Viro­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy. A Cri­tique of Ruling Class Pseu­do­sci­ence – Part 1: Sci­ence and Class Society

Lese­zeit46 min

This is the first install­ment of a four part essay seria­li­zed in the Mag­Ma. It con­ta­ins the fol­lo­wing parts: 

  1. Sci­ence and Class Society
  2. The Mili­ta­ry-Aca­de­mic-Indus­tri­al-Med­ico-Sci­en­ti­fic Com­plex (MAIMS)
  3. Viro­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy
  4. Their Sci­ence and Our Science


The human body is mor­tal by natu­re. Hence ill­nesses are ine­vi­ta­ble. Why does a man only go to the doc­tor when he is ill, and not when he is well? Becau­se not only the ill­ness, but even the doc­tor is an evil. Under con­stant medi­cal tutela­ge, life would be regard­ed as an evil and the human body as an object for tre­at­ment by medi­cal insti­tu­ti­ons. Is not death more desi­ra­ble than life that is a mere pre­ven­ti­ve mea­su­re against death? Does not life invol­ve also free move­ment? What is any ill­ness except life that is ham­pe­red in its free­dom? A per­pe­tu­al phy­si­ci­an would be an ill­ness in which one would not even have the pro­s­pect of dying, but only of living. Let life die; death must not live. Has not the spi­rit more right than the body?

Karl Marx, On Free­dom of the Press, Chap­ter 4, 1842

For three years we have lived under the con­stant tutela­ge, not mere­ly of medi­ci­ne, but also its hand­mai­den, sci­ence – or more pro­per­ly, The Sci­ence. »Fol­low the sci­ence,« was the com­mand, end­less­ly repea­ted. Prac­ti­cal­ly spea­king, this meant: fol­low the dic­ta­tes of poli­ti­ci­ans, pun­dits, and public-health bureau­crats, becau­se, of cour­se, they act only upon the purest wis­dom divul­ged by the sci­ence. We have had, of cour­se, no grounds to ques­ti­on them, becau­se that would amount to ques­tio­ning sci­ence its­elf.[1]

What is the sci­ence? To dis­co­ver it, all one must do is »lis­ten to the experts.« Who are the experts? Jud­ging by media appearan­ces and poli­ti­cal advi­so­ry com­mit­tees, one cha­rac­te­ristic they all appear to share is an over­whel­ming mate­ri­al sta­ke in the phar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try and for-pro­fit health­ca­re. They are gene­ral­ly eit­her 1) direct­ly employ­ed or them­sel­ves the owners of one or more phar­maceu­ti­cal con­cerns 2) invol­ved in the public health appa­ra­tus of a capi­ta­list govern­ment, in eit­her a rese­arch or regu­la­to­ry capa­ci­ty or 3) hold a posi­ti­on at a major rese­arch uni­ver­si­ty or hospital.

The most cited experts inde­ed appear to occu­py all three posi­ti­ons across the cour­se of their care­er. In the (very simi­lar­ly struc­tu­red and often over­lap­ping) sphe­res of the mili­ta­ry-indus­tri­al com­plex, or ban­king and finan­cial regu­la­ti­on, this kind of tur­no­ver is often cri­ti­ci­zed as a revol­ving door bree­ding cor­rup­ti­on. In public health and sci­en­ti­fic rese­arch, howe­ver, it pre­su­ma­b­ly func­tions more like a cen­tri­fu­ge, and this rapid cir­cu­la­ti­on ensu­res not­hing but the per­fect puri­ty of our sci­en­ti­fic experts.

The orga­ni­zed Mar­xist par­ties have by and lar­ge accept­ed just such a nai­ve, idea­list pic­tu­re of sci­ence. They have regur­gi­ta­ted and agi­ta­ted for the lethal appli­ca­ti­on of ruling class ideo­lo­gy, in the unam­bi­guous ser­vice of ruling-class inte­rests, sim­ply becau­se it has cal­led its­elf ›sci­ence.‹ Under this ban­ner they have per­mit­ted or even abet­ted an unpre­ce­den­ted assault on the glo­bal working class. By all indi­ca­ti­ons, they have for­got­ten how many ins­tances of pseu­do­sci­ence con­coc­ted by the ruling class and its ser­vants have had the impri­matur of sci­ence in the past, and the near uni­ver­sal appr­oval of rele­vant ›experts‹ – such as Mal­thu­sia­nism, racio­lo­gy, phre­no­lo­gy, lobo­to­mies, or, inde­ed, ›poli­ti­cal-eco­no­my,‹ that ›sci­ence‹ which Marx’s Capi­tal so devas­ta­tingly expo­sed and refuted.

More pro­found­ly, they have lost sight of what a very rare thing sci­ence is. Most ruling clas­ses, in most his­to­ri­cal human socie­ties, have found its bene­fits far out­weig­hed by its radi­cal poten­ti­al to under­mi­ne their rule, and have stif­led it. What is neces­sa­ry now is a real his­to­ri­cal-mate­ria­list per­spec­ti­ve that takes serious­ly the pro­s­pect that we can and have regres­sed, espe­ci­al­ly sin­ce the glo­bal coun­ter revo­lu­ti­on, into a less sci­en­ti­fic socie­ty, despi­te trap­pings which sug­gest other­wi­se. As Mol­ly Klein has remark­ed, the­re was some­thing very pre­cise in Mar­shall MacLuhan’s famous descrip­ti­on of the modern world as a glo­bal vil­la­ge, rather than, say, a city: while late-capi­ta­list moder­ni­ty has been tech­ni­cal­ly sophisti­ca­ted on the one hand, soci­al­ly it has beco­me pro­gres­si­ve­ly more back­wards, tri­bal, nar­row-min­ded, and supers­ti­tious. Kary Mul­lis, who recei­ved the 1993 Nobel Pri­ze in Che­mis­try for inven­ting the PCR tech­ni­que upon which the enti­re Covid edi­fice rests, obser­ved that »years from now, peo­p­le loo­king back at us will find our accep­tance of the HIV theo­ry of AIDS as sil­ly as we find the lea­ders who excom­mu­ni­ca­ted Gali­leo, just becau­se he insis­ted that the earth was not the cen­ter of the uni­ver­se.«[2] Mul­lis was too optimistic.

This essay will implo­re you to con­sider the pro­po­si­ti­on that modern viro­lo­gy and inde­ed much of modern medi­cal sci­ence more gene­ral­ly, as it has been prac­ti­ced in the 20th and 21st cen­tu­ries, is not only just as unmoo­red from objec­ti­ve rea­li­ty, but also just as effec­ti­ve and mons­trous a vehic­le for the most sinis­ter ruling class ambi­ti­ons, as were the racial theo­ries which jus­ti­fied colo­nia­lism and impe­ria­lism, slavery and fascism. It will high­light virology’s inter­nal con­tra­dic­tions, the frau­du­lence of its estab­lished pro­to­cols, and the various and interlo­cking ways in which it has ser­ved as a cen­tral legi­ti­mat­ing ideo­lo­gy for explo­ita­ti­ve class society.

This pro­ject began as a straight­for­ward book review of Virus Mania by Engel­brecht et al., with the aim of brin­ging the argu­ments and evi­dence they put forth to the atten­ti­on of a wider audi­ence, par­ti­cu­lar­ly on the left. It beca­me clear, howe­ver, that the bar­riers which many have erec­ted to enga­ging with the­se mate­ri­als are very awe­so­me inde­ed. So this essay will begin (Parts 1 and 2) with an attempt to make the simp­le, logi­cal and his­to­ri­cal argu­ment for why one must hand­le main­stream sci­ence skep­ti­cal­ly, all the more so in the con­di­ti­ons under which it is curr­ent­ly pro­du­ced. Inde­ed, a tru­ly rigo­rous Mar­xist approach dic­ta­tes an extre­me skep­ti­cism of the enti­re modern medi­cal-sci­en­ti­fic appa­ra­tus of late impe­ria­list mono­po­ly capitalism.

In Part 3, it will pre­sent the case against viro­lo­gy, par­ti­cu­lar­ly as arti­cu­la­ted by Engel­brecht et al., but also infor­med by the out­put of a gro­wing body of skep­tics who have been united and gal­va­ni­zed by the last three years. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, and pre­cis­e­ly becau­se this body of thought has been so effec­tively qua­ran­ti­ned from the Mar­xist left, cri­ti­cisms of viro­lo­gy have lar­ge­ly been for­mu­la­ted in a fashion which can be as fla­wed and undialec­ti­cal as main­stream viro­lo­gy its­elf. They are often mark­ed by cha­rac­te­risti­cal­ly pet­ty-bour­geois devia­ti­ons eit­her towards extre­me posi­ti­vism, or a naï­ve (fre­quent­ly reli­gious­ly groun­ded) holism or idea­lism. The hope, howe­ver, is that pre­cis­e­ly through this essay, the none­thel­ess pro­found and dam­ning cri­ti­ques of viro­lo­gy which have been made so far will be them­sel­ves taken up, cri­ti­ci­zed, and inte­gra­ted into a pro­per­ly sci­en­ti­fic, his­to­ri­cal-mate­ria­list account.

Final­ly, in Part 4 this essay will explo­re the par­ti­cu­lar evo­lu­ti­on of viro­lo­gy – and medi­cal sci­ence gene­ral­ly – in the con­text of glo­bal coun­ter-revo­lu­ti­on which I tried to pro­vi­de a very sche­ma­tic sketch of in »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis.«[3] As that essay was hard­ly more than a ges­tu­re in the direc­tion towards a cor­rec­ted pro­gram of rese­arch, so too will it be pos­si­ble in this paper to give litt­le more than a sur­vey of the rich and exten­si­ve hete­ro­dox bodies of thought on modern medi­ci­ne and sci­ence which Mar­xists igno­re at their peril. The­se con­ten­ti­ons will no doubt seem absurd and risi­ble, even to many who have pro­found doubts about the domi­nant nar­ra­ti­ves regar­ding the past three years of ›pan­de­mia‹ in which we have lived. I would sim­ply implo­re you to recall that not only the major pseu­do­sci­en­ces of the past, but mil­len­nia of reli­gious doc­tri­nes befo­re them, appeared just as unas­sailable and self-evi­dent as viro­lo­gy may appear to us today. De omni­bus dubitandum!

