The perplexing question of how to regulate user content on social media companies has been somewhat of a free-for-all and open to debate, whilst many nations have launched their own legislation to prevent illegal content, such as documenting criminal activities, uploading “revenge porn” and even, in extreme cases such as in Australia, who have introduced criminal penalties and jail time for tech executives in the Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material Act in 2019, making technology companies liable in cases where users upload content such as the live streaming of shootings.
However, the United States has had a cushion for tech executives in a legislation called Section 230, which gives immunity from all criminal liabilities for tech companies if users happen to upload content documenting illegal activity.
Section 230 was borne from the auspices of an emerging internet, in which many users had been uploading copyrighted content in the 1990s, and in many decades since, much of the material which can be uploaded on social media in the US depended on user communities flagging content, instead of social media companies policing content. It paved the way for companies like YouTube, which at the inception had been riddled with copyright infringement lawsuits, and instead allowed the transition towards a new kind of establishment, in which content could be promoted and user revenue became a new way for the democratisation of media. The Australian legislation of 2019 has veered away from that model, and instead has put the focus of liability directly on tech companies, shifting the liability from the user to tech executives.
Celebrities whose nude photos ended up on social media networks included Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. Section 230 shielded US social media and technology companies from criminal liability during "the Fappening" in 2014, when hackers uploaded nude photos of celebrities through iCloud security vulnerabilities. Those photos are still shared on multiple websites today. However, with Australia’s new legislation, sites hosting illegal content would be directly legally responsible.
THE THREAT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP VS. BIG TECH
President Donald Trump has made it no secret regarding his vision for a repeal of Section 230, and to follow Australia’s lead in making tech executives directly criminally responsible for user posted content, taking away the cushion of liability it has enjoyed since 1996. Although, in recent news, tech executives have banded together to collectively ban President Trump, and many of his allies and supporters from social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat et al, citing rather specious terms regarding the incitement of Capitol Riots, it serves as a rather misleading and altogether legally flimsy excuse for simply ousting him due to his ability to garner support from a wide audience in order to continue to launch his repeal of Section 230, in addition to dismantling the tech monopolies, which have become the primary focus of the Department of Justice right before the November Presidential elections.
The collective ban of President Trump by US social media and tech companies also makes a statement around the world, and sends an unequivocal message to political leaders that they can be “cancelled” at any time, flexing the muscle of Big Tech in how they can not only choose those they want in political power, but how they can also control the media narrative, in addition to dictating the terms they want for legislation, in an effort to place political leaders beneath them as mere servants to their will.
Leaders around the world, including Chancellor Angela Merkel came out to denounce the banning of President Trump on social media. Mrs. Merkel has been known to disagree with President Trump on many issues but her position on his ban was reported as "an unacceptable ban of freedom of speech".
The hierarchy of power is clearly at the advantage of Big Tech in our contemporary era of corporatism, however, it places the majority of our political leaders in an uneasy predicament, in which they must choose either their conscience and serve the people and the interests of the public good, or else they serve the corporations that own them.
HOW BIG TECH’S COLLECTIVE CENSORSHIP PUSHES OPENS THE DOOR FOR A DECENTRALISED SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE FUTURE
Despite that many social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat et al are publicly traded companies, their collective censorship on specious grounds of a political leader opens the door for both state-sponsored media and a decentralised media of the future.
It could be that in the near future, instead of using one or two dominant platforms for communication, nations could launch their own domestic, state sponsored companies in order to garner public support, therefore limiting the outreach of US tech companies as a global entity.
The overt banning of users with differing opinions on US tech platforms who support one political ideology over another also sends a clear message to millions of Americans as well, that tech companies cannot be trusted to uphold the basic tenets of democracy, of respecting the freedom of speech, therefore unwittingly fueling the roots of revolution. The recent censorship of American Big Tech companies against President Trump and his supporters has opened a wide gaping door which could also lead to their ultimate demise as the exodus of users has only just begun.
The exodus of users from social media has begun. The collective ban of President Trump by tech leaders has instead unintentionally launched a counter movement in which President Trump is now being heralded as a Moses of his time, leading the exodus from a tyrannical collective media.
The public backlash also creates a blueprint for both the development of a US-state sponsored media of the future in which potential telecommunications and social media companies could be state-owned, instead of being privately owned or publicly traded, as what China has been quietly accelerating, such as their govt state-sponsored WeChat, and also a counter movement of decentralised social media, in which blockchain enabled user-to-user interface could replace the current system of the tech giants. The lack of diverse opinions present in Big Tech would ultimately launch a more democratically enabled system in a decentralised version of social media. Although, twitter announced in late 2019 that they were also working on a decentralised version of their network, this system could ultimately bypass platforms such as twitter and facebook, so that users could essentially develop their own node to interact with other users on a blockchain-enabled network.
Social media apps may become a thing of the past. Users are weary of having to download multiple apps, and in the near future, users may instead have nodes that connect to a federated blockchain, directly connecting users together, and bypassing third party sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat et al.
After all, in our present era, many users are most likely exasperated from constantly switching from one platform to another, and downloading numerous apps to be able to do so, then having to upload to multiple platforms in order to communicate and share the same idea. Instead, developing individual nodes to interact directly with other users to communicate and share information would bypass “middlemen” such as facebook and twitter in the near future. Internet providers could readily launch services in which an internet subscription would include nodes to be utilised on the blockchain, and legislation would move away from a repeal of Section 230 as social media and tech companies become less influential and instead focus on the internet service providers themselves. The decentralisation of power is inevitable as the public backlash against technology heads in their arbitrary determination of what they deem as “fact” in addition to the ousting of people with opposing political viewpoints has begun the mass exodus of users from social media.
All in all, what has been perceived as the arbitrary censorship of the US President by technology executives has sent a clear message to leaders around the world that Big Tech must be wrangled and tamed, and no longer will they be subject to the liberal protections they had been given before.
NANCY PELOSI’S LAST ACT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in her illustrious career 30+ year career in politics, in which she has been known to throw lavish Capitol Hill parties and has equally obstructed numerous legislation and enhanced a dual-party gridlock in Congress, has made it abundantly clear that her views and morals are up for sale to the highest corporate bidder, and the true role of a politician is to only appeal to her corporate sponsors.
An incomplete list of legislation that Nancy Pelosi has obstructed, as both Minority House leader and as House Speaker, often in conjunction with her right-hand man, Senator Chuck Schumer in the Senate
Wicked Witch of the West or Feminist? Nancy Pelosi started her political career at the age of 47, defying the culture of American ageism which often glamourises youth, and has also become a staple in American politics, but according to her critics, has been a bad influence on Capitol Hill. She is often reported as someone politicians would not want to get on her bad side.
A perennial favourite of Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Oil, Big Tech, Wall Street and the Military Contracting industries, Mrs. Pelosi has not failed to usurp nearly every piece of legislation in order to make certain their objectives have been hijacked from their original intent whilst doing the bidding of her corporate donors.
Some of the accomplishments of then House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi include overturning President Obama’s intended universal health care legislation to benefit private health insurance companies, pushing TARP that benefitted Wall Street Banks and most recently as House Speaker, although initially dismissed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as "Green New Dream or whatever", now most likely has her sights on how to turn the Green New Deal into a deal that benefits natural gas and oil companies.
Mrs. Pelosi is in direct contrast to her idealistic colleagues, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and even the more radically minded Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Jamal Bowman, Cori Bush; and also on the other side of the coin, Josh Hawley, Dan Goetz, Ted Cruz and Majorie Taylor Green, most of whom are newer members of Congress who still wear their idealistic badges to serve their constituents. But the question is, how long will their political idealism endure in a decades-long era in which Mrs. Pelosi has been criticised by political pundits to have corrupted every young idealistic politician into doing her bidding?
There is no doubt that the current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has had a lot to grapple with in the past year; on one hand, he represents the interests of Big Tech and NATO, and does not support the repeal of Section 230 yet on the other hand, he is someone with a conscience, who wants to get the right balance of working for the public good vs. serving corporate interests.
The ultimate frenemy. As House Minority Leader during the Obama years, Nancy Pelosi blocked nearly every piece of meaningful legislation that President Obama had authored, holding access to key corporate donors to members of her Democratic Party. Mrs. Pelosi has been the perennial frenemy to all her colleagues, and known as someone who attained her position due to her extraordinary ability to raise money and cater to all the demands of her corporate sponsors without any compunction.
However, it is clear though that the second impeachment proceedings by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has more long-term ramifications than simply silencing a wild cannon such as President Trump. Due to the basis of the impeachment, if even remotely successful, would most likely silence every member of Congress, in the House and Senate, along with any future President from speaking out against injustice nor appeal to their constituents using words that invoke protest.
Protest is a fundamental right in the US Constitution, along with the right to assembly (gather in groups) and what these second impeachment hearings actually accomplish is to effectively silence the freedom of speech in order to protest and gather in groups.
If we were to assess President Donald Trump’s social media accounts and his speeches, nowhere does he incite violence against the Capitol. In fact, he had tweeted for gatherers to “peacefully march to the Capitol”. There were never any fighting words in his speech presented to the protesters before the Capitol Riots, nor did he ever suggest people should resort to violence and to deface the Capitol.
If we were to assess the President's words, they could be compared to the passionate speeches of President John F. Kennedy, President Abraham Lincoln, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and even to Martin Luther King, Jr, but nowhere has he been documented to incite violence nor ask his followers to incite violence. Instead he asked his followers for a show of strength and unity during tumultuous times.
President Trump's call for peace during the Capitol riots was deleted and censored by Twitter executives, in a move that was highly criticised as hypocritical by leaders around the world along with millions of Americans and Europeans.
“A revolution is coming: a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough, compassionate if we care enough, successful if we are fortunate enough - but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, we cannot alter its inevitability.” President John F. Kennedy
Play video: https://youtu.be/7J3V0rAuDaw
It has been reported that the only President that Nancy Pelosi has not been able to stronghold and influence has been President Donald Trump. Her motives in wanting to impeach the President twice may be motivated, in part, by her desire to usurp the separation of power, by weakening the role of the President in American politics and through the eradication of the freedom of speech in order to finally silence all her critics.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must recognise that Mrs. Pelosi’s attempt at a second impeachment will inevitably not only affect Presidents of the past but also the ones in the future, and also have consequences on the US Constitution in freedom of speech and how it can be utilised to begin movements, those very movements in which the US was founded. There are serious long-term ramifications in the present in which the US Republic has been under fire in an ideological civil war, in which internal factions have paralysed and hijacked the responsibilities of both the Representatives and Senators of Capitol Hill, who have been sworn to serve the people.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made her stance clear, and has been shown to obstruct meaningful legislation every step of the way, often using feeble excuses to prevent aid to Americans, even the recent coronavirus stimulus package, and now in her show of political theatre in her continued antics of the new second impeachment proceedings, threaten both the freedom of speech and assembly, the very rights that the US Constitution has held dear for hundreds of years. The question remains, will Mr. McConnell be able to finally stand up to her and unite his party or will he allow Mrs. Pelosi and her “handler” and matchmaker extraordinaire Mr. Chuck Schumer to completely dismantle what remains of the true tenets of Congress?
By Sierra Choi
Disclaimer: This article is based on the author’s opinions and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any organisation she may be a part of nor of the companies she works with. Opinions are defined as subjective viewpoints based on available data, including facts, and may be speculative but also may serve to use insight to point out hidden truths that are often overlooked by mainstream media and should be considered with equal weight and measure as other viewpoints as it is those individual viewpoints that contribute to a diversity of opinions and viewpoints in a truly functioning democracy where freedom of speech and dialogue are actively encouraged and not subject to arbitrary censorship.
2021 is around the corner and what a journey this year has been. For many of us, we have faced extraordinary circumstances, loss and hardship, unexpected gains and renewal of ourselves and familial bonds and many of us were pushed to become more resilient and resourceful and perhaps, even some of us found the love that transformed us all, or else we have tested our friendships to the limit.
We have found what it means to be there for the people we care about when times are hard, and also to say goodbye to those whom we could no longer count on.
The mainstream media unveiled itself to be a powerful force that has censored, misled and carried out an infotainment war with the public and independent journalists have come out of the woodwork so that their voices could be heard.
The end of 2020 presents the great challenges of a different world we now live in. The American Republic and the United Kingdom may change, small businesses may no longer be in business and as we move towards a technocratic society, we must remember that humanity is defined by our actions, and not what we own (in the wise words of President Jimmy Carter).
As the end of the year draws near, and the President of the United States will be inaugurated by the end of next month, I have compiled a short video of those Presidents who have most inspired us over the centuries. The ones who dared to fight for human rights, freedom of speech, for democracy and lastly, for peace will be the ones who have made the most impact on our society, no matter how controversial they may have been during their era.
