The God of Plague Returns: Snail Fever, COVID-19, and China’s Emergency Disciplinary State - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The God of Plague Returns: Snail Fever, COVID-19, and China’s Emergency Disciplinary State
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A man is tested for COVID-19 in China’s Shaanxi Province on Dec. 30, 2021 (canghai76/Shutterstock)

I

It is the morning of July 1, 1958, and a bleary-eyed Chairman Mao Zedong is rising from his double bed, having passed a restless night in his official residence at the Zhongnanhai’s Library of Chrysanthemum Fragrance. The 64-year-old Great Helmsman shuffles past a row of glass-front bookshelves on his way to the large square table where he works and takes his meals, usually alone. Outside the window, in the courtyard of the former imperial gardens, ancient cypresses sway in the summer wind as the sun ascends over the Forbidden City. Now comfortably ensconced in his chair, Mao reaches for his trusty hard-tipped brush pen. Aside from being a revolutionary, a political visionary, and a sociopathic mass murderer, Mao is also something of a calligrapher, having recently begun experimenting with the so-called “wild” cursive script, and so, in an undeniably expressive hand, he begins to write:

When I read in the Peoples Daily of June 30, 1958 that schistosomiasis had been wiped out in Yujiang county, thoughts thronged my mind and I could not sleep. In the warm morning breeze next day, as sunlight falls on my window, I look towards the distant southern sky and in my happiness pen the following lines …

Two poems would follow in quick succession, Farewell to the God of Plague (I) and Farewell to the God of Plague (II), both in the classical lüshi verse form with eight lines of five, six, or seven characters, and both inspired by newspaper reports of the successful public health campaign against schistosomiasis, a devastating parasitical disease prevalent in water-logged rice-growing areas. The first poem sets the scene, describing

So many green streams and blue hills, but to what avail?
This tiny creature left even Hua To powerless!
Hundreds of villages choked with weeds, men wasted away;
Thousands of homes deserted, ghosts chanted mournfully.

In these early days of the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong has already accomplished what even the renowned Eastern Han dynasty-era physician Hua To, China’s answer to Hippocrates or Galen, never could — he has defeated the Schistosoma japonicum worm, a loathsome parasite that had tormented Chinese peasants for more than two millennia, which to this day afflicts more than 200 million people living in rural and peri-urban areas throughout the developing world. So profound is this medical breakthrough that Mao concludes the second of his poems with the memorable lines:

We ask the God of Plague: “Where are you bound?”
Paper barges aflame and candle-light illuminate the sky.

Wen Shen, the God of Plague governing Heaven’s Ministry of Epidemics, has thus been ceremonially dispatched to the next world, no longer to trouble Mao’s increasingly fortunate subjects.

The chairman’s inspirational poems will be published and distributed far and wide, destined to rank among his best-known compositions. Fu Baoshi, a preternaturally talented landscape painter, will be so moved by them that he will pick up his own brushes, creating After Mao Zedongs Saying Farewell to the God of Plague (II)” (1958), a watercolor depiction of a winding column of determined peasants armed with the myriad tools of their respective trades, marching beneath red banners, traversing rivers, valleys, and forests in riotous springtime bloom, as they return to fertile paddy fields now mercifully free of blood fluke infestation. Fu Baoshi’s painting is now part of the Nanjing Museum’s permanent collection, but I can still recall encountering it when it was included in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s 2011 international loan exhibition “Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965).” The picture is modest in size, roughly 34 by 50 centimeters, but is beautifully executed, and seems to stretch out towards infinity. Fu, who trained at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in the ’30s and would go on to direct the Jiangsu Province Chinese Painting School, was possessed of unquestionable genius, but he was also an eager propagandist. After Mao Zedongs Saying Goodbye to the God of Plague (II),” while an artwork of the first water, is still a pictorial paean to the Great Leap Forward which, schistosomiasis eradication programs aside, would kill as many as 55 million men, women, and children through famine and violence in the years to come.