Part 1: Sci­ence and Class Society

Sci­ence and Ideology

Sci­ence is the belief in the igno­rance of Experts.

When someone says, ›Sci­ence tea­ches such and such,‹ he is using the word incor­rect­ly. Sci­ence doesn’t teach any­thing; expe­ri­ence tea­ches it. If they say to you, ›sci­ence has shown such and such,‹ you might ask, ›How does sci­ence show it? How did the sci­en­tists find out? How? What? Where?‹

It should not be ›sci­ence has shown‹ but ›this expe­ri­ment, this effect, has shown.‹ And you have as much right as anyo­ne else, upon hea­ring about the expe­ri­ments – but be pati­ent and lis­ten to all the evi­dence – to judge whe­ther a sen­si­ble con­clu­si­on has been arri­ved at.

Richard Feyn­man[4]

In his series of Mas­sey Lec­tures, »Bio­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy,« Richard Lewon­tin argued that sci­ence has two core func­tions: one is to offer tech­ni­ques to mani­pu­la­te the world; the other is to explain the world. In explai­ning the world, sci­ence plays a very important, yet under­app­re­cia­ted role as an insti­tu­ti­on of social legitimation.

For the ruling class, who deter­mi­ne the allo­ca­ti­on of resour­ces in our socie­ty– which rese­arch pro­jects get fun­ded or not, which infor­ma­ti­on gets published or sup­pres­sed, what prac­ti­ses or the­ra­pies are encou­ra­ged or sanc­tion­ed – the­se two core uti­li­ties must be con­stant­ly weig­hed and balan­ced. For of cour­se, the bet­ter one under­stands the world, the easier it is to rule. Except of cour­se when that under­stan­ding is both sub­ver­si­ve and dif­fi­cult to con­tain. As Richard Levins put it, the »basic stra­te­gic pro­blem for the owners of sci­ence: they need inno­va­ti­on … wit­hout the scep­ti­cism and the ico­no­clasm of the enligh­ten­ment,« that is to say, they need a »bour­geois revo­lu­ti­on in sci­ence, but not in cul­tu­re.«[5]

All Mar­xists reco­gni­ze that capi­ta­lism was at first an object of rigo­rous stu­dy by capi­ta­lists and their depend­ents, who nee­ded to make sen­se of the mode of pro­duc­tion they had con­ju­red up. Yet the clea­rer a pic­tu­re they per­mit­ted to be pro­du­ced, the grea­ter the dan­ger to them­sel­ves which that very ana­ly­sis posed. Thus as David Fern­bach, trans­la­tor of Capi­tal, obser­ved, »after 1830 the irre­pres­si­ble fact of the class strugg­le of the indus­tri­al workers led bour­geois eco­no­mics to retre­at from its own pre­vious sci­en­ti­fic dis­co­veries, and to the rise of vul­gar eco­no­mics.«[6] So Marx’s pro­ject in Capi­tal was, as the full title empha­si­zed, »a cri­tique of poli­ti­cal eco­no­my.« In it Marx show­ed that that body of thought, which pre­sen­ted its­elf as a sci­ence and was unders­tood as such, was in fact chief­ly a means of obfus­ca­ting rea­li­ty to jus­ti­fy and defend capi­ta­list rule. Abo­ve all, poli­ti­cal-eco­no­my made the wealth pro­du­ced by workers and appro­pria­ted by the capi­ta­lists, to appear as the pro­duct of the capi­ta­list hims­elf (gene­ra­ted thanks to his par­ti­cu­lar inge­nui­ty, abs­ti­nence, etc.). Inde­ed, though the term ›poli­ti­cal eco­no­my‹ is now often curious­ly misu­s­ed by Mar­xis­ant aca­de­mics to signal that they are advan­cing a more holi­stic approach to some issue, the term in Marx’s time sim­ply refer­red to that body of bour­geois (pseudo)science which is now cal­led economics.

Put sim­ply, sci­en­ti­fic theo­ries have use-value for the ruling class not in mere­ly enab­ling them to mani­pu­la­te the world, but also in enab­ling them to mani­pu­la­te others – to con­vin­ce them that the cur­rent order of things is jus­ti­fia­ble, or at the very least ine­vi­ta­ble. In this respect sci­ence func­tions as an ideo­lo­gy. Lewon­tin argues that, with the demo­ti­on of Chris­tia­ni­ty fol­lo­wing the French Revo­lu­ti­on, bio­lo­gi­cal deter­mi­nism took over as the most cru­cial legi­ti­mat­ing ideo­lo­gy of capi­ta­list class rule. Inde­ed, it is note­wor­t­hy to obser­ve that inchoa­te forms of the Dar­wi­ni­an ›doc­tri­ne of DNA‹ emer­ged even befo­re Darwin’s spe­ci­fic theo­ries were estab­lished. Nine­te­enth cen­tu­ry lite­ra­tu­re, from Bronte’s Wut­he­ring Heights, to Dickens’ Oli­ver Twist, to Zola’s Rou­gon-Mac­quart cycle, is suf­fu­sed with the noti­on that »blood will tell.«[7] Emi­ly Bronte’s note­books inde­ed reve­al a pro­to-Dar­wi­ni­an frame­work deve­lo­ped inde­pendent­ly of Darwin.

In brief, one may sum­ma­ri­ze the his­to­ric pro­blem of the bour­geoi­sie which was resol­ved by this ideo­lo­gy as fol­lows: the bour­geoi­sie was, nume­ri­cal­ly, far too small to direct­ly over­throw the Anci­en Regime. The balan­ce of power bet­ween them and the tra­di­tio­nal feu­dal ruling class pro­du­ced con­di­ti­ons which enab­led abso­lu­tist regimes to deve­lop unpre­ce­den­ted auto­no­my. In the­se cir­cum­s­tances, the ideo­lo­gy of libe­ra­lism emer­ged. This body of thought, gene­ra­ted lar­ge­ly by the urban pet­ty-bour­geois, allo­wed the ulti­ma­te ascent of the bour­geoi­se by for­ging a coali­ti­on out of the urban pro­fes­sio­nals, mer­chants, and broad swaths of the working mas­ses – espe­ci­al­ly artisans and urban wage workers.

The aut­hor dis­cus­ses his views in the abo­ve pod­cast from »What’s Left?«

Howe­ver, once the bour­geoi­sie sei­zed power, they very quick­ly found that sword of libe­ra­lism for­ged in the batt­le with the aris­to­cra­cy to be poin­ted at them­sel­ves. They nee­ded a means to jus­ti­fy the per­sis­tence of eco­no­mic hier­ar­chy once aris­to­cra­tic bir­th­right had been abo­lished. Bio­lo­gy, espe­ci­al­ly in its more viru­lent ideo­lo­gi­cal forms– euge­nics, social Dar­wi­nism, phre­no­lo­gy– ser­ved just this pur­po­se. It allo­wed the argu­ment to be made for a form of natu­ral ine­qua­li­ty. Once the ›arti­fi­ci­al‹ cons­traints of feu­da­lism were remo­ved, the ine­qua­li­ties that per­sis­ted were the ine­vi­ta­ble mani­fes­ta­ti­ons of inher­ent, inna­te, and unch­an­geable ine­qua­li­ty, dic­ta­ted by blood. This was used, obvious­ly, not only to ratio­na­li­ze ine­qua­li­ty within but also across socie­ties, and for­med the foun­da­ti­on of racist ideo­lo­gies jus­ti­fy­ing slavery and colo­nia­lism. This sedi­ment which for­med the very bed­rock of capi­ta­list order was also the ground of the more radi­cal and sinis­ter theo­ries which ani­ma­ted and jus­ti­fied fascism.

That modern bio­lo­gy was useful in this way to the ruling class does not mean it was sim­ply use­l­ess to huma­ni­ty at lar­ge. That untruths could be fashio­ned by a bio­lo­gy indus­try does not mean that this his­to­ric indus­try was only capa­ble of pro­du­cing malign non­sen­se, or that it was sim­ply a mani­fes­ta­ti­on of ruling class power. On the con­tra­ry, natu­ral sci­en­ces prac­ti­ced by bour­geois insti­tu­ti­ons were capa­ble of con­vin­cing expe­ri­en­ced mas­ses with fal­se­hoods pre­cis­e­ly becau­se of the basic legi­ti­ma­cy of the methods of its inves­ti­ga­ti­ons and the long and con­stant­ly accu­mu­la­ting record of important and valid know­ledge ther­eby dis­c­lo­sed; bour­geois sci­ence had as its prin­ci­ple moti­ve the actu­al, relia­ble and pro­fi­ta­ble mas­tery of the con­cre­te world; the methods and resour­ces of sci­en­ti­fic inquiry were regu­la­ted and sti­mu­la­ted towards accu­ra­cy by the very real impe­tus to opti­mal­ly exploit the given pla­net, its flo­ra, fau­na, mine­rals and all other sub­s­tances, inclu­ding of cour­se human beings. Like all his­to­ri­cal human endea­vors sin­ce class emer­ged, natu­ral sci­ence in the capi­ta­list era was a site of strugg­le. None­thel­ess, we must app­re­cia­te the fact that it was from the start inex­tri­ca­ble from and deep­ly cons­trai­ned by the inte­rests of the class who­se ascen­dance ushe­red it forth.

