The AntiVax MetaConspiracy
A modest proposal for connecting the dots

By Douglas Rushkoff. Published in Medium on 28 July 2021

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I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the misinformation campaigns driving vaccine refusal in America, and how to blunt or perhaps even “tweak” their impact. It’s hard, because a lot of it is just plain wacky. Many of the scenarios are compellingly dramatic, but don’t make logical sense. Still, if we put all these narratives in an even bigger conspiratorial context, we start to get some interesting possibilities.

We need to ask the meta-questions: who is being targeted by these stories and who stands to benefit if these people are sick or dead?

By themselves, the various conspiracies don’t make much sense.

Implausible Theory #1 Covid was created and released intentionally by a Chinese lab working in concert with Bill Gates and the global Deep State. The engineered virus, whose contagion may have been further amplified by 5G radiation, was merely a means of forcing everyone to receive Covid vaccines. These vaccines then contain nanobots and software that lets Bill Gates spy on us or influence our thoughts.

But why bother with vaccines if the virus could carry the nanobots all by itself? Plus, there are so many different companies making these vaccines, and using different technologies, it seems unlikely that Gates could have infiltrated all these companies and managed to get his nanobots into their solutions. Moreover, why bother putting them in Covid vaccines? Kids throughout America already get mandatory vaccines for polio and smallpox when they’re babies. Wouldn’t it be easier to put tracking nanobots in those vaccines?

And besides: most of us are already walking around with smart phones that can track and influence us better than any nanobot. Why inject people with surveillance technology against their will when they are more than happy to pay for the privilege?

Implausible Theory #2 The attack on Liberty. The government’s vaccine encouragement is just the first stage of the coming totalitarianism: the perpetual pandemic state. They are training us to surrender our liberties in the name of essentially communist values. Like stopping at a red light at night when no one else is there, or taking a national holiday for someone else’s religion or ethnicity, this is the slow incursion of Social Justice Warriors into our freedoms as Americans. Getting vaccines and wearing masks are a bit like doing one’s homework; we would have done it if our parents hadn’t nagged us about it. Now, it’s a form of acquiescence.

But that’s not really good logic, either. It’s not worth getting sick or even dying just to prevent some government-loving person from thinking he has won. If a tornado is coming, you go into the shelter even if the warning came from the government-funded National Weather Service. Somehow, we swallow our pride, and get out of the way of the floods and storms in spite of the fact that our government has made that suggestion.

Toward a MetaConspiracy As even conservative voices including Mitch McConnel, Steve Scalese, Kay Ivey, and Sean Hannity have begun to advise their followers to get the damn vaccine, it occurred to me that they’re caving in because they’ve finally come to realize that the political points scored for catering to vaccine resistance are more than outweighed by the loss of dependably red voters.

And that’s when it hit me: the ones who stand to benefit most from red-state targeted vaccine disinfo are Democrats. If Qanons are going to subscribe to a conspiracy theory anyway, the one we should be pushing is this: what if Nancy Pelosi is funding the vaccine disinfo in an effort to kill off red state voters?

Even if it’s not true, the question alone could save countless lives by creating a new way for patriots to resist the Deep State. Get vaccinated!

Even if it’s only to spite Pelosi and those conniving Dems. America would reach 90% vaccination by the end of the summer.

And who’s to say a Democrat strategist hasn’t, at the very least, had this thought? I’m not saying any of this is true, of course. I’m just asking questions.

Do the research.