I grow ever more convinced that the pandemic of 2020 will go down in history as a point of rupture in Western society. A few thoughts in no particular order on the subject. 1. We have been the victims of the most draconian suspensions of civil liberties since the end of

10:34 PM · Sep 16, 2021

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WWII. Never before 2020 was it conceivable for a government in Western Europe to “lawfully” imprison citizens into their homes because they were *potentially* contagious. And yes, it was a mass house arrest, regardless of whether you think it was justified or not. 2/
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2. The political, social, cultural, and bioethical wound that lockdowns have caused will be so hard to fix that, instead of a scar, I fear we may have an amputation: By leveraging on the citizenry’s fear—and the ability to stoke such fear through propaganda—governmental 3/
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and bureaucratic power will continually increase. The state apparatus will become ever more involved in the private lives of citizens by controlling their movements and peeling away whatever is left of their autonomy over their own bodies. This is already made evident 4/
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by the “Covid status checks” to access services or the divergent requirements & restrictions imposed on individuals according their vaccination status. As time goes on, I fear this will become even worse. 3. The amputation will also be cultural. Bar a very limited 5/
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number of exceptions, it has been very distressing to witness our society’s intellectual class fall in line with the bureaucracy and government. They have refused to analyze whether the dramatic suspensions of our civil liberties have been justified or proportionate, and 6/
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they have failed to highlight the dangers of letting the bureaucracy encroach to such a degree on the private lives and choices of citizens. Cultural and educational institutions (universities, the media, pressure groups, religious institutions, etc.) have abdicated 7/
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their role as moral compass of public opinion. 4. Not only have they abdicated such a role, but in several cases they have also sided with the bureaucracy in promoting such invasions into private life and attacks on civil liberties. This they continue to do, without 8/
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realizing the danger it poses to themselves. In addition, they are seemingly unaware that the very policies they defend go against the values they claim to defend: inclusivity, liberty, diversity, and equality and equity. It may be hypocrisy but it may also 9/
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be schizophrenia. I suspect that alternative institutions able to shape public opinion are gaining ever more traction and will eventually clash with the traditional reservoir of intellectual endeavor. This clash may be traumatic for many. 5. All this to say that 10/
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the next few years may be tough under many aspects. The choices which were made over the course of 2020 have changed our lives forever, and I fear for the worse. 11/11
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