The catchphrase “conspiracy theory” was used even before the Corona times. But now it has as the only free exit. For the charge of “conspiracy theory” there is no curfew, no lockdown.
On the contrary: In Corona times, you can easily divide the world and its measurement in half. The first is the official opinion. The second half includes everyone who criticizes the Corona policy and especially the corona measures. Although the motives, the scope and the political self-location are very different and diverse, they are almost compulsively put into the community cell of “lateral thinkers”, “swurblers” and “Aluhut bearers”.
What do you want to say in this context when you denounce criticism as a conspiracy theory? You want exactly what you assume the" conspiracy theorists": you do not want to justify, you do not want to argue, you do not want to face the debate. How easy would it be to let the critics have their say in public, to set up panels in which proponents and critics have their say in equal parts? Why not do just that?
Instead, practiced reflexes and association chains are retrieved. Thus, the criticism is assumed to see quite different powers at work than all those who are now all concerned about our health. So if you say, for example, that the DAX counts more than an incidence value, then you are no longer describing an economic order, but a wacky conspiracy narrative.
If you contradict the well-groomed protective narrative that the corona measures would serve the vulnerable (the elderly, the risk groups, etc.), then you do not describe an everyday reality that you can observe and complain about in retirement homes to this day, but … suffers from conspiracy fantasies.
By and large, it is about the refusal that the corona policy puts people, our health, at the center of political action. Those who refuse to do so are spreading conspiracy theories.
First example: # allesdichtmachen
Until April 2021, the world was still in order. The vast majority have embraced the third wave like a biblical divination. They followed everything, even the greatest bullshit. Those who did not accept this have been denounced and ostracized as conspiracy theorists. And a part of the population that cannot be clearly quantified can hardly stand the silence, their own participation.
Then, as if out of nowhere, more than 50 video clips appeared, conceived and shot by actresses and actors. Many of them you liked to see, you appreciated them very much – in great roles, as a character actor – until then.
The special thing about the clips is that they do not criticize the corona measures at all, but show in many facets that it is now important to join in, to put another twist on it, with the mantra on their lips: everyone wants only our best, our government, our pharmaceutical industry and all the captains of economy and democracy who are there for us around the clock.
The clips show us even more: it’s not just about following measures and regulations. It’s about becoming part of the government yourself, internalizing it, inspiring yourself and others to do even better. Previously, the “German Michel” was considered a symbol of the spirit of submission. Today it stands for co-governance, for self-optimization, for an absolutely self-confident, tough participation.
The brilliant actors have shown this spirit change in all its depth, at a very high level. How beautifully the actor Jörg Bundschuh summed it up:
“Support the Corona measures – with and without reason.”
Or the actress Nadja Uhl:
“Hello I’m Nadja Uhl. I am an actress and thanks to Corona I have learned to remain silent.”
The actor Volker Bruch is also a force when he lets us know with his eternally sad eyes:
“It is so important that we all have enough fear. Stay healthy. And hold on to your fear.”
And that this is not all, that we are still too much more ready, the actress Kathrin Osterode has shown us. She wants to comply with the Corona rules, she also wants to integrate them into her family life. She is, you can feel immediately, an open-minded, very cool mother:
“For many, the virus is abstract. But for children it is very special. But to ensure that my children also behave responsibly, we have introduced the incidence rule at home. Every morning we write the valid incidence value on this board to make the whole thing tangible and tangible for the children. And that is why this value (she now turns on the light of this display board) also has very concrete effects on what we as a family are allowed and not. From a value of 100, for example, there is immediately television and Internet ban. From a value of 80 there are only no sweets and only once a day out. (…) And if at some point there is a 30, then – that is firmly promised – then we all go on a bike tour together. So. And so that this is also possible, there is just from a value of 150 no dinner. From a value of 200 isolation in your own room and from a value of 250, the first child will be given up for adoption. From a value of 300 then the second. (The all-sacrificing mother takes a short break) Please, please help me to keep my children.”
The clips, the action of the most popular and well-known actresses and actors struck and reached an audience of millions. Then the empire and the court struck back:
It hailed accusations: # allesdichtmachen is an act of spoiled millionaires who “enrich themselves” at the expense of the dead, they would mock and/or deny the victims of the corona pandemic. They are just hideous and antisocial. It is high time to stop letting her act for us.
The actors almost never got their say. They were not asked what they wanted to do with it, they were not invited to discuss it. They were judged in absentia. Everything together had an effect. Almost 20 of the actors involved in the action withdrew their video clips.
