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Italy’s vaccine passport power grab Is Draghi embellishing a crisis to sidestep democracy?

Romans protesting the green passes (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Romans protesting the green passes (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)


September 29, 2021   7 mins

On October 15, Italy will become the first country in Europe where you will need a “Covid passport”, or “green pass”, to access not only most public spaces (as is already the case for all citizens over the age of 12) but all workplaces as well, public or private. The pass proves that you’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19, have recently tested negative or have recovered from the disease within the past six months. Anyone without one risks being put on unpaid leave and fined as much as 1,500 euros.

Some other European countries — most notably France — have similar measures in place, requiring proof of Covid status to gain access to indoor restaurants, museums, theatres and cultural events, or to work in certain sectors such as healthcare. But nothing comes close to Italy’s scheme in terms of range and scope; the only other country in the world to have introduced a mandatory Covid passport for all workers is Saudi Arabia.

How did Italy reach this point? Essentially, the Italian government adopted a textbook frog-in-boiling-water approach. The green pass was announced in mid-July, pretty much out of the blue, despite very few hospitalisations for Covid and a vaccination rate well above the European average. When they first came into force on August 6, they were initially limited to indoor restaurants, museums, cinemas and sports venues. Given that it was the middle of the holiday season, and that most restaurants in the summer offer outdoor seating (no green pass required), the impact of the measure was initially rather limited.

But that soon changed. On September 1, the green pass became mandatory also for medium and long-distance public transport, as well as for all school teachers, staff and university students. And just a week ago came the decision to extend it to all public and private-sector workers — a move that caught almost everyone by surprise.

As the rules became increasingly restrictive, opposition to the green pass started growing as well: thousands of people, who were largely vaccine-hesitant, started taking to the streets in several Italian cities. Some demonstrators even went so far as to compare themselves to holocaust victims by wearing Star of David badges, like those worn by Jews in Nazi-era Germany, bearing the words “not vaccinated”.

Such comparisons are ridiculous, but the source of the protesters’ discontent is not. Covid passports — especially when so sweeping in scope — raise serious ethical and political issues. With these changes, we are effectively stripping citizens who haven’t broken any law whatsoever (in Italy, like elsewhere, Covid vaccines are not mandatory) of their basic constitutional rights — the right to work, to study, to move freely. That should give anyone reason to pause and reflect.

This kind of discrimination is also in direct violation of EU Regulation 2021/953, which states that “[t]he issuance of [Covid] certificates… should not lead to discrimination on the basis of the possession of a specific category of certificate”, and that “[i]t is necessary to prevent direct or indirect discrimination against persons who are not vaccinated, for example because of medical reasons… or because they have not yet had the opportunity or chose not to be vaccinated”. This is also echoed by Resolution 2361 (2021) of the Council of Europe.

In fact, the word “discrimination” doesn’t even begin to do justice to what we are witnessing in Italy. Representatives of the political, medical and media establishment have openly accused the unvaccinated of being “rats”, “subhumans” and “criminals”, who deserve to be “excluded from public life” and “from the national health service” and even to “die like flies”. Perhaps more worryingly, both prime minister Mario Draghi and the president Sergio Mattarella have accused the unvaccinated of “putting the lives of others at risk” (a claim based on the assumption that the vaccinated aren’t contagious).

It’s no surprise, then, that some of Italy’s intellectual heavyweights have come out against the green pass. Giorgio Agamben is perhaps Italy’s most famous philosopher, best known for his study of the concept of state of exception — situations of crisis or emergency that are employed by governments to expand their powers, and in which constitutional rights tend to be diminished, superseded and rejected.

Agamben, once a darling of the Left, became a controversial figure early in the pandemic after he claimed in an infamous article that the virus was “a normal flu” and that the pandemic was “a fabrication” aimed at “expanding government powers beyond all limits”. This understandably discredited him in the eyes of many, especially his leftist fans, who jettisoned their idol almost overnight in their rush to embrace the new state of exception, lockdowns and all.

Agamben’s comments were wrong, provocative and needlessly hyperbolic. But as the Government rolls out an unprecedented system of population control, it is hard to deny that some of his predictions have largely come true. This is probably why Massimo Cacciari, one of the country’s most respected philosophers and public intellectuals, recently agreed to publish an article with Agamben claiming that the green pass is a dangerously discriminatory measure that “automatically transforms an entire category of people into second-class citizens”, and that Italy is going down the same path as China, which “intends to keep tracking and control systems in place even after the end of the pandemic”. 

