By Vandana Shiva
In March 2015, Bill Gates showed an image of the coronavirus during a TED Talk and told the audience that it was what the greatest catastrophe of our time would look like. The real threat to life, he said, is ‘not missiles, but microbes.’ When the coronavirus pandemic swept over the earth like a tsunami five years later, he revived the war language, describing the pandemic as ‘a world war’.
‘The coronavirus pandemic pits all of humanity against the virus,’ he said.
In fact, the pandemic is not a war. The pandemic is a consequence of war. A war against life. The mechanical mind connected to the money machine of extraction has created the illusion of humans as separate from nature, and nature as dead, inert raw material to be exploited. But, in fact, we are part of the biome. And we are part of the virome. The biome and the virome are us. When we wage war on the biodiversity of our forests, our farms, and in our guts, we wage war on ourselves.
The health emergency of the coronavirus is inseparable from the health emergency of extinction, the health emergency of biodiversity loss, and the health emergency of the climate crisis. All of these emergencies are rooted in a mechanistic, militaristic, anthropocentric worldview that considers humans separate from—and superior to—other beings. Beings we can own, manipulate, and control. All of these emergencies are rooted in an economic model based on the illusion of limitless growth and limitless greed, which violate planetary boundaries, and destroy the integrity of ecosystems and individual species.
New diseases arise because a globalized, industrialized, inefficient agriculture invades habitats, destroys ecosystems, and manipulates animals, plants, and other organisms with no respect for their integrity or their health. We are linked worldwide through the spread of diseases like the coronavirus because we have invaded the homes of other species, manipulated plants and animals for commercial profits and greed, and cultivated monocultures. As we clear-cut forests, as we turn farms into industrial monocultures that produce toxic, nutritionally empty commodities, as our diets become degraded through industrial processing with synthetic chemicals and genetic engineering, and as we perpetuate the illusion that earth and life are raw materials to be exploited for profits, we are indeed connecting. But instead of connecting on a continuum of health by protecting biodiversity, integrity, and self-organization of all living beings, including humans, we are connected through disease.
According to the International Labour Organization, ‘1.6 billion informal economy workers (representing the most vulnerable in the labour market), out of a worldwide total of two billion and a global workforce of 3.3 billion, have suffered massive damage to their capacity to earn a living. This is due to lockdown measures and/or because they work in the hardest-hit sectors.’ According to the World Food Programme, a quarter of a billion additional people will be pushed to hunger and 300,000 could die every day. These, too, are pandemics that are killing people. Killing cannot be a prescription for saving lives.
Health is about life and living systems. There is no ‘life’ in the paradigm of health that Bill Gates and his ilk are promoting and imposing on the entire world. Gates has created global alliances to impose top-down analysis and prescriptions for health problems. He gives money to define the problems, and then he uses his influence and money to impose the solutions. And in the process, he gets richer. His ‘funding’ results in an erasure of democracy and biodiversity, of nature and culture. His ‘philanthropy’ is not just philanthrocapitalism. It is philanthroimperialism.
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have revealed even more clearly how we are being reduced to objects to be controlled, with our bodies and minds as the new colonies to be invaded. Empires create colonies, colonies enclose the commons of the indigenous living communities and turn them into sources of raw material to be extracted for profits. This linear, extractive logic is unable to see the intimate relations that sustain life in the natural world. It is blind to diversity, cycles of renewal, values of giving and sharing, and the power and potential of self-organising and mutuality. It is blind to the waste it creates and to the violence it unleashes. The extended coronavirus lockdown has been a lab experiment for a future without humanity.
On March 26, 2020, at a peak of the coronavirus pandemic and in the midst of the lockdown, Microsoft was granted a patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Patent WO 060606 declares that ‘Human Body Activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system….’
The ‘body activity’ that Microsoft wants to mine includes radiation emitted from the human body, brain activities, body fluid flow, blood flow, organ activity, body movement such as eye movement, facial movement, and muscle movement, as well as any other activities that can be sensed and represented by images, waves, signals, texts, numbers, degrees, or any other information or data.