After decimating the defendants by half, the second phase was started. A public-private investigation a la McCarthy. The charge was:
The actors involved in this may be nice and naive. But they are puppets in a big game that pursues very secret and insidious goals. So it is important to find masterminds, backers and secret powers who play their evil game behind the staid mask of humanity. Teams were put together, they were stamped out of the ground, as in the Berlin “Tagesspiegel”, and had them researched for line and thread.
Der Tagesspiegel and the good guys got what they ordered:
#allesdichtmachen is the work of a particularly mean mastermind. If you look behind the scenes like the brave Tagesspiegel researchers, then you can deliver the head of this perfidious campaign:
Dietrich Brüggemann. Known as a director, winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlinale 2014. Now exposed as a" leading role " in this work.
But one head alone is not enough. Behind it is an entire organization, with very evil intentions, which one now pulls to light and does not fear any risk: “lateral thinkers”, not quite, but as good as. Let’s call it an “anti-democratic network.” That’s enough.
The case is cleared up: the idea of the actors may have been well-intentioned. But they have been used, like dolls in a puppet show. Now they have gambled away the last sympathies.
As soon as the scandal was spread in all media, the denial came. The “Tagesspiegel” had to admit publicly that its mastermind network story is not true:
“The Tagesspiegel dealt in several articles with the backgrounds of the video action # allesdichtmachen of more than 50 actresses and actors. In one text, the authors pursued references to an' anti-democratic network' as the starting point of the recordings; this turned out to be inappropriate in retrospect.”
This retreat is not due to an indignant public, to a journalistic fact-check, to a demonstration that has taken to the streets against this disdain. The retreat is rather due to the “mastermind”, Dietrich Brüggemann, who did not duck away, but forced the “Tagesspiegel” to do what Dietrich Brüggemann was denied with intent and intention: a statement as the person concerned.
Nevertheless, this campaign has achieved its goal: the dispute over the content of the clips has completely disappeared in the stream of denunciations. Most actors will think ten times about getting involved politically next time. And the neutral viewers have learned that it is better to stay out – and participate.
What remains is a wonderfully spread-out example of the fact that those who so much and so fervently rail against “conspiracy theories” make the best use of this very denunciation tool. They are the true masters in this profession.
What remains is the forced statement by Dietrich Brüggemann in the “Tagesspiegel”. A valuable document for the fact that those who shout the loudest “conspiracy theory” are themselves those who put such into the world, literally assemble from nothing to silence the criticism of the Corona policy and the many professional contributors (including the “Tagesspiegel”).
But it is also a document that those who everywhere warn against fake news and call for censorship are the professionals in fake news – and want to remain so.
2. Example: The accusation that one wants to enforce an (indirect) vaccination obligation is a perfidious example of a conspiracy narrative
A year ago, the accusation of (explicit/implicit) compulsory vaccination was a sure feature of a “conspiracy theory”. Anyone who claims such a thing spreads panic, sucks something out of his fingers and tries to discredit an impeccable cause. Just one year later, the proof of vaccination is barrier-free access to fundamental rights.
Many can certainly still remember that the accusation that all the corona measures amounted to an (explicit/implicit) vaccination obligation was rejected as an egregious and infamous insinuation. Those who feared this or had warned against it were extrajudicially accused as conspiracy theorists, i.e. convicted.
At the same time, high-ranking witnesses appeared, who affirmed and conjured that there was no obligation to vaccinate, that everything was entirely voluntary and that no one even remotely thought of anything else. Anyone who nevertheless warns against a" two-class system " (vaccinated/unvaccinated), runs the business of fear.
Niemand wird in Deutschland gegen seinen Willen geimpft. Auch die Behauptung, dass diejenigen, die sich nicht impfen lassen, ihre Grundrechte verlieren, ist absurd & bösartig. Lassen Sie uns Falschnachrichten & Verschwörungstheorien gemeinsam entgegentreten. (SK) #Impfzwang pic.twitter.com/yNhcnHCBrR— Michael Kretschmer (@MPKretschmer) May 5, 2020
Since the “vaccination campaign” has gained momentum, those who considered the vaccination charge to be infamous have been calmly and broadly debating how to privilege those who have been vaccinated. It must now be a question of restoring the fundamental rights of those who have been vaccinated. This is owed to them for reasons of justice.
“Suddenly it had to be quick. On Thursday (6 May 2021), the Bundestag approved the withdrawal of corona restrictions for fully vaccinated and recovered people, followed by the Bundesrat on Friday. In future, they will no longer be counted at private meetings. The night exit restrictions also do not apply to you.