It is frankly still unclear what purpose these green passes actually serve. According to the Government, the green pass is uniquely a public-health measure aimed at reducing the spread of the virus by limiting contact among the unvaccinated (and between the latter and vaccinated). The problem is that the science underpinning such an argument is shaky, to say the least. As Stephanie Hare wrote in The Guardian: “We don’t know how long immunity lasts. We don’t know to what extent vaccines reduce transmission, or by how much, or whether this varies depending on which vaccine we’ve had”.

Nor is it clear how contagious asymptomatic people, whether vaccinated or not, actually are. Similar concerns have been voiced by several Italian experts as well. According to Andrea Crisanti, professor of microbiology at the University of Padua Crisanti: “The green pass is not a public-health measure. We now know that even vaccinated people can become infected and infect other people after a certain period. This means that we don’t know what the effect of the green pass on the virus’s transmission is, if any”.

But if green passes are largely ineffective from an epidemiological perspective, what is the real basis for their introduction? The answer at this point should be rather obvious: to coax people into getting vaccinated, as is now openly acknowledged by straight-talking medical experts such as Andrea Crisanti and others. However, we are well beyond “nudging” here. By making one’s positive Covid status a precondition for leading anything resembling a “normal” life — for eating out, going to school, travelling, even working — Italy has essentially implemented a de facto mandatory vaccination (despite the fact that even the World Health Organization counsels against mandatory vaccination).

Some claim that this isn’t true, given that those who don’t want to vaccinate can obtain a green pass by taking regular tests. But this argument doesn’t hold water: Covid tests currently have a validity of 48 hours and can cost anything from 15 to 50 euros. This amounts to a monthly cost of at least 200 euros, which is prohibitive for low-income workers and amounts to class-based discrimination. Indeed, the Government has flatly rejected the unions’ demands that it offer free tests to workers, claiming that this would “discourage people from getting vaccinated”. And this is despite the fact that regular free testing for all would arguably be the best way to track the spread of the virus.

Such hypocrisy explains why opposition to the green pass is now gaining traction in unlikely quarters. Take the example of the recent appeal against the green pass signed by hundreds of university professors, including the hugely popular Left-wing historian, novelist and essayist Alessandro Barbero. They state that the green pass “surreptitiously enforces a mandatory vaccination in exchange for accessing fundamental rights such as the right to study and to work, without the full assumption of responsibility by the government”.

Interestingly, several studies suggest that vaccine requirements can be counterproductive because they make people feel pressured and may increase existing distrust of public-health initiatives, especially among marginalised groups. This seems to be happening in Italy, where the number of vaccines administered daily has dropped since the introduction of the green pass.

This may easily be an unintended consequences of the government’s bullish strategy. However, the fact that this hasn’t prompted any rethinking of said strategy raises an even more disturbing prospect: that the green pass may not be just a means to an end — mass vaccination — but also an end in and of itself.

The Italian economic-political establishment has a long history of invoking, embellishing or even engineering crises — usually economic in nature — to justify technocratic governments and emergency measures, as well as the sidestepping of the normal channels of democracy. In this sense, it is not outlandish to posit that the country’s elites, under Draghi’s leadership, may view the current conjecture as a golden opportunity to complete the oligarchisation of the country they’ve been working at for the past decades (and in which Mario Draghi has played a central role).

A crucial feature of this process has been the transition from a post-war regime based on the centrality of parliament to one dominated by executive, technocratic and supranational powers, in which the legislature performs a marginal role, thus insulating policymaking from democratic processes. As a result, there has been an increased resort to so-called “technical governments” run by “experts” supposedly untainted by political partisanship and unburdened by the complications of parliamentary politics — as well as the transfer of key policy tools from the national level, where a certain degree of democratic control can always potentially be exercised, to the supranational institutions of the EU, which are undemocratic by design.

Thus, as Massimo Cacciari notes, “the green pass could easily become a way of surreptitiously prolonging a state of emergency”, thereby further entrenching the marginalisation of political parties and parliament, the unprecedented concentration of power in the executive and technocratic apparatuses of the state and the growing influence of the EU over national policymaking.

