“Nudge theory” is the idea that the hoi polloi are too stupid to be left to their own devices so it’s up to their “betters” to herd them with carrots and sticks.

This has been the ruling conceit of the elite classes ever since Plato grumbled that all that democracy rubbish was just rooning Athens. It also does much to explain the bullying actions of the public health troughers and their political leash-holders.

When Jacinda Ardern asserts that she is “your single source of truth”, it’s because she and her ilk are convinced that everyone else is just too stupid to listen to. The last thing these vain bullies are prepared to do is let the “common herd” decide for themselves how they can best live in a pandemic.

The latest elite vanity is “vaccine mandates”. You see, we are all too moronic to decide for ourselves whether or not it’s worth getting the Covid shots on offer. Yet Covid is far from the first disease, and certainly not the deadliest or most infectious, that many of us have confronted in our lifetimes. None of their vaccines has ever been mandatory.

The Australian public, however, has generally speaking, acted responsibly by vaccinating their children against those other contagious viruses for which a vaccine is available. The private advantage of vaccinating our children is the happiness that comes with peace of mind.

So if Australians have for the last half-century and more been eminently capable of making conscientious decisions regarding their own and their children’s health, to the benefit of the whole nation, why do they suddenly have to be whipped and prodded like naughty children?

Sure, there was some initial hesitancy over the safety of the Covid vaccines. But that hesitancy was almost entirely the fault of the click-bait-focussed media, who shamelessly whipped up fear-mongering over inevitable adverse reactions every bit as hard as they have hysteria over the relatively small number of Covid deaths (still fewer than recent bad flu seasons).

In thrall to the vanity of Nudge Theory, bureaucrats and politicians have gone for the carrot-and-stick approach.

Except that, so far, it’s all stick and no carrot.

If, as the Commonwealth continually argues, vaccination is the key, the political issue is how to convince the unvaccinated to become vaccinated. At present, vaccination brings no personal relief from enthusiastic public health officials. Why vaccinate, therefore, if you know that the public health officials are going to protect everyone regardless and penalise everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, for transgressions.

In fact, power-drunk state premiers have openly stated that, no matter how many people are vaccinated, they’ll continue to impose lockdowns and border closures as they see fit, you peasants.

All of this is justified as “listening to the science”. Yet we know for a fact that it’s politics, not “science”, driving the political responses. Although they’ve tried to keep it secret, state governments have been furiously polling key electorates to gauge support for restrictions.

Yet, if public health responses were the only possible ones, if the science was so well known, the governments would not need to poll their marginal electorates to confirm their own support. Their resort to polling implies that when the public’s support weakens, their responses will be altered.

Spectator Australia

So, forget “listen to the science”. The only thing they’re really listening to is the polls.

Nations like Sweden, on the other hand, chose to trust their people to voluntarily comply with a few, sensible measures to minimise public health risk. Despite the lies of the mainstream media, they’ve done quite well, compared to far more authoritarian European nations.

The Swedes are living the free lives of sovereign citizens.

We, on the other hand, are being treated like naughty, backwards children by bullying dictators, with no end in sight.

I’m not angry, just disappointed. Photoshopped image credit Luke. The BFD

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Why Can’t the Ruling Class Trust the People?

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...