2020 was a roller coaster journey, but I am grateful that it became the illuminating force in what we know to be true in our hearts; that we are resilient, and that we do not easily cave to pressure, that we know what it takes to fight for what we believe in; that we tolerate and welcome public discourse and difference in opinions because we are a nation founded on the freedom of speech and diversity; that we are all unbreakable in our lasting faith in democracy.
Click to play: youtu.be/zu-T6zWw69s
By Sierra Choi
A civil and open dialogue currently does not exist in American politics under the duopoly of the two dominant political parties. Anyone exposed to popular and social media can quickly discern that both sides often engage in argument ad hominems and character insults as opposed to breaking down the complexity of actual political and social issues. Empty emotional rhetoric is utilised to numb the masses, whilst the 6 corporations that own the collective media continue to fuel racial division and social unrest.
6 corporations own the majority of the media in our current era give us the illusion of choice. This has led to an imbalanced system in which there is a lack of diversity in public discourse, and instead political propaganda is utilised to manipulate public opinion.
William Randolph Hearst: “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” The news magnate in 1897 revealed how he could effectively alter the course of global politics through the overt manipulation of public opinion. This strategy was mirrored in 2002 when the New York Times published unsubstantiated article after article in support of the Iraq War. Image by wikipedia commons
The duopoly system of American politics (in which there are two dominant parties: Democratic and Republican) have been successful in the radicalisation of people’s political beliefs. In recent times, the Democratic Party has adhered to the promotion of anarchy (eg, rioting, looting, defunding the police etc) and often utilised race politics in an attempt to divide people whilst the Republican Party has attempted to mobilise their base utilising fear against a militaristic China (eg, Trade War with China, the growing Chinese military and even the “China” virus).
The art of debate and open dialogue currently does not exist in American politics. Instead, major parties attempt to demonise the other side, radicalise their demographic and resort to baseless insults. Image by wikipedia commons
However, whether or not one is a Democrat or a Republican, a Libertarian or a member of the Green Party or any other party, it is clear however, that there is something awry going on in American politics and the state of democracy is in crisis. The current 2020 Presidential election has brought to light many inherent weaknesses in voting integrity and the vested interests of the 6 corporations that own the collective media have utilised the same tactics as William Randolph Hearst at the turn of the century in order to undermine democratic processes. In a representative democracy, voting is the most fundamental action citizens can take in order to make their voice heard.
If we examine the ⅗ compromise, in which only 3 out of 5 slaves in America were counted as part of the population in 1783 or the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, voting has become integral to the constitutional rights of people. Voting fraud should not be tolerated by any American, regardless of political affiliation.
Two dominant voting tabulation companies, ES&S and Dominion, in which the latter system has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s longtime aid, Nadeam Elshami and also, Brian Wild who had worked for former Vice-President Dick Cheney has as active lobbyists. Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Cheney are two politicians who have actively supported a Biden win amongst allegations that the Dominion software utilised in swing states have seen numerous “glitches” that occurred in 18 Spalding County voting districts in Georgia that switched votes to Mr. Biden.
Although historically, newspapers and the mainstream media have utilised their consolidated power in order to manipulate public opinion, this is the first time in history in which they have attempted to elect a President, by ignoring the judicial processes of the United States. Currently, there are 5 states in which lawsuits are actively pending, and investigations by the Department of Justice are still ongoing. This sets a dangerous precedent in which the corporate media may override the constitutional rights of the people by subversion of voting integrity. Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In California and New York, where many Democrats had written-in for Bernie Sanders as their candidate also did not see their votes tabulated, and despite that in the 2020 California Democratic Presidential Primary, Bernie Sanders received over 2 million votes, significantly more than Mr. Biden, it was reported that there were strangely only a total of 56 write-in votes for the 2020 Presidential election whereas in the previous election in 2016, there had been over 200,000 write-in votes. For a state as populous as California with around 20 million registered people to vote, it seems implausible that only 56 people in the entire state wrote-in for a candidate in this election cycle.
Aside from the swing states, anomalies in voting integrity were also reported in many states such as New Hampshire, New Jersey, Colorado, an even a viral video surfaced in Delaware of a poll worker filling out ballots which the collective, mainstream media “fact-checkers” assert that the poll worker was simply filling out ballots copied from damaged ballots, however the damaged ballots do not appear to be visible anywhere in the video.
In Pennsylvania, at least 30,000 people 100 years or older requested mail-in ballots for the 2020 US Presidential Election.
In a technological age in which we have access to secure online banking, online tax platforms, online credit systems and other online platforms with AI for fraud detection, it seems unfathomable that we are still subject to paper ballots and the widespread use of hackable voting tabulation machines.
Former Vice-President Joseph Biden has said that the United States will be entering a “Dark Winter”. Dark Winter was an exercise in 2001 at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense studies and the ANSER institute at Homeland Security examining the national security of a bioterror attack on the United States. The findings included that massive civilian casualties, breakdown in essential institutions, violation of democratic processes, civil disorder, and loss of confidence in government and strategic flexibility abroad were among the ways a biological attack could compromise national security.
As Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises has said, “Democracy is not something we can enjoy without effort, on the contrary, we must actively defend democracy and conquer with renewed effort.” Whether or not one supports Mr. Biden or President Trump or any other candidate, it is clear that the democratic processes of our voting integrity have been under subversion and this is not something we should passively hope gets fixed on its own. If we examine the past, our historical precedents fought for their right to vote and we shouldn’t abandon it so easily as to allow for widespread voter fraud to openly alter and dilute our vote, to drown out our voices with ballot stuffing, electronic tampering, voting hacking and the overt tactics of destroy-and-replace.
The 6 corporations that collectively own mainstream media should not bypass the judicial processes of the United States or any other nation, and they should not have the authority to determine who is the US President-Elect until the results have been certified. In addition, every single American, regardless of political affiliation, should ask for full transparency in voting processes, auditing of votes in all 50 states, an investigation of voting tabulation machines, and collectively work together to transform voting into a multi-layered, decentralised system with active fraud detection to preserve the integrity of our vote. To not do so would only lead to a breakdown of democratic processes, in which we allow a dark winter to reign.
click to play: https://youtu.be/FG3CBtDfsNg
By Sierra Choi
A few months ago, I gave a presentation called The Great Reset: Closing the Gap on Wealth Inequality for LATOKEN’s Blockchain Economic Forum which features the venture capital and startup community in various discussions and panels on the short-term and long-lasting impacts of a lockdown on the global economy.
Click https://youtu.be/ULyx3HkyuTM to play.
Some of the challenges that the global world faces during and post-lockdown are the following:
When visitors come to cities like San Francisco and Seattle or even London, Prague, Beijing and Moscow, they might be shocked at the number of homeless people roaming the streets. The inherent issue in nations with high GDP (which have been used to determine a nation’s measure of wealth) has created a paradoxical situation which has led to widespread inequity, where the few remain wealthy whilst the majority of the population continually suffers under the rule of corporatism.
The Age of Tech Overlords. Jeff Bezos in an exoskeleton. Image by Jeff Bezos, Twitter
Our contemporary era of corporatism has been dubbed by academics as a kind of “technocratic feudalism”. The modern corporation has been criticised as limiting democracy and launching a feudal culture, in which few billionaires are created whilst the majority of the population suffers similar to the landlords in Medieval Europe who retained the majority of wealth, whilst the serfs who worked under them remained relatively poor.
If we examine the corporate structure, we can see that there are inherent limitations in the amount of public good that the corporation can serve, as founders and board members are forced to focus on short-term profit, creating as much value for shareholders as possible, otherwise, they may often become targets of lawsuits.
Short-term thinking from shareholders forces founders to take actions which may hurt its long-term goals. During 2018, activist investors led 240 campaigns targeting 218 companies worth more than $500 million, Comparatively, activists targeted 169 companies in 194 campaigns in 2017.
Case in point: eBay knowingly and voluntarily bought a piece of Craig Newmark's frugal, community-centered company, craigslist. As such, the fiduciary duty owed by the founders to eBay has to be viewed in the context of the company itself – a company renowned for its tiny size, community service mindset, and its refusal to adopt typical principles of short-term profit-maximization. However, it did not stop eBay from suing the founders for breach of fiduciary duty in 2009.
This problem has found a viable solution with the development of the B-Corporation structure which was initially launched in 2007. Benefit corporations or B-corps are a new kind of corporation legally required to:
1) have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment
2) redefine fiduciary duty to require consideration of the interests of workers, community and the environment
3) publicly report annually on its overall social and environmental performance using a comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standard. Current law requires corporations to prioritise the financial interests of shareholders over the interests of workers, communities, and the environment.
B-Corporations put increased emphasis on other stakeholder values, such as environmental and social concerns, on their employees and the local community and shields founders and board members from the frivolous lawsuits by activist shareholders when they do not abide by the decisions that lead to “short-term profit” and instead adheres to a mission-based philosophy.
The oil spill on the Santa Barbara coast in 2015 which released 105K gallons of oil, endangering the ecosystem, wildlife and the environment. Plains Pipeline, the company whose pipeline ruptured had a poor safety record and accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006. If energy companies such as these are converted into the B-corporation structure, company founders, board of directors would be accountable for safety of the environment, its employees and its local communities above the fiduciary duties to maximise shareholder profit. Photo by Brian van der Burg/ LA Times via Getty Images
We can see that the traditional corporate structure, the C-Corp or S-Corp can no longer be utilised to maintain the public good, as the bottom line of “maximising shareholder value” has led to practices that have not only increased inequalities in wealth, but also has had significant damage on local communities and negative impacts on the environment.
Patagonia's Reimagine campaign in a revenue model that utilises repair service for its consumer durables instead of focusing on the purchase of new items.
When Patagonia reclassified its corporate structure from a C-Corp to a B-Corporation, instead of continually producing massive amounts of products for sale, they partially changed their revenue model in order for their old products to be repaired and updated to create less waste for the environment. This model could also be used for the electronics and mobile phone industries, in which old models could be serviced and continually updated to mitigate the culture of planned obsolescence, in which perfectly usable parts take up space in landfills and seep into the water supply.
"Electronics graveyards" are becoming increasingly common as defunct electronics, computer and mobile phone parts take up tonnes of space in landfills and other dumping sites. The tech industry's short-term profit of planned obsolescence (ie, a short life cycle of use before being discarded) has created tremendous amounts of global waste. Photo by reddit user member: DetroitEXP
When part of the corporate mission legally ensures that the corporation has a duty to the local community, to their employees and to the environment, then much of the inequities that have been created through old corporate models can be dismantled. Currently, there are only 2,500 B-Corporations in the world out of the hundreds of millions that exist today.
2/3 of the British public and 3/4 of the American population do not trust their financial institutions. An increasing distrust of the banking system could permeate into instability and an eventual breakdown of society.
In order to address the growing distrust of banking systems by the general public, one possible solution by lawmakers would be to require all banks and financial institutions to become B-Corporations. This action would immediately mitigate the predatory lending practices of financial institutions and their use of financial products such as credit default swaps, derivatives trading and the commingling of customer accounts which have led to the numerous bank bailouts that culminated in the 2008 financial crisis.
For banks to become B-Corporations, it would require changing their articles of incorporation and bylaws. Such changes put shareholders on parity with employees, the environment and the community in terms of decision-making. This will require board approval and may have regulatory implications as well.
If other industries, such as those in energy and healthcare are also legally obliged to take a duty to the local community, to their employees and to the environment and reset their priorities from “maximising shareholder value” to that of the well-being of their local communities, it could have an immediate yet impactful effect on widespread inequities, and also on the quality of living.
Addressing Technocratic Feudalism: Progressive Equity Structure
Another way to pacify the “technocratic feudalism” of our era is to implement a progressive equity structure as outlined by former Groupon founder Andrew Mason.
“Let’s say you’re the founder and you own about 50% — in a normal company, you’d get 500 megadonks. But under the Progressive Equity program, everything above the financial independence threshold gets “taxed” at 50% — you keep half, and the other half is redistributed back to employees, pro rata. So in our example, you’d get the first 50 megadonks outright and half of the other 450, for a total of 275 megadonks, and the other 225 would be redistributed to employees. So if you had 225 employees, on average each would get a megadonk. The cool thing about this is that employee percent ownership increases as the value of the company increases — natural incentive alignment.” - Andrew Mason
As an example, when President Obama launched legislation in order to limit senior executive pay limit to $500K, many tech leaders were able to bypass this law by giving themselves a $1 salary whilst being compensated primarily through stocks and other privileges. However, through a progressive equity structure, it would directly address the compensation disparity, and founders of unicorn companies would receive stock up to a certain percentage in which any excess would be redistributed directly to the employees pro rata. This progressive equity structure would create more multi-millionaires than billionaires, hence serving to eliminate the growing era of contemporary feudalism in Silicon Valley corporations and other companies with a valuation in excess of $1bln.
