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I do find it somewhat perplexing — and occasionally amusing — how self-proclaimed freedom-loving liberals demand that others follow their path. At times, this is seen in a passive-aggressive manner. However, more frequently these days it’s simply done aggressively; there’s nothing passive about it whatsoever.
It’s no longer a case — as at least it seemed to be only a decade or so ago — of being open to alternative views when there is no conclusive evidence that one belief is the “real truth”, with all others simply wrong. No. The tone of this pugnacious proselytising wouldn’t be out of place in the days of Europe’s Reformation and subsequent Counter-Reformation.
Only EU can make the darkness bright
From an Irish perspective, more understandable as it is with its quite incestuous media and politics, we’ve seen it with Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. I have tried, from afar, to provide a little bit of balance as regards the latter (see https://wwcorrigan.blogspot.com/2022/01/covid-19-anti-vaxxers-immunity-my-chat.html).
With Brexit, OK, there is the old quip that Britain’s, nay England’s, difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity. There is, after all, a long bloody history between the two islands (there’s been much intermingling of a more peaceful variety, too). So, despite the better relations that have developed between them over the last couple of generations, many Irish still have a deep-rooted desire to see England fail.
Add in the fact that most of Ireland’s agenda-setters naively see the European Union as a rock of rectitude and it’s not surprising to find such a hostile attitude towards Brexit. (If I had to choose one over the other, seeing the direction of travel of the EU and playing the long game, I’d opt for Britain over a Europe dominated by France and Germany. For one, the traditional common law approach tends to defend the individual more so than civil law.)
Coming back to the pandemic and zooming out from Ireland to a global level, to go against the narrative of lockdowns being a necessary evil, that they were the ‘only viable option’, was akin to blasphemy. As early as March 2020 I questioned this wisdom in Coronavirus’ collateral damage.
‘These facemask fascists, rather than castigate others for not “complying”, should stick a sock in it, quite literally.’
Some commentators who submissively went along with all this back then are now, however, trying to rewrite their own history.
Some, that is. Others, those who seem to think that covid-19 is the only threat to human life, appear to want to have indefinite lockdowns. ‘Can’t everybody just work from home?’ Eh, no, they can’t.
Such types also tend to be facemask fascists. ‘I care about others, that’s why I wear a facemask.’ Wonderful. The snag here is that there is no conclusive evidence that a piece of cloth wrapped around one’s mouth and nose is truly effective in reducing the spread of coronavirus.
Indeed, there are so many variables at play that any study showing a benefit in this regard comes with numerous caveats. (For a detailed breakdown of such studies carried out so far, see https://brownstone.org/articles/more-than-150-comparative-studies-and-articles-on-mask-ineffectiveness-and-harms/. Also, https://emilyburns.substack.com/p/no-masks-dont-help-keep-kids-in-school).
Thus, if people want to wear a facemask because it makes them feel safer or more virtuous, fine. However, this castigating of others who don’t wear them, well, such facemask fascists should stick a sock in it, quite literally.
‘A jab a day keeps Pfizer in play’
Then there are the covid-19 vaccines. Considering the number of breakthrough infections we’ve seen, this idea that prevails in significant quarters that an unvaccinated person is more of a risk to him/herself and society in general compared to a vaccinated person just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
Personally, and so far it seems to be holding true, my immunity or whatever natural defences I have against covid may be stronger than that of many of those who have had multiple vaccines.
Yet, the covid-19 vaccine-mandate brigade continues to exert a significant influence across the globe. They insist that the benefits outweigh the risks in all cases, when there is strong evidence that suggests otherwise, particularly the lower down the age cohorts one goes. (For more on that, see https://brownstone.org/articles/are-the-covid-mrna-vaccines-safe/.)
Now, while not all who endorse compulsory vaccination and mask-wearing are woke, illiberal leftists, there does certainly appear to be a substantial crossover.
These attempts at control, to force submission and/or destroy the credibility of the dissenters match nicely with the woke ideology.
Such types talk of equality and freedom but on their highly prejudiced terms only. (I went into more detail on this in Drunk almost to death on the culture wars.)
Putting an optimistic spin on it, it would appear the ordinary Joe and Josephine don’t really go along with those who follow a more militaristic line on the above and other similarly contentious issues.
The average, informed citizen seems to realise that these matters are more nuanced than they are often portrayed. It’s not, so to put it, ‘everything black, good; everything white, bad.’
The problem, particularly in the West, is that in the traditional media and politics — spheres that exert much influence of course — there’s an over-representation of these illiberal liberals.
Thus, it’s incumbent on those of us of a more balanced nature to push back at every opportunity. Death awaits us regardless, so we might as well go down putting up a fight.
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