Mar 24 • 1HR 28M

Toby Green and Thomas Fazi


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Savage Minds
This podcast takes on investigative current events, social commentary, the arts & politics through discussions with experts in the field.
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Toby Green and Thomas Fazi discuss their recent book, The Covid Consensus: The Global Assault on Democracy and the Poor—A Critique from the Left (2023) and the wider landscape of the regressive effects of lockdown policies. Historicising the pandemic response to the anti-democratic push of neoliberalism, Fazi observes how during the financial crisis, a new class of economists was ushered forth to justify devastating economic policies, falsely claiming the inevitability of austerity in order to save the planet from another financial collapse. Fazi notes how this same model of “econocracy” was brought in and used during the pandemic as hand-picked scientists played a similar role of the economists during the financial crisis in order to side-step democratic debate. Elaborating how the Trusted News Initiative (TNI), formed in 2019, brought together the most powerful media organisations in the world to include the BBC, Reuters, The Hindu, and The Guardian, among many other media outlets, Green analyses how by 2020 the TNI became a type of clearinghouse for received opinion on COVID-19 as it curated the media landscape around the pandemic creating long-lasting implications for democracy as accuracy was sacrificed for misinformation. Green and Fazi characterise the political and biomedical response to COVID-19 lockdowns as criminal, as they map out the negative effects on education, mental health, child protection, suicides, obesity, alcohol consumption, gun violence, and an increase in the marriages of adolescent girls by families desperate for economice relief in India.