All that human suffering still largely lay stored up in the womb of time that summer day in 1958, when Mao Zedong’s reveled in his victory over schistosomiasis, his brush gliding effortlessly along the page, the morning sun shining on his capacious brow. The Chinese Communist Party chairman had good reason to exult in the performance of the public health commissars and cadres in Jiangxi’s Yujiang county. After all, schistosomiasis represented one of the God of Plague’s more sinister creations. Also known as bilharzia or snail fever, the disease is spread by the Schistosoma japonicum trematode worm, which first infects diminutive freshwater Oncomelania hupensis gastropod mollusks, then finds its way into the intestines of mammalian hosts, before emerging in manure, droppings, and nightsoil, ready to start the cycle all over again. Stricken individuals, be they of the bovine, rodent, or human variety, experience three phases of the disease: an acute stage with distinctly malarial characteristics, a chronic stage sometimes asymptomatic, sometimes causing fatigue and diarrhea, and then an agonizing late stage with its trademark massive stomach fluid retention, portal hypertension, and esophageal varices, among a profusion of other debilitating and often grotesque symptoms. Snail fever had been decimating Chinese rice-growing regions like rural Yujiang county from time immemorial, and by the mid-20th century was affecting an estimated 10 million people per annum, with a 4 percent fatality rate. In some hard-hit regions, like Qingpu outside of Shanghai, the rate of afflicted villagers ranged from 40 to an astounding 90 percent. The communist authorities, by extirpating snail fever, hoped not just to save lives, but to reclaim tens of thousands of productive hectares that had been reluctantly ceded to the teeming escargatoires of freshwater snails, and the deadly blood fluke parasites that lurked in the glistening, seemingly innocuous slime trails they left behind.

The fight against intestinal worms was also a matter of national security. As Miriam Gross noted in Farewell to the God of Plague: Chairman Maos Campaign to Deworm China (2016), the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army who fought in the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War “were heavily infected with worms. Over 14,000 troops, or 38 percent of the top soldiers in China, were incapacitated due to snail fever. Additionally, about 50 percent of the troops had hookworm, 50 percent had roundworm, and 27 percent had whipworm.” Wei Wenbo, a member of the Central Committee’s leadership small group devoted to eradicating schistosomiasis, put it bluntly: “the elimination of snail fever impacts on whether our people survive or perish; it is related to the existence of our nation; to thrive or wither depends on it.” The Great Leap Forward would never succeed, and true socialism would never be realized, if China’s population was incapacitated, and its most fertile farmland rendered uninhabitable, by these endemic parasites. Officials in Jiangxi Province were confident that “socialism will bring a happy new society,” but wondered “how can we have big belly disease in it? If people are lying flat on their backs in bed, how can they be happy?” Hence we can readily grasp why Mao spent the night of June 30, 1958 restless and “thronged with thoughts.” He had already conclusively demonstrated his power over his fellow man, ruling mainland China unopposed for almost a decade, but this was different. Now he had put the God of Plague himself to flight, and even Dimǔ Niángniáng, Lady Mother Earth, could be expected to bend to his will.

Schistosoma japonicum had proved a worthy adversary, but soon Mao was ready for a new challenge, announcing the opening of the Chú Sì Hài, or the “Four Pests Campaign” against flies, mosquitoes, sparrows, and rats. Posters appeared bearing the slogan “Exterminate the four pests!” alongside an image of a blood-sucking mosquito, a blowfly, a Eurasian tree sparrow, and a brown rat all impaled kebab-like on a sword. Chinese peasants were given (nonmonetary) rewards for each rat tail they handed in, while, as Jasper Becker set forth in Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine (1996), they tried with varying levels of success “to kill the insects at night by setting up huge lamps in the middle of the fields so that the insects would fly around them until they dropped down dead,” but it was the “smash sparrows” campaign that was pursued with particular vigor, the better to safeguard Chinese farmers’ grain seed and fruit. More propaganda posters went up in schools and public squares, conveying messages like “Everybody must get to work to eliminate the sparrows,” “Everybody comes to beat sparrows,” and “Eliminating the last sparrow,” the latter showing a party of gun-toting peasants gathered in an eerily denuded landscape of dirt and bare-branched trees, gawking at a lone sparrow sprawled out dead in the dust. Tens of millions of birds were shot out of the sky and poisoned, millions of nests were smashed, and flocks of sparrows were harassed by townsfolk banging pots, gongs, and drums until the little birds dropped lifeless from the sky. In one infamous incident, the Beijing authorities demanded access to the Polish embassy grounds, which had become a rare avian refuge. Refused entry, the ornithophobic communist zealots instead camped outside the embassy walls, banging drums day and night until the besieged sparrows all perished of fright, and had to be disposed of, it was said, by the shovelful.

