I am no longer an anarchist

See updates through June 8, 2022, at end of post.

I continue to believe that anarchism has much to recommend it.

An authoritarian system of social organization, such as we now have, is unquestionably cruel. Political and economic leaders are not more moral than the rest of us, yet on a bogus claim of “merit,” we find ourselves with a caste system, with the rich isolating themselves from lower classes by multiple means[1] and the poor stigmatized[2] and incarcerated to keep workers conformant.[3] The rich rely on, consciously or otherwise, the divisions by any means humans can find to separate ourselves into “us” and “them” to preserve their own power and privileges over the rest of us.[4] The system of (in)justice has been reduced to incoherent bullying and murder.[5]

All that said, it has become clear to me that human beings are, now anyway, incapable of self-governance.[6] A “marketplace of ideas,” relied on by absolutist free speech libertarians, is broken.[7] The longstanding presumption, apparently extrapolating backwards from a small number of indigenous societies in the present day to prehistoric times, that humans were anarchist[8] has now been refuted.[9]

We fail to respond intelligently even to existential threats, like the climate crisis, like COVID-19, preferring instead desperate appeals to those who hate for the sake of hating. We seem absolutely bewildered when such appeals fail, continuing to insist that people who not only refuse their social duty but advocate against that duty are entitled to medical care in the very facilities that are swamped by their refusal, while those who have fulfilled their social obligations are turned away for lack of capacity.[10] However you rationalize this, it is stark, raving lunacy. We, as a species, are mad.

And so I can no longer regard myself as an anarchist. In that range of human possibility that my first advisor at Saybrook University, Joel Federman, pointed to, it may indeed be the case that at one time anarchism might have been possible. But that range is now constrained at least by the thousands of years in our present system of social organization.[11] It now excludes anarchism, partly because humans have been trained over those thousands of years to selfishness, partly because there is insufficient time for the necessary social change to occur.

Indeed, if I complain about the time needed for an incremental approach to even relatively modest social change,[12] then I cannot be patient for what it would take for us to become anarchists. And so I am no longer.

I do not know the solution this problem. I doubt there is one.

Update, April 9, 2022:

Update, June 8, 2022: Peter Kropotkin wrote a history of cooperative social organization that lasted into, and to a decreasing degree, a little beyond the Middle Ages. It included common lands, the Commons, that were used by the people and Kropotkin recorded that elites worked assiduously to end these arrangements and claim private property.[13]

Kropotkin was an anarchist; he of course was telling me what I wanted to hear, and in a source far older than I’m accustomed to citing, so I sought confirmation. I caught bits and snatches here and there, enough to assure me he wasn’t just talking out his ass, but little substantive, and in fact had forgotten about this story when I decided I was no longer an anarchist.[14] It’s a history that’s rarely told and seemed, to me at least, to have been lost. Until Eula Biss.[15]

Along the way, Biss writes[16] of Garrett Hardin, author of the infamous Tragedy of the Commons,[17] which Elinor Ostrom had refuted even before Hardin wrote it. Hardin’s thesis, that humans are intractably selfish, inevitably exhausting any shared resource, it turns out, relies on, at best, selective evidence. Counterexamples, it also seems, were abundant even before Hardin’s widely cited essay.[18]

Hardin, it turns out, was also a horrendous racist,[19] advancing a version of the paleoconservative white replacement theory.[20] No matter; the prevailing ideology embraces his thesis and ignores Ostrom’s.[21] To do otherwise would be to suggest that there is, after all, a viable alternative to capitalism and capitalist property relations. And you know we can’t have that.

Biss finds a town, Laxton, England, where land remains “unenclosed,” a Commons. It is far from the desolate, environmentally exhausted patch Hardin imagines. And it exists to this day.[22] It is indeed the case that we humans had a potential to be something else than than the self-destructively selfish assholes we generally are.