By making it mandatory for all corporations to transition into B-Corporations, and allowing the Board of Directors to implement a progressive equity structure, the role of the govt would be to allow corporations to take on the brunt of the responsibility of placing communities, their employees and the environment ahead of profit, instead of launching multiple time-consuming legislation in which lawyers can always find many creative loopholes in order to bypass regulation.
The Advantages of a Resource-Based Economy
In my presentation, I discuss how a resource-based economy can co-exist with contemporary corporatism and in fact, complementary to a democratic, capitalist system. Akin to a good OS, an ideal government mainly stays out of the way, but is in the background, making sure things run smoothly. In this type of government, the focus should primarily be on:
1) fair and efficient justice system
2) empowering people or self-agency (ie, ability of people to make their own choices and decisions, enhancing freedom of speech
3) built on a society of inclusion in which many different types of people with various backgrounds and religious beliefs can co-exist peacefully and where innovative programmes address the needs of the population
4) ability of people to have access to a variety of resources (eg, high tech transportation, internet, health care, education, job resources, emergency fund for natural disasters etc).
Robert Taylor Holmes housing project in Chicago in the midst of demolition. Despite good intentions, public housing and low-income housing projects have become dangerous sites of crime and gang activity. A more sustainable way to address poverty and the welfare state would be the development of Producer, Worker or Social Co-operatives, in which people in vulnerable communities have the opportunity to join a local co-operative by interest, where as employees, they also share ownership of the company. Photo by ChicagoEye from flickr
We live in a resource-rich society in which unsold food from supermarkets are readily thrown away into landfills everyday by the tonnes, and where there are 18 million abandoned homes in the US and 11 million abandoned mansions across the UK and EU which are simply rotting away. By redirecting and redistributing these abandoned assets, co-operatives can be developed to address homelessness, poverty and education skill training in which a diverse group of people are living together for a shared purpose instead of the current govt solution of temporary housing, low income housing and the welfare state which have only led to racial segregation and the rise of criminal gangs.
Comparing the Strength of Nations
If we examine some of the largest economies, we can see how effective each government is in regards to the 4 following categories: Justice System, Self-Agency, Society of Inclusion, Access to Resources.
6 nations: the UK, Germany, US, China, India and Russia were assessed in 4 categories: Justice System (Corruption Perceptions Index), Self-Agency (Freedom of Speech Reporters without Borders Index), Society of Inclusion (Rates of Poverty, Religious Freedom) and Resources (Health Care Coverage, Internet Access and Literacy Rates). Each nation was given a score between 2 and -2 based on their percentage.
As we can see, a strong justice system is what is the true core and architecture of a democratic nation. Without a fair and efficient justice system, people are subject to anarchy and instability in which there is a proliferation of criminal gangs and lack of individual freedoms and self-agency. In this regard, of the comparison group, the UK, Germany and the United States are the most democratic in the sense that there is an overall prevailing belief and trust in their justice system. In nations such as Russia, China and India, people have the lowest trust in their justice system, which leads to the proliferation of organised crime, corruption in government and lack of individual freedoms.
When small business owners have to pay ransom to the local gang, they might not be able to run a business at all. In a similar fashion, businesses cannot thrive in an environment in which the government cannot guarantee justice, and founders are subject to become victims of crime or bribery. This environment limits innovation at the core, because without a prevailing trust in the justice system, an innovative founder will most likely relocate to a more democratic nation in which he or she is able to launch a business protected by the law. Therefore, a trust in the justice system is the most fundamental foundation necessary for innovation and technological advances.
Secondly, self-agency and a society of inclusion are what are also intrinsic for a democratic society. Without freedom of speech, and the ability of individuals to make their own decisions, people would be living in a fascist state under a tyrannical rule or totalitarian state, such as what happened under Stalin and Hitler in WWII. A society dominated by intolerance and a corrupt justice system will overwhelmingly decrease the standard of living as an unstable foundation will lead to a breakdown in society and result in uprising and revolution.
If we examine the comparison of five nations here: the UK, Germany, United States, China, India and Russia, we can clearly see that GDP is not an adequate measure of wealth or quality of living and well-being for the average citizen.
The United Kingdom: A Rising Class Struggle
Nearly 1/4 of the population in the UK are living in poverty. The homeless sleeping near the Camden Town Tube Station. Photo by Faccundo Arrizabalaga/EPA via Shutterstock
Although the UK has a strong justice system, it suffers from increasing poverty levels, and currently nearly ¼ of the population are living in poverty (22%) which is set to increase post-Lockdown. This decrease in overall wealth, in which a significant portion of the population are exempted from a society of inclusion will inevitably have consequences that will eventually infiltrate its justice system, self-agency and access to resources as criminal gangs proliferate and become more commonplace. When the poverty level reaches a threshold of 30%, it is likely that many British institutions will potentially become eradicated due to cycles in uprising and revolution, such as the British Monarchy, in which there is currently a growing trend to dismantle a publicly visible institution based on the privileges of birthright. It is also likely that the financial centre of Europe could migrate from London to Frankfurt in another cyclical pattern.
Queen Elizabeth II could be the last reigning monarch in the United Kingdom. Increasing levels of poverty have found a convenient target spotlighting the British Monarchy’s use of taxpayer funds during an era in which many British subjects are suffering from the prolonged effects of the pandemic. A poverty threshold of 30% could likely predict an uprising similar to events that led to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Photo by Tolga Akmen/Pool via AP
In order to address the growing levels of poverty in the UK, by partially adopting a resource-based economy, this will most likely mitigate the factors of homelessness, poverty, the proliferation of criminal gangs and serve to preserve Britain’s oldest institutions.
India: Prevailing Injustices
India is a nation that has been slated to replace China as the leading manufacturer of the world. However, India suffers from three inherent weaknesses which makes this improbable: a lack of fair and efficient justice system in which many members of its population sometimes utilise vigilante justice due to the many years of waiting until a case is resolved, a stringent caste system which excludes many people from a society of inclusion and an inherent lack of resources for its population. Compounded by an exponentially growing population, it is likely that these problems will become more magnified in the next decade. Although much has been given credit for India’s growing tech industry which has pulled a portion of its population out of poverty, the inherent lack of foundation in a strong and reliable justice system will most likely undercut these achievements.
Since the lockdown, child labour and exploitation have exponentially increased in India as families struggle with the pandemic. Photo from TheirWorld
Modernisation of its legal system and an overhaul of its overall justice system are necessary in order for India to move towards its future goals. In addition, only 5% of India’s population have health care, and of the largest economies in the world, it is a nation with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Lack of access to food, nutrition, education and adequate housing are only some of India’s problems. Violent crimes are on the rise and victims often find no retribution, allowing India to be overrun with hate crimes, violent crimes against women, exploitation of children, environmental waste and other crimes which have become altogether commonplace. These issues are all rooted in its lack of a strong justice system which will become further weakened as India’s population exponentially grows in the next decade if adequate measures are not immediately taken by Prime Minister Narendi Modi.
Russia: Post-Communist Transformation
Russia is an expansive nation that extends across northern Asia and eastern Europe and spans 11 time zones, yet only has a population of 145.9 million people. Although it has one of the most educated populations in the world, with 54% of their population having attained tertiary degrees; criminal activity, proliferation of gangs, human trafficking and arms trafficking are some of Russia’s prominent problematic areas.
The likely reason for the lack of growth in the population is multi-dimensional; one probable reason is that Russia is a significant nation in which women are sourced to become trafficked to over 50 nations for sexual exploitation, and men are trafficked from Central Asia for labour in the construction and agricultural industries. Another presumed reason for the lack of population growth is that many young men fall victims to crime and are recruited into organised criminal gang activity due to an inherent lack of justice system, along with a prevalent culture of malnutrition and alcoholism.
Although President Vladimir Putin has taken many steps in order to incentivise higher birth rates, such as maternity capital assistance for those who have at least two children, and the implementation of fixed mortgage rates for young families, the underlying root causes of the problem remain. If we are to examine the central, architectural issues in Russia’s declining population, it could also be directly attributed to its lack of a strong justice system. Russia ranks near the bottom in the corruption perceptions index which assesses a nation’s social and economic justice, human rights, peace and security.
Despite that President Putin has spent much of his career in govt to address prevailing injustices in Russia, and during his tenure, has increased GDP and income per capita, Russia suffers from an overwhelming dominating weakness: its singular dependence on the fossil fuels sector as exports and on the arms trade. Compounded by a lack of a strong justice system, this has handicapped Russia’s other industries and sectors, decreasing the quality of life for the average Russian citizen.
One way to address this underlying problem would be for President Putin to adopt progressive policies limiting the domination of the fossil fuels sector and implementing policies for a diversified energy strategy, such as what China has done. In addition, technological innovation could supplant Russia with a Silicon Valley style headquarters in St. Petersburg, which would be able to attract talent from all around the world, instead of the focus on the development of military weapons.
Russia rests on one of the greatest resources of the world: The Arctic Circle. Russia has the ability to lead the green energy revolution in Eurasia by investment in hydroelectric power and sodium ion batteries. Diversification of its energy strategy and development of a tech capital would ensure Russia would not become dependent on its sole export of fossil fuels in future generations.
A fair and efficient justice system, the promotion of free speech and self-agency, strong investment into a diversified energy strategy along with the development of a tech headquarters based on multi-national cooperation and not on the development of military weapons would most certainly place Russia as a formidable nation with an iconic leader who has been placed during one of its greatest transitional eras in which President Putin’s legacy could be that of the peacemaker in a region that has suffered much strife.
Russia is also a nation that would most likely benefit from implementing a Swiss-style of governance and taxation, with each district or canton making its own decisions on how to best implement fiscal and economic policy.
China: Overcoming Authoritarianism
Under President Xi Jinping, China has undergone a radical transformation which has become one of the largest economies in the world. However, as mentioned previously, a high GDP is not necessarily indicative of the quality of life or standard of living and similar to India and Russia, China suffers from a lack of a strong justice system, and scores the lowest of all developed nations in self-agency. According to the Freedom of Speech Reporters Without Borders Index, China is on the near bottom of the list, beneath all developed nations, due to its stringent censorship of any criticism against the government. Although this could be indicative of President Xi Jinping’s military background or farming strategy in quickly weeding out insurgents, as a society, it has an overall negative effect on self-agency and is contrary towards a society of inclusion. Alternative points of view often lead to a more robust system of governance that can quickly assimilate problems and enhance democracy, in addition to being able to become tolerant of differences which enhances a nation’s global soft power.
The recent military exercises by the People's Republic of China have made many of its allies and neighbours suspicious of China's intentions of a potential land grab or annexation of surrounding nations. Instead of focusing on building its military presence, President Xi Jinping could launch research initiatives to explore exoplanets in joint projects with the US Space Force and shed its image as an authoritarian government in order to increase its global soft power and gain support for the Belt and Road Initiative. Photo from defensetalk.com
In the past, China had suffered from an oppressive one-child policy and its population has an overall distrust of its legal system. Lack of transparency in government processes, secrecy in dealings and lack of individual rights has led to widespread organised crime and private entrepreneurs sitting in jail for years without access to their family, their lawyers and a right to a fair trial. This lack of democratic processes in domestic matters undermine China’s strategy in implementing the global Belt and Road Initiative, as its allies and other foreign nations may become altogether suspicious of its new military ambitions.
For China to make way for a new era of global influence, it must first shed its image as an authoritarian government that does not honour individual freedoms. Despite its journey towards a high tech nation that has wisely invested in the diversification of energy resources, domestic infrastructure projects and the near eradication of poverty, these extraordinary accomplishments are in danger of becoming undermined when President Xi Jinping is no longer in power, and could instead, supplant his peaceful methodologies with a renewed military vengeance that would inevitably impede his achievements and lead the way for a perpetual New Cold War.
China could eliminate this impasse in diplomacy and global influence by focusing on restructuring its justice system, eliminating its internet firewall, allowing for greater individual freedoms and instead of appeasing its military leaders who wish to build a formidable military industrial complex, refocus on the development of a multi-national alliance in space exploration and research.
Germany: A New Model of Europe
A German hydroelectric plant. Germany is set to be completely energy independent and be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Germany, under the leadership of Angela Merkel has made rapid gains in energy independence, has become one of the EU’s leaders in green energy and implemented a robust fiscal policy which set the model of behaviour for dealing with the 2008 financial crisis. Germany also has a strong and transparent justice system, self-agency and access to resources for its population. 100% of Germany’s population is covered by health care, either public or private, and tuition-free German Universities are world-class institutions that have produced the most Nobel Laureates along with the United States and the United Kingdom. However, one area where Germany is weakened by is its growing rates of poverty and lack of a society of inclusion.
