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The Absurdity of the "New Normal": A Conversation with Dr. Emanuel Garcia in New Zealand

A fascinating conversation about the past, the present, and the future

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Recently, I had the joy of interviewing Dr. Emanuel Garcia in New Zealand. This is my second interview with Dr. Garcia, the first one can be found here.

Dr. Garcia is a magnificent human being, a psychiatrist, and a very talented writer and poet.

Dr. Garcia got his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1986. He had a successful career in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the U.S.—and then in 2006, he immigrated to New Zealand where he practiced medicine until it became impossible to follow the official rules with a straight face. Once the pandemic narrative and measures stopped making any sense, Dr. Garcia called for scientific rigor and adhering to medical ethics—which led to a suspension of his license.

I am a very big fan of Dr. Garcia’s courage, his kind heart, his essays, and his passionate love of his fellow human beings and of freedom.

Dr. Garcia and I had a heart-to-heart conversation about everything from the obvious absurdity of the past three years to the state of the medical freedom movement to Dr. Garcia’s take on mass formation psychosis (here is mine) and the nature of state power.

When it comes to the nature of state power, I think that, based on the results of our conversation, I hands down won the prize in the “cynicism” category. :) Having lived under different isms—and observing good, sincere human beings, enchanted by different grand state mythologies—I feel the love for the people regardless of their ideas while feeling exactly zero warm and fuzzy anything toward any state mythology I’ve ever encountered.

To my practical peasant senses, talk is cheap. What matters is lived behavior. Post-feudal state mythologies often speak very generously of equality and liberty (even the Soviet one did that!)—but how can one believe any word coming out of the mouth of anyone who is openly abusing vast amounts of (supposedly equal) human beings? I can’t. To my senses, that’s incompatible. To my senses, this is like being married to someone who is a pastor by day and a serial killer by night.

And generally, I am not big on the notion of grafted morals or on theoretical ideals. To my senses, functional morals can only come from an internal balance—not grafted by anyone external but brought out from the inside—and if an ideal is functional enough, it should at the very least be practiced by the people who claim it. If it is not practiced, it is then filed in my own mind under the “talk is cheap” bucket. I am sure we all differ in how we approach this particular thing but this is my strong persuasion as of this moment.

In our interview, we discuss—and mostly agree upon, I think—the paradox of education as grafting vs. education as guiding one toward blooming.

On the topic of civilizational matters, Dr. Garcia is not as cynical as I am. :) He offers a kinder take on the western state mythology in which he sees a great ideal, and—a miracle—we just talk about it, express our respective first-person views with total benevolence toward each other, and then move on to the next topic that came out of that and anything else that we wanted to talk about! Call me old fashioned—but I firmly believe that this conversational mode is not miraculous but normal. Furthermore, I believe that the trendy trigger-happiness of today is an artifact of very carefully crafted “divide and conquer.”

I hope that you enjoy my conversation with courageous Dr. Emanuel Garcia as much as I enjoyed having it in real time!

And, to end on a perfect note, here is one of his poems.


Is a numeral
With all the ethics of
An exclamation point

This, that, this, that,
No, no, no, no, no, this,
Maybe later, no, no, no, no –
Ah, that fits!

This holy integer
Selects a piece
That says as close to nothing
Cleverly enough to look like
Much much more
And satisfies, thereby,
That moral force behind the throne –

A publisher

UPDATE: For the people experiencing technical difficulties with the video on Substack, here it is on Rumble.

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Tessa Fights Robots is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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