppard (The Real Thing/ Arcadia/ The Coast of Utopia)  man, stressing the (basically Christian, of course) idea of the world’s essential imperfection whereas Ingo Schulze and Durs Grünbein share the same basic idea, but think that they have figured out the cure: Anti-fascism. The fourth Dresdenian figure that plays a role in this German half-tragic Comedy Humaine is novelist Uwe Tellkamp: Der Schlaf in den Uhren (2021) / Der Turm (2010), who publicly debated Durs Grünbein in the role of the immigration realist, with Grünbein being the immigration dreamer… Uwe Tellkamp got thoroughly cancelled afterwards, Durs Grünbein promoted even more as a leading public talking head… Tellkamp is also a well above average fiction-writer, btw. The fifth Dresdenian caught in the middle of the Paul-Gottfried antifascism-exorcisms and hollow riddles & hurtful shenaningans is publisher and illustrious bookstore head Susanne Dagen.

      • Hail says:

        “Lots of German mainstream intellectuals fear Gottfried, not least because they hesitate to openly criticise him.”

        His ethnic background is a ‘shield’ against criticism in this case. The other ‘shield’ is his presence in the USA. The two together makes it hard to criticize him in the way Germans might criticize anyone else. Longer reply below.

  29. Pingback: On elite “Neutralism” during the Corona-Panic and the nature of Power: the case of Noah Rothman | Hail to You

  30. Dieter Kief says:

    The Corrosion of Institutions as a Neglect of Basic Statistics – Norman Fenton Explains

  31. Hail says:

    Dieter Kief wrote, quoting Paul Gottfried:

    “[T]he spread of this madness [pathological obsession with anxiety about a return to Nazism “or even to a more generic fascism”] outside the US” has been “frightening”

    A long-standing idea of Paul Gottfried’s may be overlooked in fast-reading. It is this: the arrow of ideological influence is:

    USA –> Europe,

    and has been for a long time. He specifies there, too, that today’s “pathological anti-fascism” comes from the USA, not Europe.

    In the early 2010s, an emerging Alt-Right commentator-intellectual and League of the South member, Hunter Wallace (of Occidental Dissent), a native of Alabama, tried hard to prove that the arrow of influence was, had always been, and still was even at that time of writing, USA <– Europe.

    There are three possibilities for which which "ideological causality" flowed in the 20th century and still today::

    (1.) USA –> Europe
    (2.) USA <–> Europe
    (3.) USA <– Europe.

    We are speaking of the present, and the periods leading up to our present–starting in the second quarter of the 20th century or so, and which have reached a form of maturity in the first quarter of the 21st century (soon concluding, Dec. 31, 2024).

    Paul Gottfried says it's definitely "(1.)"; some, including Hunter Wallace as just mentioned, have tried to argue systematically it is "(3.)," which would mean Americans are perennially victims of European bad-idea-spreaders, always paying defense against Europe-derived bad ideas, including up to today.

    Lately I have come across some of the writings of Tom Luongo, a right-wing libertarian who writes at the major site Zero Hedge. The man is on a rage against Europe's influence. In his mind, aristocratic NW-European "Old Money," (which is in power, he says, for “centuries”; and which is apparently all Christian, for he mentions nothing of the old banking families of non-Christian ethnic origin) is engaged in a conspiracy against the USA and against all free peoples. (And against Europe’s own oppressed southern areas. He stresses his own ancestral southern Italy and Greece). This seems an agitated or decadent version of theory (3.) (“USA <– Europe" ideological-influence-flow, except a high-finance- and Great-Reset-version). All important influence is USA<–Europe, that the USA is a victim. Paul Gottfried would reject this view.

    I remember Hunter Wallace pointed to the Gunnar Myrdal's 1944 book protesting supposed mistreatment of Blacks (An American Dilemma), saying such a book was not possible yet in the USA, but here it was from Sweden, a typical case of the USA <– Europe influence model at an early date. It was, they said, embryonic of a deeply committed, crusading cultural-Leftism directed against self, or against bourgeois White-Christian society and its upholders–the ancestor-ideologies what we now call "Wokeness."

    The big and "easy target" example is the Frankfurt School migration to the USA. But that was ninety years ago. Why don't we count Frankfurt School influence going back on Europe? A lot of people have been born and influence thought and events since the Frankfurt School migration.

    Many of Hunter Wallace's own readers and commenters, a community in the thousands at the time, pushed back and said that his theory of "USA <– Europe" ideological-influence-flow was not tenable, that it should be (2.) at least ("USA <–> Europe”), which is a way of dropping the issue.

    Paul Gottfried is a regular reader of German-language news and commentary, it being his best foreign language and of value to his lifelong study of 20th European politics. (I think he wrote for years for the right-wing magazine Junge Freiheit. I hadn’t heard of TUMULT magazine.) His reading of German and other original material out of Europe in the 1960s to 2000s influenced his conclusion that the salient and dominant direction of ideological-influence is “(1.) USA –> Europe.”

    To the question: How does this explain why Europe is more evidently dedicated to purist forms of cultural-Leftism, Gottfried would say it’s a case of “the student exceeding the teacher.”

    When the Corona-Panic hit in 2020, and then stayed around for two years and more, these ideas about ideological influence were put to the test. It may be hard to sort out the effect because Panic became a suddenly-existing international social force with a logic of its own.

    To ask a maybe-unfair but maybe-useful-to-think-about question directly:

    Who was “more responsible” for the Corona-Panic, Europe or the USA?

