Correspondence: 'Leftish' Nonsense and Conspiracies
Gearóid Ó Loingsigh
30 March 2020
In these times, new nonsense comes attributed unjustly to certain left personalities, some of them, internationally renowned, such as Noam Chomsky and others repeat and circulate the same rubbish. Initially an article that circulated only in Spanish attributed to Chomsky, that Covid 19 is a conspiracy of the USA to defeat the Chinese. In the article the author supposedly states it, without putting forward the slightest proof and announces it in the same way that evangelical Christians announce the end of the world, relating it to gay marriage or abortion as reasons why their God punishes us. It is an article of faith. The first draft of this article took the declarations accredited to Chomsky as real, as it wouldn't be the first time that someone on the left came out with conspiracy theories in relation to real events and some of these theories are still circulating and are accepted by wide sections of the left.
Before we look at the issue of Covid 19, it is worth going over some incidents from the past when left personalities have come out with nonsense of a like minded nature. Marxism is a current of rational thought, of rational analysis, it was not for nothing that Marx spoke of scientific socialism, as Marxism deals with issues from a rational, analytic, dialectical perspective. Although it is worth pointing out that Chomsky is not a Marxist but a liberal widely accepted in Anarchist circles.
The Earthquake in Haití
In 2010, there was big earthquake in Haití, measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale. It was a huge earthquake and killed between 100,000 and 160,000 people. It was an unprecedented disaster for the country in terms of the number of dead and destruction of infrastructure, whose impacts are still being felt by the civilian population today. However, it was not the first earthquake in the country, nor in the Caribbean. It was the eighth such one since the independence of the country. In that same year, there were various large earthquakes around the world including one of 8.8 in China. In total there were 21 earthquakes measuring 7.0 and above in the world, out of a global total of 2,136 of over 5.0.
No sooner had the news of the earthquake done the rounds than the conspiracy theory that the USA had tried out a new weapon began. Before they put their nonsense into circulation, they never thought that if it were true, why wasn't the test carried out on Cuba? why would they carry out a test in the Caribbean where it could affect the USA and not in some other part such as against North Korea? They never asked themselves how much energy is required to move a tectonic plate. And the energy required to move such a plate, (unlike the “Crusties”' pseudo energy that flows through the body, the “chakras”, the “ether” or who knows what), is real and can be measured. Nobody measured the explosion, because it never happened. However, the stupidity continues to do the rounds and since then the USA has never used this "magical weapon" against powerful enemies. The explanation of a North-American weapon is as real and believable as the explanation put forward by evangelicals that the Christian god is punishing Haití for its pact with the devil, one of whose manifestations is voodoo.
Another piece of nonsense that did the rounds at one time was that the US had invented another weapon to cause cancer. This had a bit more of a scientific basis to it, in that at least we know carcinogens exist i.e. there are substances that can provoke or facilitate the development of a cancer following on from, a generally prolonged, exposure, although in some cases a massive dose of radiation can cause damage in a lot less time. But the theory was that they had a specific weapon that caused cancer in leaders such as Chávez, without affecting other members of his team. Other leaders of other countries were supposedly suffering from cancer, but it later turned out not to be true, one or other of them had some other type of illness. The question arises if they had such a weapon, why don't they use it now against Putin? Well, it doesn't exist. Why not use it against the current president of Venezuela, Maduro, who they have tried to overthrow? And of course, what is the scientific basis for such a statement? None.
Another stupidity briefly came out, this time falling from the lips of Evo Morales, the then president of Bolivia and all the magical thinking lefties went running away like crazy. Evo, talking about the problems with agriculture and the use of chemicals and other substances in agribusiness said that the reason why there are so many homosexuals in the world is because of the use of hormones in the chicken industry. It was as true as the other nonsense but our magical thinking friends did not dare repeat it.
These conspiracy theories have something in common with the idea that the Covid 19 is a capitalist conspiracy against China: they were put out there without the slightest proof or reference to science. There is an article circulating refuting the idea that it is a strain manipulated in a laboratory. The Chinese were capable of analysing the genome of the virus in a short lapse of time. If it were a strain manipulated by the USA it could also show it, but it hasn't. What they have said is that patient zero could be a US soldier that arrived in the country, although they haven't proven that either. The idea that the USA would resort to a biological weapon is not a crazy one, but they should explain why now and why with a virus which is so complicated to control and what is the science behind their statements.
To say, “I believe”, is to be like the evangelicals. To say, “don't you believe that the Yanks want...”? is the same as saying, don't you believe that “God is sending us a sign that...” ? Marxism is scientific and there is no room for magical thought. The challenge in relation to Covid 19 is to understand how it managed to expand. Others more qualified on the issue have already explained that it has to do with the destruction of natural habitats, forcing animals to live in ever smaller spaces and come into contact with each other on a more constant basis and thus facilitate viruses jumping from one species to another. If it is all just a conspiracy, like the earthquakes, we can't face our real enemy: capitalism. If it is all a problem of evil doers, well it is best to continue to pray to a god, as your perspectives are about as useful as an evangelical quoting the bible.
It says a lot about some on the left that the nonsense which circulates is so glibly attributable to Chomsky, as there is a plethora of articles that have the same relationship with reality as the Harry Potter novels, where there is talk of conspiracies of the Bilderberg group and all that is missing are the Illuminati. Sometimes the articles are more rigorous, with an academic air, but in the end they are the same thing: it is all a conspiracy and not a systemic problem with capitalism as such. A bit more seriousness comrades, or go on off to collect hallucinogenic plants in the woods and see if we notice the difference with your commentaries and articles.