Defending the minimal state in a time of crisis

Never ones to waste a crisis the collectivists will use the Coronavirus to push their barrow.

Everyone’s a socialist in a pandemic. …There may be a silver lining here: What if the virus forces Americans and their elected representatives to recognize the strength of a collectivist ethos? Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times.

The empire strikes back.

Is Mr. Manjoo right? Just like there are supposedly no atheists in foxholes, are there no libertarians in a pandemic?

Here are four basic points to show why this is wrong.

From Dan Mitchell, Our Man in DC.

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18 Responses to Defending the minimal state in a time of crisis

  1. Mother Lode

    Hence the need to keep people feeling vulnerable – making them look to a bigger collective power.

    And guess what? You would be spared so much of the frailties of the human body if you spent your life hooked up to life-support equipment.

  2. Clam Chowdah

    China is the current standard for BIG government and it handled the issue disastrously.

  3. DHS

    No Mr Manjoo is observably correct even if he is a disgusting socialist.

    Anybody who is frightened of contagion is, and must be, a totalitarian. The excuses of Dan Mitchell are pathetic and arbitrary. At the end of the day, if you are frightened of contagion then given the ubiquity of germs, you will *always* have an excuse to initiate violence against someone else because of the threat that they *might* cause.

    Saying things like “well a smaller government will be able to oppress people with the dreaded germs more efficiently than a larger government” does not, in any way, shape or from, make you less of a totalitarian.

  4. stackja

    CORONAVIRUS IN PERSPECTIVE
    POSTED ON MARCH 12, 2020 BY JOHN HINDERAKER
    Rightly or wrongly, coronavirus has come to dominate the news and has devastated the stock market, at least temporarily. Government at all levels is afraid of being accused of doing too little, and therefore is, if anything, contributing to an atmosphere of panic.

    At this point, we don’t know how serious the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. will ultimately be. So far, the latest total I have seen is 38 deaths in the U.S. No doubt that total will increase significantly, but will it rise to the level of the estimated 80,000 flu deaths that the U.S. experienced just two years ago, the winter of 2017-18? I created this chart, which shows coronavirus fatalities to date compared with the 2017-18 total. There is a line there for coronavirus, but you can’t see it yet.
    My plan is to continue to update the chart as coronavirus infections continue. I think it will be a valuable tool to put coronavirus in perspective. Perhaps, by this time next year, the coronavirus bar will be several multiples of the 2017-18 bar. Perhaps not.

  5. stackja

    CBS Los Angeles
    @CBSLA
    #BREAKING: The Hollywood Pantages Theatre is suspending all performances of “Hamilton” through March 31. The hit musical was set to open tonight. It runs through Nov. 22.

  6. Aynsley Kellow

    A book I read as a graduate student many years ago made an impression on me and is relevant here:
    Roberts, D. (1960). Victorian origins of the British welfare state. Yale University Press.
    Roberts pointed out that when Victoria came to the throne the public service consisted of about 40,000 people engaged primarily in the defence of the realm and the collection of revenue to pay for that. It was the response to cholera and other infectious diseases that led to a relaxation in the doctrine of laissez faireas reich and poor alike were threatened.
    One thing I have always found interesting is that one of the key success in responding, the sewering of London, preceded the emergence of germ theory and was undertaken on the basis of the erroneous ‘miasma’ theory of ‘bad airs’. They did the right thing, but for the wrong reason. (John Snow’s stealing pump handles helped).

  7. Judge Dredd

    Now that many people on both sides of the aisle have pleaded for the government to do something, are we at all surprised that things start taking a communist route?
    “But, but we only wanted them to close borders”
    That’s not how it works.
    Do the people on the right understand that the fear of this virus is driving significant power to those that you would least desire have it.
    This is what fear does, do not fear.

  8. Iampeter

    It’s always good when someone who supports the state regulating every aspect of peoples lives calls for “minimal state,” whatever that is.
    Same goes for most Cat posters.

    You guys aren’t even libertarian even when there’s no pandemic so the only question is how does one get this muddled about everything?

  9. BorisG

    China is the current standard for BIG government and it handled the issue disastrously.

    At least they have managed to contain it. I doubt western counties will be able to.

    Maybe that is the price of freedom.

  10. max

    Max Weber’s pronouncement of war and the barracks life of warriors as the true cause of communism. War communism precedes, in- deed gives birth to, civil communism, Weber argued.

  11. Archivist

    That’s a great, concise response from the linked article. Good find!

    The NY Times got it wrong: it’s not that there are no libertarians in a pandemic.

    There are no globalists in a pandemic.

  12. Nob

    Welfare spending dwarfs emergency services spending in any big government.

    Any attempt at cutting the former will always be portrayed as a threat to the latter.

  13. Judge Dredd

    The F1 in Melbourne has been cancelled because “ Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said if the event had gone ahead, no spectators would have been allowed due to public health concerns.”.
    Interesting that the government is banning groups of people getting together, it looks like the mask of freedom is slipping. This is an authoritarian and communist move.

  14. H B Bear

    No circuses for you, Victoriastanis.

  15. Iampeter

    At least they have managed to contain it. I doubt western counties will be able to.
    Maybe that is the price of freedom.

    If this happened in a Western country the the death toll would not be in the thousands because corrupt bureaucrats wouldn’t be covering it up, or imposing hair-brained quarantines and disappearing people. All part of the incomprehensible games of politics that are always played in the anarchic madhouse of authoritarian regimes.
    I can’t help but wonder how many of those died because of Covid or because they couldn’t get medicine for other conditions because the state needed to save face.

    In Western countries people would just go to hospital and get treated.

    There is no price for freedom. Freedom is what happens when people are generally rational, instead of the assortment of nonsense that motivates those who try to cheat reality.

    Probably why this doesn’t happen in the West in the first place. But given the hopeless intellectual bankruptcy we are faced with today it’s only a matter of time.

  16. Petros

    Taiwan has done a great job containing it.

  17. John A

    H B Bear #3354591, posted on March 13, 2020 at 11:22 am

    No circuses for you, Victoriastanis.

    You’re right, sadly. Bread will be next. After that, we won’t need to see barbarians at the gates, they are already here, in Spring Street and Treasury Place. Maybe the area should be renamed Hanrahan Circuit.

    Our daughter has just arrived home from school to say that a) a planned drama excursion is off (we got an email about that) and b) that the school is preparing for a general shut down within the next week or two.

    Madness reigns. The stock market crashes, the dollar tumbles – why? The Federal government spends big handing out “free money” – to hell with deficit control! It was wrong in 2008 and it is STILL the wrong set of policies.

    Maybe those wacky doomsayer religious nutters were right: this is the judgement of God on our sinful nation for electing such stupid panic-prone politicians!

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