#covid19 #auspol two definitions of freedom doing battle in this pandemic. It IS the pandemic, the virus is just opportunistically hitching along. Developed nations, infected with an extreme libertarian virus about 50 years ago, generated and prolong the pandemic. /1
To most of them, freedom is the freedom from attachments. From State interference. Living off the grid, the ultimate libertarian destination. The problem with this viral set of ideas is, to live off the grid, you need a grid. It's in the name /2
Attachments - mutual social obligations in all aspects of life and business - is what gives us our freedom. That collective effort is what frees up space and time for individuals to flourish. Try doing a Walden and living in your log cabin in the woods. Exhaustion. /3
The pandemic has been defined by the competition between these two definitions of freedom. Masks and movement and gathering restrictions give us freedom to continue to live, uninfected. To the libertarians, they represent tyranny. /4
Ironically it's those most concerned about social life who support restricting it, to protect it. The political libertarians freeload off this same social life, pretending they're economic free agents unfairly harnessed by society. /5
Libertarian freedom is the freedom of the virus to infect at will. Libertarians only ever believe in society (remembering Maggie T said it doesn't exist) when there's a pandemic. Then they clamour to have social life back, realising it's the same thing they call the 'Economy'. /6
Without social life, there is no economic life. The only aspect of this social life political libertarians promote is work. Jobs. They're desperate to get people back to work, selling it as people getting their freedoms back. Really just the freedom to return their earnings. /7
The virus will spread under libertarian social ideas. And it won't under the freedom-as-attachment ideas. Different countries demonstrating this right now. The virus remains a bit-player to this ultimately political event. /end

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More from @RageSheen

6 Jul
#covid19aus #auspol vaccination data has quickly become the proxy metric for pandemic success. Australia is actually tracking the world average. In a true global pandemic strategy, that would be seen as a noble thing. /1
The gap, represented by the red arrow, between that world average and the countries at the top, is interpreted as the superior public health work of that top group. It isn't that. It's a supply gap. Created by those same countries, hoarding vaccines. /2
The call for vaccination targets in Oz, to get jabs in arms ASAP so we can get the borders open, is just a global pissing contest. A league table of vaccine hoarders. The entire global pandemic strategy has been driven off course, by the hoarders. /3
Read 6 tweets
5 Jul
#covid19 will we get to a point where we stop being naive and realise that the same conservatives happy to incinerate the planet to protect vested interests, won't blink an eye killing millions in a pandemic, for the same reason? /1

From Day 1 of the pandemic, most conservative governments have had zero intention of following any sort of public health response. They immediately saw the threat to their protected economic status quo that public health restrictions create. /2
They've been undermining them ever since. Whether it's to cast doubt on the actual lethality of the virus, or to talk about balancing public health work with economic activity, or to continuously weaponise public health concepts in ways that.../3
Read 5 tweets
3 Jul
#auspol #covid19 the perverse calculus of 'freedom' in this pandemic. The loudest voices for removal of public health measures have been libertarian political voices. This is dangerous, disingenuous, deliberate strategy. /1 Image
To a political libertarian, the pandemic SHOULD be all of their dreams come true. 'Locking down' removes social life, generated and managed by the State, not individual life. Each individual in their own home with negligible State contact is the libertarian idyll. /2
The 'freedom' so liberally bandied about in this pandemic is the freedom to engage in social life, not individual life. The freedom to shop, travel, to do business etc. All things the State makes possible. So what's with the libertarian 'freedom' push? /3
Read 9 tweets
29 Jun
#covid19aus #auspol tens of billions are being spent on transport projects in major cities. Few begin with the basic assumptions. Why do we need so much transport? Why do people require so much mobility to undertake basic everyday life? /1
Imagine that money being used to develop new models of decentralised work, people working from home, neighbourhoods strengthened so that they’re no longer just overnight carparks for commuting workers. /2
Conservative governments love transport projects. We don’t often question why, everybody seems to share the assumption that it’s normal for people to need to move so extensively every day. Meanwhile our living spaces outside major transport hubs wither on the vine. /3
Read 8 tweets
29 Jun
#auspol #covid19 watching the UK news is a jaw-dropping experience of seeing the regulatory capture of democracy by venal corporate interests, in real time. /1

A story about the apparent disgrace of sending 250,000 students into isolation after COVID outbreaks in schools, because ‘only 9000 were actually infected’. Only! /2
In the same bulletin, CEOs given quarantine exemptions to sign major business deals to help the UK economy. And employers urged to allow workers to finish work early so they can watch a fucking soccer game. /3
Read 7 tweets
27 Jun
#auspol #covid19 when we turned our societies into economies, they lost the resilience to do the most basic act. Taking shelter. If societies had that resilience, to allow most to stay home for weeks, the pandemic would never have happened. The 'Economy' doesn't allow it. /1
What we call the Economy is really the continual displacement of people and things from their 'home'. Whether it's the daily commute, or the international circulation of goods and people, the Economy is really code for movement. And movement in turn displaces, literally. /2
That displacement is political. The old saying, a person's home is their castle. Forcing the continuous displacement of people and goods is designed to remove that sovereignty from peoples' lives. 'Go where the jobs are'. /3
Read 8 tweets

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