Should we care about the cognitive dissonance of criminals?
By Rusere Shoniwa
You can find more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com
In a recent piece for The Daily Sceptic, Dr David McGrogan, Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School, explains why he believes there will never be a reckoning for lockdown. Before I attempt to unpick the pillars of his argument, which are simple and – on the face of it – powerful, let me first summarise them.
According to Professor McGrogan, the phenomenon impeding a reckoning for lockdown is cognitive dissonance. For the purposes of his analysis, he defines this as the intense psychological discomfort caused by the conflict in the individual’s mind between the overestimation of one’s intellectual capacity and real-world evidence that has a nasty habit of reminding us that we are not as smart as we think we are. The mental gymnastics that we engage in to deny the shortcomings in our critical faculties will be what fuels a societal avoidance of coming to terms with the failure of lockdowns.
Society will thus be the victim of its own wholesale psychological conspiracy of denial involving everyone from the decision-makers in public office unable to admit that they are “not half as clever as they purport to be”, to the “hoi polloi” (McGrogan’s choice of words, not mine) unable to admit “that they were gullible and foolish, and in a moment of crisis simply decided to follow the herd.” The primary manifestation of this denial in the vast majority of people will be forgetfulness. McGrogan cites as evidence a “collective amnesia” about lockdowns even as its effects (such as skyrocketing inflation) are now plainly evident. He also cites the scant mention of covid now in daily life – a memory-holing of the entire event.
The upshot of it all is that far too few will even admit to themselves, let alone anyone else, “that they made a mistake in 2020”. [emphasis added]
It’s a thought-provoking piece that got me asking a number of questions:
- Were lockdowns criminally negligent?
- If we want a reckoning, why should we even care about the cognitive dissonance of those who were responsible for criminally negligent lockdowns?
- Why do we need anyone to admit that they made a mistake? Assuming the reckoning we are after is one grounded in law and justice – frankly anything less will not do – I am puzzled that a professor of law would argue implicitly that a confession of guilt is a prerequisite for such reckoning.
- Is cognitive dissonance really at play in both elite decision-making circles and the public at large?
Were lockdowns criminally negligent, as opposed to a ‘mistake’?
If we agree that lockdowns were criminally negligent, then the reckoning we want is a legal one. A truth and reconciliation commission would be fine and dandy for the perpetrators, but woefully inadequate for those whose lives have been destroyed in myriad cruel ways. It’s important to knock any doubts on the head about whether criminal negligence was involved considering the lie being pedalled by the likes of Grant Shapps that “there was of course no instruction manual for dealing with the first pandemic of modern times”.
We know that there most definitely was an instruction manual because the Government had a pandemic preparedness plan. The Government’s own plan on lockdown mirrored the WHO’s October 2019 plan, which not only ruled out societal lockdowns but actually listed the quarantining of exposed individuals as “not recommended in any circumstances”. What’s more, a Parliamentary report that ended up being a whitewash of lockdowns admitted that:
“…as of October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Global Health Security Index, the most comprehensive global study into pandemic preparedness, had the UK and the US as the best prepared in the world.” [emphasis added]
That plan eschewed lockdowns because there was no scientific evidence for them in dealing with the spread of respiratory viruses.
Sweden had a similar plan. The difference between Sweden and the UK was that Sweden recognised that if you’ve planned for a disaster, then you should implement the plan when you think the disaster is unfolding. As far as criminal negligence is concerned, the taxpayer does not pay its civil servants to plan for disasters only to then recklessly abandon the plan when confronted by the disaster event. Why bother to plan? The only justification for abandoning a plan for rare disasters is if the plan has been tried and proven not to work.
The thing which makes the abandonment of a scientifically sound plan all the more appalling is that its alternative was not subjected to even the most cursory cost-benefit analysis. Of course, had a cost-benefit analysis been done before throwing caution to the wind, it would have highlighted in stark terms what lockdown meant – severe damage to our social and economic fabric in all the ways that are now unfolding, far outweighing any claimed benefit.
So public health officials were duty-bound to follow sound established principles governing respiratory illness pandemics, but they chose instead to trash their own rule book. And the Government was duty-bound to weigh up whether its shotgun course of action would yield a net benefit to society, but Government bureaucrats didn’t even get as far as scribbling on the back of a cigarette packet. Had they done so, the scribbles would have shown a bright red deficit symbolising the innocents to be killed by lockdowns and lives to be destroyed for years to come.
