The Virus We Should Really be Concerned About is the Neoliberal Virus

psychosis (noun)

UK /saɪˈkəʊ.sɪs/ US /saɪˈkoʊ.sɪs/

“Any of a number of the more severe mental illnesses that make someone believe things that are not real”
— Cambridge Dictionary

As the United States continues to reach untold depths of barbarism and depravity it is important to understand the role played by the neoliberal virus in catapulting us into this state of appalling moral and intellectual degradation. Embracing an ideology rooted in humanitarian interventionism, multiculturalism, biofascism and censorship, neoliberal cultists have become the brownshirts of the new authoritarianism. Puppets of the Western elites, they constitute the primary impetus in the war against democracy, reason, and civilization itself.

All cults are anchored in groupthink, irrationality, and authoritarianism, and neoliberalism is no exception. Having lost the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, fact from fiction, and real journalism from sociopathic propaganda neoliberals have been pulled into a vortex of profound irrationality. Consider the fact that war criminals such as the Clintons, Obama, Biden and Zelensky have been deified by those infected with this pernicious virus.

A peculiarity inherent in neoliberal cult dogma is their belief that they are the heirs to the Enlightenment, the abolitionists, the New Dealers, the civil rights activists, and the anti-war activists of the ‘60s, when in the name of the left they have become crusaders of illiberalism. Under the spell of the most devastating propaganda machine in history, neoliberals have been hoodwinked into believing that all who question this Ministry of Truth are “far right,” “racists,” “sexists,” “Nazis,” “fascists,” “anti-vaxxers,” “flat-earthers,” “Trumpers” and “science deniers.”

In this depraved and cultish world virtually everything that unfolds politically is seen through three prisms: the Second World War, the civil rights movement, and the Cult of Psychiatry. On the foreign policy front, all that is needed for the ruling establishment to garner faux left support for its insatiable appetite for violence is to have the legacy media portray Assad, Milošević, Gaddafi, Putin, Osama bin Laden or some other alleged miscreant as a new Hitler and hysterically demand that we “do something” lest these new Hitlers commit acts of genocide which we would ultimately be responsible for. We would debase ourselves and become cowards in the face of authoritarianism. We would become “appeasers.”

This delusional ideation was on display in The Guardian article “Defeat for Ukraine would be a global disaster. Nato must finally step in to stop Russia,” where the author seems to think that intervening in a country where the Russians are actively engaged in hostilities and control the airspace would be no different than the West intervening in Somalia, Iraq, or Libya. As has been the case since the late ‘90s, the article fails to give any context regarding Moscow’s repeated and increasingly vociferous objections to NATO’s eastward expansion. Nor is there any mention of the fact that the Maidan “revolution of dignity” was, in fact, a Banderite fascist coup which led to the disenfranchisement of the Russian speaking Ukrainian population (the pro-Russian Party of Regions being banned by the putschists) and a genocidal siege of the Donbass where 14,000 people were killed and thousands of civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk brutalized by nationalist battalions. In neoliberal dogma the “bad guys” are always the neo-Nazis, even when the “good guys” glorify Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych and have black suns, swastikas, SS bolts, and the Totenkopf emblazoned on their uniforms and tattooed onto their bodies.

Not to be outdone, The New York Times ran an article titled “Why Ukraine Needs Those F-16s,” an aircraft that requires a pristine runway and highly specialized infrastructure. Should these fighter jets be used to conduct military operations against the Russians, is it not likely that they would take off from a NATO base in Poland, Romania, Germany or Slovakia? And is it not almost certain that should this come to pass the Russian military would retaliate by destroying the bases from which these aircraft depart?

If The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, and NPR ran stories for months on end describing the Yellow Vests as “racists,” “sexists,” “Nazis,” and “fascists” would neoliberal cultists not be clamoring for the bombing of Paris? And would this preposterous story be any more deranged than that which claimed that the Western elites had to bomb Libya into smithereens “to save Benghazi,” that it was our duty to save the women and girls of Iraq and Afghanistan by reducing those nations to rubble, or that NATO had to save the various former Yugoslavs from the devilish and bloodthirsty Serbs?

Domestically, would neoliberal cultists be skeptical should their mullahs inform them that it was their moral duty to turn over to the authorities friends and family who were “spreading misinformation?” They are sick and need our help, after all. What happens to a people for whom journalism becomes conspiracy theory and psychopathic hallucinations incontrovertible truth? (Drake Doremus’ masterpiece Equals offers a harrowing reminder of the barbarities that beckon should a health care system be weaponized and informed consent irrevocably lost).

Neoliberal attempts to justify squandering trillions in illegal wars of aggression are particularly inane when one considers the fact that the United States has millions of medical bankruptcies every decade, a health care system which has created staggering numbers of drug addicts (particularly involving opioids, psychotropic drugs, benzodiazepines and barbiturates), the highest incarceration rate on earth, over 1.7 trillion dollars in student loan debt, extreme forms of ghettoization, institutionalized bribery which has made a mockery of representative government, extreme forms of alienation and atomization, and a public school system run by book burning pyromaniacs. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of a more unhinged and hubristic life form.