The tre­men­dous vic­to­ry of the glo­bal working class, howe­ver par­ti­al, in defea­ting Nazism in WWII tem­po­r­a­ri­ly quie­ted the more vocal pur­vey­ors of ruling class pseu­do­sci­ence in the are­na of human bio­lo­gy, but becau­se the root – capi­ta­list ine­qua­li­ty – was not exter­mi­na­ted, its recru­de­s­cence was ine­vi­ta­ble. As Mol­ly Klein has obser­ved, the utter dis­crediting – by pro­fes­sio­nals in the natu­ral and human sci­en­ces as well as by the con­scious­ness of the mas­ses of huma­ni­ty – of all such inqui­ries, ruling class van­guard insti­tu­ti­ons like Har­vard & the Rocke­fel­ler foun­da­ti­on con­tin­ued throug­hout the post-war 20th cen­tu­ry to throw money at anyo­ne pur­port­ing to have dis­co­ver­ed some evi­dence of eit­her a white or black bio­lo­gi­cal race in huma­ni­ty, and fun­ding was always available for the always futi­le quest for pro­of of the bio­lo­gi­cal heri­ta­bi­li­ty of lazi­ness, vio­lence and vir­tue. But for a time, a func­tion­al stan­dard of maxi­mi­zing objec­ti­vi­ty, and a demo­cra­tic poli­ti­cal con­sen­sus regar­ding the ethics and uti­li­ty of sci­en­ti­fic prac­ti­ce in natu­ral sci­ence, were main­tai­ned. Sup­port­ed by the radi­cal social move­ments of the 60s and 70s, the likes of Richard Lewon­tin and Ste­phen Jay Gould waged an admi­ra­ble strugg­le against res­ti­ve pseu­do­sci­en­ti­fic reac­tion in the forms of bio­lo­gi­cal deter­mi­nism, socio­bio­lo­gy, evo-psych and so forth.

Sin­ce the glo­bal coun­ter-revo­lu­ti­on which set in with the defeat of the Gre­at Pro­le­ta­ri­an Cul­tu­ral Revo­lu­ti­on, this sort of fascist pseu­do­sci­ence has beco­me pre­do­mi­nant, at least in the public sphe­re. With the extre­me con­cen­tra­ti­on and con­so­li­da­ti­on of the ruling class sin­ce the neo­li­be­ral era at least, we have every reason to belie­ve that the rift which always exis­ted bet­ween public and secret sci­ence has rea­ched unpre­ce­den­ted pro­por­ti­ons. As Klein has argued, we live under con­di­ti­ons in which the­re is pro­ba­b­ly much very good sci­ence being done covert­ly or semi-covert­ly for the ruling class, cou­pled with incre­asing­ly supers­ti­tious, pseu­do­sci­en­ti­fic sto­ries and ratio­na­les for mas­king it, dis­se­mi­na­ted in the form of com­mer­cial sci­ence and tech­no­lo­gy.[8] Not­hing could be more illus­tra­ti­ve of the lat­ter than the abso­lu­te ascent of virology.

Viro­lo­gy as Ideology

On pro­found phi­lo­so­phi­cal levels, viro­lo­gy is con­so­nant with and ari­ses out of the fun­da­men­tal impul­ses of bour­geois ideo­lo­gy. It fur­thers the ato­mi­stic view which seeks for sin­gu­lar mecha­ni­stic cau­ses, and eli­des the importance of envi­ron­men­tal or syn­er­gi­stic pro­ces­ses. It main­ta­ins the fix­a­ti­on on gene­tic mate­ri­al as a core agent, and is in some sen­se, an extre­me rei­fi­ca­ti­on of the bourgeoisie’s con­cep­ti­on of DNA (or, deri­va­tively, RNA) as, in Daw­kins’ words, dri­ving us as if we were »gigan­tic lum­be­ring robots« mani­pu­la­ted »by remo­te con­trol.« As Lewon­tin observed:

It’s usual­ly said that genes make pro­te­ins, and that genes are self-repli­ca­ting. But in fact genes can make not­hing. A pro­te­in is made by a com­plex sys­tem of che­mi­cal pro­duc­tion invol­ving other pro­te­ins using the par­ti­cu­lar sequence of nucleo­ti­des in a gene to deter­mi­ne the exact for­mu­la for the pro­te­in being manu­fac­tu­red. Some­ti­mes the gene is said to be the blue­print for a pro­te­in or the source of infor­ma­ti­on for deve­lo­ping a pro­te­in. As such it’s seen as more important than the mere manu­fac­tu­ring machi­nery. Yet of cour­se, pro­te­ins can­not be manu­fac­tu­red wit­hout both the gene and the rest of the machi­nery. Neither is more important. Iso­la­ting the gene as the so-cal­led mas­ter mole­cu­le is ano­ther uncon­scious ideo­lo­gi­cal com­mit­ment, one that places brains abo­ve brawn, men­tal work as supe­ri­or to mere phy­si­cal work, infor­ma­ti­on as hig­her than action. Nor are genes self-repli­ca­ting. They can­not make more of them­sel­ves, any more than they can make a pro­te­in. Genes are made by a com­plex machi­nery of pro­te­ins, which uses the genes as the model for more genes. By refer­ring to genes as self-repli­ca­ting, they are endo­wed with a mys­te­rious auto­no­mous power which seems to place them abo­ve the more ordi­na­ry mate­ri­als of the body. Yet if any­thing in the world can be said to be self-repli­ca­ting, it’s not the gene, but the enti­re orga­nism as a com­plex sys­tem. [9]

Viro­lo­gy is in some sen­se an even more fana­ti­cal per­mu­ta­ti­on of this ideo­lo­gi­cal pre­dis­po­si­ti­on, the ele­va­ti­on of genes to pure agents.

Natu­ral­ly, they are not con­cei­ved as coll­ec­ti­ve or social agents eit­her. On the con­tra­ry, viro­lo­gy fur­ther fits the Hob­be­si­an-Dar­wi­ni­an pic­tu­re of natu­re as hosti­le and purely com­pe­ti­ti­ve, a world of atta­ckers, inva­ders, and hosti­le (cel­lu­lar) take­overs. It is, inde­ed, a refrac­ted image of the histo­ry of capi­tal its­elf: over the past half mile­nia, capi­tal has pro­gres­si­ve­ly insi­nu­a­ted its­elf into the self-repro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses of various social bodies, and sub­or­di­na­ted them to its one and only goal: the repro­duc­tion and pro­pa­ga­ti­on of its­elf. The field that was once sown to sus­tain peasants, their lord, and his retai­ners, is now sowed with only one con­side­ra­ti­on in mind: maxi­mal returns from exch­an­ge on the mar­ket, with which to obtain more capi­tal, to once again reinvest on an ever grea­ter sca­le. Just so, we are told, viru­s­es com­man­de­er the body’s means of (re)production on a cel­lu­lar level, hijack­ing them for their insa­tia­ble dri­ve to repro­du­ce. Thus, as in so many other respects, sci­ence bears the stamp of the mode of pro­duc­tion under which it is produced.

At its core, viro­lo­gy fol­lows a sort of cru­de syl­lo­gism, which is almost a paro­dy of the ato­mi­stic world­view. Para­si­tes were long known to spread from host to host and to cau­se dise­a­se. With tech­ni­cal advan­ces, bac­te­ria were dis­co­ver­ed, which like para­si­tes were capa­ble of spre­a­ding and caus­ing dise­a­ses, but were much smal­ler. This frame­work for dise­a­se was very attrac­ti­ve and soon beca­me the default for under­stan­ding as many ailm­ents as pos­si­ble, for reasons which will be dis­cus­sed below. So in tho­se ins­tances whe­re a dise­a­se could be con­strued as trans­mis­si­ble, but for which no para­si­te or bac­te­ria could be found, the­re must also be a patho­gen, only yet smal­ler still. It is worth not­ing that viro­lo­gy essen­ti­al­ly hin­ged on such pre­sump­ti­ons and firm­ly estab­lished its­elf befo­re tech­no­lo­gy such as elec­tron micro­sco­pes deve­lo­ped which actual­ly enab­led us to ›see‹ sup­po­sed viru­s­es or con­firm their existence.

Most signi­fi­cant­ly in our cur­rent moment, Viro­lo­gy has been one of the most powerful means of excul­pa­ting the ruling class from the wret­ched­ness of the cir­cum­s­tances which they impo­se on the mass of the popu­la­ti­on. The true cau­ses of the vast majo­ri­ty of sup­po­sedly viral ill­ness– and this is impli­cit­ly reco­gni­zed even by many main­stream viro­lo­gists, who belie­ve such con­di­ti­ons gene­ra­te vul­nerabi­li­ty to infec­tion – are the simp­le, arti­fi­ci­al con­se­quen­ces of class socie­ty, from mal­nu­tri­ti­on to poisoning.

The lat­ter is per­haps the least well unders­tood. Viro­lo­gy has work­ed as a gene­ral means for shif­ting the bla­me for ill­ness from tho­se who over­work, poi­son, and star­ve us onto a (pri­or to this year, gene­ral­ly unders­tood as) uncon­troll­able force of natu­re. But it has also almost cer­tain­ly been used in a much more tar­ge­ted and con­scious fashion. As Cathe­ri­ne Aus­tin Fitts has glossed:

A toxin crea­tes a dise­a­se. The toxin might be pesti­ci­des or indus­tri­al pol­lu­ti­on or wire­less tech­no­lo­gy radia­ti­on. The toxin dama­ges mil­li­ons of peo­p­le and their com­mu­ni­ties. Com­pa­nies or their insu­rance pro­vi­der may be lia­ble for civil or cri­mi­nal vio­la­ti­ons. Then a virus is bla­med. A ›cure‹ is found in a ›vac­ci­ne.‹ The pesti­ci­de or other toxic expo­sure is hal­ted just as the vac­ci­ne is intro­du­ced, and pres­to, the sick­ness goes away. The vac­ci­ne is declared a suc­cess, and the inven­tor is declared a hero. A poten­ti­al finan­cial cata­stro­phe has been con­ver­ted to a pro­fit, inclu­ding for inves­tors and pen­si­on funds.[10]

As will be shown below, this sort of sche­me, while per­haps over­sim­pli­fy­ing in some respects, was almost cer­tain­ly employ­ed– con­scious­ly, deli­bera­te­ly, con­spi­ra­to­ri­al­ly – with Polio in order to cover-up wide­spread DDT poi­so­ning.[11]

Most signi­fi­cant­ly now, viro­lo­gy ser­ves as an awe­so­me jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on for wide­spread social con­trol and sur­veil­lan­ce. Argu­ab­ly, this has been most powerful­ly advan­ced of late by a sort of inver­si­on of the tra­di­tio­nal viro­lo­gi­cal ideo­lo­gy, which has cul­mi­na­ted in the cur­rent glo­bal regime. In brief, as tra­ced abo­ve, a core ideo­lo­gi­cal bene­fit of viro­lo­gy has tra­di­tio­nal­ly been to dis­place respon­si­bi­li­ty for sick­ness and death away from the ill­ness-indu­cing social con­di­ti­ons impo­sed by the ruling class – from over­work, from envi­ron­men­tal poi­so­ning, from addic­tion to drugs or refi­ned sug­ars or other poi­son com­mo­di­ties, from stress and anxie­ty, from mal­nu­tri­ti­on, from iso­la­ti­on, from depres­si­on, from rage and grief, in short, from capi­ta­lism– onto an anony­mous and uncon­troll­able force of nature.