The patent is an intellectual property claim over our bodies and minds. In colonialism, colonisers assign themselves the right to take the land and resources of indigenous people, extinguish their cultures and sovereignty, and in extreme cases exterminate them. Patent WO 060606 is a declaration by Microsoft that our bodies and minds are its new colonies. We are mines of ‘raw material’—the data extracted from our bodies. Rather than sovereign, spiritual, conscious, intelligent beings making decisions and choices with wisdom and ethical values about the impacts of our actions on the natural and social world of which we are a part, and to which we are inextricably related, we are ‘users.’ A ‘user’ is a consumer without choice in the digital empire.
But that’s not the totality of Gates’ vision. In fact, it is even more sinister—to colonise the minds, bodies, and spirits of our children before they even have the opportunity to understand what freedom and sovereignty look and feel like, beginning with the most vulnerable.
In May 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced a partnership with the Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent education.’ Cuomo called Gates a visionary and argued that the pandemic has created ‘a moment in history when we can actually incorporate and advance [Gates’] ideas…all these buildings, all these physical classrooms—why with all the technology you have?’
In fact, Gates has been trying to dismantle the public education system of the United States for two decades. For him students are mines for data. That is why the indicators he promotes are attendance, college enrollment, and scores on a math and reading test, because these can be easily quantified and mined. In reimagining education, children will be monitored through surveillance systems to check if they are attentive while they are forced to take classes remotely, alone at home. The dystopia is one where children never return to schools, do not have a chance to play, do not have friends. It is a world without society, without relationships, without love and friendship.
As I look to the future in a world of Gates and Tech Barons, I see a humanity that is further polarized into large numbers of ‘throw away’ people who have no place in the new Empire. Those who are included in the new Empire will be little more than digital slaves.
Or, we can resist. We can seed another future, deepen our democracies, reclaim our commons, regenerate the earth as living members of a One Earth Family, rich in our diversity and freedom, one in our unity and interconnectedness. It is a healthier future. It is one we must fight for. It is one we must claim.
We stand at a precipice of extinction. Will we allow our humanity as living, conscious, intelligent, autonomous beings to be extinguished by a greed machine that does not know limits and is unable to put a break on its colonisation and destruction? Or will we stop the machine and defend our humanity, freedom, and autonomy to protect life on earth?
The above is excerpted from Vandana Shiva’s book Oneness vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom (Chelsea Green Publishing, August 2020) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.
Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, a leader in the International Forum on Globalisation, and of the Slow Food Movement. Director of Navdanya and of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and a tireless crusader for farmers’, peasants’, and women’s rights, she is the author and editor of a score of influential books, among them Making Peace with the Earth; Soil Not Oil; Globalisation’s New Wars; Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard; and Who Really Feeds the World?. Her latest book is Oneness vs the 1% (Chelsea Green Publishing, August 2020).
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Excellent article that outlines the motives of Gates and group the way I see it from other material I have read. This message has got to get out as to get push back before it is too late and we lose more freedoms.
I agree that a global “Push Back” effort is urgently needed. This requires specific,clearly defined and achievable widespread action for change.
We need to brush aside and see past the current chaos and gloom. Decision- makers must act to protect the health and well-being of communities and the natural environment. For too long collusion and corruption at all levels of government have allowed dodgy science and toxic industries to divert public funds from where they are most needed to restore a degraded environment. Lack of accountability, lack of consultation, resistance to the will of communities and the blatant political and media censorship of community concerns are not acceptable.
Please get your facts straight…the patent to Microsoft is to track body activity via wearable technology such as smart watches, etc. Not at all related to crypto currency!
It is about cryptocurrency. Sorry for the confusion. The link was incorrect.
What about the revolving door between corporations and government?
