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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/17/21

Is The Global Mass Psychosis a Result of COVID and The Far-Right?

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"It" is happening with increasing frequency at school board meetings, supermarkets, the front doors of homes, and even on board in-flight passenger jets? "It" strikes men, women, teens, blue and white collar employees, retirees and young people, and members of the military. Yes, and drastic action must be taken to end it. What is "it?"

"It" is a worldwide psychosis that has caused people to lose any sense of propriety, turning some into virtual mindless and often violent zombies, who are willing to put others and themselves in danger.

"It" involves a hysteria embedded in individuals and groups who are opposed to the very basics of public health regulations, anti-COVID and other vaccines, the teaching of truthful history in the classroom and a race to the bottom in acts of discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

Not a day goes by without a multitude of news reports of anti-mask airline passengers punching flight attendants and pilots; doctors, nurses, emergency medical service personnel threatened and physically attacked for trying to treat patients with COVID; restaurants abiding by public health restrictions threatened with arson; teachers and school administrators subjected to extreme actions over certain curricula and library books, and political leaders receiving warnings of being assassinated along with their families. Whatever it takes, these actions by the socially demented must stop.

Flight attendants have received broken noses, lost teeth, and suffered other injuries as a result of unruly COVID-denial passengers. Other airlines have seen pro-Trump racist passengers become violent after using incendiary language against African-Americans and others.

Amid this mayhem, which has affected almost every nation on the planet to one degree or another, fascist nationalistic politicians have taken advantage of the situation to gain adherents and financial support with democratic institutions serving as convenient targets of opportunity.

A global economic depression, which is a real possibility amid the continually-mutating COVID virus and resulting disrupted supply chains and jittery securities and commodities markets, would close the coffin on democratic governance. World War III might soon follow.

Reporting on this current socio-political trend and the possibility of further social breakdown and war is not part of some scam to sell gold or silver, survival food and gear, conspiracy books or videos, or some kooky religionthere are plenty of hucksters already doing thatbut a sober view of the way things are and could be in the near future. The only possible antidote against societal breakdown is continued political support for knowledgeable and steady-at-the-helm national political leaders like President Joe Biden, newly-inaugurated Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, President Alberto Ferna'ndez of Argentina, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and regional leaders like Governor Gavin Newsom of California, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Minister-President of Saxony Michael Kretschmer, Minister-President of Baden Wurttemberg Stephan Weil, and Premier of Bavaria Markus Soeder. Taking a strong stance on Covid prevention, including the enforcement of lockdowns and quarantines, has earned these and other leaders death threats by the forces of the far-right, which include a few leftist collaborators.

If anything, the far-right has become more emboldened in their threats against democratic governance and its political institutions. As this article was being readied for publication, police in Saxony, including the special Soko Rex anti-extremist unit, were raiding homes across the state in connection with a plan by far-right anti-vaxxers to assassinate Minister-President Kretschmer, a Christian Democrat, and members of his coalition government with assassination by "piercing weapons," including crossbows. The plot, organized by some 100 users of the social media platform Telegram, wanted to make an example of Kretschmer, a strong proponent of Covid vaccination and testing, along with members of his Cabinet and Landtag (state parliament), as well as mayors. The law enforcement sweep followed a recent Nazi torchlit parade by the group Free Saxons [left] that gathered at the home of Saxony's Social Democratic Party Health Minister, Petra KÃ pping. The menacing of KÃ pping came after she warned the far-right against gathering outside doctors' offices, vaccination centers, and hospitals to threaten medical and public health personnel.

Saxony's Deputy Minister-President Wolfram Gunther of the Greens said "COVID-19 deniers and the right-wing extremists are becoming more brazen and radicalized." Social media platforms like Telegram, Facebook, Gab, and Parler have seen Covid deniers and Nazi and fascist nationalists become a unified force not only in Germany but in other countries, including France, the United States, Britain, Netherlands, [right] Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Australia, and Canada.

In a February 2021 paper, the U.S. National Institutes of Health described certain sectors of the media as largely responsible for the current psychogenic behavior of millions of people around the world with regard to the pandemic. The paper states: "Biased media coverage, incomplete and asymmetric information, personal experiences, fears, inability to understand and interpret statistics, and other cognitive biases lead to distorted risk judgments. Risk perceptions may be particularly biased when risks are viewed as unfair, uncontrollable, unknown, frightening, potentially catastrophic, and impacting future generation." The paper further states: "In a society with a minimal state, negative news may start such hysteria. Due to the negative news, some people start to believe in a threat. This threat evokes fear and begins to spread in society."

The current phenomenon of far-out and far-right conspiracy groups like Qanon, Querdenken-711 ("Thinking Outsde the Box") in Germany, Falun Gong in the United States and Asia, Sanatan Sanstha in India, the Uyoku dantai in Japan, the Sarang Jeil Church and Shincheonji Church of Jesus in South Korea, Boko Haram in West Africa, the Religious Zionist Party in Israel and the West Bank, and others in spreading messages of hate and discontent, particularly on social media, including messaging services like Telegram and Gab, cannot be overstated. This is the infosphere where fascists and demagogues like Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orban in Hungary, French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, and Chilean presidential candidate Jose' Antonio Kast (whose German father, like Trump's, was a Nazi). Right-wing psychogenic manipulation of social media by fascist political leaders assisted in marshaling the street crowds for the attempted coup d'e'tat by Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, the attempted storming of the Reichstag in Berlin in 2020, and the attempted takeover of the Brazilian legislature and Supreme Court, encouraged by Bolsonaro, earlier this year.

The U.S. Republican Party, a virtual American version of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party, has championed the dismantling of America's non-partisan election infrastructure by handing it over to far-right zealots, intimidating and threatening public health officials, state governors, school board members, school teachers and college professors, mayors, state legislators, African-American and Asian-American racial equality leaders, district attorneys, environmental scientists, members of the U.S. Senate and House, and federal and local judges.

There are calls around the world for governments to begin restricting far-right incendiary content, including organizing plots to physically harm political leaders and public servants, and hold platforms like Facebook, Telegram, Gab, and others more accountable for their actions or, in most cases, inaction. There are legal restrictions on free speech. They include yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, communicating bomb threats, and threatening the president of the United States. Clearly, the latter should include issuing specific threats to murder or harm public health officials, including women's health practitioners; medical, environmental protection scientists and officials, and public education employees, including staff of the World Health Organization and other public bodies; journalists; and federal and state legislators or government officials and their families.

As long as the zombification of society is permitted to fester and expand, the rights of Americans and others around the world to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" will diminish with each passing day.

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