‘It could have been worse’

The propaganda for vaccines is reaching the point of incredulity. A vaccinated man dies and the report goes on to say that doctors suggested “it could have been worse” if not for the vaccination. Dear oh dear.

Update on site build

I’m working on fixing the site as we speak. I’ve added simple comment quicktags which are simply the html buttons that make commenting simple. I’ve added a comment report mechanism that makes moderating simpler too. I have noticed an error in the home page link on the menu which redirects to the old site [now fixed]. You can simply return to the homepage by clicking on New Catallaxy in the top left for now. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments.

The lockdowns will continue until morale improves

We find ourselves again in the grip of another lockdown, the 6th in Victoria, on the heels of 6 locally acquired cases. What this portends in the short term, if unanswered, purportedly justifies the deprivations of liberty entailed by home detention, business closure, remote schooling, and the like. But does it?

The initial claim that was used both here and overseas in order to justify lockdowns was that a short but sharp lockdown for 2-4 weeks was needed to stop the spread and prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed by hospitalizations leading to operational collapse. This never eventuated even in countries that did not engage in lockdowns as a strategy. That is why the example of Sweden regarding COVID is anathema to proponents of lockdowns.

Sweden’s experience, as one of the few developed countries to eschew lockdowns, in terms of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since Feb 2020 is well within the range of experience of those that did. And the worst of it can be blamed on the poor management earlier on of COVID in aged care, not on any failure to lockdown its people.

Sweden is the clearest lesson that lockdowns were never a necessary component in fending off national disaster. Public order and safety could be preserved within reason without the onerous and crippling deprivations of liberty imposed on the public. State and society could collaborate in their efforts to stave off ‘the spread’, protect vulnerable groups, and engage voluntarily in social distancing and other measures (remote work, effective hygiene, and the like) in ways that continued to respect the rights of its citizens in their pursuit of everyday goods.

Whereas, where we now find ourselves is in a never ending spiral of pointless goals (0 cases) and edicts. Having failed to achieve the impossible goal during a pandemic of 0 cases, the government, and having grown accustomed to emergency measures where no emergency exists beyond the recollection of its own failures, the government is effortlessly and gradually expanding from recurring temporary lockdowns to compulsorily requiring vaccinations as a prerequisite for returning to normal life; or should we say the ‘new normal’ life. To put it another way, the lockdowns will continue until morale improves.

Where to from here?

Catallaxy is dead. Long live Catallaxy. We mourn the loss of the old establishment as we would that of an dear old friend. But nothing can be done to revive what is now lost. We must look forward and keep what was good in the old, while improving where we can and must. But this isn’t merely about the Cat, it is also about where we stand, culturally and politically, now, in 2021. It is no longer 2003. Much has happened in the intervening years that has left much of the Right estranged on positions on matters of culture and politics, that only a decade ago were beyond question. That is no longer the case. The old Right consensus is dead, it is good that it died because much of it was false, but we have yet no firm grasp on what is to replace it, only intimations. Onward we go.