Stop The World, We Want To Change It!

ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE SPECTATOR AUSTRALIA

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have been repeatedly told that the only moral position is to defeat the virus at all costs. Any suggestion that the economic effects of keeping everyone in their homes and shutting down the country warrant our consideration is considered crass or obscene. If you venture that a bankrupt country is unlikely to be a healthy country, you are liable to be charged with attempted murder. Instead, the common, or at least loud and angry, refrain is that we must secure public health first, and only then can we worry about the future.

The antagonism proposed here is between those who are (earnestly, righteously) concerned with the lives at stake right now and those who are (selfishly, inhumanely) concerned with how society and the economy that sustains it will look after the shutdown. If we look more closely, though, we can see who is really exploiting this crisis.

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