Here’s an open letter to Café Hayek commenter Miles Cobb:
Upset with my opposition to the despotic lockdowns and other restrictions imposed in the name of fighting Covid-19, you posted the following comment at my blog:
Earlier this week Flynn gets a presidential pardon and then immediately tweets about violence if Trump doesn’t stay in office. Yet you continue to focus on the tyranny of disease control. Talk about derangement!
While such a tweet by Flynn (or anyone else) is inexcusable, it’s a tweet. In contrast, governors and mayors across the country are actually locking workers out of places of employment and shuttering businesses – actually restricting human beings’ social interactions – actually setting arbitrary limits on the number of persons who are allowed peacefully to gather under the roofs of their own private homes – actually siccing the police on some men and women who don’t wear masks outdoors – actually restricting attendance in places of worship (and openly criticizing the courts when the courts don’t cooperate in this tyranny) – actually, in short, deploying threats of coercion that are destroying our civilization without any credible evidence that this deranged despotism will achieve even the goal of saving lives.
My friend David Hart calls it “hygiene socialism.” I call it Covid Derangement Syndrome. But whatever one calls this cruel and lethal insanity, it’s deeply ironic that those who for years have most loudly warned against Trumpian tyranny are themselves today actually tyrannizing Americans – tyrannizing Americans with actual police, carrying actual guns and actual tasers, enforcing actual dictates that are completely and actually arbitrary.
So, sir, while I stand with you in condemning any such tweet by Michael Flynn, to treat such a tweet as a greater threat to liberty and civilization than is the actual bludgeoning of civilization now underway and cheered on disproportionately by “Progressives” is, frankly, simply another symptom of Covid Derangement Syndrome.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030