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By Cafe Hayek (Reporter)
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The Beginning of the End of Liberal Civilization?

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(Don Boudreaux)


My most recent column for AIER was written by my inner pessimist. A slice:

Modernity is impossible without widespread peaceful engagement with strangers. And such engagement is impossible without mutual trust. Yet abruptly starting 16 months ago, we were told to abandon our modern, liberal sensibilities.

Abruptly starting 16 months ago we were warned not to trust strangers and not to engage with them commercially or socially. Abruptly starting 16 months ago, we were instructed to see strangers – indeed, to see even members of our extended families – as being chiefly carriers of death. Abruptly starting 16 months ago, we were initiated into the cult of pathogen avoidance; we were urged to behave as if avoiding a headline-grabbing virus is not only the main responsibility of each individual, but a responsibility that should be pursued at all costs.

Abruptly starting 16 months ago, modern men and women were not only given license to revert to atavistic dread of strangers, but positively encouraged to harbor such dread and to act on it. Such atavistic attitudes and actions came all too naturally.

Abruptly starting 16 months ago, humanity was encouraged to hold in contempt – even to censor – the relatively few persons who refused to abandon liberal sensibilities.

Abruptly starting 16 months ago, we prostrated our panicked selves before our “leaders,” begging that they use their god-like knowledge and powers (called “the Science”) to safeguard us from one particular source of illness, believed to be demonic.

Abruptly starting 16 months ago, there quite possibly began the end of liberal civilization.


I would love nothing more than to be proven mistaken.


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