Wednesday, 30 September 2020


Via Kottke, we are directed towards Vox Media correspondent Ezra Klein’s reflection on how the failed, hierarchical response to the coronavirus pandemic lays bare and reframes the cultish sense of individualism and exceptionalism (the essay is written from an American perspective but there’s lessons for us all here) as not the foil of civics and collective action but rather is the source of it—and as with those wanton infants who feel entitled to use the public weal as they own personal racism concierge, and we lose our bearings in neglecting those institutions underpinning civil society.

The natural consequence of such fracturing and the intentional abrogation of responsibility down to ever smaller jurisdictions that can’t afford or enforce their choices—finally to individuals leaves us at liberty to select from a shrinking menu of with no good options. Weighing all these risks and likely bad outcomes is psychologically taxing and cause us to magnify the failings of others in our estimation to take the situation as seriously as we ought to—especially absent coordinated and clear guidance, and to become blind to our own lapses and mental anguish. Reliable governments are not only more resilient, through greater equanimity they facilitate us having more respect and reasonable expectations of one another.