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The danger of safetyism Grasping bureaucracies are using lockdown as an excuse to choke the human spirit

Why should Covid-19 stop us from going to the beach? Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Why should Covid-19 stop us from going to the beach? Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images


December 21, 2020   8 mins

I moved to California last summer. There is a steep hill near my house, an open preserve where I regularly go for hikes. There are features of the trail that appear to have been added to make the course more interesting for mountain bikers: huge jumps and banked curves that flow nicely together. On my hikes, I often pause to mind-surf these features. I enjoyed mountain biking 30 years ago, but I don’t recall anyone being so enterprising as to cut such features into the landscape back then.

When our local, fairly porous version of the Covid lockdown began, suddenly there were more hikers on the trails — there are few other places to go. I also see knots of two or three teenage boys out on the trail with their bikes and shovels, adding new jumps and whatnot. But now the city has declared the trails off-limits to mountain bikers, saying this is somehow made necessary by the virus. The reason offered is that “group rides increase your risk of exposure”. But groups of hikers are benign, apparently.

In the larger sweep of the pandemic’s disruptions, this is surely a minor inconvenience. But the asymmetry in the city’s response can’t but make some residents suspicious, and such suspicion is clearly a wider phenomenon at this moment. In episodes of government by crisis, some interests find themselves more aligned with officialdom than others.

To take my local case, there has long been a pattern of hikers using the levers of local government against mountain bikers, and the virus would seem to provide a fresh pretext for this. There is an aesthetic objection to all things mechanised intruding on “nature” (even on a trail system that must be maintained by chain saws and gas-powered weed whackers), and this purity is more prized by some demographics than by others. But it doesn’t present itself as an aesthetic preference; instead it gets moralised as a concern for safety, or as environmental responsibility. To invoke these concerns is to don a bullet-proof halo of public-spiritedness.

Yet the costs of maximal deference to such concerns fall more heavily on some than on others. This makes virtue a little too easy. I haven’t yet seen hikers out there with shovels maintaining their own trails, as the mountain bikers do, or clearing fallen trees that bock the path. The English philosopher John Locke said that it is by mixing one’s labour with the land that one gains a just title to use it.

Because of the virus, the teenage mountain bikers find themselves expelled from the supervised social setting of school. To judge from the conversations I have overheard as they stop to survey a jump from the top of a ridiculously steep incline, and their exultations at the bottom, they have formed what the Dutch historian Johann Huizinga called a “play community.” Such a community sets its own challenges and adopts its own rules, internal to a group of players who set themselves apart from the larger community. At once rivals and friends, their typical talk consists of boasts and playful insults as they goad one another on to new levels of risk and skill, from which emerge new expressions of creativity. Huizinga found in such scenes the wellsprings of civilisation.

But these same scenes present an affront to the organs of social control. There would seem to be an inherent tension between the spirit of play and “safetyism” (I parse this tension more fully in my book Why We Drive, with the subtitle On Risk, Freedom and Taking Back Control). Safetyism is a disposition that has been gaining strength for decades and is having a triumphal moment just now because of the virus. Public health, one of many institutions that speak on behalf of safety, has claimed authority to sweep aside whole domains of human activity as reckless, and therefore illegitimate.

I suspect the ease with which we have lately accepted the authority of health experts to reshape the contours of our common life is due to the fact that safetyism has largely displaced other moral sensibilities that might offer some resistance. At the level of sentiment, there appears to be a feedback loop wherein the safer we become, the more intolerable any remaining risk appears. At the level of bureaucratic grasping, we can note that emergency powers are seldom relinquished once the emergency has passed. Together, these dynamics make up a kind of ratchet mechanism that moves in only one direction, tightening against the human spirit.

Acquiescence in this appears to be most prevalent among the meritocrats who staff the managerial layer of society. Deferring to expert authority is a habit inculcated in the “knowledge economy”, naturally enough; the basic currency of this economy is epistemic prestige.

Among those who work in the economy of things, on the other hand, you see greater skepticism toward experts (whether they make their claim on epistemic or moral grounds) and less readiness to accept the adjustment of social norms by fiat ­– whether that means using new pronouns or wearing surgical masks. I am regularly in welding supply stores, auto parts stores and other light-industry venues. Nobody is wearing masks in these places. They are very small businesses: an environment largely free of the moral fashions and corresponding knowledge claims that set the tone in large organisations. There is no HR in a welding shop.

