Friday, January 23, 2015

A Brief Comment About Anti-Vaxxers

The Disneyland measles outbreak has given a bit of negative publicity to the idiots in the anti-vaccine movement, so naturally it's an opportunity for Green Eagle to cast his cynical light on this movement.

I have to first state one of my longest held beliefs: there is no one on earth easier to lie to than yourself.  That is because people believe lies, by and large, not because they are plausible, but because it suits their purpose to do so, and there is no one on earth that has a greater interest in believing your lies than you do.  So the line between deliberate lying and self-delusion is often a very fine one.  Still, I do not believe that the anti-vaccine movement is about health issues any more than I believe that, when Conservatives rail against higher taxes they are really trying to uphold some invisible passages in the Constitution.

The popular conception of the anti-vaxxers is that they are predominantly liberal, and I have no reason to doubt that.  Nevertheless, they have joined Conservatives in one of their most characteristic behaviors- cloaking their self interest in a host of insignificant side issues.

For in the end, here is what is going on with them:  they are trying to take for themselves and their families the benefits of "herd immunity," without having to pay the minimal price of getting vaccines for themselves and their children.  They are simply after a free ride, while letting others take the risk. And in this they are exactly like Conservatives who shriek with fury whenever their own interests are threatened, but who are just as angry when any of their tax dollars go to some other group.

In the end it's just selfishness that is behind the behavior of anti-vaccine groups- the same selfishness that is behind anti-immigrant groups, anti-black groups and all of the host of right wing fanatics.  And like right wingers, they will go on year after year proclaiming the same long-proven falsehoods to justify their position, rather than be honest with others or themselves, and admit that they just want it all without paying the price.


Zosimus the Heathen said...

I never thought of the anti-vaxxers that way, but you're probably right about their underlying motives. Funnily enough, opposition to vaccination seems to be one bit of predominantly left-wing crankery that's starting to bleed over into the right. For example, Manosphere/Dark Enlightenment idol Vox Day is apparently a strident anti-vaxxer, and I'm sure he wouldn't be the only wingnut holding such views. Rather embarrassingly, some anti-vaxxer here in Australia wrote an awful-sounding children's book a few years ago called Melanie's Marvellous Measles, which was all about the joys of letting your children develop immunity to nasty diseases the "natural" way.

Magpie said...

I have never been given reason to perceive the anti-vaccination brigade as Left wing at all.

Every anti-vaxxer I have encountered or heard of was a frothing Right wing crank.

Nor is it a recent development. When my now 53 year old sister was born a relative (who was just to the Right of Goebbels) was making noises about vaccination. It's an old lie, repackaged for a new generation of idiots, again and again.

Green Eagle said...

Well, here in the good ole U.S. of A. many of the antivaxxers are associated with health food fanatics and other sorts of generally left leaning folks.

I guess I should mention that a relative of mine who has a severely autistic child left a lucrative position with a national network to become one of the heads of Autism Speaks, an autism group that does not support the autism/vaccine nonsense. Maybe that gives me an axe to grind here.

Weird Dave said...

Smallpox. Tetanus. Polio. Hepatitis. Mumps, measles, rubella. Diphtheria. Pneumonia. Flu. And many more.

I despise the anti-vaxxers.