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?
Are we killing ourselves through our cosmopolitan bustle of business, technology, immigration, cultural exchange, agriculture, and exogamous sex? The distinguished historian and transatlantic pundit-philosopher Niall Ferguson says so in this laboriously learned, encyclopedic catalogue, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe.
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.”
At a time of crisis, such as during a pandemic, is exactly when such institutions are even more needed than ever, and when faced with uncertainty, many seek the comfort and support of religious institutions.Yet during the pandemic and the lockdowns, religious institutions were only too willing to shut themselves down, close their doors, and therefore abandon those that depended on them.
Their singular obsession, emotional intensity, and size lead to crowds sometimes attaining great power and dictating directions that can change the course of history for a whole country, or even for the world. The inherent danger is that their obsession blinds them to everything else that matters in normal times.
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.
The Brownstone Institute is pleased to announce the impending publication of The Great Covid Panic: What Happened, Why, and What To Do Next, by Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, and Michael Baker. Combining rigorous scholarship with evocative and accessible prose, the book covers all the issues central to the pandemic and the disastrous policy response, a narrative as comprehensive as it is intellectually devastating. In short, this is THE book the world needs right now.