There are few religions, philosophies, psychologies, or organized thought systems that do not separate “man” from nature and place “man or human beings” on top of all other life forms whereby skewing how we relate to all other things. Lets take the “father of Philosophy for example: Rene Descartes…….his quote “I think therefor I am” gives the impression that only life forms that have “so called” rational thought are of any real importance and everything else is more primitive and beneath humans. Animals think, plants think, trees think, even micro-organisms think……just not in the same way as a human brain…….but they have all evolved, survived and modified over time……therefore they “think” and the brain or other mechanism that provides the organism the chance of adaption and survival is linked to and is able to change and be imprinted on the RNA and DNA, thus also changing it so it can survive.
Rene also gave us the notion of “If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Yes, of course it makes a sound, (air vibrations as well as impact vibrations that travel beneath ground). The notion that just because a human doesn’t hear it and the ear mechanism is not triggered, makes the event non existent. This, to me, is the epitome of a human superiority complex. What about all the animals in the forest that hear it……or the underground insects and animals that feel the vibration of a fallen tree…..do their hearing or sensing apparatus not count? Only a human ear quantifies if a sound is made or not???? Nonsense!! The thought that we are superior to all other organisms is one of humans greatest fallacies……..we are part of everything on this planet (and universe for that matter)….and our evolution does make us distinct…….but certainly not superior!
Thank you for such an articulate, well expressed article. It clearly exposes more of the BG agenda & the roots undoubtedly run deep.
The solution to the supremely-ugly Gates world vision is faith in God (Enlightenment, Satori, Krishna — by whatever name or pronoun you wish to use). How to unify religions without destroying their unique characters? Read my book, ‘Whoever You Thought You Were…You’re A Jew!’ Don’t be alarmed by the title. A prominent BUDDHIST group called this book ‘The Star of Hope for All Humankind’. You can get the Kindle version for about $4.
For all this past 6 months I was searching for Vandana’s opinion about the covid19 pandemic. This is exactly what I’ve expected. We, human family, must join in defense of life. There are several groups of awaken colectives as “Médicos por la verdad” in latin américa and Spain, “Doctors for truth” in Germany, EEUU and England, and many others colectives of people speaking out about this mad game of lies and manipulation. Some will meet in Berlin this october 10. Lets join!
I am so glad to see this today. I live in the US and I had to order Oneness vs. the 1% from Australia. Vandana’s voice clearly presents many of our own. This case-demic (so many meaningless cases unreliably tested) will be revealed.
After studying vaccines intensively for three years I am convinced that vaccines pose an even greater problem to humanity than the “hesitant” realize. Fully half or more of all disease is caused by the jab.The introduction of poisons ,preservatives, mystery ingredients etcetera, into millions of babies and children is a massive crime.Unfortunately the average parent has been socialized to accept these lies from the”authorities”The propaganda machine is in full swing and the truth and humanity suffers.Bill Gates may prove to be the biggest tyrant of all time.Without pig pharma all humanity could be far,far healthier.
