By Leif Johnson
October 09, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – The present lockdown of the Western world and much of the Third World is an attack on China. Here is how it works:
- Slash Chinese export earnings. The Chinese economy is heavily export-oriented. Seventeen percent of all China’s enormous production is shipped to countries that now, either cannot afford imports, or whose buying power is reduced from months of massive unemployment. What remains of Chinese exports will fetch lower prices. This comes after China’s export market to its largest trading partner, the U.S., was slapped by 10 to 25% import duties, beginning 2018.
- Bankrupt the Chinese Belt and Road projects. The Chinese export of capital (Belt and Road) for railways, waterways, dams, ports, power stations and other infrastructure improvements in 138 nations in the world, is estimated at three trillion dollars. These projects are expected to be paid for by user fees. Because many Third World and other countries may be unable to repay those loans, China’s losses could be in the trillions.
- Attack Chinese commerce world-wide. To halt Chinese competition especially in electronics, companies such as Huawei and TikTok are banned in the U.S. and Britain, and the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei is jailed. Chinese scientists and students are deported, while American sanctions against Iran and Venezuela are designed to cut petroleum exports to China.
Of these, by far the greatest damage to the Chinese economy has been the lockdown; that damage will increase as world economies decline. This economic vacuum will put an extraordinary strain on the Chinese export industries and banking system.
There are two more major areas of attacks:
Military: The U S. has sent an enlarged fleet, including two aircraft carriers, into Chinese coastal waters. Australia is now building a base on a forward island confronting China, Japanese and Korean militaries have been beefed up and Japan may allow nuclear weapons on their territory. The U.S. has increased its military spending especially on advanced and nuclear weapons.
Chinese defense against such threats will be a military buildup costing an additional two or three hundred billion a year. This buildup entails a shift from peace-time capital and consumer goods to the military sector—a serious economic drain.
Propaganda: Hostile measures taken against China will be dressed up as the fight for “democracy,” “openness,” free trade,” “free enterprise,” “justice,” “rule of law,” “international rules,” “human rights,” “anti-terrorism,” “reform,” “anti-corruption” and “anti-communism.” We, especially North Americans, should expect human rights stories from Hong Kong and Xinjiang, yearly memorialization of the massacre at Tienanmen Square, documentaries on persecutions of Christians, Buddhists, the Dalai Lama and… don’t forget Tibet. And what about Chinese pollution that could destroy the planet? And what about the Chinese Communist Party, the most execrable, dangerous, evil organization in the world, towards which people of the West should direct an Orwellian hatred?
These attacks come at an inopportune time. China is embracing large scale automation requiring large capital outlays, while at the same time suffering natural disasters including the swine flu, widespread infestation of the dreaded Fall Army Worm, and devastating floods and droughts.
Is it possible that the Anglo-American financial elite had the power to convince nations worldwide to lock down? Well, they control the UN, WHO, the world organs of mass media, worldwide military deployment, world finance, and the Dollar Empire’s elaborate political, drug, crime, financial, propaganda and cultural networks. Euro-oligarchs collaborate (usually) with this system.
What do they hope to achieve?
We can put aside the easier answers like “world domination,” New World Order, corporate greed, financial control, 1984-style mind control, surveillance state. It is much more fundamental: The world Dollar Empire, and its predecessor British Empire, have ruled much of the world for 400 years. China has emerged as the most powerful challenger to that Empire. If China cannot be destroyed, the Dollar Empire will be vanquished.
Ranked from most desirable to least, here is what I believe the Western merchant-bankers hope to gain.
Most desirable: A regime change in China, whereby the government is overthrown in favor of a Dollar Empire vassal regime. A revolt of the Chinese people against a government that has lifted 800 million people out of poverty is very unlikely. However, military force is not out of the question. Foreign Affairs magazine, (September-October, 2020, p. 156) wrote: “By upgrading their already substantial capabilities in this domain [unmanned submersibles], the United States and its allies would highlight the possibility of a maritime blockade of China.”
Next best: To convince China to adopt financial and political measures amenable to Dollar Empire domination. In the words of former Goldman Sachs banker and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr., (Council on Foreign Relations newsletter, 5/19/20):
China must move to a “market-driven economy, improve corporate governance, and develop efficient, well-regulated financial markets that earn the respect of international investors, so that Beijing can eliminate capital controls and turn the RMB [renminbi] into a market-determined currency.”