A pandemic is a deadly serious business. But we would do well to remember that bureaucracies have their own interests, quite apart from the public interest that is their official brief and warrant. They are very much in the business of tending and feeding the narratives that justify their existence. Further, given the way bureaucracies must compete for funding from the legislature, each must make a maximal case for the urgency of its mission, hence the necessity of its expansion, like a shark that must keep moving or die. It is clearer now than it was a few months ago that this imperative of expansion puts government authority in symbiosis with the morality of safetyism, which similarly admits no limit to its expanding imperium. The result is a moral-epistemic apparatus in which experts are to rule over citizens conceived as fragile incompetents.

But what if this apparatus were revealed to be not very serious about safety, the very ideal that underwrites its authority? What then?

What if, say, the leadership of WHO and of the public health bodies of the EU were determined to manage  Covid in the crucial, early stages of the pandemic in a way that is compatible with liberal internationalism (hence no travel restrictions), doesn’t offend China (hence no travel restrictions) and affirms our own anti-racism (hence no travel restrictions), even at the expense of arresting the spread of the virus?

What if, in the crucial early stages of the emergency, county health authorities in California, as well as the state’s Department of Education, indeed the whole institutional chorus, were more concerned with preventing “stigma” than with preventing, you know, mass death by asphyxiation?

What if the governor of California were to hold a press conference at the end of April to chastise people going to the beach in Orange County (a Republican hold-out in what is otherwise nearly a one-party state), days after we learned that sunshine kills the virus? What if police are so enterprising as to come out onto the water to arrest solo paddle boarders, but the confined spaces of libraries are re-opened?

We can’t help noticing that libraries are one of those public facilities favoured by
 well, by the same people who find hiking virtuous and mountain biking reckless and egotistical.

One further word about beach closings. We see photos taken lengthwise down the beach with telephoto lenses, which has the effect of compressing the depth of field and making the beach look very crowded. The same scenes photographed from above show people keeping a good distance apart, for the most part. But they are not reproduced in the prestige press.

What if, while all this is going on, the most “responsible” voices in the news media dedicate themselves to transforming every factual ambiguity and rival model of the disease into an occasion for political warfare? For example, when Trump, in his clumsy way, repeats what he has heard about doctors experimenting with a low-risk malaria drug to treat Covid, the whole apparatus springs into action to heap opprobrium upon a chemical substance, openly hoping for the experiment’s failure, and calls this Science. But when some other doctors, “quickly acting on their hunches,” try giving men oestrogen to fight the virus, this, according to the New York Times, is the kind of out-of-the-box thinking required by the crisis.

One could go on indefinitely noting such asymmetries. They seem to form a pattern, and the upshot of the pattern is that the voices of the safety-industrial complex seem to defer automatically to the arbiters of high-prestige opinion, who are fully invested these days in political warfare against an avatar of evil, and against the half of the population who voted for him. They seem less concerned with the health of the whole populace than with drawing boundaries between the good people and the bad people, along lines that are by now all too familiar.1

Suppose this pattern were widely noticed. It is likely the pandemic would heighten the crisis of public authority that has been unfolding for some years now in the West. I recently heard David Brooks, one of our most prominent talking heads, express on National Public Radio his hope that the pandemic would give a comeuppance to all those populist haters of institutions, by showing us how important the institutions of public health are.

By all means, let us defer to technocratic competence in times of emergency. The suspicion, however, is that the leadership of “public health” (as opposed to actual doctors and nurses) doesn’t, in fact, take its bearings from the apolitical ideal of technocratic competence. Rather, they appear as party cadres labouring on behalf of the regime of liberal internationalism. Theirs appears to be the worldview expressed by John Lennon in his infantile song ‘Imagine’, or by Immanuel Kant in Perpetual Peace.

To recommend restrictions on travel from China in the early stages of the pandemic would have been ideologically impossible for the WHO, regardless of what epidemiology might dictate. Utopian ideals are not only compatible with callousness about actual human lives, they sometimes demand it — the main thing is to maintain one’s own moral purity. This presents an easy opportunity for a Chinese regime that neither believes in Kant nor listens to John Lennon, but understands perfectly well how a rival society based on abstractions and taboos can be manipulated: accuse various EU functionaries of racism and, voilà, they suppress their own report that details the Chinese Communist Party’s misinformation campaign about the virus.

