Libertarians, Masks, Plandemic, and Globalism – Freedom Philosophy

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Months ago my social media was overcome with the dissemination of falsely so-called “thoughts” on whether or not this entire pandemic was a planned event. There were those skeptical of governance that were citing this as an example of the ultimate evils of globalism.

Against this view are predictions. I might be well-educated in finance, but if a person were to come along who predicted the 2008 financial recession three or three years prior, their view of finance should take precedence over mine. The reason why is prediction. It’s a part of how we know the world around us. A theory that has predictive power, according to the scientific method, has acquired an element of knowledge.

Those that go around explaining how this whole thing was planned are compared with those Hong Kong researchers in 2008 that predicted it years ago, claiming it would arise from the Wuhan wet market. Those that think it came from the wet market saw it coming. They get to have authority on the issue, because of their predictions. The pandemic crowds are ad hoc know-nothings.

Thus is the distinction between the conspiracy theorist community and the scientific community. While some rely on podcasts, scientific studies they misquote, authorities well outside of the mainstream, and are accompanied by laugh reacts and memes, others are relying on information that has made accurate forecasts, consensus for independent researchers, and rigorous analysis.

The scientific consensus is difficult to put into practice. Measures on COVID-19 are notoriously difficult for the same reason all government action is notoriously difficult. Dictates from far distant capitals don’t account for local variables.

Someone hopping on a subway to go to a nightclub lives in a different level of risk compared to a rural person who’s out in the woods, or canoeing on a lake.

The underlying difficulty is when one group tries to govern the other. There’s no practical or even ideal way to reduce the risk of spreading any infection to zero, but we can mitigate risk to the best of our ability, and herein lies the problem.

There are those that live in high-risk areas (concentrated cities with an outbreak) wishing to govern those that live in low-risk areas (sparsely populated, without an outbreak). Telling someone who lives an already socially-distanced lifestyle, in a relatively unaffected area, to wear a mask and avoid seeing their friends, isn’t mitigating risk in any serious way.

The obverse is also problematic. I have seen a plethora of libertarians claiming that this disease isn’t as concerning as others are making it out to be. Currently making the rounds over social media is that the predictions for the outcomes of this virus have been wrong.

In fact, the predictions were incorrect. They were incorrect in the other direction. The information we received from the WHO, which was corrupted by the Communist Party of China. The CDC had predicted we would have half a million deaths over a period of 18 months, we have already exceeded that in less than 6 months.

In Canada, if we were to be stricken with our share of the global casualties we were expected to have 2,500 deaths. We are currently at 8,700 deaths. America alone has suffered 132,000 deaths. COVID-19 is worse than our institutions were predicting. This is prior to the worst of it. When those in low-risk areas begin denying the issue entirely it contradicts the data.

There are libertarian solutions to this. Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, each of these jurisdictions avoided a government-mandated shutdown. Their individuals took self-ownership. They individually disinfected the things they bought, and they wore masks when encountering groups of other individuals.

Collectively, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have suffered under 1,000 deaths due to COVID-19. Canada, which doesn’t have anywhere close to the population, and our population is less densely located, has over 8,700. Individual responsibility has far surpassed statism in response to COVID-19.

My social media has been overcome with libertarians claiming masks are symbols of oppression and tyrannical overreach. They’re the opposite, they are how individuals have outpaced the state by way of defeating COVID-19.

Against this, we have libertarians claiming that masks are ineffective. I’ve posted links to over 20 studies done, by independent researchers, claiming masks are effective against influenza. The CDC collected independent studies on this issue.

It’s become difficult to have conversations when the data and science are abundantly clear and libertarians are still waxing on ineloquently about masks not working on this entire thing being a hoax. In countries where this is the case dead bodies continue to pile up whereas in other countries where people take self-ownership – genuine libertarianism – they have defeated COVID-19. The call here is for libertarians to be libertarians. Take self-ownership, look at the data, distrust the global government agencies and communist parties, look at the science, and take precautionary measures that mitigate risk. The non-aggression principle is clear if we participate in behaviours that increase risk for others, we’re not capable of self-governance. If we take responsibility, then we are. We ought to take responsibility.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree with the University of New Brunswick. He works for a Cayman Island hedge fund service firm, owns a real estate company, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada. He is a member of the People’s Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Canada.