    If we follow Paul Gottfried’s insistence that the main avenue of ideological-flow is “USA –> Europe,” we would expect to find forces within the USA more responsible for the Corona-Panic becoming the monster that it became. This I suppose includes the US “Regime” itself, as geopolitical player, but I am interested in the ideological layer, though the two are related.

    If we apply Gottfried’s favored “USA –> Europe” model to 2020-2021, the ideological Doctor Frankensteins of the Corona-Panic were in the USA and not in Europe. That is so even if in most cases the average European was hit harder by Corona-Panic regimes than the average American. Is this true?

    To ask or answer this question in a more serious way, we would have to look not to the events of the Panic’s formation in 2020 or to its resilience throughout the following two years, but to the ideological causes that were in place just before the Panic. These were activated and came together to burst over the dam in 2020. Then the same ideas prevented an Anti-Panic backlash from dismantling the Panic in about late spring 2020 (when, e.g., Florida turned into a Sweden-like regime of committed opposition to the Panic).

    Where did the ideas behind the Corona-Panic social-political juggernaut come from?

    It wasn’t ultimately China, because it was “our” choice to embrace the Panic, though there is a role for China using lockdowns as a gambit to try to induce us into hazard–that is usual China stuff.

    • Dieter Kief says:

      It’s a long standing German thing, this anti-fascism trope.It fed “the pig with the good conscience” very well (Hans Magnus Enzensberger in The Frogs of Bikini (this long-poem is in the overall small book of him called: The Fury of Disappearance – Poems, Frankfurt / – Main, Mod. 1980) – thus making it fat and mentally slow (a one-trick / pig).

      Except for that, I’d say that the influence of Europe on the US might not have been that big. US – Europe maybe a bit bigger. Funny thing: If we look at the US influence, would we count Martin Kulldorff as a US or as European influence?- The Great Barrington Declaration did make a difference in Europe too, I’d assume. The – understandable – Italian/Bergamo panic at the beginning might have caused some US concerns? The Tyrolian attempts to neglect the initial danger and thus enlarging it considerably maybe too.I did not find too many people in the US concerned about what was going on in France, Spain, Germany etc. – let alone Bulgaria, Slovenia or Rumania… But there were lots of debates about Florida, South-Dakota, Texas etc. in off-mainstream media like Achgut and? – Philosophia Perennis and Michael Klonovsky’s acta diurna blog etc. – in TUMULT too:
      TUMULT – Vierteljahresschrift für Konsensstörung | Politik, Kultur | (
      Tichy’s Einblick was very sloppy on Covid for too long. This was not their cup of tea, even though they have some stem-writers. Die WeLT was by far the best daily. Economist Stefan Homburg the best and most influential maybe German Covid-blogger.
      Die Weltwoche CH was good too, the NZZ ok. A big difference were the regional papers in Switzerland, who did real reporting and fact checking. The German ones were extremely defensive and always close to the common panic. Public radio and broadcasting the most troubling disappointment. They are catching up now a little bit. But they did not make much of the fact that they are economically very independent and not dependent at all from big pharma.
      They covered Trump five times a day if possible: Orange Man Covid-Bad/unscientific/irresponsible – as is the AfD (in permanence: It was utterly important for them to avoid Hitler to re-manifest himself via the AfD: Every crisis could create a new Hitler – so: They were in constant alarm mode in this regard too)…So: The Fake Donald (The New Hitler…) , as they called him, was indeed a big influence, as was Anthony Fauci, who has almost become a household name in Germany.
      Whenever John Ioannidis said something or published a new paper, Achgut ran articles (mostly written by medical doctor Gunter Frank) and there was a constant debate about those there too with a few dozen people commenting regularly. A strong dozen or so interested in facts and news.
      Honorary mentions for journalists: Sringer publishers. Tim Röhn, Julian Reichelt, Ralf Schuler; Achgut the young Felix Perrefort and Gunter Frank and statistician Walter Krämer. In swoitzerland the marathon man of plotics and journlaism combined: Roger Köppel Weltwoche, working 14 hours/ day at least – and six days a week at least on top of that. Michael Klonovsky being the best Covid-polemicist.
      Incredibly unfocused, uninformed, with lots of mistakes in their aritcles – almost the complete guard of once very reliable mainstream top-papers and magazines. They all played it safe and went with the herd – and with the panic Because panic sells?
      (They did not do this before though…So: This was the biggest German intellectual failure. That and the Universities… – In the podcast with Norman Fenton that I’ve linked above, this English stastician too was quite impressed how that did work out: There was one statistical mistake made after the other and apart from a few older colleagues, nobody in academemia did raise his hand.
      The most prominent GB mathematician with the most egregious mistakes and the strongest control over the public sphere nevertheless according to the quite baffeled Norman Fenton is now Hannah Fry.
      Last but not least: The engineer Ivor Cummins did a great job – and even managed to cash in quite reasonable amounts, as it seemed, with his blog and his podcasts. – A classical Irish small but very effective family business. I saw and see but a few traces of his work in the US, what made me wonder at times why that is.
      Now I add Michael Levitt to the mix, whom I at least quoted lots of times. I think his detection of the self-limiting Covid spread along the Gompertz-function was one of the major panic stoppers in this debate. That and the Amish – and you, Mr. Hail, whom I quoted a lot in comments on die weLT and Achgut and in the lively debates on the Rebell Markt blog of Don Alphonso (= Bavarian writer and journalist/ blogger for Die weLT Rainer Meyer). In 2021 German-American blogger eugyppius played a major role, he too is read in both countries (and even more places). As are the top European science-twitterers rpeezer1 and orwell2024 (he also writes on substack).

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