During the Covid era, we see the same schema writ large in the responses taken by governments across the globe. For the first time in human history, the availability of mass-testing allowed us to convince ourselves that we could measure the health of the population, holistically, in real time, and to generate precise statistics permitting us to do so – right down to the last ‘case’ or ‘death’.
For the Robespierres of lockdownism, the object of pity became those “vulnerable” to Covid, and set against this “more touching calamity” the needs of other classes – chiefly children and the poor – were held to count for little. Indeed, the members of those classes could be visited with all manner of cruelties given the bigger goal the lockdown proponents hoped to achieve.
Justin Trudeau’s contempt for the truckers is therefore genuine and profound. He sees in them not an obstacle to Covid policy or a potential threat to public health. Not even he could possibly be so stupid as to think it matters whether or not these people take their vaccines. No: he identifies in them a barrier to forces in which his political future is entwined – an ever-increasing scope and scale for governmental authority, and the opportunities to buttress his own legitimacy that would follow from it.