The trouble remains, however, what I wrote in that blog entry when I decided I was no longer an anarchist.[23] The experience of the climate crisis, which too many of us prefer to deny even at the likely expense of our own survival, and of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which too many of us often violently refused mitigation regulations and refused vaccinations, shows that a large proportion of us are incorrigible assholes. As I wrote following Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, we have failed the test of survival as too many of us command that reality conform to our ideology rather than that our ideology should conform to reality.[24]

The particulars of climate and plague are of little import here; our end will surely be violent as Hardin’s self-fulfilling prophesy, following the logic of capitalism that he erroneously attributed to anarchism,[25] is realized.

  1. [1]John Asimakopoulos, The Political Economy of the Spectacle and Postmodern Caste (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2020); Peter W. Cookson, Jr., and Caroline Hodges Persell, “The Vital Link: Prep Schools and Higher Education,” in Great Divides, ed. Thomas M. Shapiro, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2005), 380-391; G. William Domhoff, “The American Upper Class,” in Great Divides, ed. Thomas M. Shapiro, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2005), 156-164; Christopher Hayes, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (New York: Crown, 2012); C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (1956; repr., New York: Oxford University, 2000); Ralph H. Turner, “Sponsored and Contest Mobility and the School System,” in Great Divides, ed. Thomas M. Shapiro, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2005), 71-76.
  2. [2]Herbert J. Gans, The War Against the Poor (New York: Basic, 1995).
  3. [3]Steven E. Barkan, Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006); Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004); Dan Simon, In Doubt (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2012).
  4. [4]David Benfell, “We ‘need to know how it works,’” Not Housebroken, March 19, 2012, https://disunitedstates.org/2012/03/19/we-need-to-know-how-it-works/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “On police,” Not Housebroken, January 29, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/10/on-police/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Why we won’t respond to climate change,” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/10/16/why-we-wont-respond-to-climate-change/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Free speech, COVID-19, and responsibility,” Not Housebroken, January 28, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/01/28/free-speech-covid-19-and-responsibility/
  8. [8]John H. Bodley, Victims of Progress, 5th ed. (Lanham, MD: AltaMira, 2008); William James Burroughs, Climate Change in Prehistory: The End of the Reign of Chaos (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University, 2005); Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999); Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966); Max Oelschlaeger, The Idea of Wilderness (New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1991).
  9. [9]George Scialabba, “Were the Earliest Societies Anarchists?” review of The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber and David Wengrow, New Republic, November 1, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/163941/dawn-everything-book-review-earliest-societies-anarchists
  10. [10]Brianna Abbott, “Covid-19 Rise, Vaccine Hesitancy Frustrate Doctors in Hospitals Saturated by the Delta Variant,” Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-rise-vaccine-hesitancy-frustrate-doctors-in-hospitals-saturated-by-the-delta-variant-11628760602; Paula Aceves, “The Fake Vaxx Card Next to You,” New York, September 14, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/09/nyc-vaccine-mandate-fake-cards-are-booming.html; Krutika Amin and Cynthia Cox, “Unvaccinated COVID-19 hospitalizations cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars,” Peterson Foundation on Healthcare and Kaiser Family Foundation, August 20, 2021, https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/unvaccinated-covid-patients-cost-the-u-s-health-system-billions-of-dollars/; Associated Press, “FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus,” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-24/fda-warns-against-using-trump-touted-drugs-to-treat-coronavirus; Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html; Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “This pastor will sign a religious exemption for vaccines if you donate to his church,” Washington Post, September 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2021/09/15/pastor-donate-vaccine-religious-exemption/; Mike Baker, “In Alaska’s