Together, we can produce the force needed to generate a parallel society with a productive role on its own, but also a winning reformed society that will eventually attract most of the presently shackled majority, thereby delivering true reconciliation after this time of darkness.
Lockdowns and mandates have reshuffled political alliances, it would appear. They have created a clearer demarcation than we’ve seen in our lifetimes between the Zoom-class Patricians and the freedom-loving Plebeians. Engaging that struggle with intelligence and clarity is what’s necessary to recapture the cultural affection for, and the political practice of, the liberty we once knew.
Lacking the big-picture thinking and inner convictions to make tough calls, our ostensible leaders let themselves be pushed around by scientists whose ideas they did not understand. Nor did they have the guts to balance them with other measures of societal health. Mix in the fear of angering the Twitter mob and you get a recipe for timid, uninspired orations.
Freedom matters—even in a pandemic. Without freedom, elderly people may spend their remaining time on earth isolated from their loved ones, and we know that social isolation kills. Without freedom, people may lose not only their livelihoods but the momentum and opportunity to build careers as flight attendants, orchestra musicians, chefs, or scientists working on viruses. Without freedom, children may lose important and irretrievable experiences and milestones. Without freedom, life becomes a shadow of itself.
There is nothing more central to the idea and practice of freedom than bodily autonomy. It is the basal freedom from which all others are derived. Without it—as the history of slavery starkly reminds us—all other liberties are comparatively ornamental.
The destruction wrought by the lockdowns has many fathers—computer-modelers who terrified federal policymakers with guesses dressed up as certainties; health officials who were given the levers of government without any sense of or care for unintended consequences; governors who ruled by executive fiat.
So you’ll forgive the people who don’t want to play a bit part in the weird, hyperventilating Covid reality show the media’s producing 24-7. You’ll understand when the art appearing on their streets takes an edge, bucktooths a lower lip, and throws you the bird.
Freedom is not an option, despite what they say. It is not something granted to us by the powerful at their discretion. It is a universal right, one protected only by a culture that loves it, institutions that guard it, and people who fight for it. We can get there. We are in a position to help prove this, to rebuild, and work for a world in which nothing like this ever happens again.
To our governments, the cracks are showing. The dam is breaking. The facts are not on your side. You can’t keep this up any longer. The pandemic is over. Enough is enough. You are our servants; we are not your subjects.
Central to the lure of fascism is the lie that power will not corrupt us. As illustrated poignantly in The Hobbit, the lure of fascism – even to the morally upright person – is the delusion that he can both hold absolute power and continue to be a morally good person. By succumbing to the lure of power, an otherwise good person succumbs to the lie that power corrupts everyone else, but not himself, because he is Better.
And, even after the most cataclysmic events predicted by “The Science” have not come to pass, there remains a core group of true believers who are convinced “The Science” had simply gotten the date or the variant wrong and that the End of Days are still to come unless we all remain vigilant by forever being ready to mask up and lock down when “The Science” says it’s time.