The rich and left wing could do their jobs from the Hamptons. And so they moved there. And so did their art, and other sources of entertainment. Those who personify “limousine liberal” got out of town because they could, supported lockdowns because they could, but does anyone think their reaction would have been at all similar had their own livelihoods and source of dignity been threatened?
The great turn from ancient political and economic structures into more modern ones was not only about property rights, commercial freedoms, and the participation of ever greater waves of people in public life. There was also an implicit epidemiological deal to which we agreed, what Sunetra Gupta describes as an endogenous social contract.
We’ve entered into an area of post-truth governance. If they can take away your right to enforce rent collection from your own tenants — and this has been provisionally codified by the Supreme Court — while attempting to replace normal commercial contracts with billions in welfare spending, nothing is off the table.
Market signals plainly never factored into Fauci’s analysis. He made plain that no virus-related risks should be taken, even if it meant economic contraction. Such are the luxuries, but more realistically the negatives of working without marketplace pressures. It’s easy to be wrong when there’s no share price exposing your error.
The answer is not fear, not segregation, not lockdowns, not the imposition of medieval rules and castes. The answer is freedom and human rights. Somehow those institutions served us well over many hundreds of years, during which time the human population has mixed ever more, and has grown ever healthier with longer lives.
Some journalists tried to paint us as right-wing libertarians with links to the Koch brothers. These were blatant lies and ad hominem smears reminiscent of the McCarthy era. They are also ironic since one of the Koch-funded foundations provided grant support to pro-lockdown scientist Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College.
Every age has generated some fashionable and overriding reason why people cannot be free. Public health is the reason of the moment. In this author’s telling, everything we think we know about the social and political order must conform to his number one priority of pathogen avoidance and suppression, while every other concern (such as freedom itself) should take a back seat.
The unscientific nature of this game is summed up in the following realization. The Biden administration is toying with tactics and strategies for disease control that have utterly and completely failed for the 16 months they have been tried. Everwhere in the world! The science as we know it conclusively demonstrates the failure of every bit of the lockdown agenda. And yet here we are, threatened by another round on all sides.