Covid Crisis, Doctors Must Decide Who Lives and Who Dies,” New York Times, October 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/03/us/coronavirus-crisis-alaska.html; Sam Baker, “Coronavirus cases are soaring, especially in the South,” Axios, August 26, 2021, https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-cases-infections-vaccines-hospital-11d44b25-ed17-40cd-b8cf-ca9c4eb582f5.html; Katie Balevic, “3 Washington schools went into lockdown after far-right anti-mask protestors tried to access property,” Insider, September 4, 2021, https://www.insider.com/three-washington-schools-lockdown-proud-boys-protest-masks-enter-schools-2021-9; Timothy Bella, “Tucker Carlson falsely claims Anthony S. Fauci ‘created’ covid,” Washington Post, July 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/29/tucker-carlson-fauci-created-covid/; Timothy Bella, “Alabama man dies after being turned away from 43 hospitals as covid packs ICUs, family says,” Washington Post, September 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/12/alabama-ray-demonia-hospitals-icu/; Steve Beynon, “‘He Is Not Your Commander-in-Chief:’ Texas Governor Promises Guardsmen He’ll Fight Biden Over Vaccine Mandate,” Military.com, January 4, 2022, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/01/04/he-not-your-commander-chief-texas-governor-promises-guardsmen-hell-fight-biden-over-vaccine-mandate.html; Uché Blackstock, “Two words no parent of a sick child should have to hear: ‘At capacity,’” Washington Post, September 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/02/picu-hospital-beds-children-covid/; Aaron Blake, “The GOP is losing the argument on coronavirus mandates,” Washington Post, August 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/18/gop-is-losing-pr-battle-coronavirus-mandates/; Aaron Blake, “The GOP fought mandates by emphasizing the vaccines’ emergency status. Now what?” Washington Post, August 23, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/23/gop-fought-mandates-by-emphasizing-vaccines-emergency-status-now-what/; Aaron Blake, “The question Republicans still can’t really answer on vaccine mandates,” Washington Post, September 25, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/25/question-republicans-still-cant-really-answer-vaccine-mandates/; Rebecca Boone, “COVID-19 surge forces health care rationing in parts of West,” ABC News, September 16, 2021, https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/idaho-rations-health-care-statewide-covid-surge-continues-80056295; Max Boot, “Republicans are preventing America from reaching Biden’s vaccination goal,” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/06/republican-antivaxxers-biden-vaccination-goal/; Hailey Branson-Potts, “Mortuaries fill, hospitals clog in rural California towns with low vaccination rates,“ Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-08-28/la-me-rural-california-covid-surge-vaccinations-lag; Philip Bump, “Vaccine skepticism and disregard for containment efforts go hand in hand,” Washington Post, April 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/04/02/vaccine-skepticism-disregard-containment-efforts-go-hand-in-hand/; Philip Bump, “A third of White conservatives refuse to get vaccinated — a refusal shown in polling and the real world,” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/06/third-white-conservatives-refuse-get-vaccine-refusal-shown-both-polling-real-world/; Stephen Caruso, “Pa. GOP candidate says he’ll bring ‘strong men’ to intimidate pro-mask school boards,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, August 30, 2021, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-gop-candidate-says-hell-bring-strong-men-to-intimidate-pro-mask-school-boards/; Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/; Ariana Eunjung Cha and Laurie McGinley, “Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says,” Washington Post, May 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/; Allyson Chiu, Katie Shepherd, and Brittany Shammas, “Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants,” Washington Post, April 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/24/disinfectant-injection-coronavirus-trump/; Jenny Deam, “A Boy Went to a COVID-Swamped ER. He Waited for Hours. Then His Appendix Burst,” ProPublica, September 15, 2021, https://www.propublica.org/article/a-boy-went-to-a-covid-swamped-er-he-waited-for-hours-then-his-appendix-burst; Ryan Deto, “Allegheny County ran out of pediatric ICU beds and added tents to increase bed capacity,” Pittsburgh City Paper, September 20, 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/allegheny-county-ran-out-of-pediatric-icu-beds-and-added-tents-to-increase-bed-capacity/Content?oid=20230230; Dan Diamond, “‘I’m still not planning to get it’: FDA approval not swaying some vaccine holdouts,” Washington Post, August 25, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/25/fda-approval-vaccine-holdouts/; Dan