ECONOMIC FASCISM IN THE AGE OF COVID-19
THE OLDEST POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TRICK IN THE BOOK
In the words of the legendary Austrian economist, Frederich Hayek, he stated that; “Emergencies” have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.” This quintessential quote is extremely relevant in 2020 with the rise of the pandemic and panic of Covid-19 which has claimed the lives of 14,490 people globally with 378,392 cases to date. This virus which originated in Wuhan, China has been the most popularly trending topic arguably of all our lifetimes exacerbating panic and confusion to the point that the panic is more sickening that the actual virus. The mass syndication and propagation of the viruliferous effects of Covid-19 has caused drastic measures in various states in this country. Various states-imposed curfews for its citizens and retail establishments that are classified as “non-essential.” Also, certain businesses had to shut down until further notice until the politicians subjectively believe that it’s safe to re-open these businesses. These states also threatened various small business owners and citizens alike for “violating the curfews” with the imposition of fines, arrests and indictable offenses which could lead to incarceration. In the state of New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy even went to the extreme of banning social gatherings of any size and if any law enforcement officials are notified of any, then this could lead to punishment. Other states like New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, California, Illinois and many others have issued curfews and lockdowns of “non-essential” businesses.
The oldest trick or tactic that government has used in history was to use a panic or emergency as a justification to compromise the liberties and rights of its citizens in order for government to centralize their power and control. We can look at September 11th, 2001 with the passing of the Patriot Act which expanded government’s authorization to use surveillance powers in the name of safety and national security. Additionally, we can look at the example of Nazi Germany on February 27th of 1933 when the Reichstag building was burned exactly 4 weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn into office as the Chancellor of Germany. The burning of this governmental building lead to the imposition of the Reichstag Fire Decree which was a law enacted to punish and incarcerate political parties or organizations in Germany that were in opposition to the agenda of the NAZI party in Germany. In this case, the public sectors’ fascist-like responses to “emergencies” are not new in the historical trajectory but are unfortunately common place.
THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF CLOSING BUSINESSES AND BREAKING UP SOCIAL GATHERINGS
The first Amendment of the United States Constitution states; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In this case, to deprive someone of the association of other individuals including family and to punish that individual with indictable offenses in the name of “social distancing” is nefarious, unconstitutional and another paradox of the United States government on federal, state and municipal levels. If the United States would like to effectively contain the spread of the virus, then it shouldn’t be through compromising the political and economic freedoms of its citizens. The First Amendment rights alone are the foundation of this country and with the majority of this country’s work force being employees and small business owners, the governmental imposition of closing their businesses especially in retail is a means of increasing their impotence and vulnerability. Meaning millions of workers and entrepreneurs won’t be able to feed themselves and their families which could increase the probability of impoverishment and destitution for a productive sector of the economy. The livelihood of America’s employees and entrepreneurs depend on interacting with fellow employees, customers, investors and/or business partners. It is not the government’s job to interfere with private affairs of its citizens unless the non-aggression principle is violated.
THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE FASCIST TACTICS THAT GOVERNMENT IS IMPLEMENTING TO CONTAIN COVID-19
For argument’s sake, if one would like to classify “Covid-19” as a biological weapon, then how would a citizen know if they contracted this virus if the citizen hasn’t been tested? Hence, the United States need to study South Korea and how they enhanced the accessibility of its large quantities of private clinics, private hospitals and university hospitals which enabled the country to test 15,000 of its citizens a day free of charge!!! The United States along with private institutions should focus on testing for who specifically has the virus and remedying the individuals who contracted the virus immediately through quarantining and immunizing the patients. Synchronically, medical specialists should ascertain cures for the virus. These rational approaches are implementable without compromising the livelihoods of employees and entrepreneurs who depend on public outings and social interactions in order to generate income for the necessities of themselves and their families. In the words of Frederic Hayek again; “Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.”