There would seem some affinity between safetyism and political correctness. Recall the mountain bikers with their jumps. Does putting one’s body at risk in confrontations with the material world strengthen the reality principle in a person’s psyche? There is a certain rude immediacy to physical pain that has a revelatory effect; a broken bone chastises any conceit you may have had that you had a complete grasp of the situation. Political correctness, on the other hand, seems to be an effort to avoid the pollution that comes from noticing reality. This is certainly the safer course, for anyone whose professional life takes place in an institution. It is easiest to maintain this diligence against reality if one remains insulated from those ugly causal chains that unfold in the real world — perhaps as a result of one’s own diktats, if one is highly placed.

Because of our isolation under lockdown, communication between citizens is now more dependent on online platforms than ever. The captains of Silicon Valley are not in an indulgent mood. The CEO of YouTube has declared that “anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy” and therefore suppressed. Bad advice from misinformed people on the internet is a genuine problem, so one could make a convincing case for some such policy. At the same time, it is clearly also true that this episode of government by emergency has further whetted an appetite for control that has been blossoming among the Good People in the West. Two law professors now declare in The Atlantic that “In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.”

The pandemic has revealed a growing affinity between Western institutional players and the authoritarian Chinese regime. It is easy to forget that the CCP was once a highly ideological organisation. Today it is basically a crime syndicate that looks upon the norms of “the international community” the way the Sinaloa Cartel might look upon the Girl Scouts.

So the question is, will our ruling apparatus follow a similar trajectory as the pandemic gives them a taste of extended emergency power? At what point do the ceremonies of political correctness become a mere façade, a set of dogmas that nobody actually believes, but which make a useful instrument of social control?

This article first appeared on 15 May, 2020


Matthew B Crawford writes the substack Archedelia


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7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

Article Wandered about too much for me to keep track of the main thought, but liked epistemic to be used, and loved ‘Imagine’ called infantile – I always hated the song as some took it seriously philosophically when it is mere pretty drek.

I also liked the bit of how men in welding shops do not wear masks. Being a tradesman I know the people (men) do not wear masks at work, and in the building materials supply houses are seldom masked wile at Walmart it is 100% masks. Us construction men just are not masking types, we may do it in other shops under pressure (I do not), but rarely in the Trades shops because there we are with our ilk and do not have to act like office workers* (*Pu ** y s).

But safteyism…..That is how the Western world is being wrecked, how the second and third world are being handed to China. It is a sickness in its self. (much better song, MASH) ‘The game of life is hard to play’ ‘I’m gonna to lose it anyway’. ‘The losing card I’ll someday lay’. Lockdown I believe will be the wrecker of many more lives than ever will be saved, and young and middle aged lives.

End of the civilized world, not disaster, War, invasion, but by refusing to take the chances required to just do the day to day actions real life requires, and accept the risks. “Those who would give up essential Liberty for temporary safety deserve neither’. The young are being brought up to be scared, they clutch their phones always ready to summon help, never having to rely on themselves to get out of a jam. The once brave and proud ANZAC’s lifted the drawbridge and bolted the door out of fear, The heroes of Gallipoli. The fearless Canadians, the mighty fighting Highland Scots, all hiding and locked away. It bodes very poorly for the future.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

In our rural area you rarely see a mask on outdoors, and not always indoors-even though it is “the law”. They hand out masks as you enter establishments, and we joke about “time to put on the disguise”. Very few deaths from this flu in the past year-mostly elderly in facilities…the infection rate has seemed to rise along with the increased testing, but no increase in real illness.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

The numbers of people in hospital with Covid, ie ill, is now at nearly the same level as April and rising. How is that no increase in real illness?

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

If it’s not yet at April levels even though it’s rising, that seems to be the answer to your question.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Fortunately, the next big war, against the Chinese, will be conducted predominantly by the United States Navy submarine service, and very few of the ” young” will be involved.

However every day ‘we’ wait will make it more expensive in blood and treasure. This C-19 charade is the perfect opportunity to strike. Such an opportunity is unlikely to come again.

Ifor Humphreys
Ifor Humphreys
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Well said. I agree with your words & sentiment

Ben Scott
Ben Scott
3 years ago

At the beginning of all this, I joked that buoyancy aids should be made compulsory for anyone within 2 metres of a water course (to relieve the burden on front line emergency services and ‘Our NHS’). It follows the same safetyism logic of almost all of the diktats we’ve had since March: Why wouldn’t you?… There may be some benefit, it sounds like it should make you safer and it won’t hurt you to do it…so why wouldn’t you? Then I realised that if you roll this approach out, it would be safer to never leave your house (Why would you?…etc).

A life spent avoiding risk is counter to living a rich and fulfilling life. And I plan to live, not just spend my days avoiding death.