Germany, like the UK, could benefit from partially adopting a resource-based economy in order to both address its negative population growth and to adapt to the changing needs of its population. The Ruhr region in Germany has 21.1% of its residents living in abject poverty which affects both the elderly and the young. Although a wealth tax and increase in minimum wage could be a temporary solution to poverty, the underpinnings of poverty in these regions would still exist. Implementing a resource-based economy in these regions could revitalise entrepreneurship and also serve as cultural, education and social centres where youth are prevented from joining criminal gangs. By redistributing abandoned assets, investment into co-operatives and promoting cultural and social cohesion, these actions could have an immediate impact on the most vulnerable in Germany’s population.
United States: The Evolution of Corporatism
The United States is one of the most dynamic and diverse economies in the world and has been at the forefront of the technology revolution. Currently, at this time, the US is undergoing a radical transformation under the leadership of President Donald Trump, in which he is veering away from the war profiteering model of the last four decades, and setting a precedent for Middle Eastern peace, as well as challenging the most vocal proponents of the Bush War Era.
The US is also currently in a precarious position as it deals with increasing poverty, a lack of resources for its population and a waning justice system in which politicians are lobbied by multiple corporations and might not always act in the best interests in the public good, along with an outdated legal and prison system that has only propagated more criminal activity. With a steadily rising population, the lack of resources is the most prominent feature which could further cripple the US economy.
By mandating the conversion of current corporations to the B-Corporation structure, a new evolution of corporatism could arise, in which corporations have an obligation and responsibility to the environment, to its communities and to its employees above short-term profit. In addition, the proliferation of worker-owned co-operatives in vulnerable neighbourhoods could become the new economic model of how to address poverty and homelessness.
As with the UK and Germany, partially implementing a resource-based economy could counteract the negative effects of inflation, rising poverty levels and the proliferation of gang activity in major cities. Currently, the US uses govt subsidies to support industries (eg, fossil fuels, fracking and agriculture) that do not actually need support, which have only worked to further exacerbate class divisions. The launch of numerous, time consuming legislation have only found avenues in which corporations often find creative loopholes. Instead, the US could take a different approach and mandate the transfer of all corporations to the B-corporation structure and administer a resource-based economy in states and regions most affected by poverty and crime. By launching co-operative initiatives (in which employees retain ownership of the company) this could revolutionalise many sectors such as housing, agriculture, transportation, waste management, healthcare and manufacturing. Short-term solutions of simply throwing money at the problem, such as low-income housing, a welfare state or funding for the homeless would become obsolete, and instead, the most vulnerable members of the population would be able to access resources in order to create stable, meaningful lives.
As I mention in my presentation, wealth is simply the ability to access many different opportunities and not necessarily about having a lot of money. Money is a form of trade, and transfer of goods and services, but attaining opportunities to engage in new goals, start new ventures, access resources and execute ideas is at the heart of the American Dream.
Poverty is often a learned behaviour from the inability to access resources and opportunities. By re-shaping the American economy by strengthening its justice system, stabilising inflation and the eradication of poverty by partially implementing a resource-based economy, democracy can be best served to the population at large through innovation, enhanced self-agency and self-reliance, and support of a capitalist system in which individuals could retain ownership in the co-operative of their employment. This system would create a fairer system of capitalism which would address the growing era of technocratic feudalism, class divisions and income inequality.
By Sierra Choi
In his New Year’s speech before 2020, President Xi Jinping outlined the goals for his vision of China. The People’s Republic of China had begun to revitalise many of China’s landmarks, including the economic development of the Yangtze River, transportation and infrastructure plans were set in motion, high tech methods of rubbish and waste disposal and recycling were already in place, the per capita income of every family had been raised to $10K USD and he outlined the ultimate goal of the eradication of poverty in rural areas.
The President of China, Xi Jinping, who has been described as "humble, thoughtful and kind," by his American host parents when President Xi had been an exchange student in Iowa in 1985. Photo by Reuters
China’s rising economic status has not been a surprise nor was it unexpected. From 2013, Lord Charles Powell argued that the 21st century would belong to China which stirred an intense debate about the role of China’s new leadership on the global stage.
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who during the President Bush era of multiple foreign interventions that lead to the disastrous Iraq War of which depleted the American economy, has said of China:
“China is a strategic competitor, not a strategic partner and will do what it can to enhance its power, including stealing nuclear secrets and bullying Taiwan.” - Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
(source: US-China Relations in the Twenty-First Century: A Question of Trust by Michael Tai)
Whilst during the Bush Eras, the United States had been preoccupied in multi-trillion dollar foreign interventions, enriching the 1% war profiteers at the cost of the American people, China was re-inventing itself, by focusing on their domestic infrastructure plans. However, it wasn’t until President Xi Jinping announced in 2017 that China would begin to develop a “world class military” on par with the United States that the alarm bells started ringing for the West.
This became a distressing wake-up call for many of the 1%ers on Capitol Hill who had spent the last five decades heavily invested in the military industrial complex and it gave China the perfect opportunity to showcase its diplomacy on the global stage by launching their One Belt One Road Initiative, with their plans to develop trading routes connecting continents all around the world.
China's Master Plan to dominate global trade through an initiative that utilises the same ideology as the Marshall Plan post WWII
The United States was not sleeping whilst China was developing its plans, our leaders were ultimately engaged in an obsessive quest for control of oil resources that we put aside our main priorities, allowing the understudy to take centre stage. As China’s population climbed out of poverty and their middle class grew, ours began to fall into poverty, our middle class became weakened and our major cities started to deteriorate into crime and homelessness. As China was focused on investment into their economy, our leaders in the US were focused on enriching war profiteers.
It was no surprise then that China began developing their own military. The current propaganda war against China has many parallels with the Cold War that began in the 1940s. The demonisation on each side will inevitably lead to a revival of McCarthyism, not only in the United States but of all its ally nations if it is not stopped at the inception.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
- Benjamin Franklin
The McCarthy Era was a dark period in US history when many top intellectuals, artists, researchers and military advisers left the US due to the targeting of Americans by Senator McCarthy in his “Red China” campaign of the 1950s. A pervasive fear within the American population led to a halt in academic research and technological development and instead there was a focus on a witch hunt that led to the mass exodus of many Americans into Europe.
Playwright Arthur Miller (far left) and actress Lucille Ball (far right) were iconic Americans who had become targets of Senator McCarthy's witch hunt in the 1950s. Using a motive to "weed out" communism, he instead launched a campaign against many Americans who spoke out to criticise the govt's actions.
The United States is currently in a precarious position, as a declining superpower that is faced with the rising, economic power of China. There is a strong possibility that the kind of protectionism that will lead to a New Cold War with China will not only alienate the US in many trade deals and agreements by forcing all of the US allies to choose China, but it will also revert the United States back into an antiquated manufacturing centre, where its greatest assets will not be its technological and research centres, but a nation that in the future, will be environmentally devastated by fracking, overrun with toxic superfund sites and poverty, and a place that only produces AI robots and mobile phones, whilst China becomes the energy leader in the world.
A still image from the film Blade Runner 2049 (dir: Denis Villeneuve) depicts a dystopian, devastated landscape of a future United States in which environmental waste is omnipresent and individual freedoms have been demolished, a potential consequence of a prolonged Cold War against China.
China has seen the future, and it has understood that energy diversification is the key to becoming the global leader. If the United States wants to move away from its bleak future of becoming a mere manufacturing centre for AI robots and mobile devices, then it must swiftly change its strategy from a New Cold War with China, and instead continue to compete with China on all levels in the economic, financial and infrastructure development arena.
Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River, China. The development of hydroelectric maglev power will be the key to attaining global dominance in the latter half of the 21st century. Photo by Wang Gang, People's Daily Online
Currently, China has a significant advantage over the US in its leadership role at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The AIIB is seen as a competitor to International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Due to the fact that all of US’ allies have joined the AIIB, minus Japan, it puts the US in a position of consequential disadvantage and alienates the US from its allies. By setting aside ego and looking onward towards the future with a rational mindset, it is clearly to the advantage of the US to take a leadership role in AIIB by surpassing China’s voting shares in the investment bank.
The Marshall Plan has many parallels with China's One Road One Belt Initiative. The Marshall Plan became key in popularising democracy and American influence in Europe, which would eventually lead to the fall of the Iron Curtain and end of communist influence. Photo by Everett Historical/ Shutterstock
“The policy of the United States is not directed against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the existence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.” -Secretary of State George C. Marshall, June 1947
The Marshall Plan or the European Economic Development Plan was the key factor in spreading democracy in Europe and overcoming communism, that would eventually lead to the fall of the Iron Curtain some 30 years later. China has implemented the One Road, One Belt Initiative modelled after the Marshall Plan because it has seen how infrastructure development in Europe was the key in winning the Cold War and attaining global influence after WWII. Contrary to popular belief, President Ronald Reagan was not responsible for the end of the Cold War, he only witnessed the result of decades of work in action, when the Marshall Plan had been first implemented in 1948 to rebuild Europe, this was the key decisive action that popularised democratic ideology and American influence in Europe over that of communism.
Hence, China currently has another advantage on the world stage, because they are presenting the plan that will ultimately lead to their domination, not only in politics and influence, but by building the transactional infrastructure to connect Asia with Africa and Europe in the One Road, One Belt Initiative.
Instead of seeing this plan as a threat to be stopped in its tracks, the US could take on this challenge and offer the world a better alternative: The Technology Road Initiative. Iconic American tech leaders could come together to dismantle the competition, building up anticipation for a global infrastructure plan that has a more pragmatic and realistic plan of action than the current excitement over Elon Musk’s desire to build a colony on Mars.
An American global infrastructure plan, the Technology Road Initiative, to launch trading routes connecting Asia, Africa and Europe could strengthen the United States’ position as the global economic leader into the latter 21st century. Photo by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
One advantage that the US has over China and many other nations is its inherent ability to market and promote an idea. The One Belt, One Road Plan will not be able to compete with a potential American Technology Road Initiative. Whereas many of China and Russia’s neighbours fear their presence in the possibility of their plans to annex surrounding nations through a power grab of land, the US has built a cult around the American Dream and has been the number one immigrant destination of the world since its inception in 1776. Whereas the People’s Republic of China has put ethnic people into concentration camps, and critics of their government have “disappeared” along with their human rights activists who end up dying in mysterious circumstances in government facilities, the US has long had a history of embracing “civil disobedience”.
“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is in prison...Anyone in a free society where the laws are unjust has an obligation to break the law.”- Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” 1849
“Civil disobedience”, when Henry David Thoreau first wrote his essay in 1849, would set a precedent for the kind of political philosophy in how the US embraces its own citizens: the individual need to prioritise one's conscience over the dictates of laws. Americans are well-known for criticising their own social institutions and policies, most prominently slavery and war profiteering, and that hasn’t changed much since the inception of the US as an independent nation in 1776.
But here, we also need to acknowledge the dark past of US history and its actions against Native American people, to our own citizens when after WWII, Americans of Japanese descent were unjustly put into concentration camps and also rectify prison camps such as Guantanamo Bay, which have also come into sharp focus under human rights abuses.
What differs from the US vs. China is that the US has not erased its history nor denied such wrongdoings, nor have prevented people from speaking out about it, but instead have fully admitted its mistakes, including the oversight of power that led to the Iraq War. In this way, critics of these practices after time, as part of its system of “civil disobedience” become the checks-and-balances when a system becomes corrupt. This is something that the People’s Republic of China inherently lacks. What will happen to China after Xi Jinping? Who will become his successor? The problems with an authoritarian government, and that which promotes a monoculture and oppression of other ideologies and religions, and that which also imprisons its critics will inevitably become corrupt over time.
Vladimir Lenin, the son of a serf, was a charismatic intellectual and revolutionary whose politics rebelled against a class system based on privileges of birthright, and fought for equality of man based on his actions. However, his ideology would only serve to later become hijacked by Josef Stalin, who took power and wielded totalitarian control over the population which led to the genocide of 20 million Russian citizens.
A nation without faith in its justice system, and without the checks-and-balances of a free press, will eventually be led down the blind path of corruption and cycle through uprisings and revolutions, until a similar or worse system of governance eventually replaces it. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin may have had the best of intentions in promoting equality amongst the feudal society they were subject to, but their best intentions did not construct a fail proof system of governance that would lead to these ideologies. Instead, men like Josef Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria would take power and instigate a paranoid and fearful climate of genocide that would lead to the execution of 20 million of their own citizens in gulags, a system far worse than the feudal society they had risen from.
“Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, only a barbaric one.” -Ai Weiwei
President Xi Jinping, whose own father was seized and beaten by the Chinese Communist Party must integrate a philosophy of embracing “civil disobedience” in order for China to gain acceptance and respect from its neighbours across the sea. The Chinese Dream is the collective hope for restoring China’s greatness and ancient origins in its literary and intellectual history. China does not need a world class military in order to achieve these ends; on the contrary, the development of a military will further lock the US and China into a prolonged New Cold War, which has negative long-term consequences for both nations.
