#covid19 Eventually all debates if they continue return people to first premises of arguments and ideas. In this case, ideas in health care around individual vs collective have also collided with political ideas in the same area. . /1
Political libertarians have been the main drag upon worldwide pandemic efforts, but we're also seeing ongoing tensions between public health professionals and physicians, which reduce to the same ideas. Individual vs collective. /2
All of these fields share the idea that there are individuals, and groups/society, and you have different methodologies for dealing with each. At best they suggest some sort of compromise, where individuals sacrifice some freedom for the greater good. /3
What's less studied is that the distinction itself is nonsense. There are no individuals, just as there are no groups. You can't define an individual without using collective elements, just as you can't define a group without using individual elements. /4
Individuals create groups, to empower them as individuals. Groups in turn are nothing but those same individuals, delegating some small part of their agency to the group, for mutual benefit. /5
Nearly all of the daily Left v Right rivalry is arguments over a fiction. Individuals don't exist without groups, groups don't exist without individuals. It's not two things, it's one thing. Just as material, like water, can exist in different phases (solid, liquid, gas).../6
...individuals are one phase of human life, groups another. Made of the same thing, agencies with shifting scale, at one moment you might be alone in your yard, the next part of a global Twitter conversation. It's all you, at different scales. /end

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More from @RageSheen

11 Jul
#nswlockdown #auspol #covid19nsw this is the time to think. Large test numbers show again that the community is self-organising beautifully. The daily stern 'naughty children' narrative from the police, government and CHO underway. There's a dangerous disjunction here. /1 Image
The community is clearly mobilising when asked. But government libertarian beliefs can only see that community as disconnected individuals, who are either 'doing the right thing', or not. Stern stories about non-compliance each day only reinforce that. /2
The gap here is at government level. The community is mobilising, but inside a framework that encourages the opposite. Too much mobility, too much pressure on people to go to work because too much non-essential work is allowed to be open. /3
Read 4 tweets
9 Jul
#covid19 it's not news or surprising that putting animals in crowded conditions breeds infectious disease. Antibiotic use in modern feedlot farming is astronomical, to both fatten, and treat infection. But are we seeing the link to our pandemic? /1 Image
A pandemic is a social and political event, not a medical or biological event. The patterns of human gathering and movement are created by our social and political arrangements. For this reason, pandemics don't just appear out of a blue sky. /2
They appear when humans are too crowded, mixing too much and too rapidly, with poor ventilation and sometimes also absence of clean water and food. Mass transport, mass shopping, mass work are breeding grounds for pandemics, as well as the habitat destruction they produce. /3
Read 8 tweets
6 Jul
#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
Read 8 tweets
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

scientificamerican.com/article/climat…
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

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