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Ricochet’s Preston Storm produced a must-read, really thoughtful, comprehensive list of the cognitive disaster surrounding the COVID pandemic. What is most interesting in all this is the fact that contrary to the official narrative, this was never about the forces of enlightenment and science battling ignorance and superstition but a pathetic campaign by the class of credentialed, administratively empowered people to compel deference to failed models and strategies solely to protect their status. This campaign quickly mutated into an almost criminal consensus that fear, distortion of actual risk, preposterous flip-flops, and silencing of criticism are legitimate tactics.
The politics of the western world over the last hundred years has been permeated with the siren song of a safe, predictable world run by enlightened, selfless experts. Woodrow Wilson and Benito Mussolini were virtually identical in that respect (although Mussolini may have been less of a racist than Wilson).
COVID, Trump, Brexit, climate change, and the new racial politics have sharpened the tactics of the Wilson-Mussolini side. If you advocate freedom, liberty, and markets, then you deserve disruption and pain. Surrender to those who have your best interests at heart and be safe. Elect Trump or someone like him? Be prepared for a daily media and social onslaught until you tire of it and surrender. Do you want Granny and little Suzy to die? Believe and obey whatever the Governor and CDC prescribe this week.
A hundred years ago, the idea of a benevolent administrative dictatorship directing industry and controlling resources was novel and seemed consistent with the newness of railroads, telegraphs, mass production, and innovation. The expert class now seems to devote more resources to protect itself than to master the fields and problem areas for which they claim authority and expertise. In the COVID fiasco, they demand even more deference and power in the face of indisputable failure and their obvious lies. Like a faded diploma and an Obama bumper sticker on an old Prius, the modern elite is just a blob of sensibilities and entitlements pretending to be society’s cutting edge against social, biological, and economic problems for which they have only Wilson-Mussolini answers.
The more desperately they try to impose their sensibilities and to instill fear, division, accusation, and denigration, the harder it is to defend a life of uncertainties, imperfections, normal risk, and imbalances that a free people should welcome as the starting viewpoint for the work and effort required to create good lives and real progress.
Will we roll over and submit to the authorities who have betrayed our best interests? Or go beyond disobedience and hold them to account? Or will they succeed in instilling enough fear, causing enough pain, and exerting enough punitive control over our communications that we will surrender to a world centered on the emotional, social, and financial comfort levels of an increasingly useless elite?
And let’s start with those who claim science as the basis of their entitlement but have not honored the methods, requisite integrity, and open-mindedness that makes real science possible. That is the first temple that needs cleansing.Published in