Not a day goes by in the liberal media without stories appearing on some new cutting edge program for autistic children (without, of course, asking if there is a connection between the rise in autism and the childhood vaccine schedule), the wonders of veganism, and the horrors of sexual objectification, misogyny, white privilege, homophobia and transphobia, all of which further push neoliberal cult acolytes into believing that they are the embodiment of tolerance and that they are engaged in a holy war against “intolerance.” And yet these deranged tales of false compassion are par for the course. For in neoliberal cult dogma, sanity is insanity and the extremists are “fighting extremism.”

When not expressing their outrage over female soccer players being kissed on the lips and celebrating the sexual mutilation of children, neoliberal cultists can invariably be found prattling on about racism. This inculcates the witch hunters with a false sense that they are fighting a new civil rights movement, when, in fact, they are fighting an anti-civil rights movement, as multiculturalism and identity politics foment the most extreme forms of segregation and tribalism which are incompatible with democracy. “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad,” says Prometheus in Longfellow’s The Masque of Pandora, as if he were watching MSNBC.

Should the liberal media say unemployment is very low, neoliberals will believe it is low, even when their own kids get graduate degrees and end up moving back home to live with their parents. Should the liberal media say Ukraine is winning, they’re winning, even when it is clear that the armies of Bandera have incurred catastrophic casualties, with the Russians enjoying vastly superior advantages in artillery, air power, integrated air defense, electronic warfare, trained manpower, morale and military industrial capacity. Should the liberal media say that the multicultural curriculum is transforming American youth into citizens of the world, then our children will be the most erudite people on earth. We’ve had over thirty years of this curriculum, and coupled with uncontrolled immigration, these policies have created the most ignorant high school graduates of any country, yet neoliberal cultists refuse to acknowledge the dire consequences of their actions.

The most dangerous aspect of neoliberal dogma is its interconnectedness with the Cult of Psychiatry, and anything that cannot be explained through Hitlerization or through pretending that fomenting sectarianism and making children of color as illiterate as possible is somehow “progressive” (to give them classics of Western civilization would constitute “genocide by forced assimilation”) will be explained through the neoliberal penchant for pathologizing dissent.

That a vast swath of the population might be miserable because they work like indentured servants to pay off credit card debt, student loan debt, and medical debt, live lives of inhuman loneliness and despair, and no longer belong to any real society is anathema to neoliberal cultists who insist on explaining this suffering through a psychobabble rooted in scientism. That those who support white supremacy abroad and anti-white jihad at home are so eager to evaluate their countrymen’s mental health underscores the dangers inherent in this marriage between the Cult of Psychiatry and the neoliberal virus.

Vectors of the neoliberal pathogen remain committed to the idea that Trump was a lunatic. While I don’t agree with everything that the Orange Man said, and he could undoubtedly be brash as well as inconsistent in his remarks, many of the Trumpian heresies that caused neoliberals to become apoplectic were, in fact, rooted in common sense. Examples of this are his questioning the need for NATO in a post-Soviet world, his desire to pursue detente with Russia (granted, his administration pulled out of the INF Treaty), along with his disdain for the machinations of the CIA, critical race theory, LGBT indoctrination of children, the riotous destruction of statues, the mass media, lockdowns, deindustrialization, the deliberate suppression of early Covid treatment modalities such as Hydroxychloroquine, and the unsustainable chaos along our southern border.

There is a schizophrenic rift between how neoliberals see themselves and who they really are, and the mental games faux leftists play, such as embracing euphemisms which intimate that barbarous policies are benevolent and reactionary policies benign, doing The New York Times crossword puzzle, and keeping up with the latest CDC and WHO alerts are emblematic of this reality. These mental gymnastics are precisely what Plato was referring to in his Allegory of the Cave, where the enslaved cave dwellers compete with one another in picking out various shapes from the shadows which they erroneously perceive to be reality.

While not irreversible, the darkness is descending. However, there is no amount of CNN, railing against “the patriarchy,” Vinyasa yoga or Prozac that is going to magically alter this reality. The illusion of knowledge is the highest form of ignorance.

The biggest problem in the United States today is not the destruction of the middle class, the deplorable state of the public schools and the rule of law, or the fact that the country has degenerated into a Tower of Babel and a war of all against all. Nor is it unfettered privatization, humanitarian interventionism, or the perilous state of the First Amendment and the informed consent ethic. The most serious problem we face is that the people who once courageously opposed these evils have turned on their once noble ideals with a cannibalistic and utterly horrifying brutality.

Recently a dragonfly flew into my apartment and it took me several days to help it escape. For thirty years I’ve been trying to help neoliberals to escape their prison and have gotten absolutely nowhere. Ironically, the dragonfly, as evidenced by the fact that pieces of its wings had broken off as a result of furiously beating against the glass, was aware of its predicament. Like the slaves in Plato’s cave, only those who come to the realization that the shadows they are staring at are an illusion can be saved from this virus of lies, madness, amnesia and death.

David Penner’s articles on politics and health care have appeared in Dissident Voice, CounterPunch, Global Research, The Saker blog, OffGuardian and KevinMD; while his poetry can be found at Dissident Voice, Mad in America, and Also a photographer, he is the author of three books of portraiture: Faces of The New Economy, Faces of Manhattan Island, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at Read other articles by David.