So, Microsoft want to patent technology to generate cryptocurrency, part of the technology used to generate cryptocurrency is entropy (random data). The patent is proposing a wearable (smart watch etc) that would generate that entropy using sensor input from the wearer, hardly a terrible thing and the user would be earning money by generating that entropy, surely this is a way to democratise the generation of said cryptocurrency.As for the piece about destroying schools, the Gates foundation want to enable remote learning during the pandemic in an effort to ensure that no child is left behind at a time like this, I’m not sure how this amounts to trying to dismantle the education system. Given the woeful level of investment from the government in the US in education it’s no surprise wealthy individuals are chipping in. Now, I’m no fan of Gates, he has long tried to stifle innovation in the tech sector by using Microsoft’s dominant position, e.g. bundling IE with Windows. However this article is hyperbole in the extreme, there is no conspiracy here. As for comments saying without big pharma we could be healthier: without big pharma I would have died from AIDS, without big pharma diabetes would have killed my mother as she was born with a defective pancreas, without big pharma I may have contracted Measles as a child, which, is a killer disease in children. Yes big pharma often charge way more for life saving drugs than they should and there needs to be regulation on what they can charge. However, to say without these drugs we would be healthier is just wrong. They produce drugs that save lives, yes, those should be provided at a fair price and free to those who can’t afford them. This is the very reason for a socialised healthcare system like in the UK. Our healthcare system, whilst not perfect, does provide those life saving drugs often for free: for example I do not pay for my HIV treatment, my mother does not pay for her insulin. The prescriptions I do have to pay for (a total of 5 a month) cost me a flat rate of £10 per month, further more, if I were on welfare, I would pay nothing for these. Yes, we pay indirectly via tax however when that burden is shared the total cost is lower as a single body (in the case of the UK, the NHS) has much greater buying power and therefore the price paid to big pharma is far far lower. The problem is not big pharma, it’s politicians refusing to have socialised healthcare. As for the causes of this pandemic, it’s clear it’s over-population causing destruction of natural habitat, meaning we’re coming into contact with more species than ever before and we have no immunity to some of the diseases these species carry.
I’d be really interested in seeing your research, have you been published? Or are you meaning you’ve done some googling? Vaccines do not cause a greater problem than the diseases they vaccinate against. As for being healthier without big pharma, what about insulin, what about HIV meds? What about cancer treatment?
I just want to point out a couple of things, in the Ted talk you refer to, Gates showed an image of the flu virus, not a corona-virus or even Covid-19, in the patent application, it refers to a wearable device. Yes there is talk of sensors but this is nothing new, the apple watch has a myriad of sensors. And yes it refers to blockchain and allowing users to generate a cryptocurrency however there is nothing sinister about this. As for Gates trying to dismantle the education system, the article you point to is actually about Gates investing in the education system to provide remote learning facilities to ensure no child is left behind, something the government should be doing. Yes lock-down is painful and destructive however, if governments fail to track and trace the disease allowing the economy to carry on (see how New Zealand have handled it), the only option is periods of lock-down. The alternative is a runaway pandemic, health systems collapsing under the burden and more deaths.
Neil thanx for intelligently calling out all the bulls.it that is being peddled here. I can’t fathom how available to the public information can be turned into lies, transformed into an article and then… a book. So it’s about money and sales and marketing in the end, right?
The above article needs to be read and understood by those in power – we are all a part of nature. This doesn’t mean there is no need for conventional medicine – it has it’s place but it is not the final solution for our health problems – we need clean water, a healthy environment, natural food and conventional medicines can be a useful and sometimes very necessary in an emergency – it should not be relied upon as the saviour of the people. Bill Gates may well be a philanthropist, but what poorer nations need is help with cleaning up the water supplies, improved hygiene and help to help themselves to survive and thrive. Conventional medicines and sometimes vaccines can be useful in an emergency. She is right, the warlike mentality is what is causing a lot of humanity’s problems.A dependency on drugs and vaccines to save us will never work. As for diabetes – look up the whole food plant based diet. Many have gained their health and relief from diabetes.
Neil, i don’t know about all of your critiques of her article but I do know intimately that Bill Gates tried to destroy public education. My daughter went to a school in the 90’s that was one of his pilot programs to prove that charter schools were a better use of public funding than normal public schools.
My daughter was subjected to “mind numbingly standardized” work, a direct quote from her valedictorian speech. The purpose of the school was to get as many underprivileged kids into ivy league schools to prove charter schools were better. She spent an hour a day practicing how to get into an ivey league schools. When the school had achieved it’s goal, my daughter and several others got into Harvard, stanford, brown…etc, the school was just dropped by bill gates.
He used these “successes” to justify diverting money away from public schools to charter schools. My daughter got an education with no theater, no track, no music department, no sports….etc because bill gates wanted to control US education, and he is not an educator, just because he is rich doesn’t make him smart. He’s an idiot and he is power hungry, and arrogant, a very dangerous combination of traits.
