“Since the world is on a delusional course, we must adopt a delusional standpoint towards the world.”
J. Baudrillard "The Transparency of Evil"
A strange situation is taking place in Ukraine: no matter how much the authorities and the media intimidate, the number of anti-vaccinators does not decrease significantly, and with the opportunity to buy a covid certificate, it has become difficult to follow the dynamics.
Ukrainian Institute for the Future in Research , held 23.10.2021-2.11.2021, claims that the share of those who are not going to get vaccinated at all is 36%. We will not take into consideration those have not yet been vaccinated or decided to wait or those who have medical contraindications, but will focus on those who share skepticism about the vaccine. The promised UAH 1,000, according to a study by the sociological company SocioStream, motivated 4.6% of respondents to vaccinate (of which 3.1 were observing the opportunity and 1.5% decided to vaccinate)...
"Why?" - the authorities ask themselves a question and steadily come to the conclusion that people are not enough scared, therefore they start to intimidate more. But anti-vaccinators for some reason are not afraid of either the growing mortality rate, or videos from creepy hospitals, or the possibility of losing the vaccinated friends. In 2019, WHO included vaccine hesitancy in the list of ten global threats to public health...
Vaccination advocates cannot understand why anti-vaccinators do not want to reduce the risk of dying during covid, and conclude that either the latter do not want to contribute to the public, remaining social free riders, or are too dumb to understand how dangerous the disease is and how serious the consequences can be. Meanwhile, the linguistic research found that in the comments, anti-vaccinators demonstrate analytical thinking and use a large number of links, while vaccinators are more anxious. By the way, this study likes to use anti-vaccinators as evidence that they are smarter, although this is manipulation and does not indicate any higher intelligence, and only indicates that there is less anxiety in the comments of anti-vaccines. However, its results are very interesting because they show that we have absolutely no idea who these people are and why they do not want to be vaccinated.
It seems that at last, instead of a stick, the authorities decided to try a carrot - 1000 hryvnia. Perhaps this method will show some positive dynamics at the expense of doubters or people who decide to "get cashback" from buying a certificate, but will this help to convince people who share anti-vaccination theories? I doubt.
Slavoj Žižek in his article "The Will Not to Know" describes covid as an unreflected trauma, as well as anti-vaccination as a phenomenon. We have collected enough material for research, but I have not seen its understanding as a phenomenon.
In order to answer the question why intimidation does not work (as well as UAH 1,000), let's look at anti-vaccination rhetoric as a phenomenon and what functions it performs.
The arguments of anti-vaccine users can be divided into groups: a conspiracy of pharmacists, “rational” arguments (“denial of the effectiveness of the vaccine,” “denial of the role of vaccination in reducing the incidence of diseases,” “emphasizing the dangerous consequences of vaccination,” “underreporting the level of complications by the authorities”), appeal to individual rights, conspiracy theories (influence on the genome, "golden billion", sterilization, etc., 5G towers) and religious.
Let's leave the religious arguments, because they are not specific to vaccination and are in line with religious doctrine.
"Rational" arguments emerged with the start of vaccination and had their roots. The first vaccinations were indeed unsafe and history knows of cases when vaccination led to tragic consequences. There is a great temptation to regard “rational” arguments as a sign that a person has studied various sources and came to certain conclusions, if not for a few points. By comparing the quantity and quality of materials on the web that talk about the benefits and dangers of vaccination, we will see that the quality and quantity of the former far exceeds the quality and quantity of the latter. While we see the first materials in medical journals, the latter are usually published on the personal websites of "doctors". Why doesn't a person willing to analyze sources see serious medical materials that would remove fears, explain the mechanism of vaccination, basic principles, and statistics that would show the safety of modern vaccines? After all, these materials are in the public domain. Why not listen to all the experts who would be for and against vaccinations? Why do anti-vaccinators come across only those theories that talk about risks and harms?
