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Rockefeller Foundation, Nonprofits Spending Millions on Behavioral Psychology Research to ‘Nudge’ More People to Get COVID Vaccines

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | September 13, 2022

The Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundation (an “independent” agency of the U.S. government) and other nonprofits are pouring millions of dollars into a research initiative “to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and other recommended public health measures by countering mis- and disinformation.”

In conjunction with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Rockefeller Foundation last month announced $7.2 million in funding for the Mercury Project,  initially launched in November 2021, under the slogan, “Together, we can build a healthier information environment.”

The funds will support 12 teams of researchers in 17 countries who will conduct studies on “ambitious, applied social and behavioral science to combat the growing global threat posed by low COVID-19 vaccination rates and public health mis- and disinformation,” the Rockefeller Foundation said.

The Rockefeller Foundation and the SSRC claim the aim of the Mercury Project, whose name is derived from the ancient Roman god of messages and communication, is to bolster public health and safety.

However, some critics described the project as one based on “propaganda” aimed at “nudging” the unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

Creating ‘behavioral change’ by targeting schoolchildren and specific socio-economic groups

Behavioral change lies at the heart of the Mercury Project, which will issue three-year research grants to estimate “the causal impacts of mis- and disinformation on online and offline outcomes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” including “differential impacts across socio-demographic groups.”

The research will include “interventions that target the producers or the consumers of mis- and disinformation, or that increase confidence in reliable information.”

Some of the “interventions” proffered by the Rockefeller Foundation include “literacy training for secondary school students” to “help students identify COVID-19 vaccine misinformation,” “equipping trusted messengers with communication strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccination demand” and “using social networks to share tailored, community-developed messaging to increase COVID-19 vaccination demand.”

This information will, according to the Rockefeller Foundation, “provide evidence about what works — and doesn’t — in specific places and for specific groups to increase COVID-19 vaccination take-up.”

But according to ZeroHedge, the research groups funded by the Mercury Project “are operating with the intent to tailor vaccination narratives to fit different ethnic and political backgrounds, looking for the key to the gates of each cultural kingdom and convincing them to take the jab.”

The project uses “ambiguous language and mission statements” to at least partially conceal the project’s main purpose of “using behavioral psychology and mass psychology elements to understand the global resistance to the recent COVID compliance efforts,” ZeroHedge reported.

‘Fabricating effective COVID propaganda’ a ‘money train’ for behavioral researchers and psychologists

In November 2021, the Mercury Project received an initial $7.5 million in seed funding from entities including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to apply “the principles of large-scale, team-based science to the problem of vaccination demand” over a three-year period.

As of August 2022, these entities have funded the Mercury Project to the tune of $10.25 million.

In June, the project received $20 million from the National Science Foundation to study “interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccination demand and other positive health behaviors.”

The SSRC’s latest call for proposals, under the aegis of the Mercury Project, received nearly 200 submissions.

The accepted proposals come from researchers in countries including the U.S., Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, England, France, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, India, Malawi, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Spain, Rwanda and Tanzania.

U.S.-based researchers represent institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, MIT, New York University, Rutgers, St. Augustine University, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Southern California, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Vanderbilt and Yale.

The titles of some of the projects most recently funded by the Mercury Project include:

  • “A tough call: Impacts of mobile technology on Covid-19 (mis)information and protective behavior decision-making.”
  • “Boosting boosters at scale: A megastudy to increase vaccination at scale.”
  • “Building a better toolkit (for fighting misinformation): Large collaborative project to compare misinformation interventions.”
  • “Harnessing influencers to counter misinformation: Scalable solutions in the Global South.”
  • “Targeting health misinformation networks: Network-transforming interventions for reducing the spread of health misinformation online.”

Arguing in favor of the importance of the project’s research, Anna Harvey, president of the SSRC, stated:

“With COVID-19 prevalent and rapidly evolving everywhere, there is a pressing need to identify interventions with the potential to increase vaccination take-up.

“Vaccines are only effective if they become vaccinations; vaccines are a scientific marvel but their potential is unfulfilled if they are left on the shelf.”

Describing the Mercury Project’s grantees, Dr. Bruce Gellin, the Rockefeller Foundation’s chief of global public health strategy, said:

“This initial cohort’s ideas exemplify the creativity and vision behind the Mercury Project. They go far beyond quick fixes, with the goal of identifying robust, cost-effective, and meaningful solutions that can be widely adopted and scaled.

