We’re publishing a guest post by blogger “Eugyppius”, where he reviews Michael Senger’s Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World, which spies the schemes of the Chinese Premier and his party behind all the lockdown madness of the past two years. This post was originally published on Eugyppius’s Substack account, which you can subscribe to here.
I will never tire of typing that the whole question, of how lockdowns became the default response to Corona, is very hard. Some points are nevertheless clear. There was, without a doubt and in the earliest stages, a kind of lockdown cabal, a small group of people in different countries who worked to bring some simulacrum of the Hubei response first to Italy and then to most of the globe. An insidious, coordinated information campaign accompanied their efforts, and this should warn us against easy assumptions that they had good intentions.
On social media, a swarm of manipulative pro-lockdown accounts promoted containment and attacked any prominent politician who tried to steer a moderate course. Michael Senger was among the first to point out that this campaign was operated, in part, out of China. His crucial September 2020 article on the Chinese promotion of lockdowns on social media for Tablet Magazine won him wide renown. He had over 100,000 followers on Twitter before the platform banned him; he now writes the New Normal on Substack, and you should all subscribe to him.
In his Tablet article, throughout his time on Twitter, and in his new blogging incarnation, Senger has developed a lean, straightforward thesis that aims to cut the Gordian knot of what has befallen us. He lays responsibility for lockdowns at the feet of the Chinese Communist Party, and in particular Xi Jinping. In the strictest sense, he is surely right here: None of our countries would have locked down, if China hadn’t done so first and convinced the World Health Organisation that mass containment was effective.