If that doesn’t sound like a state of exception, I don’t know what does. Agamben may have been wrong about the severity of the virus, but not about how it has been utilised by the state. And maybe, when he writes that “the real aim of the green pass is meticulous and unconditional control over all movements of citizens”, as unlikely as it may sound, we would do well not to write it off as the ravings of a paranoid.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

“Agamben, once a darling of the Left, became a controversial figure early in the pandemic after he claimed in an infamous article that the virus was “a normal flu” and that the pandemic was “a fabrication” aimed at “expanding government powers beyond all limits”. This understandably discredited him in the eyes of many, especially his leftist fans, who jettisoned their idol almost overnight in their rush to embrace the new state of exception, lockdowns and all.
Agamben’s comments were wrong, provocative and needlessly hyperbolic.”

No, he is absolutely correct. COVID vaccine mandates are about control of the populace. Despite what much of the media claims, none of this is for our own good.

Last edited 2 years ago by Julian Farrows
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I can find only one minor problem with what he said. It wasn’t a ‘normal’ flu, but a bit nastier – we didn’t ever stop life for these flus. He certainly had the main thrust on the button and there should be no argument with this Italian hero.

Andrew Lale
AL
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

It will be ‘normal flu’ once we’ve all had it a few times, which is what many of us were saying from the very beginning. According to an immunologist I know, the worst thing you can do in these circumstances is try to stop the disease, as that increases its mutation rate.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

If we could somehow stop the disease that would be fantastic, but impossible in the long term. Partially vaccinating the population allows it to mutate to beat the vaccines

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

It would mutate anyway like normal flu does every year. Flu jabs are mostly aimed at the elderly to reduce deaths every winter but they are not foolproof – the rest of us just get on with it and try not to spread it around too much.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Yes, if you let it run wild you can get dangerous new variants – like India

If you vaccinate quickly, and get the cases down, these variants are less likely.

If you vaccinate slowly and partially, the cases go up and you risk the vaccines becoming useless because the virus gets the chance to adapt.

The way it’s looking, we should all? be getting vaccinated every winter, just like with flu, and beginning now

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Perhaps, but what’s going on here is that we have a group of people in powerful positions, many of them swindlers and opportunists (like Draghi) creaming from the public coffers, telling us that we need to take our medicine or else. The psychological strain this puts society under has far-reaching consequences – more than if we were allowed to just exercise personal responsibility and caution.
These mandates reduce us to the level of recalcitrant infants.

rodney foy
RF
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

They’re certainly creaming our coffers. “personal responsibility and caution” seems to be the Swedish approach. I kind of like it

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

If the vaccination doesn’t prevent infection but rather ameloirates or eliminates symptoms, as seems to be the case with Covid19, then isn’t it the vaccinated who will more rapidly incubate the random mutation that will circumvent the vaccine protection? The existing variants will continue to prosper as before In the unvaccinated until natural immunity is achieved; a longer process.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

I don’t think there’s any doubt that vaccination prevents a lot of infections. It probably reduces transmission too, but there may be a bit of controversy over this

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Gert van de Bosch thinks so. Look him up.

Glenn Herrick
Glenn Herrick
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

“the worst thing you can do in these circumstances is try to stop the disease, as that increases its mutation rate”
Document this!
“Mutation rate”: if you meant by this the rate at which the pool virus genomes accumulates mutants, then you fail to realize that mutations arise during the process of viral replication. The fewer infections, the fewer transmissions, the lower the number of new mutants, the fewer variants available for selection or to survive by random drift.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Glenn Herrick

Well put. Have an uptick

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Glenn Herrick

If the vaccinated can still be infected, as seems to be the case with Covid19, then that vaccine circumventing mutation is going to emerge anyway. Only a matter of time.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

That’s why you need to vaccinate up to the level of herd immunity so that the number of infected people is on a downward trajectory. 100% effective vaccination is not currently possible. That’s how they eradicated smallpox

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

A long term project then.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Different type of vaccine. Smallpox vaccine neutralises infection so, with enough people vaccinated, you can stop transmission like you say. Sars Cov2 vaccines don’t neutralise. By diminishing symptoms they lower infectiousness but they in no way stop it. This is why Italy’s green pass justification is utterly iniquitous. Particularly since it also encourages the vaccinated to take minimal measures to stop transmission and ascetically encourages the whole nation to not test .

