Those with power have always manipulated reality and created ideologies defined as progress to justify systems of exploitation. Monarchs and religious authorities did this in the Middle Ages. Today this is done by the high priests of modernity—the technocrats, scholars, scientists, politicians, journalists and economists. They deform reality. They foster the myth of preordained inevitability and pure rationality. But such knowledge—which dominates our universities—is anti-thought. It precludes all alternatives. It is used to end discussion. It is designed to give to the forces of science or the free market or globalization a veneer of rational discourse, to persuade us to place our faith in these forces and trust our fate to them. These forces, the experts assure us, are as unalterable as nature. They will lead us forward. To question them is heresy. ~Chris Hedges
This is the final installment in Adriana Gamondes' ouevre. She looked into the future and here we are. living in a state of plague. Join us in wishing her well.
By Adriana Gamondes
Neoliberal Noir and the Globalized Junta
On April 28th, 2015, New York University law professor Mary Holland testified before the California Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to SB277, a bill that would remove all personal exemptions to vaccination—religious and philosophical— except medical for California’s school children.
On the issue of consent, Holland drew sharp parallels that angered Chairwoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara).
MARY HOLLAND: Without some measure of realistic choice—and I do not believe that medical exemptions or homeschooling present viable options for the majority who have resolute convictions against vaccination—this bill will be coercive. Parents will be vaccinating their children under duress, invalidating any notion of informed consent.
In employment, lack of consent is forced labor. In military service, it’s conscription. In contracts, it leads to invalid contracts. In intimate relations, it’s called rape. And in medical treatment, it’s battery.
SEN. JACKSON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a minute. Wait a second... Rape is a loaded word and as the Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I don’t take the use of the word lightly.
MARY HOLLAND: I don’t either.
Sen. Jackson chastised further on use of the rape analogy, then asked Holland to provide examples of Supreme Court or other rulings dealing specifically with the issue of informed consent and vaccination. It was some time before Holland could continue with her testimony, at which point she discussed the potential denial of public education that would result from instituting such a law, the fact that the laws already in place in all states ensured high vaccination rates as it is, then asked whether the state would criminalize dissent.
MARY HOLLAND: Furthermore, a problem with SB277 would be in its enforcement.
The parents here today are unlikely to comply with the vaccine schedule. They will either be forced—it would violate the covenant with their God or their conscience because, rightly or wrongly, they believe that they would be putting their children at risk of severe injury or death by vaccinating them.
How will you possibly enforce this with parents who won’t vaccinate and cannot, for economic or other reasons, home school?
Will you be willing to remove children and force-vaccinate them as wards of the state?
Will you be willing to throw non-vaccinating parents in prison?
And what happens if the state does vaccinate a child who is removed and that child is severely injured or dies?
What will the state do?
SEN. JACKSON: Where in this bill does it talk about throwing parents in prison?
MARY HOLLAND: No, but what will you do? The parents—many of the parents who are…
SEN. JACKSON: I’m sorry but there is nothing in this… I mean, there are enough concerns raised. To kind of push it to a level… Now we are talking about putting parents in prison…
Senator Jackson sputtered for several more minutes about Holland’s “inflammatory” suggestions, to which Holland replied, “But I don’t know what you will do.”
We don’t know but we can guess. To quote G.K. Chesterton, “If you let loose a law, it will do as a dog does. It will obey its own nature, not yours. Such sense as you have put into the law (or the dog) will be fulfilled. But you will not be able to fulfill a fragment of anything you have forgotten to put into it.” In other words, if 277 passes, children will be taken and parents will go to jail since there’s absolutely nothing in the bill that guards against this.
Senator Jackson’s objections to Mary Holland’s use of analogy and Orwellian rhetorical inquiry were transparent and Jackson’s reasons for demonstrating outrage didn’t make sense. Any “disservice” these references rendered was not to consumer advocates but to the bill’s sponsors and Jackson’s biased censorship.