I didn’t think there was anything left that could surprise me, but along comes Adam Piggott and brackets Peter Hitchens with libertarians.
He’s right, of course, in his wider message. We do each have responsibilities in all this, and I think the vast majority of people are taking those seriously. And yes, perhaps we all do need to relax a little bit and roll with it, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent about the measures the government are talking and how these summary measures are being interpreted and exploited by certain sections of society.
When everything has calmed down, there will be a reckoning, and we are going to find that the balance of power in our society has been utterly upended and getting back from there is going to be a hell of a task. We are going to need clarion voices advocating tirelessly and ad nauseum for a return to some semblance of freedom.
As it happens – and I doubt I’ve ever said this before – I don’t think the UK government is doing a bad job at all, so far, and I do understand that the measures introduced are necessary and proportionate at this time. But I do find it sickening how much fun the gauleiters and snitches are having, and their behaviour should not go unremarked upon.
Society is going to have to ask itself ‘what is life for?’, ‘why are we stopping all life to save a relative handful of lives?’, ‘what were the unintended consequences?’, and ‘how do we reclaim some kind of freedom?’
At the moment we have people who can work and aren’t allowed to do anything else that they would normally do – the rewards for the effort have evaporated – and we have people who cannot work and desperately need to, so they can pay their bills and feed their families. Both groups of people are kinda fucked right now. Not much opportunity for people to relax about what is going on.
While it’s tempting (and I’ve been tempted myself) to poke the people who don’t have money in the bank and food in the larder to see them through something like this, I’m reminded of the argument Vox Day makes about student loan forgiveness: Who is at fault here? Those who create and serve up the options, or those who pick one?
Yes, you can make the case that these people shouldn’t have gotten themselves into this situation. But you can also make the case that these people have had very limited scope for control of their lives, and things outside of that scope are very much at work right now. Globalism, dependence on foreign supply chains and perfidious communist regimes, immigration, the nature of an economy that makes hand-to-mouth living about as much as many less fortunate people can aspire to.
Thanks in large part to factors outside of their control, people cannot afford to e.g. buy their own home, so can we really blame them for exercising their agency to put a leased car on the driveway instead, as a soothing psychological balm? A lot of people live in cramped conditions, and would struggle to store a rolling month’s worth of provisions in their accomodation, even if they had the liquid cash to get the plan started.
And to what extent can or should people self-insure against all the possible bad things that may happen in the world?
Who amongst the little people just trying to live their lives and raise their families honestly saw any of this coming?
Governments had multiple warnings, 3 years ago and less than 6 months ago, and they didn’t see fit to proceed with extensive mitigation. I guess that, in project management speak, a very high impact, very low probability event only warrants low to moderate mitigation and preparation.
So yes, Adam Piggott, ‘hair on fire’ libertarianism doesn’t help us now, and yes, we have to keep it together and get through this, but to assert that it is wrong – or no time – to rail against the bonfire of liberties is what conformist pussies would do just before they are herded onto the cattle trucks and taken away to the camps.
And if Adam thinks Christopher Hitchens would be any less horrified about all this than his brother, he should spend some of this free time reading more of the late Hitchens work.