I was wrong!

A post about second thoughts, critiques, how wrong I’ve been and hope to be.

As any of those close to me know, especially those that know me in person, I am a huge shit talker, this blog being in many ways evidence of that. I take strong stances, and though I like to think my posts focus on ideas that I have thought thoroughly through – it doesn’t necessarily mean I am finished with them – nor am I necessarily wed to my ideas or immutable. I try to be continuously open to new ideas and experiences, and not drag the yoke of prejudice around with me wherever I go.

Having said all this, after reflecting on some of my earlier posts, and after taking in new information, I have had some second thoughts about previous posts I have made, when I believe I was wrong, misguided, or even did not go far enough in my claims.

Elitism

A few posts ago I published an essay defending elitism, and if it wasn’t outright wrong, the piece could at least stand some strong critiquing and a more nuanced approach.

The impetus for this comes to me from the speeches and writings of John Taylor Gatto, which I have been consuming voraciously (I highly recommend either this one or this one to start). For some background, before John became an author focused on reforming education and our conception of childhood, he was a NYC public school teacher for thirty years in the Upper West Side and Harlem. He won New York City teacher of the year three times and New York State teacher of the year once, and he did it by (in his own words) “breaking the law” and trying to do all he could to “disrupt the system.”

I have watched over 20 hours of his speeches and am working through four of his books. I admire Gatto and recommend him heavily to anyone, he is a remarkably sharp, erudite, honest, and independent thinker and many of the things he has said or written have stuck with me. Among them was his idea that human genius is a very common occurrence – in fact in his wording: “as common as dirt.” And that we only do not see it manifested widespread because of it is purposefully squandered and suppressed in our gross ultra-corporate techno-industrial schooling and employment system. It is his belief that if we allowed human genius to flourish free of these constraints then the great mass of people would be unmanageable and thus it is suppressed.

If you have read any of my previous posts where I essentially pine for the liberation from restrictions of different aspects of the modern world then you would understand how this has struck a deep chord in me. I have been sitting and reflecting on it – and if it is true that human genius is truly as common as dirt then my defense of elitism is in need of some amendments.

A quick recap: my defense of elitism piece centered around the following two points:

1.        A rebuke against eschewing social hierarchy, as hierarchical structures allow the most capable to take on more responsibility in society.

2.        An attack on our current social stratification and arrangement that does not promote those that achieve to also have more personal liability and responsibility within society.

Gatto’s insights leave me wondering about the truthfulness of statement number one, that perhaps it goes too far, and about the timidity of number two, that it doesn’t go far enough.

If human genius is as common as dirt, then maybe we do not need strong hierarchical order – though I would still rail against any one-dimensional thinking in terms of equality or flatness. Perhaps we should all be allowed largely to be “self-managers” to use Gatto’s term, and even those who rise in society should only be given the loosest of controls over people. People can very well – and much more than we give them credit for – manage themselves, if allowed to actually flourish.

Furthermore, my critique on the lack of feedback mechanisms did not go far enough on the attack. Perhaps it is not solely happenstance or through chance evolution that social mobility has atrophied in American society – but rather it is a matter of a society architected to leave the vast majority as powerless and out of the seat of volition in their own lives.

Gatto makes a strong case that following the end of the Civil War there were specific designs put in place meant to exert a level of overt social control squashing those not already at the top.[1] Explaining the great boon of social programs that would come about in the half-century following. I plan on doing some of my own research into this later as part of another post I have my sights on.

When I wrote the elitism post I was driven to do so because I felt like elitism was a third rail that people were afraid to touch let alone defend, and because of that (at least in part) the conversation had become superficial and parodic. Discussions about elitism were desperate for some deep nuance – and though I thought I was bringing enough to the table, perhaps I still came up insufficient…

History & Progress

In my attack on the idea of progress, or naive ideas of progress I mentioned that many aspects of human history (and beyond) may be at best blunt estimates of our past. This led me down another rabbit hole of listening to interviews and speeches and reading books by Dr. Robert Schoch, John Anthony West, Graham Hancock, Randall Carlson and others. And whether you believe their positive claims or not, it is remarkable how many holes they are able to poke in commonly held ideas of the past by highlighting aspects that are inexplicable through the mainstream story of the advancement of civilizations.

How is there geological evidence showing the sphynx is greater than 10,000 years old? How come the techniques used to create giant monoliths and manipulate massive weights are non-replicable even using today’s technology? How were these supposed primitive civilizations able to record and track minute and delicate astronomical phenomena?

Once I began to look deeper into the holes present in history that I had somewhat accepted as dogmatic it opened my eyes to how conditioned I was to accepting standard narratives and coming to outside ideas that I may have thought were wonky or out there with high levels of prejudice. I cannot stress enough how truly incredible it is to come to new ideas and thoughts with much more open eyes – life seems to open up in new, exciting, and hopeful ways.