A mass grave site at a Gulag labour camp in Katyn, Russia, 1943. 20 million people had died through starvation, torture and harsh labour conditions. This was far from the ideology espoused by Vladimir Lenin, however, ideologies can be hijacked and utilised by those whose power is unchecked. Photo by wikipedia commons.
If we examine the consequences of a New Cold War, President Xi Jinping has devoted much of his energy into domestic infrastructure plans, and the eradication of poverty. The refocus on building a military could potentially end those achievements, and instead has lead to increased global tensions, in which, after his successor takes over, China in 2060 could be very different from the one that exists now, when the Chinese Dream is alive and the potential revival of its ancient origins is about to take place. Instead, the Chinese Dream could be replaced with the dystopian society of Orwell’s 1984, when the expenditures of the military become the primary focus of the 3 superpower nations, who utilise propaganda and genocide as a means to keep people in perpetual poverty. Mr. Xi could be the idealistic Lenin of today, whose successor, a Stalin type figure, alters China into an unrecognisable China of the future, which has been lost to perpetual conflict and genocide of its own people.
Empress Cixi was largely disparaged by the communist government of China, however she was credited for modernising China during an era when technological innovations flourished. She also attempted to open China to welcome Western influence and encountered much resistance from the men of Manchu nobility who refused to give up their privileges.
When I think of China’s illustrious, magnificent history, I think about the Qing Dynasty, its era of technological innovation and openness towards Western culture under Empress Cixi.
A controversial figure of her era, Empress Cixi, had futilely worked to alter the old belief systems of the elitist men of Manchu nobility who had discriminated against the Han Chinese as she had foreseen those actions would only end up in uprising and would lead to the end of the great Chinese Imperial Empire. China, along with the UK, is the only nation that has had a long history of female rulers. Women such as Lu Zhi, Jia Nanfeng, Zhangsun, Wei and even the infamous Wu Zetian defined Chinese society and led the way towards innovation.
In contemporary China, I also think of iconic artists such as Ai Weiwei and Ren Hang. I think of entrepreneurs such as Jack Ma and Zhang Xin. Although the 18th and 19th centuries revealed many injustices in the previous empires, there is no doubt that Imperial China had been tolerant of ideologies and had an open philosophy of adoption which fueled many of its technological advances. Ancient Chinese history is filled with many colourful stories, its long history of Traditional Chinese Medicine, creativity and philosophy. Hence why it is to China’s advantage to continue to focus on the beauty and the art of the Chinese Dream, and not of its military ambitions.
Soft power, or cultural influence has no national borders when people are tolerant of those who are different from them. It is the oppression of these voices that lead to uprising and chaos. It is the lack of civil disobedience that leads to instability and revolution. It is the intolerance of those who are different from us that lead people into mass exodus. A New Cold War will ensure that both China and the United States will fall into a trap in which as Sun Tzu has wisely stated in the Art of War: no nation has ever benefited from a prolonged conflict.
Sun Tzu, the iconic Ancient Chinese writer, philosopher and military general whose book The Art of War has inspired many generations since.
The last Cold War lasted 50 years. This one could last 100 years. In that dark era of paranoia and hyper surveillance of the first Cold War, it was the ordinary citizen who had suffered. It was the ordinary people who lost their liberty, who had been unjustly targeted, who had been put into a position of powerlessness and people perpetually lived in a state of fear.
Although Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice saw China as an adversary, the simple truth is that China and the US are in a tightly-woven economic marriage, and in a marriage, each couple has different needs. It would be more advantageous for each nation to focus on the true enemy of the people: poverty and ignorance, rather than being in a prolonged propaganda, economic and military spending war for dominance in which the consequences could be as grim as the dystopian world in 1984.
In George Orwell's 1984, 3 Superstates are in a continual Cold War in which people have lost their liberty and individual freedoms and the majority of the population is living in perpetual poverty due to the Superstates' expenditures on their own military industrial complex. The United States + UK (Oceania) and Russia + annexed nations (Eurasian Union) and China + annexed nations (Eastasia) could have applications in a contemporary context as China has recently begun to escalate their military spending and the threat of a New Cold War looms.
A great nation cannot exist in a monoculture, and a great nation cannot be built on censorship of its own critics. Hence, although China is a growing economic superpower, it suffers from an inherent weakness in its adherence to a political philosophy that is at odds with contemporary liberalism. The US has been criticised to practice democracy at home but not abroad, and this is an area where the US could benefit from China’s influence in achieving power through the development of a global Technology Road Initiative that rivals the One Belt One Road Initiative. Both nations are in much need of marriage counseling, and prolonged divorce proceedings will only further work to damage both parties.
Therefore, it is necessary to move away from the Bush Era warhawks of looking at every nation as a potential threat and enemy, and for China to focus on its cultural, artistic and philosophical heritage instead of on its military presence, and the two nations could then begin the process to focus on the beneficial outcomes of partnership from an economic and cultural point of view and be united in its fight against the true plagues of our era: poverty and ignorance.
By Sierra Choi
Note: some images in this article may not be for sensitive viewers.
2020: The Great Impasse
2020 will be one of the most pivotal moments in US history, as currently, the global world is at an important crossroads.
The televised execution of Saddam Hussein in 2006 and the graphic video detailing Muammar Gaddafi's death in 2011 sent shockwaves around the world and has permanently damaged the United States' reputation as a humanitarian liberator. Despite protests against both the Iraq war and the Intervention against Libya, the United States followed a foreign policy that went against the wishes of the American people. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq and the US failed to utilise diplomacy in order to negotiate with the Libyan government in order to create a trading agreement of its oil resources.
The appalling foreign policy in which televised executions of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi became public have permanently damaged the United States’ credibility and reputation as a humanitarian liberator. Instead, due to these universally viewed horrific images, the global world has taken a perspective of the US as a cruel, autocratic regime, funded by war profiteers.
However, as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, under President Trump, is part of the first US Presidential administration in which no foreign interventions or wars have been launched since the Jimmy Carter era.
Click to see video: https://youtu.be/ht0rcKDPLVY?start=644&end=726
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his 2018 confirmation hearing. He says that, “War should always be the last resort..I intend to work to achieve the President’s policies with diplomacy rather than sending our young men and women to war.”
List of achievements under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo within the two years since he came into office:
In comparison, Susan Rice, who will most likely become Joe Biden’s Secretary of State has been part of past administrations in which multiple foreign interventions have taken place under her watch as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor and National Security Advisor (2014-2017) including the American led-intervention in Iraq 2.0 (2014), American-led intervention in Syria (2014), Yemeni Civil War (2015), and the Second Libyan Civil War (2015). In addition, her role in previous administrations as a diplomat to African nations created more friction and it has been said that her misjudgements in diplomacy led to the death of at least 100,000 people in Ethopia and Eritrea (2002) and 5.4 million Africans in the Second Congo War (2008).
One of the major criticisms of President Obama’s foreign policy measures may have been primarily due to his irrevocable trust in Susan Rice, his primary senior foreign policy advisor and national security advisor, whose actions from the outside could be interpreted as sabotaging his diplomatic efforts and supplanting his peaceful methods with warhawk ideologies.
The "interventionist" Susan Rice who was the key senior foreign policy and national security advisor who has been said to have undermined the Obama Administration's policy of foreign diplomacy with warhawk strategies. Photo by Reuters
In addition, after giving her full support of the Iraq War and who was quoted as saying that, “It's clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It's clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that's the path we're on.” to an NPR interview in 2002, she later attempted to recant her statements several years later when public fury was at a high, and even wrote a book attempting to erase her image as a warhawk. Despite numerous edits of her wikipedia page and inundation of paid op-pieces to paint her as a liberal peacelover, it remains to be seen if the American public will be convinced by her recent PR strategy in an attempt to appeal to socially liberal voters who are opposed to continual war profiteering in her bid as Secretary of State.
The Roman Empire’s Low Period As A Precursor for American Foreign Policy
Political corruption, foreign wars, and the collapse of the middle class led to the fall of the Roman Empire. The US, up until recently, had been following a similar path. Photo from moneycrashers.com
During the recent online Democratic National Convention (DNC), Presidential candidate Joe Biden gave a brilliant, emotive speech encompassing all of America’s values: that of decency, of fairness, of racial equality and unity during a time of hardship. Joe Biden, who has suffered numerous tragedies in his personal life, is the kind of survivor that most Americans can identify with. He is the kind of charismatic speaker with whom the American public resonates with. However, we must remember that the role of President is not alone in his administration and it is the advisors he surrounds himself that will ultimately matter. According to many insiders, Capitol Hill is a toxic environment in which even the most idealistic of politicians will eventually become jaded and corrupt when they are surrounded by people who routinely use bullying and forceful tactics and measures in order to make might, the right of law. Hence why it is necessary to reform the American government to prevent the further demise of the United States.
Measures that need to be taken to reform the US GOVT:
During the Low Period of the Roman Empire, which would eventually lead to its demise, it was crippled by debts, multiple ongoing wars in which its resources eventually became depleted, and the people in the Roman Empire began to suffer and lost motivation and hope under the weight of all the wars they were supporting. This should provide a lesson to the United States of America, as war profiteering by the 1% in Washington DC can no longer be tolerated.
In 2020, the American people have been hit with a coronavirus pandemic, flooding in major cities, raging fires, numerous shutdowns of major businesses and race politics. However important as these topics are, they cannot become red herrings to the current climate in which the United States is at an important impasse in its trajectory as a superpower. Will the US, become like Rome, and fall under the weight of all its foreign wars? Or will the US prevail under a new era of peaceful diplomacy?
Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, two major Democratic donors and supporters whose decades long systematic exploitation of young girls and women were overlooked by many Democrats, who were reported to be fully aware of their activities as they continued to reap awards and many political benefits. Photo by MEGA
Joe Biden is obviously a charismatic speaker but is he willing to overcome the toxic environment that is Capitol Hill and withdraw his support for the military contractors who would like to capitalise on racial division in order to continue to sell its warhawk strategy of foreign policy? It is also true that some Trump supporters may be unsavoury people, who may be homophobes, bigots and racists. It is also true that some of the major donors and supporters of the Democrats have been people like Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein, whose systematic exploitation of young women went on for decades in plain sight, of which many Democrats were fully aware but never bothered to help the most vulnerable in society despite words to the contrary in public.
The fractured United States. RCG illustration by Paula C. Rondeau
During an era in which we are at a great impasse, when there are many factions breaking the US apart, what we need is a person of action, to work within the administration, from behind the scenes, who does as he or she says, and does not merely seduce us with emotional rhetoric appealing to the masses.
By Sierra Choi
Rethinking Viruses: How Medical Institutions Can Integrate In-Situ Vaccinations During the Pandemic PART 3: WHAT ARE IN-SITU VACCINATIONS?
Last weekend, I saw a video posted by Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell, who is a board certified medical doctor in Brooklyn, New York. He was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 9 days, and he described his experience in which he observed that patients in ICU were suffering from some kind of "altitude sickness" after being put on mechanical ventilation.
https://youtu.be/k9GYTc53r2o Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell, after being placed in ICU for 9 days described his patients as suffering from a kind of "altitude sickness" after being put on mechanical ventilation.
What Dr. Kyle-Sidell is describing seems to be consistent with hypercapnia, which I wrote about in my previous article. Hypercapnia is a condition that is a serious side effect of mechanical ventilation as it puts an excess of carbon dioxide into the bloodstream and creates C02 toxicity. This toxicity resembles altitude sickness, and what scuba divers often get called “the bends”.
A common side effect of mechanical ventilation is hypercapnia, a condition in which too much carbon dioxide is present in the bloodstream and can resemble altitude sickness or "the bends" in scuba diving.
Typically the treatment for hypercapnia is hyperbaric oxygen therapy to disperse the carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. However, since hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers are expensive and most medical institutions in the United States, Europe and Asia do not have them, another alternative could be the addition of hydrogen to medical gas. Hydrogen would effectively disperse C02 and would prevent a buildup of it in the bloodstream.
Dr. Kyle-Sidell did not agree with the protocol in the ICU unit in the hospital he was at for utilising mechanical ventilators, and resigned as a consequence, and now back in the Emergency Room (ER) according to reports. One of the problematic features of widespread medical treatment is the lack of responsiveness when a doctor makes an observation that goes against the grain of conventional treatment. However, what Dr. Kyle-Sidell was a brave and honourable thing by publicly questioning conventional practices and by posting his observations online, we can fully understand the situation that might be possibly going on in current hospitals, not only in Brooklyn, but around the world.
Hypercapnia is a serious side effect that medical professionals should be made aware of if they are to put patients on mechanical ventilators. The solution of adding hydrogen to medical gas would most likely completely alleviate the potential side effects. In fact, previous research studies have drawn the conclusion that inhaling hydrogen gas stops ventilator related-lung injury.
