International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East, the Balkans and around the world. Prof. Dr. Anis H. Bajrektarevic is professor in international law and global political studies, based in Vienna, Austria. In his comprehensive analysis entitled “March 2020 – March 2021 Europe and beyond” he is analysing the year of Covid pandemic.
A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Definition of Health,
Preamble of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Constitution, 1948
For months, many argue that our Covid (C-19) response is a planetary fiasco, whose size is yet to surface with its mounting disproportionate and enduring secondary effects, causing tremendous socio-economic, demographic and cross-generational, political and psychosomatic contractions and convulsions. However, worse than our response is our silence about it.
It is an established fact that the quintessence of Nazism was not Hitler and the circle of darkness around him. It was rather a commonly shared ‘banality of crime’ atmosphere: Benevolent acceptance of ordinary village people living next to Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Dachau that the nation must be ‘purified’ … The day when questioning stops and silent acceptance becomes a ‘new normal’ is a day when fascism walks in a big time. Of course, today we have a diagnosis for it: manufacturing consent through choice architecture. It is done via fear-imprisoned and media infantilised (returned to the pre-Oedipal phase) psychology of the de-socialised and alienated, an atomised one.
There is no political or economic crisis. There is neither energy crisis, nor health, nor environmental crisis. Every crisis is just a deficit of cognitive mind that comes to the same; a moral crisis.
Ecological Globalistan, Political Terroristan, the author
Did we really forget basic teaching of our history: Every time when the power was unchecked, it degenerated into the obscure brutality; ritualising its force with a stamp on or under our skin to visualise and immortalise the twilight of reason?
So, our C-19 response and its widespread synchronicity (of measures and its timing) illustrates – the argument goes – nothing else but a social pathology: the non-transparent concentration of power, and our overall democracy recession – further bolstering surveillance and social control systems. All that as lasting consequences of cutbacks, environmental holocaust, privatisation (or PPP-ization) of key intergovernmental and vital national institutions, ill-aimed globalisation as well as of the fixation on overly allopathic, mandated (not a repurposed, but usually novel expensive and inadequately tested) drugs-centred healthcare, and lack of public data commons. Public health or private wealth? Pandemic or plundermic …
Urban communities of developed countries are especially hit hard. Within these communities, the vulnerable categories like pre- and early- school children, and elderly suffer the most. No wonder that the trust in and support to governmental and intergovernmental institutions is rapidly deteriorating.
Ever larger number of citizens do not see the mainstream media (or pop culture celebrities) at service for the population. Dialogue and opinion is discouraged and silenced, if not, even sanctioned. Our western, ‘modern’ medicine still falls short of consensus on a fundamental question: Is illness contracted (from outside) or created (conditions within our body). Hence, the faith in western medicine is in a free fall. Compromised generational contract and thinning social consensus are challenging our fabrics like never before in recorded history.
The first real stress-test since the end of the WWII, the United Nations (UN) clearly did not pass. Many feel deeply disappointed with and disfranchised by the universal organisation and its Agencies for their lasting “self-marginalisation”.Is our cohesion irreversibly destroyed?
Early lockdowns, mid-March 2020, were justified by a need to flatten the curve of the ‘sudden’ virus (harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility) impact, since there were not enough hospital beds. In the meantime, the lockdowns were extended and widened, curves not arguably altered. Still, for the past 12 months, there is hardly any new hospital built in the EU although the non-essential medical services, at most cases, were suspended.Neither there was nor is any massive investment into general health prevention. The only visible infrastructure growth is in 5/6G network expansion.
Following a simple ratio that the one’s state of health is genetic expression of life-style choices made, it is no surprise that there are also growing speculations if the lockdown – as the most notorious expression of monofocal perspective and rejection to any scientifically contested, debate-based integrated judgment – is invasion or protection:
E.g. Le Monde Diplomatique – while examining the possible merger between tech oligopoly and political monopoly – claimed from a very beginning of this crisis that: “Political decisions have been central in shaping this tragedy — from the destruction of animal habitats, to the asymmetric funding of medical research, to the management of the crisis itself. They will also determine the world into which we emerge into after the worst is over.” Over the past 30 years, every critical juncture had a similar epilogue: pardon and enhancement for the capital, a burden and suppression for the labour. The C-19 is no exception to it: Ever since early lockdowns of March 2020, the capital flows unhindered while the labour, ideas and humans are under the house arrest.The XXI century frontline is the right to health (incl. body integrity and informed consent) and labour, privacy and other fundamental human rights and liberties. (LMD, IV20)
Is the political, economic or moral triumph of the West still possible past this crisis?
