The ideology that favors a long national shutdown
The coronavirus epidemic is frightening. But the shutdown it has prompted is also frightening. How long can we all stay in quarantine without doing severe damage to our economy, our society, our way of life?
Sooner or later we will be forced to make some difficult decisions, weighing the risks of infection against the dangers of social breakdown. Do we have confidence in our political leaders to make the right choices? Bear in mind that some of those leaders think that abortion clinics are “essential” but churches are not.
My friend Michael Pakaluk tightens the focus in this outstanding essay for The Catholic Thing. He invites us to cast our minds back just a few months, to December of last year, and think about the motivations that guided some of the “best and brightest” in our society before the epidemic was in the headlines. Think about the powerful people who believed that:
- the human race is a blight, a danger to the earth’s delicate ecosystem;
- population control should be our highest public priority;
- inequality is always wrong, and wealth should be redistributed;
- the economic marketplace is driven by greed alone;
- private individuals cannot be trusted to make the right decisions; government programs are more reliable; and
- staying alive and healthy is the ultimate good; there’s nothing more important beyond this life.
Now I ask, again: do you trust these experts to make the decisions that could dramatically alter the course of our lives and the shape of our society? But Michael Pakaluk adds another very important question: Do you notice that someone who holds the opinions sketched above (and better described in his essay) will have a strong inclination to continue the national shutdown indefinitely?
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