I have been thinking in the last couple of weeks about two particular subjects, not as unrelated as at first glance they might appear. Lockstep Lockdowns The first has to do with the unusual demands, mostly on the left, for the continued lockdown of the economy and the quarantine of the citizenry based on public health concerns and the advice of elements of the medical profession. This view is being contested, more or less on the right, by various groups who decry the increasing economic wreckage being caused by the lockdowns; the disregard of First Amendment religious rights; and more broadly the loss of individual liberties that have resulted (putting to one side the fact that non-violent inmates are being released from crowded prisons in the name of social distancing - so there is that increase in liberty for some fortunate felons). What first got me thinking about this in a more than ordinary way was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal about Freedom and Sweden’s Constitution. As many will know, there has been virtually no lockdown in Sweden and social life there proceeds largely under the pre-pandemic rules. The reasons for this are set forth in the article at the preceding link. At the risk of oversimplification, the Swedish people trust each other; they trust their elected officials; and most importantly they trust their public institutions. Certain vital public institutions are not subject to political oversight and therefore do not have to respond to political pressure. Their public health institutions have a broader vision than, for example, the CDC. Those trusted Swedish institutions take into account secondary and tertiary order impacts of decisions made to protect health and safety. The noninterference of the government in these types of public institutions (what some might call a “deep state”) is embedded in the Swedish Constitution itself. ... Read More