AUSTIN: First Measles Case in 20 Years Opens the Door for Reactionary Conspiracy Theorists

Photo: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine

By Manuela Smith

For the first time since 1999, Travis County, which includes Austin, Texas and surrounding suburbs, has had a confirmed case of measles. The patient, who became ill on December 14, had visited several Austin-area restaurants and stores since contracting the disease in Europe in late November, prompting fears of a major outbreak.

Even before this confirmed case, Travis County hospitals had prepared entire wings  over the summer and equipped them to deal with serious measles outbreaks after a new study identified Travis and three other nearby counties as one of the 25 most at-risk for a measles outbreak due to low vaccination rates.

measles-info-austin-2

There has been a resurgence across the country of the disease that was supposedly eradicated in 2000, with 2019 seeing the highest number of cases since the turn of century. At the height of the national outbreak, there were attempts by lawmakers to pass bills to quell this trend, but they have since slowed to a stop.

Austin is home to notorious fascist conspiracy theorist and capitalist Alex Jones. Starting as a local public access show and conspiracy street proselytizer, Jones and his Infowars brand have since attained national recognition. Many of his viewers are “anti-Vaxxers,” referring to people who refuse to get vaccinated and refuse to vaccinate their children, creating serious health risks for their communities in the process.

alexjones
Reactionary media personality and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Jones himself has pushed fears of vaccination to drive sales for his herbal supplements, which operate on pure superstition and have no basis in medicine. In the case of measles and other preventable illnesses, the reactionaries make their profits at the expense of public health. Politically, Infowars and like-minded conspiracy theorists oppose any form of nationalized universally-available healthcare, and they never fail to falsely portray attempts at public health as “socialism” which they desperately oppose.

The US healthcare system is in shambles due to capitalism, and the only way to implement a truly universal healthcare system, contrary to the false promises of reformists and opportunists, is through socialist revolution. Jones and Infowars rely on this failure of the healthcare system as well as the distrust that mainly working people have correctly developed for the government to create a market for his useless products. Nonetheless, Jones defends the same ruling class that profits from the misery of the people and he takes his place in getting rich off the miserable conditions workers are subjected to.

Jones’ products are marketed through his broadcasts and media, which again draw listeners from the growing pool of people who have come to realize that major media is nothing but a mouthpiece for the ruling class. Jones and his cronies again make a profit from the masses by relying on the fact that mainstream media has discredited itself. However, instead of telling the truth from a class perspective, Jones is a true agent of the ruling class by adding his own spin to the lies of mainstream media and presenting himself as an alternative.

Jones is in essence a reactionary who seeks to drive society backwards. Instead of meaningful news or effective medication, he provides hysterical conspiracy theory and pills that do not work. His role in propelling a measles outbreak is no different from his role in spreading lies to counter lies, which itself causes an ideological epidemic in the form of a shaky worldview composed of flat earth theories, reptilian creatures and UFO’s, and holocaust denial (at the far end).

Vultures like Jones are always waiting to find profit from misery. Their lies must be combated in the same way measles must be, through a reliance on scientific fact to dispel shock and hysteria: through ideological vaccination.

Symptoms of measles include rash, fever, and sore eyes. Those who have received two Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccines are immune, but those who have received only one or no vaccination are at greater risk. Children are the most vulnerable and should be vaccinated between 12 and 15 months old, with another dose between 4 and 6 years old.

The symptoms of conspiracy theory infection are more subtle and harder to diagnose and treat. Be on the lookout for anti-Semitism, complex spirals of paranoia, jingoist support for US imperialism and the police, the belief that Donald Trump is a prophet or a persecuted victim, severe distrust of medical professionals, an irrational opposition to socialized health care and social welfare, the insistence that everything should be a private for-profit business. To treat these maladies, confront lies with facts, confront mysticism with science, confront capitalism with socialism.

Oppose Infowars and reactionary conspiracy theorists as a matter of public health, confront them ideologically and physically. Remove stickers and other propaganda in your community and replace them with revolutionary materials.