COVID-19 is sowing fear and suffering, doubt and distress. The pandemic has produced great uncertainty; and uncertainty, in turn, creates space for new possibilities. But some are taking things . . . a bit far. In a recent essay at The Atlantic, one scholar even flirts with the idea of putting on something like the French Revolution.
Please, WLF attorney Corbin K. Barthold responds in a new piece at Law & Liberty, let’s not.
“The [Reign of] Terror,” Corbin writes, “was not some freak byproduct of the French Revolution.” The revolutionaries sought to create a whole new world, but they could achieve this radical end “only by rejecting compromise, dismantling checks and balances, and violently crushing dissent.” That’s not a formula for success, now or ever.
A pandemic, Corbin argues, is no excuse to act like everything is up for grabs. If anything, this is a good time to remember where prosperity comes from in the first place:
The pandemic spurs Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler to recall Tom Wolfe’s essay “The Great Relearning,” about hippies who, having decided to “sweep aside all codes and restraints from the past and start from zero,” must relearn “the laws of hygiene by getting the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot.” The desire for a revolution along socialist and antimodern lines is, Kessler says, “a mental grunge, mental scroff and mental rot,” and he hopes that another great relearning is afoot. If we are to have a revolution, let’s have one in which we recommit to the principles of liberty and moderation, flawed though they may be, rather than one in which we suffer the misery that comes with every pursuit of flawless utopia.
Read the whole thing here.