Every crisis since Westphalia until the so-called financial crisis of 2008-09, West exited in moral triumph. What is in front of us?
The rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension, of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
Still to be precise, the WHO- decreed virus pandemic brought nothing truly new to the already overheated conduct of, and increasingly binarized, world affairs. It only amplified and accelerated what was present for quite some time – a rift between alienated power centres, each on its side of Pacific, and the rest. No wonder that the work on and dispatch of the C-19 vaccine is more an arms race than it is a collaborative humanity plan. Look at its geography and conditionalities.
Would all this be – in its epilogue – about the expansion of (the 4th industrial revolution caused) techno-totalitarian model of government as an alternative to liberal democracy (from one-party democracy to one-party autocracy)? Devolutionary singularisation into techno-feudalism as the highest stage of capitalism? Is now a time to return to the nation-state, a great moment for all dictators-in-waiting to finally build a cult of personality? Hence, will our democracy be electro-magnetised and vaccinated for a greater good (or greedier ‘god’)? Is the decolonisation of global health a failed attempt? Will we (ever) be allowed to exit the year of 2020?
The entire scientific community considers the attempt to mandate the experimental biological agent (while calling it the C-19 vaccine) as very troubling. Having these calls chiefly advocated and aggressively promoted by the handful of self-interest driven private companies (all accompanied with a contradictory and confusing governmental stance) is highly disturbing. No surprise that ever-larger societal segments perceive it as warfare not a welfare. The world that for over a century portrayed itself as Kantian is rapidly turning into the dark Hobbesian place. Is now anarchy just one step away?
One is certain, confronting the long-term interests of stakeholders with the short-term interests of shareholders, the private sector from both sides of Atlantic exercises disproportionate power in the technological share (infrastructure and data). It also largely benefits from the massive public research funds – especially in the fields such as bioinformatics, AI, nanorobotics, or geophysics engineering – while in return paying dismal, negotiable tax if any at all.
Far too often it comes with the nondisclosure agreements, liability outsourcing/ protections and other unilaterally beneficial legal instruments as well as with the close ties between the private sector, intelligence agencies and media.
The same applies to a big Pharma which increasingly dictates a non-preventive, monofocal approach to medicine and research, and controls reporting about it – not always in the name of our public health.
Therefore, the above represents the largest underreported (or ignored) threat to our democracy and future societal conduct.
Conclusively, bioinformatics (including the synthetic biology and data-to-genes sequestration for data storage or data mining purpose) – as much as the geoengineering itself – is a dual-use technology. Past its formative age (with a digital infrastructure near completion), it has today a huge weaponization potential for at home and abroad, be it for state or non-state actors.
Consequently and urgently, this necessitates a comprehensive legislation which builds up on the Universal Charter of Human Rights and Nuremberg Code, and rests on its effective enforcement (with the monitoring of compliance mechanisms as set for the IAEA, OPCW, RC-BTWC and the Nagoya protocol),nationally and internationality, and for all actors.
All state authority is derived from the people (XX 2) … All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish this constitutional order, if no other remedy is available. (XX 4)
Civil disobedience as the Constitutional Right
By many accounts, 2020 – a year of astonishing synchronicity, when distancing became social– will be remembered as the worst year in living memory (since 1939). Some would say; C-19 stopped history, as it locked down our dialogues and atrophied political instincts of masses (with too many cases of arbitrary censorship streaming from the privately owned social platforms).Still, 2020 only quarantined and halted us, while in fact it accelerated history. This especially refers to the ‘Old Continent’.
People have the right to know what those in power are doing, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, Europe’s eldest and the most comprehensive multilateral mechanism – Council of Europe, promulgated Convention on Access to Official Documents more than ten years ago in Tromsø, Norway (entering in force on 01 December 2020). This Charter is the first binding international legal instrument to recognise a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities.
