“When it comes to intellectual nonsense, a shrug of shoulders fits perfectly” – Short interview with Peter Fuchs on the Lab Leak Thesis

Professor Fuchs, we assume that you are currently also following the lab leak debate. What do you notice?

I notice that – as is actually always the case – the question of causality is at the centre. The search is on for the reason, the cause of the pandemic. Causality models, however, have been rather suspect since Kant at the latest: as a mere category of attribution. If someone asks why you are where you are now, there are countless answers. This is obviously also the case with the lab leak debate. There is no one  real reason for it. The people in charge in China contradict the thesis that they are to blame. But ‘the Chinese’ are obviously not responsible. One could also use evolution as an explanation, but it explains nothing, it is based on coincidences.

You advised Dr. Markus: If you are now giving your opinion on this, it can only fall short. Once again, he didn’t listen to you.

Peter Fuchs is a German sociologist and systems theorist. He was Professor of General Sociology and of Sociology of Disability at the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg from 1992 to 2007. Recent Publications: Immer Ärger mit Corona – Skizze zu einer grassierenden Theatromanie (Always Trouble with Corona – Sketch on a Rampant Theatromania), in: Heidingsfelder/Lehmann (Eds.), Corona – Weltgeschichte im Ausnahmezustand? (World Society in a State of Emergency?), Velbrück 2020, pp. 61-67; Der Fuß des Leuchtturms liegt im Dunkeln (The foot of the lighthouse lies in the dark), Velbrück 2016; Das System Selbst (The System SELF), Velbrück 2010.

Well …

What do you mean when you say, the Chinese are not responsible. Maybe they are?

THE Chinese as such … were it? Whew!

Try writing to THE Chinese, to THE people or to THE society or THE politics or THE economy … None of this has a social address. In the social world, only organizations can be concerned.

By the way, when it comes to intellectual nonsense, a shrug of the shoulders fits perfectly. 

The lab leak debate only satisfies society’s excessive mania for accusation. The mass media thrive on it.

Interview: Arqam Khan