And that’s the only plausible reason for not doing a cost-benefit analysis. If you’ve decided to bankrupt the nation and ruin lives in pursuit of a political aim, it’s probably best not to prepare calculations setting out in minute detail the devastating brutality of your actions. If you’re subsequently put in the dock, it would be bad enough that you hadn’t bothered to weigh up the pros and cons of your actions, but it would be suicidal to have done the analysis and still opted to press the destruct button. With an eyes-wide-open cost-benefit analysis, the jury would have clear evidence of psychopathy as opposed to the slightly lesser evil of recklessness. Either way, criminal negligence is writ large over the entire fiasco.
Are the elite rule-makers really suffering from cognitive dissonance and does it matter?
Cognitive dissonance has two strands to it: the sincere belief that one is right in the chosen course of action and the subsequent emergence of evidence that jars with that sincerely held belief. The first bit never happened and therefore nor could the second. I’ve written at length about why every single pillar of the Covid narrative from lockdowns, masking and testing to mass vaccination was nothing short of voodoo garbage. The point I made in that argument was that the Government, using its medical bureaucrats as cover, acted in opposition to truths they either publicly stated or demonstrably knew. They knew there was no scientific basis for lockdowns, but they decreed them anyway. They knew masks didn’t work, but they decreed them with no new evidence for a u-turn. They knew that the jabs didn’t prevent transmission and infection, but they coerced the entire country into taking them and they mandated them for care workers. They knew there was absolutely no rational basis on a simple risk/benefit assessment for advising covid jabs for children, but they did it anyway.
The science was politicised by scientists like Whitty and Vallance at the behest of their masters. The politicians and bureaucrats who analysed and understood all the information about covid did not believe in the medical efficacy of the policies they enforced. There is a world of difference between advocating for a position that you sincerely, albeit erroneously, believe in, versus advocating corrupt policies that you know have no rational or scientific basis. Confirmation of the latter was provided by the Cabinet Office 2020 Christmas party scandal.
The only kernel to grasp from that fiasco is that they never believed in the restrictions and rules they made for the “hoi polloi” and that’s why they didn’t follow them. They knew that the threat from the virus was exaggerated and that all the restrictions, including lockdowns, had no impact on that threat, exaggerated or not. They acted in accordance with this belief, and not a belief that lockdowns were the right thing to do. The point is: there is no cognitive dissonance there because cognitive dissonance describes the conflict that arises when a sincerely held belief clashes with contradictory evidence for holding that belief. All we have here is outright dishonesty. In short, the experts were never ‘wrong’; they were always lying. Big difference.
Dominic Cummings accused Rishi Sunak of having a “melted brain” for suggesting that the decision to lock society down was wrong. Professor McGrogan sees the rantings of Johnson’s Rasputin as evidence of cognitive dissonance. I see a rumbled psychopath telling his co-conspirators to keep schtum.
A brilliant investigative report by German journalist Paul Schreyer shows that the 2020 lockdowns were the culmination of 20 years of pandemic simulation wargaming involving collaborations between the most prestigious medical scientific institutions, the mainstream media, senior military and defence officials and, crucially, government intelligence agencies. The base assumptions used in all event simulations were that management of all ‘pandemics’ would entail a severe curtailment of civil liberties and media psyops to condition the public into accepting this as necessary. The only exit strategy envisaged was vaccination combined with bio-surveillance tracking technology.
In the light of this compelling narrative, it’s not hard to view lockdowns as an instrument of deep state strategies to use pandemics as vehicles for fulfilling population control agendas, and that senior government officials and influential academics (think here of modellers producing vastly inflated casualty estimates for no-lockdown scenarios) who were deeply embedded in this ideology were simply acting on years, if not decades, of priming. Contrary to being a panic reaction, lockdown can be seen as a consequence of years of careful preparation.
Why is it so hard for some to accept that politicians not only prevaricate but outright lie? A successful reckoning for lockdown entails criminal proceedings to show that those on whom the public relies to enact ethical, evidence-based public health policies that pass the do-no-harm test were criminally negligent in rolling out policies that they knew were not evidence-based and would cause great harm – harm that they callously did not think needed to be assessed before they pulled the trigger. Criminals are convicted on the evidence put before the court, not on whether they confess to the crime. If there is evidence of criminal negligence, then we don’t need the alleged criminals to admit that they made a mistake.
Is the public suffering from cognitive dissonance?
Undoubtedly some members of the public are realising that they fell for the lockdown lie and are now engaged in avoiding the psychological discomfort of coming to terms with being deceived. Using Professor McGrogan’s definition, they are “hold[ing] two mutually contradictory ideas in [their] minds.” The psychological discomfort arises when the individual is forced to confront the contradiction between the overestimation of their intellectual resources and real-world evidence that contradicts this self-flattering position. The important thing to recognise is that there is still a degree of rationality involved here, which means we have to acknowledge that, even if the thinking was erroneous, there is some thinking involved in entertaining a theory, subsequently rejecting it and then coming to terms with the error.