“We hope that more, better, and science-based knowledge about what we need to do will lead to increased uptake of reliable information — and serve as a powerful counter to the effects of misinformation and disinformation on vaccine demand.”

Heather Lanthorn, the Mercury Project’s program director, highlighted the importance of leveraging communication toward achieving public health objectives:

“The viral, vaccine, and information environments are all rapidly evolving–but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to make progress towards more effective and equitable responses.

“By funding projects on the ground around the world, this work will help us understand what works where, and why, and identify new ways to harness the power of connection and communication to advance public health goals.”

ZeroHedge, however, countered that behind all the rhetoric, the focus of the Mercury Project, is “propaganda, propaganda and propaganda,” and “the very basis of the existence of the Mercury Project presupposes that individuals cannot be trusted to make up their own minds about the information they are exposed to.”

The expectation is that individuals “must be molded to accept the mainstream narrative,” ZeroHedge said, while presupposing that “mainstream or establishment information is always trustworthy and unbiased.”

“Fabricating effective COVID propaganda is becoming a money train for the small groups of behavioral researchers and psychologists that jump onboard,” ZeroHedge added.

GAVI: 200 global ‘nudge units’ specialize in applying behavioral science to everyday life

The field of behavioral science — and a concept known as “nudging” — figured prominently during the years of the COVID-19 pandemic and were heavily utilized by governments and public health officials throughout the world to justify often stringent restrictions and countermeasures.

Nudging was defined in a bestselling 2008 book by economist Richard H. Thaler and legal scholar Cass R. Sunstein — “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” — as something that “alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.”

Thaler and Sunstein presented nudging as a technocratic solution for tricky policy issues involving a perceived need to encourage, in a “voluntary manner,” policies or measures that would otherwise be unpopular.

Their work drew from a 1974 paper by two Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, which, as explained by an article published by GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance, “pioneered the study of mental shortcuts that humans rely on to make decisions, known as heuristics.”

As previously reported by The Defender, the Rockefeller Foundation is also a partner and board member and donor to GAVI, alongside the WEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which hosted Event 201, which simulated the spread of a coronavirus just prior to the actual COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2010, the U.K. government established the Behavioural Insights Team, initially within the government’s Cabinet Office, before it was spun off as a private company in 2014. A year later, U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order to promote the utilization of behavioral science in federal policymaking.

According to GAVI, “globally, there are now more than 200 teams, or nudge units, that specialize in applying behavioral science to everyday life.”

COVID-19, and the response to it, was no exception. HRW Healthcare’s Tony Jiang described nudges as “a set of policy tools which utilize psychological insights to attempt to motivate people to adopt certain desired actions/behaviours, without having to enforce strict laws, bans, or punishments,” and as a means to “motivate people into making responsible decisions, while preserving individual liberty.”

According to Jiang, “at the beginning of the pandemic, to encourage COVID-safe behaviours, behavioural nudges were the preferred policy by governments in the UK, USA, and Australia.”

According to Jay Van Bavel, associate professor of psychology at New York University, “as COVID-19 infections grew exponentially in 2020, behavioral scientists wanted to help. Nudges presented a possible route to controlling the virus, particularly in the absence of vaccines and evidence-based treatments.”

Van Bavel, along with Sunstein and 40 other researchers, in 2020 published a paper in Nature presenting ways in which behavioral science and nudging could contribute to efforts to combat COVID-19, including through fostering increased trust in government and fighting “conspiracy theories.”

As explained by GAVI, “as scientists learned more about how the coronavirus spread … governments knew what they wanted their citizens to do, but they still had to think carefully about how to encourage people to change their behavior. That’s where nudges could help.”

This was evidenced, for instance, in a March 14, 2020, U.K. government document published approximately two weeks before the U.K. government imposed a nationwide lockdown.

The document presented the role that would be played by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies in advising the U.K. government’s response.

The document referenced the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic and the advice the advisory group received at the time from a subgroup known as the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour and Communications. This group was reconvened on Feb. 13, 2020, with an exclusive focus on behavioral psychology.

According to the document, the group was “asked to provide advice aimed at anticipating and helping people adhere to interventions that are recommended by medical or epidemiological experts,” concluding that the U.K. government should “provide clear and transparent reasons for the different strategies that might be taken.”