In other words, de-regulation, lifting of capital and bank controls, opening the Chinese currency, the renminbi, to international speculation, “free trade,” “free markets” and IMF and WTO conditionalities, designed to open the huge Chinese economy to Dollar Empire looting—as occurred in Russia in 1992-1998. But the Chinese have found a recipe for national success (industrial capitalism), and that fire-belching dragon, the Chinese Communist Party, guards the gate against renewed imperialist looting.
Least: The Dollar System can achieve the third level of options: a combined economic (lockdown, sanctions, trade and financial war), military (NATO, Five Eyes, 7th fleet) and political (ethnic/jihadist subversion, drugs, propaganda) attack on the Chinese economy. That will retard China’s growth and reduce its world power.
Instead of strife, bloodshed and terrible destruction, why doesn’t the Western financial elite join with China in solving the world crises of poverty, refugees and war; why not together explore the frontiers of medicine, science and space? While China might be amenable to collaboration with the West, the oligarchs of the West are locked against it. After all, it is they who created the poverty, refugees and war, and it is they who have spent the post-WWII years dismantling industry, sending much of it to China.
China is a successful, developing economy; the West is an unsuccessful, deteriorating economy. China is based on industrial capitalism; the West is based on merchant-banking capitalism. China invests its capital in industrial plant and equipment and infrastructure; the West invests in financial instruments.
The Chinese seek increased industrial and agricultural production to satisfy people’s needs. The Dollar Empire steals the wealth of nations to create speculative profits. The Chinese system creates capital. The Western system destroys capital. The Chinese System never has financial crashes; the Western System suffers devastating crashes rescued by levies on the population. Chinese industrial capitalism raises the living standard of the population; the West’s financial capitalism lowers the living standard.
The destruction of capital is the hallmark of merchant-banker rule.
Consider the following example: The grain cartel buys products from farmers and sells at a profit. That profit is real capital (no matter how exploitative) because the profit was made on real merchandise being sold.
The cartel does not invest that real profit in agricultural production. It pours its profits into investment funds, banks, off-shore funds, which are largely invested in speculative paper—securitized paper, derivatives, indexes—all of which represents no real goods. It re-invests the paper profits and receives more paper profits. Thus the merchant-banker system sucks capital out of productive agricultural, industrial and commercial enterprise into non-productive financial channels. That is the destruction of capital. It is a misnomer to call this speculative system “capitalism.” It is a cancer. It uses the forms of capitalism, but it destroys capital, just as cancer uses the nutrients of the body but destroys the body.
This is a “system.” It takes capital from the economy (society as a whole), and destroys it by investing in paper (nothing). This is how it thrives. All governments, laws, academia, social mores, mass media, culture and, of course, economics and finance are shaped by this system. It cannot change. It cannot create new productive enterprises. It cannot compete with China, only impede China’s growth.
This is “end game” for the governing oligarchy. This is their Götterdämmerung, their Armageddon. In the death throes of their 400-year-long reign, they will impose a desperate economic, financial and social reorganization which the World Economic Forum calls the “Great Reset.”
One of the world’s most prominent merchant-banker organizations, the World Economic Forum, issued a report, titled:
“This is Now the World’s Greatest Threat—And It’s Not Coronavirus”
- “Affluence is the biggest threat to our world according to a new scientific report.
- “True sustainability will only be achieved through drastic lifestyle changes.
- “The World Economic Forum has called for a ‘great reset’ of capitalism in the wake of the pandemic.
“A detailed analysis of environmental research has revealed the greatest threat to the world: affluence… we have to change our affluent lifestyles and reduce overconsumption in combination with structural change.” (Mind you, this is written by the world’s most wealthy individuals.)
With lockdown-caused destitution, unemployment, lack of food and shelter for hundreds of millions of people worldwide, one would expect that the WEF would be satisfied that “overconsumption” had been sufficiently curbed. However, they know there is still substantial wealth in the American and European middle classes that can be tapped for the post-lockdown economy. They have big plans to get rid of that “overconsumption.”
The first task is to reduce unemployment, now probably 25 million long-term jobless in the U.S. Make-work projects will be “green” and “sustainable” (low technology). This will be paid for by taxing the middle class.
