This editorial appears in the December 4, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Post-Pandemic World Order:
The Image of Man Is the Key
[Print version of this editorial]
Nov. 28—Although the mainstream media are outdoing one another in presenting Joe Biden and his projected cabinet of super-hawks as the next U.S. Presidential administration, and President Trump as a populist monster babbling on about vote fraud, those same media may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The sworn statements of eyewitnesses, documenting various aspects of vote fraud in the “swing” states, represent legal evidence. Pennsylvania State representatives and senators have just announced their intention to make use of their constitutional right to appoint electors to the Electoral College.
There are manifold possibilities that the proof of electronic vote fraud via Dominion and Smartmatic voting machines can be produced on time, and that this evidence will suffice to reverse the results of the election. Should that happen, the world will be on the verge of a dam bursting, such that literally not one stone will be left standing: Most of the current assumptions about the political realities in the transatlantic world will be swept away. Presumably, the next two weeks leading to the decision of the Electoral College on the confirmation of the next President of the United States, will see many aspects of the vote fraud brought to light, in spite of the attempted censorship.
Related to this issue, but touching on the deeper causes of the current civilizational crisis, President Putin noted in his address to the recent annual meeting of the Valdai Club, that we are living in an era of obvious international shocks and crises. As the reason for this crisis, he cited the paradox that mankind, on the one hand, has reached a high level of technological and socio-economic development, but is facing, on the other, an erosion of moral values and reference points, and the feeling that existence no longer makes sense, or that the purpose of mankind on this planet Earth has been lost.
This crisis, Putin went on, cannot be settled through diplomatic negotiations or even a large international conference, but requires a complete revision of our priorities and goals. And this must begin with every single individual, he explained, every community, and every state, and only then can a global configuration emerge. The starting point for such a transformation, he stated, could be the Covid pandemic.
Indeed, the response to the pandemic takes us to the heart of the problem. The relative success of Asia and the failure of the West to bring COVID-19 under control are so obvious that even mainstream German newspapers like the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Die Zeit are now talking about Europe’s arrogance and stubbornness, which has prevented Europe from learning the lesson from the methods used in several Asian countries to eradicate the pandemic, rather than simply trying half-heartedly to contain it. The result of these two different approaches has been an extremely low level of new infection and death in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea, while the pandemic in Europe and the United States threatens to reach exponential growth rates in several countries and completely overwhelm medical capacities. What’s the difference?
From the very beginning, President Xi Jinping made clear that the Chinese government’s absolute priority was to save every single life, and that it was especially important to protect the elderly and all those most at risk. After rigorous measures taken at the outset, such as mass testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantines in Wuhan and Hubei province, it was possible to bring the pandemic under control. Then, at every new eruption, such as in Beijing and Tsingtao, measures were rapidly taken to find and isolate individuals who had been exposed to COVID, thanks to testing and efficient digital contact tracing, and thus stop the spread of the virus.
In Asia overall, where the populations already had the experience of fighting outbreaks of the SARS and MERS viruses, there was neither the irrational refusal to wear face masks, nor the western distrust of using cell phone contact-tracing apps, although western governments had deliberately ignored the total surveillance carried out by the NSA and GCHQ. In the meantime, the economic growth rate in China was back up to 4.9% in the fourth quarter and people returned to their normal social life.
In a similar way, Russia prioritized the preservation of lives as the key value of the country’s culture and spiritual tradition. Referencing the dramatic demographic losses suffered by Russia in the 20th Century, President Putin stressed in Valdai that it was indispensable to fight for every single person and for the future of every Russian family. He also emphasized that an essential traditional feature of Russian culture is to give the utmost priority to the protection of human life.
The Crux of the Matter
This brings us to the crux of the matter: The supposed contradiction between saving human lives and the “interests of the economy” has long since led to an erosion of values that, at least in the past, used to be associated with Christianity, which was based on the sanctity of human life. Decades before the Coronavirus, when healthcare systems were being privatized, the scale of values was shifted to financial profit-making. That is the main reason why Europe and the U.S. were so catastrophically caught off guard by the outbreak of the pandemic.
The lack of masks, protective gear, and intensive care beds at the outset of the pandemic, and the dramatic shortage still today of nursing staff are the result of this false set of priorities. New reports are being released almost every day about how the Swedish model, so loudly praised by some, which was based on achieving herd immunity, cost an enormous number of elderly people in old age homes their lives. Rather than receiving expensive treatments, they were simply given palliative care and left to die. As SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach put it: “Crudely speaking, many elderly people are sacrificed there so that the cafes don’t have to shut down.”
It is no less scandalous when in Switzerland, one of the richest countries in the world, the predictable shortages in medical care have led to an open discussion of triage. In Italy, the horrible images from Bergamo, where the coffins were piled up in the streets last spring and finally had to be carted away by the Army, were evidently not sufficient to ensure that appropriate preparations were made for the perfectly foreseeable second wave. As a result, physicians in Milan now protest that the decisions they are being forced to take are both clinically and ethically unacceptable.
On February 26, the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe handed down a landmark ruling stating that the 2015 ban on commercially assisted suicide was a violation of the nation’s Fundamental Law [Constitution]. Since the right to a self-determined death is guaranteed, the Court argued, people must be allowed to make use of offers from third parties to do so.
In this spirit, the ARD television channel broadcast the film Gott [God] on November 23 as an interactive TV show, based on the play by Ferdinand von Schirach, which portrays a healthy, 78-year-old man who, after the death of his wife, no longer wants to live and seeks medically assisted suicide. In light of the pandemic and the resulting grave risks for the elderly and the sick, this attempt, in the form of a staged fictional event, designed to dispel the historical reservations (due to the fact that the Nazis had systematically exterminated “worthless lives”) must be seen as an unprecedentedly cynical propaganda stunt. And it was successful: after the event, 70.8 percent of the TV viewers said they were for the right to assisted suicide.
As a reminder: at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials, Dr. Leo Alexander, a medical advisor to the prosecution, warned of the utilitarian thinking behind euthanasia. He stated that it began with a quite subtle shift in the attitude of physicians concerning the costs of treating some patients, who then quickly became categorized as “unworthy lives.” To follow this slippery slope once again, in the conditions of such a massively escalating economic and financial crisis, can only be described in Germany as historical amnesia.
We are right now in the midst of tectonic changes in the strategic situation, at a time when what is really at stake is war or peace, and when above all the dramatic developments in the United States cannot be understood, unless one regards them as an expression of an existential battle between the old, declining paradigm of the unipolar world and a new paradigm, aimed at creating a new world order that will allow the long-term survival of the human species.
The revision of the priorities and aims of society, evoked by Putin, should become the foundation of this new paradigm, and must begin with an image of man which considers human life sacrosanct. If one wishes to depict this as a competition between the values of China and Russia on the one side, and those of the West on the other, we would do well to revive our Christian, humanist tradition if we are to avoid losing the competition in disgrace.