The coro­na pro­gram has sei­zed upon and inver­ted this for­mu­la­ti­on into an even more per­ni­cious jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on for an even more auda­cious pro­gram: the ruling class has can­ni­ly taken upon its­elf the respon­si­bi­li­ty to con­trol that force, thus appro­pria­ting for its­elf the right to expand its legi­ti­ma­te field of ope­ra­ti­ons into the deepest reces­ses of our cells. Just in the same way, the ruling class is curr­ent­ly lever­aging its own long term degra­da­ti­on of the natu­ral world. Through the ›Green New Deal‹ and asso­cia­ted pro­grams, the ruling class pro­po­se to rec­ti­fy their own past cri­mi­na­li­ty by inter­na­li­zing nega­ti­ve exter­na­li­ties. Ele­ments of the natu­ral world pre­vious­ly not reco­gni­zed as anyone’s pro­per­ty (or, what amounts to the same, reco­gni­zed as everyone’s) will soon be reco­gni­zed as assets (of cour­se, pro­tec­ted by good­ly govern­ments or NGOs who want only to pro­tect them for us). This trans­pa­rent swind­le to enc­lo­se and pri­va­ti­ze every last inch of the earth not alre­a­dy so con­trol­led, under the color of wri­ting their own past wrongs, is a cha­rac­te­ristic maneu­ver of the cur­rent ruling class, who­se van­guard ari­ses out of the nexus of high finan­ce and intel­li­gence ope­ra­ti­ons.[12]

Howe­ver, the poli­ti­cal and eco­no­mic details of the curr­ent­ly ongo­ing glo­bal trans­for­ma­ti­on are bey­ond the scope of this inquiry. It is suf­fi­ci­ent to note here the pro­found appeal, on mul­ti­ple levels, which the ideo­lo­gy of viro­lo­gy pres­ents for the ruling class, irre­spec­ti­ve of its evi­den­tia­ry basis. One might sug­gest that had viru­s­es not exis­ted, it would have been very bene­fi­ci­al inde­ed for the ruling class to invent them. Inde­ed, in the vir­tu­al, com­pu­te­ri­zed world into which they are her­ding us, they did just that.

Too Big to be False?

One might admit that cer­tain ele­ments of viro­lo­gy are eit­her empha­si­zed or sup­pres­sed in the inte­rest of the ruling class, or that it may be cons­trai­ned by cer­tain con­cep­tu­al blin­ders – but that an enti­re, vast and long deve­lo­ped field of sci­ence could err in its fun­da­men­tal pre­mi­ses: this seems incon­ceiva­ble. Yet here histo­ry is instructive.

Very few belie­ve the pre­cepts of more than one major reli­gi­on, which is to say that near­ly ever­yo­ne ack­now­led­ges that most, if not all, reli­gi­ons are fun­da­men­tal­ly fal­se in their foun­da­ti­ons. Yet peo­p­le have toi­led under their immense com­plex of illu­si­ons for cen­tu­ries. They have fol­lo­wed their dica­tes. They have fil­led libra­ri­es ela­bo­ra­ting the fami­ly trees of dei­ties, the theo­lo­gi­cal nuan­ces of spi­rits’ inter­re­la­ti­ons, the minu­test spe­ci­es of super­na­tu­ral phe­no­me­na. They have felt, deep­ly and vis­ce­ral­ly, their con­vic­tions con­firm­ed: they have been addres­sed by their god(s), or have seen their hand at work in their lives and the lives of others; they have rejoi­ced in mira­cles, or cas­ti­ga­ted them­sel­ves for jus­t­ly ear­ned punishments.

It sim­ply can­not be the case that the per­sis­tence, or sca­le, or com­ple­xi­ty of a belief sys­tem pro­ves that it can­not be fun­da­men­tal­ly fal­se. Nor can even, neces­s­a­ri­ly, the stron­gly felt con­vic­tion that one has per­cei­ved its workings. You may have ›caught‹ a cold, feel you know exact­ly who gave it to you, etc. – you are no dif­fe­rent in this respect than the very many who were sure they ›caught‹ scur­vy when it was wide­ly belie­ved to be infec­tious, nor the peasant who knew he had been cursed.

Of cour­se, one may rejoin here that the con­fla­ti­on of sci­ence with reli­gi­on is a cheap and sopho­m­oric cyni­cism. Sci­ence ent­ails a rigo­rous metho­do­lo­gy which dif­fe­ren­tia­tes it from reli­gi­on. Yet as Lewon­tin observed

Sci­ence con­sists not sim­ply of a coll­ec­tion of true facts about the world, but is a coll­ec­tion of asser­ti­ons and theo­ries made by peo­p­le who call them­sel­ves sci­en­tists. It con­sists in lar­ge part in what sci­en­tists say about the world, wha­te­ver the true sta­te of the world might be. Sci­ence is not sim­ply an insti­tu­ti­on devo­ted to the mani­pu­la­ti­on of the phy­si­cal world. It also has as a func­tion the for­ma­ti­on of peo­p­les’ con­scious­ness about the poli­ti­cal and social world.[13]

We risk des­cen­ding into seman­ti­cs, in try­ing to dif­fe­ren­tia­te sci­ence from that which calls its­elf sci­ence. It should be uncon­tro­ver­si­al, howe­ver, to insist that the lat­ter is not always the for­mer. A core con­ten­ti­on of this essay is that in important ways the modern field of viro­lo­gy is based on prin­ci­ples and prac­ti­ces which are not con­sis­tent with the sci­en­ti­fic method as gene­ral­ly unders­tood. And that the self-audi­ting mecha­nisms which sup­po­sedly main­tain the inte­gri­ty of sci­ence – abo­ve all, the peer review sys­tem– have pro­ved inca­pa­ble of redres­sing this. Inde­ed, we will sug­gest that in a class socie­ty with an une­qual dis­tri­bu­ti­on of wealth as radi­cal as our own, it is impos­si­ble for a peer-review sys­tem to func­tion ade­qua­te­ly.[14]

This is not sim­ply an issue of a rene­ga­de field fal­se­ly clai­ming for its­elf the man­t­le of sci­ence inde­pendent­ly of the legi­ti­ma­te body. Inde­ed, it is wide­ly accept­ed that the­re are num­e­rous his­to­ri­cal ins­tances of pseu­do­sci­en­ces which were wide­ly reco­gni­zed as sci­ence – inclu­ding by vir­tual­ly all other ›real‹ sci­en­ti­fic insti­tu­ti­ons. As Har­riet Washing­ton has documented:

The dear­ly held pre­cepts of sci­en­ti­fic racism sound naked­ly racist, absurd, or both today, but in the eigh­te­enth and nine­te­enth cen­tu­ries, sci­en­ti­fic racism was sim­ply sci­ence, and it was pro­mul­ga­ted by the very best minds at the most pres­ti­gious insti­tu­ti­ons of the nati­on. Other more logi­cal medi­cal theo­ries stres­sed the equa­li­ty of Afri­cans and laid poor black health at the feet of their abu­s­ers, but the­se never enjoy­ed the appeal of the medi­cal phi­lo­so­phy that jus­ti­fied slavers and, along with it, our nation’s pro­fi­ta­ble way of life.[15]

Most rea­di­ly reco­gni­ze that almost all racial sci­ence (inclu­ding a good deal of what is car­ri­ed on to this day, under such ban­ners as socio­bio­lo­gy, or evo­lu­tio­na­ry psy­cho­lo­gy) has been almost enti­re­ly com­po­sed of very baro­que and intri­ca­te, but ulti­m­ate­ly absurd and base­l­ess fic­tions. The sci­en­ti­fic-tech­ni­cal bene­fit to the ruling class of an accu­ra­te under­stan­ding of human diver­si­ty has been over­whel­mingly out­weig­hed by the ideo­lo­gi­cal bene­fits of racial mytho­lo­gy. And so, such was the »sci­ence« they cal­led forth.

It is cru­cial to insist that this was so even though it neces­s­a­ri­ly ham­pe­red the main­ten­an­ce of slaves as opti­mal workers. Inde­ed, tho­se who insist that the ruling class would not deli­bera­te­ly maim us, becau­se it would under­mi­ne our capa­ci­ty to work, would do well to recall that the same argu­ment was made in defen­se of slavery, which sup­po­sedly incen­ti­vi­zed owners to take more dili­gent care of their pro­per­ty than a boss would of a replaceable employee. In fact it is well known that the not too distant histo­ry of notio­nal­ly sci­en­ti­fi­cal­ly-infor­med medi­cal prac­ti­ce is ridd­led with prac­ti­ces now rea­di­ly reco­gni­zed as not only absurd and inef­fec­tu­al, but also gro­tes­que and dan­ge­rous. The field of »Negro medi­ci­ne« prac­ti­ced in the 19th cen­tu­ry Ame­ri­can South, for ins­tance, was as Washin­ton notes, based on an »untes­ted nucleus of mytho­lo­gy about the bio­lo­gi­cal natu­re of blacks,« inclu­ding »natu­ral sci­en­tists‹ end­less and lar­ge­ly fic­tion­al cata­logs of ›racial‹ traits.«[16] Some illus­tra­ti­ons from this field are par­ti­cu­lar­ly ins­truc­ti­ve in our cur­rent moment.

