Brownstone Institute | 7 Mar 2022
In what in retrospect (and lamentably) were the very early days of the panicdemic (October, 2020), I wrote:
No, the pandemic is not a virus, it is a pandemic outbreak of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy which focuses its obsessions on the virus. Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy is a mental illness in which the sufferer fantasizes that others–usually people in their charge, such as children–are suffering from serious illness and require drastic medical intervention.
Alas, 2020 was just the trailer. The reign of Baron von Munchausen (by Proxy) (MSBP) arrived in earnest in 2021.
Ironically (or perhaps not), it was the promise of a pharmaceutical intervention—vaccines—that kicked MSBP into high gear. Vaccines were supposed to be our passport to a return to normalcy. But despite the hosannas heaped on them, doubts soon arose about their efficacy. And many people—not a majority, for sure, but many—did not want to be injected. But at the first signs of this resistance, the MSBP regime kicked in with full force.
Those who wished to retain control over their bodies were demonized as “anti-vaxxers.” The President of the United States repeatedly—and falsely—claimed that the failure of Covid to vanish was because of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” So of course—for their own good mind you—they had to be compelled to be vaccinated. Because that’s the MSBP way.
Soon those who rejected the tender mercies of their supposedly altruistic betters were subjected not just to scorn and ridicule by officialdom and corporations and many of their peers, but to a systematic deprivation of their civil rights and of their participation in normal life—employment, dining in public, going to the theater, even exercising alone outdoors. In some countries, the metaphorical passport to a normal life morphed into literal passports to a normal life.
This compounding of oppression did not eliminate resistance. It often intensified it. But this only intensified in turn the fury of those in power in the grips of MSBP: how dare our little cares resist our requirements that they be treated? So the war on liberties—the war on personal autonomy—only escalated. In many countries throughout the world, state goons violently suppressed protestors.
In Canada, an effete Prime Minister responded to a robust resistance by declaring an Emergency that empowered the government to seize property (including bank accounts) with no due process, merely for having the temerity to prefer personal autonomy and to express that preference through peaceful protest.
In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security ominously declared that those spreading “misinformation” about vaccines were tantamount to terrorists, and the Surgeon General of the United States demanded that social media companies surrender information about those spreading such misinformation.
All of this occurred when evidence—that is, real information—was mounting that (a) vaccine efficacy was limited, (b) the potential for side effects was real, and (c) the vaccines did not inhibit transmission. Indeed, even the CDC acknowledged this last crucial fact as early as August, 2021. This rendered the Munchausens’ “externality” argument—which was never compelling to begin with—completely moot. But they pressed forward with it nonetheless, relentlessly.
At long last, it does seem that the Munchausens’ grip is loosening. Countries around the world are relaxing mandates and requirements as it becomes clear that citizens have finally lost patience with the ministrations of the MSBP clique.
Although it is dissipating, it has not entirely disappeared. In clinical MSBP, children are the most likely victims. So it is with the Covid variant of MSBP. Despite massive evidence—evidence that has been manifest since the earliest days of the pandemic—that children are not at material risk to Covid, they have been the most victimized by MSBP, and their victimization continues.
The Munchausens react with fury at any suggestion that children be unmasked—despite the evidence that children are not at risk, that masks are pointless, and masks themselves create physical and mental health problems. Despite evidence of serious developmental delay experienced by Zoom students, reopening of schools was achieved only against the fierce opposition of teachers’ unions: “for the children,” you know.
Now children as young as five are being targeted for vaccination, with the Munchausen in Chief, the ghoulish Dr. Fauci, leading the campaign. The past two years have seen so much done to us, in the name of doing something for us. That is the essence of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. And although the Covid variant of MSBP is ebbing, its virulence suggests that it is a harbinger of future variants.
Perhaps these variants will be triggered by new viruses. Perhaps they will be triggered by social “diseases” like racism and climate change. But the precedent has been set.
Forcing people to obey the dictates of those clothed with authority for the ostensible purpose of curing their fictitious ills has proved to be an amazingly effective way to exercise the will to power. Thus, it will almost certainly be used again.
- Dr Craig Pirrong is Professor of Finance, and Energy Markets Director for the Global Energy Management Institute at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston. He was previously Watson Family Professor of Commodity and Financial Risk Management at Oklahoma State University, and a faculty member at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Washington University.