LACTIC ACID BACTERIA AS AN IN-SITU VACCINATION
In-situ vaccinations are different from regular vaccinations. In-situ vaccinations are usually given after an infection has already taken place, and the vaccination occurs in vivo. In other words, after an infection, the in-situ vaccination targets the infection area and creates the cure through the body’s own immune system mechanisms. Typically in-situ vaccinations have been utilised in cancer treatments, but for the current pandemic, lactic acid bacteria as an in-situ vaccination could potentially have great therapeutic effects.
As I have previously written, lactic acid bacteria has been utilised by Korean researchers on more severe coronaviruses than COVID-19 rather successfully.
Bacteria is relatively cheaper and easier to manufacture than repurposing old anti-malaria drugs (e.g., hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine) that are a) catching dust b) distributors looking to benefit from the pandemic by using old drugs for a profit-motive and c) cause harmful side effects, such as multi-organ damage.
“Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are reported to be ideal candidates as live delivery vehicles for releasing therapeutic and prophylactic molecules directly at the oral, nasal, and genital mucosae and to be a realistic option for the treatment of human and animal diseases (Cano-Garrido et al., 2015; Piñero-Lambea et al., 2015; Wang et al., 2016). The safety status of the LAB, the ability of some strains to survive passage through the GIT (Vesa et al., 2000), and the capacity of some species (e.g., L. rhamnosus , Bifidobacterium animalis, and Lactobacillus plantarum) to remain viable in the GIT for a period of time render food-grade LAB ideal vehicles for delivering and even producing therapeutic molecules in situ at the GIT mucosa (Daniel et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2016). The absence of lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) in their cell walls (which is not the case in Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli ) is a further advantage, allowing them to be administered orally without the risk of endotoxic shock (Szatraj et al., 2017). In addition, the oral administration of therapeutic molecules via live recombinant LAB is a suitable alternative to invasive administration methods, for example, parenteral or subcutaneous injection, avoiding their potential side effects. Further, it circumvents the degradation of orally administered naked molecules in the digestive tract and ensures the production of the therapeutic protein at the GIT mucosa (Wang et al., 2016). Moreover, the in vivo synthesis of the therapeutic molecule reduces the dose required when compared to systemic or subcutaneous treatment (Steidler et al., 2000; Cano-Garrido et al., 2015).”
Nasally administered in-situ vaccination of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) would be ideal in cases of the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in which the areas of the lung and gastrointestinal tract are implicated.
It would also be cost-effective to produce, manufacture and distribute without any harmful side effects.
LESSONS FROM HOLLYWOOD AND CHINA
It was said during the SARS epidemic of 2002-2004 that China was able to suppress the advent of the epidemic via their treatment from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). For those who are not aware, Traditional Chinese Medicine is a practice that goes back over 10,000+ years, in which ingredients found in nature have been documented and observed to have certain effects on disease states.
During the SARS/ MERS epidemic, a treatment was used called Lian Hua Qing Wen which was given in a capsule.
Lian Hua Qing Wen consists of:
Forsythia suspensa, Ephedra sinica, Lonicera japonica, Isatis indigotica, Mentha haplocalyx, Dryopteris crassirhizoma, Rhodiola rosea, Gypsum Fibrosum, Pogostemon cablin, Rheum palmatum , Houttuynia cordata, Glycyrrhizae, uralensis, and Armeniaca sibirica
Mentha haplocalyx is part of the same mint family as peppermint, with similar therapeutic effects as an anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, etc.
Lian Hua Qing Wen was also studied in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to its ability to inhibit coronaviruses, it was the first new drug variety approved by China's National Drug Administration's rapid drug approval channel during SARS. It is also the first traditional Chinese medicine for China to enter FDA clinical research in the United States to treat influenza and China even provided 100K boxes of Lian Hua Qing Wen to hard-hit Italy.
https://youtu.be/4sYSyuuLk5g The 2011 film Contagion (dir: Steven Soderbergh) has resurfaced in popularity due to its similarities to the current pandemic.
In recent weeks, much has been spoken about the resurgence of a Hollywood film from 2011 called Contagion, which appears to follow a similar historical narrative to current times. In the film, an investigative reporter (Jude Law) discovers that a herbal remedy called forsythia was able to cure the pandemic, but which had not been widely mentioned in the commercial media.
Strangely enough, forsythia suspensa is one of the ingredients in Lian Hua Qing Wen. Forsythia suspensa is noted to have these effects:
“Forsythia is a plant. The fruit is used for medicine.
Forsythia is used for swelling of small air passages in the lung (bronchiolitis), tonsillitis, sore throat, fever, vomiting, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, pain and swelling (inflammation), and a severe skin rash with fever and vomiting caused by a bacterium (erysipelas).
Sometimes forsythia is given intravenously (by IV) in combination with other herbs for treating bronchiolitis.”
When Contagion had been written and produced it was said to be largely based on the SARS epidemic. However, much of the researched content also appears to have a similarity to current times, including the concepts of “social distancing” and shutdown of schools and universities and non-essential businesses. Whether that is coincidental or intentional remains to be seen.
THE UK PRIME MINISTER IN INTENSIVE CARE
It was reported recently that Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK was moved into intensive care within the last few days. Some of Mr. Johnson's highlights in the first few months of office were:
Would the herd immunity plan have worked? Currently, South Korea has not shut down any businesses and they have fallen in rising COVID-19 cases and China will be soon going back to business as usual, but it could be due to both these nations’ treatment of the disease and not merely their diagnostics that is different from Europe and the United States. According to anecdotal information, South Korea initially utilises a) intravenous vitamin C in their COVID-19 cases then a combination treatment with oxygen therapy that is not mechanical ventilation. It is uncertain whether this information is accurate or not or representative of all treatment cases in South Korea, however, China has reported that they will utilise a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in conjunction with commercial pharmaceuticals to treat the disease. The NHS team that is currently treating the UK Prime Minister for COVID-19 should consider the following alternative treatments, some of which have been successful in other nations:
SOME MORE THOUGHTS
All in all, implementing a traditional global vaccination programme might be long, arduous and extensive that might take millions, if not billions of dollars in research, in addition to the extended time it takes to produce such a successful vaccine. Another point to consider is that there is something referred to as “vaccine enhancement” in which could make the disease states worse for a vaccinated person:
“Studies have suggested that coronavirus vaccines carry the risk of what is known as vaccine enhancement, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine can actually make the disease worse when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus. The mechanism that causes that risk is not fully understood and is one of the stumbling blocks that has prevented the successful development of a coronavirus vaccine.”
An alternative to traditional vaccines is in-situ vaccinations potentially utilising lactic acid bacteria (LAB) through nasal administration targeting the specfic areas of infection which could become manufactured and implemented immediately; this would be cost-effective for global nations, in addition to lifting lockdown procedures and life would resume normally without fear of breaking govt regulations in social distancing and closing of non-essential businesses.
By Sierra Choi
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. If you feel sick, contact your local health professional. It is a part of lifelong learning to discuss ideas, examine research and engage in dialogue that can produce new theories in fast-moving sectors such as epigenetics, medicine, microbiology and virology. The only intention of this article is to begin a dialogue in order to re-examine old assumptions via discussion of ideas in a respectful way.
Rethinking Viruses: Enhancing Immunity and Longevity (PART TWO: IS THE TREATMENT WORSE THAN THE DISEASE?)
Last week, as worldwide counters or coronavirus quadrupled, President Trump declared an anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine along with the antibiotic, azithromycin as “game changers” in the treatment of what is known as the coronavirus COVID-19.
However, President Trump must remember that this was a limited study based on 6 patients with no long-term follow up and that many lobbyists in the healthcare sector are most likely keen to profit from the sales of malaria drugs. Certainly we’ve heard that phrase, throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and we must consider earlier cases in history when doctors often treated diseases with substances that ended up poisoning the patients. In the 18th and 19th centuries, doctors treated tuberculosis with mercury, often leading to mercury poisoning in which hundreds of thousands of patients died from what was called “consumption”. Consumption began as the common flu but which later turned into tuberculosis and took the lives of many well known writers and artists of the time including D.H. Lawrence, Emily and Anne Bronte, Jane Austen, Honoré de Balzac, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anton Chekov, Stephen Crane, John Keats, Katharine Mansfield, George Orwell, John Ruskin, Henry David Thoreau and other leading thinkers of their time.
Jane Austen (1775-1817). Many literary greats in the 19th and 20th centuries died from “consumption” or tuberculosis and the side effects from mercury poisoning which was the preferred treatment by doctors at the time.
During the Industrial Revolution, over pollution of streets acted as a constant source for outbreak and disease. A significant number of tuberculosis cases, in addition to other epidemics such as typhoid and cholera were eradicated after the introduction of water sanitisation in Europe and the United States in the 20th century. It has been widely studied that tuberculosis and intestinal parasites have a close relationship and helminths could also be a major contributor of tuberculosis. The intracellular parasite mycobacterium has been the most commonly implicated in tuberculosis and leprosy infections.
However, although tuberculosis had disappeared in the 21st century, according to the World Health Organisation, it is making a comeback and approximately 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis in 2018 alone.
One of these is not like the other. If you noticed that the "ebola virus" is radically different from the structure of viruses, you are most like correct. Ebola most resembles a parasite, something in between a helminth and a protozoa. It is unclear why scientists and researchers have labelled ebola a "virus" when it clearly resembles the structure of an intracellular parasite. Bacteriophages also are anatomically different from viruses, and feeds solely on bacteria and may be in a class of their own.
The use of anti-malarial drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics such as azithromycin were limited in use until previously due to documentation of its serious and toxic side effects, one of which is irreversible hearing loss and multi-organ damage.
See also how chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine cause vision, liver and heart damage.
Instead of promoting drugs with serious side effects as potentially “gamechanging” we must ask if there might be better and safer alternatives?
Malaria is caused by plasmodium parasites, and patients get them through bites from infected mosquitoes. However, despite the toxic side effects, if an anti-malarial drug was nominally effective in its treatment against COVID-19, then the question arises:
Could the cause of COVID-19 actually be an intracellular parasite?
If we examine all pandemics and epidemics that have occurred in history: cholera, typhoid, polio - all were attributed to a lack of clean water sources and infection occurred through water-borne intracellular parasites.
Black plague, which killed more than an estimated 25 million people from the 14th-17th centuries was particularly devastating in its scope and although historians often attributed the spread of the plague through rats, an investigation into the history of bioterrorism reveals that the Black Plague was most likely caused by amoeba present in drinking water and soil.
“The use of biological weapons has been reported as early as the sixth century B.C. when contamination of water supply with the fungus Claviceps purpurea (rye ergot) by the Assyrians had been reported. The hurling of the dead bodies of plague victims over the walls of the city of Kaffa by the Tartar army in 1346 and the spreading of smallpox via contaminated blankets by the British to the Native American population loyal to the French in 1767 are the most frequently cited episodes of poisoning . In the recent past, mycotoxins (fungal toxins) were reported to have been used in Afghanistan in the form of what is popularly known as ‘yellow rain’. The growth of religious cults and extremist political groups also increases the threat of bioterrorism today. The most significant biological attack in the United States (US) was the intentional contamination of restaurant salad bars with Salmonella by a religious cult in Oregon in 1984 .”
The use of mycotoxins in biological warfare is particularly alarming because currently toxic fungi is not monitored in our municipal drinking water. In the UK, fungi or mycotic toxins are not required to be monitored nor controlled in drinking water.
The European Union also does not monitor fungi in drinking water.
What is also interesting is that a study in 2018 revealed that mycobacterium to be present in the drinking water of residents in New York City. NYC’s drinking water is derived from reservoirs upstate that are part of the Catskill/Delaware Watersheds area, west of the Hudson River, and the Croton Watershed area east of the Hudson.
Let’s remember that mycobacterium is the intracellular parasite that causes tuberculosis and leprosy and which caused the deaths of millions of people (1 out of 7) in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Recently, US scientists have linked nations that have vaccinated against tuberculosis to have significantly less COVID-19 cases than nations that have not pursued TB vaccinations.
In fact, there seem to be a lot of similarities between tuberculosis and COVID-19 and currently tuberculosis vaccines are being trialed in COVID-19 cases.
It makes you wonder: Are Tuberculosis and COVID-19 the same disease with a different name?
As I have written previously in the role of viruses in the immune system, if viruses are a reactive element in immune system defense, does the presence of the intracellular parasite mycobacterium eventually lead to viruses being produced by the body to grapple with the infectious state?