The second task, their true and ultimate agenda, is to create an all-out war economy—the final attempt to terrify the East into submission. This will bring extreme austerity and repression.
The “structural change” mentioned in the World Economic Forum report was made explicit by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his “International Mother Earth Day” message:
“First, the huge amounts of money to be spent on recovery from the coronavirus must deliver new jobs and businesses through a clean, green transition.
“Second, where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue business, it must tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth.
“Third, fiscal firepower must drive a shift from the grey to the green economy, empowering societies and people to be more resilient.
“Fourth, public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate…
“Fifth, climate risks and opportunities must be incorporated into the financial system as well as all aspects of public policy making and infrastructure.”
The World Economic Forum chieftains could not be more pleased. Changeover to “green” sustainability would bring a great reduction in “affluence” by heavily raising the price of energy making everything, from agriculture to industry to transportation, grossly more expensive. Furthermore, to pay the “huge amounts of money to be spent on recovery,” will require heavy tax burdens, or social services spending cuts. The Western populations will not be told their sacrifices are made to thwart China and collapse world industry, but rather, made to “save the planet.” The theory of the Green Revolution is that the West will continue to dismantle its industry to meet climate deadlines while China will be forced, by world public opinion, to follow suit.
The “Green Revolution” will soon dissolve into a total war policy. Sacrifices imposed by the “final solution” military buildup against the East (Russia-China bloc) will strip the remaining wealth of the people. Taxes, inflation, interest rates, will rise as the nation is deprived of health care, education, public services, pensions and Social Security. The “global warming” foe will turn into the Yellow Peril foe.
Totalitarian destruction of our freedoms will be as dread as those of Hitler Germany. Free speech will be considered a security risk, neighbors will spy on neighbors, thousands will disappear or be assassinated. Race riots will be used to “divide and conquer.” Electronic spying will be ubiquitous, as will be preventive detention. All the police state measures used against foreign populations by the military, State Department, intelligence agencies and hired mercenaries and drug mafias, will be turned against Americans.
America does not deserve this. America was the first nation to overthrow the shackles of the merchant-banker British Empire. America was the first nation to lay the basis for an industrial republic. America became the most free, equal and magnanimous nation in the world which triggered a century-long battle between the industrial American System and the merchant-banking British System. The American System built a great nation.
Apostles of the American System included Alexander Hamilton, Mathew Carey, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Nicholas Biddle, Henry Carey, and Abraham Lincoln. The American System was succinctly described by Abraham Lincoln in an election palm card: “My program, like an old lady’s dance, is short and sweet: I am for a protective tariff, a national bank and internal improvements.”
In 1851, Henry Carey (The Harmony of Interests, p. 217) summarized America’s role in the world as follows:
“Two Systems are before the world; the one looks to increasing the proportion of persons and of capital engaged in trade and transportation, and therefore to diminish the proportion engaged in producing commodities with which to trade, with necessarily diminished return to the labour of all; while the other looks to increasing the proportion engaged in the work of production… with increased return to all, giving to the labourer good wages, and to the owner of capital good profits…
“One looks to pauperism, ignorance, depopulation, and barbarism; the other to increasing wealth, comfort, intelligence, combination of action, and civilization. One looks towards universal war; the other towards universal peace.
“One is the English System; the other we may be proud to call the American System, for it is the only one ever devised, the tendency of which was that of ELEVATING while EQUALIZING the condition of man throughout the world.
“Such is the true MISSION of the people of these United States…”
Let American history be our guide as we restore that mission.
Leif Johnson was engaged in the 1950-60s civil rights and peace movements. The 1963 March on Washington convinced him devote his life to the betterment of mankind. He spent 27 years a follower of Lyndon LaRouche, where he met some extraordinary people and learned much.
This question and the title of this article makes no sense, China itself was actually the first country to employ the tactic of the lock down in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus when it first hit them when they placed the whole city of Wuhan under lockdown and if memory serves me right when China first made use of the lock down western countries were quick to condemn the Chinese government for taking their citizens “hostage” and gross human rights violations, etc., until they themselves had no other option than to employ the same tactic when the coronavirus spread to their own countries too as it seemed to have worked for the Chinese in curbing the spread of the virus and they didn’t have a clue as to what else to do.
tjrich2018104p· 3 days agoThe reason the question and the title make no sense is that the premise is nonsense. If one didn’t know better. One could believe this was written by a Coal mine owner funding the Trump administration.
