The thought-work matters
In order to take power we must clearly articulate our vision and why it's better than the status quo
The medical freedom movement now produces heaps of content every week. But it strikes me that our movement is still what academics call, under-theorized. In order to produce a sea-change in society, we cannot simply critique — we must spell out our alternative vision and why it is better. This thought-work is so much more difficult than it appears because it involves articulating a metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology about the nature of the universe and how it functions.
I obviously do *not* have the answers either but in this article I’ll lay out a few ideas for where we might start the conversation. Re-reading it now, this list feels like a hodgepodge of different sorts of questions (that perhaps don’t belong together) but I feel like we have to start somewhere, so here goes.
First a couple of practical/tactical questions:
1. What is Pharma’s greatest vulnerability? Vaccines do not work as advertised and cause catastrophic harms. Okay, but that’s not exactly a vulnerability (at least it has not been so far). A vulnerability would be something like: ‘hundreds of federal judges have vaccine injured children and/or grandchildren, we know who they are, and they are looking for a test case to overturn the 1986 Act.’ Or, ‘the U.S. is facing economic collapse by 2025 because of the enormous costs of iatrogenic injury.’ If we can identify Pharma’s greatest vulnerability it will make the rest of our work easier.
2. What three things, if we did them consistently, would most effectively hasten the collapse of the Pharma regime? The movement talks a lot about ‘speak up, push back, resist.’ Yes, those are all good things, but I think we need to go much further. ‘Phone bank elected officials for 1 hour every Tuesday, protest every Wednesday, and pull your money out of Pharma stocks’ are tactics. We engage in lots of tactics too and yet it is not clear to me which are the most effective at this point?
Then a few big picture questions/issues:
3. What is our relationship with modernity? It seem to me that our movement is retro-romantic. We talk about going back to the old ways. We fantasize about going Amish without any real idea of what that means (I’m guilty of this). Some people in the movement indeed go off-grid but I don’t think that’s scalable to 8 billion people?
There’s a paradox here because vaccines are a completely outdated technology. Vaccines were first developed 225 years ago when blood letting was still state-of-the-art and they have not improved much since. As much as many of us hate modernity, the fact is that allopathic medicine is not actually very modern. Allopathic medicine generally relies upon a Newtonian and Mendelian understanding of the world even though both paradigms have long since been surpassed. Quantum mechanics is over 100 years old and yet allopathic medicine still has not incorporated it into their theories, methods, and practices. Modern physics looks more like spirituality than engineering (I mean that in a good way). And yet “modern” medicine has not had any real paradigm-shifting breakthroughs since RCTs and antibiotics in the 1940s.
It strikes me that there is an opportunity to out-modernize allopathic medicine — to point out how primitive “modern” medicine really is. Zach Bush and others who study the microbiome and virome are light years ahead of mainstream medicine in their understanding of biology and physiology. I think we need to affirm the wisdom of old ways while also figuring out new ways and not consigning modernity to the other side.
4. What’s our epistemology? How do we know when something is true? Believe mothers. That’s certainly better than Believe captured doctors or captured media. But it strikes me that they have MRI machines and we have what… muscle testing? I love alternative healers but I walk out the door whenever muscle testing is proposed (because it seems like hooey to me).
In my experience 90% of alternative medicine depends upon the placebo effect and 10% is genius and it’s nearly impossible ahead of time to figure out who is on target (that’s my experience with allopathic medicine too by the way). Again I think there is an opportunity here to transcend allopathic medicine but I’m not sure exactly how we do that. The fact is, allopathic medicine is not even following science anymore, it’s simply following profit, so to even return allopathic medicine to abiding by its own stated principles would be a huge victory.
I guess I’m trying to figure out — what’s our alternative to the Flexner Report? When I’ve put this query out on social media before, people I respect have answered along the lines of ‘let doctors be doctors, we want a massively decentralized system so that thousands of different methods can bloom.’ I think there is wisdom in that (it’s infinitely better than the centralized, captured, genocidal public health system that we have now). But I still think there are ways of knowing that guide our work that we have not clearly spelled out yet — that are better than the reductionism of allopathy.
5. Economic issues. It seems to me that one of the driving factors of the multiple health crises we are facing (chronic illness as well as the pandemic) is that society put the economic incentives in the wrong place. I think we should ban all intellectual property protections for prescription drugs and repeal the requirement for a doctor’s prescription for anything other than opioids. But what would be the consequences of that? How can we foster innovation and health better than the current system?
6. Political issues. The Progressive Era ushered in the regulatory state with institutions including the the FDA, CDC, NIH, USDA, etc. All of those institutions are now captured and working directly for industry and against the public interest. Should we reform those agencies, abolish those agencies, or replace them with something different (and if so, what sort of different agencies would take their place)?
Furthermore, when we take power, what do we have to do in order to prevent Pharma (and the chemical industry more broadly) from ever buying up our regulatory agencies and political system again?
Those my thoughts for now. In the comments, I’m eager to hear your replies to any of these questions/issues (reframing is welcome too of course). Also, what questions do you think we must sort out as we build our movement to end Pharma tyranny?