External contribution

Why refuse the QR-code

Above all, the signatories have nothing against those who have received their doses of vaccine. Each person does what he or she thinks is right, and this is not about giving lessons to anyone. Besides, our position is never « against » others; it just makes sense in itself, in a kind of political absolute.

The QR-code is not the same as having an INSEE number or being registered with the police. The QR-code means being introduced, by force, into what former Google CEO and now Pentagon security expert Eric Schmidt calls the « technology ecosystem. » Unlike the INSEE number, which only gives access to information on the individual through a rather complex administrative architecture, the QR-code is readable by any « smart phone » (smartphone in French) equipped with the application that allows to read the QR-codes. That is to say that, potentially and even actually, in cinemas, museums or even at the bar, a person without any authorization to control the identity of anyone can nevertheless, thanks to his smart phone equipped with the appropriate application, scan the QR-code of a person and decide if he can enter or not, have a drink on the terrace or not, etc. In other words, the QR-Code presents itself as a safe-conduct that sends back to the state of pariahs those who lack it; therefore, to use the QR-Code is to be active in the practice of relegation. This is not acceptable. It is not a question of accepting that every individual with a smart phone is potentially, and sometimes actually, someone else’s cop. If this is not a totalitarian advance, someone should tell us what is. This is very serious.

So what is the point of refusing the QR-code?

First of all, let’s not forget that vaccinated people are demonstrating against the health pass, and, for a good part, refuse to use it; here is a first pebble in the shoe of the State: in spite of the policy aiming at setting up the anti-pass as scapegoats propagating the epidemic, vaccinated people refuse to separate from the non-vaccinated. But also: it is essential today that certain individuals remain « outside the technological ecosystem » and that these « hidden persons » that Schmidt and all the « surveillance capitalists » (according to Shoshana Zuboff’s name for the current stage of capitalism) can become troublesome « political subjects ». The non-QR-codified constitute a second pebble in the shoe of the surveillance capitalists, and can also be a reference for the whole anti-QR-code movement, both non-vaccinated and vaccinated. This « quarteron of refractory », in fact marginalized by the State and all those who use the QR-code to prevent them from accessing certain places, poses an ethical problem to the hesitants, to the « in spite of themselves », to those who had no other choice than to accept the vaccination under the threat of losing their income. This problem is not neutral; it must incite to reflect and to fight.

On the other hand, if everyone was vaccinated, there would be no reason not to reach the next stage, a capitalism not of simple surveillance, but of absolute control, « Chinese style » or rather in a very intrusive way  and very little visible, via smart phones, social networks, search engines, GPS, blue maps, etc. The refractory are and will be in the way of the enemy, and it is up to us, together, to make this wound for the State bigger by arguing that these QR-code laws are unconstitutional, perfectly undemocratic, excluding, stigmatizing, « evicting » as the minister of education would say. It’s always useful to have stigmatized people, and what’s new here is that the QR-code deniers are willing stigmatizers. After all, it is a politically interesting novelty.

It’s up to us to organize ourselves so that the refractory also have their own meeting places, culture, etc., and especially so that, vaccinated or not, we can, together, create a political opposition to the total control of the population. Refusing the QR-code, even if it costs us refractory people, is not to place us above the fray or « outside »; it is to raise a stronger awareness of what total control of the population via a tool as widely used as the smartphone really represents.

Throw away your smartphones (in the « computer » bin at the waste disposal center, of course!)

Distance yourself from a Master!

Together, let’s stop the intentions of total population control.

PS: For those who want to go further, we recommend reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff, ed. Zulma, 2020, and (in English), The New Digital Age, by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (for this last work, see a very detailed review on the site  piecesetmaindoeuvre.com/spip.php?page=resume&id_article=439 or on  sniadecki.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/godard-age-digital ).

Contact: groupe.huko@autistici.org