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By Cafe Hayek (Reporter)
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If You Support Lockdowns…

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(Don Boudreaux)


… or other unprecedented uses of government power to obstruct masses of human beings from going about their (once-)normal ways of living, working, learning, and playing, you are obliged to tell the rest of us how you justify or excuse what is being done in the name of the lockdowns.

Here’s an e-mail sent, to a listserv of which I am a participant, by my Canadian friend Jon Fortier:

Quebec has recently implemented a colour-coded alert system for Covid. People who reside in areas coded “red” (the current rating for Montreal and Quebec City) are prohibited from hosting any individuals (in one’s home) who reside elsewhere. Police are legally fast-tracked to acquire on-the-fly warrants to enter homes to verify that visitors are not present. All restaurants, bars, cafés in those regions are closed. Public demonstrations (with masks) are permitted. People are encouraged to contact police to report suspicious activity. If you wish to leave Quebec it must be through Check-point Charlie.

Quebec has a population of 8.4 million and there have been 5,834 deaths (0.07% as a percentage of population). As in most regions, 92.6% of all deaths have occurred amongst the population over 70 years old.

And here’s a link that Jon sent to accompany his note.


Nothing is easier than imagining kindly government officials using the vast powers at their discretion in well-informed ways to increase our safety. Yet even if there is some greater-than-zero probability that ideal use of the lockdown power will ‘work’ according to some reasonable criterion, we do not live in a world remotely close to ideal. The power to lockdown and to otherwise obstruct human behavior will inevitably be exercised by imperfect and ill-informed human beings, many of whom enjoy lording it over others. Any case for lockdown must take this reality as a given.

And as Jon’s e-mail suggests, the evidence that this power is used unwisely, even tyrannically, is accumulating.


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