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

I’ve been double jabbed, no ideological problem with vaccination as I studied epidemiology as part of my degree. Back when the UK used to screen incomers for TB and monitor typhoid carriers. Those were the days! Anyway, in the last month I’ve had close contact with 2 people who have had Covid. Isolation and testing. No Covid. And I was definitely at risk from both contacts.
Time will tell as to how effective vaccination is against infection.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to read with interest (and some disbelief) the often unsubstantiated musings of this group.

Last edited 2 years ago by Deborah B
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah B

Epidemiology perhaps, but not logic it seems.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah B

My neighbour and her friend, both vaccinated, came down with the disease. There’s plenty of studies out there measuring the fact that the Sars Cov2 vaccines are not neutralising even if, by minimising symptoms, they lower transmission. But this is only one part of the picture. Vaccinated people here in Italy think they are invulnerable, because the state has encouraged that idea, and no one takes any tests because they all have to pay for them, vaccinated or not.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

The only reason that it was, and is not a “normal flu” is that it is an engineered one. I suspect that this was known very early in spite of anyone suggesting it being labelled a “conspiracy theorist”. Hence the initial panic. No-one knew exactly how it was going to behave and mutate. Now we do and there is no more reason to panic.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

As far as I can see, the lab-leak of an engineered virus idea is no longer consider a conspiracy theory, and is being seriously considered.

With vaccines there’s no reason to panic, if indeed there ever was.

I suppose we might import a variant from the unvaccinated world, but are likely to still have a good degree of protection.

There is the question of whether we should be vaccinating the world instead of offering booster shots – which could protect us. Perhaps selfishly, I would personally like a booster shot

Niels Georg Bach
Niels Georg Bach
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Sorry. I can’t see the control perspective. What kind of control are there in vaccination demands. What can it be used for.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Why did he say Agamben was wrong, as you quoted, and in the very next sentence say that his predictions came true?

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago

Of course they are ’embellishing the crisis to sidestep democracy.’ This is what is happening throughout the Western World. Not just Italy.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Italy. Hang your head in shame.

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago

I’ll never visit Italy again – let Italy belong only to the vaccinated Italians. Enjoy yourselves

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago

The continent doesn’t have the libertarian tradition of Anglo countries. Almost every single nation there has been under one dictatorship or another within living memory. However it’s been long enough that the real sting of the horrors of these has faded. Italians and many other Europeans are quite happy to be told what to do when and how by their governments.
It might sound hyperbolic to now compare that to the EU – but there’s the same reason why many in Europe don’t seem overly concerned by a creeping authoritarian, undemocratic bureaucracy.
It is why we see more resistance to this in the East where the horrors of authoritarianism are more fresh in the mind.
And finally it might seem a bit smug to trumpet the concept of Anglo-libertarianism – but it’s more a statement of undeniable fact.
Though even that has been heavily eroded in recent years – largely because we have forgotten the above and our history teachers focus on aggrievances and niche histories, rather than teach our children how and why we have arrived at where we are as a nation – good and bad.

Last edited 2 years ago by A Spetzari
Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

The problem is that people like it.
The link supplied on demonstrations is dated August 7 and talked about a whopping 1000 people in one of Rome’s main squares.
As far as I know even now the level of protest is next to nil.
To the the question is not *why” the Italian government is doing it, but why the people seem to like it so much in Italy (and elsewhere).

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

The media have lied consistantly about the attendance at these protests. One only has to watch the video footage online to see the truth. It is surprising that there are still people around who believe what they read and watch in the mainstream media.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

The ‘fuel crisis’ just the latest example of fearmongering amd hyperbole for clicks and views

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Quite! People just seem happy to hand over authority.
One reason among many is that we don’t teach history properly. Younger people have zero concept about the journey us and Europe went on. They might have a vague notion of standalone events and concepts (WWII, Suffragettes, the Tudors ) but have no idea what binds it all together.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Protests are useless, how often do they achieve actual policy change regardless of size? Almost never, not even in democracies. You can’t extrapolate from protest size to whether people like something or not. Where I live there haven’t been any protests at all in the countries biggest city as far as I know, but I suspect they simply aren’t being approved or covered, as protests popped up all over the place in smaller towns and areas. It certainly isn’t that people love vaccines given the reported vaccination rates.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

I don’t know.
In Italy mass protests are normal. In Rome you used to be hard pushed to be able to go from A to B without coming across protesters against this or that.
Maybe the protesters have all died of Covid…

