A brilliant article by Heather Mac Donald based on a lecture delivered on June 18, 2020, for a Hillsdale College online symposium, “The Coronavirus and Public Policy” and highlighted in the Hillsdale College May/June "Imprimis". Definitely worth the read.The coronavirus lockdowns demonstrated our leaders’ ignorance of economic interdependence. After the riots, that ignorance has been shown to run far deeper. It is an ignorance about government’s most fundamental obligation: to safeguard life, liberty, and property. It is an ignorance about human nature and human striving.
Property and capital are not soulless abstractions, easily replaced by an insurance payout, as the rioters and their apologists maintain. (The Massachusetts Attorney General noted that burning is “how forests grow.”) Capital is accumulated effort and innovation, the sum of human achievement and imagination. Its creation is the aim of civilization. But civilization is everywhere and at all times vulnerable to the darkest human impulses. Government exists to rein in those impulses so that individual initiative can flourish. America’s Founders, schooled in a profound philosophical and literary tradition dating back to classical antiquity, understood the fragility of civil peace and the danger of the lustful, vengeful mob.
Our present leaders, the products of a politicized and failing education system, seem to know nothing of those truths. Pulling the country back from the abyss will require a recalling of our civilizational inheritance.
Stories of our government yearning to show how great and helpful they are with their heads up their hind-sides, and you just wishing they would go away!
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