The group advised the U.K. government that “in order to increase confidence in, and adherence to, the interventions should provide clear and transparent reasons for the strategies that have and have not been selected … and conduct rapid research into how best to help people adhere to the recommendations” whilst suggesting “behaviours that reduce risk.”

Other studies in the 2020-2021 period also highlighted the potential role nudging and behavioral psychology could play in relation to COVID-19.

For instance, a 2021 study showed that sending text messages to patients before scheduled primary care visits increased flu vaccinations by 5%, while another 2021 study found that the same strategy boosted COVID-19 vaccination appointments by 6% and actual vaccinations by 3.6%.

Still another 2021 study, also published in Nature, found that “behavioural nudges increase COVID-19 vaccinations,” arguing that “overcoming vaccine hesitancy … requires effective communication strategies” and finding that “inducing feelings of ownership over vaccines” can help bring about an increase in vaccine uptake.

The National Science Foundation offered grants of $200,000 for research in this field, while the SSRC also issued a call for proposals, receiving 1,300 applications even though it had sufficient funding for only 62.

However, as the pandemic progressed and as vaccination figures eventually plateaued, the strategy of nudging began to be called into question.

Dena Gromet, executive director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, said nudging is effective only if individuals are already inclined to perform the action that they are being reminded or encouraged to perform.

Nudging, as a result, was supplanted by vaccine mandates.

Indeed, such “sterner measures” were advocated by Richard Thaler, one of the creators of the concept of nudging. In an August 2021 New York Times op-ed, Thaler called for stricter measures for the unvaccinated, including vaccine passports and isolation — measures which he described as “pushes and shoves” instead of nudges.

Two studies performed by researchers at King’s College London also cast doubt on the effectiveness of nudging to change behaviors and attitudes in relation to COVID-19.

Notably, the dedicated COVID-19 page on the website of the Behavioral Insights Team, which had played such a key role in advising the U.K. government on its COVID-19-related countermeasures early in the pandemic, has not featured a new posting since April 28, 2021.

However, some believe there still remains a role for nudging as the world enters a “new phase” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tony Jiang argued that “as mandates relax, a greater reliance on individual compliance is required if we are to prevent mass-outbreaks in the future.”

“This makes the role of nudges and behavioural science ever more crucial,” he said, suggesting that going forward, nudges can be utilized to encourage mask-wearing, vaccinations and boosters.

Jiang proffered suggestions such as personalized masks that “can be more fashionable,” and for vaccinations, the potential role of “defaults,” where “people are automatically enrolled to receive a booster and must deliberately cancel the scheduled appointment if they do not wish to receive it.”


Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is an independent journalist and researcher based in Athens, Greece.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

September 15, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 4 Comments

The Naked Absurdity of Global Public Health

BY DAVID BELL | BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | SEPTEMBER 14, 2022

“Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities.” ~ Voltaire.

Something is fundamentally wrong with global public health. More accurately, something is fundamentally wrong with the mindset of global health professionals, particularly those in positions of leadership. It has become normal to speak, repeat, and defend complete absurdity, as if illusions and fantasies are real. There are no sanctions for operating in this way – indeed it is proving highly successful. Statements of demonstrable stupidity are becoming prerequisites for career advancement and the approval of peers. It is like living within a fantasy, except those it kills are real.

The world at large struggles to understand that they could be fed falsehoods on this level. Most people still consider the experts quoted in the media to be credible, serious people. They believe that those leading the health professions would not habitually lie. For professionals to act like this, they would have to be deeply troubled, insecure people, or they would have to be quite malevolent. This does not fit the popular image of global health experts.

Beyond individuals, we now have entire institutions mocking reality. They lie to each other and the public, repeat these lies, and applaud each other for doing so. They can state obvious stupidity with impunity as a once critical media now sees its role as backing them unquestioningly, disseminating their pronouncements and suppressing any information to the contrary for a perceived public good. The emperor’s obvious nakedness has become proof that he is clothed. Acknowledging the evidence of one’s eyes as he parades his wares is tantamount to the crime of Galileo and must be treated accordingly.

The Opportunity of COVID-19

Over the last two years, the world’s premier health institutions pretended that humans were unlikely to develop effective clinical immunity in response to coronavirus infections, despite experience with the four common seasonal coronaviruses and the SARS-1 confirming that we do. Despite established understanding of mucosal immunity and T-cell function, the public were asked to believe that antibody titers against a single highly-variable pharmaceutically-induced protein were the only valid measure of effective immunity. The leaders and staff within these health organizations knew this was frankly silly, and that the evidence on COVID-19 was showing otherwise.

