In my last post I mentioned our government's reaction to the COVID-19 disease is a perversion of the natural roll of government which in normal times is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. But I also know that in times of emergencies government may be justified in using extreme measures to protect citizens from natural threats like telling people to evacuate homes during fires, floods etc and quarantining people during epidemics.
I will say that during an epidemic government does not abandon it's rights protecting duty. In fact, every thing it does should should be done within the framework of how best do we exercise our rights while protecting the rights of everyone else. In this regard I highly recommend her essays "The Nature of Government" and "Man's rights" in Ayn Rand's book "Capitalism:the Unknown Ideal." In fact I recommend the entire book.
In the former essay Rand writes:
"A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area." (italics hers pg378)
"If men are to live together in a peaceful, productive, rational society and deal with one another to mutual benefit, they must accept the basic social principle without which no moral of civilized society is possible: the principle of individual rights." (pg379)
She goes on to show the difference between initiatory force and retaliatory force and points out that government must never be allowed to use initiatory force by saying:
"If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.
This is the proper task of government--its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government.
A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control--i.e., under objectively defined laws." (all italics hers.)
So, what happens when the government decides to adopt the initiatory use of force against citizens who have committed no crime, who have not started the use of force against anyone? Well, the answer is: a free market that is no longer free but is controlled by a gang of regulatory agencies.
Our founders envisioned a nation of rights protecting laws that protected citizens' rights with retaliatory force. But over time our government has persuaded us that it needs to protect us with government regulations over the entire marketplace.
Thus government has secured control over roads, bridges and all transportation, over education of our children's minds, over healthcare, over the economy over everything. Very few people have noticed that government has usurped to itself the initiatory use of force.
For now it exercises more control over some parts of the economy and less over others. But that will only get worse. When government takes control of anything it is almost impossible to get it back into the control of the marketplace.
So how does this relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and the failure of our caring, loving, concerned government to be prepared for this disaster? It relates in the sense that while there is plenty of blame to go around--China, Wuhan, CDC, FDA, Obama's not restocking our supply of PPEs which he used on the Swine flu, the Democrat Party's lust to impeach Trump while ignoring the virus, I'm afraid that much of it is on us, the American Citizen. More on that in my next post.