Noble Intention = Elite Pretension Elites, intentions, nobility, lies

I do not know the answer to the question: What can we do to slow the the spread of an airborne disease such as COVID 19. What I do know is that approaches with some history have been massively abused. Often with ‘noble’ intentions but to the detriment of the populace.

  • Quarantine – traditionally the people who have the disease. In this case the people most obviously at risk, the elderly. Where this has been implemented it seems to help, BUT the negative impact on the individuals and their family are significant. In the end will this be shown to have been a disaster because of the isolation killing tens of thousands by suicide and drug overdose? Also abuse of this by sending infected into ‘isolation’ wards that weren’t sufficiently isolated killed thousands.
    • The ultimate abuse of quarantine is the tyrannical lock downs, has damaged the economy to the detriment of everyone and in all likelihood killed tens of thousands if not more through overdose, suicide and delay of medical attention to lethal but treatable medical problems.
  • Social Distancing – a modern form of soft quarantine (needs very specific circumstances to mean much.) Where companies implemented for critical staff it appears reasonable, its bland plastering on ever floor in every stored seems silly.
  • Masks – traditional but misunderstood: It stops you from spreading vastly more than catching. Along with social distancing it is reasonable for limiting spread if followed well enough.
  • Crowds indoors – known bad BUT: space and air handling is very important, driving many gatherings into homes was a stupidly obvious result of stopping certain types of events.
  • Crowds outdoors – People need to get out and sunlight and exercise, good feelings are seriously helpful. And the chances of spreading especially in the day is near nil. Health enhancements massively outweigh risks for most. Of course then supporting rioting at night made the rules look political and stupid.
  • Restaurants/bars – Obvious targets of concern. But crowd limitations and rules about cleaning and masking mitigate issues. The ability to get out and mingle in reasonably controlled environment along with the support of the economy outweigh risks.

At the start of all this if the elite (gov’t, medical, media) had acted with open clarity about what was known and unknown. There might have been a chance to get through the last nine months without the breakdown we are seeing.

Politics, especially ‘orange man bad’ was a starting point for the majority of the elite, spin, narcissism and gotcha were key issues especially in what was seen as an existential election year. Lies, more lies and counter lies to control of information, opinion and public activity spun out so that the general populace at this point pretty much ignores whatever is said other than as a sort of televised comedy/drama.

The following and at the link is a fairly mild analysis of the issue from the CATO institute via Instapundit

The main political conflict in recent years is between experts or elites and non‐experts. For lack of a better word, the non‐experts are called populists. Their complaints have been specific: Elites and experts are arrogant, they have different values, they condescend in annoying ways, they ignore the sometimes legitimate concerns of populists, among others. Experts say that they should be listened to because they’re more knowledgeable. We see it in debates on every issue from climate change to trade, immigration, and everything in between.

CATO Institute: Against the Noble Lie – COVID 19s Edition (March of 2020)

Noble intention = Elite pretension

The truth is always so much more interesting than the crap I learned in school

The Truth About the “Robber Barons”
Mises Daily: Saturday, September 23, 2006 by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
It’s long but interesting, after reading it think about what has been going on around us for decades, longer really, since what is discussed in this fascinating piece has only gotten worse since the long dead protagonists passed from the stage:

The American economy has always included a mix of market and political entrepreneurs — self-made men and women as well as political connivers and manipulators. And sometimes, people who have achieved success as market entrepreneurs in one period of their lives later become political entrepreneurs. But the distinction between the two is critical to make, for market entrepreneurship is a hallmark of genuine capitalism, whereas political entrepreneurship is not — it is neomercantilism.

In some cases, of course, the entrepreneurs commonly labeled “robber barons” did indeed profit by exploiting American customers, but these were not market entrepreneurs. For example, Leland Stanford, a former governor and US senator from California, used his political connections to have the state pass laws prohibiting competition for his Central Pacific railroad,[1] and he and his business partners profited from this monopoly scheme. Unfortunately, the resentment that this naturally generated among the public was unfairly directed at other entrepreneurs who succeeded in the railroad industry without political interference that tilted the playing field in their direction. Thanks to historians who fail to (or refuse to) make this crucial distinction, many Americans have an inaccurate view of American capitalism.

As a header for the article, DiLorenzo has this quote:

Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at. State capitalism consists of one or more groups making use of the coercive apparatus of the government… for themselves by expropriating the production of others by force and violence.
— Murray N. Rothbard, The Logic of Action (1997)

So the taxonomy here is:

  1. Free market capitalism
  2. Political ( crony) capitalism
  3. State capitalism

But the whole story is much more complex than this article outlines, since all of the actors in the dance, (‘good’ guys and ‘bad’) were acting out of self interest, enlightened self interest, altruistic self interest and more darkly unconscious self interest, based on very, ( by today’s standards, very, very) poor information and worse theories of cause and effect. It is all but certain they were trying to do the best they could for the audience they cared about (sometimes but rarely, just themselves.) Even monsters think they are doing the right thing (sometimes via massive self delusion admittedly) whatever outside observers perceive.