No one is attacking me

Totalitarian talking shop
Patrick Gruban, cropped and downsampled by Pine, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Odysseus, when asked his name by Polyphemus, famously retorted ‘Outis’ – ‘no-one’, or ‘nobody’; thus, when the drunk Cyclops was having his eye gouged out by Odysseus and co., his call for help from his fellow-Cyclopes, ‘Help! Nobody  is attacking me!’ brought him no aid. This illustrates one of the problems with sentences which have a verb with a negative subject: I am sure that Mathematicians and logicians, can provide other examples. So when the United Nations adopted the mantra ‘No one is truly safe, until everyone is…’ in 2021, was anyone there aware of the problematic nature of such a statement?

Let us try some variations on this theme.

No one is dead, until everyone is
[some Billionaires would applaud this sentiment]

No one is rich, until everyone is.

No one is a Goth, until everyone is.

No one is blue-eyed, until everyone is.

Nor does it get much better if we substitute ‘unless’, for ‘until’:

No one is Chinese, unless everyone is.

No one is left-handed, unless everyone is.

No one has voted, unless everyone has.

No one is ill, unless everyone is.
[Those who are involved with Medicines would approve this]

No one owns a private jet, unless everyone does.

No one is a Billionaire, unless everyone is.

No one lives in Cornwall, unless everyone does.

No M.P. tells the truth, unless all his colleagues do.

No one is called Jethro, unless everyone is.

Many of these statements are patently absurd and the Oxford Positivists, A.J. Ayer and Co., and the Cambridge Russellians would have been as dismissive of them as of any of the theological or ethical statements they had such fun with. So what to make of such utterances? Are they not merely slogans (I used the word ‘mantra’ earlier), intended, by means of rhetoric, strongly to state – even to bring about – a desired result?. As such, there is no more Reason to them, than to 1984’s famous, ‘Four legs good…’. They might not be cast in the form of protasis and apodosis, but are, surely in the realm of ‘if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.’ As advertising-slogans, they have no more validity than, ‘If you want  to get ahead, get a hat’, or ‘Guinness is good for you’, or ‘Because you’re worth it.’, of ‘Looks even better on a man.’.

Isn’t it what is known as ‘The false Dichotomy’?  Where the possibility that some might  be ill/live in Cornwall/ etc., has been excluded.

Being ‘truly’ safe, brings us to the edge of what Antony Flew entitled the ‘True Scotsman’ fallacy, whereby one keeps in the reasoning game, by quietly ‘moving the goalposts’ – adjusting one’s original statement.

All Scotsmen (Dr. Johnson and Queen Victoria, would unembarrassedly have said ‘Scotchmen’) put salt on their porridge.
Iain Mc Haggis puts sugar on his porridge.
Maybe he does, but no true Scotsman…

Whatever possessed the minds of those splendid, noble people at the United Nations, to make a statement  so loaded with lack of reasoning, so nakedly appealing to mere feelings? One could be forgiven for imagining that some super-salesman had been at work there: surely that could not be the case.

Naturally, the Quis custodiet question is left in the air: who decides what constitutes ‘safe’ – let alone ‘truly safe ? If only there were someone with a knowledge of epidemiology and pharmacauticals, who could apply his mind to this, impartially, and objectively, rather than what one could be forgiven for thinking it mere fear-mongering, an attempt to shift vast quantities of ‘medicines’, because everyone is at risk…!

No-one is truly safe, until everyone is safe.

No-one is well, unless everyone is well.

No-one is taken in by this specious kind of reasoning, until…

No-one but a Totalitarian would use language in this way.

Here is part of the government response to the petition, seeking to end this Country’s membership of the WHO:

The Government wants to best protect the UK population including from future pandemics. COVID-19 has demonstrated that no-one is safe until we are all safe, and that effective global cooperation is needed to better protect the UK and other countries around the world from the detrimental health, social and economic impacts of pandemics and other health threats.

There are many whose voices have been raised querying whether ‘Covid-19’ was in any way a pandemic, and the fact that so many voices have been ruthlessly suppressed, indicates how uncertain is the ground on which their silencing has been made. The Infection Fatality Rate for ‘Covid-19’ has been shown to be less than 1% – ca. 0.6% and the ‘excess Deaths’  numbers for the year so far, have not indicated anything like what the WHO wants us to believe, indeed, by some Statistical anomaly, there were no deaths from ‘flu, last year, which suggests that aggregating the numbers for ‘flu and ‘Covid’ was necessary in order to present something like the numbers that the word ‘pandemic’ requires.

Perhaps we need to adopt a version of the drunken Cyclops’  cry:

No disease is attacking me.

Jethro 2024