This article is the second in a two-part series. Check out part 1 here.
Even though the downhill trajectory we’ve seen over the last decades in terms of property rights is bad enough, nothing could have ever prepared us for what the covid-19 crisis would bring. Even those of us who have read enough history to know that there’s really no line that the state will not cross in its fervent pursuit of absolute power were sincerely surprised. How could the ruling elite deny us our birth given right to own our own body and mind? How could we forget the principles of the Enlightenment and what it means to live in a society based on personal freedom? If we are not allowed to own our own body and mind, then the concept of private property does not exist any longer.
It’s one thing to persuade millions of hardworking citizens to fork over a large part of their salaries to the state every single month, to pay exorbitant fees simply to take ownership of the home their parents left them after they passed away, or to pay a toll every time they wish to drive on a road that their money built and maintains. It’s quite another thing to be able to convince them that closing their businesses and being forbidden from going to work to put bread on the table is “for their own good.”
During the last two years, we witnessed an extraordinary shift the likes of which hasn’t appeared in history books in times of peace. The state, in most of the Western world, abused all the power and the leverage that it had accumulated over the governed, and the results were truly shocking.
Much like that frog in the simmering pot, we found ourselves at the boiling point, seemingly overnight. And the most striking thing about this entire pandemic ordeal, is that governments, the world over, have come out of it looking like Robin Hood instead of the sheriff of Nottingham.
With substantial assistance from mainstream and social media, the vast majority of the population remembers all the “covid relief” payments and all the handouts, once again erroneously classifying them as “free.” As for the revenue losses, the jobs that evaporated during the lockdowns, and the extreme distress and uncertainty countless households faced, all that was chalked up as the virus’s fault, as though it were covid-19 itself that forced millions of business closures.
The lessons that we learned during the pandemic must never be forgotten. For one thing, with autumn just around the corner, we could very well have a repeat of all the restrictions and enter “season 3” of the covid saga. In Europe, I recently saw mainstream news stories about the threat posed by the “omicron 5” covid variant (and since I tend to avoid these news sources in general, I suppose I missed omicrons 2, 3, and 4, or perhaps they were not as civilization-ending as number 5).
Come September, once…