Diamond, Hannah Knowles, and Tyler Pager, “Vaccine hesitancy morphs into hostility, as opposition to shots hardens,” Washington Post, July 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/covid-vaccines-biden-trump/2021/07/15/adaf6c7e-e4bd-11eb-a41e-c8442c213fa8_story.html; Dan Diamond and Tyler Pager, “‘Patience has worn thin’: Frustration mounts over vaccine holdouts,” Washington Post, July 23, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/23/anger-targets-vaccine-holdouts-delta-surge/; Aya Elamroussi, “‘This is starting to look really ominous in the South,’ expert says, as US is among nations with highest rate of new Covid-19 cases,” CNN, August 14, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/14/health/us-coronavirus-saturday/index.html; Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity; Melanie Evans, “Hospitals Cut Beds as Nurses Call In Sick With Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hospitals-cut-beds-as-nurses-call-in-sick-with-covid-19-11641810781; Melanie Evans and Julie Wernau, “Unvaccinated Americans Are Behind Rising Covid-19 Hospitalizations,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/unvaccinated-covid-19-hospitalizations-11626528110; Paul Farhi, “Four conservative radio talk-show hosts bashed coronavirus vaccines. Then they got sick,” Washington Post, September 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/conservative-talk-radio-covid-deaths/2021/08/31/a912a89c-0a66-11ec-aea1-42a8138f132a_story.html; Stephanie Farr, “Main Line Health pauses elective surgeries and procedures amid a surge in COVID-19 cases,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 2, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/main-line-health-covid-stops-elective-surgeries-20220102.html; Julia Felton, “Pa. officials: 94% of covid cases were in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 14, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-officials-94-of-covid-cases-were-in-unvaccinated-or-not-fully-vaccinated-people/; Julia Felton, “Feds seize 2 shipments of fake covid vaccination cards in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 15, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/officers-seize-2-shipments-of-fake-covid-vaccination-cards-in-pittsburgh/; Julia Felton, “‘This is the worst I’ve seen’: Longer waits reported at Western Pa. hospitals,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 16, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/this-is-the-worst-ive-seen-longer-waits-reported-western-pa-hospitals/; Marisa Fernandez, “As hospitals fill, more ambulances forced to wait,” Axios, August 27, 2021, https://www.axios.com/local-ems-covid-surge-wait-times-611657fc-8ddf-4b32-a6dc-c7f2eb799487.html; Tim Fitzsimons and The Associated Press, “Top Tennessee health official says she was fired after efforts to get teens vaccinated,” NBC News, July 13, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/top-tennessee-health-official-says-she-was-fired-after-efforts-n1273887; David Frum, “Vaccinated America Has Had Enough,” Atlantic, July 23, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/07/vaccinated-america-breaking-point-anti-vaxxers/619539/; Sarah Gantz and Stacey Burling, “Pa. hospitals are really busy. They beg you to get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-hospitalizations-pennsylvania-unvaccinated-20211210.html; Nancy Gibbs, “Do the unvaccinated deserve scarce ICU beds?” Washington Post, September 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/01/do-unvaccinated-deserve-scarce-icu-beds/; Jamie Grierson, “Fake Covid vaccine and test certificate market is growing, researchers say,” Guardian, May 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/16/fake-covid-vaccine-and-test-certificate-market-is-growing-researchers-say; Michael M. Grynbaum, Tiffany Hsu, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “On Fox News, Vaccination Pleas Intensify, but Skepticism Persists,” New York Times, July 20, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/20/business/media/fox-news-covid-vaccines.html; Megan Guza, “Covid-driven hospital surge ‘not a sustainable situation’ in Western Pa., expert says,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 9, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/covid-driven-hospital-surge-not-a-sustainable-situation-in-western-pa-expert-says/; Edward Helmore, “Rightwing radio host and anti-vaxxer dies of Covid,” Guardian, August 8, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/08/rightwing-radio-host-dick-farrel-anti-vaxxer-dies-covid; Melissa Hernandez, “How politicized has vaccination become? Thousands of U.S. troops are disobeying orders that they get shots,” Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-01-05/thousands-of-u-s-troops-defy-orders-to-get-covid-19-vaccine; Michael Hiltzik, “‘Death panels’ arrive — in COVID-stricken Republican