Con­sider the case of Samu­el A. Cart­wright, M.D., one of the grea­test pio­neers in the field, appoin­ted by the Medi­cal Asso­cia­ti­on of Loui­sia­na to chair a com­mit­tee inves­ti­ga­ting black health and phy­sio­lo­gy in 1848. As Washing­ton notes, he »aug­men­ted his scho­lar­ly work with a con­stant ons­laught of medi­cal­ly based pro-slavery let­ters to news­pa­pers and popu­lar maga­zi­nes.«[17] The tapestry of »ima­gi­na­ry ›black‹ dise­a­ses, who­se prin­ci­pal sym­ptoms see­med to be a lack of enthu­si­asm for slavery,‹ « was as rich­ly and intri­ca­te­ly wrought as that which now con­fronts us under the ban­ner of viro­lo­gy. They num­be­red among them ›dra­pe­to­ma­nia,‹ the patho­lo­gi­cal ten­den­cy to try and escape slavery; ›hebetu­de‹, the »sin­gu­lar lazi­ness or shift­less­ness tha cau­sed slaves to mis­hand­le and abu­se their owners’ pro­per­ty,« and ›Dythe­sia Aethio­pi­cir­ca‹ The lat­ter dro­ve the irra­tio­nal desi­re to des­troy the pro­per­ty of one’s mas­ter, and, in Cartwright’s words »dif­fers from every other spe­ci­es of men­tal dise­a­se, as it is accom­pa­nied with phy­si­cal signs or lesi­ons of the body dis­co­vera­ble to the medi­cal obser­ver.«[18] Astoun­din­gly, unru­ly slaves were dis­co­ver­ed to have mys­te­rious welts on their backs! Thank­ful­ly, Cart­wright iden­ti­fied the cor­rect the­ra­py – a good whip­ping and hard labor:

The com­plaint is easi­ly cura­ble, if trea­ted on sound phy­sio­lo­gi­cal prin­ci­ples. The skin is dry, thick and harsh to the touch, and the liver inac­ti­ve. The liver, skin and kid­neys should be sti­mu­la­ted to acti­vi­ty, and be made to assist in decar­bo­ni­s­ing the blood. The best means to sti­mu­la­te the skin is, first, to have the pati­ent well washed with warm water and soap; then, to anoint it all over with oil, and to slap the oil in with a broad lea­ther strap; then to put the pati­ent to some hard kind of work in the open air and suns­hi­ne, that will com­pel him to expand his lungs, as chop­ping wood, split­ting rails or sawing with the cross­cut or whip saw. Any kind of labor will do that will cau­se full and free respi­ra­ti­on in its per­for­mance.[19]

Pica among­st slaves, almost cer­tain­ly cau­sed by extre­me mal­nu­tri­ti­on, was patho­lo­gi­zed as Cach­ex­ia Afri­ca­na.[20] In order to jus­ti­fy over­work in unsafe con­di­ti­ons, blacks were also held immu­ne or insen­si­ti­ve to dise­a­ses assu­med to be tru­ly dan­ge­rous only to whites – such as heat pro­stra­ti­on & sun­stro­ke, or mala­ria – despi­te copious evi­dence that black slaves of cour­se suf­fe­r­ed from all such ailm­ents. Empi­ri­cal rea­li­ty fai­led to under­mi­ne the­se ideo­lo­gi­cal­ly important doc­tri­nes.[21] This cruel and pre­pos­te­rous field of noxious pseu­do­sci­ence was none­thel­ess suf­fi­ci­ent­ly com­pe­tent to pro­du­ce the pro­no­unce­ments of health which were a cru­cial ele­ment of the slave economy.

This is worth bela­bor­ing: Sou­thern phy­si­ci­ans’ role in the func­tio­ning of the slave mar­ket was extre­me­ly signi­fi­cant. Pro­nun­cia­ti­ons of health, which were obtai­ned to veri­fy a slave was of qua­li­ty worth buy­ing, often cost as much as tre­at­ments. To the degree that the doc­tri­nes of »negro medi­ci­ne« under­mi­ned the accu­ra­cy of the the­se dia­gno­ses, they serious­ly under­mi­ned the capa­ci­ty of the slavehol­ding class to extra­ct value from slaves. Yet the­se strong eco­no­mic incen­ti­ves to accu­ra­cy were not suf­fi­ci­ent to out­weigh the coun­ter­vai­ling incen­ti­ves towards obfus­ca­ti­on, and so did not under­mi­ne the absurd doc­tri­nes of this field, as the super­fi­ci­al mate­ria­lism which is now pre­va­lent on much of the left would sug­gest. As ludicrous a dia­gno­sis as Cartwright’s of Dys­aethe­sia Aethio­pi­ca, which found the root cau­se of welts on slaves backs, not in their bea­tings, but in a lack the­reof, was ulti­m­ate­ly more bene­fi­ci­al to the slavehol­der dis­pen­sing the bea­tings, even if so obvious­ly wrong, than an under­stan­ding which made the slavehol­der respon­si­ble and culpable.

The ruling class wants us, not healt­hy, but healt­hy enough to work for them under cer­tain pro­fi­ta­ble con­di­ti­ons. And not so healt­hy that we can over­power them. They do not want us well edu­ca­ted, but edu­ca­ted well enough to do the tasks they dic­ta­te to us. And not well-enough edu­ca­ted to see through their lies. A libe­ra­ted pro­le­ta­ri­an sci­ence would con­du­ce to the for­mer– ruling class sci­ence aims for the lat­ter. It is the gra­vest of errors to con­fu­se them. As Tony Benn once obser­ved: »an edu­ca­ted, healt­hy, and con­fi­dent nati­on is har­der to govern.«[22]

Under What Con­di­ti­ons is Sci­ence Possible ?

Sus­pi­ci­on of and con­tempt for the phar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try, and by exten­si­on at least some aspects of modern medi­ci­ne, are wide­spread among the gene­ral popu­la­ti­on and abo­ve all among­st the most exploi­ted sec­tions of the working class all over the glo­be. This fact is often ack­now­led­ged even in the bour­geois press, though almost exclu­si­ve­ly in a deep­ly pater­na­li­stic and dis­mis­si­ve fashion. Thus for ins­tance skep­ti­cism about vac­ci­nes among­st the Afri­can Ame­ri­can com­mu­ni­ty in the USA is rou­ti­ne­ly belitt­led as a reasonable but out­da­ted and unfort­u­na­te lega­cy of pri­or wrong­doings. The benigh­ted mas­ses need to be edu­ca­ted, for their own good. It is after all per­haps not very sur­pri­sing that peo­p­le who­se social milieu hea­vi­ly over­laps with the staff of NGOs, public health depart­ments, and other enti­ties which would gain fun­ding from any such cam­paign are very eager to sup­port them.

Yet the imme­dia­te and vul­gar class inte­rests of many on the orga­ni­zed left are an insuf­fi­ci­ent expl­ana­ti­on here; across the demo­gra­phics which domi­na­te the lea­der­ship of the major left wing orga­niza­ti­ons in the West – abo­ve all clerks and know­ledge workers of various sorts – the­re is a much deeper and more pro­found mate­ri­al and psy­chic invest­ment in eli­te aca­de­mic insti­tu­ti­ons and the ruling class ›sci­ence‹ they pro­du­ce. It is cen­tral to the self-con­cep­ti­on of this class that know­ledge-pro­duc­tion – even though fun­ded by and pro­du­ced on the terms of the ruling class – is somehow rela­tively auto­no­mous and even self-actua­li­zing. In par­ti­cu­lar, they are deep­ly inves­ted in a cer­tain con­cep­ti­on of sci­ence, which sees its­elf as dri­ven enti­re­ly or at least pri­ma­ri­ly by its own inter­nal dynamics.

This class will admit that under cer­tain cir­cum­s­tances sci­ence may be bet­ter or worse fun­ded; important ave­nues of rese­arch may be igno­red becau­se they are not pro­fi­ta­ble; cer­tain regimes (most­ly sinis­ter non-wes­tern boo­gey­men) may sup­press cer­tain ele­ments of sci­ence. This may slow the pro­gress of sci­ence, but sci­ence none­thel­ess pro­gres­ses, more or less line­ar­ly, over time. Sub­scrip­ti­on to this artic­le of faith allows them to per­func­to­ri­ly reject the par­al­lels noted abo­ve, bet­ween now well-reco­gni­zed pseu­do­sci­en­ces of the past and modern viro­lo­gy. We have advan­ced bey­ond such con­di­ti­ons, we have bet­ter sci­ence which easi­ly crowds out the bad. This sort of thin­king was shar­ply cri­ti­ci­zed Wal­ter Ben­ja­min, who obser­ved that:

The cur­rent ama­ze­ment that the things we are expe­ri­en­cing are ›still‹ pos­si­ble in the twen­tieth cen­tu­ry is not phi­lo­so­phi­cal. This ama­ze­ment is not the begin­ning of know­ledge — unless it is the know­ledge that the view of histo­ry which gives rise to it is untenable.[23]

The assump­ti­on that sci­ence con­sis­t­ent­ly impro­ves line­ar­ly or even expo­nen­ti­al­ly is con­sis­tent with a libe­ral, idea­list noti­on of histo­ry, but is com­ple­te­ly con­tra­ry to his­to­ri­cal mate­ria­lism. Mar­xists reco­gni­ze that sci­ence is not a self-acting enti­ty which floats abo­ve mate­ri­al rea­li­ty: rather, sci­ence emer­ges out of cer­tain mate­ri­al con­di­ti­ons – and doesn’t ari­se out of most others! Inde­ed, the vast majo­ri­ty of human social arran­ge­ments have not been favorable to the deve­lo­p­ment of sci­ence. Most nota­b­ly, it has been with the rise of capi­ta­lism its­elf which sci­ence is most asso­cia­ted – though the pre­cise and true natu­re of that asso­cia­ti­on is, its­elf, often sub­ject to ideo­lo­gi­cal obfus­ca­ti­on. As J.D. Ber­nal observed:

It is appa­rent to us now, though it was cer­tain­ly not then, that by the midd­le of the fif­te­enth cen­tu­ry some­thing new was begin­ning. We have come to look on the Renais­sance as pre­sa­ging the rise of capi­ta­lism, but it was not until the eigh­te­enth cen­tu­ry that any fun­da­men­tal chan­ge was gene­ral­ly reco­gni­zed. By then, through the appli­ca­ti­on of sci­ence and inven­ti­on, new pos­si­bi­li­ties were available to man­kind which were likely to have an even lar­ger effect on his future than tho­se of agri­cul­tu­re and the tech­ni­ques of ear­ly civi­liza­ti­on. It is only recent­ly that we have been able to sepa­ra­te in our minds the deve­lo­p­ment of capi­ta­list enter­pri­se from that of sci­ence and the gene­ral libe­ra­ti­on of human thought. Both see­med to be inex­tri­ca­bly con­nec­ted parts of Pro­gress but at the same time, para­do­xi­cal­ly, their appearance was gree­ted as evi­dence that man was retur­ning to his natu­ral sta­te, freed from the arbi­tra­ry rest­ric­tions of reli­gi­on or feu­dal aut­ho­ri­ty. We now see that though capi­ta­lism was essen­ti­al to the ear­ly deve­lo­p­ment of sci­ence, giving it, for the first time, a prac­ti­cal value, the human importance of sci­ence tran­s­cends in every way that of capi­ta­lism, and, inde­ed, the full deve­lo­p­ment of sci­ence in the ser­vice of huma­ni­ty is incom­pa­ti­ble with the con­ti­nu­an­ce of capi­ta­lism.[24]