One could blame this on the lack of legendary critical thinking and inability to understand the flow of information, but the truth is that no one is looking for these materials. The second reason is that every expert who talks about the need for vaccines will be perceived as part of a conspiracy, as an enemy. The example of Doctor Komarovsky, the favorite of mothers of the whole country, is indicative. He says that every time he (the undisputed authority on health issues!) posts about vaccinations, a large number of people unsubscribe from him.
The next group is the appeal to individual rights, a seemingly fairly new and highly relevant phenomenon that emerged from irritation with lockdowns, masks and extreme government interference in private life in general. S. Žižek writes about this very well in the article "The Will Not to Know". People have lost the feeling of "normalcy" and want to return to it as soon as possible, and the authorities with masks, lockdowns and vaccinations do not allow them to forget about the nightmare in which the world lives now.
Conspiracy theories are more interesting because they show quite clearly what the persuasion system of anti-vaccinators is. They do not have a rational basis and do not pretend to be rational, meanwhile the majority of the population believes in them so much that they are ready to die for them.
These are 5G towers that will influence on the vaccinated with their rays; chips in vaccines, which make it possible to distribute the Internet as a router and the ability for Bill Gates to manage health and human life; the theory of the "golden billion" - a conspiracy of deep government aimed at reducing the number of people to a billion, leaving only the young, healthy and rich; vaccine-induced human genome alteration and a conspiracy of pharmacists (who want to sell the vaccine). Moreover, people often believe in everything at once, not noticing that, for example, the “golden billion” and the “conspiracy of pharmacists” directly contradict each other. If a billion of young and healthy population remains, then who will buy the medicine. If pharmacists need to sell drugs, then why reduce the sales markets for a "harmful" vaccine? Theories about chips seem ridiculous if we did not hear it so often from smart people and sometimes even with medical education.
At first glance, it seems that most of these theories originated during an epidemic, but this is not the case. The origins of these theories can be traced back to the 18th century, when vaccination (more precisely, variolation) had just appeared. There is an excellent article on the history of the anti-vaccination movement....
For example, interference with the human genome. It looks like something new keeping with the spirit of the times, but look at the 19th century caricature. "The monstrous consequences of smallpox vaccination."
What is this, if not the influence on the genome through the prism of the consciousness of an inhabitant of the 19th century? This cartoon shows very clearly how this theory appeared. If we take material from a cow, then a person should have something from a cow. Anthropologist J. Fraser called this sympathetic magic...
We can also find the historical roots of the "conspiracy of pharmacists, doctors and authorities", "dangerous vaccines" and even a group of arguments appealing to human rights and freedoms.
Only chips and wi-fi seem to be new. These theories are most revealing about the nature of anti-vaccination rhetoric.
What is the name of the totality of ideas, reasoning and conclusions that contain the persecutors, the influence of invisible rays, the conspiracy of everyone around and the confidence that only a selected few, anti-vaccinators know the truth and must bring it to the world?
This is called delusion, and it is characteristic of paranoid schizophrenia. Delirium is defined as a set of painful ideas, reasoning and conclusions that take possession of the patient's consciousness, distortedly reflecting reality and not amenable to correction from the outside.... We have persecution delusions - when deep government, Bill Gates, pharmacists and medical doctors, or just the government wants to implement chips. There is a delusional relationship - when it seems to a person that all attention is directed to him, that everyone is watching him, watching whether he will make a vaccine, whether he will go somewhere without a mask, and may be punished for disobedience. Attitude delusions can be illustrated by the sub-theory that those people who bought a covid certificate would be identified, for example, by a security checkpoint at an airport. Delusions of relationships turn into delusions of persecution. Delusions of influence are theories in which a person is influenced by certain forces, such as rays from a tower, which can render a person sterile. The culmination is delusion of grandeur: when a person skeptical about vaccinations has a messianic call to keep the world from being vaccinated, even if it may suffer from it (after all, deep government and others are watching him).