‘America was the first nation to overthrow the shackles of the merchant-banker British Empire. America was the first nation to lay the basis for an industrial republic.” – They may not have been the first but America was certainly one of the best at genocide and slavery.
MavericPat105p· 3 days agoWe don’t know what went on behind the scene with China and it’s Western adversaries. We have seen how the West has blamed the virus and it’s spread on China, though I’m sure it was creat3 and unleashed by the US.
I read of a leaked document, which surfaced in Israel and another location too, of an internal CIA memo dated several weeks before the date that the Chinese became aware. It states that China will be stricken with an epidemic that will destroy China economically.
Then, a coincidence, the Chinese military games in Wuhan, about a month before the outbreak. So we have USA military right there on the scene.
Gringolandia77p· 2 days agoLogic simply makes no sense with respect to the pandemic in China and I’m hoping that someone can make sense of it. Wuhan locked down at the end of January but not before the first cases were reported in the US and Europe. Thus infected people would have to had traveled within China – international direct flights from Wuhan were limited compared to those from the largest cities in China like Beijing and Shanghai. Yet those cities never experienced large outbreaks and clearly testing would not have been widespread early in the pandemic.
Italy begins to lockdown but unlike Wuhan grocery stores and other ‘esential’ services remain open. Other countries follow suit and cases drop quickly but not to zero. Theses countries after several months begin to reopen and almost immediately cases again spike and the propagation continues where it left off prior to the first lockdown. Fatalities are fewer but many of the most vulnerable have already died. Daily new cases in Europe are now higher than in North America yet the MSM in America only reports a surge in Europe without making the comparison. Now the West considers another lockdown, paying zero attention to the fact that the first round accomplished very little apart from delaying the inevitable.
China celebrates its Autumn festival and 600 million Chinese travel throughout China with zero social distancing.
What am I missing?
braithwa842102p· 1 day agoDoes this throw any light? https://twitter.com/isgoodrum/status/131566980640…
REME227990p· 3 days agoAmerican “Greatness” was more in evidence, initialy during the second World War, and subsequently in the following twenty years. The population had good employment with fair wages and incomes with which they could buy their house, car, health care and childrens education; infrastructures were built, income taxes at the top rates were in the stratosphere; American heartland was free and bounding, as they say in medicine. Then the rot started; Goverments got elected promising big tax cuts, allowing people to keep and spend more of their own money, they said. The rest is history, and brings us to where we are now, America “The shathouse country”. I was born in 1934, have lived through it, the greed of the wealthy could never be satisfied; now billionaires with more money than you can wave a stick at, are running America, and we are getting only what they devise, Democracy is left far behind, the likes of Bill Gates et al, have decided the Earth is over populated, with the wrong people, and are moving to get rid of us surplus Goys.These are some of the facts marm, and “You aint seen nothing yet”.
Barberry3786p· 2 days agoAmerican “Greatness” is founded on its profits from its Spanish War, its First and Second World Wars and the ensuing 75 years of continuous war that it started for that very purpose.
Such “greatness” is only recognised as such in dead societies.
I don’t know if shooting oneself in the leg is the right tactics when attacking someone?
These lockdowns have caused the west more trauma than it caused China, ,,,!
Both initially when the EU union was put up for the solidarity test, which failed by not being there for everyone but greedily watching over resources plus over bidding lesser states by cash payment of goods already ordered by someone else.
Cash payments by the oligarchs who wants us to go digital?
Kind of showing that they don’t trust their own propaganda, ,so why should we?
This is what all this corona frenzy is all about!
Saving an economy bubble by imposing lockdowns to hide the mess they created since the last financial crust .
“If we try it again and expect another outcome than before kind of bullsh*t “
They never learn do they? If it didn’t work before it probably won’t work the second, third or fourth time either, a new strategy is required but that might halt the gravy train for the filthy rich so instead digitilize the economy and keep the ” mushrooms in the dark and keep feeding them sh*t ! “”
The author gets to that point later on, but could have skipped the initial part, ,just as the last part of glorifying the American Wall Street economy as some shining beacon on the hill because that’s what put us in this mess we’re in right know.
