The Intellectual Nullity of Today’s Left

For my master’s degree in philosophy, I read all the great political philosophers, starting with Plato. Of all writers about the concept of PROGRESS, I found Hegel to be in many respects the most interesting, even though his prose is often fantastically dense and difficult to read. Hegel posited that, for all of its bloodiness and strife, human history is moving inexorably towards a universal rule of reason and law.

Marx famously borrowed Hegel’s concept of history—a progressive development of the spirit (thought and understanding)—and he used it to formulate a theory of history progressing by means of successive class struggles for the means of material production.

Marx’s ambitious theories of history and political economy are such gross oversimplifications of complex reality that they have never had any explanatory or predictive utility. However, because his theory of “class struggle” is rooted in the archetypal narrative of conflict between overlords and underdogs, it taps into the widespread and fervent passions of resentment and envy.

For the most part, Marx was a ridiculous adolescent who spent the better part of his life sponging off of his wife, Jenny von Westphalen, and his friend, Friedrich Engels. However, as much as we may fairly criticize Marx’s ideas, at least he had ideas that we can talk about and debate.

Likewise, when I was in college thirty years ago, I encountered many professors who had retained a sentimental attachment to Marx’s ideas, but at least I could have a conversation with them. Not so anymore. Nowadays the leftist intelligentsia has nothing to offer but childish slogans and obsessions.

Recently I was reminded of this while reading the purported “scholarship” of Harvard President, Claudine Gay. Perusing her publishing resume reveals an all-consuming obsession with race—an obsession that yields no insight, practical ideas for improvement, or hope. Every paragraph I scanned was tendentious and excruciatingly boring.

To be sure, boring prose has long been the standard for academics who have held to the Marxist tradition. Whenever I was suffering from insomnia in graduate school, just three sentences of Habermas’s The Theory of Communicative Action would send me into a deep narcosis.

With allegations (and solid evidence) of President Gay committing multiple acts of plagiarism, the American institutional Left may now be regarded as a complete write-off. There is simply nothing left of the Left. Its intellectual tradition has flatlined into brain death.

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The Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami

This morning I woke up thinking about the destruction of Banda Aceh—an ancient trading port city on the northwest tip of Sumatra—on December 26, 2004 by an enormous tsunami propagated by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded.

  • The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, which caused the tsunami, is estimated to have released energy equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.

  • The earthquake struck 150 miles from the coast of Sumatra Island, on the northwest of the Indonesian island group, and 31 miles below the ocean floor.

  • In Banda Aceh, the landmass closest to the quake’s epicenter, tsunami waves topped 100 feet. The tsunami’s waves traveled across the Indian Ocean at 500 mph, the speed of a jet plane.

  • The 2004 Indonesia earthquake caused a shift in the earth’s mass, changing the planet’s rotation.

  • Approximately 230,000 people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, making it one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.

  • Because of its proximity to the earthquake’s epicenter and its location on a deep water port, Banda Aceh and its inhabitants were utterly defenseless. An atomic bomb the size of that dropped on Hiroshima would have done less damage. Within the province of Aceh, investigators ultimately logged 129 775 deaths, 38 786 missing and 504 518 tsunami-displaced.

I happened to know about Banda Aceh from my longstanding interest in the history of the British and Dutch East India companies and the novels of Joseph Conrad. I’d long wanted to visit Indonesia and Malaysia, and the tsunami gave me an excuse. A couple of years after the catastrophe, I travelled to Banda Aceh in search of eyewitnesses who’d experienced it firsthand and lived to tell the tale.

The best witness I found was a delightful man in his mid thirties named Muslahuddin Daud. From his account I constructed the following narrative.

Muslihadeen Daud went fishing every Sunday morning unless it was raining too hard.  On the morning of Sunday, December 26, 2004, he rose early, looked into the crib of his sleeping baby daughter, and then walked outside to check the weather. The rosy-colored sky over Banda Aceh was clear and calm with a few scattered clouds. With a pleasant feeling of anticipation, he had a quick breakfast of coffee and fried rice, grabbed his fishing rod, and headed for the door.

            “Good luck,” his wife said.  “I hope you catch a lot of trevally.”  Like Mus, she loved trevally. They often had fun cooking the fish together in their tiny kitchen.

