Are Covid conspiracies rightwing? Asking for a friend

Ok, so we’re all fed up with wearing masks. And some people don’t want the Covid vaccine.

One of my concerns around Covid conspiracy theories is that they are either rightwing in nature or are a gateway into rightwing thought and other rightwing, even fascist, conspiracy theories and campaigns.

Rightwing campaigns are essentially selfish in nature. They promote their own interests and desires over the interests of other individuals or other groups of people.

With a rightwing Covid campaign, this might start with the simple and relatively innocent thought – ‘I don’t want to wear a mask.’

Guess what – nobody wants to wear a mask. But the truth is, that wearing masks helps to slow the transmission of certain types of disease, and Covid is one of those.

For those looking for an excuse not to wear a mask, it’s easy to tell yourself that mask-wearing doesn’t work. It’s also convenient to those folks to believe that Covid just isn’t as dangerous as politicians and health professionals tell us it is. A common myth seems to be that the death rate from Covid is only about 0.02% instead of what it’s been all along; about 3%. I’ve never found a convincing source for the 0.02% claim. My suspicion is that it’s arrived at by mangling statistics.

Those not wanting to wear a mask and who disagree with lockdown conditions, tell themselves that the stories they hear that masks don’t work and Covid isn’t deadly are true, in order to support their selfish position.

It’s a selfish position: You have chosen to believe something that isn’t true because it suits you.

This kind of self-deception, or willful blindness, is very common amongst the right-wing.

Take the extreme example of white supremacists; they choose to believe that white people are inherently ‘better’ than other races. Better in what way? More intelligent? There’s no evidence for that, but white supremacists choose to believe that it’s true, along with other spurious claims.

Anti-lockdown and anti-mask campaigns often frame themselves as FREEDOM campaigns. Again, this is their freedom at the expense of the actual lives of other people. Their freedom to not wear a mask or to resist lockdown, literally threatens the lives of other people. They have chosen to believe something that isn’t true in order to promote what THEY want. FREEDOM FOR ME!

And as they look around to add justifications to their conspiracy, they come across erroneous anti-vaccine campaigns. Once again, it’s a small step to choose to believe that the vaccine doesn’t work as it adds justification to the simple and selfish position of ‘I don’t want to wear a mask.’

Rightwing conspiracy theories seems to gravitate towards each other and become lumped together.

I’ve noticed that some Covid conspiracy theorists also chose to believe, against all evidence, that climate change isn’t real. Maybe they think they’ve spotted other impositions on their freedom?

Needless to say, climate change is real. This is the website (it’s American, hence the spelling) I direct all doubters to: Skeptical Science. It’s a good starting point to learn about climate change and it addresses many of the incorrect myths about climate change.

The obvious advantage in choosing to believe that climate change isn’t real is that you can ignore it; drive a massive car, take as many flights as you want, buy all the consumer goods you want, eat as much beef as you like, etc. etc.

Once again, it’s obvious to see that this is a selfish position. It is pursuing your own FREEDOMS at the expense of future generations and… well… all life on Earth! Fuck me, that’s some next-level selfishness right there!

But look how slow progress on climate change actually is.

And once again, we see that those who either aren’t bothered by climate change or are actively try to undermine efforts to fix it, are more likely to be right-wing. In the USA, the chief blockers of progress on climate change are Republicans.

I suppose the denial operates on a few levels. One of those is corporate – if you run a multi-billion dollar oil company, you’re unlikely to want to give that up and so put lots of resources into undermining the science of climate change. Whereas for regular members of the public, they just want to carry on with their unsustainable lifestyles and choose to believe the lies put out by the fossil fuel industry anti climate change campaigns.

To get back to my main point – rightwing campaigns are about selfishness. How do people avoid falling for them? It’s a trap and once people are caught, it can be hard for them to get out.

The solution is for us to be honest with ourselves. Are we pursuing a position that’s in opposition to the facts, just so we can do what we want? Might we be deceiving ourselves with a convenient lie?

How do we get ‘the facts?’

Knowing what is or isn’t a good source for facts can be tricky.

So please – don’t go down the rightwing rabbit hole. You won’t end up in a good place. We don’t need more fascists.

Rightwingers often tend to be angry, from my experience. Who’d want to live a life of being angry all the time?

We need to work together, in all areas of society, to make the world a better and less selfish place, that works for everyone.


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