Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

CD19 & Political Correctness – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 5, 2020


Suppose there were a deadly virus that disproportionately attacked Jewish people, akin to Tay-Sachs disease, but was contagious via the air through sneezing, or via direct human to human touch, or indirectly, via cardboard or metal. What would the proper procedure be to reduce its spread? Would it be to quarantine everyone, given that this sickness affected virtually only members of the Jewish faith? Of course not; it would be to isolate and protect Jews alone.

Suppose there were another virus that disproportionately attacked black people, similar to sickle cell anemia, with the same characteristics. Again, the policy to limit the spread of this disease would be to isolate, for their own benefit, African-Americans and only them.

If this were the case, thank God it is not, there would be cries to the heavens about Anti-Semitism, or anti-black racism. Would our society support the implementation of this partial isolation strategy? Probably not, given the power that the scourge of political correctness now enjoys.

Ditto for a communicable malady that could only or disproportionately afflict women (breast cancer) or men (erectile dis-function). The way to stop this would be again to isolate the victims, not virtually everyone.  Charges of sexism would abound, particularly if females were the ones dis-accommodated by seclusion.

Why does it make sense to approach these issues from the point of microeconomics, focusing, only, on the victims, and not macroeconomics, taking virtually everyone out of circulation? That is because there is more than one way to die, and if the labor force is almost entirely depleted, starvation, death by exposure, will ensue. We want to minimize total unnecessary deaths, not only those that emanate from Covid-19.

These are of course made up examples. But there is a real one out there: the corona virus. It disproportionately attacks the elderly.

The evidence in this regard is stark. In South Korea, for example, the recent death rate on the part of those afflicted with this dread disease aged 80 and over was 10.4%, and for those in their 70s, 5.35%. It was a mere 1.51% for patients 60 to 69, and 0.37% for the 50-somethings. Those 29 and younger registered no deaths whatsoever.

A similar result ensued in China. Eighty-plus: a death rate of 18% of patients; 70-79: 9/8%; 60-69: 4.6%, 50-59: 1.3%, 40-49: .4%, 30-39: .19%, 20-29: .09%, 10-19: .02%, and 0-9, less than .01%. An unknown percentage of fatalities from the corona virus was attributed to patients with weakened immune systems due to heart conditions, diabetes, emphysema, asthma and other such afflictions.

Young people, with a cut off point of 60 years old, are almost guaranteed not to perish if they contract the corona virus at least in small doses, assuming they have no such other medical difficulties. If they are allowed out of isolation, and contract the disease, the better for the overall human race at very little risk to themselves, herd immunity and all that.

But no. This antidote will be summarily dismissed by the forces of political correctness on the ground of, wait for it, ageism! It would appear that the social justice warriors place a higher value on their “principles” than on life itself.

The sooner the rest of us awake from our doldrums, and become willing to engage in a bit of medically required age discrimination, the soon the threat of this horrid infectious will be wrestled to the ground.

I abstract from the normative question of whether compulsory quarantines are required, or justified, and focus, only, on the positive question of which is the policy most likely to reduce deaths, other things equal. If this phenomenon afflicted farmyard animals, the rancher would certainly implement this strategy.




China, Kora, Spain, Italy

Be seeing you


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