Chairman Mao’s environmental authoritarianism was clearly getting results. The trematode worm and their molluscan hosts had been brought under control, and the Chinese countryside was relieved of irksome songbirds. In his August 30, 1956, address to the Eighth National Congress, Mao had lamented how “China used to be stigmatized as a ‘decrepit empire,’ ‘the sick man of East Asia,’ a country with a backward economy and a backward culture, with no hygiene.” Now the people were free of snail fever, their grain was safe from marauding birds, the countryside was being cleansed, the economy transformed, and the Second Five Year Plan that began in 1958 was shaping up to be a veritable Great Leap Forward for the Chinese nation.

It would not take long, however, for the Four Pests Campaign to be revealed as one of the most catastrophic government interventions of all time. Murdering sparrows en masse did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the peasantry, indeed quite the opposite. Common sense began to seep back into the discussion of the “smash sparrows” campaign in the spring of 1960, when the Beijing Natural History Museum ornithologist Tso-hsin Cheng (1906-1998) sensibly, but in the perfervid political climate rather bravely, pointed out the obvious: tree sparrows eat locusts and other harmful insects, so killing hundreds of millions of them will necessarily result in a severe environmental imbalance followed by famine, which is precisely what came to pass, as tens of millions of Chinese peasants died for lack of grain. The irony could not have been lost on even the most obtuse commissar, and eventually the regime was forced to relent in its anti-sparrow campaign, even importing a quarter-million sparrows from the Soviet Union in a bid to restore ecological stability. Yet as late as 1967, observed the French writer and diplomat Paul Morand, the streets of Beijing featured posters exhorting good communists to “Kill the birds!”, which is just about as revolting a slogan as has ever been devised, at least from the standpoint of this ardent ornithophile.

By way of compensation for his sage counsel, Cheng was informed that “birds are animals of capitalism,” and was required to wear a badge with the word “reactionary” written on it. His salary was slashed, he was given demeaning janitorial tasks, and his museum committee played inane pranks on him, for example demanding he identify a specimen sewn together from various species, and then giving him a failing mark to be included in his permanent record. During the Cultural Revolution, he would be sentenced to solitary confinement in a cowshed for six straight months, but somehow Cheng survived, spending the later years of his long life advocating for the protection of migratory bird species. When the furtive Sichuan bush warbler was discovered in the central Chinese highlands in 2015, it was given an altogether fitting scientific name, serving as a sort of posthumous vindication for the heroic ornithologist — Locustella chengi.

II

All the abuse heaped upon Tso-hsin Cheng could not disguise the abject failure of the Four Pests Campaign, and the Great Leap Forward as a whole, but at least nothing could take away from Chairman Mao’s victory over schistosomiasis, an unprecedented achievement everyone could share in. Junli Zheng’s 1962 film Kumu fengchun, or A Withered Tree Meets Spring, would thrill audiences with the tale of the orphan Ku Meizi, stricken with snail fever, and the two doctors, Liu Xiang and Liu Hui, who used socialist principles to discover a cure. A Withered Tree Meets Spring, like Fu Baoshi’s After Mao Zedongs Saying Goodbye to the God of Plague (II),” is a minor artistic masterpiece, the director’s virtuoso right-to-left camera movements creating the impression that one is reading a traditional scroll, but like Fu’s landscape, it is also a flight of fancy. Snail fever cannot be “cured” so easily as all that, and even today schistosomiasis patients must be given annual doses of praziquantel, which can kill adult schistosomes, but cannot eliminate eggs and immature worms.

Regardless of its questionable verisimilitude, the critical and popular success of A Withered Tree Meets Spring, combined with years of government propaganda, meant that Mao’s anti-snail fever campaign would thenceforth be treated as sacrosanct. In the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese publications urged their readers to seek out Mao’s Farewell to the God of Plague, and in early April 2020 CCTV aired the documentary Fight the Epidemic and Annihilate Schistosomiasis, which related how “after the founding of New China, the people’s government led by the Communist Party mobilized thousands of troops and horses to annihilate schistosomiasis and save thousands of lives.” Given how efficiently the communist authorities had “annihilated” snail fever, the Chinese populace could rest easy when it came to the spread of COVID-19, which the authorities and state-controlled media organs were then misleadingly calling Yěwèi bìngdú fèiyán, “viral pneumonia caused by wild animals.”