As this author noted back in spring 2020: “It is amply clear from the C-19 event that the right to health is an issue for all. The search for a reliable cure for pandemics control is not a matter of private business, but of fundamental individual rights situated on higher levels of sociableness, as embedded in the UN and EU Charters, and being obligatory for each of the UN Specialized Agencies or EU bodies to comply with. (Not a fear-based manufactured giving-in, but the right for informed consent as an inseparable segment of the constitutionally endorsed right to health.)
Even if the vaccine becomes the agreed or preferred option, it must be made available patent-free for all, and locally manufactured. However, binarization of debate onto a pro-and-con vaccine represents a dangerous reductionism and waste of planetary energy critically needed for a holistic and novel approach. There is no silver bullet for the European or world problems. Consequently, there is no solution in one-directional medical research in response to any pandemic, and in a single-blended (or centrally manufactured, hastily introduced) and mandated experimental medication for all. This especially refers to the genoccine.(Dogma is based on a blind belief; science necessitates constant multidimensional exploration. Science, especially a medical one, holds no single or absolute truth: The closest it can get is to the least wrong answer – which must be contested constantly, literally every single day.)
Proportionality of our (current and future) responses in Europe is another key issue. Hence, what presents itself as an imperative is the universal participation through intergovernmental mechanisms and popular control to it. That rule applies for at home and for abroad, as the Union has to comply with (and set example to) it urgently.
Growing particularisms in Brussels quarters, where (on taxpayers’ money and public trust), it is more and more the particular – be it individual, regional, national, lobby-groups driven – interest that prevails over the solid all-European project of our common presence purpose and future.”
Past the Brexit, the Union has to be extra cautious about its chronic democracy-deficit, apparatchik alienation of Brussels, as well as the brewing concerns that the EU without UK becomes yet another greater Germany.
The one-year score (March 2020 – March 2021) of the Union is highly disturbing:
1. It repeatedly failed to defend human rights – as its founding principles. On contrary, many of its decisions compromised core liberties and freedoms, and it directly contributed to furthering the speed and severity of unprecedented deterioration of constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms;
a) Alarming lack of transparency in its actings and decision-making;
b) Absence of any initiative to spark and enhance thorough, all-stakeholders democratic debates on the ongoing crisis and ways out;
c) Turning a deaf ear to arbitrary movement restrictions imposed by narrow circles of executive branch in numerous occasions in number of MS;
d) Turning a blind eye to excessive use of police force against peaceful citizenry on streets in numerous occasions in number of MS;
e) Indifference and inaction on the suppression of media freedoms within and beyond the Block, while ignoring the increase in arbitrary censorship conducted by the foreign non-state and/or local state actors;
2. The EU did not protect general public health of its population. On contrary, many of its decisions or inactions contributed to further deterioration of a long-term conditions of population of all generations especially children and youth;
3. Union did not stop fragmentation of the Block. On contrary, its accelatered and widened inter-regional rifts between (or even within) different member states;
4. The EU did not improve its standing within the wider European neighbourhood
5. On each of the above, the Commission, Parliament and the rest of Brussels apparatus remains in denial – which triggers further loss of international credibility and domestic support, and drifts the unionistic Project into irrelevance.
After all, the truth is plain to see; countries with the highly (deregulated and) privatised health sector are the C-19 worst offs (eg. USA) – as measured by the fatalities, overall socio-economic cost (incl. the long-term health prospects, or redistribution and inequalities), damage to the social consensus (safety and security), and the speed of recovery. Countries of the centralised health sector which resides strictly in public hands and is under popular control did and are still making it far better. Those among them that keep high respect for individual rights, liberties and freedoms (eg. Sweden) are by far the best achievers.
How the issues of health will be balanced with the human rights – as these two are not excluding but are complementing each other – is the fundamental issue for the future. Additionally, how (geno and pheno) data are generated, stored and governed, and ultimately used will be the second defining issue of global public health (and planetary support to or conflict over it) in the coming decades.
All in all, the one-year score (March 2020 – March 2021) is highly disturbing;
Not only the socio-economic one, but every aspects of Western vitality is also vanishing rapidly, making the prospect of triumph of its model less likely with every passing day.