It was the capi­ta­list bour­geoi­sie, in their pro­gres­si­ve strugg­le against the Anci­en Regime – poli­ti­cal­ly, ideo­lo­gi­cal­ly, and eco­no­mic­al­ly– which brought about the first true gre­at flou­ris­hing of sci­ence. Sci­ence was made pos­si­ble by the new libe­ra­ti­on of thought and speech, com­bi­ned with the mas­si­ve incen­ti­vi­za­ti­on of tech­no­lo­gi­cal inno­va­ti­on which is a struc­tu­ral fea­ture of capi­ta­list rela­ti­ons.[25]

As noted abo­ve, howe­ver, the poli­ti­co-ideo­lo­gi­cal wea­pon­ry for­ged in the strugg­le against fued­alism, viz. ›Libe­ra­lism‹ was not wit­hout its con­tra­dic­tions. Befo­re they knew it, the bour­geoi­sie soon found them­sel­ves besie­ged by the workers, deman­ding a con­sis­tent and tho­rough appli­ca­ti­on of libe­ral poli­ti­cal prin­ci­ples. If equa­li­ty and demo­cra­cy are appro­pria­te in the civil sphe­re, why not the eco­no­mic? If sub­or­di­na­ti­on to the arbi­tra­ry power of a mon­arch or aris­to­crat are incom­pa­ti­ble with man’s digni­ty, why is the same not true of a mana­ger or boss? Dar­wi­ni­an bio­lo­gi­cal con­cepts play­ed a key role in obfus­ca­ting or ratio­na­li­zing the­se con­tra­dic­tions: your boss is your natu­ral supe­ri­or, capi­ta­lists could argue, becau­se of his supe­ri­or genes (of cour­se, the argu­ment would rare­ly be put forth so bla­tant­ly). We note this con­tra­dic­tion here, though, sim­ply to empha­si­ze the con­tra­dic­to­ry and com­pli­ca­ted rela­ti­onship bet­ween capi­ta­lism, libe­ra­lism, and demo­cra­cy. The­re is exten­si­ve Mar­xist lite­ra­tu­re on this topic which we will not del­ve into here.[26]

What is less well app­re­cia­ted is the over­lap­ping and equal­ly com­pli­ca­ted rela­ti­onship bet­ween capi­ta­lism and sci­ence, even in their heyday. In the same man­ner that capi­ta­lists were inte­res­ted in demo­cra­cy only under very limi­t­ed and spe­ci­fic con­di­ti­ons, so too, they have long made sure that sci­en­ti­fic pro­gress in no way under­mi­nes their pro­fits or class posi­ti­on. This is per­haps most gla­rin­gly evi­dent in the per­sis­tent strugg­le of capi­ta­lists to impo­se trade­mark and patent rest­ric­tions on novel tech­no­lo­gy or rese­arch. More signi­fi­cant­ly, the con­di­ti­ons which fos­te­red some of the most awe­so­me advan­ces of sci­ence under capi­ta­lism were the result of the suc­cessful class strugg­le of workers against capi­ta­lism.

Abo­ve all, the suc­cessful strugg­le for public edu­ca­ti­on, and for the neces­sa­ry nut­ri­tio­nal levels to actual­ly bene­fit from it, were key ele­ments wit­hout which the real won­ders of modern sci­ence would have been impos­si­ble. The epo­chal vic­to­ries of the working class in estab­li­shing the USSR, the PRC, and the other Actual­ly Exis­ting Socia­list or popu­lar anti-colo­ni­al regimes of the 20th cen­tu­ry mas­si­ve­ly increased the power of all workers the world over. The­se con­di­ti­ons exer­ted strong pres­su­re on capi­ta­lists to employ sci­ence in forms that were at least par­ti­al­ly bene­fi­ci­al to huma­ni­ty, both in the form of a lar­ge mar­ket for high-qua­li­ty con­su­mer goods and in various forms of direct or indi­rect demo­cra­tic influence of govern­ment bud­gets. On a deeper and more com­pli­ca­ted level, which will be expan­ded upon below, the ideo­lo­gy of sci­ence, espe­ci­al­ly viro­lo­gy, obscu­red the goods which the mas­ses had won for them­sel­ves through their poli­ti­cal strug­gles on the one hand, and their pro­duc­ti­ve labor on the other. For, as we will show, almost all of the reduc­tion in ill­ness and death which has been attri­bu­ted to the inter­ven­ti­on of viro­lo­gy, are in fact a result of impro­ved nut­ri­ti­on and living stan­dards which resul­ted from suc­cessful labor strug­gles against capi­tal.

Howe­ver, the spe­ci­fic histo­ry of viro­lo­gy is a mat­ter for part 3. Here we are con­cer­ned with the poli­ti­co-eco­no­mic con­di­ti­ons under which any human­ly bene­fi­ci­al sci­ence is pos­si­ble. In the twen­tieth cen­tu­ry, socia­lism in the second and third world forced, even in the capi­ta­list first world, a social demo­cra­tic com­pro­mi­se bet­ween workers and the ruling class. This yiel­ded a num­ber of fac­tors which were par­ti­cu­lar­ly con­du­ci­ve to the gene­ra­ti­on of sci­ence. None­thel­ess, they were balan­ced by coun­ter­vai­ling ten­den­ci­es, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in spe­ci­fic sci­en­ti­fic fields, which were pro­found­ly con­tra­ry to the flou­ris­hing of sci­ence. This balan­ce of forces is sket­ched out in my essay »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis,« and will thus be only cur­so­ri­ly sum­ma­ri­zed here.[27]

The Cold War func­tion­ed as a mas­si­ve impe­tus to the cen­tra­li­zing ten­den­ci­es within capi­ta­lism ana­ly­zed by Marx, Lenin, and many others. Alre­a­dy, as Lenin show­ed in his pam­phlet Impe­ria­lism, the Hig­hest Stage of Capi­ta­lism, mono­po­liza­ti­on and finan­cia­liza­ti­on had so tho­rough­ly alte­red the ope­ra­ti­on of capi­ta­lism, that by the dawn of the 20th century:

Capi­ta­lism in its impe­ria­list stage leads direct­ly to the most com­pre­hen­si­ve socia­liza­ti­on of pro­duc­tion; it, so to speak, drags the capi­ta­lists, against their will and con­scious­ness, into some sort of a new social order, a tran­si­tio­nal one from com­ple­te free com­pe­ti­ti­on to com­ple­te socia­liza­ti­on. Pro­duc­tion beco­mes social, but appro­pria­ti­on remains pri­va­te. The social means of pro­duc­tion remain the pri­va­te pro­per­ty of a few. The gene­ral frame­work of for­mal­ly reco­g­nis­ed free com­pe­ti­ti­on remains, and the yoke of a few mono­po­lists on the rest of the popu­la­ti­on beco­mes a hundred times hea­vier, more bur­den­so­me and into­le­ra­ble.[28]

With what unfort­u­na­te­ly pro­ved to be exces­si­ve opti­mism, Lenin assu­med that the socia­liza­ti­on of pro­duc­tion which had occur­red under impe­ria­list capi­ta­lism would soon lay the foun­da­ti­on for socia­lism. This was not the case (at least not yet). The capi­ta­lists in the impe­ria­list core were not over­thrown. On the con­tra­ry, in the strugg­le against glo­bal com­mu­nism, the hig­hest levels of the bour­geoi­sie were able to attain radi­cal, unpre­ce­den­ted con­trol over their juni­or part­ners, the lower rungs of the bour­geoi­sie, the pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie, and various feu­dal rem­nants. Finan­cia­liza­ti­on and car­te­liza­ti­on, which as both Lenin and Marx ana­ly­zed, emer­ged out of capi­ta­lism but also pro­gres­si­ve­ly abo­lish the con­di­ti­ons for the ope­ra­ti­on of capi­ta­lism, grew ever more pro­no­un­ced. As I argue in the abo­ve cited essay, a rigo­rous mate­ria­list ana­ly­sis forces us to con­clude that rule by such an impe­ria­list-mono­po­list cli­que indu­ces such tre­men­dous dis­tor­ti­ons in the ›capi­ta­list eco­no­my‹ as to even war­rant dis­cus­sion of a qua­li­ta­tively dif­fe­rent mode of pro­duc­tion. One must not, howe­ver, agree to such radi­cal con­clu­si­ons, in order to enter­tain the hypo­the­sis deve­lo­ped in this essay: that the stag­ge­ring con­cen­tra­ti­ons of wealth and power which cha­rac­te­ri­ze socie­ty today, con­trol­led by secre­ti­ve net­works over­lap­ping with intel­li­gence agen­ci­es and the world’s most powerful poli­ti­cal and mili­ta­ry actors, are neither con­du­ci­ve to, nor per­haps even mini­mal­ly com­pa­ti­ble with, a flou­ris­hing science.

