Protest against Corona measures in Berlin on August 1, 2020: Leonhard Lenz, Wikimedia Commons, CCO

Germans increasingly distrust official Corona figures, fear a health dictatorship

Doubts about official SARS-CoV-2 figures from the German government have increased: Almost half of the country fear an eternal Corona dictatorship.

Published: October 22, 2021, 8:52 am

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    A study by the Hans Böckler Foundation, which is part of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), uncovered interesting facts in Germany. Notably, the survey of 5000 employees did not only deal with trade union issues or questions about how Corona affects work or what effects the virus has on the workplace.

    Instead, the study by the DGB showed that many Germans see democracy and freedom in danger in their country. The official Corona figures announced by various politicians are also distrusted. For the authors of the study this has been an indication of a “susceptibility to conspiracy myths”.

    The study highlighted distrust in politics, doubts about the Corona policy and “conspiracy theories”, said Andreas Hövermann, sociologist and employee at the research institute of the union’s own foundation.

    Between June 29 and July 13, 2021, some 5000 participants were asked about six premises for the study. And it was also revealed that for all questions, except for the one about the danger of the virus, approval has increased since last year. The questions from the survey and the responses are listed below:

    •The current restrictions on freedoms pose a threat to democracy. (36 percent in agreement)
    •I am concerned that the restrictions on fundamental rights will not be completely lifted after the crisis. (43 percent in agreement)
    •I don’t think the coronavirus is as dangerous as it is often claimed. (27 percent in agreement)
    •I have doubts about the official Corona numbers. (43 percent in agreement)
    •I can imagine that behind the pandemic there is an elite that wants to create a new world order. (20 percent in agreement)
    •I can imagine that the pandemic will be used by elites to enforce the interests of the rich and powerful. (32 percent in agreement)

    Union for the powerful, not for ordinary people

    For the union researchers , the result of the study has been an alarm signal. It supposedly shows that a fifth of those questioned were susceptible to Corona doubts and so-called conspiracy myths. The implication of the trade union’s research does not augur well for the mainstream political parties either: They noticed that in a large cohort of the study participants, the commitment to “established democratic parties” was vanishingly small. However, the AfD was the only party that could convince this clientele.

    Apparently, less attention was paid to the fact that citizens were extremely skeptical of the restrictions on their freedoms with 43 percent of those surveyed expressing their doubts about the official Corona numbers. The logical conclusion would have been to finally open up a public debate on the issue. Instead, the “researchers” recommend refuting this “disinformation”.

    Healthy understanding of democracy

    The study actually showed a healthy understanding of democracy because people had questioned politicians and wanted to be informed without reservation. Under normal circumstances, responsible citizens do not readily accept conflicting political statements and government propaganda. And there was actually a very specific trade union issue among their concerns.

    After all, 32 percent could imagine “that the pandemic would be used by elites to enforce the interests of the rich and powerful”. Evidently, the assumption is that an honest trade union would provide a reasonable solution to end the crisis for their members. The rich have experienced phenomenal asset growth, while the general population had to tighten their belts and suffer the economic consequences of the health decrees.

    Embarrassing for the elite

    In June this year, reported the German daily FAZ, the results of a survey by the renowned Allensbach Institute showed that around half of the respondents believed that they could no longer express their opinion freely in their country.

    Those who want to believe the mainstream media consider the discussion about the renaming of cities, pharmacies, and chocolates which contain the part of the name “Neger” or “Mohren”, to be of great social relevance. Well-known news anchors stutter everywhere on television and make linguistically nonsensical pauses, choking sounds and grunts to show how gender-aware they are. “Equality”, “diversity” and “justice” are certainly the most frequently used terms.

    Despite this, the FAZ correctly noted: “Even today, a strikingly large number of citizens complain about strong social control, have the impression that an attempt is being made to dictate to them in detail how they should behave, and many have the feeling that they cannot defend themselves.”

    Freedom of expression in free fall

    In the opinion of many citizens, freedom of expression is currently worse than ever in Germany: Only 45 percent of those surveyed believe that one can freely express a political opinion. And the survey also underscored that over the past twenty years, the assessment of the respondents has deteriorated considerably.

    This means that, in the opinion of the respondents, the climate of opinion is increasingly deteriorating. In times of “political correctness” and “cancel culture”, the common citizen is increasingly afraid of being socially marginalized.

    A fifth of Austrian students did not buy Corona narrative

    The communication scientist Jürgen Grimm carried out a remarkable study at the University of Vienna also in June this year. In the course of a survey of 600 students, he determined how “susceptible” they were to “conspiracy theories” due to the Corona situation. His conclusion: was that 20 percent of the students were “hostile” in their worldview. They were questioning who and what was behind Corona policies. Grimm found this fundamentally problematic and labeled them “conspiracy theorists” too.

    “A smaller proportion – around 20 percent – are prone to conspiracy theories. They have a hostile view of the world. They are no longer just threatened – objectively we all are – but look for someone to blame, an ‘enemy’,” explained Grimm in an interview.

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