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This letter in today’s Wall Street Journal is wise:

There will be no shortage of vitriolic recrimination about who was right and who was wrong during two-and-a-half years of Covid disputes (“Now They Want a Pandemic ‘Amnesty,’” Review & Outlook, Nov. 2). Although it isn’t clear that those disputes are over, I recently saw more masks in our local coffee shop in California than I did in a month of traveling in Scandinavia. Apparently, the dogma lives loudly within many.

However, we should really be discussing the strength of governments’ authoritarian impulses and how quickly we relinquished our rights. Fear overcame reason with astonishing speed. When we obsess about threats to democracy, this needs to be part of the dialogue.

Timothy Brown
Davis, Calif.

Justin Hart tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Never forget: unelected health bureaucrats decided to padlock my kids’ swing-set for a year. It’s my mission to make sure this NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN.

A student continues to protest Wellesley’s unscientific vaccine mandate.

In China, “Zero-Covid is the new one-child policy.” (HT Toby Young)

For those of you who continue to doubt that covid tyranny is real and dystopian, read this report.

TANSTAFPFC (There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Protection From Covid.)

Leila Mechoui reports that a formal inquiry into Canada’s Freedom Convoy has yet to find evidence of the violence that Canadian strongman Justin Trudeau used as the pretext to invoke martial law. A slice:

For days Canadians were told by the Trudeau government, the media and a mass of other political commentators that the Freedom Convoy were, as a group, racist, violent and spreading “misinformation”. This was the reason why, we were told, they needed to be removed by any means necessary.

So far, the inquiry has revealed this “literal” violence was nowhere to be found. For example, the Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell has admitted that there was no actual violence according to the technical definition in the Criminal Code of Canada. Instead, the atmosphere only “felt” violent due to the truckers using their horns.

Hayek would almost certainly agree with Greg Conti that the covidocracy reflects Auguste Comte’s authoritarian vision of science and society. A slice:

But when experts go beyond serving collectively determined ends and instead arrogate to themselves something akin to the “spiritual power” Comte advocated for them, they unconsciously channel this forgotten precursor. Today, we desperately need the vigilance of a democratic citizenry to check the scientists’ and administrators’ yearnings to rule as an overweening clerisy. As the usurpations of the pandemic revealed, the potential for drifting into Positivist technocracy overseen by a zealous priesthood of experts remains all too real.

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan says it loudly and proudly: the only fair price is the market price!

Barry Brownstein decries the cancerous consequences of the woke on the foundations of civilization. Here’s his conclusion:

Today there is little appetite to look at the consequences of policies destroying not only freedom of speech but freedom of conscience. The right to speak and even to hold a view has eroded. The Chinese are not alone in suffering from “historical amnesia.” Today, Americans are refusing to learn from past totalitarian regimes. Just as in Mao’s China, “nothing of value” will be achieved from today’s woke “leap forward.” Just as in China, the moral character of Americans is being degraded. As more and more of us remain silent, morality degrades, and the social order on which we all depend loses its capacity to facilitate human flourishing.

Tom Slater argues that “[e]nvironmentalism has become a creepy bourgeois cult.” A slice:

We need to stop calling Just Stop Oil a protest group. Protesters is far too positive a word to describe this strange assemblage of middle-class agitators, with their cut-glass accents and self-parodying bohemian names (shouts out to Indigo Rumbelow), who have been gluing themselves to roads and throwing soup at great works of art in an attempt to end oil and gas production. This thing is a doomsday cult, masquerading as a political campaign. There’s really no denying it any longer.

Take the case of that 24-year-old woman who climbed up one of the gantries over the M25 this morning, in order to bring all the ignorant, carbon-spewing plebs to a standstill. She posted an unnerving video online. In it, she is fighting back tears. She gives vent to a seemingly sincere apocalyptic terror. ‘I’m here because I don’t have a future!’, she says, in between sobs. She accuses the government of murder, of fuelling a ‘climate crisis’ she seems to be convinced is killing millions, for having the temerity to exploit oil and gas to keep the UK’s lights on.

That what she’s saying is alarmist nonsense should be obvious to anyone. The truth is almost the inverse of what she is saying. Thanks to economic development, fuelled by cheap and reliable energy, annual deaths worldwide from climate-related disasters have plunged by more than 95 per cent over the past century. She also implies that the floods in Pakistan are the fault of fossil fuels, even though those feted IPCC reports say there is insufficient evidence to show that climate change is making floods more frequent, lengthy or intense. What would be considerably more murderous would be for our government to shun reliable oil and gas supplies as the nation’s pensioners head into a harsh winter, amid sky-high energy prices and talk of blackouts.

Such blithe disregard for the details reminds us that these people don’t really care about climate change. They’re hysterical about climate change. They’re apocalyptic about climate change. They aren’t taking to the streets, motorways and art galleries because they are convinced of a particular scientific view with regards to the environment and think something really ought to be done about it. They are in the grip of a fact-lite and doom-laden narrative that insists literally billions will die in short order, that the twentysomethings of today might not live to see their dotage, because of our damnable desire to live comfortable and free lives.

A big cheer for the Goldwater Institute and its recent victory fighting the banana-republic practice of civil asset forfeiture.