This wealth con­cen­tra­ti­on under­mi­nes osten­si­bly sci­en­ti­fic insti­tu­ti­ons and bodies from within, cor­rupt­ing and dis­tort­ing their ope­ra­ti­on to the point at which only the out­ward sem­blan­ce of sci­ence remains. The more real sci­en­ti­fic prac­ti­ce is depar­ted from, howe­ver, the more hys­te­ri­cal­ly and per­emp­to­ri­ly does it cla­im the man­t­le of sci­ence, and poli­ce the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on the­reof. Sci­ence is declared the exclu­si­ve pur­view of the bre­vet­ted mem­bers of »sci­en­ti­fic« insti­tu­ti­ons and bodies, all strict­ly con­trol­led and domi­na­ted by the ruling class. Feyn­man cor­rect­ly iden­ti­fied this trend, and fought against it, as ear­ly as 1966. A por­ti­on of his speech to sci­ence tea­chers, quo­ted in part abo­ve, is worth relay­ing at grea­ter length here:

Ano­ther of the qua­li­ties of sci­ence is that it tea­ches the value of ratio­nal thought as well as the importance of free­dom of thought; the posi­ti­ve results that come from doubting that the les­sons are all true. You must here distin­gu­ish – espe­ci­al­ly in tea­ching– sci­ence from the forms or pro­ce­du­res that are some­ti­mes used in deve­lo­ping sci­ence. It is easy to say, ›We wri­te, expe­ri­ment, and obser­ve, and do this or that.‹ You can copy that form exact­ly. But gre­at reli­gi­ons are dis­si­pa­ted by fol­lo­wing form wit­hout remem­be­ring the direct con­tent of the tea­ching of the gre­at lea­ders. In the same way, it is pos­si­ble to fol­low form and call it sci­ence, but that is pseu­do-sci­ence. In this way, we all suf­fer from the kind of tyran­ny we have today in the many insti­tu­ti­ons that have come under the influence of pseu­do­sci­en­ti­fic advisers.

We have many stu­dies in tea­ching, for exam­p­le, in which peo­p­le make obser­va­tions, make lists, do sta­tis­tics, and so on, but the­se do not ther­eby beco­me estab­lished sci­ence, estab­lished know­ledge. They are mere­ly an imi­ta­ti­ve form of sci­ence ana­log­ous to the South Sea Island­ers’ air­fields – radio towers, etc., made out of wood. The island­ers expect a gre­at aero­pla­ne to arri­ve. They even build woo­den aero­pla­nes of the same shape as they see in the for­eig­ners’ air­fields around them, but stran­ge­ly enough, their wood pla­nes do not fly. The result of this pseu­do­sci­en­ti­fic imi­ta­ti­on is to pro­du­ce experts, which many of you are. [But] you tea­chers, who are real­ly tea­ching child­ren at the bot­tom of the heap, can may­be doubt the experts.

As a mat­ter of fact, I can also defi­ne sci­ence ano­ther way:

Sci­ence is the belief in the igno­rance of Experts. When someone says, ›sci­ence tea­ches such and such,‹ he is using the word incor­rect­ly. Sci­ence doesn’t teach any­thing; expe­ri­ence tea­ches it. If they say to you, ›sci­ence has shown such and such,‹ you might ask, »How does sci­ence show it? How did the sci­en­tists find out? How? What? Whe­re?« It should not be ›sci­ence has shown‹ but ›this expe­ri­ment, this effect, has shown.‹ And you have as much right as anyo­ne else, upon hea­ring about the expe­ri­ments – but be pati­ent and lis­ten to all the evi­dence – to judge whe­ther a sen­si­ble con­clu­si­on has been arri­ved at.[29]

Over the past three years we have seen a gro­tes­que paro­dy of this trend in the hys­te­ri­cal demands to »trust the experts.« Below, we will show the com­pel­ling evi­dence that main­stream viro­lo­gy in par­ti­cu­lar is a striking exam­p­le of just such psue­odsci­ence. Final­ly, we will have to show how, tra­gi­cal­ly, many so-cal­led Mar­xists have sub­sti­tu­ted Marx’s com­mit­ment to sci­en­ti­fic inquiry for a vul­gar sci­en­tism. Of cour­se, the true mark of sci­ence was iden­ti­fied by Marx hims­elf: sci­ence is hard, it demands effort. Sla­vish­ly enfor­cing the ideo­lo­gy of the ruling class is, com­pa­ra­tively, quite easy. As he noted in the 1872 pre­face to the French edi­ti­on of Capi­tal:

The­re is no roy­al road to sci­ence, and only tho­se who do not dread the fati­guing climb of its steep paths have a chan­ce of gai­ning its lumi­nous sum­mits.[30]

Con­ti­nue to Part 2.


[1] Tim Hains, »Fau­ci: Attack­ing Me Is Attack­ing Sci­ence,« Real Clear Poli­tics, June 9, 2021, https://​www​.real​cle​ar​po​li​tics​.com/​v​i​d​e​o​/​2​0​2​1​/​0​6​/​0​9​/​f​a​u​c​i​_​a​t​t​a​c​k​i​n​g​_​m​e​_​i​s​_​a​t​t​a​c​k​i​n​g​_​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​.​h​tml#!

[2] Tors­ten Engel­brecht et al., Virus Mania: How the Medi­cal Indus­try Con­ti­nu­al­ly Invents Epi­de­mics, Making Bil­li­on-Dol­lar Pro­fits At Our Expen­se, 3rd ed. (Books on Demand, 2021), Intro­duc­tion. (Hence­forth: Engel­brecht et al., Virus Mania).

[3] T. Mohr, »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis,« Mag­ma- Maga­zin Der Mas­se, Sep­tem­ber 24 2022,‑mohr/imperialism-today-is-conspiracy-praxis/.

[4] Richard Feyn­man, »What is Sci­ence?« (pre­sen­ted at the fif­te­enth annu­al mee­ting of the Natio­nal Sci­ence Tea­chers Asso­cia­ti­on, 1966 in New York City, and reprin­ted from The Phy­sics Tea­cher Vol. 7, issue 6, 1969, pp. 313 – 320, http://​www​.feyn​man​.com/​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​/​w​h​a​t​-​i​s​-​s​c​i​e​n​ce/. (Hence­forth: Feyn­man, »What is Science?«

[5] Richard Levins, »The Two Faces of Sci­ence« (Talk, Heal­thRoots Poli­ti­cal Eco­no­my of Health Semi­nar Series, Har­vard School of Public Health, Wed. Oct 17th | 12: 30 PM). (Hence­forth: Levins, »The Two Faces of Sci­ence«). https://​www​.you​tube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​a​E​A​0​u​t​1​G​uh4

[6] David Fern­bach, in: Karl Marx, Capi­tal: A Cri­tique of Poli­ti­cal Eco­no­my, trans. David Fern­bach, vol. 2 (Lon­don: Pen­gu­in, 1993), Pre­face, 93, footnote.

[7] Richard Lewon­tin, »Bio­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy« (Radio Lec­tu­re, CBC Mas­sey Lec­tures, Novem­ber 1990). (Hence­forth, Lewon­tin, »Bio­lo­gy as Ideology«)

[8] Klein high­lights in par­ti­cu­lar the pro­found work being done for DAR­PA by Micha­el Levin at Tufts, sub­stan­ti­al­ly based on soviet science.

[9] Lewon­tin, »Bio­lo­gy as Ideology.«

[10] Cathe­ri­ne Aus­tin Fitts, »The Injec­tion Fraud – it’s Not a Vac­ci­ne,« Sola­ri Report, May 27, 2020, https://​home​.sola​ri​.com/​d​e​e​p​-​s​t​a​t​e​-​t​a​c​t​i​c​s​-​1​0​1​-​t​h​e​-​c​o​v​i​d​-​i​n​j​e​c​t​i​o​n​-​f​r​a​u​d​-​i​t​s​-​n​o​t​-​a​-​v​a​c​c​i​ne/.

[11] Jim West, »Ever­y­thing You Lear­ned About the Cau­se of Polio is Wrong,»Green­Med­In­fo, August 21st 2015, https://​green​med​in​fo​.com/​b​l​o​g​/​e​v​e​r​y​t​h​i​n​g​-​y​o​u​-​l​e​a​r​n​e​d​-​a​b​o​u​t​-​c​a​u​s​e​-​p​o​l​i​o​-​w​r​ong

[12] For a more exten­si­ve ana­ly­sis of this gam­bit, see Red Kahina’s thread here https://​twit​ter​.com/​R​e​d​K​a​h​i​n​a​/​s​t​a​t​u​s​/​1​4​4​8​9​0​9​1​1​9​1​1​3​6​4​6​080 , Sub­stack https://​red​ka​hi​na​.sub​stack​.com/ and Lec­tures (https://​www​.you​tube​.com/​@​r​e​d​p​o​d​c​a​s​t​c​h​a​n​n​e​l​4​262 )

[13] Lewon­tin, »Bio­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy,« Lec­tu­re 4.

[14] See Part 2 of this essay.

[15] Har­riet A. Washing­ton, Medi­cal Apart­heid: The Dark Histo­ry of Medi­cal Expe­ri­men­ta­ti­on on Black Ame­ri­cans from Colo­ni­al Times to the Pre­sent (Knopf Dou­ble­day, 2008), p.42.(Henceforth: Washing­ton, Medi­cal Apart­heid).

[16] Washing­ton, Medi­cal Apart­heid, p. 32.

[17] Ibid. p.36

[18] Ibid.

[19] Arthur L. Caplan, James J. McCart­ney, Domi­nic A. Sis­ti, eds, Health, Dise­a­se, and Ill­ness: Con­cepts in Medi­ci­ne (Washing­ton, D.C.: George­town Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2004) p. 37.

[20] Washing­ton, Medi­cal Apart­heid, p.36

[21] Washing­ton, Medi­cal Apart­heid, p. 39 – 41

[22] Inter­view with Micha­el Moo­re, Sicko (The Wein­stein Com­pa­ny, 2007).

[23] Wal­ter Ben­ja­min, »On the Con­cept of Histo­ry,« Trans. 2005 Den­nis Red­mond from Gesam­mel­ten Schrif­ten I:2. (Suhr­kamp Ver­lag: Frank­furt am Main, 1974). https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​r​e​f​e​r​e​n​c​e​/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​b​e​n​j​a​m​i​n​/​1​9​4​0​/​h​i​s​t​o​r​y​.​htm

[24]John Des­mond Ber­nal, »The Social Func­tion of Sci­ence,« Modern Quar­ter­ly (1938), https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​b​e​r​n​a​l​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​9​3​0​s​/​s​o​c​i​a​l​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​.​htm

[25] Spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, the pur­su­it of Rela­ti­ve Sur­plus Value, as descri­bed by Marx in Capi­tal..

