Editor’s Note: Adam Piggot posted some good thoughts on all the craziness of the past few weeks.
I haven’t had any posts up for the last few days as I haven’t had anything to talk about. There is only so much discussion of the current virus situation that my patience can put up with. What I have said is still my view and nothing is really changing at this point.
About the only thing of note that I haven’t mentioned is the hysterical meltdown of those on the libertarian side of things to just about any government reaction to the current crisis. You can only imagine what this lot would have been saying when nations enacted rationing measures in WWII. Something along the lines of clawing the skin off their faces as they howled at the sky that these measures would never end and that our “rights” had been permanently taken away.
Peter Hitches is one of the very worst offenders, an hysterical female-like counterpoint to his deceased brother, who although a committed atheist would have at least been dealing with the current situation through the prism of a whisky glass and a cloud of cigarette smoke. Instead, Peter is dancing around with his hands in the air in mortal abject terror of any government imposed change to his daily routine whatsoever.
They scoff at alarming projections of deaths and point at the current low mortality rate as proof of their righteousness, seemingly unaware that the death toll is low because of the current measures, not in spite of them. One only has to look at the stark rise in deaths in New York and the desperate pleading for help from the governor Andrew Cuomo to understand that this is not business as usual.
Libertarians and many people on the alt right side are obsessed with their rights. What garners little attention from them is any real discussion of responsibilities, either individual or collective. So any measures in such a crisis are dismissed as over the top authoritarianism reminiscent of the worst crimes of the Soviet politburo. That the vast majority of us have never lived through such a critical event as this is somehow left out of the equation.
The overwhelming sniping from the sidelines at any attempts from nations’ leaders to deal with what is unfolding is typical behaviour of the backseat leader. But it is one thing to grandstand about just what should be done when you are in the convenient position of having no responsibility for the imaginary actions which you would take. It is another thing entirely to be on the front lines with a fearful amount of skin in the game as the crap is hitting a zeppelin sized fan.
Our responsibilities at the moment are to sit tight and do our best to not add to the problem. Yes we are suffering some discomfort. Yes, we are also taking a financial hit. Yes, some people are taking a bigger hit than others, either due to their own unpreparedness or suffering the ill fortune of this being very bad timing. But what are governments supposed to do? Take everyone’s individual circumstances into account? Even if they could, which they cannot, exactly why should they?
Our great handicap is that so many of us are conditioned to looking to government to solve our problems. So that when a very big event such as this happens then our only recourse is to scream and shout that something must be done or must not be done as the case may be. But the situation is not normal and screaming at the sky is beyond useless. What we must do is batten down the hatches and rely on ourselves and family and communities first. We must find ways to get things done.
Only when the pandemic lifts will we know in which form the world will exist. Until then it is useless to speculate, and it only serves to handicap what our leaders need to do, for good or ill. They are not perfect but for some reason we expect perfection of them in an impossible situation. Such is the human condition.