All these institutions knew that, in time, the relative effectiveness of post-infection immunity would become obvious to all. But this did not stop them from stating that vaccines were ‘the only way out of the pandemic,’ as if established fact, denigrating those who thought differently and ignoring the natural resolution of prior pandemics. Despite accumulating evidence that the obvious is indeed obvious, this position of fallacy still drives the COVAX global vaccination program. Current evidence that post-infection immunity is more effective than vaccination is of no value– truth simply does not matter to these people anymore.

In 2019, the term ‘genetic medicines’ referred to pharmaceuticals based on introduction of genetic material into a body for therapeutic purposes. It is standard industry terminology for mRNA formulations such as those that induce SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) spike protein production. In 2020, institutions that previously used this term for COVID-19 vaccines decided that continuing to do so would equate to promoting a ‘conspiracy theory’ – a particularly severe transgression. These mRNA medicines work by inserting synthetic genes into a person’s cells, using the host’s intracellular machinery to translate the genetic sequence into a foreign protein that is expressed by the cell. These cells are then recognized as foreign by the host’s immune system and killed. While this change to the definition of vaccine can be justified by the end result (an immune response), mRNA vaccines are indeed, as the pharmaceutical industry notes, genetic medicines.

It was considered necessary that the public consider such medicines to be indistinguishable from conventional vaccines that present proteins or other antigens to the immune system through an entirely different mechanism. The fallacy was formed to support the claim that if one type of vaccine was safe and effective, then the other must be.

The entire pharmaceutical industry knows this is an absurdity; mRNA injections may well be safe and effective, or they may not, but they are no more like injecting a protein or attenuated virus than riding a bicycle is to riding a train. If the department of transport told us that railways prove that bicycles are safe and effective, we would laugh. Except we wouldn’t anymore.

We would, apparently, signal our agreement because to identify differences between bicycles and trains would be evidence of incorrect thinking (misinformation, or a conspiracy theory). Similarly ‘incorrect’ thinking regarding COVID-19 has been characterized in the Journal of the American Medical Association, with a nod to Nazism, as a neurodegenerative disorder.

Tedros Perfects the Art

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the World Health Organization (WHO) he leads have perfected the art of mainstreaming the ridiculous through COVAX. With a budget several times higher than any prior international health program, it aims to vaccinate billions of already-immune people in age groups barely affected by COVID-19. WHO is aware that the vaccines do not significantly reduce spread, that post-infection immunity is effective, and that vaccinating people with post-infection immunity will provide minimal additional clinical benefit.

WHO promotes COVAX under the banner “No one is safe until all are safe.” WHO thus wants the public to believe that vaccinating an individual does not protect them until everyone else is vaccinated, whilst simultaneously believing, as WHO insists, that vaccination against COVID-19 is highly protective for all those who are vaccinated.

The complete incompatibility of these claims, together with the absurdity of claiming that a vaccine that does not stop transmission could protect others and ‘end the pandemic,’ does not matter. The writers and designers of WHO’s speeches and brochures know these opposing claims cannot simultaneously be true. They have found that stating absurdities is rewarded, and that if a young boy points to the emperor’s nakedness he can simply be denigrated and excluded, while the emperor swaggers on.

A Pox On Us All 

Tedros recently proclaimed monkeypox, a virus that had then killed 5 people globally, to be a public health emergency of international concern. His organization’s last such pronouncement contributed to an increase of about 45,000 added malaria child deaths in 2020, over 200,000 additional dead children in South Asia in the same year, rising tuberculosis, millions of girls forced into child marriage and sexual slavery, and the decimation of global education that will entrench future poverty for billions. Yet this man managed to concentrate the world on monkeypox, an outbreak of such tiny impact that annual mortality from bungee-jumping will likely be higher.

Whole countries followed his lead, global media ran headlines on how many people had this chicken pox-like disease, and the world pretended the emergency was real. Once this man would have been laughed out of office, but the world of 2022 considered this blatant absurdity normal and acceptable. It no longer expects or requires rational discourse from people in authority. Stupidity is expected and its dictates adopted.

The purpose of pointing out the above is not to single out the WHO. WHO’s fantasy statements are repeated and supported by its peer health organizations. Gavi (the vaccine alliance), CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), UNICEF (the UN agency that once concentrated on vaccinating children but now leads mass vaccination against a disease targeting the elderly) all apparently agree that ‘No one is safe until everyone is safe.’