[26] Most signi­fi­cant recent addi­ti­ons to this cor­pus include Ishay Landa’s The Apprentice’s Sorce­rer (2009) and Dome­ni­co Losur­dos Libe­ra­lism: A Coun­ter-Histo­ry (2005).

[27] T. Mohr, »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis,« Mag­ma- Maga­zin Der Mas­se, Sep­tem­ber 24 2022,‑mohr/imperialism-today-is-conspiracy-praxis/.

[28] Vla­di­mir Lenin, Impe­ria­lism, The Hig­hest Stage of Capi­ta­lism (Moscow: Pro­gress Publishers, 1963), https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​l​e​n​i​n​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​9​1​6​/​i​m​p​-​h​sc/ , Ch. 1.

[29] Feyn­man, »What is Science?«

[30] Karl Marx, Capi­tal Vol. 1, trans. Samu­el Moo­re and Edward Ave­ling (Moscow: Pro­gress Publishers, 1954) https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​m​a​r​x​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​8​6​7​-​c​1​/​p​2​.​htm, Pre­face.

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Caplan, Arthur L., James J. McCart­ney, Domi­nic A. Sis­ti, eds. Health, Dise­a­se, and Ill­ness: Con­cepts in Medi­ci­ne. Washing­ton, D.C.: George­town Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2004.

Engel­brecht, Tors­ten, Köhnlein Claus, Sama­tha Bai­ley, and Ste­fa­no Sco­glio. Virus Mania: How the Medi­cal Indus­try Con­ti­nu­al­ly Invents Epi­de­mics, Making Bil­li­on-Dol­lar Pro­fits At Our Expen­se. 3rd ed. Books on Demand, 2021

Feyn­man, Richard. »What is Sci­ence?« Pre­sen­ted at the fif­te­enth annu­al mee­ting of the Natio­nal Sci­ence Tea­chers Asso­cia­ti­on, 1966 in New York City, and reprin­ted from The Phy­sics Tea­cher Vol. 7, issue 6, 1969, pp. 313 – 320 on www. Feyn​man​.com. http://​www​.feyn​man​.com/​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​/​w​h​a​t​-​i​s​-​s​c​i​e​n​ce/.

Fitts, Cathe­ri­ne Aus­tin. »The Injec­tion Fraud – it’s Not a Vac­ci­ne.« Sola­ri Report, May 27, 2020. https://​home​.sola​ri​.com/​d​e​e​p​-​s​t​a​t​e​-​t​a​c​t​i​c​s​-​1​0​1​-​t​h​e​-​c​o​v​i​d​-​i​n​j​e​c​t​i​o​n​-​f​r​a​u​d​-​i​t​s​-​n​o​t​-​a​-​v​a​c​c​i​ne/.

Hains, Tim. »Fau­ci: Attack­ing Me Is Attack­ing Sci­ence .« Real Clear Poli­tics , June 2021, https://​www​.real​cle​ar​po​li​tics​.com/​v​i​d​e​o​/​2​0​2​1​/​0​6​/​0​9​/​f​a​u​c​i​_​a​t​t​a​c​k​i​n​g​_​m​e​_​i​s​_​a​t​t​a​c​k​i​n​g​_​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​.​h​tml#!

Lenin, Vla­di­mir. Impe­ria­lism, The Hig­hest Stage of Capi­ta­lism. Moscow: Pro­gress Publishers, 1963. https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​l​e​n​i​n​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​9​1​6​/​i​m​p​-​h​sc/.

Levins, Richard. »The Two Faces of Sci­ence.« Talk pre­sen­ted at Heal­thRoots Poli­ti­cal Eco­no­my of Health Semi­nar Series, Har­vard School of Public Health, Wed. Oct 17th | 12: 30 PM. https://​www​.you​tube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​a​E​A​0​u​t​1​G​uh4

Lewon­tin, Richard. »Bio­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy.« Radio Lec­tu­re for CBC Mas­sey Lec­tures, Novem­ber 1990.‑1.2946847

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— — – Capi­tal: A Cri­tique of Poli­ti­cal Eco­no­my. Trans­la­ted by David Fern­bach. Vol. 2. Lon­don: Pen­gu­in, 1993.

Mohr, T. »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis.« Mag­ma – Maga­zin Der Mas­se, Sep­tem­ber 24 2022.‑mohr/imperialism-today-is-conspiracy-praxis/.

Moo­re, Micha­el, and Meg­han O’Ha­ra. Sicko. Film. United Sta­tes: The Wein­stein Com­pa­ny, 2007.

Washing­ton, Har­riet A.,  Medi­cal Apart­heid: The Dark Histo­ry of Medi­cal Expe­ri­men­ta­ti­on on Black Ame­ri­cans from Colo­ni­al Times to the Pre­sent. Knopf Dou­ble­day, 2008.

West, Jim. »Ever­y­thing You Lear­ned About the Cau­se of Polio is Wrong. « Green­Med­In­fo, August 21st 2015. https://​green​med​in​fo​.com/​b​l​o​g​/​e​v​e​r​y​t​h​i​n​g​-​y​o​u​-​l​e​a​r​n​e​d​-​a​b​o​u​t​-​c​a​u​s​e​-​p​o​l​i​o​-​w​r​ong.

Wik­is­our­ce con­tri­bu­tors. »Page:Congressional Record Volu­me 81 Part 3.djvu/154.« Wik­is­our­ce. https://​en​.wik​is​our​ce​.org/​w​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​p​h​p​?​t​i​t​l​e​=​P​a​g​e​:​C​o​n​g​r​e​s​s​i​o​n​a​l​_​R​e​c​o​r​d​_​V​o​l​u​m​e​_​8​1​_​P​a​r​t​_​3​.​d​j​v​u​/​1​5​4​&​o​l​d​i​d​=​7​8​8​1​645 (acces­sed Janu­ary 13, 2023).


This essay is pro­found­ly indeb­ted to the feed­back, com­men­ta­ry, and editing of Mol­ly Klein, Karel Svo­bo­da, and Hiero­punk. It is also exten­si­ve­ly infor­med by the cri­ti­cism and ana­ly­sis of Jacob Levich, as well as Phil Gre­a­ves and the net­work of com­men­ta­tors and rese­ar­chers around them.

Cover Image: »Death and the phy­si­ci­an« from Der Doten dantz mit figu­ren : Cla­ge vnd Ant­wort schon von allen sta­ten der welt, 1495?, wiki­me­dia commons

2 thoughts on “Viro­lo­gy as Ideo­lo­gy. A Cri­tique of Ruling Class Pseu­do­sci­ence – Part 1: Sci­ence and Class Society

  1. a) {Duran­te tres años hemos vivi­do bajo la tutela con­stan­te, no sólo de la medi­ci­na, sino tam­bién de su sier­va, la cien­cia, o más pro­pi­a­men­te, La Cien­cia. »Sigue la cien­cia « , fue la orden, repet­ida sin cesar. Hab­lan­do en tér­mi­nos prác­ti­cos, esto signi­fi­ca­ba: seguir los dic­ta­dos de los polí­ti­cos, los exper­tos y los buró­cra­tas de la salud púb­li­ca por­que, por supues­to, actúan solo según la sabi­du­ría más pura divul­ga­da por la cien­cia. Por supues­to, no tení­a­mos motivos para cues­tio­nar­los, por­que eso equi­val­d­ría a cues­tio­nar la cien­cia mis­ma. [1]}
    Pues, quie­nes inte­gran el poder, des­de la hor­da pri­mi­ti­va simie­s­ca al Sig­lo XXI con el Nue­vo Orden Mun­di­al para­noi­co y psicó­ti­co, irrever­si­blem­en­te, en su afect­a­ción infan­til están aban­do­na­dos a su obse­sión de repe­ti­ción en todas las áre­as, activ­i­d­a­des y rela­cio­nes simul­tá­ne­as de su vida social/​cultural/​educativa/​gubernamental; Así, está el »jue­go« del poder con estos para­noi­cos sob­re la pob­la­ción mun­di­al idiota/​masoquista. Los para­noi­cos en el poder, extraen del arse­nal de su afect­a­ción infan­til, de sus inhi­bicio­nes, de sus ten­den­ci­as inutilizadas, de sus ras­gos patoló­gi­cos las armas, con las cua­les satis­fa­cen su sadis­mo sob­re la pob­la­ción pla­ne­ta­ria idiota/​masoquista. Si esta afir­mación mía pare­ci­e­se cíni­ca, admí­ta­se que no he quer­ido que fuera expre­sión de un cinis­mo. Solo pre­ten­do que sea un frag­men­to de esta descrip­ción, sin import­ar­me que des­pier­te bene­plá­ci­to o indigna­ción. Siemp­re que se des­me­nu­ce un com­pli­ca­do fenó­me­no fac­ti­co, y dis­cer­ni­en­do con inte­rés prác­ti­co uni­la­te­ral su noci­vi­dad de su util­idad, hab­rá que aten­er­se a com­pro­ba­cio­nes tan ing­ra­tas como ésta.
    La vida del ser huma­no, es una inin­ter­rum­pi­da ilu­sión idiota.
    Quie­nes se adju­di­can repre­sen­tar el psi­co­aná­li­sis en el orden mun­di­al y local, no eva­lua­ron ni evalúan el pro­ce­so ini­cia­do al comien­zo del año 2020 y sólo se limi­tan en con­siderar medi­das palia­tiv­as apro­ban­do así, el pro­gra­ma del poder glo­bal sob­re la masa pla­ne­ta­ria, apar­tán­do­se de la Cien­cia psi­co­ana­lí­ti­ca (Freud).
    Osval­do Bus­ca­ya (1939)
    Psi­co­ana­lí­ti­co (Freud)

  2. Some­thing for accu­ra­cy: “Blood is supre­me (and car­ri­es nobi­li­ty)” ine­qua­li­ty stem­med long befo­re Dar­win, so its of cour­se exten­si­on of aris­to­cra­tic con­ten­ti­on just wit­hout arti­fi­ci­al reli­gious dog­ma. After all, “evo­lu­ti­on” as inhe­ri­tance and sur­vi­val of the fit­test was clear to pre­his­to­ric peo­p­les as they bred wol­ves and catt­le loo­king for supe­ri­or traits, same as when bree­ding among other tri­bes making various cas­tes etc etc etc

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