The Keys to Progress and The Real Anthony Fauci
The keys to progress are commodification and simplification or reductionism. As Marx pointed out, capitalism commodifies things, so homes become houses or, more precisely, investments. They become “property” which means of course that they can and should be sold, thereby revving up the economy and creating wealth understood as money. “How much are you worth?” is a mainstay of a commodified society, how people measure themselves. Other things are also commodified, e.g., health which is to be guaranteed by medicines which are to be bought and sold. Medicines replace other paths to health, such as “exotic stuff” like acupuncture, diet, or play. As a result, doctors become “pill pushers,” who are underwritten by pharmaceutical corporations.
What I am calling “simplification” is another key to guaranteeing progress. For example, “national security” replaces peace as the goal of foreign policy because it is easier to guarantee the nation’s security than it is to guarantee peace. As a result, advocates for peace look like naïve idealists seeking what it is most unlikely to achieve. “Pacifists” are marginalized as untrustworthy, even as dangerous who threaten national security. Happiness is displaced by “the pursuit of happiness” or, as I like to say, by success. Like peace, happiness as a goal seems oceanic, overwhelming, whereas success can be measured and is reachable. One question that recurs, however, is; Does success compensate for the loss of happiness?
Both of these keys to progress are visible in Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s book, The Real Anthony Fauci. The commodification of health as medicine is visible, for example, in the fact that drug companies have sought to replace one commodity, ivermectin, with other commodities that act like ivermectin but are more profitable and, thereby, create more wealth, allegedly making the US healthier as well wealthier. Other commodities, like vaccines, are developed to deal with pandemics, displacing the treatment of patients in order to eradicate the pandemics. Eradication, via “herd immunity” or vaccines, replaces the medical art of doctoring, of treating human beings for the sake of their health. Along with the definition of health, even the definition of being diseased is simplified, reduced to being infested with germs or viruses. A more comprehensive understanding of health as not being “dis-eased” disappears with the result that human beings forget that “a healthy lifestyle” consists of much more than washing one’s hands, wearing masks, locking down, or maintaining “social distance.”
In fact, it is also forgotten that repression is not conducive to healthy lifestyles. And so the reductionism of modernity is complete insofar as it reduces politics to repression and commodifies our “freedom” as “going shopping,” as President Bush recommended after the attacks of 9/11. So “progress” is defined, actualizes as the combination of repression and shopping, two phenomena that, as Machiavelli might say, go together very well.
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