So many things seemed off from the beginning of the COVID biz.

The panic itself smacked of unreason. Indeed, it turned out to be easy to induce panic in the world population — over something that was not catastrophic. Like a very bad flu, it takes out the weakest. This was known from the get-go, with the afflicted cruise ship. Mainly, it was only the old folks and those with “co-morbidities” who died. The rest weathered the storm of the contagion remarkably well.

Many got sick and got over it. I did, in February 2020.

But natural experiments like the cruise ship were quickly forgotten, and hysterical hyping of the possible dangers took hold of the popular imagination. But perhaps it was who got sick that made the difference. Remember Tom Hanks? We started freaking out when our beloved celebrities took sick!

And I immediately began to suspect a weird class element here. Had the contagion stayed to the very old and the immune-compromised, would we have freaked? I began to wonder whether it was pressure, initially, from the rich, that turned the tide: they could die too.

But they didn’t. It was mainly the old. All along.

Now, this week, one octogenarian in Australia dies and the totalitarian rulers there hammer the lockdown regime again, under a “No regrets” policy. What a framing! As if one cannot regret all the damage one does when one takes away freedoms!!!

Some day the sheep of the field may rise up against their overlords and burn them at the stake, or behead them on guillotines. I wonder: “no regrets” then?

What I take away from this is “no freedom.” The masses fear freedom.

People do not valorize freedom much at all if they let it be taken away for so insignificant of reasons. It is always the case that people die. There are many, many causes of death, including the lockdowns themselves. But I go further: Your lack of immunity to a disease does not obligate me. You have to convince me to change my ways to protect you. You have to inspire me, get me to aspire to do what you think is “the right thing.” To accomplish this in a free society you would ask nicely. You would use reason. You would debate the epidemiology and the virology and you would be very concerned about the origin of the disease, to make sure it was not some form of biological warfare to change our policies in a way an enemy, say, might want them changed. Now that we have good reason to believe that the virus was cooked up in a lab (or two), and was released (by accident? on purpose?) and the release covered up, and by an enemy of the United States no less — well, that should give people pause.

But no. Bleating sheep don’t contemplate the malign agendas of shepherds.

I ranted about the misuse of the Precautionary Principle over a year ago. My point was that it is almost always used by one type of person for one effect. In the case of this Current Contagion, Precautionary Principle abusers looked at the relevant scenarios as leading to only ONE KIND of “mitigation effort”: lockdowns, mandatory mask-wearing, and the rush to produce “vaccines” that had been under-tested. Since my rant of March 2020, I keep coming back to my focus on biological warfare. I argued we should emphasize the possibility out of precaution for how power-seeking, illiberal politicians might use panic to secure for them the privilege and power and who-knows-what-else such folks lust for. Oh, and Money. Lots of money for well-connected pharmaceutical companies.

For MASS DEATH wasn’t the most likely result of the contagion. In our servile society, MASS LIBERTICIDE was the most likely. And it came to pass. For the people have been primed by the ideologies of socialism and progressivism and even “conservatism”: some people at risk obligates everyone to give up liberty. That is the key notion of the sentimentalist socialism we all grew up with.

It is the Weaker Brethren doctrine applied to government policy and political ideology. I always thought that it was a bad argument from a Christian point of view, about Christian liberty and the eating of meat offered to idols. (Paul said to “take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak,” thus enjoining the free Christian to curb his liberty so not to offend weak folk who cannot handle liberty.) This is the basic idea at the root of much late-stage churning state nonsense today, only translated from Christian worship and custom to the duties imposed by the State.

For the weak’s sake, we must disable the strong.

Thus the whining envy of socialists and progressives about what the rich spend their money on, or what the healthy do to survive and thrive. Why, the rich should give up all that they have and send it to the poor! Why, the healthy must mask up and stop working so they do not spread their cooties to others, who might infect the weak!

It is all the same sort of thing. Of course there are risks to sociality. Diseases of all sorts can wreak havoc. But the idea that especially in times of crisis our behavior must be regulated by the State, regulating even innocent sociality as a threat? That is a confidence game, a trick. For the servility and fragility of the mass man is now well known, and our enemies know it too.

Our enemies in China.

Our enemies in our own government.

Our enemies among our neighbors who would mob against us and, in high moral dudgeon, destroy us. Just to feel . . . powerful. Even if the whole response is a sign of powerlessness of the poltroon and the puny.

Of course, courage is always something a person could develop. The weak could bear the responsibility for their weakness as do the strong. Going into a disease, we all know that we could die of it — indeed, we all know that one day we will die. Man is mortal. We can be considerate of each other in the face of our mortality, but that does not play in just one direction, just as the Precautionary Principle does not play in the direction of one policy. The weak should understand their claims on others are few. And acknowledge that the strong have their rights as well. No one has a right to life that is open-ended. Under an ill-defined right to life, any obligation can be contemplated and pushed and, since all obligations are backed by force, in the governmental realm, our rights to life could shackle us all forever. But the argument for liberty has always been strong, and, in the end, it serves the weak, too. Their liberty to stay at home is the same as the strong’s liberty to stay at home. But liberty implies the opposite choice. The liberty to seek society must always be defended. And should people want to practically amend the terms of sociality, this has to be done voluntarily, not through state mandate.

twv