This needs to be understood as an entire industrial culture – global health is a business and its primary role is to support itself. Its members know their pronouncements are false or illogical, but dishonesty has become an important tool to achieve their goals. It fuels income and expansion, and therefore must be good. Many private corporations would act similarly if advertising standards were not enforced. These international health agencies operate outside of national jurisdictions, and so have no enforceable standards. The media, once a check on such malfeasance and misgovernance, has ceased to value truth.

The COVID-19 event has opened the gate to a new era in public health, and the absurdity of the monkeypox ‘emergency’ is an example of what is coming. A pandemic industry that has formed around these agencies, now with the weight of the World Bank behind it, is asking us to believe that pandemics are becoming more frequent, and that the world’s diminishing wildlife poses an ever-increasing threat.

WHO’s own publications may tell us that pandemics have occurred just 5 times in 100 years, with overall reducing mortality, but this is of no consequence. Fantasy, when repeated sufficiently in a matter-of-fact manner, can displace objective reality as a driver of policy. The removal of employment, disruption of supply lines, increase in mass poverty and the economic wreckage of the COVID-19 response is used to justify a call for repetition of the same, more easily and more often, by the same people who orchestrated it.

Killing by Killing Truth

Most health professionals, given a few minutes to sit down and think this through, can see that something is wrong. However, it is hard to hold onto this reality if the lie opposing it is repeated widely and frequently, echoed by all one’s peers. People who understand infection control can still put on a mask at a restaurant door to remove it at a table just meters away. Humans are fully capable of living a lie, of embracing absurdity in life and work, just to get along. We now have an entire international industry fully reliant on acceptance of such absurdity for its survival. Despite the risks, it works.

COVID-19 showed us how willing many people are to join the harming and denigration of others to defend positions they know are illogical and untrue. To see one’s own profession indulging in such behavior is difficult to reconcile, when that profession is in some ways entrusted with the welfare of others. But we should not be surprised, we are all human and this promotion of global harm will continue as long as it reaps local rewards. People do not easily tire of wrong – they get accustomed to it.

This institutional self-delusion would be of little consequence, even humorous, if it only involved an emperor walking the streets of a children’s tale. But many of the children in this tale are now dead from malaria and malnutrition, millions of girls are enduring nightly rape and tens of millions denied education will spend their lives in poverty. They did not ask these people in Geneva, Washington, or Brussels to remove their food security, education and healthcare to ostensibly protect elderly elsewhere from COVID-19.

They are not asking for a growing pandemic bureaucracy to gorge itself whilst entrenching further inequality. Our response to this level of institutional dishonesty and absurdity must not be one of amusement but rather of disgust, and concern for what could happen next.

David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is the former Program Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland.

September 15, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran given roadmap for joining Russia and China in major bloc

Samizdat | September 15, 2022

Iran has signed a memorandum paving the way to transition from its current observer status to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The Middle-Eastern nation, which the US has long sought to undermine with diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions, made a formal step on Thursday to become the ninth member of the organization. Among the SCO’s heavyweights are Russia and China, two major powers that are on Washington’s list of geopolitical opponents.

The SCO was created in 2001 as an intragovernmental forum aimed at fostering trust and developing economic and humanitarian ties in Asia.

It currently has eight permanent members: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The last is currently hosting the annual summit of the leaders of the member states in the city of Samarkand.

Iran has been an SCO observer since 2005. Its delegation to the summit is headed by President Ebrahim Raisi, who met with senior Uzbek officials on Wednesday.

The memorandum, which spells the commitments that Tehran will undertake to become an SCO member, was signed by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming, the host country’s foreign ministry reported.

Yury Ushakov, a foreign affairs advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said earlier this week that Iran could qualify for being upgraded to full membership before next year’s SCO summit in India.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev touted this year’s event as a turning point for the organization. He cited the rapidly growing interest of nations in closer involvement with the SCO and said that it served as an example of how a “deep crisis of trust at the global level” can be overcome by parties willing to do so. He also stressed the scale of the group, which accounts for roughly half of the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP.

Belarus, also an SCO observer, is set to start the formal process for full membership this year. Egypt and Qatar formally joined the organization as dialogue partners on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia is scheduled to do the same, while Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Myanmar, and the Maldives are expected to begin their respective paths to receiving the same status.