Take care everyone, and as Tom advice us, ,,QUESTION EVERYTHING!
participant2943110p· 3 days agoRegarding the Henry Carey (The Harmony of Interests, p. 217) comment towards the end of the article, the roles of Britain and the US seem to have transition to the new roles of the US-I and China…… “The US-I seems committed to pauperism, ignorance, depopulation, and barbarism; China seems committed to increasing wealth, comfort, intelligence, and civilization. The US-I looks towards universal war; China looks towards universal peace….
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has announced a new plan to have the US navy catch up to China’s, BATTLE FORCE 2045!
alpha256664p· 3 days agoSuperbly written and accurate forecast of global political activities. It seems like only a couple generations ago China homed in on industrial development. The West criticized their factories polluting the atmosphere. Their reply then was “give us time, you went through this same problem in your early industrial development.” At some time in the course of their rapid industrialization they looked to see that the US was on a path toward world hegemony. We were involved in over 100 countries with troops, overthrowing governments and getting factions to fight one another. So, with their basic survival instinct kicking in, it was only natural for China to divert attention to military development. Of course the combined forces of the planet cannot equate US military power today. Yet we still increase military budgets. If we really were concerned with protecting and saving American lives we would invest instead in universal health care – to include funds to help train medical personnel to include doctors. Johnson is point on with his comment that ” Sacrifices imposed by the ‘final solution’ military buildup against the East (Russia-China bloc) will strip the remaining wealth of the people. Taxes, inflation, interest rates, will rise as the nation is deprived of health care, education, public services, pensions and Social Security. “
MavericPat105p· 3 days agoIt makes perfect sense to me. Yes the over-zealous lockdowns have hurt the Western economies very much, but the pain isn’t born by its elite, rich and it’s big corporations will profit in the long term by the banckruptcy and disappearance of smaller corporations. THe big fish eating the smaller fish. But it hurts China even more because that’s where the manufacturing of most commodities happens and when those fail due to no new orders of goods and from harsher tariffs, even their rich will suffer and their governments forced to dance to the West’s tune.
It seems to me that many commenters here didn’t read the article thoroughly and so didn’t understand it, and were anxious to poo-poo the entire article. I thought it’s a great article, unveiling what’s behind the West’s reaction and unleashed the virus.
Hugh811p· 3 days agoThere is a lot of truth in this article. The lockdowns look like some kind of scorched-earth policy by the US, not just against China but Europe too. I get the feeling it is going to backfire very badly, though, not just economically but politically.
Aristopple72p· 3 days agoChina has traversed the dirt track America wants it to revert to for many decades. China is now on a super highway leading to a visible super tech future.
China’s determination to retain what it has achieved should not be underestimated by anyone.
GreaterIsrahell103p· 3 days ago“Instead of strife, bloodshed and terrible destruction, why doesn’t the Western financial elite join with China in solving the world crises of poverty, refugees and war; why not together explore the frontiers of medicine, science and space?”
I’m sorry to inform you, Leif, that anyone with the East European Ashkenazim genome is incapable of cooperating with anyone who is not a part of their tribe. Strife, bloodshed and terrible destruction, however. They have countless holidays celebrating the genocides they are responsible for where Pasach, or Easter, is just one.
It is an utterly stupid article. To start with the most anti Chinese countries have by and large NOT had lock downs and their economies are sort of struggling along with huge death and disease rates.
Exception is of course Australia where we have had practically total lock down in parts but thanks to deliberate economic stimulus, trade with China is still going well and we import LOTS. Even our lockdowns have probably helped China since a major importer is a cheapish DIY hardware store which home owners flocked too during lock down as they improved their gardens and homes being unable to socialise or go to sporting matches. Same with electronics stores.
tahautaua91p· 2 days agoAs the New Zealand General Election 2020 approaches, lets remind Kiwi voters that the biggest scam to hit planet Earth in the past year is, the scam to beat all scams: “COVID-19.” But you’d never guess it if observations of peoples compliant and fearful behaviour is anything to go by.
