The Covid Lockdowns Showed Us How Dangerous Social Engineers Have Become
Since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, governments around the world, along with a handful of unelected medical experts, have been behaving as though they are the social engineers of totalitarian regimes (e.g., fascism, Nazism, and communism). To be more precise, this select group of political leaders and medical experts have upended economies, as well as the lives of billions of ordinary people, by implementing extremely coercive and restrictive lockdowns and physical distancing measures for the stated purpose of bringing the pandemic under control and preventing future outbreaks. Specific measures have included curfews; police patrols on the streets; the compulsory closure of businesses deemed nonessential, as well as workplaces, schools, and institutions of higher education; the banning of social gatherings; the cancelation of sporting and cultural events; the suspension of religious services; and restrictions on personal movement and interactions at the local, national, and international levels. In many parts of the world, people have been subjected to mandatory stay-at-home orders, requiring them to spend most of the day confined and isolated in their homes. Lockdown measures have also been used to prohibit people from engaging in public protests and freely expressing their opinions, as failure to comply with limits on social gatherings has led to people being arrested, detained, and fined. It has also not been uncommon to see excessive police force being used to enforce lockdowns and curfews, and to disperse protests against unreasonable restrictions. Some governments have also set up detention centers for international travelers entering into their countries, where they are forced to quarantine at their own expense while they wait for the results of their covid-19 tests. Shockingly, in early June 2021, the provincial government in Ontario, Canada, went so far as to announce that residents in long-term care homes would soon be permitted to engage in “close physical contact, including handholding” and “brief hugs” with visitors when both parties are fully immunized.
Unfortunately, instead of criticizing this state of affairs, the mainstream media and major social media platforms are fully on board. They have turned out to be willing collaborators of the governments in these matters by glorifying their oppressive and punitive measures, censuring critical viewpoints, and fostering a culture of surveillance, all while spreading fear. They have also been ceaselessly promoting the injection of experimental vaccines as the only solution that will bring totalitarian lockdown measures to an end.
If Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek had witnessed the type of central planning that has taken place since the beginning of the pandemic, they would have called it “holistic social engineering.” They were convinced that supporters of the concept of a social engineer sought to extend “the power of the State” in controlling and reshaping society as a whole in accordance with their own ideals, goals, and wills.1 According to Popper, social engineers believe that they can diagnose the goals and needs of society, and then implement a strategy to achieve them through large-scale planning.2 However, such an undertaking would require social engineers to centrally coordinate the activities of millions of people by replacing the wills and ends of those individuals with their own. Meanwhile, Hayek stated that the best way to make everybody serve the ends of the social engineers is
to make everybody believe in those ends. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that the people should come to regard them as their own ends. Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants. If the feeling of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalit
Article from Mises Wire