News media are also beginning to acknowledge facts that refute the original reasons behind lockdowns. Those facts shouldn’t be partisan. Both the Trump and Biden administrations rejected the science — D.A. Henderson’s classic 2006 review of pandemic data clearly demonstrated lockdowns were not effective, and were extremely harmful. Both administrations rejected the alternative — targeted protection — that had been recommended since March 2020. And the lockdowns failed to stop the death (see evidence presented by Christian Bjornskov, Eran Bendavid, Virat Agrawal, Jonas Herby, and Phil Kerpen).
A new paper out now from the Norwegians on Long COVID in kids and young adolescents takes a sledgehammer to the media narrative of the condition.
The TikTok bill moving through Congress is a strange double-edged sword—a blunt tool against foreign data collection and a sharp weapon against domestic dissent.Platforms such as TikTok corrupt youth and collect data for the Chinese government. But the bill—styled the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act, or Restrict—would give the U.S. government sweeping power over communications. The bill could and would be used domestically to stifle constitutionally protected speech.
The bill applies to a host of transactions—including the “use of any information and communications technology product or service”—in which an entity subject to a foreign adversary’s jurisdiction has an interest. Most tech companies are at least partially subject to Chinese jurisdiction. Under the proposed statute, the commerce secretary could therefore take “any mitigation measure to address any risk” arising from the use of the relevant communications products or services, if the secretary determines there is an “undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the safety of United States persons.”
We live in an era in which dissenting speech is said to be violence. In recent years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has classified concerned parents and conservative Catholics as violent extremists. So when the TikTok bill authorizes the commerce secretary to mitigate communications risks to “national security” or “safety,” that means she can demand censorship.
Subtitled “How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market,” The Big Myth argues—or rather harangues, for over 500 pages—that free-market economics don’t work, and that Americans’ affection for capitalism is due solely to a massive, “fabricated,” “meretricious” propaganda campaign. This bold thesis is both far-fetched and unconvincing—silly, even.
The Big Myth boasts enthusiastic blurbs by various leftist academics, writers, and politicians, including Duke University professor Nancy MacLean, whose 2017 hatchet job on Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, Democracy in Chains, was widely and roundly condemned; Jane Mayer, co-author of Strange Justice (1994), a tendentious account of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings; and ultra-partisan US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Detect a pattern? The Big Myth is an apocalyptic sermon directed to the woke choir: “Our futures depend on rejecting [the big myth],” which “has blocked the efforts we must take to reverse the heating of our planet and protect the very existence of the world as we know it.” Repent! The end is near!
The twentieth-century movement Oreskes and Conway condemn has reversed—without their objection—in recent decades. Aren’t woke capitalism, the World Economic Forum, and foundations established by progressive Big Tech moguls merely the modern counterpart to (and converse of) American business’s PR efforts a century ago? If Hollywood had an agenda in the 1940s and 1950s, hasn’t the tide now turned powerfully in the opposite direction? Can one fairly complain about past “conservative” influence in various spheres without at least acknowledging the contrary (and still-prevailing) trends that followed? The Big Myth simply ignores the left’s countervailing influence—“the long march”—over America’s institutions.
The Big Myth is the left’s QAnon: a fantastical conspiracy theory that only the most deluded and credulous followers could take seriously. The Big Myth promotes, rather than dispels, a big myth—the myth that socialism and government control work, and that capitalism and freedom don’t.
When and why are illicit markets regarded as morally legitimate? We address this question in the context of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, where the moral legitimacy of commerce has waned since the collapse of the Soviet Union. We do so by analyzing the continued resiliency and robustness of illicit markets and their moral perception in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, where de facto private property rights have remained insecure in spite of de jure political and economic reform. Given the continuity of illicit markets across both periods, we argue twofold. First, what has remained constant in the moral nature of illicit markets across both periods has been the entrepreneurial drive to realize gains from trade by circumventing and evading a predatory state. Secondly, given this constancy in the form of illicit market exchange, we contend that changing moral attitudes toward commerce have resulted from the changing manifestation of illicit market exchange, in response to the predatory nature of the state. In both the Soviet and post-Soviet period, the state has remained a means to create monopoly privileges. However, whereas in the Soviet period, illicit markets served as a means to “grease the wheels” of commerce, economic transition in post-Soviet Russia corrupted the moral legitimacy of a market economy by transforming illicit markets into a means to “grease the palms” of government officials in the name of “privatization.”