September 15, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Half of Americans think US will lose superpower status within ten years

Many think “American democracy” is turning into a dictatorship

By Drago Bosnic | September 15, 2022

For over three decades, the United States of America has been chest-thumping about being the world’s “sole remaining superpower.” Some in the US establishment have even claimed that the US has become the world’s first “hyperpower.” And indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the Soviet dismantlement, the US-led political West seemed unbeatable, unilaterally starting wars across the globe, all under various pretexts such as “humanitarianism” and the much-touted “War on Terror.” The US and NATO used both of these excuses to invade dozens of other countries, be it former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, etc. The US military seemed unstoppable and able to overcome any opponent, oftentimes by using air power only, with minimal ground engagements, at least until it got bogged down, which in itself was very useful for the ever-profit-hungry Military Industrial Complex.

Although many in the US establishment seemed convinced this will be a perpetual state of affairs, luckily for the world, the last decade proved the power of the belligerent thalassocracy is waning. While the Pentagon could count on hundreds of thousands of battle-ready soldiers during most of the 1990s and early 2000s, in recent years, there has been a significant drop in young Americans’ interest to go die or get maimed for life in one of America’s many pointless invasions and general aggression against the world. Even though the Pentagon found other ways to continue with its imperialist belligerence, primarily through an exponential increase in the use of unmanned combat systems around the globe, indiscriminately targeting civilians under the ever-convenient pretext of the “War on Terror,” most Americans have become aware of the fact that the US power (albeit still significant) is fading away faster than anyone would’ve expected just a decade ago.

A new poll conducted by the YouGov/Economist is the latest proof of this public opinion shift. The project polled Americans about the probability of various “dire political scenarios“ and found that 50% of the US population considers that America will lose its global superpower status within a decade. The poll also found that nearly half (47%) of Americans think that a “total economic collapse“ is inevitable.

“Among 15 potential future scenarios involving instability or political violence, the one that most Americans consider likely in the next decade is that the U.S. ceases to be a global superpower (50% say this), followed by a total collapse of the U.S. economy (47%). Each of the 15 dire scenarios is considered somewhat or very likely in the next decade by at least 20% of Americans. […] 37% of Americans say [a civil war] is at least somewhat likely to occur,“ the YouGov poll found.

The most surprising aspect of the poll must be the staggering nearly 40% of US citizens who consider civil war “at least somewhat likely.“ With a population of approximately 330 million people and being among the world’s most armed nations, such a prospect seems rather terrifying. However, it’s hardly surprising, especially given the sheer level of polarization of the US society, regardless if it’s based on race, religion, sex/gender, identity, ideology or any other parameter which the parties and various interest groups in the US are trying to exploit and use for political, financial and power gain.

“[…] After an end to the U.S.’s global-superpower status and economic collapse, the next scenario is that the U.S. will cease to be a democracy (39%). Democrats believe the U.S. will become a fascist dictatorship (31%), while Republicans think it will be a communist one (21%). Two-thirds of Republicans (65%) believe that total economic collapse is at least somewhat likely, compared to only 38% of Democrats. Around half of Republicans (48%) say it’s likely that the government will confiscate citizens’ firearms; only 17% of Democrats say this. Republicans are also more likely than Democrats to believe there will be a total breakdown of law and order (49% vs. 31%),“ according to the poll.

Although it’s expected to see a larger number of Republicans being more pessimistic about the country’s future under a Democrat president and government, the percentage of Democrats who aren’t particularly optimistic is quite telling. It’s more than clear that many DNC voters themselves are unsatisfied with the policies of the current US government.

“[…] In terms of the possibility of a civil war, Republicans are likelier to believe there will be one between members of each party (45% vs. 35%) or between people from red and blue states (36% vs. 30%). Democrats are slightly more likely to believe there will be a war between the poor and rich (37% vs. 25%) or between cities and rural areas (23% vs. 20%). Democrats and Republicans are equally likely (31%) to expect a civil war between racial groups,“ the poll concluded.

Although the opinions vary significantly based on the ideological/party background, the very fact so many Americans think the US is turning into a dictatorship and that a civil war is a likely scenario speaks volumes of the unflattering state of the much-touted “American democracy” which has often been used as yet another pretext for America’s war against the world.

Drago Bosnic independent geopolitical and military analyst.

September 15, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism | , | 1 Comment