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Jeffrey A. Tucker

Must We Make a Case Against Dictatorship?

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Some federal officials have made startling statements in recent days. Given the times in which we live, we can no longer take for granted that they won’t be convincing. 

Ever since lockdowns, which shattered all our social and political rituals and assumptions about government and public health, it seems like everything is open to either question or adoption. Even settled conventions like the separation of powers and checks and balances are being blithely dismissed as pointless distractions. 

On the table now is the power of an unelected bureaucracy, on its own authority and without any juridical check, to mandate that every citizen keep his or her face covered. The Biden administration and the administrative state that technically falls under its purview seems to believe this power should never be questioned by a court. 

And if that is true, that should also be true in every area of public life. The Department of Labor can make any rule, no matter how cockamamie, as it pertains to paid work. The Department of Agriculture can tell farmers, or even home gardeners, what they can plant and how much. And so too for every other one of the hundreds of government agencies staffed with permanent workers.
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The Unmasking of America

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The polls on coercive Covid responses were never entirely trustworthy, not even from the beginnings of lockdowns. This happens when everyone knows what they are supposed to believe and say. The polled don’t really trust the voice on the other end. After weeks of disease panic and media figures screaming that everyone should stay home, mask up, fire up their laptops, order Amazon, and fork over for a Netflix subscription – because this is the only way to deal with a pandemic – people knew exactly what to say when asked.
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Forget About Covid, They Say

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Earlier this year, a phrase was trending because Bari Weiss used it on a talk show: “I’m done with Covid.” Many people cheered simply because the subject has been the source of vast oppression for billions of people for two years. 

There are two ways to be over Covid. 

One way is to do what the memo from the consultants of the Democratic National Committee suggested: declare the war won and move on. For political reasons. 

Deaths attributed to Covid nationally are higher now than they were in the summer of 2020 when the whole country was locked down. They are also higher now than during the election of November the same year. But today we are just supposed to treat it for what it is: a seasonal virus with a disparate impact on the aged and frail. 

Rationality is back! In that sense, it’s good to forget about Covid if it means living life normally and behaving with clarity about what does and does not work to mitigate a virus. The Democrats decided that the hyper-restrictionist ways were risking political fortunes. Hence, the line and the talking points needed to change.
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They Are Still Defending Lockdowns

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Fifteen years ago, writers schooled in computer science began to imagine various totalitarian schemes for pandemic control. Experienced public health officials in 2006 warned that this would lead to disaster. Donald Henderson, for example, went through the whole list of possible restrictions, shooting them down one by one. 

Still, a decade and a half later, governments all over the world tried lockdowns anyway. And sure enough, since April of 2020, scholars have observed that these lockdown policies haven’t worked. The politicians preached, the cops enforced, citizens shamed each other, and businesses and schools did their best to comply with all the strictures. But the virus kept going with seeming disregard for all these antics. 

Neither oceans of sanitizer, nor towers of plexiglass, nor covered mouths and noses, nor crowd avoidance, nor the seeming magic of six feet of distance, nor even mandated injections, caused the virus to go away or otherwise be suppressed. 

The evidence is in. Restrictions are not associated with any particular set of virus mitigation goals. Forty studies have shown no connection between the policy (egregious violations of human liberty) and the intended outcomes (diminishing the overall disease impact of the pathogen).
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Now is the Time for Mass Resignations from Within the Ruling Class

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If there is a historical precedent for the truckers’ revolt in Canada, and the populist protests in so many other parts of the world, I would like to know what it is. It surely sets the record for convoy size, and it is historic for Canada. But there is much more going on here, something more fundamental. The two-year imposition of bio-fascist rule by diktat seems ever less tenable – the consent of the governed is being withdrawn – but what comes next seems unclear. 

We now have two of the most restrictive “leaders” in the developed world (Justin Trudeau of Canada and Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand) hiding in undisclosed locations, citing the need to quarantine following Covid exposure. Streets globally have filled up with people demanding an end to mandates and lockdowns, calling for accountability, pushing for resignations, denouncing privileged corporations, and crying out for a recognition of basic freedoms and rights. 

