Brad Pearce (@thewaywardrabbler at Substack) has written a substantial (~4K word) and pensive essay on Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times.
Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times. Published by The Libertarian Institute. 2023. 279 Pages.
“Trust the science!” they said. “Listen to the experts!” During the “Coronapocalypse” we heard the same tired refrains until we wanted to gouge out our eardrums. In reality, the “experts” were incredibly wrong about their own narrow specialties, and even had they been right about the medical side of things, they are not experts on the costs of public policy. The covid cultists called us “grandma killers” and said we “only cared about the economy,” as if grandma couldn’t herself easily stay home and the economy only impacts the rich. There is a proverb of unknown provenance which says “truth is the first casualty of war,” and indeed, once they declared war on a coronavirus, there was a blare of propaganda the match for any dystopian film, whipping the public up into a fury of irrationality. Those of us standing against the wind from the beginning were at the greatest of disadvantages when the only things informing decision making were an unwarranted fear of the “unknown” and a bias for action. By the time more were on our side, our enemies were hopelessly dug in. In Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times, Laurie Calhoun presents a series of essays spanning from August of 2020 through March of 2023, a period after the initial panic but which covers the rise and fall of the vaccines and ultimately the end of the years-long “state of emergency.”
Calhoun, who has a background in chemistry and philosophy, is different from the “expert” class in that she has a well-rounded intellect and is able to thoroughly consider what is right and wrong, apply logic, and examine the ethics of the costs of government policies. Perhaps more importantly, as a long-time foreign policy writer who has written a book about the drone war, she understands the costs and counterproductive nature of America’s real wars and why they should not be a model for a figurative war on infectious respiratory disease. This collection provides profound and useful insight from two and a half years in the life of a sane and sagacious woman in a mad and foolish world. We should all strive to follow Calhoun’s path of critical thinking and common sense instead of letting fear drive us into trusting the crackpot theories of a specialist class.
To start with the physical book itself, everything is well put together and of impressive quality, especially for having been independently published by a small non-profit. I was offered a free advanced PDF in the knowledge that I would review the text, however, as I have the spirit of an elderly person who fears technology, I insisted on buying a “dead tree” copy. The acknowledgements say the book was put together by Ben Parker, Mike Dworski, and Grant Smith, who did a wonderful job of turning this collection of online essays into a proper text- it does not at all have the feel of something which was simply copied off the internet. The citations have all been converted from the original hyper-links into convenient end notes. There is also a thorough index of place and personal names for easy reference. It is refreshing to see a new book from an independent publisher so well put together, given the gate-keeping from the neurotic “woke” women at mainstream commercial publishers. Books which encourage people to think critically and question the most deranged aspects of our society are more important than ever, and The Libertarian Institute has done a good thing by getting this one into print….