Another prominent feature of the current treatment of COVID-19 is the use of ventilators. This was documented in early cases in China, and also in Italy and the United States. Mechanical ventilators are utilised to help patients breathe whose lungs are impacted from the current disease state, but they also have a significant side effect. The use of ventilators can often cause a condition called hypercapnia, in which there is too much carbon dioxide that develops in the bloodstream. This is problematic because this condition makes blood acidic - therefore, more susceptible to disease and leads to poor outcomes in treatment. Hypercapnia also causes headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and also complications such as seizures and loss of consciousness.
Because COVID-19 patients suffer from lung disease, and advanced stages of pneumonia, the condition itself could potentially interfere with C02 diffusion, which prevents the flow of blood or air into lungs, and causes carbon dioxide (C02) to build up in the body. In fact, in early documented mortalities of COVID-19 cases in China, patients were put on ventilators, but due to the C02 buildup in their bodies, some patients felt uncomfortable and were reported to take the ventilators off, in which doctors subsequently injected them with paralysis medication and sedatives. This also seems to be the method of treatment in the United States. For patients who already have impacted breathing functions, suffer from a lack of C02 diffusion, were these ventilators and paralysis medications necessary? In fact, NPR reported that the majority of coronavirus patients who are put on mechanical ventilators do not survive.
Mechanical ventilators can cause a condition called hypercapnia, where too much C02 builds up in the body. Patients treated for coronavirus in both China and the United States reportedly were also given paralysis medications and sedatives to keep them still during the use of mechanical ventilators.
These cases using ventilators often lead to mortality and we must ask:
Was the treatment for these patients worse than the disease?
Much of medicine, like science, philosophy and art, is investigative. However, in our current system of medical treatment, it is often prescriptive and not investigative. Medical education is dependent on memorisation of large amounts of information but tested through a series of multiple choice questions and answers. In real life however, the answer is often not within the multiple choices and requires critical thinking and investigation to examine outside the given parameters. That is why there is often a saying, Ask 3 doctors and you will get 3 different opinions. The education of doctors is often derived from learning through clinical practice, however, when deaths of patients occur, we do not examine the treatment itself which lead to their mortality, but shift the blame onto the disease itself.
A scene in an Italian hospital where coronavirus patients are being treated. Source: CBS. The patients' heads are tightly embedded within a makeshift plastic bubble structure that provide mechanical ventilation. We must ask if this was a necessary factor in treatment? Could the high rates of mortality in Italy and Spain illuminate the inefficiency of treatment and lack of high quality medical care?
If instead of ventilators which could cause hypercapnia, and requires patients to be constantly monitored of their C02 levels, a better alternative could be hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
HBOT delivers high pressure oxygen to patients and does not have the undesired side effect of hypercapnia. This seems like much more of a safer alternative than mechanical ventilation, although currently our health care systems do not have a steady warehouses of HBOT chambers, this is something our lawmakers could introduce so that every hospital has these available for patients who are in various stages of respiration failure.
At the face of this pandemic, our health care systems have shown a need to be vastly updated in terms of technology and preparedness, but that doesn’t mean that we should feel helpless whilst self-isolating at home.
The Power of Peppermint
Peppermint has a long history of medicinal use from ancient times. In research studies, peppermint extracts were shown to be more effective than commonly used anti-parasitics such as albendazole.
The method in which peppermint is able to do this is through some of its components such as menthol, menthyl acetate and mentithone which have therapeutic and synergistic effects. They act by dismantling an infectious agent from being able to propagate, leading to the microorganism’s death and prevent it from reproducing.
Peppermint is also anti-fungal. Peppermint was more effective than antifungals such as fluconazole and itraconazole in research studies.
Peppermint also has natural anti-viral activity. Peppermint has been shown to be effective on various “viral infections” although it is uncertain whether it is through the action against the virus itself, or through its anti-parasitic effects.
Peppermint extracts have been shown to be effective against above various viral diseases.
Peppermint also has radioprotective effects.
“The radioprotective activity of peppermint oil and aqueous extract has well been documented [192,193]. Kaushik et al. demonstrated the effectiveness of peppermint alcoholic extract against radiation induced morbidity and mortality using the optimum dose of 100 mg/kg for 3 consecutive days . Samarth and Coworkers suggested the antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities of leaf extract of peppermint are directly related to its mechanism of radiation protection . Several mechanisms such as antioxidant activity, immune response, and enhanced recovery of bone marrow have been suggested for chemoprevention and radioprotection of peppermint extracts .”
Peppermint = anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal. Peppermint is the powerhouse warrior against infectious microbial agents.
Beetroot: Key In Immunity and Longevity
Beetroot is one of those superpower foods that increases nitric oxide (NO) in your body. Increase in NO activates telomerase and delays endothelial cell senescence. This essentially means that beetroot enhances longevity. In addition, beetroot contains beta glucans which have been shown to have beneficial effects for brain health. Beta glucans also increase the mobilisation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from bone marrow into damaged tissues.
Beetroot is not only filled with nitrate rich substances but carotenoids and betalains which counter DNA damage and oxidative stress.
For enhanced immunity, beetroot increases white blood cells in the body, restored levels of red blood cells, and protects radiosensitive immune cells against ionising radiation.
“Beetroot not only stimulated cell proliferation, but also minimized DNA damage of splenocytes. Beetroot also repopulated S-phase cells and increased Ki-67 or c-Kit positive cells in bone marrow. Moreover, beetroot-treated mice showed notable boosting of differentiation of HSCs into burst-forming units-erythroid along with increased production of IL-3. Also, beetroot-treated mice displayed enhancement in the level of hematocrit and hemoglobin as well as the number of red blood cell in peripheral blood. Beetroot diet improved survival rate of lethally exposed mice with a dose reduction factor (DRF) of 1.1.”
There is a reason why athletes often utilise beetroot for increased performance.
Beetroot juice = enhanced longevity, enhanced athletic performance, immunoprotective, enhanced cardiovascular effects and beneficial for the brain. Beetroot is the ultimate superfood.
click to play https://youtu.be/F52Uq1p524U Beetroot Juice recipe. As a note: beetroot juice increases white blood cells in your blood. If you take a blood test after ingesting beetroot juice, it will show elevated levels of white blood cells and oftentimes, doctors associate elevated white blood cell levels with infection. However, the elevated levels will probably be due to the beetroot and not necessarily to infection. Beetroot juice also colours lactating mother's milk and may colour urine and stool in a reddish/brownish tone. These have no harmful effects.
Building a Healthy Microbiome with Fermented Foods: Kimchi
During the SARS outbreak in 2002-2004, South Korea was relatively not affected and many news agencies reported subsequently that it was due to a particular national dish that is consumed multiple times on the daily by its citizens: kimchi.
Kimchi is a spicy fermented vegetable side dish (usually cabbage, radish or spring onions) that are usually aged in clay pots or glass jars in which strains of bacteria begin to develop. These beneficial bacteria when ingested colonise the gut and develop a microbiome that helps fight against pathogens and enhances immunity. This could also be a possible explanation in how South Korea was able to flatten the curve on COVID-19 infections whilst the rest of the world continued to spike towards new highs.
“[Researchers at Korea Food Research Institute] said well-fermented kimchi with pH levels of 4.0-4.2 had the best results in tests, adding that steady consumption of the food over a long period of time boosted resistance to infection.”
click to play: https://youtu.be/XAyApmw00eo With the rise of remote work, social distancing and self-quarantine, it might be time to try out new kimchi recipes at home.
Another study showed that kimchi intake positively affected the formation of intestinal microbiota and shown to have symbiotic effects. Kimchi has been touted as anti-cancer, anti-oxidative, arterioscleortic, and has anti-obesity effects.
Other fermented foods include sauerkraut and kombucha. Dietary fibers in vegetables promote the growth of probiotic bacteria and the microorganisms found on the vegetables are key in kimchi fermentation, including lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Korean researchers at Ewha Woman’s University Medical Center also have recently discovered that lactic acid bacteria from sea buckthorn berry inhibited COVID-19.
click to play: https://youtu.be/nY6w3Rhz33Q In earlier studies, South Korean researchers found that pigs with coronaviruses that were injected with probiotics from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) all recovered within a week.
Although pharmaceutical lobbyists have promoted chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as possible treatments for COVID-19, with many test trials being set up around the world, we can see from previous epidemics that South Korean researchers and academics have extensively studied beneficial bacteria from lactic acid in successfully treating coronaviruses.
Side effects from chloroquine, hydroxycholoroquine and azithromycin are long and varied, including irreversible eye, hearing, heart, liver, multi-organ damage etc.
Side effects from probiotics from lactic acid = none. In fact, it might be to our collective benefit to eat more kimchi in addition to drinking more beetroot juice and peppermint tea for their immune boosting effects.
By Sierra Choi
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. If you feel sick, contact your local health professional. It is a part of lifelong learning to discuss ideas, examine research and engage in dialogue that can produce new theories in fast-moving sectors such as epigenetics, medicine, microbiology and virology. The only intention of this article is to begin a dialogue in order to re-examine old assumptions via discussion of ideas in a respectful way.
Over the coming months, every business is going to feel the impact of this next Black Swan Event. The duration and depth of the impact is one of the major uncertainties, and while some businesses may be able to capitalise, most will suffer. Two maxims are worth bearing in mind during this tumultuous period:
“To survive in the long-term – one must survive in the short-term”.
To be followed by the maxim which is perennially true: “Cash is King”.
Your Default Alive Cash Plan – Maintain Cash in – Slow Cash Out.
The economic impact of Covid-19 and its imminent effect on you:
2. Debt facilities will be reassessed
3. Consumer markets will polarise
Over the coming weeks, we will analyse other effects such as supply chain risks, labour supply shortages & currency volatility.
The cash-review process should be:
1: Priority analysis regarding the survivability of your company:
Review a worst-case cash scenario for the next 6 months:
Feed the above into a weekly cash model and run some sensitivities – this model does not need to be sophisticated in the first instance – a simple cash in/out weekly model will suffice.
2. Tips on cash conservation for your company:
1. Harvest and maintain cash receipts:
(a) Debtor book review – defaults here could be a contagion for any factoring arrangements in place. A debt default can have a ripple effect which can put your survival in jeopardy quickly. Get on top of it early and talk to those debtors you feel are default risks (certain industry sectors will be at more risk than others - smaller clients will be at more risk) – you cannot afford lack of payment – there are other things that can be done here to encourage payment which we can review again i.e. you may need to present better deals to collect.
(b) Maintain current customers – if you provide a service perceived as non-essential you will come under pressure. It is always cheaper to keep a client than win a new one and so now is the time to offer discounted renewals and other deals
(c) Winning new business – now is not the time to offer deals. Close any product lines which are loss-leading or burning cash and won’t turn positive in two months.
(d) Turn old inventory or any inventory into cash – even at a loss. Cash is more important than profits right now.
2. Conserve cash by delaying tax payments if needed –Government announcements relay a commitment to supporting businesses who are struggling with new plans in place for VAT and Income Tax. Contact HMRC and ask for “Time to Pay” We recommend taking advantage of this at the earliest opportunity.
3. Press for payment plans with larger suppliers who are likely to be able to better weather cash flow difficulties than you. As a trade, offer a longer-term contract or a price increase in six months for example.
4. Analyse all the services you buy in and decide which are Business Critical. You are now looking at your Variable Costs however you also have to look at what Fixed Costs can go variable such as moving permanent staff to cheaper contracts. Check what your contract terms and cancellation rights are - we also recommend exploring deferred or lower price options which you might be also offering as discussed in Point 1.
5. Staff – review contract/temporary staff and decide which are absolutely critical and whether a lower base can be used for a period; the duration of the contract can be increased as compensation. Decide which permanent staff are needed for minimum service delivery– companies have previously found innovative ways to reduce salary cost by requiring all employees (from CEO to Junior) to take unpaid leave at pre-agreed periods during the year or reducing workdays from 5 to 3. We are at the beginning of a period of uncharted territory and so we recommend close consultation with your employees to encourage collective buy-in.
6. Development projects with no positive impact on revenue in the next three months should be postponed or cancelled immediately. Investment priorities must be aligned with retaining or generating new revenues quickly - which will be difficult thus - cut.
7. Recruitment should be focused on roles that are essential to maintaining or building new business for the next three months i.e. not many.
8. Marketing spend must show a considerable return or be stopped immediately in the current environment with consumers spending less. Travel and other services, for example, will have little to no chance of return. If you run an eCommerce business, it may be a good time to press through and not cut back. Analysis of marketing return ratios should be carried out on a daily basis with a view to cutting.
9. Debt holidays for principal and interest should be taken wherever available and at the earliest opportunity. Whether you are using senior, mezzanine, venture debt, factoring or inventory financing, start all conversations early in order to have the best chance of restructuring. Expect all providers to pressure you towards your equity partners and use this as an opportunity to bring all parties to the table where the best deal is likely to be agreed. We strongly recommend not to leave this to the last minute.
