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We live in dangerous times, possibly the most fraught period in American history since the Civil War.
This time, the threat is not that the country will split, although there are many on the left and right side of the political spectrum who openly wish for that, sans the violence of a civil war.
Now, the threat is that the United States’ fundamental institutional framework will be eroded and “We the people” will cede our God-given rights and essential liberties with a whimper, not a bang, in response to fears of an ongoing ever-morphing pandemic, and the supposed existential threat of climate change.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address is justifiably famous for his warning about the threat a growing “military-industrial complex” posed to liberty. Less noted then or now, but arguably even more prescient, was his warning about the co-opting of science by government funding and of government by an elite who claim ownership over scientific truth. Eisenhower wrote, THE PROSPECT of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded. YET, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. When I hear people like Anthony Fauci and James Hansen talk about COVID-19 and climate change, respectively, claiming to be speaking for “the science” and calling on everyone to “follow the science,” it sends shivers down my spine. Science should inform our choices, including political choices, but scientists should not dictate our decisions, as Eisenhower noted. No individual scientist, or group of scientists, has a monopoly on the truth. Nor do scientists have special insight into what any particular person or society should value, or what level of risk and types of tradeoffs people should be willing to accept to obtain or preserve those values.
Frighteningly, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of Americans demonstrated they would swallow Huxley’s “soma” pill, accepting huge restrictions on their […]
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JD Rucker – EIC