Deryck Hall
Deryck Hall
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

I agree that the safety first approach has gone overboard. I can’t play golf at my club which is just over the border from me but in a Tier 2 area. However, the Govt is quite happy for me to travel to work (indoor setting) in a Tier 2, or for education and medical purposes.

I’m more likely to catch Covid indoors than playing an easily socially-distanced round of golf. My Tory MP hasn’t bothered to respond to my emails on the subject. Newly elected in 2019, he clearly doesn’t want to rock the already unsteady ship of state.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago

You perhaps touched upon one aspect of a bigger problem afflicting Western society: excessive feminisation of the decision making or governing arms.

You wouldn’t do the reverse, ie apply the risk taking appetite of say business or a military leader towards bringing up a child. I work in an intense high pressure workplace but I realise the need for a completely different mindset at home or helping with my child’s upbringing.

However, we now applaud excessive risk aversion say in NZ, virtue signalling, governance by social pressure, “equity” instead of competition, insistence in avoiding “offense” rather than being blunt and clear…
All of which are not necc negative and in fact make complete sense in a homemaking, child rearing environment.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Good shoehorn. It’s the fault of feminisation – this insistence on safety. I can’t think of a more intense high pressured environment where decision making is crucial than an ITU and if feminisation makes it safer then bring on the feminisation.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I didn’t say insistence on safety or similar “feminine” traits are a flaw, the opposite really.
And if you take safety as an example, the workplace has steadily become safer over the past few centuries – which is good and a sign of greater balance towards feminine, which is positive.

The problem is, safety as a value is much more critical in childcare than in business or war.
But what we seem to see is the weight given to such feminine qualities has increased excessively in the workplace, to a level that’s sensible in the home but not outside.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

What is more ridiculous than having perfectly healthy people avoid other perfectly healthy people.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

“Huizinga found in such scenes the wellsprings of civilisation.”

So did Burke and Scruton. Mountain bikers and scateboarders are classic little platoons. Conservatives should support them.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I’ve read bit of Huizinga, although not ‘Homo Ludens’ his book on the value of play. Anyway, I’ll be playing football three times this week, including Christmas morning, so I very much ascribe to the value of play.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

An excellent article, every word true. Another contradiction practiced by the safety-industrial complex in the US was the way in which they released a large number of very dangerous criminals from jail due to Covid. Needless to say, this led directly to quite a few deaths and rapes, and countless shootings and robberies etc.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Releasing cons sounds like a pitch for a dystopian film.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

I think that film might already have been made. Anyway, who needs a film when the politicians and authorities are making it into a realityl?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Well, it freed up room for Covid restriction violators.

Martin Price
Martin Price
3 years ago

Another excellent article Mr Crawford. Thank you.

Peter Ian Staker
Peter Ian Staker
3 years ago

Very good piece. Obviously, there is the counter argument that health and safety rules have their uses but the difficult, more nuanced, contrarian argument has to be made against them- what do we give up?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Your first sentence is all anyone really needs to read. You moved to California last summer. Did you not know anything about California before moving there?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Obviously not.

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago

I am regularly in welding supply stores, auto parts stores and other
light-industry venues. Nobody is wearing masks in these places.

Are they wearing welding masks or do they believe arc eye is something a real man can just walk off? In the UK men consistantly make up around 96% of workplace fatalities every year and this kind of macho nonsense is a big part of the reason why.

Exploitive employers find it way too easy to bully young men into taking needless risks just to save a few quid. It took generations for Health & Safety regulations to be forced past the opposition of these bosses and men are still maimed and killed far too often. Still I don’t suppose you’re in much danger at “The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.”

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

The last paragraph is nonsense. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make people consistently wear PPE or follow safe working practices. Do you know how much resource and effort it takes to deal with each work related incident or how much it costs in terms of damages and legal costs even where the employee has been trained and demonstrably failed to follow SSOW.

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago

I know that at the Sports Direct warehouse, near to me, calling an ambulance for one of their zero-hours, minimum wage staff was a weekly occurrance.

I know that when you’re sick, broke and don’t want to get blacklisted taking your employer to court is a pipedream.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

You are of course joking.

There is no end of ambulance chasing lawyers willing to take up the fight. I do not want to mention names (not least because I do not want to give them credit) but some lawyers can spin the most minor injury into a win of lottery proportions and that is no exaggeration. If you can work a depression of fibromyalgia angle, and you will get every encouragement from the lawyers, you can retire. Also the lawyers will, as a matter of routine, give guidance about not posting on social media, watching for men with cameras and not digging the garden or playing football with the kids in the back garden. Not to do so would almost be negligent.