Beyond the disputes about possible initial intentionality (allegedly driven by the sectarian, demographic, environmental or any other consideration), let us close this text by displaying the probable epilogue: An ever-larger number of military strategists see (unfolding of) the C-19 event as a (techno-)biological warfare.
Here comes the powerful reminder that history gives us: decisions to go to war were never based on facts but on perceptions.Therefore, make no mistake; the end game to any further continuation or escalation is the nuclear holocaust which none of us will escape.
Anis H. Bajrektarevic is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He has authored eight books (for American and European publishers) and numerous articles on, mainly, geopolitics energy and technology. Professor is editor of the NY-based GHIR (Geopolitics, History and Intl. Relations) journal, and editorial board member of several similar specialized magazines on three continents. His 9th book, ‘No Asian Century’ is scheduled for Fall 2021.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect IFIMES official position.
Ljubljana/Vienna, 11 April 2021
 IFIMES – International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, has Special Consultative status at ECOSOC/UN, New York, since 2018.
 The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is well aware of it: Addressing the Organisation’s General Assembly at the 75th anniversary (September 2020) he admitted: “… people continue to lose trust in political establishments. … widespread protests against inequality, discrimination, corruption and lack of opportunities all over the world – grievances that still need to be addressed, including with a renewed social contract.”
 In fact, in Germany and several other EU member states the number of hospital beds in the intensive care units is even reduced for up to 20% compared to its pre-C-19 capacities. Additional (politically polarising) controversy are millions of euros spent on diagnoses tests which are scientifically contested.
 In the formally neutral and peace-loving Austria – following the provisions of a strict autumn 2020 lockdown – only the basic supplies shops were opened. However, besides the grocery stores, mobile phone shops and pharmacies, it also included the guns shops, while the schools, theatres, libraries and museums remained closed.
 The year of 2020 recorded unprecedented planetary contractions and nearly a free-fall recession. Of course, it is misleadingly ascribed to the pandemic instead of being attributed to the C-19-related measures. Among the countries of the G-7 + G-20 group only China had scored growth. Cross-sectoral picture is the same – deep recession. Only the big tech and big pharma scored surpluses in 2020. (World Bank Report 2020)
 Talks about ‘vax-passports’ falls under the same category. Not only that it is contrary to the ruling of the Council of Europe – conditioning freedom of movement with an exposure of personal medical record is contradicting any notion of Human Rights and every of its Charters.
 “The pandemic has also reviled how imbalanced the relationship between the public and the private sector has become. In the US, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests some$40 billion a year on medical research and has been a key funder of the R&D of C-19 treatments and vaccines. But pharmaceutical companies are under no obligation to make the final product affordable to Americans, whose tax money is subsidising them in the first place. … It was a typical move for Big Pharma. … Even so, US drug prices are the highest in the world. Pharmaceutical companies also act against the public interest by abusing the patient process. … Equally bad deals have been made with Big Tech. In many ways, Silicon Valley is a product of the US government’s investments in the development of high-risk technologies. The National Science Foundation funded the research behind the search algorithm that made Google famous. The US Navy did the same for the GPS technology that Uber depends on. And the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency, part of the Pentagon, backed the development of the Internet, touchscreen technology, Siri, and every other key component in the iPhone. Taxpayers took risks when they invested in these technologies, yet most of the technology companies that have benefited failed to pay their fair share of taxes. Then they have the audacity to fight against regulations that would protect the privacy rights of the public. … the power of AI and other technologies being developed in Silicon Valley, a closer look shows that in these cases, too, it was high-risk public investment that laid the foundations” – states prof. Mazzucato (FAM 99/6/20)
 See, eg. the EU Pandemic Accelerator Act (April 2020) or the July 15th 2020 Suspension of the EU GMO-related legislation (the so-called EU Council adoption of the Commission’s proposal to accelerate clinical trials and the supply of medical product containing the GMOs) – all promulgated speed-track without a prior investigative scientific reports, hearings or debate. These are now submitted to the European Court of Justice for a legality and impartiality judgment. In the same fashion the recently adopted European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) leaves many ambiguities, while also massively contradicting the European Convention on Human Rights.