Interestingly, structurally delirium does not depend on cultural, national or historical characteristics; this is called the cultural pathomorphosis of delusion. This is why the anti-vaccination theories of the 18th-19th centuries and the beginning of the 21st century are so surprisingly similar. .
The characteristic of paranoid delusions is that they are resistant to outside influences. Many are familiar with the situation when you try to explain that you are not distributing Wi-Fi, but you are immediately ranked among the enemies and conspirators. It is impossible to convince the paranoid. His thinking is aimed at seeking confirmation of his suspicions. If the paranoid is convinced that the vaccine is dangerous, he will see confirmation of this in everything. That is why 1000 UAH won't work. The paranoid thinks this way: if there was no conspiracy and the vaccine was not dangerous, why offer money? This will only be another confirmation of theories in which the anti-vaccinator is already confident.
Not surprisingly, the aforementioned linguistic study noted "analytical thinking" and references in anti-vaccine commentary. In principle, the paranoid system is quite slender, it is often difficult for psychiatrists to distinguish delusion from a description of reality. It is based on a wrong assumption, but then the paranoid brain completes it in every detail. Therefore, even rational people often listen to the argumentation of anti-vaccinators.
Are all people who share anti-vaccination theories paranoid? Of course not. The pandemic has become a trauma that has invaded and robbed people of a sense of normalcy. The pandemic is causing massive mental shock and other psychopathologies. In the world of travel, restaurants, cafes and Instagram photos showing fictitious life, sickness and death appeared. There was a split between the subject and the outside world. Paranoid delirium is a defense that appeared to cover this injury, only a defense failed. Any system (especially one shared by other people) is better than living in chaos and horror. Frightened people took the existing slender system of paranoid delusions to close that gaping hole that destroyed normal life.
The authorities and vaccinators, thinking that anti-vaccinators have little fear, are greatly mistaken. There is so much fear and anxiety that there was no place in the psyche for the defenses of the mature, and only mental regression, magical thinking and paranoid delirium remained. What happens if such people are scared even more? The defense will become even more rigid and more and more delusional. Therefore, intimidation tactics (disclosure of death statistics, threats, blackmail, etc.) do not work and makes the situation more and more dangerous.
The question arises, what will work?
Stop scaring and start a dialogue with people. Now either we pretend that we are still living (when the disease is decreasing) or a lockdown is urgently announced. For those who did not manage to get vaccinated during the recession, vaccinations are now being carried out in queues where there are many sick people. This is inconvenient and dangerous. It is reasonable to stop blaming people for their positions, to see them as enemies, and conduct a full-fledged campaign explaining the meaning (without forgetting the risks) of vaccination and disease in general. Show influencers who support vaccination. Admit mistakes. Stop talking with directives and face the fact of a new lockdown and restrictions for the unvaccinated. Show statistics that talk about the consequences of vaccination. Maybe offer insurance against the effects of vaccinations. Show doctors and nurses who are now fighting covid, instead of death and terrible hospitals.
An important link is professional journalism, revealing the real goals of anti-vaccine "experts". For example, Brian Deere, a columnist for The Sunday Times, spent six years investigating the scam of London enterologist Andrew Wakefield, the initiator of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine scandal. Deere exposed the fraud, lies and corruption of the anti-vaccine business, in which Wakefield personally received more than £ 438,000 from lawyers as part of the £ 3,400,000 donated for services to doctors and researchers who agreed to support legal claims against vaccine manufacturers totaling more than 14,000 thousand[eight]...
But the main thing is to stop scaring. While a person covers the trauma with delirium, he is still ready to talk. History knows worse things, like cholera riots.
 Sympathetic magic is a form of witchcraft based on the idea that objects that are similar in appearance ( magic of similarity ) or have been in direct contact ( magic of contact ) supposedly form a supernatural , magical connection with each other .). - Wikipedia.
[eight] Moskowitz R. The case against immunizatons. 1985.http: //www.healthychild.com/vaccine- choices / the-case-against-immunizatons /