Let’s spin up with a Blinding Flash of the ObviousTM;
The bottom line is that if you don’t have control over what gets injected into your own body, you have no meaningful freedom in any sense of the word. Any state that does not safeguard the right to full autonomy over what pharmaceutical products you do or do not take is, by definition, despotic. — Ben Bartee
Donald W. Molloy, the federal judge who recently issued a ruling to the contrary, cited as his justification one of the dominant shibboleths of our time: “public health.” That phrase must have terrifying power, for by wielding it Molloy nullified the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
Amendment IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Of course, those who applaud the ruling would protest that Molloy didn’t do any such thing; he merely noted an exception that overrides what would otherwise seem a blanket defense against such medical tyranny. The Nuremberg Code? Please! That was about those nasty Nazis and their experiments. This is for the public health!
Yet another case of a “compelling government interest.” Sick of it yet?
The paper barriers we were once taught would defend our rights from would-be totalitarians have been multiply perforated and reduced to tatters in exactly this fashion – and both Democrats and Republicans have collaborated at it.
Some very smart people have been deluded in this way. “Public” has come to be a bit like “social;” it inverts the meaning of the word that comes after it. “Public health.” “Public education.” “Public property.” “Public good.” Yet virtually no one has made “public mention” of the curious power of this modifier.
(“Who is the public? What does it hold as its good?” — You know who.)
It probably wouldn’t have been possible to puncture our right to bodily autonomy without the prior medicalization of our entire existence. It probably wasn’t planned this way. Yet the decades immediately behind us have seen such a swelling of emphasis on “health,” broadly defined, that aspiring tyrants must have seen their chance.
“No amendment is absolute.” – Joe Biden
I’ve raved so many times about rights and how they differ from permissions that I can’t bring myself to do so any further. Either you get the idea or you’re beyond my power to educate. As I have very little time left on this ball of mud, I shan’t expend any more effort on the elucidation.
Novelist Eric L. Harry did the nation an immense service that it hardly noticed: he made the function of rights explicit in a statement that “should” be part of the civics tutelage of every young American:
“Rights are an archist concept. Rights have no meaning except when confronted with superior power. They are what is left to the people after the government has taken all its wants. Your country’s Bill of Rights defines your most cherished freedoms how? By limiting the legal power of government to encroach upon them.” [Eric L. Harry, via fictional anarchist theorist Valentin Kartsev in Harry’s novel Protect and Defend.]
Let’s leave aside for the moment exactly how effective the Bill of Rights has been at protecting and defending our rights. Harry’s point is perfectly clear: Rights are supposed to limit the reach of the State. In the absence of the State, why would we natter about rights? Yet “rights” is the word most frequently employed by interest groups and noisy minorities…to demand infringements on others’ rights.
In the recent pandemic, the “right” we were bludgeoned with was “the right to be safe” – specifically, safe from the terror of the Kung Flu, of course.
Never before in the history of language has a more vacuous conception been bandied about by supposedly intelligent and thoughtful men. But millions swallowed it and repeated it as if it were Holy Writ. Virtually no one recognized this “right” for what it is: a demand by hypochondriacs of a specialized kind that others prostrate themselves before their fears.
The aspiring tyrants of our nation seized that “right” and wielded it a outrance. Thus was the Fourth Amendment shredded forever.
“Public health” must join “national security” in the Dictionary of Pernicious Nonsense. Never again should we permit this madness, this bludgeoning of an entire nation to assuage the fears of hysterics. If the excesses of the past three years have had any positive consequence whatsoever, it would be the awakening of millions of Americans to the horrors that “public health” can be used to impose upon peaceable citizens.
“Public” anything must be retired from our lexicon – if necessary, by force.