A Coronavirus Action Plan from the Lunatic Fringe
Okay, the Virus that Ate a Civilization is spreading like wildfire — well, like a bad flu virus, actually — in spite of all government attempts to maintain the pretense that state-manufactured action plans can solve this problem (state-manufactured action plans having proved so effective in solving so many other societal problems over the centuries).
The current worldwide solution of preference: tear up the roots of individual liberty and representative government; destroy the global economy for the foreseeable future; encourage citizens to behave like selfish cowards towards their fellow men, in hysterical overreaction to a bad flu virus.
The result of this grand strategy so far: the virus continues to spread, far beyond any “expert” guesses as to how many millions (zillions?) are already infected.
The easily predictable future results of this strategy: millions of people will lose their livelihoods and life savings; there will be a massive spike in suicides, as people collapse into despair over losing everything they have worked for; the legal precedents for unlimited government coercion, and the moral precedents for mass popular dependency on government redistribution, will be firmly entrenched in the social fabric of all hitherto semi-free nations; there will be a huge increase in looting and other property violations as people devoid of a moral compass compete for scarce necessities in an environment of general fear.
And I emphasize that all the above results are easily predictable, which is to say that any semi-rational adult can see them coming, which is to say that the power-players imposing this strategy are fully aware that their current actions will cause all of the above results, and that they have chosen to pursue this course with this understanding.
All this in reaction to a virus that has proved to be dangerous almost exclusively to the very old and weak, or other people with serious underlying health conditions.
Am I saying that we should not care about the risk to the health of our seniors? Of course not. I would say, however, that if I were elderly or otherwise weak, I hope I would have the pride and dignity not to expect my entire society to impoverish itself and abandon all pretenses of human rights merely in order to keep me from getting a virus that could threaten my compromised immune system. I hope, in other words, that I would be reasonable and adult enough to say, “My health is my concern. I hope my loved ones and neighbors are conscientious about staying away from me if they have a contagious illness, but otherwise, I have to make my own best choices in life and accept the consequences of those choices.”
In fact, the older people I have known well personally in my life have all taken exactly that position toward their own failing health, tacitly or explicitly. My hopes for my own future, as outlined above, are based on their dignified examples.
With that preamble, then, I would like to propose my own, admittedly radical, strategy for dealing with this coronavirus outbreak. It’s actually quite an old method, one which has rarely been attempted in recent generations; but given the peculiar nature of the current crisis, perhaps now is the time for extreme measures.
My strategy is what men used to call “liberty.” To clarify, this old-fashioned wisdom involves allowing adult human beings, at least until they have proved themselves to be fundamentally untrustworthy or otherwise intentionally dangerous to their fellow citizens, to make their own decisions, judge their own needs, and apply their own common sense to the task of balancing the interests of personal and community health with the interests of personal and community well-being.
Admittedly, this proposal has a shortcoming, namely that, as the past advocates of individual liberty consistently warned, this way of life, i.e., a community of peacefully co-existing free souls, demands fairly strict preconditions of individual morality, personal responsibility, and a general sensibility of respecting one’s fellow man. Given today’s political and moral climate, the risk of “granting” men their natural liberty (and who, by the way, has the authority to make that decision, and on what grounds?) may be too great.
So I guess that leaves us with today’s operative global strategy: mass panic, susceptibility to mass manipulation, and cowering under the table hoping that our masters in the government will save us.
Humans, as a species, have never been all that impressive to me, a very few exceptions to that judgment merely serving to prove the rule. These days, I’m thinking more and more that the whole experiment may have been ill-conceived.
But still, that’s no reason for despair! I will offer several reasons for that seemingly paradoxical conclusion over the coming days. Let me offer the first and simplest one here.
Falling into despair over the failure of the human species as an experiment in divine spark development shows a certain narrow-mindedness. For it presupposes that the value of life itself depends on the success or failure of humans to live up to one’s expectations. But that presupposition would only be valid if humans were all we had to rely on for evidence of the value of life, which is manifestly not the case.
For example, as I am always happy to note, and relieved to recall, there are birds!