Idaho,” Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-09-17/death-panels-republican-covid-stricken-idaho; Jeff Himler, “Covid cases create ‘desperate’ situation at Westmoreland hospitals,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 14, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/covid-cases-create-desperate-situation-at-westmoreland-hospitals/; Amy Hudak, “Wait times growing at Pittsburgh area hospital emergency rooms,” WPXI, September 16, 2021, https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/pittsburgh-area-hospitals-seeing-longer-wait-times-care/FEH2ZZNSIBF45N37WFRJW7563A/; “ICU is full of the unvaccinated – my patience with them is wearing thin,” Guardian, November 21, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/21/icu-is-full-of-the-unvaccinated-my-patience-with-them-is-wearing-thin; Courtney Ann Jackson, “Mississippi doctors still urging folks to get vaccinated as Delta variant becomes dominant COVID strain,” WLBT, July 5, 2021, https://www.wlbt.com/2021/07/06/mississippi-doctors-still-urging-folks-get-vaccinated-delta-variant-becomes-dominant-covid-strain/; Peter Jamison, “Their neighbors called covid-19 a hoax. Can these ICU nurses forgive them?” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/07/06/appalachian-covid-deniers-nurses-virginia/; Jenny Jarvie, Richard Read, and Molly Hennessy-Fiske, “With Delta surging, America is dangerously divided over vaccines,” Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-08-05/united-states-covid-vaccines-divisions; Ron Kampeas, “In latest Nazi analogy, Marjorie Taylor Greene invokes ‘medical brown shirts’ in decrying vaccination outreach,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 7, 2021, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/in-latest-nazi-analogy-marjorie-taylor-greene-invokes-medical-brown-shirts-in-decrying-vaccination-outreach; Juliette Kayyem, “Unvaccinated People Need to Bear the Burden,” Atlantic, August 3, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/08/unvaccinated-flight-vaccine-tsa-mandate/619643/; Brett Kelman, “Tennessee abandons vaccine outreach to minors — not just for COVID-19,” Nashville Tennessean, July 13, 2021, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2021/07/13/tennessee-halts-all-vaccine-outreach-minors-not-just-covid-19/7928701002/; Dhruv Khullar, “One half of America is protected. The other is approaching a perilous moment in the pandemic,” New Yorker, June 23, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-delta-variant-is-a-grave-danger-to-the-unvaccinated; Ed Kilgore, “The Willfully Unvaccinated Are the Newest Republican Martyrs,” New York, July 13, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/07/the-willfully-unvaccinated-are-the-newest-republican-martyrs.html; Christina Baker Kline, “My father should be in surgery rehab. But with beds full of the unvaccinated, he died in covid quarantine,” Washington Post, September 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/28/christina-baker-kline-father-death-covid-quarantine/; Hannah Knowles, “A Texas GOP official’s covid-19 death went viral. Then came calls for vaccination — and bitter divides,” Washington Post, August 21, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/21/scott-apley-covid-death-vaccine/; Hannah Knowles, “DeSantis sells ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida’ merch as new coronavirus cases near highest in nation,” Washington Post, July 14, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/13/desantis-fauci-florida/; Hannah Knowles and Caroline Anders, “Hospital system says it will deny transplants to the unvaccinated in ‘almost all situations,’” Washington Post, October 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/10/05/uchealth-transplant-unvaccinated/; Jeremy Kohler, “GOP Legislators in Missouri Oppose Vaccine Efforts as State Becomes COVID Hotspot,” Pro Publica, July 21, 2021, https://www.propublica.org/article/missouri-legislators-oppose-vaccine-efforts-as-state-becomes-covid-hotspot; Oliver Laughland, “Southern US hospitals grapple with staff shortages amid record Covid cases,” Guardian, January 14, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/14/southern-us-hospitals-staff-shortages-record-covid-cases; Oliver Laughland and Jessica Glenza, “Inside a Tennessee hospital grappling with Delta and vaccine hesitancy,” Guardian, July 24, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/24/tennessee-coronavirus-covid-delta-variant-cases-vaccines; Rong-Gong Lin, II, “Anti-vaccine forces pushing ivermectin. It can be toxic, dangerous, officials say,” Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-08-31/what-is-ivermectin-officials-say-covid-treatment-toxic; Summer Lin, “Got your COVID vaccine? Stay out, says California restaurateur decrying ‘stupidity,’” Sacramento Bee, July 26, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article253039643.html; Natasha Lindstrom, “Out-of-state