Are Mandates Ever Justified?

We’ve been inundated with claims about the effectiveness of vaccines and masks, to a nauseating degree, but what purpose do statistics serve when vaccines and/or masks are mandated? It’s not like we’re shopping around, as if comparing the nutrition labels of frozen pizzas. “Safe and effective” may have won over the imposers, but for the imposed upon, is “safe and effective” supposed to reassure us? Quite the leap of faith is required to accept “safe and effective” when so many have been hospitalized after receiving the vaccines, some of whom have died.

But even if masks and vaccines were proven to be 100% effective, and even if they were to cause no harmful effects, would there exist a justification for mandates? No. One doesn’t need a medical doctorate in order to recognize the primacy of consent. Without consent, effectiveness is irrelevant.

CDC-list actor Rochelle Walensky recently had a stunning improv performance wherein she claimed that masks could reduce the risk of infection by 80%. A soothing statistic, indeed, but for those who are forced to muzzle themselves, do they care? Whether eight percent or 80, zero or 100, for those who don’t consent, effectiveness isn’t at the top of one’s mind. The pro-mask versus anti-mask debate completely misses the point, as both sides tend to focus on perceived effectiveness or a lack thereof. For those in the anti-mask crowd who cite studies, what happens to their argument if a 100% effective mask were invented? Will the mandate be justified then?

In an attempt to wake the statistics-obsessed from an argument that cannot be settled, I hope they’ll consider the following. Does a rapist feel it necessary to inform his victims of contraception’s efficacy? If he does, is the victim grateful for that information? I don’t intend to be inappropriate or baroque; I’m trying to illustrate that consent is relevant to everything, not only to that horrific depravity. Why is consent so blithely ignored when discussing virtually anything but rape? Personally, consent is synonymous with voluntary exchange. Consent is capitalism.

Just as I previously thought that Americans love liberty, I naively believed that Americans shudder at the thought of living under a military dictatorship. It turns out that a consequential swath of the electorate would applaud the arming of the country’s public health “experts.” If given the opportunity, how many would pass on the chance to see their local public health drone imprison the noncompliant? Not nearly enough. You think the censors are satisfied with their ability to censor, or, if granted more power, would they gleefully do far more than delete social media accounts?

After all, Americans revere Abraham Lincoln far more than the virtue of consent, despite the fact that Lincoln “suspended habeas corpus, the foundation for the rule of law, and censored and imprisoned his critics.” Doesn’t sound like the Lincoln you learned of in school, but the following probably does:

A permanent right to secede from constitutional government would render the majority constantly vulnerable to the minority’s threat to leave. The solution—the only logically possible solution—was for the majority to be able to coerce the minority, effectively rejecting the minority’s withdrawal of its consent.

Sounds a bit too familiar, no? As if emulating Lincoln, the current regime reveals its delusions of grandeur, its contempt for consent, and its appetite for power—not ideological purity—when it demands that the majority must protect itself from the minority, the clean from the unclean, the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. There exists no moral basis for this manufactured division. Nothing but politics fuels the segregation. Like Lincoln and Biden, many Americans of all political persuasions revel in witnessing their will being imposed on others.

One can easily ascertain that efficacy was never an argument’s cornerstone when some in the pro-mandate crowd try to distance themselves from their desired effects, claiming, “I’m not the politician (or cop) who imposed this on you.” Suddenly, “safe and effective” are meaningless buzzwords. Consent and coercion are mutually exclusive, so when calls for the latter drown out pleas for the former, is it unreasonable to wonder how this could possibly end peacefully?

Consent preserves peace. If the majority (or the minority) weren’t backed by the power of the state, why would people not mind their own business? Consent is the antithesis of prohibitions and mandates. If “safe and effective” were true, and if the virus were as deadly as the histrionics claim, there’d be no reason to mandate a damn thing. Without consent, there is no free market, the effectiveness of which far exceeds that of central planners’ dreamy designs. With consent—with the freedom to choose—people don’t need to be coerced into doing something that’s allegedly for their own good. “But some people do!” is the battle cry of the entitled who can’t stomach dissent.

Michael Rectenwald bears repeating: “the onus is on those who fear infection to protect themselves from the virus and its variants, and not on others—whether they are vaccinated or not.” Statistics are meant to inform (or deceive), not dictate, but clearly no number of sensational statistics will compel the self-righteous to leave others alone. Consent trumps public opinion just as much as it trumps public health. Now, you are hereby ordered to share this article with your family, friends, and enemies; doing so is 80% effective.

This article originally appeared on UncleNap.com.

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Casey Carlisle

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