So central is the Yujiang anti-schistosomiasis campaign to the narrative of CCP competence, and even omnipotence, in matters of public health that when Miriam Gross began researching her book on the 1956–1958 deworming campaign, she was met with incredulity. “What is there to find out? It was a hugely popular campaign that totally eliminated the disease,” she was told. When Gross responded that “close to a million people in China have the disease now,” most of her interlocutors simply “shook their heads at my ignorance, reiterated that everyone loved the campaign, and promptly changed the topic.” It seems hard to deny the assertion that Mao did not actually “annihilate” schistosomiasis; a February 2022 study of 16 rural Chinese villages published in Parasitology, “Schistosomiasis in the People’s Republic of China – down but not out,” found that the “prevalence of schistosomiasis in humans was 1.8% in Jiangxi and 8.0% in Hunan determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while 18.3% of animals were positive by digital droplet PCR.” Progress has obviously been made since the mid-20th century, albeit in no small part thanks to urbanization and the consequent depopulation of the countryside, but it was clearly premature to hold a funeral for the God of Plague.

There was always something suspicious about Mao’s anti–snail fever campaign. Much was made of the successes in Yujiang county, but that just so happened to be a region not particularly hard-hit by schistosomiasis in the first place, with only 12 percent of the land infested with snails, and 17 percent of the populace afflicted with snail fever. As Gross noted, “by way of comparison, almost twenty times as many people were infected in the Shanghai suburb, Qingpu (157,232), as in Yujiang, and snails covered an area seventy-seven times greater in Qingpu (74.3 km) than in Yujiang. Thus, Yujiang’s snail fever problem was limited to a few very bad spots surrounded by lightly hit areas.” Xun Zhou, a historian at the University of Essex, would dig deeper into the details of the campaign, only to come away even less impressed. Interviewing a grassroots health cadre who was active at the time, she was informed that “We simply made up the figures. Officials from higher-ups knew it all along. To avoid getting into trouble or being sacked from office, they needed us to inflate or forge figures … It’s an open secret.” In her book The People’s Health: Health Intervention and Delivery in Mao’s China, 1949-1983, Zhou wryly notes how “international health stakeholders came to view it [China] as a statistical outlier in its ability to achieve better health outcomes with limited resources.” Outlier, or simply liar?

It was claimed that snail fever was wiped out thanks to “a new cure which shortened the disease’s duration from months to a few days,” but peasants were in fact treated with dangerously high, and often deadly, doses of antimony potassium tartrate, a powerful emetic with a horrific side effect profile, often causing Adams–Stokes syndrome (high-grade arrhythmia and intermittent complete heart block, which is just as bad as it sounds). The methods by which the communists sought to eliminate freshwater snail populations — land reclamation and irrigation — were equally ill-judged, and according to Zhou:

not only proved extremely costly and wasteful, they also caused problems of water logging and water supply, contributing to severe flood and soil degradation that still haunts impact regions to this day. In the end, the reclamation initiatives had to be abandoned. The subsequent switch to killing the snails using special pesticides further damaged the natural ecosystem, with long-lasting negative consequences on the environment.

By 1985, the Cultural Revolution safely in the past, Chinese researchers like Bian Hongxiang and Gong Xunli could describe in the pages of Acta Geographica Sinica how the land reclamation projects had invited “the drastic revenge of nature,” but there was never any real reckoning with the corruption and failures that marked the anti–snail fever campaign, the deceptive accounts of which so warmed the remaining cockles of Chairman Mao’s withered black heart. Zhou, after citing Hannah Arendt’s dictum that “what convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part,” argued that:

By identifying with the victory narrative of the Maoist anti-schistosomiasis campaign, the otherwise hapless and frightened people in a totalitarian state could at least feel proud for being a member of a heroic nation that they believed was the first and only country to have eradicated schistosomiasis. By placing the struggle against COVID-19 within a victory narrative of improving health, the Chinese government continues to create a false sense of security and cohesion — one they require to ensure the stability needed to remain in power.