covid hot spots ‘desperate’ to transfer patients to Western Pa. hospitals,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 12, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/health-now/out-of-state-covid-hot-spots-desperate-to-transfer-patients-to-western-pa-hospitals/; Annie Linskey, Tyler Pager, and Dan Diamond, “Surge of covid delta variant poses new political threat to Biden and his agenda,” Washington Post, July 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-covid-delta-agenda/2021/07/23/11afddae-ebc0-11eb-ba5d-55d3b5ffcaf1_story.html; David Litt, “Republicans used to laud ‘personal responsibility’. Not with Covid,” Guardian, July 30, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/30/republicans-used-to-laud-personal-responsibility-not-with-covid; Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation; Ruth Marcus, “Require the vaccine. It’s time to stop coddling the reckless,” Washington Post, July 30, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/30/require-vaccine-its-time-stop-coddling-reckless/; Jamie Martines and Angie Couloumbis, “Pa. school mask lawsuit backed by group that challenged 2020 election results,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 12, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-school-mask-lawsuit-backed-by-group-that-challenged-2020-election-results/; Erin McCarthy, “Pa. nurses after 22 months of COVID-19 and a new surge: ‘It is so defeating,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 31, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/pennsylvania-nurses-covid-icu-hospitalizations-burnout-20211231.html; Erin McCarthy and Justine McDaniel, “Delco hospitals are full and an ER is closing as COVID-19 surge intensifies in Philly area,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/delco-hospital-capacity-omicron-covid-surge-20220110.html; Justine McDaniel and Erin McCarthy, “Full ICUs, 100 dying a day: The winter coronavirus surge is straining Pa.’s health-care system,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 17, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-icu-beds-hospitalizations-pennsylvania-20211217.html; Justine McDaniel and Erin McCarthy, “About 90% of COVID-19 patients in some of Pa.’s hardest-hit hospitals are unvaccinated,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 7, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-hospitalizations-pa-vaccines-omicron-20220107.html; Justine McDaniel, Allison Steele, and Erin McCarthy, “‘Enough is enough’: Gov. Murphy’s outburst was the latest sign of rising anger over pandemic divide,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 5, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/news/murphy-vaccine-covid-protest-nj-vaccinated-20210805.html; Laurie McGinley and Josh Dawsey, “Touting criticized study, White House presses FDA to authorize hydroxychloroquine — again,” Washington Post, July 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/07/10/peter-navarro-hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus/; Michael McGough, “Sacramento hospitals ‘at capacity’ and COVID deaths at 6-month high as delta spreads,” Sacramento Bee, August 26, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article253761928.html; Chris Megerian, “Biden’s coronavirus success threatened by political divisions he pledged to heal,” Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-04-27/bidens-coronavirus-success-threatened-by-political-divisions-he-pledged-to-heal; Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu; Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin, II, and Emily Alpert Reyes, “Hospitals see big jumps in COVID-19 patients, but this surge is different from last winter,” Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-04/covid-hospitalizations-top-summer-surge-in-l-a; Donie O’Sullivan, “One of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s verified Twitter accounts permanently suspended from Twitter,” CNN, January 2, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/02/politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-twitter-suspension/index.html; Mike Palm, “Westmoreland, Allegheny covid cases reach totals not seen since January,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 18, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/westmoreland-allegheny-covid-cases-reach-totals-not-seen-since-january/; Grace Panetta, “GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert calls Biden’s door-to-door vaccinators ‘needle Nazis,’” Yahoo! News, July 8, 2021, https://news.yahoo.com/gop-rep-lauren-boebert-calls-130015902.html; Tawnya Panizzi, Renatta Signorini, and Natasha Lindstrom, “‘You can’t fix it with facts’: Doctors share patients’ excuses for covid vaccine refusal,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 17, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/you-cant-fix-it-with-facts-doctors-share-patients-excuses-for-covid-vaccine-refusal/; Kari