Why the State Shouldn’t Manage a Crisis

Why the State Shouldn’t Manage a Crisis

By Duncan Whitmore

Many libertarians, especially at lewrockwell.com, have written of their scepticism to the draconian responses of states around the world to the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is not difficult to share this scepticism given that at least some analyses – particularly of infections on cruise ships, which, given the unavoidably close social proximity, present the closest thing to a worst case scenario – suggest there is little cause for any heightened alarm. Indeed, for the very vast majority of us, there is probably more to be feared from state overreaction than there is from the virus itself. Even mainstream commentators, such as Matthew Parris in Saturday’s Times, are beginning to question the wisdom of trashing your economy to prevent the spread of an infection that is, at least at the moment, affecting only a relative minority of people of advanced age and/or with underlying health conditions (in common with many other inflictions). States always have ulterior motives when dealing with (apparent) crises as they always see them as an opportunity to expand the ambit of their power over the populace, given that a scared people is nearly always willing to sacrifice its liberty for the sake of security. In fact, if the true medical seriousness of this current virus turns out to be only a hill of beans then it may well have served as a dress rehearsal that has merely tested our pliability for some later calamity.

This essay, however, will not concern whether the spread of COVID-19 is quite the crisis it is being made out to be. Instead, let us assume, for argument’s sake, that the world was to be threatened by a very real and very serious pandemic threat. Would such a disaster warrant stronger, co-ordinated, globalised solutions managed by states and enhanced state powers to deal with the problem? Continue reading

Bonkers? Nah, Brown is doing it deliberately.

UPDATE:- this is what we said almost a year ago.

David Davis

It says over at Guido Fawkes’s place that Gordon Brown is in a state of delusional denial about the economic shambles he has created for us. I don’t agree, although of course I don’t know the fellow and haven’t ever met him.

The only occamist conclusion to be drawn is that he deliberately spent the thick end of £5 trillion on a clientariat state, to ensure the right number of ZanuLieBorg terms so he could finally get into No-10. This was all while knowing it to be unsustainable for more than a few years (or until the Markets noticed.)

No skin off his nose or even many of the Blair Babes and their mates: their pensions would be safe (they ensured that by force of law) while he had confiscatorily-taxed  and spent ours and we have to slave till we die. They know they’re going down: it’s only the naïve, younger ones who think they ought to care about seats and careers.