The pointless disruptions have done nothing to damage the prestige of government in this neck of the woods – or in much of the nation. Instead, many Americans feel entitled to denounce anyone not complying with the latest edict as if they had been caught planting a pipe bomb under a school bus. Governments have encouraged people to become vigilantes, setting snitch lines that have been flooded with reports of people failing to obey the latest revised social distancing and “stepping outside your damn house” mandates.
Here’s the opening to Stacy Rudin’s excellent essay “First Goes Law, Then Goes Democracy“:
In his 1948 book, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology, C.S. Lewis wrote:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Righteous moral busybodies flourish in our “COVID-19”-obsessed society. They exert social pressure mandating the sharing of previously sacrosanct private information, such as health status and travel itineraries. This creates a nightmarish world of social flagellation in which we are shamed for celebrating holidays with our families, or going out for exercise within seven days of crossing a state line. Our acquaintances must have this information about our comings and goings to ensure we are not potentially diseased.
David Seedhouse calls Boris Johnson and other lockdowners “unforgivably negligent.” (I would use a much harsher description, one that would include some variant of the word “criminal.”)
This paper reveals the grotesque inaccuracy of Neil Ferguson’s criminally reckless Imperial College model predictions. (HT Phil Magness) Here’s Phil’s take, shared on Facebook, on this paper’s conclusion about Ferguson’s Imperial College model:
This is a devastating assessment of how the Imperial College model has performed when compared to other models. As with Neil Ferguson’s work on prior pandemics, Imperial tends to severely exaggerate projected mortality. Out of 6 major models considered, Imperial is the clear outlier in displaying a large upward bias.
Naturally, the Imperial model was also the most influential of the 6 by far in shaping the decision to go into lockdown.