Why did so many governments go so nuts at once, disregarding their own laws, traditions, and values by bludgeoning their own people with the excuse of science that has turned out to be almost completely bogus?
We find ourselves in an emergency situation. The world is tottering between two visions of human life. One centers on freedom and all its creativity, including cities, arts, friendships, technology, and great lives. The other centers on despotism and the relentless drive back to a state of nature: foraging for food, living in rural settings, stuck in one place, and dying young.
International tourist arrivals are down by 85% from 2019. A third of the world’s borders are shut. There seems to be no movement in the direction of reversing this disaster and reinstituting the wonderful world of 2019. In fact, there seems to be very little awareness that this has happened to us much less of the terrible consequences. Forget the freedom of movement; the Biden administration has only promised to open up “when it is safe to do so.”
The appearance of The Lancet article by two top FDA vaccine scientists is truly devastating and revealing because it undermines the last plausible tool to save the whole machinery of government disease management that has been deployed at such enormous social, cultural, and economic cost for 19 months.
It is a mark of a primitive society to attribute to political compliance or noncompliance what rational science shows is a feature of the natural world. Why? Ignorance, maybe. Power ambitions, more likely. Scapegoating is apparently an eternal feature of the human experience. Governments seem particularly good at it, even when it is less believable than ever.
The case against lockdowns and state medical mandates is the obverse of the case for freedom itself. It seems unconscionable for any liberal mind to be wrong on this point. That so many have gone silent or even shown sympathy for medical despotism reveals just how tremendously confusing these times have been.
Today, you won’t find people in polite society who have kind things to say about the eugenic theory of social organization, at least not in public. But as vaccine passports and their disparate impact reveal, it turns out to be strangely easy to manufacture a public health excuse – drawing on the primal fear of infection and disease – to recreate what amounts to the same structure with an excuse that is different only in its details but not in its impact on the social order.
In a 6-3 decision, the highest court has called out the out-of-control agency that has been imposing itself on all aspects of American life for this past year. The majority opinion makes for fascinating reading, if only because the author or authors (the opinion is unsigned) expresses genuine alarm at the same reality that has wrecked the lives of billions of people all over the world. Our basic rights and liberties have been trampled on by states presuming no limits on their powers, and there has heretofore been very little in the way of judicial resistance.