Why is there a lockdown? Whose job is it to protect you from Covid? Your own or the government’s?

It is a fact that for people under the age of 50 in good health coronavirus is not much more dangerous than ordinary flu. The risk increases for those over 50, for those with existing health conditions, and for those over 50 with existing health conditions.

This means, (speaking about the UK), that millions of people are enduring severe lockdown restrictions (and quarantine measures at the border) who are not personally at great risk of dying. Of course, it is true that by reducing the rate of infection in this group the more at-risk groups are protected, since it means they are less likely to become infected. Nonetheless millions of people are having their lives severely restricted. They are being denied the right to take the rational individual choice to take the risk and live with the consequences.

Interestingly this “one size fits” all approach – discriminatory lockdown regardless of risk – is at odds with the professed values of Western civilization – of individual responsibility and freedom. Continue reading “Why is there a lockdown? Whose job is it to protect you from Covid? Your own or the government’s?”

Western democracy is a hierarchical system

Ivan Illich talked about “right-wing, manipulative” organisations. These are organisations which are organised for the benefit of the organisation; consumers of the product or service are manipulated to make them dependent on the service. These organisations are hierarchical; the needs of the consumer come last. An example might be the NHS – the primary beneficiaries are big pharma (and their stockholders), then consultants and senior managers, next ordinary doctors and nurses. Patients and cleaners are probably about equal. The needs of the patients are met but only once all the people above them in the hierarchy have organised matters to their benefit first. One key aim of these stakeholders is to ensure repeat consumption of their products and services.

Parliamentary democracy works essentially the same way. Continue reading “Western democracy is a hierarchical system”

Greta Thunberg and the retreat of intellectualism in the UK

The general line on Greta Thunberg in the progressive-liberal press is that she is ‘speaking truth to power’. She is presented as a heroine for the moment. She is the one who is telling governments the truth about the climate crisis. She is a brave leader – whom we should all admire and respect. Greta has mastered all the ‘science’ about climate change and is righteously and needfully telling our leaders the truths they don’t want to hear. Continue reading “Greta Thunberg and the retreat of intellectualism in the UK”

Democracy

There are perhaps two main systems of political governance – dictatorship and democracy. Democracy insists on the principal that the governed govern themselves – in general through the election of representatives. In a dictatorship one group or person usurps political power and rules – without asking anyone’s permission. Continue reading “Democracy”