Health

When I was in college, I proudly identified myself as an intersectional leftist who was more than willing to go to war for social justice. I partnered with Planned Parenthood and took subversive actions on my Catholic college campus that, if caught, would have had me expelled from school if not arrested. Why did I do that? Because at the time I, like Gatto, worked actively to disrupt systems I thought were corrupt, harmful, and subjugated myself and others. When it came to aspects of sexual education and reproductive rights, it was my firm belief then that it was a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, and I was willing to fight to defend that.[2]

Fast forward nearly a decade and I am again confronted with a similar fight over freedom of choice with what people are to do with their bodies. I am just going to lay it out there: I have not and have no plans to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

When the vaccine rollout started, I was hesitant about injecting a novel technology into my arm and felt I should wait to see its efficacy. Then after I witnessed bribing techniques, social coercion tactics, and invasions of privacy and agency being used to compel people to take the experimental medical treatment, I decided that protecting my agency and privacy took primacy over taking the jab. But more recently, after listening to inventor of mRNA vaccine technology state that the COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe and doing some further digging myself, I am squarely back in the camp of not getting the jab for health and safety reasons. I go into details with sources in my post here, but the covid vaccines, especially the mRNA vaccines are still an experimental medical treatment that have flawed designs and well documented adverse effects; furthermore there are much cheaper, safer, and more effective alternatives. Again, I point you to my earlier post which backs up all of these statements.

People have called me selfish for not taking the vaccine, but I am not sure I understand how or why. If someone is sufficiently worried about contracting CoVID-19 then they can take the vaccine (or go on prophylactic Ivermectin) to protect themselves. I have made drastic and long-term lifestyle choices in order to protect myself against SARS-CoV-2. I changed my diet, work out intensely six days a week, and am now in the best shape of my life since being a Division One college athlete (and in terms of diet even better shape). Health is a personal choice, I chose to change my lifestyle against one of the biggest risk factors for the virus – metabolic health. Others chose to gain the “CoVid-15” and wait around until someone could inject an ineffective gene therapy in their arms.[3] It’s a personal health choice and instead of me being selfish, I frame it as me taking personal responsibility for my health and not letting it rest in the hands of public health experts like Dr. Fauci, nor mega-corporations like Pfizer or Moderna.[4]

I am including this in the “I was wrong” post because I was originally one of the early CoVID paranoid. In February and early March of 2020 I was panicking about this virus when everyone else thought it would pass. I had stocked up on months worth of food, bought all the n95 respirators at my local hardware store, and was laughed at by my then-girlfriend-now-fiancé for purchasing hazmat suits before we even had a confirmed CoVID case in New York City where I live. And truth be told, I was wrong, I thought this virus had a >10% fatality rate and would potentially upend society. But I was a lot less wrong than many people believed. Recently a coworker, when finding out I was unvaccinated was shocked because of my previous paranoia around the virus. As I stated at the beginning of this post, I am not immutable or unmalleable. It’s incredibly telling that people will look at anyone who changes their minds on position as weird or strange rather than someone who digs their heels in the mud on their previous positions and feelings.

The evidence I have seen shows to me that the current vaccines that code for the spike protein are much more harmful than is being acknowledged by public health organizations, that they are “leaky” – meaning still allowing for viral reproduction – leading to new vaccine resistant variant strains, and could very well be causing more harm than good over the long run on a population level.

When I believed that SARS-Cov-2 was going to be a world altering virus and disrupt society, I was sneered at, mocked, and ridiculed – same as I am now when I state that I am unvaccinated and hold the above beliefs. We will just wait and see what the future holds – I am in the same position I was in February of 2020 where, yet again, I find myself hoping I am wrong.[5]

[1] I do not put this as the monocausal reason why we are in the societal shitshow we are in, surely there are a plethora of factors, but it could definitely have a very strong influence

[2] I still firmly believe that women should have the ability to choose, just not dogmatically enough to demonize people who would disagree with me – but I still am willing to fight to defend this.

[3] It was remarkable to me that despite all the evidence showing that unhealthy and obese people get sicker from COVID most Americans gained weight and unhealthy habits – but you know, masks up and lockdown… I was recently banned from attending an event in person due to my vaccination status only to find that they were handing out pizza and ice cream at the event. This strikes me as pure cognitive dissonance.

[4] I think in general America is being played by big pharma. It’s mind boggling to me that the left, again a group I was once a part of and you know how much I hate playing politics, used to proudly be anti-corporation and big pharma and now are getting and showing off their Pfizer or Moderna tattoos.

[5] I fully understand that this little coda is maybe the highest on my horse I have been yet, the irony that it is in a post about me being wrong is not lost on me, in fact it may very well be the central point…