H1N1 Conspiracy Theories

The following is a message i sent to someone with a nifty cool anti-imperialist blog, who back in 2009 was promoting Kevin Annett’s conspiracy theories about the H1N1 flu virus…


Comrade, i do appreciate your blog, but Annett’s declaration that the end is nigh leaves me feeling very uneasy.

Healthcare racism, and genocide, are real problems facing Indigenous people in canada and the united states today. However, Annett’s conspiratorial and catastrophist “analysis” does revolutionaries a disservice by producing far too much heat and far too little light.

Will North America be depopulated this Fall thanks to vaccines? Will “white people” finally shed our complicity in genocide when we ourselves are subjected to dictatorship and martial law (at the least!) or perhaps even extermination?

More importantly, as i’m trying to plan my Fall accordingly, will these Last Days occur in October or November? and where and when will the primitivists be holding their party to celebrate this new “empty” continent?

i don’t understand why Annett’s brand of bullshit is being given a hearing. As we experienced with HIV/AIDS, such fear-mongering conspiracy theories actually demobilize people from organizing against colonialism, and divert attention away from the less sensational everyday mechanisms of patriarchal and national oppression.

After all, if we’re just weeks away from the beginning of a new holocaust, that’s pretty daunting. And the exciting high that comes from such an engineered sense of crisis gives way to disorientation when the predictions do not come to pass.

i am not suggesting that H1N1 is not a real threat that could devastate particular communities. As i wrote a couple of months ago – shortly after my own husband was nearly killed by the virus – the flu will follow the contours of privilege and oppression (i.e. no general “we’re all in the same boat” extermination), not because the multinationals are in a conspiracy to use it this way, but just because that’s how capitalism works. It’s in it’s DNA, it doesn’t require some complicated master plan.

i do not know how safe the vaccine is. However, i seriously doubt it is a part of a plan to wipe anyone out – if that were the case the State would not be prioritizing having it made available to their cops and armed forces. While the science behind vaccines is not fool-proof, the arguments of the anti-vaccine movement have largely been disproven over the past century. For that reason, i am strongly encouraging my children to get vaccinated, and if i had not already contracted H1N1 this summer myself, i would be taking it too.

Indeed, i worry that Annett’s argument could itself be responsible for deaths amongst the most oppressed sections of North America, if it is used to convince people to not take the vaccine. This is tricky, because vaccines are not without some risk, and i certainly do not have a crystal ball, but on balance i fear it is more dangerous to not take it.

Sometimes the “radical” conspiracy theories are actually complicit with the very genocidal forces they claim to oppose.


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