College has become a way to cultivate and
preserve ignorance and misconceptions,
sort of a bell jar over the mind that
lets no contrary facts in.
Tyranny of the Experts: Revisited
by Sean Gangol
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
When I wrote the previous article “Tyranny of the Experts” it was a year or two before the Corona pandemic hit. It was one of the articles that kept being placed on the backburner when more pressing subjects came up. Though once the pandemic did hit, the subject of my article actually became even more relevant.
As I pointed out in my last article, there are people who will arrogantly proclaim themselves to be experts simply because they read one article or saw one news segment on a certain subject. In this particular case you have politicians and members of the mainstream media who proclaim themselves experts despite the fact that these people probably hadn’t taken a basic science class, since their early days of college or high school. These are the same people who tell us that we can’t safely go back to everyday life, despite the fact that they themselves know very little about the Corona Virus or even basic biology. While I am skeptical of whether lockdown or social distancing policies actually helped in reducing the infection rates, I don’t claim to know with absolute certainty whether they work or not. Since I never went to medical school or even earned a degree in basic biology, I know my limitations on the subject.
That being said, I don’t necessarily believe in blindly following the advice of those who actually do have more expertise in those areas either. As I have also written before the “experts” are far from infallible. In the case of the pandemic, we have seen experts give advice that was later contradicted by data. Hell, there were time that these experts later contradicted themselves. The left loves to give Trump all sorts of flack for originally dismissing the Corona Virus being no different than the Flu, yet Dr. Fauci shared the same sentiment during the early days of the pandemic. Now, he believes that people should never shake hands again.
What about the masks? Four months ago, the experts told us not to bother obtaining them, since they didn’t prevent anybody from catching the virus. That was when hospitals around the country had a shortage of masks. Once China flooded our markets with cheap masks, you had the CDC and various experts telling us that we now needed masks to prevent us from spreading the virus to others. Am I the only one seeing the contradiction here? Now, the governor of my home state of Texas thinks they are essential and has forced people across the states to wear them inside of buildings. I have heard several scientists and those in the medical field who say that the masks are at best a feel-good measure that don’t really do much in preventing the spread of the virus. At worst it can be downright unhealthy to wear them for a prolonged period of time. It’s amazing how politicians, who have no expertise in science or the medical field are the ones who are making these decisions.
The sad part is that certain people will not only believe everything that they are told by these so-called experts, but get angry at anyone who would dare challenge their wisdom. It reminds me of the anger that I get from people whenever I question the wisdom of the TSA treating an individual like a criminal just because he has to board a plane. They practically yell in anger about how these measures are making us safer and that nobody should be allowed to question them. Once you ask them how many terrorists have been caught with their measures, they suddenly get quiet. In their minds no measure should be questioned if it is imposed in the name of security or safety. I on the other hand don’t subscribe to the same logic.
I don’t have any problem questioning the lockdown measures, since it doesn’t seem as if the infection or death rates were much different in states and certain countries that didn’t take such extreme measures to contain the virus. Of course, people who profess to have blind faith in what their experts say are always quiet when they are presented with contradictory data. It was like that Canadian socialist who called me ignorant on the old Myspace forum, when I dared to question the wisdom of the World Health Organization (WHO) when they ranked Canada’s healthcare system above America’s. It would be interesting to hear what she would have to say about the WHO being defunded by Trump for trying to cover up China’s role in the spread of the virus. In this particular case we have just as many doctors who dispute the effectiveness of the quarantine measures as we do with those who support it. Many doctors fear that people staying at home all day may actually weaken any natural immunity to the virus that we would have by going outside. Some also feel that forcing families to say in one small area may actually increase the chances of Corona spreading. This would explain why infections in New York still occurred with the people who actually did comply with the stay at home order.
I have also noticed that many of these so-called experts aren’t allowed to be questioned even when they are proven wrong. If the projections they made four months ago were right, America’s death toll would be in the millions by now. Not that I necessarily accept the current numbers, which are in the 100,000’s. The problem with these figures is that the organizations recording them like to include people who were already inflicted with terminal diseases. They also included those tested positive for Corona who committed suicide or were killed in car accidents. In Washington state they actually counted gunshot deaths among the Corona death toll. So, what are the real numbers? Your guess is as good as mine. I also find it interesting that there were certain Corona deaths that were originally unreported, such as the deaths that took place in nursing homes. New York actually leads the nation in those deaths, which probably has much to do with the way that Governor Andrew Cuomo forced nursing homes to keep taking patients inflicted with COVID even during the height of the pandemic. It seems to me that instead of wasting so much time and resources turning our country into a police state and destroying so many livelihoods, maybe they could have directed their efforts in actually protecting those who were the most vulnerable.
As it has been said before, when it comes to individual freedom you can’t expect people to give it up just for the sake of safety or security. A fellow named Ben Franklin had a thing or two to say about that. It’s even worse when you are willing to trade liberty for what the late great comedian George Carlin once called the illusion of safety. The truth is that there is no real evidence that the draconian measures taken by state and local governments have made anybody any safer. Yet, these arrogant leaders have made themselves experts on what measures are safe and have demanded that we give up our freedoms in return for a false sense of safety. While I feel for those who have a genuine fear of the virus, you can’t expect people to give up their cherished freedoms, just so you can sleep better at night. I’m sorry, but if you want me to give up my freedom, you at least need to give me something more substantial than the word of a self-appointed expert.
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