Have we been drinking Kool-Aid?
To the editor:
The reference is to the mass suicide in Jonestown in 1978, an event figuring prominently in Charlan Nemeth’s book, “In Defense of Troublemakers – the power of dissent in life and business.” Cult leader Jim Jones “understood the power of consensus for thought control” (p. 84). Isn’t one reminded of refrains one hears today? “We’re all in this together.” “Can’t we all just get along?”
Nemeth’s book begins with a description of the ill-fated Dec. 28, 1978, United Airlines Flight 173 from New York to Portland. Preoccupation with a landing-gear problem led to failure to reckon with the dangerously low fuel level. And so the plane fell out of the sky and crashed six miles from the airport. Desperately needed vigorous and insistent dissent had not been voiced. May the fuel problem be compared to the colossal collateral consequences of the reaction to COVID-19? Has something of the greatest urgency been largely sidelined? To cite just one example: The lockdowns are a major factor in placing 130 million people worldwide at risk of starvation.
Have the “experts” proven themselves reliable when it comes to the response to the virus? Should the voices of dissenters be simply dismissed? Jennifer Cabrera. Ivor Cummins. Ian Miller. James Delingpole. Jeremy R. Hammond. Martin Kulldorff. Jay Bhattacharya. Sunetra Gupta. Scott Atlas. Gret Glyer. Jay Richards. Gregory Morin. Nick Hudson. Jordan Schachtel. Michael Betrus. Alex Berenson. Naomi Wolf. John Hinderaker.
Let’s hear from Nemeth again (p. 214): “Dissent and debate also bring joy and invigorate discussion. Best of all, genuine dissent and debate not only make us think but make us think well. … I will let the philosopher Eric Hoffer bring this book to its close beautifully and succinctly: ‘The beginning of thought is in disagreement – not only with others but also with ourselves.'”
Shirley M. Sommer