Liberty becomes a meaningless concept in a society that burdens its government with the task of regulating the proliferation of invisible germs between people. Unfortunately, nobody seems willing to recognize that, because the fear of death overwhelms every other instinct that human beings living in civilization appear to have. The fear of death is so strong, that left-leaning liberals become willing to sacrifice all their yearnings for liberty to avert it.
Consider a few typical left-leaning progressive talking points I read a few months ago, that mildly annoyed me at the time. The British Jack Lennart wrote:
This is a final middle-fingered salute to the young from the baby boomer generation. Not content with racking up insurmountable debt, not content with destroying any hopes of sustainable property prices or stable career paths, not content with enjoying the benefits of free education and generous pension schemes before burning down the ladder they climbed up, the baby boomers have given one last turd on the doorstep of the younger generation.
the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors.
You want the right to live and work in another country? That’s nice. Maybe it’s time you speak out about the right to leave your house more than once a day. Maybe you should contemplate the opportunities for friendship and marriage that are being lost to young people today, who aren’t even allowed to gather in groups of more than two people.
These people think that British Boomers screwed young Britons over by voting to leave the European Union. And there’s a fair argument to be made for that. But personally, I could live with the thought of not being part of the European Union. My parents generation didn’t work or live in other European countries. They were completely free however, to go out and socially mingle. My generation isn’t, we’re now forced to meet up against the law, because hanging out together might trigger a butterfly effect that leads to grandma ending up on the intensive care.
So where are they exactly? Where are the angry progressives? You want intergenerational theft? How about forcing young people to put their lives on hold, to make sure old people don’t catch a cold? One year ago that would have seemed so absurd that you wouldn’t believe it, you would consider it a strawman argument. And yet, here you are, swallowing it blindly because science.
I’ve said before that a lack of knowledge is often better for society than for us to have knowledge of the workings of certain things. We would be better off in a world without microscopes and DNA sequencing. We would call influenza an act of God and if March’s flu deaths were unusually high we would have to make peace with it. Now that we’re capable of understanding it, we become obliged to do something about it.
If you want a good summary of where we stand with the evidence and expert opinion on this virus, I would refer you to this Swiss doctor. All evidence points towards the equivalent of an unusually heavy flu season. If that’s not enough evidence, you can also follow Alex Berenson on Twitter. Another thing worth pointing out is that I was going around, asking people to bet 1000 euro, that this year’s total mortality number for any country would be more than 10% above last year’s number of death. I spent a week, trying to set up a bet with someone who seemed willing to bite, but then the obvious happened as more numbers came in: He backed out of the deal!
However, to point out that this is simply not a very deadly virus is the wrong argument, as that’s not what this is about. Consider an analogy: The government declares a war on terrorism and to make sure you don’t become a terrorist they start injecting all young men with estrogen, valium and other chemicals that keep you peaceful and sedated. You wouldn’t start arguing that terrorism is not that deadly and that the government can simply use alternative measures to prevent terrorism. That is besides the point, for all I care terrorists killed a million people with a dirty bomb.
The correct argument is as following: You are innocent until proven guilty. A government shouldn’t have the authority to forcibly inject chemicals into your body, or to force you to stay inside your home, when you did not commit a crime. Potentially having a virus that you can’t distinguish from a common cold and taking the risk of infecting someone else with it by living out your life, can not be considered a crime under any reasonable circumstances. It’s nightmares like this that illustrate why you need a clear constitution that outlines the responsibilities a government is tasked with.
Without outlining the responsibilities of a government, democracy becomes the old cliché of two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. If we assume the average country has elections every four years, the decisions made in this situation were made by those now aged twenty and above. In other words, thirteen million Dutch people made decisions for the other four million. Those aged up to forty are four million of those thirteen million. So, who is making the decisions here? A group of dinosaurs sees a meteor approaching and votes that mammals should be obliterated together with them.
Young people aren’t supposed to figure this out, they’re supposed to be afraid and stay home, so the media is pushing a narrative: The young COVID19 victim. It’s an enormous struggle to find one. Every few days they proudly announce their latest finding, but then it turns out to be someone with leukemia. They try it again, but then it turns out to be someone who had a heart attack.