If what you say about the Sports Direct Warehouse is remotely true there would be solicitors queuing at the gates and very quickly Sports Direct would struggle to get insurance

Also, as soon as the claim goes in you become very much harder to sack. Why? Because if you are sacked it must be because you are no longer able to do your job due to your injuries and so the fact of dismissal is prima facie evidence that your disability means that you are no longer employable in any meaningful capacity, which all adds up to a 10, 20 or even 30 year loss of earnings claim – jackpot.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Are they wearing welding masks or do they believe arc eye is something a real man can just walk off?
When actually welding, sure, but not when walking about or driving in their cars. Men make up the bulk of workplace fatalities because hold the bulk of dangerous jobs.

Not even medical personnel wear masks all day long.

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Men make up the bulk of workplace fatalities because hold the bulk of dangerous jobs.

And why is it that men hold those jobs and why are they so dangerous and why does our society accept that? More pointless machismo and the tradition of the disposable male.

Not even medical personnel wear masks all day long.

On a Covid 19 ward they do. That’s kind of the point.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Hire women for at least 50% of the jobs, and you won’t have this problem. There will be a lot of men out of work but hey, them’s the breaks, eh?

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago

Your argument is that men should die to spare women? Will you take a dangerous job to defend your feminist principles? Will you fight for men to have 50% of primary school teaching jobs – without being called paedophiles by women? Will you insist that women take 50% of construction jobs? Do you think that these jobs wont be needed if men don’t do them?

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago

I think that she’s saying the opposite, that more women should die to spare some men their lives. I don’t know if she’s being serious or just facetious – I suspect the latter – but her suggestion is quite different from your interpretation. Or at least it appears so to to me.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

You’re closer than RH. He seems particularly exercised by men displaying “macho nonsense”. Hiring women, who tend not to use machismo as a tactic, eliminates this problem but RH doesn’t like that suggestion.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Read it again, clearly you missed the point. If you want to eliminate pointless machismo, hire 50% women.

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago

I don’t believe I did miss the point. Your argument seems to be that if men don’t wish to risk death at work they should accept poverty in unemployment. “Them’s the breaks, eh?”

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Nope, my comment was about women. Unless you’re arguing that women commit “macho nonsense” as you put it, you clearly are missing the point.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago

I agree that excessive machismo can be a serious problem. However, isn’t much of the reason that women make up such a low percentage of workplace fatalities is that they seldom take up dangerous jobs such as high-rise construction, logging and fishing, earth-moving machine operators, etc.? All the same, someone has to do them.

BTW, this pandemic has made it clear that there are distinct dangers to medical workers dealing with patients who have highly contagious diseases. Counting any deaths of health care professionals from contracting such maladies as workplace fatalities might make the disproportion you cited above come down considerably.

PS Apologies to Alex Lekas, whose email I hadn’t read when I remarked on men working more dangerous jobs on average. But, I guess I reinforced his point. To RH’s response: you’re assuming we humans are largely the result of our social environment. That may be true. However, it may well be that heredity plays far too strong a role to put down any behavioral problem as simply the result of tradition and/or the cult of some disfavored idea.

Colin Macdonald
Colin Macdonald
3 years ago

I see this a lot with child rearing, we devote resources to the safety of our children that previous generations would have thought insane. Thing is, if your kids had a significant chance of being carried away by measles, mumps, Diphtheria you wouldn’t really knock yourself out trying to prevent unlikely things like child kidnap, road accidents and so on.

Nigel Hewett
Nigel Hewett
3 years ago

Whilst I thought this was a good article, I do wonder if some of the respondees should really be let out without a minder to explain to them what is really going on. The real issue for public safety is not to allow people to just think about themselves but remind them to think about their fellow citizens. I’m getting sick of people saying ‘ I shouldn’t be told what to do’, ‘no one’s going to make me wear a mask’ , there’s no real risk to me’ , ‘ I should be allowed to take my own risks’ and other self-centric macho statements. I don’t personally care if they die from Covid, but I would rather object if they gave it to me. Of course a significant proportion of the population wouldn’t notice if they caught it or could shrug it off easily, but out of a UK population of 68m, over 60’s at 16m are very exposed to dying of it and those also vulnerable due to existing conditions probably double that so we have nearly half the population at risk of being killed by macho people who are basically either selfish or just plain stupid.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Hewett

