On the days of revelation
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This is the most divisive topic of the age. You are free to express any opinion you like about it (this isn’t Facebook) but you must do so with respect for others and their views.
If you disagree with my own views enough to unsubscribe, I wish you well, but please don't post here or email me to tell me so.
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I'm one of the compliant, and it's been bugging me. Haven't had my 'Vaccine Moment' till now. I'm wondering why. Your words made me wonder even more. I feel invited to spend more time in prayer for wisdom and direction.
I don't think I have ever agreed (though with a very heavy heart) more with an article in my whole life. What has been astonishing is the way the 'left', which up until 18 months ago I considered myself a part of, has endorsed these steady erosions of freedom, have almost welcomed them in fact. If you aren't already familiar with it I would take a look at the website of Simon Elmer's Architects for Social Housing where there a vast body of writing on these developments. Thanks again for this light in the dark.
Thanks for doing this. It is extremely hard to have sensible discussions around tricky subjects these days. It's very rare to change our minds at all really, we tend to look for viewpoints that support our existing perspective, don't we? So it's very interesting and important when a respected writer takes a dissenting or contrary position.
That said, it makes me consider that perhaps the vehicle for the message is as important as the message itself sometimes (I'm thinking about what you wrote because you wrote it, but had it come from another source I probably wouldn't be so much) and perhaps this is also part of the problem we face today.
Informed consent has gone by the way, too.
While the concept is promoted by the WHO (https://www.who.int/groups/research-ethics-review-committee/guidelines-on-submitting-research-proposals-for-ethics-review/templates-for-informed-consent-forms ), a ruling in April of the European Court of Human Rights critically undermined it (https://www.euronews.com/2021/04/13/how-a-court-ruling-lays-the-ground-for-mandatory-covid-19-vaccination ).
Work out the logic of this statement if you can: "The ECHR ruled last week that compulsory vaccination can be considered "necessary in a democratic society"."
Terrific piece - thank you for articulating the issues so thoughtfully and so thoroughly and for being a genuinely independent voice. Have followed your work for some years (alerted by a Roger Scruton footnote) and have several of your books. Not by any means in lockstep with all opinions (which would in any case show a sad lack of critical thinking on my own part) but have always found the ideas expressed well worth engaging. You might be glad to hear I’ve just upgraded to a paid sub.
All of this resonates so powerfully with me. Thank you for your honesty, Paul, especially the revelations about yourself. I have experienced exactly the same things - I have to really watch myself for confirmation bias and judging people. I had to delete my Twitter account because I found myself at one point going on there repeatedly to doom-scroll through the drama and division. It shocked me that I was so addictively drawn to all the conflict and vitriol.
Phew … so glad to hear this, I have been a lockdown sceptic all along and although 71 my Vaccine Moment came with the delivery of an NHS leaflet. It said that for over 75 year olds, there was a one in 10 change of dying if I caught Covid. I immediately went online to assess my risk and realised it was an outright lie. I felt immediately that this was a bridge too far for me. I am studying around personal agency, the use of behavioural ‘nudges’ and the ways in which a herd mentality develops. I have lost friends and had conflicts with family but I will not be moved. Have you read the philosopher Giorgio Agambens latest pieces about the creation of a medical technocratic future? If a person like this can be so villified for his views what kind of society are we now?
Thank you, Paul. A brilliant essay, which I will forward to friends (not all of whom will thank me or it) . By chance (?) only yesterday. I was reading 'The Barcode Moment' for the first time in 'Confessions' (a real hard copy which is such a pleasure to endlessly staring at a screen) and wondering what my moment will be. I have been jagged (as the Scots say) three times now and, given my age, 68, think on balance it's the right thing for me to but I utterly respect all those who think otherwise. I did print out my vaccine passport because I went to Ireland last month for a week. I only had to use it once to go into a restaurant (most of the time we were seeing family). We went back to the restaurant a second time and I was pleased to see they didn't want to see it again as they remembered us. Back here in Edinburgh my token resistance is not to use my phone to scan QR codes for track and trace, although if I'm asked I will fill in a paper form. Partly this is because I distrust what the Scottish govt would use the data for but is also because of my technical incomptence. Yesterday evening we went to a restaurant with friends after seeing the new Bond film, 'No time to die' (all about an evil plot to spread diseases....) and one used his phone to check in. It took a good 10 minutes and two attempts, which confirmed me in my resolution to resist using it.
Good luck in your continued resistance, I look forward part 2.
Tremendous gratitude to you, Paul, for your courage and brilliance. One thing I have noticed here in Vermont, where vaccine rates are very high along with surging cases, is the tremendous strain this has put on friendships. At least among the people I know, those who are not on social media are the ones that are not complying. Those on social media have taken up the Narrative. And they have so easily adopted the vitriol toward the unvaxxed. I don't think this is a coincidence. I hope you will discuss this next.
This really hit home today. I appreciate your measured reasoning, it is lacking in all of the discussion. Typically I'm one of those, "and on the other hand" type of men. But these days, when I'm speaking with friends, that just seems to be offering the limb up for an amputation.
You should (he says about someone else's livelihood) take this one out from behind the payroll. It deserves much exposure and a wide audience..
Thank you so much Paul for so well articulating what many of us comprehend, yet more widely seems either invisible or still 'alarmist' - to find clear, cogent insight into the increasingly blanket dissemination of these 'great lies designed to make us unfree' is a true support for your fellow travellers' hearts and spirits. Despair is the great challenge when we are so often atomised and isolated in our respective bids to walk in the opposite direction of this devastating line of travel. Your notes from what is daily becoming an outright, naked bid to dismantle and reassemble human consciousness as a component within the Machine sing clear and loud to the souls of all of us who are longing to hear the truth that we seek to live by and defend. To convey hope through being fully present to what is is a remarkable gift, it is received with heartfelt gratitude, for it makes all the difference to facing this to know we are anchored in a shared fellow feeling for what it means to be human.
Thank you Paul. I'm right with you, and am so grateful that you have articulated it all so clearly.