A priest friend of mine has been writing for three years against his fellow clerics who went along with the COVID regime, shut their churches, masked their parishioners, and then pushed shots on those who didn’t need them. He said that they forgot the first principle: be not afraid. And the second principle too: put not your faith in princes.
An academic friend of mine has been blasting his colleagues for just as long. He is even the author of a book “Treason of the Experts.”
Many conservatives who had sound opinions on lockdowns and vaccine mandates have gone after National Review and the Trump administration for their apostasies that gave us the biggest expansion of government power probably in world history.
Naomi Wolf has been relentless in calling out the left for their attacks on free association and free speech, in addition to their acquiescence to Big Pharma.
Each of these people say that they have a moral obligation to call out their own tribe.
Now to my own tribe: the libertarians.
For three years, I’ve been reluctant to say anything about the elephant in the room, the near-complete failure of libertarians to stand up to the lockdown and mandate regime. It was a moment in history that was tailor-made for them. Everything in their training taught them to be suspicious of government power and relentless in the defense of liberty.
Instead they mostly went silent. Worse, they became the Praetorian Guard of the lockdown Caesars, giving them cover when they deserved it least. The “radical” libertarians defaulted to a completely conventional careerism, even to the point of manufacturing rationales for terrible attacks on the most vulnerable.
Most organizations associated with the Atlas Network said nothing at all and still have said anything. The Mont Pelerin Society couldn’t muster the words either. Plenty of Twitter libertarians (and Reason Magazine) cheered masking as privacy-protecting disease-spread inhibitors while blasting me for criticizing them. Not even the Libertarian Party spoke out in 2020, a failure which led to a total upheaval in the party last year. Now, the anti-lockdowners are running the show.
Many if not most of the top intellectuals in the libertarian space were completely wrong and totally flopped when it mattered most. A book could be written on all the ridiculous excuses they marshaled to defend the worst attack on liberty in our lifetimes. Yes, many came around later and today pretend like that were right all along but the receipts are everywhere on what they said and did when it actually mattered.
Why haven’t I called them out? I convinced myself that they don’t really matter, so such a focus on internal strife achieves nothing. Maybe that’s right. It seems more true now than ever since they simply made themselves irrelevant by staying silent when voices of liberty were most needed. Now no one seems to care about them even as donor dollars are rightly drying up. My perception was that they (once we) mattered once upon a time, in any case.
In addition, my level of fury about the situation has been so intense that I did not think I could even pen a calm and persuasive article (even if I’ve attacked experts in general).