The deadly schistosomes, for their part, went on reproducing just as they always had, in the intestinal tracts of farmers and wild animals alike. And as Mao Zedong wrote in Farewell to the God of Plague (I), before his premature send-off of the God of Plague,

Should the cowherd ask tidings of the God of Plague,
Say the same griefs flow down the stream of time.

III

The campaign against schistosomiasis was the first, though far from the last, occasion in which the Chinese Communist Party politicized public health in the midst of an epidemic for its own absolutist purposes. Xiaoping Fang, in his 2021 study China and the Cholera Pandemic: Restructuring Society Under Mao, demonstrated that during the struggle against the seventh cholera pandemic of 1961–1975:

The interventionist prevention scheme to control the pandemic not only harnessed opportunities provided by the broader social restructuring initiatives but also directly contributed to them. The role of social, production, and epidemiological data in this reciprocal process further enhanced social control and political discipline and facilitated the formation and top-down imposition of a new, wide-reaching social structure via a specific form of statistical politics. This impacted government systems, local cadres, medical professionals, and the ordinary masses. The global cholera pandemic significantly contributed to the rise of an emergency disciplinary state in China through the integration of health governance and political governance.

This “emergency disciplinary state” was born under Mao, evolved over the decades, was further refined during the first SARS outbreak, and is now reaching its end state under Xi Jinping.

No official Chinese document better illustrates the cynical intertwining of public health and totalitarian politics than the one released by the state-sanctioned Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement on March 30, 2020, composed by Lu Dezhi and given the somewhat ungainly title of “Looking at the ‘prevention of differences’ during the epidemic from the perspective of the ‘epidemic prevention’ work during the epidemic.” The reader is urged to devote himself to “the battle of epidemic prevention and control,” and to “cooperate with the epidemic prevention and control work,” but also to be on the lookout for those taking advantage of the opportunity to “slander the church, confuse pure faith, disrupt the order of the church, and capture believers through QQ groups, WeChat groups, and other online platforms.” The struggle against the novel coronavirus, and against novel heterodox thought, are presented as one and the same. “Heresy cults are like viruses, trying to ‘infect’ more people,” but such a mind virus, like SARS-CoV-2, can spread asymptomatically, so the Chinese churches must:

improve the vigilance of all believers in screening “hidden infected people,” actively open up the channels for all believers to report suspicious personnel in the church in a timely manner, mobilize the strength of all believers to broaden screening methods, and strengthen the screening of hidden or latent “hidden infected people,” so as to ensure that the “hidden infected people” no longer have a foothold.

The communist authorities, having amply demonstrated their ability to “annihilate” diseases like snail fever and cholera with “omnipotent medicine,” will surely do the same to the novel so-called “viral pneumonia caused by wild animals.” And if they can do that, they will have no trouble stamping out the pesky house churches and democracy activists in their midsts. The medical struggle against the novel coronavirus, which Chinese government agencies maintain somehow arrived in China from abroad via “cold chain food contamination” (and definitely not bat coronavirus gain-of-function bio-engineering experiments), is thereby analogized with the ideological struggle against “exotic” or “foreign ideologies,” which undermine good old-fashioned traditional Chinese doctrine like Marxism-Leninism.

It is one thing to fill in some ponds and lakes in far-flung Yujiang county, to have “barefoot doctors” provide advice on salubrious defecation methods and the perils of nightsoil fertilizer, and to administer (over)doses of antimony potassium tartrate. It is another thing entirely to lock down hundreds of millions of people, welding some of them into their homes, forcing others into jerry-built quarantine camps, all in an attempt to defeat an aerosolized, endemic coronavirus. “Zero-COVID” measures are destined to fail, just as “zero-schistosomiasis” measures did, but on an even grander scale. And in the meantime, there will be an onslaught of negative externalities: international isolation, economic damage, loss of social cohesion, deaths from despair, immunological naïveté, women forced to give birth in the snow outside maternity wards if they lack the requisite negative test, accidents like the quarantine bus crash that killed 27 and injured 20 more in Guizhou Province back in September, and the entirely preventable fire in a locked-down, fenced-in Urumqi apartment building that took as many as 44 lives on Nov. 24, 2022.