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Maybe the protesters have all died of Covid…” Careful what you wish for

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Agreed. Protests usually only actually effect change if the government feels threatened by violent overthrown, as occured in France, Russia, Iran etc. And even then, in those cases, the acquisence of the army, or at least a part of it, is usually a prerequisite.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I don’t believe many people actually “like” much of what is happening to their societies and their lives – but the reason they do not protest is that modern conditions preclude it. The protests which take place – BLM, “extinction rebellion” etc – are mere eruptions of establishment moralism, hence the softly softly policing. Consider the treatement granted to the murderous imbeciles who block motorways. Any protest which seriously challenges the shibboleths of our rulers – clearly NOT the government – is very differently approached; and this was true some twenty years ago, when the “Countryside Alliance” was frankly mashed up by the Old Bill. More profoundly, metropolitan youth – the element which brings down regimes in history – is a) rare – our society is all but sterile; b) indoctrinated – thanks to the left domination of schools. Whom does that leave? The old, the middle aged, the doubtful, the enfeebled, the despairing, the provincial, the marginal, the mutually distant, old left (Piers, not Jeremy), far right – an elastic category today, eccentrics and cranks. Together, such a list may well make up a majority; it can never make up a protest, far less a rebellion. The left has recently been wise in one thing: to take down “bourgeois” society at last, it has targeted domestic, family and educational life, not to mention the arts. Its triumph is our slow death. And I’m not sure that anyone can reverse it – not now that the Tory party, the only institution capable of resistance – has, under “Boris”, gone one hundred per cent over to the dark side. Adaptation will be the order of our latter years.

Last edited 2 years ago by Simon Denis
Andrea X
AA
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

No idea why someone downvoted my comment, anyway, in answer to yours, I think there is more to it. Some kind of psychosis that entraps and mesmerises us all, perhaps. As I have often remarked, everybody seems happy enough with their lot (be it the UK, Australia, Italy, you name it) and look with scorn at what others do (the ubiquitous holier than thou attitude).

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

No idea why someone downvoted my comment” – that’s the reason

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

No-one is ever happy with their lot, we always want more. But I think that in the West we have become relatively comfortable, often home owners who look for stability not chaos, and huge swathes of society are wholly dependent on the state. There is no real drive to fight it because we have too much to lose.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Yet far more to lose if we don’t fight it. It is like parenting and most other things in the west. Short term gain for long term pain. It used to be the other way in The West.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I’d hardly say Boris has gone to the dark side if he is still referred to as evil fascist Nazi racist homophobic scum

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

For the hard left, no matter how left you go – having been once of the right – you’re always those things. So their insults are no guarantee of probity.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
2 years ago

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of
hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
H.L. Mencken
This old quote from a real 4th Estate member sums up the West’s problem. Legislatures are giving up more and more power to the “solvers” of the myriad crisis that seem to march across our headlines in increasingly shrill terms.
The Covid Pandemic will never end until the people end it.
Climate Change will never arrive, it’s easier to control the public by keeping them afraid of a computer generated future built on dubious claims of causation.
Food deprivation, GMO, Overpopulation, Trump, White Supremacy, Nuclear Energy, Plastic, Trees in Brazil, Chemicals, Population Loss, Terrorism, the list goes on and on each rising or falling due to the attention of our Press. There is no more reporting and the Technocrats know it so they pander to the press and gin up their own importance by pronouncing whatever they want us to believe, rather based on Science, Truth or Common Sense.
Nothing will change until we, the people, stand up and refuse to believe the nonsense.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago

excellent comment

Ken Moss
Ken Moss
2 years ago

Spot on. As you say, MSM and journalist are just bought and paid for. Certain foundations have incredible amounts of money to influence universities, politicians, proffessors and most certainly newspapers while the social media platforms enforce it all with a multitude of eager fact checkers.

