When men abandon reason, physical force becomes their only means of dealing with one another and of settling disagreements.” (Ayn Rand, from “Atlas Shrugged”)
Leading up to coronavirus, it’s clear that many people had abandoned reason. On that point, if no other, nearly all factions could agree.
Reason enables you to handle a crisis. It allows you to consider the source of information of those telling you about the crisis; to digest the facts without acting rashly or inappropriately; to place confidence in your OWN mind, not just the minds of others, to determine what makes most sense to do.
If reason hadn’t been largely abandoned by most people, we would not be in the crisis we’re in now. The media would not be able to convince most of us to PANIC, PANIC, PANIC, FOR GOD’S SAKE PANIC!!
Coronavirus would be a concern. It would be a major stress, for sure. But we would not have placed responsibility for every last decision in the hands of a bunch of career politician Governors and a lone career bureaucrat of 50 years who happens to have an M.D. and lives in the Swamp of Washington D.C.
I’m not saying government would be irrelevant. We don’t live in a state of anarchy, and we need a government to protect basic rights. During a crisis, individual and property rights become more precious and important than ever before. We need businesses and individuals to be able to THINK and therefore FUNCTION. Instead of clamping down on business and individuals, we might have invited them to THINK, judge, make decisions and take responsibility for those decisions. We might have used government to enable them to do so, through tax and regulation vacations; instead, government came down with a heavy-handed fascist-like sledge hammer and in the span of two short weeks has managed to literally nuke our amazing world economy.
Do you feel safer? Do you feel healthier because of this? How about your mental health — even if you’re not physically sick?
Whatever the solution, it can’t be THIS. But any rational alternative starts with THINKING. If you’re unable to exercise that necessity during stress, you will tend to leave the job of reasoning to others. Big mistake!
The problem with abandoning reason is that you lose your independence. If you’re unable or unwilling to think or reason, then you’re counting on the guy or girl next door to do your reasoning for you. “I don’t know what to do. What are these other people doing?” But they’re just as paralyzed and uncertain as you are.
So, by default, you allow that one career bureaucrat doctor in D.C. and your local mayor or Governor to decide your entire fate and future for you. Everything. For all time. You never heard of that government bureaucrat doctor three weeks ago, and you never would have trusted these career politician governors to so much as babysit your child before coronavirus. And now they control everything, for the foreseeable future. THINKERS would never have let this happen, not even this far.
You never should have abandoned REASON, people. It’s still there for you to pick up and exercise now. That means taking the responsibility of judgment and [insert gasp here] being willing to experiment and take some RISKS. We no longer live in a risk-free world. WE NEVER DID. If you thought we did, and that you could get by without your reason, you made a horrible mistake.
Without a willingness to think, you’re never going to be free again. It’s literally now or never.
P.S. Now is a great time to read Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Your mind — and therefore your life — literally depends on it.