This topic deserves more attention than I’ll give it here, but I wanted to break some ground on it. It is the weaponization of germaphobia as a means to institutionalize Hygenic fascism. It’s not just an idea; we are watching it, living it, and protesting it.
Ian Underwood summed up the need to resist this fascist embrace as well as anyone when he wrote (on our pages),
A source close to the governor has indicated that another emergency order will be issued in the next few days, changing the state motto from Live Free or Die (which is now obsolete) to Public Health Trumps Everything (a direct quote from the governor, which more accurately reflects the new reality within the state).
He was joking, but then he wasn’t.
The mentality of the political response is so far outside the realm of the authority assigned to these politicians and their agencies that it boggles the mind. No, we’re not “boggled” that they are doing it, people drawn to positions of power are always the last people best suited to it (and most likely to abuse it); I’m referring to ordinary citizens who are going along with it.
Wear a little Mask. Get a Set of Gloves. Don’t Go Out Tonight!
This week the same Governor, Chris Sununu, (I was told) said towns could establish their own mask standards. As in, make them mandatory.
Where and how? What power exists at the state level to hand this authority to cities and towns. There isn’t one. They just made it up. And I don’t just mean the authority to suggest you wear a mask in public; I’m talking about the legal force required to punish those who forget or refuse.
Where is that power derived?
Well, the short answer is, by the indifference of people scared shi*less by the same people who just happen to be drawn to positions of power. The folks inclined to impose it (elected officials) and those willing to accept it.
This germ warfare on your rights, hygienic fascism, is something Joel Kotkin talks about here.
Ideologically, hygienic fascism is neither right nor left, nor is it simply a matter of taking necessary precautions. It is about imposing, over a long period of time, highly draconian regulations based on certain assumptions about public health. In large part, it regards science not so much as a search for knowledge but as revealed “truth” with definitive “answers.” Anyone opposed to the conventional stratagem, including recognized professionals, are largely banished as mindless Trumpistas, ignoramuses, or worse.
Kotkin goes on to attach the problem with Scientism, the idea of faith in credentialed experts who wield significant influence over political will. We have that now, here in New Hampshire and across the US, and it’s a big deal. I
It is the power arbitrarily to declare certain legal forms of commerce essential or not. What businesses can stay in business and which must go out of business. Where you may go, how many of us at a time, and when. And, yes, what you must wear.
Any science or data that contradicts this is outcast, a threat to order, or a threat to public health.