Friday, December 24, 2021

A Note to My Well-Credentialed Friends/ Brownstone Institute

It really isn’t that complex. 

The injections you and many others were dragooned into taking under the threat of losing your job and your basic civil liberties do not protect you from getting Covid or passing it on. 

Nor have they liberated you from mask-wearing, social distancing, the ongoing threat of lockdowns, and helpful advice from the government on how, and with whom, you can socialize at Christmas. 

Among some populations, the risks of adverse effects are higher than from exposure to Covid. 

Meanwhile, the mandates, enforcements, track-and-trace rituals, and now the bio-passports, continue to crush small enterprises and exclude huge swaths of minority populations from participation in public life. 

The segregation in major cities is palpable and becoming more entrenched. Classes and events in large northeastern universities are being cancelled due to rising cases, and this is despite high vaccinations and masking. 

The rituals and draconian impositions have not given us our lives and freedoms back. They continue to grind down marginalized peoples not only in the US but all over the world. 

It’s all there to see for anyone disposed to going beyond the mental parameters established and enforced by legacy media. 

So, the real question at play here is a psychological and spiritual one. 

And it can be summarized more or less in the following fashion. 

Are you as a member of the well-educated Western elite class prepared to explore the possibility that members of the sociological cohort to which you belong are capable of highly organized evil and deception rooted in a deep disdain for the core humanity and inherent dignity of all people? 

Are open to imagining that people—to borrow a phrase much-loved in certain circles— “who look like you,” live in “nice” neighborhoods like you, and want all the markings of the good life for their children like you, are also capable of monstrous deeds and the propagation of extremely damaging herd-induced stupidities?

Do you ever think of using the knowledge of history your prestigious education might have afforded you for something other than establishing favorable comparisons with the past that prop up the idea of Western man’s triumphant march of progress and, of course, your sociological cohort’s starring role within it? 

For example, do you ever think about how Europe’s best and brightest sent millions of people to senseless deaths between 1914 and 1918, well after it was clear that doing so would do nothing to achieve the announced objectives of the conflict, objectives which were themselves based on deeply flawed logic and analytical assumptions?

Or will you avoid all that by mentally invoking a key, if largely unstated, conceit of late modernity’s meritocratic mind: that success within the games established to distribute elite power (such as entry into Ivied schools with big endowments and plum jobs in finance) confer upon the games’ winners a moral weight that effectively exonerates them from the type of moral scrutiny that they compulsively apply to other, “less accomplished” human beings? 

This is a question that those of us of fortunate to be reasonably well-educated, reasonably well-fed and reasonably well-sheltered must now urgently confront.

And the manner in which the majority of us choose to respond to it will go a long way toward determining the shape of the world our children and grandchildren will inherit from us. 


  • Thomas Harrington is an essayist and Professor of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College in Hartford (USA) who specializes in Iberian movements of national identity Contemporary Catalan culture.

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