However, the problem I have in looking at Joe Public as a bloc is that there is much evidence that a huge swathe of the public was not doing any thinking at all and still isn’t. Contrary to the idea that they are wrestling with contradiction, they aren’t wrestling with anything at all. Mattias Desmet’s compelling theory of mass formation points to a state of hypnosis in which the public not only refused to engage mentally with the absurdity of lockdowns but that the more absurd the measures, the more likely they were to go along with them. This is not cognitive dissonance.
Professor McGrogan says the public has forgotten lockdowns and that covid has been ‘memory-holed’. I’m not so sure. It’s tempting to see the near-absence of masking in summer as evidence that covid madness is behind us, but it’s possible that a great many people have been conditioned into accepting that this is a seasonal ritual – masks in winter, bare faces in summer. Can we be sure that a similar regimen won’t be applied for targeted lockdowns? The fact that people aren’t talking about covid anymore doesn’t necessarily signify a conscious or even unconscious rejection of the covid theatre. It could signify a subconscious internalising of the theatre – a sort of Pavlovian conditioning in which all that is required is a dog-whistle about ‘rising cases’ and another ‘deadly wave’ combined with the changing of the seasons to cause the crowd to gravitate towards masking and lockdowns.
Lockdowns were just the first tool in the ongoing war on humanity.
The minority who were spared from the orgiastic stupidity of mass formation knew lockdowns couldn’t contain a virus. Now, we don’t know if we’ll ever be able to accurately quantify the devastation that lockdowns have caused to people’s lives. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we also have to accept that the lockdown fire will smoulder for years to come. One thing we can be sure of is that no future government will voluntarily quantify the damage to physical and mental health, businesses, access to healthcare and education, and so much more – this is because virtually all the useful idiots (aka MPs) on both sides of the aisle voted for the calamity. It will be up to us to force them to come to terms with what they did.
As destructive as they are, lockdowns are just part of the unfolding train smash. Useless and dehumanising masks are still a ubiquitous feature of life in many countries and could still make a comeback in the UK this winter. Despite the covid injection horror show growing grimmer by the day, those behind the wheel of the ‘vaccine’ juggernaut still have their foot flat down on the accelerator. To appreciate the value now placed on human life by the Big Pharma and Government ‘health’ regulatory nexus, simply reflect on the fact that the next generation of covid boosters being dished out to millions has not been tested on humans – all it took to approve the rollout was 8 mice.
Meanwhile, the Russia/Ukraine manufactured energy crisis is set to plunge people across the West into fuel poverty and could cause many to die of cold this winter. Constantly playing in the background is the funereal music of the Net Zero scam in which the only outcomes that can be guaranteed are an indeterminate period of impoverishment for the bulk of humanity and cushy jobs for the same class of genius modellers who predicted covid would reduce all the major cities of the world to morgues if they didn’t lock down. One word – Sweden.
Rather than theorise about the ‘psychological discomfort’ of the psychopaths doing all this, let’s acknowledge the psychological discomfort of facing up to the fact that all of these past, present and future blast craters are actually part of a mosaic of deliberate destruction. It’s vital to correctly interpret this consistent pattern of one failed reckless gamble after another. Repeatedly doubling down on the errors isn’t necessarily psychopathic per se, but it is psychopathic if you’re well aware that doubling down is inconsequential to you but harmful to everyone around you. The masters of the universe have decided that the old world has outlived its usefulness to them, and their solution is to put humanity through a mincer in the deluded expectation that something tamed and completely controllable will emerge at the other end.
Rather than shrug our shoulders in resignation at the presumed cognitive dissonance of the masters of the universe, let’s ask ourselves how much psychological discomfort we might be experiencing as we realise how little regard those masters of the universe must have for us; for their fellow human beings at the sharp end of their inhumane policies.
The perpetrators of lockdowns, and all that has followed, are not experiencing cognitive dissonance. Paradoxically, those who deny the real reason for the perpetrators’ denials of wrongdoing might be the ones plagued by cognitive dissonance. Why? Because they refuse to come to terms with the stark truth pointed out by Mark Crispin Miller: the lockdown perpetrators are free to keep killing us as long as we keep thinking that they couldn’t be that evil; that they’re only suffering from cognitive dissonance.
There is a very simple binary choice ahead of us: either the perpetrators of lockdowns and other covid crimes serve jail time, or democracy in the West, such as it was, is dead. The Blair and Bush regimes were not put in the dock for the Iraq invasion war crime. Emboldened by the scale of that impunity, elites have brought us to the point where they are confident that they can lock us up in our homes and take away our sovereignty over our bodies, with impunity. Are we really prepared to find out where the arc of impunity ends, or do we end it now by restoring justice?
You can find more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com