Like Gavin Newsom you mean? Here’s what you’re missing….the very people who are telling others what to do are not following the rules themselves and California is a hot bed of this stinking hypocrisy. Rules for thee but not for me. Nancy Pelosi sneaking into a closed hair salon, Dianne Feinstein walking through an airport maskless, Anthony Fauci sitting in the stands at a ball game without a mask, Gavin Newsom eating at a swanky restaurant closed to the plebs. Seems like they’re allowed to take their own risks, doesn’t it? You don’t seem to find them selfish or just plain stupid or “macho”.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago

It really is incredible the extent and brazenness of their hypocrisy.
Almost as if they didn’t care if we see it.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

I think they do care based on their frantic casting about for excuses or abject apologies. They aren’t sorry they did it, they’re sorry they got caught. Witness Pelosi, an 80 year old woman blaming a hair salon for her sneaking into it while it’s closed to everyone else. Or Chris Cuomo claiming he never left quarantine against the rules when there are witnesses that he did. 60 Minutes Leslie Stahl hammering Trump about masks and then hanging around with the camera crew socializing in the WH without a mask on. Newsom had the idea that he should just apologize after getting caught. Fauci too. Nothing to see here, we’ve apologized, let’s all move along. Put that mask on and stay home.

We should institute a hypocrisy credit system whereby these folks can just buy credits that let them flout their own rules. Sort of like green energy credits. Dinner at a closed restaurant? $1,000 in hypocrisy credits. Hairdo for the elite at a closed salon $500 credits. We could give the proceeds to people who have lost jobs and businesses. Probably could skip another stimulus package on the proceeds.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago

Mmm. So, assuming you are entirely right, there is blatant discrimination in favour of the sort of people who like to walk at a moderate pace and to sit quietly and read, and against people who like to run around shouting like idiots?

You know, I’m tryyyyynggggg to muster some outrage against the unfairness of it, but, aw shucks, it just doesn’t seem to be happening?

It might have, not so long ago. But I think four years of Trump has quite depleted my reserves. The brutes and the louts put the most brutish lout of all in the highest office in the world, precisely and specifically so that he could every day harrass and humiliate those of us who had the audacity to have some taste and some manners, some enlightenment and some civilisation. I no longer feel the least bit sorry for the hyperactive, asocial little bullies when they get the same thing back. You want to play it like this, then let’s play. You want to be toddlers throwing a tantrum, then prepare to get spanked. I don’t kid myself that it’ll be forever, because eventually I’m sure you’ll manage to make civilisation collapse so you can play Conan the Barbarian as much as you want, but I’ll enjoy every bit of comeuppance that can be inflicted on you until that happens.

And as for the man-babies screaming about the “feminisation” of our society, I invite you to bite my disabled ass. I get out of bed every morning and fight for my basic right to exist. I live a life full of challenge, and it’s not exciting or sexy or manful, it’s just humiliating and exhausting. You want a challenge, then throw yourself down the stairs so you break some bones. That’ll give you all sorts of character-building misery, since you’re so fond of the stuff.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

What is more ridiculous than having perfectly healthy people avoid other perfectly healthy people.

I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to how someone who is not infected can stop the spread of a virus that he/she does not have by either staying home or wearing a piece of cloth. And never mind the dehumanizing nature of seeing fellow citizens as little more than NPCs in a game of control.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

I have no issue with other people taking risks with their own lives if it makes them feel more alive or whatever. Where I do have issue is people imposing risks on other people without their consenting to it, you can’t force what is life-affirming for you on other people who may not feel the same way about whatever it is that you personally like doing.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

If you can’t accept any risk, stay home.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

How is ‘can’t accept risk’ = imposing unnecessary risk on other people. It is the height of egotism to think that you have some God given right to force yourself and your choices on other peoples lives for your own selfish interests. You have every right to smoke, frankly I couldn’t give a fig whether you live or die, your life is entirely unimportant and irrelevant to me. But if you want to smoke in my face I have every right to use physical force to restrain you for the sake of my own health. I value my own life enough not to want to throw it away for the benefit of some mentally challenged anomic retard.

Mountain bikers on remote country paths I have no issue with. People who drive like idiots and want to put other peoples lives at risk for their own fun are asocial arseholes, if they want to get themselves killed for the adrenaline rush, by all means do it on your own private property.

There’s this thing called the harm principle. You leave me alone, I leave you alone, that’s what being a good citizen is about. If you don’t like it, live in a forest like a savage.

Rhonda Culwell
Rhonda Culwell
3 years ago

Mountain bikers going the way of dirt bikers and jet skiers. The places they are allowed to play had started to disappear long before Covid.