Who’s Lysenko-ing Now?

by | May 3, 2021


Trofim Lysenko was a government-sponsored agronomist and biologist favored by Stalin and the CCCP. By favored, I mean put in charge, given power to define the terms and settle the science, and by government edict, was not to be criticized by man or beast.

You know, like Tony Fauci.

In the Lysenko era, from 1927 through Stalin’s death in 1953, Soviet academia, media, and party publicly rejected the ideas of Darwin’s natural selection and Mendelian genetics in favor of the early 1800’s ideas of Lamarck, who believed characteristics acquired during an organism’s life could be passed on genetically to the next generation. It wasn’t until 1962 that the Soviet state formally repudiated Lysenko’s theories.

You see, Lysenko’s ideas were uniquely suited to the politics of the day in the USSR under Stalin. Not only could people be made into the perfect Soviet man or woman, but plants and animals could be good socialists as well, not competing but cooperating towards achieving political goals. From this article, we find:

Official support only spurred Lysenko’s theories or “Soviet Darwinism” to ever more absurd heights.

By 1939, he was so widely supported that after an extended struggle with geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, who debunked Lysenko’s work, Lysenko came into control of almost all of the Soviet food research.

In 1948, his ideas were made universal law at a party conference in a speech edited by Stalin himself. By then, Lysenko was given to making outstandingly weird assertions like wheat could be induced to produce rye or that inorganic substances could be combined to create life.

We chuckle, because we were not in the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1962, struggling to understand why centralization and communism wasn’t delivering the food we needed. We laugh, because we weren’t one of the 10 million Ukrainians and others starved to death in the Holodomor. We smile and nod because we were not Nikolai Vavilov, who disagreed with Lysenko’s illogical and increasingly crazed theories. Vavilov “was subsequently arrested and imprisoned before dying of starvation in 1943. Any further scientist who dared to question Lysenkoism risked being discredited, imprisoned, or even killed.”

In the US, let it not be said that our leading media outlets, like The Nation, have forgotten Lysenko and his state-promoted and state-mandated pseudo-science, with its denial of any and all contrary evidence, political sponsorship for political agendas, and intolerance for the scientific method of inquiry.

They have not forgotten. But they never understood it either. The Nation bravely attacks “the state” and its Orange Leader, opining in July 2020, “By the time this is all over, several hundred thousand Americans will lie in their graves, felled by a man-made epidemic. Man-made not in the sense of a super-virus created by a mad scientist in a lab but manufactured: perpetuated by policy choices, decisions made by politicians to ignore the best scientific advice offered to them, or to turn to their own Lysenkos, who tell them what they want to hear, no matter the consequences. This week, the White House decided it was time to go after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a leading HIV/AIDS researcher, and a figure who has advised six presidents during outbreaks of infectious diseases, including Ebola, SARS, and H1N1 influenza. His crime? Speaking out more bluntly about the risk of Covid-19 in the United States, the failures of our policies thus far, and what new restrictions will likely need to be put in place to address the outbreaks now raging in dozens of states across the country.”

A mere 9 months later, one wonders whether the breathless and outraged defense of Fauci was significant at the time because it was a public attack on Trump, or whether the author was secretly working for the Babylon Bee.

Tony Fauci not only was NOT fired by Trump but rather given massive power to shape the policy, science, and messaging, he was also kept on by the current elderly hostage of the Oval Office. Fauci, like Lysenko, has gone from ignoring proven science and history in dealing with contagion and coronaviruses, to being described as “an unhinged lunatic,”with good reason. One article counts 19 examples of backtracked, idiotic or fantastical pronouncements in the past year. And the hits just keep on coming.

Like Lysenko, Fauci has profited in his decades of state support, personally and financially, without ever being held to account for scientific dereliction, and the damning outcomes of his advice and actions. When Obama outlawed “gain of function” viral studies on bat coronaviruses, Fauci used millions of taxpayer funding to move his pet research to Wuhan Level IV lab, to continue that gain of function research on bat coronaviruses. To challenge Fauci — in any way – has meant deplatforming, silencing, and threats by the state – whether these challenges take the form of scientific critique, alternative treatments, questions about the nature and effectiveness of messenger RNA injections, the meaning of the word “experimental” and “vaccine,” the role billionaire misanthrope enablers who haven’t taken a biology class in 50 years, memes, comedic routines, jokes, ridicule or even innocent questioning of his hypocrisy, appearance and diktats. All is forbidden.

It is becoming more evident each day that the wizard wannabes channeling Oscar Diggs have discovered, nurtured, marketed, and granted great power to their modern day Trofim Lysenko.

Lysenko’s public “science” facilitated and justified the Soviet state’s most pure 20th Century obsession, which was at once and always the obliteration of individual and free human thought and agency, along with the more casual and absolutely literal obliteration of actual individuals and communities and demographics.

Tony Fauci’s role in our great national tragedy – of lockdowns, destruction of personal and community economies, deadly assaults on health, education, family, mobility and social commerce – continues to facilitate and justify the US state’s most pure 21st century obsession, at once and always the obliteration of individual and free human thought and agency, along with the more casual and absolutely literal obliteration of individuals and communities and demographics.

The fundamental wrongness and mundane intellectuality of Lysenko was a perfect match for a state seeking total control 100 years ago. Lysenko died a forgotten old man, an embarrassing reminder of the kind of stupidity and avarice that makes mountains of the dead, and shatters reason. What will the future hold for Tony Fauci?


  • Karen Kwiatkowski

    Karen is an American activist and commentator. She is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and a variety of roles for the National Security Agency. Since retiring, she has become a noted critic of the U.S. government's involvement in Iraq.