Note too that these movements are spontaneous and from “below:” they are populated mostly by the very workers whom governments shoved to face the pathogen two years ago, while the ruling class hid behind their laptops in their living rooms. It was the lockdowns that sharply divided the classes and the mandates that are imposing segregation. Now we are facing a modern allegory to the peasants’ revolt in the Middle Ages.
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Justin Trudeau Ducks the Great Trucker Revolt

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The resistance reveals itself always in unexpected ways. As I type, thousands of truckers (numbers are in flux and are in dispute) are part of a 50-mile-long convoy in Canada, headed to the capital city of Ottawa in protest against an egregious vaccine mandate imposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They will be joined upon arrival by vast numbers of protestors who are defying the restrictions, closures, and mandates of the last nearly two years.
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Why Is the Human Being Not Like a Machine?

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In defense of regulatory mandates during oral arguments, the following words were spoken by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Why is a human being not like a machine if it’s spewing a virus?” For her, it is a simple matter: regulatory impositions rule the machine world so why not the human one too? 

The question came across to listeners (millions heard these arguments for the first time) as shocking. How can anyone think this way? Human beings carry pathogens, tens of trillions of them. Yes, we infect each other, and our immune systems adapt as they have evolved to do. Still, we have rights. We have freedom. These have granted us longer and better lives. 

The Bill of Rights doesn’t pertain to machines. Machines don’t comply with Constitutions. Machines have no volition. Machines are things that must be powered by external sources, programmed by humans, and behave exactly as they are managed to behave. If a machine doesn’t do what is expected, it is broken and therefore repaired or replaced. 

All this seems incredibly obvious and undeniable, so much so that one can only stand back in awe that anyone would doubt it, particularly a judge who holds the fate of human liberty in her hands. It seems utterly astonishing that such a person would not quite grasp the difference between the human experience and a mechanized widget.
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They Said They Would Slow the Spread

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It’s been the most astonishing two weeks for American public life, with so many prescient changes, from new censorships, admissions, backtracks, experts speaking out, public outrage, and what strikes me as a progressive unraveling of every orthodoxy imposed nearly two years ago. 

Not even the influential and powerful are in a position to defend what has happened to us. They seem to be gradually pulling away from public life, unable to say things that connect to what everyone knows. 

Above all else, what’s remarkable right now is the undeniable arrival of Covid to a degree to which hardly anyone could have imagined all that time ago, when so many experts set out to deploy their fabulous new system for stopping the spread of a disease.
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The Zoom Class Gets Covid

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For nearly two years, we’ve wondered how this will end. In retrospect, the clue is in how it began. 

The initial lockdowns had a strong class-based component. The working classes were assigned the job of delivering groceries, tending to the sick, driving the trucks filled with goods, keeping the lights on, and keeping the fuel running. The professional class, among whom were the people who pushed lockdowns in the name of disease avoidance/suppression, were assigned the job of staying home in their pajamas and staying safe. 

It all happened seemingly in an instant. We all had to figure out whether our job qualified and what we should do. More striking at the time was the very notion that government bureaucrats could slice and dice the population this way, deciding what can open and what cannot, who must work and who must not, what we can and cannot do based on our station in life. 

So it now seems obvious to me. This whole disaster would finally come to an end (or at least the end would begin) when it became obvious that the great strategy of class division and demarcation would fail to protect the Zoom class from infection. 


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Fauci’s War on Science: The Smoking Gun

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Those weeks following the release of the Great Barrington Declaration did feel odd. 

On the good side, medical doctors, scientists, public health workers, and citizens all over the world were thrilled that three top scholars in fields of public health and epidemiology had spoken out against lockdowns and for a reasoned approach to Covid. They eagerly signed the document. 

Yes, there were some attempts to sabotage it too, with fake names and so on, which should have been a clue about what was coming. The fakes were deleted in days and new methods of confirming signatures were deployed. 

The document, on the one hand, said nothing controversial. The right way to deal with this pandemic, it said, was to focus on those who could face severe outcomes from disease – a very plain point and nothing new. There was nothing to be gained by locking down the whole of society because of a pathogen with such a huge differential in its demographic impact.
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