Paul, “‘A systemic failure’: vaccine misinformation remains rampant on Facebook, experts say,” Guardian, July 21, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jul/21/facebook-misinformation-vaccines; Jaclyn Peiser, “Evangelical pastor demands churchgoers ditch their masks: ‘Don’t believe this delta variant nonsense,’” Washington Post, July 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/07/27/tennessee-pastor-greg-locke-masks/; Betsy Phillips, “I was supposed to have life-saving surgery. Tennessee’s covid-19 surge cost me a hospital bed,” Washington Post, September 14, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/14/tennessee-covid-19-surge-hospital-beds-surgery/; Bryan Pietsch, “Twitter suspends Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for spreading covid-19 misinformation,” Washington Post, July 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/20/marjorie-taylor-green-twitter-suspended-covid/; Ed Pilkington and Lauren Aratani, “US seeing ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ as cases rise in every state,” Guardian, July 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/covid-19-us-delta-variant-unvaccinated; Marion Renault, “Red America’s Compassion Fatigue: A Report From Mobile, Alabama,” New Republic, October 21, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/163919/mobile-alabama-covid-vaccination-red-america-compassion-fatigue; Tony Romm, “Fake cures and other coronavirus conspiracy theories are flooding WhatsApp, leaving governments and users with a ‘sense of panic,’” Washington Post, March 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/02/whatsapp-coronavirus-misinformation/; Jennifer Rubin, “Americans have had it with vaccine refusers and anti-mandate politicians,” Washington Post, August 4, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/04/americans-have-had-it-with-vaccine-refusers-anti-mandate-pols/; Michael Rubinkam, “COVID surge: Pennsylvania hospital chain runs out of beds,” Associated Press, December 8, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-health-pennsylvania-a14addad0c7c7d67c71ad6f3364dbefa; Aaron Rupar, “Trump and Fox News want to send their hydroxychloroquine hype down the memory hole,” Vox, April 22, 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/4/22/21230982/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-trump-fox-news-hype; Ben Sales, “A Proud Boys-sympathizing rabbi in Florida has provided 200 vaccine exemption requests,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 8, 2021, https://www.jta.org/2021/10/08/health/a-proud-boys-affiliated-rabbi-in-florida-is-offering-to-endorse-covid-19-vaccine-exemption-requests; Jim Salter, “COVID-related attacks prompt hospital to issue panic buttons,” Associated Press, September 28, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-covid-19-pandemic-missouri-springfield-397f9fca72155f35035df85c9f2e0941; Anna Sanders and Chris Sommerfeldt, “A spike in New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners following Trump’s controversial coronavirus comments,” New York Daily News, April 24, 2020, https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-new-yorkers-household-cleaners-trump-20200425-rnaqio5dyfeaxmthxx2vktqa5m-story.html; Ivana Saric, “The fight over mask mandates in schools turns violent,” Axios, August 23, 2021, https://www.axios.com/mask-school-mandate-violence-covid-3abff916-242d-4db5-87f7-b4314dc57c3d.html; Eugene Scott, “Marjorie Taylor Greene suspended from Facebook for 24 hours for covid-19 misinformation, one day after Twitter account suspension,” Washington Post, January 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/03/marjorie-taylor-greene-suspended-facebook-24-hours-covid-19-misinformation-one-day-after-twitter-account-suspension/; Mark Scott and Steven Overly, “‘Conspiracy bingo’: Trans-Atlantic extremists seize on the pandemic,” Politico, May 12, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/12/trans-atlantic-conspiracy-coronavirus-251325; Andrew Seidman, “Mask and vaccine mandates have broad support, polls show. 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Sun and Joel Achenbach, “Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of covid-19, CDC report finds,” Washington Post, September 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/10/moderna-most-effective-covid-vaccine-studies/; Sudhin Thanawala and Jay Reeves, “Virus surge breaks hospital records amid rising toll on kids,” Sacramento Bee, August 26, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/article253764343.html; Annabelle Timsit, “GOP governors threaten to sue over mandates; Biden says, ‘have at it,’” Washington Post, September 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/10/republican-governors-sue-biden-vaccine-mandate/; Helen Ubiñas, “Stop begging the COVID bullies. 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