By now it has become painfully clear that the government intends to take full advantage of the coronavirus to exert new and unprecedented levels of control over the population. The virus itself is of minimal threat to the young and healthy. The CDC lists about 47,000 deaths from COVID for Americans under 65, and also reports that 94 percent of those had comorbidities, meaning that the individuals affected already had underlying health problems. Crunching those numbers and comparing them to the U.S. population under 65 reveals a death rate from COVID alone of just 1 in 100,000. To put that in perspective, you’re 14 times more likely to kill yourself than you are to die of COVID, a situation that is certainly not being helped by government-imposed isolation and unemployment during lockdowns. And while the elderly or immunocompromised would be wise to take precautions, nothing about the virus justifies the unprecedented measures being taken all over the world.
Eight months after we were told we only needed two weeks to flatten the curve, many lockdowns are still in force, and as we edge closer to winter, they’re going to get worse before they get better. After tentative re-openings, schools, bars, restaurants, and movie theaters are shutting down again, and politicians like Andrew Cuomo want to stop people from celebrating quintessentially American holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with their families.
The media has been openly gloating that “there are no libertarians in a pandemic,” and while Reason Magazine at least has the courage to refute that claim, it would seem to be at least somewhat accurate. One by one, I watch friends and allies fall in line, demanding unquestioning obedience to government actions that will cause far more lasting harm to the country than a mere virus ever could. In the 1920s, when the government demanded that all bars stop selling alcohol, the people rebelled en masse. Speakeasies sprung up everywhere, fortunes were made in bootlegging, and alcohol consumption actually increased compared to the years before prohibition. Today, that American sense of independence seems to have evaporated along with our spines.
Profit margins for bars and restaurants are not large. Many have already closed their doors forever, and many more will follow if lockdowns resume. As small businesses are forced to close via regulatory fiat, you can bet that the deep pocketed, well-connected corporations demonized by the Left will be there to pick up the slack. Therein lies the irony of our situation. The socialists who claim to hate billionaires and look out for the little guy are actively driving that same little guy to the poor house and handing his business over to the billionaires who can afford to weather the coronavirus storm. What comes next is easy to foresee. There’s already talk of expanding unemployment benefits, and implementing a universal basic income for those displaced, not by the virus, but by the government’s draconian, wholly unnecessary response to it. If things continue on this way, we are headed for a society where oligarchs run everything, and the average American is left to adjust to life on the dole, with any effort to carry their own weight made literally illegal out of a sham concern for “public safety.”
In light of all this, I offer the following advice to those Americans who would still like to maintain a semblance of freedom: disobey.
If the government tells you to stay inside, go outside. If you own a bar or restaurant, keep it open, covertly if necessary. Send private messages to your regular customers and invite them in for a drink, keeping the lights off and the noise level down. If schools send your children home, let them come, but chuck out any curricula or lesson plans in the process and let the kids spend their time in a more productive way, helping around the house, playing to exercise the imagination, or reading a book of their choice. Kerry McDonald has been posting some great info for how to embrace the homeschooling/unschooling mindset while your kids are home from school. The government lacks the resources to check on every home and every restaurant to make sure its fascist rules are being followed. Force them to arrest people for the heinous crime of serving food, and see how they cope with that kind of PR.
Many of us grew up inspired by the heroic characters of Ayn Rand, who when told by their government to stop producing, stop standing on their own two feet and submit to the common good, said proudly and without hesitation “no.” Today, we have the opportunity to be those characters. We don’t have to roll over and watch as the economy is needlessly wrecked and our favorite businesses are destroyed from on high.
Thwart the fearmongers and doomsayers at every turn by continuing to live your life, not cowering in a hole, but as a free American. Get off your knees and show the world that you are human beings, not sheep, and that you will not go quietly into the dark night of totalitarianism. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they are forced to test their principles in practice and prove that their values are more than just idle talk. Now is that time. Disobey today, disobey tomorrow, disobey forever.