To India weeks :
What you are softly implying is that the world has had enough of Bill Gates. We would like to say : “Bye, bye Bill, Get lost asap “. You are not a human being. You are an experiment. An advanced AI controlled contraption. That you lack any semblance of a human soul, is obvious. You have fooled many. To his creators : “We finally did figure it out”, boo. Klaus Schwab knows. I am not going to open the bible , and bore you with irrelevant theories. A test . For the future of mankind . You are just too obvious as being a non human. You have blown your cover Gates !!
Very good expose of Bill Gates and his agendas. If only he stuck to the golf course, the world would be a much better place. A psychopath, and a very dangerous one, as is his wife Melinda. The pair can be seen salivating in interviews when talking about ‘the next pandemic’.
Bill Gates or no Bill Gates, one thing is for sure, the social media, the twitters,the facebooks, the instagrams, the whatsapps have taken over the mindspace of every human on earth who has access to any form of digital communication.
What is required, I think ,is to all of us keep these contraptions aside for a day to begin with, later a week perhaps and post our thoughts on the future of mankind without these crutches and arrive at a consensus through representatives of such gatherings to be able to enjoy the bliss of what nature in all her glory intends for us without all this manipulation of our minds by vested interests.
I think the public education system was not only a systemic problem for the USA….
It was global. Otherwise there is no explaining, how this “plandemic” could go on…
tom eberhardt writes: “There are few religions, philosophies, psychologies, or organized thought systems that do not separate “man” from nature and place “man or human beings” on top of all other life forms whereby skewing how we relate to all other things.”
Not Hinduism. It does not put human beings above other life forms. In fact, it considers nature as sacred (and human beings too, in at least one major school of philosophy). Hence there is no question of hierarchy in Hinduism when it comes to its view of man’s relationship with the manifest world.
Vandana Shiva’s article here excerpted from her outstanding book (one of the many) reminds us that nothing is accidental…..hunger is planned….a pandemic….the virus propagators and the resultant vaccine propagators have all received billions from governments in the West….all used to destroy life and humanity, particularly those of color…..The already poor are now without the meager income from before in most parts of the world…The tourism industry that so many underdeveloped, formerly colonized countries, has virtually collapsed—98% of tourism in the Philippines has gone under….people were made to forego income, adorn masks, and be locked down….and most of their income was spent on food….I know this from sending my contributions to friends in Africa and Asia….this is genocide from the West capitalist countries because they see the nations of color around the world rising in phenomenal numbers and those numbers need to be controlled, decimated, enslaved, or starved to death….just like during colonialism’s hey day….Gates and the Billionaire Boys Club that are foisting these solutions (GMO food, patents for Microsoft,forcing people to eat “artificial” GMO food, administering deadly vaccines–Pfizer has a history of scores of people dying in Nigeria, WHO-Gates-funded tetanus vaccines in Kenya (https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=81838) were found to be laced with the human chorionic gonadotropin (hgc) that induced abortions of pregnant women and self-sterilization of child-bearing age women….exposed by the Kenya Catholic Bishops Conference….substantiated in the Scientific Research Journal…..we all need to wake up and realize what the pandemic is really all about, with the top 0.001% wealthiest in the US making over a trillion over the past year….online….and leaving hundreds of millions of children around the world without school meals and classes—in nations where electricity is hard to come by–so how in the world are children going to be online….in Africa, the Caribbean (Haiti specially), many parts of Asia…?! Global hunger and impoverishment is the real PANDEMIC….afflicting people who have both little immunity and are deprived of rudimentary affordable and accessible health care….who struggle for….water…each day…the erstwhile colonialists are now replaced with the “sophisticated, high-tech, capitalistic monopolistic oligopolies”…..Genocide! Thank you for exposing these critical issues,Independent Science News, and for educating people on what’s really going on…