An essential worker, defined not as our totalitarian age defines that term, but as reason and human nature define it: A person whose work is necessary in a given context. For example, in the context of a private family household, in which an income is essential to eating and maintaining a home, a person who earns money for the material continuity of that household is an essential worker. There is no natural way to determine essentiality without first defining the context, and hence the standard and proper judge, of that essentiality.
Thus, during the current pandemic, hundreds of millions of essential workers, as determined by their natural contexts, are at risk of losing everything that makes their work essential, thanks to the whims of totalitarian thugs who believe, against all rationality, that they, and they alone, have the authority to determine arbitrarily which workers are essential (without regard for context and nature) and which are not.
It must also be observed that authoritarians will inevitably rank themselves as the most essential of workers — proof positive that their method of ranking work in terms of necessity is not merely arbitrary and artificial, but morally and metaphysically upside-down. It is as though an illiterate librarian were to declare himself the most essential man in the world of literature, and thus grant himself exclusive authority to determine which books were indispensable to literature, and which could be discarded or reduced to fuel for the library’s furnace.
On today’s global standard, incidentally — the totalitarian lockdown standard — Jesus Christ would be judged very far from an essential worker. On the contrary, he would be fined or arrested, not to mention subjected to a public shaming, for violating his stay-at-home order, not to mention for the sin of drawing non-approved crowds of more than five people from different households.
In other words, plus ça change…. Just a passing thought for this Christmas.