 All four belonging to the United Nations system: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Review Conference to the Biological Weapons Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (RC-BTWC), the Nagoya Protocol to the Biological Diversity Convention on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (NP).
 The US Foreign Corrupt Practice Act of 1977 could be used as a model for the universally binding instrument to internationally prosecute and punish any corporation that pay bribes to foreign officials.
 German Constitution (Art. 20). Similar provisions are encapsulated in most of the national constitutions in Europe and beyond. It rests on a notion that the state and people are bound by the social contract within any given society, and that in case of a breach of confidence, citizenry has an inalienable natural right to disobedience.
The face covering coupled with distancing hinders our most basic functions of all – since humans are genuinely social animals. Social interaction for us is both a frame and content, an evolutionary constant. Physical distancing which is named a social, cloth ribbon which is named a mask and rnk-messenger appliance which is named a vaccine – all three error in objecto trigger confusions, and spark increasing mistrust and growing disobedience. Eg. it is crucial to differentiate the physical from a social distancing. Physical one is a preventive (punitive or medical) measure while the so-called social distancing is a century-old concept of (empathy charge and) social engineering. To this end, see works of the US sociologists Park, Hall and Bogardus (scale of social distancing), and Simmel’s ‘theory of the stranger’ - Simmelian social geometry (Germany 1908).
During times of crisis national security arguments are often evoked to deny information to be requested and accessed. However, it is exactly at such times that a timely and trustworthy information from official sources is most needed. Informational transparency in accordance with the principles set out in the Tromsø Convention prior to the C-19 pandemic could have helped to avoid the ‘infodemic’ and a subsequent massive public distrust.
 Analysing the specification indicated by the manufacturers themselves, the genoccine seems as a more accurate name for the experimental (thoroughly untested), new, RNK and DNK modified, nanotechnology-based tri-injecting solution currently advocated for the C-19. Some critics even reject to call it vaccine, arguing that it is in fact a GMO implant. Such claims are ignored, but not refuted yet.
 See: “World on Autopilot: The UNSC should urgently address C-19”, New Europe Brussels (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 10 APR 20); “Contributing to a Safer, Healthier and Prosperous World”, Diplomat Magazine Hague (Bajrektarevic-Goutali, 12 MAY 20); ”Return of Global Stewardship: the UNSC should urgently address C-19 – addendum” (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 25 May 20), ModernDiplomacy Athens/ Brussels; “Democracy Vaccinated, - The post-Corona epilogue of Sino-American relations”, (Bajrektarevic), L’Europe Unie Intl. Journal, Revue d'études européenne, Paris, France 2020 (15) 2.
 On December 18th 2020, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that encourage modern forms of racism and xenophobia. 60 UN members co-sponsored resolution, while only 2 states casted negative vote. Rather strikingly and disturbingly, Germany refrained from voting in favour (abstained). The UN GA recommends states "to take appropriate concrete measures, including legislative and educational ones, in accordance with international human rights obligations, in order to prevent revisionism in respect of the Second World War and the denial of the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the WWII."
 Although initially representing the asymmetric workings of the non-state actor, the so-called Sarajevo assassination of 1914 triggered the WWI – a gigantic trans-continental conflict between all major powers of that time (and a rapid demise of many of them, in just few years’ time). This self-destruction lasted for 4 years with all unconventional (biological and chemical) means at disposal used. What has happened? The non-state actor from Bosnia assaulted the Head of State in-making of the major power (Heir to the Habsbourg Empire). Now comes the most disturbing part: Asymmetric confrontation between the state and non-state actor in one corner of Europe (southeast) triggered a direct armed conflict and the immense bloodshed – but only months later and via spill over from the other corner of Europe. Militarily, the German attack on the Belgian Ardennes (northwest of Europe) marked the beginning of the total destruction – WWI. In summer 1945, Soviets were rushing through Korean peninsula to get a stake in occupation of Japan. As a consequence, Americans repeatedly nuked that country’s inland. That much about controllability of (non-)intentionality and about mastering of the outcome. Overconfidence is another (mass) killer. Just to name but few history chapters thought its chief protagonists: Darius III, Hannibal, Napoleon, Hitler.