Meet the New, Dangerous Fringe of the Anti-Vaccination Movement


D. Saul Weiner's picture

Wow, I am really disappointed to see a link to this article on STR. Up until now, STR has been sympathetic to the movement of people who are skeptical about the government's vaccine program and especially the efforts of the State to impose medical procedures on people against their will.
The timing could not be worse. CA is one signature away from denying access to public and private schools (SB277) to kids who do not follow the CDC schedule. There is good reason to believe that, in the future, they will go after the homeschoolers as well and then adults. All because (supposedly) fewer than 200 people got the measles and everybody recovered. WTF. And, in all likelihood, other states will follow, if not the whole country.

So (apparently) one activist became unhinged, so that means it is time to smear and discredit the entire movement with an article that could not be more biased?
After the WW2 tribunals when the horrors of Nazi medical experimentation came to light, the Nuremberg principles were set forth to cover the ethics required for medical experimentation and they were subsequently applied to medical procedures in general. Their cornerstone is informed consent. That principle is now being trashed with this law (though, in fact, it had already been partially violated in the past, in the way that the vaccine program has been administered). So yes, the comparisons to Nazi Germany are entirely appropriate. Many parents, who have seen their kids injured or killed by vaccines in the past, and thus know that they are extremely vulnerable to them, are being told by the State to play Russian Roulette with their kids. Any decent person who understands what is going on ought to be outraged at the very thought of this. But libertarians especially, whose philosophy is largely based on consent, should be especially appalled.

TheMPP's picture

Not sure why you're disappointed.  It sparked some discussion, which is the point of this site, right?  Appreciate the feedback.  You might be interested in a recent episode of our show where we talk about vaccination.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Discussion is good. In fact, I would LOVE to see a substantive debate about the pros and cons of vaccination. But the provax forces are working 24/7 to prevent that from happening. They are giving you all kinds of talking points, platitudes, and no actual solid information upon which to make an informed decision. Worse, they are scapegoating and villifying their opponents and not giving them a forum to make their case. So it creates a climate where there really is no room for intelligent discussion. It creates a mob with pitchforks.

Now, as a libertarian, I say "to each his own". You want to vaccinate yourself and/or your kids, fine. You don't, fine. You want to persuade others peacefully to your side, fine. But when the calls go out for coercion, that is where the "live and let live" mentality changes. At that point, the State has effectively declared war on us and our families.
I wrote a column for this site a few months back because I recognized that (most) libertarians are not well-informed on this topic. I would encourage you to check it out, if you have not done so already.
As libertarians, we ought to be skeptical of aggression of all types, of government propaganda in general, of the central planning of health care decisions, of government agencies doing the science and telling us what it all means, of medical fascism (its partnership with Big Pharma and Big Medicine) and of government scapegoating of dissidents when its programs fail. And we ought to speak out against all of this.
We should not do anything to cheer on the mob.


TheMPP's picture

Great essay (February was also when we did our episode on this topic).  All of those what-if questions should be part of the public discourse.  Sadly, they are not, for many of the reasons you mentioned.  Science likes to believe it has cornered the market on objectivity, but the reality is, when money is involved, it trumps everything else.  The science that supports the message is what gets funded and reported, the rest is portrayed as "junk."

But there are still two sides to this debate, no matter how "fringe-y" they both end up looking to the other.  Curiously, the same is true for climate change.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Money is extremely important here, as elsewhere, but there is another dimension to it that also ought to be of keen interest to libertarians. I have not seen anyone else write about this.

The vaccine program is extremely valuable to the government itself. It conditions people to submit to the demands of the State, from birth. It conditions people to the necessity of forced collectivism, much like a major war does. In effect, it sends the message at a deep level that you need to sacrifice yourself and your children for the sake of the collective, in order to survive.

This type of conditioning pays off greatly, as once one accepts it in principle, one is willing to sacrifice in many different ways for the sake of the State (e.g. one's income, one's dignity at the airport, one's liberty in general).

Also of great importance is that when people have been brainwashed into thinking that the State has protected them from debilitating and deadly diseases, naturally they feel a great sense of gratitude for this and will be much more loyal to it. After all, the State has "given you" life and health ... it has God-like powers and so naturally we will tend to be in awe of it.

In my view, the coercive vaccine program is one of the most important libertarian issues of our time, for all of the reasons mentioned. It is really unfortunate that relatively few libertarians seem to recognize what is at stake here. Most, it seems, have not really grappled at all with these issues.

Samarami's picture
    "...The science that supports the message is what gets funded and reported, the rest is portrayed as "junk."..."

    You got that right. I began to look at "science" with skepticism many years ago -- long before I entered the canyon of anarchy. I often refer to my 5 year-old great granddaughter as one of the few remaining "genuine" scientists. If she proclaims, "Grandpa! Your breath stinks!" (within hearing of the entire scientific community), I can be certain mouthwash is indicated. Sam

Samarami's picture

I find myself falling into the same "mistaken affiliation" syndrome from time to time. I might post a controversial essay or article or video here and/or on other forums, and a few will always interpret that to mean that I endorse the gist of the piece; when in fact I was pointing out what "the competition" were saying in contrast to what "we" believe.

And you've placed your finger on the pulse of why STR has gone backward recently. That sort of childish bickering and accusation resulted in at least one "guru" leaving the playing field to start his own "forum", which itself failed.

We don't have lobbyists or large financial means with which to "tell our story". We're against collectivist thinking from the very start. Therefore, (as though I have any authority to speak for "us") it behooves us to abstain from squabbling in the same manner that we abstain from beans. Sam

Samarami's picture

Nothing is surprising when you consider who are the many very largest lobbying groups and their representatives.

    "Money Talks -- and Bullshit Walks"

Not that any of the editors at STR necessarily would fall in line. It's just that the pressure to go along with intellectual blackmail terms such as "antivaxer" is overwhelming. It almost equates with appearing "anti-gay" in its propensity.

You can rest assured there will soon be "laws" in place making it virtually impossible for individuals to remain individuals.

I'll again recommend reading the late Delmar England's Insanity As the Social Norm. Sam

D. Saul Weiner's picture
Mark Davis's picture

I agree, Saul, that "the coercive vaccine program is one of the most important libertarian issues of our time".  This imposing vaccines on everybody falls in line with the complete takeover by the state of the healthcare industry and eventually all individual medical decisions.  The "science is settled" meme reveals a profound naivete similar to the global warming cult, but infinitely more dangerous and pervasive.  The childish trust many people have of men in white coats to make decisions for them has become all too common; now they back men with guns to force that trust on others.