Middle-aged conspiracy-mongerers have given up on trying to terrorize young people with death, so they try an alternative route: It damages your lungs! (only if you’re part of that small minority who end up hospitalized with pneumonia, in which case you have a similar outcome to the flu)! It damages your balls and your kidneys! (there’s no remotely plausible biological mechanism through which this might happen and the suggestions that it does are based on shoddy science) You can keep getting reinfected forever! (There’s no evidence of this happening, if it does happen the most plausible explanation is that these people are part of a small minority who happen to have a defective immune system)
You should be asking yourself what is going on here. The fundamental force at work here, is envy. Plain and simple envy. This virus puts old people and obese people on the intensive care. What do you think old people and obese people feel, when they see good-looking, skinny, healthy young people, enjoying their youth on a beach in Florida without feeling any worry whatsoever about this virus? They feel envy. And because they feel that envy, they want to force their own condition on you.
“Those people on that beach are idiots!” Yeah I know, they’re dumb. That merely makes your envy more intense, but not more justified. They’re dumb, but they’re healthy, skinny, young, carefree and did absolutely nothing to deserve it. The fact that Mother Nature smiles at them, doesn’t make envy any less sinful. You’re not supposed to envy youth and vitality. You’re supposed to celebrate it. Part of growing up means learning to make sacrifices for the next generation.
There’s a story I need to share. A few years ago a guy in my old hometown blew up his apartment in a gas explosion. He had tried to commit suicide, but failed. The whole building was severely damaged. I had heard the explosion and seen the news, so a few days later I visited the neighborhood to observe the damage out of morbid curiosity.
An elderly lady, aged 92, noticed me wandering there and asked me whether an old route to her house was still open. I said yeah and we started talking, she told me about how she experienced the explosion, how she barely remembered the actual event but woke up and noticed her glass window had shattered. She told me about how she remembers the bombardment of Rotterdam as a child.
Eventually we got to her house and she said something she meant sincerely, something I will never forget. “I wish you a nice day and a very happy life.” Now what sort of elderly person says that, to a young man she has spoken to for a few minutes? The answer should be obvious: A wise and old soul.
I find myself wondering, what would this woman think if the entirety of society was shut down, so that she doesn’t catch pneumonia? I struggle to imagine she would support that. I think she would feel insulted, she would recognize it as an insult to her dignity. She has learned the lessons of life too well for that. It’s not even so much that the elderly should sacrifice themselves for the young, although people in every healthy culture understands that.
More importantly however, the lesson you’re supposed to learn is that death is both inevitable and good. What you should then focus on, is a dignified end. A dignified end is the same for apes as it is for humans: You die in a place you know well, with your cognitive faculties intact and the people you like by your side.
If you can’t recognize your family anymore by the time you die, society screwed you over. Before that happens, nature is supposed to have ended your misery, but they’re vaccinating you against every possible virus they can think of that might otherwise have ended your suffering. You know what COVID-19 is? Mother Nature being merciful towards elderly people used as cash crops by the pharmaceutical industry in an economic system that respects nobody’s dignity, while simultaneously punishing degenerate rich people in China who make a sport out of eating wild animals.
Similarly, if the entirety of society needs to be put on hold, to make sure that you can have a place on an Intensive Care Unit, society is insulting your dignity. By doing that, the government is making you appear like a burden on everyone else, instead of protecting your status as a dignified individual. I’m really sorry about the indignities our society forces old people through. Noteworthy, doctors don’t let these indignities happen to themselves.
The real problem here isn’t that people are dying, deaths happen continually. The real problem is that our culture has an unhealthy relationship to death. To start with, we have this mistaken concept of preventing deaths. There’s only one medicine capable of preventing death: Anticonception. The rest of our arsenal merely delays it. What matters more is how much you can extend life and in what quality.
What is really dangerous, is the pathological fear we have in our culture towards death. Fear is the most dangerous virus there is. It doesn’t just kill people, which tends to happen when the terrorized are encouraged to lash out in anger at those blamed for their fears. In the 20th century, governments have used the deadly cocktail of fear and envy, to kill over 170 million people.
Worse, fear extinguishes life. There is a type of death that doesn’t just kill, but leaves a void behind where life once thrived. It is the death of a salted field. It’s the death of people too traumatized to leave their homes. It’s the death of a generation of young people who don’t have happy memories to look back on when they grow up, because they were not allowed to hold parties and socialize with their friends. That virus needs to be extinguished.