“We’re all in this together”
After a year of hearing it, this phrase may illicit some pretty strong feelings from many people. It may fill you with pride, and a sense of community. Or maybe it curdles your stomach, causing todays sushi lunch to come back up in a less than pleasant way. These 5 words may seem harmless, often times innocuous enough, that you find yourself either nodding in agreement, or simply rolling your eyes and shrugging it off – but you should be doing neither.
March 18th 2020, the United States was plunged into what would be know as “15 days to slow the spread”, or , the first lockdown. The novel coronavirus was here, it was spreading, and nobody really knew what to expect. In the beginning, we seemed to truly be “in this together”, doing what we needed to do to get these 15 days over with and get back to business. Well, here we are, a year into 15 days to slow the spread, and we no longer seem to be “in this together”.
Over one year has passed, and we are more separated than we have ever been. What started as a common goal to “flatten the curve”, quickly morphed into a religion, in which those who refused to kowtow at the altar of Covid were castigated and shamed, and those who did were branded as hero’s, patriots. Dr Fauci had become the priest, the leader of this new cult, with his every word clung to as honey to loins. Masks were the new robes of the priesthood, a means by which to signal never ending virtue. It quickly became apparent – you were either “in this together”… or else.
See, many people quickly realized “hey, this Covid thing isn’t nearly what we thought it would be” – yet we remained under the thumb of the ever growing technocracy. I don’t need to lay out a timeline of events – I think we all see the news. What started as 15 days to flatten the curve became one year of lockdowns, universal masking, temperature checks, forced testing, and now, vaccine passports. As time passed, more and more data became available, and more people started to realize it was time for us to move on, and decide what was best for ourselves, as every individual should – but the “we’re all in this together” crowd wasn’t done with the COVID cult. Those who suggested that we should make INDIVIDUAL choices and move on with life were labeled as “selfish” and “wanting to kill everyone”.
(Now hang in there, I’m getting to my point.)
This strange new collective of “Branch covidians” as i call them became the “new normal”. In a country like the US that values “rugged individualism”, why did this new collectivism become so attractive and acceptable? Simply put – collectivism is easy. How many times have you heard “well if so and so would’ve worn a mask, we wouldn’t be in this mess” or “if this one person would’ve stayed home, we wouldn’t be in this lockdown”? The collective can’t come to terms with the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the voodoo doesn’t work. The collective must blame the individual, because they chose to not be “in this together”, and made an individual decision outside of the group. The collectivist exists, because when things go wrong, they can avoid culpability, and blame some external element outside the collective. This also allows them to avoid the need to think and come to their own conclusions, and instead rely on “experts” to guide the way.. If the advice is wrong and the outcome unfavorable, it will most certainly be the fault of someone else, because within the collective the individual is not required or encouraged to make decisions. The collectivist justifies the sacrifice of the individual based on the false premise that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. This is especially dangerous thinking because often time the collectivist is still only thinking of their own personal needs and desires, falsely believing that the group (being them) knows best for everyone else. Collectivism is much more complex than individualism because the collectivist lacks intellectual consistency and honesty. Individualism is simple – you do you, and I’ll do me. Collectivists constantly shift goalposts, and change direction with the ever shifting social winds. So that brings me to the question at hand – Are we in this together?
The answer – No. And we need to stop pretending we are. Until we start taking individual responsibility for our actions, we will continue to play these blame games and further divide and polarize our communities.