robert stowells
robert stowells
2 years ago

Agamben’s comments were actually clearly prescient and not “wrong, provocative and needlessly hyperbolic” and actually echoed some of my own speculations at the time as my mind tried to order the strange goings on which were developing in the world at large. 
I very recently wrote a comment in response to a Tom Chiver’s article “If you have a cough, what are the odds it’s COVID?” in which I put forward that I believe, in hindsight, that I had had COVID in early 2020 in which comment I also hinted as to whether there was any connection between the national debt of Italy (which was gaining headlines in early 2020) and Italy as a centre of the outbreak of COVID (around the same time) – my mind made this connection at the time and I further conjectured at the time as to whether Italy had been forgiven debt or had debt paid in return for co-operation in being on the vanguard of COVID outbreak (in truth it seemed the sanest explanation).  The timing of this article by Thomas Fazi’s seems almost to respond to that line of concern.
This article by Thomas Fazi once more puts Italy suddenly at the very vanguard of the COVID phenomenon. In being once more at the vanguard it also rekindles those thoughts in my own mind as to whether Italy is making some trade off (perhaps financial – and with which side?) for being at that vanguard of issuing COVID restrictions.
Presently I am thinking (almost as an ongoing unconscious wrestling process of my mind to gain some sense or equilibrium in the madness) that the COVID big picture may be connected with currency wars with China. The US in being the world’s benchmark currency can perhaps print money with far greater impunity than say China. At the same time perhaps the US knows that global cryptocurrency is coming (Bitcoin) so the US is making hay while the sun shines and printing trillions of dollars – COVID also provides good cover and opportunism for that. Meanwhile China is banning cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) and promoting its own digital Yen also having Italy as a second focal point for COVID takes attention away from China.  

Last edited 2 years ago by robert stowells
Eleanoŕ Pitt
Eleanoŕ Pitt
2 years ago

Look for Ernst Wolff’s August 2021 Uncovering the Corona Narrative speech in German with subtitles (try odysee). All of what you say is in there and much more.
The reasons for all of this are multilayered but none of them are related to the official narrative.

Andrew Lale
AL
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

“The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” Tom Wolfe

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago

As the famed philosopher “Hanoi Jane” Fonda said with a chuckle last year, “Covid is God’s gift to the Left.”

The only quibble is that neoliberal millionaire oligarchs have now co-opted the “discourses and narratives” of the former Left.

Screwed again, Karl.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

It’s what they voted for.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

….. people want simple answers to complicated issues: it is so lovely to believe vaccines being the solution to all illness ….

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
2 years ago

The author of this article is wrong to say Agemben’s comments were ‘wrong’. He is entitled to disagree, but the evidence is quite consistent with Agemben’s assertion

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago

Mussolini would be proud of Draghi.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago

Living here in Italy I have asked many people their thoughts about the green pass. My conclusion is that a large number do not agree with it or believe in the efficacy of its stated intentions but they are too scared of the consequences of speaking up.

I appear to know a lot of people who are not vaccinated and none of them have been convinced to get the vaccine based on this policy even though they have now all lost any ability to earn a living whether in a workplace or not. Funny that they are not banned from spending their money however as they are still allowed into shops.

I’ve also been reliably informed that there are millions of over 65’s who are not vaccinated yet and this policy really does nothing to encourage them to do so even though they are the ones most at risk of severe illness.

Finally the people I have spoken to who have been very supportive of the green pass all say ‘better to do something than nothing’ and my impression is that they still believe, after all evidence to the contrary, that the country is in a major state of emergency.

All I can say is not in my name and if anyone knows of an organisation that is gathering similar people together please let me know.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago

Of course the thing most of the people I’ve talked to seem to miss is that whilst being coerced into getting the vaccine, there’s no exit strategy being presented to remove any of the other restrictions which still remain, using any aspect of the vaccine or otherwise.

Paul Grimaldi
Paul Grimaldi
2 years ago

How are vaccine passports ‘control over the movement of citizens’ unles one believes that the vaccine contains some covert microscopic tracker? If pushing anti vaxers into getting the vaccine is the purpose of passports then that’s fine by me. The virus is harmful to both health and economies so every effort by governments to eliminate it is what I would expect a responsibly government to do. Fazi, like many others, seems to misunderstand the concept of freedom: that it is only one’s personal freedom that is of import. Dispite Fazi’s insistence on lack of ‘proof’, [some things cannot be proven – just judged by weight of evidence] the liklihood is, from all data currently available, that fully vaccinated or negative tested people mixing is unlikly to result in an exponential spread of the virus. Italy’s foreceful approach is in stark contrast to the UK’s ‘do as you wish’ policy – with only around 50% compliance with mask wearing on public transport. People are basically too damn selfish for their own convenience not to be forced to do the right thing for the community as a whole. I’d feel a lot safer in Italy right now.