10. Ask your bank for an extension if you have a current overdraft. They are unlikely to be in agreement however do not take this off the table.
11. MOST importantly we recommend you check with your current equity investors on their options for a bridge ASAP. We recommend using a system of convertibles structured to convert in an absolute time period between a predetermined floor and ceiling valuation, otherwise, you may be just delaying the pain. It is also worth highlighting that any investors will require your tightest ever weekly cash plan immediately.
3. Crucially businesses need to act now, however doing so with a cool head with a view that this will pass and not throw the baby out with the bathwater. This is going to be a tough time and tough decisions will be needed but this will pay dividends in the long run.
This is the first of several articles that the Whitelake Team will disseminate over the coming weeks, the next of which will summarise cur Governmental assistance schemes in place. If you would like to stay informed, please reach out directly or make a note in the comment section. We offer a free call for guidance to anyone who wishes where we can.
John Rowland, CEO/Managing Director White Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jamie Bowler, Associate Director (email@example.com)
If you need help on any of the above please contract us. We have executed on all these areas successfully. We are a team of ex-VCs who specialise in assisting PE/VC funds as Consultant CFOs with portfolio companies on cash management, restructuring, corporate finance & financial function management, controls and reporting.
A fear of the coronavirus has lead to massive cancellations of events all around the world. Schools and universities have been shut down and people are working remotely at home. "Social distancing" has become part of our daily lives in which people avoid human contact with others. This current pandemic state is primarily due to the fact that we widely accept the Germ Theory of Diseases. The Germ Theory of Diseases is basically a theory that says microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses are responsible for causing disease.
Louis Pasteur, a microbiologist in the 1800s postulated the Germ Theory of Diseases that we still accept widely in contemporary society nearly 200 years later. In the Germ Theory of diseases, microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses are responsible for disease states.
However, with recent advancements in medical research, we are learning that bacteria and viruses can actually prevent disease, and that a colony of bacteria is necessary for a well functioning immune system. Scientists and doctors are recognising that “good bacteria” are necessary for optimal health. When we have a microbiome of good bacteria, we are healthy.
Another widespread assumption is that there is “antibiotic resistance” in the population and that bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. If we consider how antibiotics work, when they destroy the microbiome of “good bacteria” this puts people more at risk for disease. These are considerations we must take into account to understand the complexity of how antibiotics disrupt our immune system.
However, in regards to the Germ Theory of Diseases, let’s put some of our assumptions on hold and investigate what viruses are and where they come from? Viruses are essentially protein coated strands of RNA or DNA; they have protein receptors to help them attach to cells. A viroid has no protein coat and transmits RNA into other cells. In repeated studies, plant viroids can only replicate in that specific type of plant and animal viruses can only replicate in the same species of animals. Cross-infection across species has not been observed, although hypothesized by some scientists. But generally, human viruses can only replicate in human cells.
So then we have to ask the following question:
Where do these viruses get this RNA and DNA from, and how is it that it is an exact match for human DNA so that it is able to insert itself into human cells and DNA and become part of our genome?
Internal anatomy of a virus. Inside each protein shell, has in its center DNA or RNA stands.
In the human body, when “foreign DNA” (such as from cows or birds or pigs) are entered into human DNA, it causes an inflammatory response. Foreign DNA cannot insert itself into our genome without gene editing (e.g. CRISPR). However, with certain types of viruses, they are able to seamlessly enter human cells, replicate and insert itself into our DNA, becoming part of our genome. It is extrapolated by geneticists that approximately 8% or more of our human genome are virally derived. In fact, we can trace back our human ancestors from similar viruses that they had attained throughout the centuries and track the movement of people across different geographies over time.
In the last decade, as epigenetics has become a significant sector of study, we are learning that we are only beginning to understand the role of viruses in human and animal evolution.
Right now, our understanding of viruses is at its infancy. Scientists are recognising that viruses might not be all that “bad”. In fact, some are suggesting that viruses have a role in the development of human immunity. “Endemic” viruses are viruses that are part of the human body and have a function in which scientists aren’t sure of. Annelloviruses are a type of virus which have been recently discovered in which scientists have theorised have some function in the development of immunity.
Research has also shown that the human immune system is activated by the presence of viruses, which leads to viral activation of the immune system.
"Virus and/or virus-infected cells can stimulate B lymphocytes to produce antibody (specific for viral antigens) Antibody neutralization is most effective when virus is present in large fluid spaces (e.g., serum) or on moist surfaces (e.g., the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts). IgG, IgM, and IgA have all been shown to exert antiviral activity. Antibody can neutralize virus by: 1) blocking virus-host cell interactions or 2) recognizing viral antigens on virus-infected cells which can lead to antibody-dependent cytotoxic cells (ADCC) or complement-mediated lysis. IgG antibodies are responsible for most antiviral activity in serum, while IgA is the most important antibody when viruses infect mucosal surfaces."
In other words, the presence of viruses activates the human immune system. T-cells or white blood cells proliferate and produce antibodies only when viruses are present. This is essentially how vaccines also “work”. Weakened viruses or modified viruses are used in a vector to be injected into animals, children or people in order to hopefully become inserted into the genome and to activate T-cells.
In addition, the discovery of a new type of virus called anellovirus has been found to be present in all humans, present among mucus membranes but apparently is not connected to any disease state, but has a preventative feature of respiratory disease in developing humans:
"Anelloviruses are major components of the virome, present in most, if not all, human beings, where they are acquired early in life and replicate persistently without causing apparent disease. We will discuss how modulation of innate and adaptive immune systems by Anelloviruses can influence the development of respiratory diseases in childhood and provide evidence for the use of Anelloviruses as useful and practical molecular markers to monitor inflammatory processes and immune system competence.
Although viruses have long been considered “bad news in a protein coat” (Medawar and Medawar, 1983), many novel viruses are found to replicate in healthy individuals...Many viruses that infect humans may even have a beneficial role (Phan et al., 2016)
Resident viruses influence the immune system helping it to develop properly, similarly to bacterial microbiome."
What if we put our current Germ Theory of Disease assumptions on hold and then ask the following question:
What if viruses are actually part of the process of the human immune system, and not the cause of disease?
Let’s say in our Modified Germ Theory, that the actual causes of disease are other microorganisms such as amoeba and parasites, toxins or chemicals, and certain types of fungi. Then, let’s say when the presence of these microorganisms or toxins are detected, our DNA activates viruses to locate the damaged or infected cells. The viruses that are then produced by our human body, inserts itself into the damaged cells and replicate, which activates T-cells/white blood cells by the presence of viral antibodies. The white blood cells then are able to recognise which are the damaged cells, leading to either destruction or autophagy (i.e., white blood cells “eat” or recycle damaged cells).
So in that analogy, if we were to utilise military warfare definitions: toxins, chemicals, types of amoeba, parasites are the “terrorists”, the viruses are the “secret agents” or messengers to locate the terrorist cells, and the white blood cells are the “Seal Team Six” that comes to destroy the cells or re-train them for our own recruitment purposes. If viruses are part of our immune system, then the viruses we produce are based on our own DNA and RNA processes, hence why viruses tend to mutate quickly because each of us, although we possess 99.9% of the same DNA, have that micro percentage of difference in which the viruses we produce are entirely specific to us. It could also explain why some vaccines fail to work in children, because the viruses might not be a close enough match to their DNA.
In the case of the coronavirus, specially COVID-19, in some Wuhan medical studies, it was reported in some documented cases that the infected individuals also had fungal pneumonia. In addition, researchers write: "No antiviral treatment for coronavirus infection has been proven to be effective."
In previous studies of aspiration pneumonia in respiratory intensive care at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, researchers wrote in 2015: "Aspiration pneumonia is more common in the old than in the young in RICU, with more complications, and prone to mix with the infection, the mortality is high. Treatment should lay stress on fungal infection. "
Exposure to black toxic mold releases mycotoxins into the air that may cause severe respiratory illnesses including fungal pneumonia and cause immunosuppression. Black toxic mold proliferates in places with low ventilation, lack of UV light exposure and humid conditions. Mycotoxins are labelled as neurotoxins by the US govt and labeled for use in bioterrorism and may cause healthy people to become ill within a short amount of time after exposure.
Let’s take our Modified Germ Theory and make the assumption that it is actually species of opportunistic fungal infections in the lungs that are responsible for the coronavirus disease state and COVID-19 is the virus that the body produces to locate infected cells. Fungal pneumonia is primarily spread through exposure to mycotoxins in contaminated food and water sources, and also fungal spores in agriculture in which people can breathe in. However fungus and mold are everywhere and it is repeated exposure that actually can cause fungal pneumonia - typically in areas of low air ventilation and wet conditions from buildings that can cause mold or fungi to grow within the walls.
Trichothecene mycotoxins produced by black toxic mold are neurotoxic. In repeated exposure, the mycotoxins produce pneumonia, organ damage and brain damage after repeated exposure, even in the healthiest patients. Mycotoxins in drinking water may cause healthy people to become sick and cause immunosuppression.
If we examine the prevalent architecture and buildings in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Florida, the areas where COVID-19 are most prevalent, this has typically been a rainy season in which wet conditions can affect old building structures, especially in areas such as northern Italy where much of the buildings are in disrepair and also in South Korea, where toxic black mold exposure is rampant as the prevalent architecture in South Korea is built upon concrete buildings with little air ventilation. The current climate of rain would create ideal conditions for fungi and mold to proliferate, therefore, COVID-19 would appear sporadically in geographies in which people are exposed to these moldy conditions, and not necessarily through exposure by human contact.
The CDC reported that in 2017 alone, approximately 500K people globally died from the common flu. Coronaviruses have been documented since the 1960s and symptomatic of common flu conditions. So far, COVID-19 mortalities have not yet reached the annual numbers of deaths by the common flu alone.
Could COVID-19 be a particular viral strain that could potentially be an immune system response to conditions of fungal pneumonia?
Mycotoxins from fungal spores could typically proliferate in old buildings, buildings without ventilation and also airplanes, where air is continually recycled. However some fungi are able to colonise drinking water distribution systems. Pathogenic fungi in drinking water can pose a health risk to consumers with daily contact with water that has been compromised. In history, we have learned that the fastest way to spread an epidemic is through the water supply.
In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that bats were responsible for transmission of the coronavirus as some have been hypothesizing since the coronavirus matches human DNA and specific to human DNA. If in the Modified Germ Theory, if indeed viruses are part of the human immune system and not the actual cause of disease, then every virus that is present in our bodies has been developed specifically to target a particular toxin or microorganism - such as opportunistic fungal and parasitic infections, in order to activate our immune system. We should think critically about these implications and not be prone to panic and shut down entire businesses and schools or force people into quarantine to perpetuate a fearmongering campaign based on old assumptions.
In history, during the Black Plague, Cholera and Typhoid Mary epidemics, these diseases became widespread and prevalent by lack of access to clean water.
Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio. Absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks.
Nurses in British hospitals at the turn of the century discovered that if a patient was continually given clean water, they would recover from the disease. Because typhoid caused diarrhea, it was dehydration that actually ended up leading to high rates of mortality. The human body is 60% water. Water regulates our body temperature, moves nutrients through our cells, keeps our mucous membranes moist and flushes waste from our bodies. Our lungs are 90 percent water, our brains are 70 percent water and our blood is more than 80 percent water. Simply put, we can't function without it. The human body needs clean water in order to maintain optimal health and immunity.
Typhoid Mary: Mary Mallon (1869-1938) was forcefully quarantined for life, for a total of 26 years due to doctors at the time thinking typhoid was a contagious disease with casual transmission features (i.e., able to be spread by close contact). It was later discovered by researchers some 50 years later that typhoid is a waterborne disease caused by the intracellular parasite: salmonella typhi.
Scientists are just beginning to understand the role of viruses in the human immune system and in human development and evolution. It could be that viruses are not the enemy that we once thought they were.
Our govts are telling us to wash our hands, which is generally good advice. We should also take care to think about our water sources, and if we are drinking clean water and not water that has been exposed to opportunistic fungi and other toxins. We should also consider our living environment and if we are breathing in air with lots of circulating ventilation and not closed up in moldy areas.
We should also make certain that we don’t isolate the elderly members of our population and give them the best care possible. Breathing in fresh air, access to clean water, regular exercise, eating clean foods, getting adequate sleep, nutrition and social interaction is what we all need to be healthy and well.
Most of all, during these uncertain times where pandemics often perpetuate fearmongering, we should be careful not to let our fears override our rationale.
By Sierra Choi
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. If you feel sick, contact your local health professional. It is a part of lifelong learning to discuss ideas, examine research and engage in dialogue that can produce new theories in fast-moving sectors such as epigenetics, genomics, medicine, microbiology and virology. The intention of this article is to open a dialogue in order to re-examine old assumptions via discussion of ideas in a respectful way.