From their house, which they shared with her parents, Mus rode his motorbike to his favorite fishing spot, a few kilometers east of the port, stopping along the way to buy some shrimp bait. Arriving at the beach around 7:30, he climbed onto a large boulder at the water’s edge, baited his hook, and cast it as far as he could. It was a lovely morning, and as always he savored the peaceful solitude of fishing, away from the noisy city, his in-laws, and worries about money. That afternoon he had an appointment with a landowner to close the deal on a small piece of property on which he was going to build his own family house, but he had the morning all to himself. 

A few minutes later the world started shaking so violently that he almost fell off the boulder. Holding the rod with his left hand, he squatted down and grabbed the rock with his right. He looked back and saw the palm trees behind the beach whipping back and forth and crashing into each other. Several fishermen on the beach were on their knees praying. From his squatting position he did the same.

Never in his thirty-one years of life in Aceh had he experienced such a large and long earthquake.  In fact, as seismographers would quickly determine, it was the longest faulting earthquake ever recorded—a full ten minutes. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it stopped. Mus stood back up and looked around. The palms were lightly swaying, and the fishermen on the beach all seemed okay. He looked down into the water, just below the rock, and marveled at how clear it was—probably the clearest he’d ever seen it.  Suddenly a solitary, six foot wave rolled in and broke on the rock, splashing his trousers. It was an anomaly and it made him nervous. 

He climbed down from the boulder and walked over to a fisherman on the beach. He was an old man, over seventy, and he seemed lost in thought as he scanned the horizon.

“Have you ever felt an earthquake like that?” Mus asked him.

“Back in 1964 we had one like that.”

“What happened?”

“Nothing really, it tore up a few roads and houses.”

“So you think everything will be okay?” Mus asked.

“I guess—.” A perplexed look appeared on the old man’s face, and Mus turned to see what he was looking at. To his amazement, the water was rapidly receding from the beach. Both men stood and stared incredulously as it continued to pull away from the land, exposing the rocks and reefs. Within a couple of minutes, the fishing boats over a kilometer offshore were resting on dry ground.

“This is not good,” said the old man. “Yell at them to come to shore.”  Mus began to scream and wave his arms, but the fishermen were too far to hear him. And then, far beyond their boats, a strange-looking line appeared on the horizon. Mus assumed it was some sort of wave, though he’d never seen a wave like it. It looked more like a black wall that steadily grew in height. It didn’t crest and break like a normal wave, but just kept coming, all the while retaining its wall shape. His mind frantically tried to comprehend what he was looking at, but when the wall reached what appeared to be about 15 meters (45 feet) high without breaking, he was gripped with fear.

“Run,” he said to the old man, and then bolted up the beach to his motor bike, the steady roar of the approaching wave growing louder by the second. Within seconds he was going full throttle on the road running inland from the beach, parallel to the Aceh River.  His heart jumped into his throat as he came to a section of road that had been damaged by the quake, with three gaping holes. He dodged the first and second but crashed into the third, and a second later the water rushed into the hole behind him.  He thought he was dead, but the hole didn’t fill up. He looked around and saw why.  The Aceh River to his left and a drainage canal to his right were absorbing the initial brunt of the wave, but they were filling fast. To his astonishment, his motorbike was still running in spite of the crash and the water. Again he gave it full throttle, popped out of the hole, and raced on. Soon he was riding top speed over a two-hundred meter stretch of road that was built on piers with the river and flood control canal below.  Reaching the inland side, he looked back saw the rising water devour it entirely. One miracle after another, he thought and raced on to his family home.

All he could think about was his wife and seven-month old daughter. Not for an instant did it cross his mind to run for higher ground to save himself. Their family house was situated about four kilometers inland, with a lot of buildings between it and the sea that would slow down the water, but Mus knew the ground it was sitting on—only a few meters above sea level—was not high enough to spare it from the churning black monster that chased him up the river.  Never had he ridden his motorbike so fast through the city, nor with so much skill. 

As he turned into the narrow lane where his house was located, the first person he saw was his wife, standing on the corner, looking around the intersection. Down his lane he saw several people in the street, apparently inspecting their houses to make sure they weren’t going to collapse from earthquake damage. He braked hard by his wife.

“The water is coming,” he said frantically. “We must run to higher ground.”

“What are you talking about, Mus?” his wife said.

“A giant wave is coming.”  His wife didn’t believe him, but a few seconds later they heard the oncoming wall of water smashing through houses.

