Pic By TMR File
I ALWAYS feel sad when my country is wrong. That is exactly what happened.
The Russian Parliament’s lower chamber has decided that the levy on all products containing palm oil will be increased to 20% from the previous 10%.
There were a lot of comments from MPs and others, implying that they were fighting a harmful product.
Russia is not the biggest market for Malaysian palm oil. It imported 822,000 tonnes of palm oil last year (an increase of about 18%) from Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries.
But the latest decision worries me about my own country. The thing is there were lots of statements on the eve of the vote, made by official and unofficial experts. All of them said palm oil is not only safe, but it is actually very good for everyone.
First, it was the chief dietician from the Ministry of Health, Prof Victor Tutelyan. He mentioned, among other things, that palm oil is advisable for children and prevents atherosclerosis.
Then, there was the statement from Russia’s Chief Sanitary Inspection, saying that the product is full of vitamins and all the rumours about its harmful effects are unfounded. Other experts confirmed such opinions.
But still the Parliament passed the levy increase, quoting multiple letters from voters, demanding the lawmakers to stop the “dangerous product”.
We are dealing with an extremely important global trend. There is a lady in the US who has described it very well. She is a Congresswoman and her name is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. She is a miracle of sincerity.
She said in one of her numerous interviews with CBS News: “I think there’s a lot of people who are more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.” The facts are saying that palm oil is a medical miracle, but it’s immoral to say it.
There is a shift in thinking of the global Left, notes Dmitry Drobnitsky, the Russian expert on the US. Previously, the Left tried to impress the public with science as the truth. However, they soon discovered that science contradicts a lot of their agenda.
The answer — to create parallel (fake) science. But now they simply ignore the facts and stress on the “morality” and this motto of “fighting evil”.
If these people claim that something is dangerous, then you just have to accept it. Arguing is immoral.
That’s exactly what is happening to palm oil globally and not just in Russia.
Some months ago, I wrote of a similar, though much bigger smear campaign against smoking.
Here, too, it began with parallel science to support the anti-tobacco propaganda and smoking ban’s justification.
The same thing happened to sugar on a global scale. Who knows, meat will be next. And there’ll be other “harmful products”.
All these global campaigns are alike.
The first rule of activists who are proudly fighting the “evil” product is never to discuss the facts since they already know that an honest discussion will render them useless. They thrive on high moral propaganda, branding opponents as contemptible monsters.
Obviously, it largely happens to products consumed by humans (though the “Global Warming” industry also uses the same tactics).
This phenomenon has been beautifully described by Sergei Mardan, one of the new wave of Russian philosophers.
He calls it a false religion of HWL — Healthy Way of Life. And he notes that this is not only a religion, but a huge money-making machine.
Leftist ideology is godless, says Mardan. And for godless persons to fear death is all-consuming. Then come these pedlars of eternal, very long and endless youth dream in an attempt to replace true religions.
One thing for sure, these people know how to scare people and profit from it.
The medical profession has been corrupted by these messiah of fear since HWL became a huge, bloated and immensely rich industry, merging with Public Health and subjugating it.
HWL is miserable due to its original falsity, Mardan said. The disgusting part is converting lies into money. It is an industry based on lies, thriving on deceits and peddling fear of death.
But there are many ways to reverse the tide of this palm-oil bashing. This may sound like a cynical idea, but palm oil should be promoted as a special “organic” and HWL product. You can also promote it as a wonderful medical remedy.
For the time being, more products will fall under this bogus campaign and labelled as harmful.
The problem is not just about a Malaysian commodity. It’s a question of how to resist these national and global peddlars who are preaching the need for us to live forever in fear and pay for it, too.
Dmitry Kosyrev is an author of 8 novels and a book of short stories as well as a columnist for 2 Moscow publications. Orientalist by education (Moscow University), he has a special love for Malaysia.