We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Dud war analogies

I saw this comment on Facebook from a friend and I quote this in full because it sums up so much for me about what is at stake and what the issues are. My friend here is absolutely not a “covid denier”, or one of those who thinks vaccines are the works of the Devil/the Bald Bloke from Davos who is channeling Ernst Blofeld, whatever.

(My friend responded to a comment from a person who says lockdowns are parallel to wartime measures brought about by extreme circumstances, in which bottom-up solutions aren’t going to work. The comment got a fair amount of pushback, not least around the problems that all wartime measures have around mission creep, corruption of certain agencies, etc.)

Anyway, here is my friend’s response:

The virus is far from severe enough to consider such collectivist war analogies. The virus is mostly at war with rather old and/or unhealthy people, who are largely only alive today because of our productive economy and liberty to innovate – both of which are now being squashed. We will have to wait and see how much liberty we will get back, and how much wealth has been sacrificed (redistributed).

Many elderly people are not too fond of being locked down either, spending perhaps their last Christmas alone, etc. Not to mention the financial, mental wellbeing of the more healthy citizens, or the physical wellbeing of those in the developing world (how many will die from the coming recession, lack of growth etc.?, do they count in this calculus?). And let’s not forget that the lockdowns are meant to solve problems in healthcare that the government has caused: ossified bureaucratic institutions, swamped with regulations, lack of competition and innovation, delayed testing, rationed IC capacity, massively delayed vaccines. The fact that the whole West is reacting like this and even many in the libertarian sphere accept this, is a sign that we are facing a much worse problem than Covid-19: collectivism run rampant.

9 comments to Dud war analogies

  • Natalie Solent

    Many elderly people are not too fond of being locked down either, spending perhaps their last Christmas alone, etc.

    The position of elderly people who have dementia and are living apart from their relatives is particularly tragic.

    This is a distressing story from two months ago: Woman arrested trying to take 97-year-old mother out of care home.

    The daughter of the woman who was arrested said,

    “When the rules – like so many in this period of our history – are purporting to be in place to ‘protect’ but yet are causing untold damage to physical and mental health then you start breaking the rules.”

  • George Atkisson

    The only thing that will matter in the future is what group and sub-group to which you’ve been assigned by the government/media. What happens to you as an individual will be of no consequence. What you do, say, or think will also be of no consequence, unless the powers that be think you’ve not conforming to your assigned group. Your job, your home, your social status, where you go, where you live, what and whether you can buy or sell will be determined by the relative status of your assigned group. You won’t have to ever think for yourself again. Won’t that make your life placid and predictable? Isn’t that for the best, really?

  • Paul Marks

    We now know that the lockdowns do not reduce deaths overall – indeed every country that did NOT lockdown has a lower (lower – not higher) death rate than the United Kingdom.

    Last March we did not know what we know now – so there was some excuse for people who supported a lockdown (the “three weeks to flatten the curve”) in March 2020 – there is no excuse for this now.

    The counter argument is that when a large proportion of the population is vaccinated the “Emergency” powers will end – but government advisers are openly talking about repeating tyrannical measures next winter, long after we are vaccinated. Also there is repeated talk of a “Climate Chance Emergency” to “justify” other measures.

    It must be kept in mind that science and “Technocracy” are NOT the same thing – the people who support a Francis Back (“The New Atlantis”) or Saint-Simon style Technocracy (i.e. Collectivist rule IN THE NAME OF “science”) are not really interested in science – indeed they oppose Freedom of Speech which is at the heart of real science. If there is no freedom to dissent and to publicly argue one’s case (whether on Early Treatment for Covid 19, or on Climate Change, or on ANY OTHER SUBJECT) then real science is dead.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    The one war analogy which does hold true is the the world wars massively, and seemingly permanently, increased the size and scope of the state just about everywhere, and it looks like the coronavirus pandemic is going to do the same thing.

  • Mr Ed

    A 60-year old Naval Captain, Cloverley Kennedy RN, was in command of the armed merchant cruiser (a converted liner) HMS Rawalpindi in the Greenland/Iceland area in November 1939. He was approached by two German Battlecruisers, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the Germans demanded his surrender. He didn’t. His fight was as hopeless as an armoured car facing two Tiger tanks over an open field. His decision? One report of his last recorded order, when he was mindful that a delay might enable powerful British reinforcements to catch his foes: “We shall stand and fight them both, and we shall be sunk, and that will be that. Goodbye!“.

    He was right. He was in the right too. A glorious stand for what is right is better than a snivelling surrender. He was posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches.

  • John B

    The vulnerable group is mostly immobile, in hospital, care homes, in their own homes. Partially immobilising the general population, even if it did slow/limit spread of infection, is of no benefit to the vulnerable as they are already mostly isolated from the ‘herd’. The herd can infect each other like all giddy-up and it won’t matter as the virus is mostly harmless to the general population.

    Of greater benefit, less costly all round and likely to be more effective, is to stop infection getting into their place of residence. Preventing infectious people mixing with non-infectious people used to be ‘the science’ learned and understood after two centuries experience, but replaced by Government Voodoo doing precisely the opposite, which seeded infection in hospitals and care homes turning them into breeding grounds and infection centres for spread, Preventing non-infectious people mixing with non-infectious people is an absurdity.

  • Penseivat

    I have no idea if this was an isolated case, but the son of an ex Police colleague, 41 years old, a marathon runner, with muscles in his spit, spent 3 weeks in hospital with the Peking Pox. Now living at home, his lungs are so damaged that he has difficulty walking part of the training route he used to run. It seems it is not only the elderly, those with underlying health problems, or those already prepared to cross the River Styx, who at risk.

  • Gunker

    The biggest concern I have with the state overreaction to the COVID crisis, is what is the threshhold to declare the next emergency that we need to shut down society ? Will it be the next nasty ‘flu ? Global warming ? Inequality ? It almost makes one wish for the economy to totally tank so they don’t try this next time.

  • Paul Marks

    From the War-on-Covid (and remember AT FIRST President Trump fell for that – history might have been very different had he denounced the lockdowns from the start – “Paul you were just as deceived as President Trump was – you did not denounce the lockdowns for months either” Errr yes), we will move to the War-On-Climate-Change.

    If (if) the War-on-Covid ever ends – a “Climate Change Emergency” will replace it. Or the two campaigns may be run together – at the same time.

    “So when will freedom return?”

    Freedom will NOT return – that was never part of the “New Normal” plan, “Build Back BETTER” as the World Economic Forum and their servants (such as Mr Biden) would say.

    “Paul the corporate media who back all this are not evil – they sincerely believe they are doing good”.

    Fair enough – they are not evil, they sincerely believe they are doing good.

    I apologise for assuming bad motives.

    I am just very upset that freedom is to be utterly exterminated – and I am verbally “lashing out”, for which I apologise.

    No doubt Sir Francis Bacon and Saint-Simon, and all the rest of the pushers of Technocracy, also sincerely believed they were doing good.

    Yes – I think, on reflection, that is what they did believe.