So far, the only consistent theme right across the NZ political spectrum has been, “COVID is real.” But surprisingly and most welcome (out of this dim consensus that has swamped the mindset of the unthinking in NZ), has come a call by ‘New Zealand Public Party’ (NZPP) founder Billy Te Kahika Jr (Billy TK Jr), to renounce COVID-19 as a massive fraud. As part of an alliance within the ‘Advance New Zealand Party’ (ANZP) contesting the NZ General Elections 2020, Billy TK Jr has attracted a large following, that has made an impact in changing the unsubstantiated claims made by the NZ political mainstream. Such is the impact that, the ANZP campaign for the 2020 elections, has predicated its theme on rejecting the COVID-19 narrative as a major part of its platform.
Granted that the Advance NZ Party is led by NZ National Party outcast Jami-Lee Ross and the implied Right-wing baggage that goes with his political roots, it is at least a start to bring the reality of the COVID-19 scam, out in the open and up for discussion. To do otherwise, would reduce society to the level of an Orwellian dystopia.
With the demise of the Western Left who have kowtowed to the fearmongers over the COVID-19 scam (resulting in an acceptance of social impositions by the NZ State to curtail the right of public assembly in the event of protest or political action), it’s a bloody indictment of the Left that, a voice of questioning the COVID scam, has come from political novices.
The international ‘Right and Freedom of Information’ justice campaign for Julian Assange, shares equal billing with the manipulative crime of COVID-19, as prescribed by the US-Deep State, in its war against most of the World led by Eurasia with China and Russia at the helm.
As a trade unionist and old Lefty from way back, all I can say is on the issue of COVID alone, “Go Advance New Zealand Party!” The rest of their political ideology, can take a hike. They’ve put COVID in the front seat. That’s the important thing.
realdemocracyinireland64p· 1 day ago“China is a successful, developing economy; the West is an unsuccessful, deteriorating economy.
China is based on industrial capitalism; the West is based on merchant-banking capitalism.
China invests its capital in industrial plant and equipment and infrastructure; the West invests in financial instruments.”
Mr Johnson is most revealing – and correct!
Capitalism is not just a fixed concept. It’s a living material system of organising the economic functions of a human society with certain historically evolved characteristics. The political structures which have evolved to serve the needs of the ruling class of this society will, of necessity, reflect the primary interests of that class.
These three aspects of human social being: political, economic, and social reality interact with each other, with their contradictions interpenetrating and changing each other – and in the context of the environmental reality (ecology) in which they find existence.
The driving force of all this is the need to extract a surplus from the gross value produced by those who work, after their mere survival has been paid them from the gross. This value is expressed in the basic commodity of the system – money – as it evolves under these circumstances. This all, has changed and developed over time too.
The privately abstracted surplus value takes the form of what we call capital and this resource (profit) resides largely in private hands. (Hence the establishment war on public services and public democracy, and the public capital they demand.) This is not the case in China, so it is not simply another “capitalist” economy, it is evolving other and differing features. The economy in the “West” is still predicated on the production and sequestration of private profit.
Remembering that this “profit” is value in the form of money (which has been abstracted from the total value content produced by a worker) we see that the post-Friedman “Finance Capitalism” metamorphoses, being based on gambling on supposed stock and bond estimated “value” rather than on real production of a commodity or service to be traded and consumed, lacks real material value. This is why the cyclical boom/bust pattern has become increasingly unstable.
Lief Johnson’s review is based on a real comprehension of the state of development today of the global status of a system in mortal crisis. His technical presentation is a little confusing at times, but re-reading carefully will guide those interested to grasping the real state of our affairs.
Resolving the manifold contradictions of this moment in human history will be achieved only by the serious examination of the real evidence before us – without the distraction of the many conspiracy theories which abound. These only mislead and waste time. Scientific thoroughness in analysing the way in which the globalised Neoliberal ordering of economic life has brought the system to its final moments (not because I might wish for a more civilised and human-centered society – but) because systemically, the process has run out of steam (to use an old analogy).
The Steam Age was a product of the new productive possibilities unleashed in the early 1700s and the industrial revolution in productivity has brought us to where we are. If we refuse to interrogate reality in a real way, we cannot properly understand or change it as we will continue to commence from a false premise without achieving an authentic understanding of it. Study dialectics, trust science, and avoid the weird and unwonderful conspiracies.