Massive anti-lockdown protests and individual acts of public resistance have broken out in at least 28t cities across China since the infamous Urumqi fire, from Beijing to Guangzhou, and from Shanghai to Chengdu. The authorities are less and less able to rely on what Xun Zhou called a “victory narrative,” and the regime’s “false sense of security and cohesion” is gradually disintegrating. A concocted victory narrative can readily be fashioned out of an anti-snail fever campaign that ended three generations ago, as few people are likely to delve into the marshlands of Jiangxi and Hunan to see for themselves whether schistosomiasis was indeed annihilated, or if it is still in fact endemic. Maintaining a similarly spurious victory narrative in the face of COVID-19 is far more demanding, requiring as it does either never-ending quarantines and systematic violations of civil rights. The alternative to holding the entire Chinese populace in durance is to admit that the Omicron variant is not particularly dangerous (the state-controlled Guangzhou Southern Daily has already admitted that 90 percent of Omicron infections are asymptomatic), but this would mean bowing to popular pressure and abandoning a powerful tool of social control, which those in power are unlikely to do willingly.

The disconnect between propaganda and reality has meant that Chinese protestors are increasingly able to see through the Communist Party’s newspeak, with one Beijing dissident with a bullhorn holding the following discussion with a masked pro-government interlocutor during a late November protest:

– I want to ask: the foreign forces you are talking about, are they Marx and Engels? Is it Stalin? Is it Lenin?

– I want to say to you, I will always love my country. I also think the current policy has problems. I really do, so that’s why…

– Don’t change the subject! Think for yourself! Hello, can I ask, was it foreign forces who started the fire in Xinjiang? Was the Guizhou bus overturned by foreign forces?

– I totally agree with what you’re saying…

– Was everyone told to come here by foreign forces? No! We can’t even access the foreign internet, how are foreign forces meant to be communicating with us? We have only domestic forces not allowing us to govern ourselves! Can we leave the country? Or can we the foreign internet? Neither! How are they meant to communicate with us? They can’t! Where are these foreign forces, from the moon? We just want freedom.

The extent to which China, in its current incarnation, has become a veritable welter of internal contradictions is becoming ever more apparent. A neo-Confucian state in thrall to Marxism-Leninism and rife with corruption; a communist country in which, according to the World Inequality Lab, “the richest 10 percent of China’s population owns nearly 70 percent of total household wealth”; a nation dependent on global trade but increasingly insular and quarantined, its populace subjected to seemingly permanent spiritual and physical lockdowns; an avowedly atheist government with a predilection for bizarre personality cults; a diverse polity governed by Han chauvinists; a utopian political project propped up by intrusive surveillance and concentration camps; and a regime that claims to wield “omnipotent medicine” but has turned the entire country into a vast, stifling lazaretto — all these are the hallmarks of present-day Red China.

It was Chairman Mao who, in his 1937 treatise On Contradiction, perceptively observed that “before it explodes, a bomb is a single entity in which opposites coexist in given conditions. The explosion takes place only when a new condition, ignition, is present. An analogous situation arises in all those natural phenomena which finally assume the form of open conflict to resolve old contradictions and produce new things.” There is a distinct irony in the prospect that unrest over COVID-19 might serve as the new condition, the ignition, that threatens to shatter the dominance of a communist Chinese regime that has heretofore used public health measures as a pretense to implement a tyrannical political program. In his Farewell to the God of Plague (II), Mao boasted of how

Crimson rain swirls in waves under our will,

Green mountains turn to bridges at our wish.

Gleaming mattocks fall on the Five Ridges heaven-high;

Mighty arms move to rock the earth round the Triple River.

and of how he had banished the God of Plague himself, or so he would have his subjects think. Perhaps one day, and perhaps even sooner than we know, the Chinese will bid farewell not to the God of Plague and his Ministry of Epidemics, who are not going anywhere, but instead to the Communist Party officials, cadres, apparatchiks, génocidaires, and willing executioners who have proven worse than the plague, turning their country into an open-air prison from which there is, here at long last, some chance of escape.

READ MORE from Matthew Omolesky:

On Seed Oils and the ‘New Gnosticism’

The CCP’s Destruction of Tibetan Buddhism Unleashed Something Demonic

The Virtue of Weeds

Matthew Omolesky
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Matthew Omolesky is a human rights lawyer and a researcher in the fields of cultural heritage preservation and law and anthropology. A Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, he has been contributing to The American Spectator since 2006, as well as to publications including Quadrant, Lehrhaus, Europe2020, the European Journal of Archaeology, and Democratiya.
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