Fully vaccinated, that is, within the meaning of the regulation that enters into force this weekend, that ‘at least 14 days have passed since the last single vaccination required’. On Sunday, this affects almost six million people ( … ) The speed and unity with which the special rights for vaccinated were decided was astonishing – the very term ‘special rights for vaccinated’ provoked fierce opposition from many. In a constitutional state, it must be clear that restrictions are only possible with good reason to protect the lives and health of others, said Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht. ‘As soon as this reason ceases to exist, it must be equally clear that this restriction must no longer take place.'” (n-tv.de of 8 May 2021)
This means, if you are only halfway on the ground of the Constitution, that fundamental rights will now be linked to (pre-)benefits. Who knows that one does not deserve fundamental rights, but that one has them, that they are not a privilege, but are due to everyone without preconditions, does not act in a caring way, but in an anti-constitutional way.
Now a central constitutional principle is being publicly turned upside down and vaccination is being pinned down as a right of access to or return of fundamental rights.
The well-timed statement of the Chancellor’s Office Minister Helge Braun on 25 July 2021 makes clear how creeping and safe one charges from the vaccination offer to the (moral) vaccination obligation:
“Vaccinated will definitely have more freedom than unvaccinated.”
3. Example: If the accusation that “conspiracy theories” are unscientific is like a self-shot
For conspiracy theories or narratives, it is particularly striking that they are unscientific. They would not face the (scientific) facts, elude any substantive debate and are inaccessible to arguments. Instead of meeting scientific standards and disseminating evidence-based knowledge, they would rely on affects rather than scientific knowledge.
The following example shows that especially those who work with this verdict elude any substantive discussion, on the grounds that everything else is conspiracy theories, i.e. out of the question.
Occasionally you get a public performance of it. In this case it is the talk show of Markus Lanz. The topic is the desired vaccination of adolescents from 12 years. What was never discussed before, certainly not in the scientific field, should now be accepted by the media on all government-related channels. The reason is quite simple and worrying: children and young people should be protected. As a side note, it is added that everyone would contribute something to the fight against the pandemic, just everyone. He who does not follow this is a “danger”.
At “Lanz” on June 15, 2021, this should be discussed with invited guests. It was about the new, last stage of the vaccination campaign, this time for adolescents from 12 years.
The head of the Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko), Prof. Dr. Thomas Mertens, was also invited. He calmly explained why Stiko had to reject a corresponding recommendation. There would be no studies to prove that this age group posed a danger:
“It has become very clear that the Covid-19 disease burden does not play a significant role for the children of this age group we are talking about.”
There are also no useful data on the famous Long Covid syndrome in the worldwide literature. He was then smugly attacked by the SPD leader Walter-Borjans. He has a role model function! He must know, when he says something like that on TV, that this has (harmful) effects on the vaccination campaign. Dr. Mertens remained very calm and focused on the matter: He had learned to work evidence-based for decades, why should he refrain from doing so now? Just because it doesn’t fit right now? Incidentally, StiKo is not there to consider as scientific what fits politics into the stuff. The SPD leader frowned and remained silent. For this Lanz continued once again:
“Finally, Lanz wanted to know from the virologist whether he would have his grandchildren vaccinated. ‘No, I wouldn’t have healthy children vaccinated right now, ‘explained Mertens, indirectly rebuking the moderator: It is’ grotesque ' to assume that he, as a grandfather, represents a different view that does not coincide with previous scientific findings.” (focus.de of 16.7.2021)
A really striking example of the fact that the vaccination campaign for young people is not a scientifically justifiable measure. Instead, they are replaced by insinuations and urgent “recommendations” to “rethink"the previous attitude.
There will certainly be the justified objection that a few small scientific dropouts do not discredit all corona measures. After all, with a deadly disease, you always move on shaky terrain – otherwise it would not be a fatal disease. This is true-but in both directions: if there is no scientific magic potion against this virus, then criticism of individual measures is not unscientific, but an elementary component of scientific approach, which develops and tests different working theories, different “therapies”, as long as there is no clear favorite.
This would mean very simply and very clearly that instead of denunciations, open discussions would have to take place where the pros and cons can and must be disputed. Why is the (non-)parliamentary left not campaigning for this? Why doesn’t she organize this?
Exactly the opposite is being done – not only on the government side, but also by parts of the left. In doing so, both seem to agree that they act science-based, while the critics primarily arrange hocus-pocus.
Already here a shift becomes visible, which is tacitly accepted, which is thoughtlessly accepted and thus throws a left-wing matter of course into the dustbin: Anyone who argues with “science”, who claims that this and that is scientifically evident (i.e. undisputed), follows a narrative of domination and least of all the reality of scientific apparatuses that work and produce results neither neutrally nor independently of domination interests.
So if parts of the left resolve the current conflict over the corona measures into scientific and unscientific, then they have not marked the dividing line, but the task of essential left science criticism.