“Run,” he said and grabbed her by the wrist. They made it thirty meters inland before they were struck and carried up the street.  The churning water was full of debris from the houses and shops that had been shredded and swept along, and even in his state of panic, Mus understood the danger of getting smashed into a car, impaled by a piece of lumber, or sliced like cheese by a panel of corrugated metal roof. A few seconds later the current washed them onto the front porch of a house and pushed them into the door, which quickly gave way. 

Still grasping his wife’s wrist with all of his strength, Muss pushed his head above water and realized that they were in the living room, eddying in the rising water along with several pieces of furniture.  He saw a large and heavy cupboard, wedged into the corner, and when they swirled past it he grabbed a top edge and pulled himself and his wife on top of it. The living room had an unusually high ceiling, which gave them a few feet of breathing room. But how high will the water go, he asked himself, and then gasped as he looked out the window and saw the black flood rising up the panes.  Then the windows started breaking from the pressure and the water rushed in, quickly rising to their armpits. Muss looked at the ceiling above. As in most Acehnese houses, it was a simple concrete slab that divided the ground and upper floors. There was no punching through it. With his right arm he hugged his wife around her waist; with his left hand he held onto the edge of the cupboard. He looked up again, but instead of thinking about the ceiling that would soon hold them under the rising water, he thought about God. With only seconds left to live, he said the prayer in Arabic, commending himself to his Maker.

“Almighty and merciful God, I am ready to die today. I and my beloved wife came from you, and now we will return to you.”

The water continued to rise all the up to their necks, but before it filled the final gap between their heads and the ceiling, it leveled off, leaving them with a sufficient air. They remained sitting on the cupboard until the water receded enough for them to try to make it back to their family home to learn the fate of their child and the rest of their family.

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BREAKING–Infant Mortality Concern Emerges with Nirsevimab RSV Monoclonal Antibody Given to Newborns

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common viral infection affecting infants (~3.6 million total population) mainly under age 1 year easily treated with nebulizer therapy. Urgent care, emergency room, and hospitalization can occur for serious cases and if treated early, infant mortality should not be a concern. Among the 22.4 million children under age 5 years, the annual risk of RSV hospitalization is well under 1%. The CDC estimates 100-300 RSV deaths per year under age 5 years. Likely most would be avoided with early albuterol/budesonide nebulization therapy at home.

The Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex has targeted RSV as we emerge from the pandemic as a viral threat to propagandize young parents in an all-out war against the virus. Incredibly there are prefusion antigen vaccines for pregnant mothers and adults who do not have significant risks for the disease and now Nirsevimab (Beyfortis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca) monoclonal antibodies are widely endorsed and given on the first day of life in the US since October, 2023, with no long-term safety data.

CDC.Gov accessed December 27, 2023

Pfizer Malfeasance, cDNA Contamination, Frameshifting, Cancer Concerns: Dr. McCullough on Real America

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

Safety concerns over mass vaccination have gone far beyond what I could have envisioned when John Leake and myself sat down to write Courage to Face COVID-19 in 2021.

Please listen to this quick 5 minute update on 38 undisclosed deaths from the time of Pfizer vaccine data cutoff in November, 2020 to the rushed December 10, 2020 US FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). If these deaths would have been included in the briefing booklet or core slides, there would have been shown a 3.7-fold increased risk of cardiac serious adverse events with Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccination compared to placebo. Pfizer never should have been approved at that meeting.

I covered the Mulroney paper in Nature on pseudouridination and frameshifting of synthetic mRNA in the body and why that could create auto-immunity. Dan Ball almost fell out of his chair when he learned about new cancer concerns stemming from process related cDNA impurities in mRNA vaccines. Finally, the full package of mass vaccination is adding up to consider concerns over neoplastic disease rising in populations for years after the COVID-19 vaccine debacle.

Please subscribe to Courageous Discourse as a paying or founder member so we can continue to bring you the truth.

Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

President, McCullough Foundation

www.mcculloughfnd.org

Safety of Generic Drug Supply, Chinese Pneumonia, Pandemic Emergency Kits

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

Dr. McCullough appeared on Real America’s Voice American Sunrise with Dr. Gina Loudon with quick hits on topics including childhood obesity, generic drugs from China, macrolide-resistant mycoplasma pneumonia, and the rationale for home pandemic emergency medical kits from The Wellness Company.

Please listen to this quick 5 minute update as you start your day.

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Courageous Discourse™ with Dr. Peter McCullough & John Leake is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH

Chief Scientific Officer, The Wellness Company