by Glenn Ellmers
Modern science was supposed to increase our understanding of the world. Instead, we seem to know less. Science has always introduced doubt regarding long-held verities. But now the authority of science, rather than the scientific method, is used to create confusion about things that had once been considered obvious and indisputable.
There have always, for instance, been rare individuals who did not precisely fit into the categories of either man or woman, but never before in human history did these exceptions lead to biological males competing in, and dominating, female athletic tournaments. There is more than compassion or tolerance at work here. America’s political and intellectual elites claim not to know what distinguishes male from female. Just a few weeks ago, the newest justice to the United States Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, stated flatly that she could not define what a woman is. This newly discovered ignorance is, supposedly, derived from superior scientific insight. Our technology advances, but our wisdom diminishes.
The American Constitution was written to secure the rights of human beings, not chickens or cows. What if scientists were to declare next that there is no objective basis for the idea of “human beings”? This would be no great leap from the inability to distinguish male from female. Should the American people accept that the distinction between humans and chickens (or robots) is dependent on the proclamations of biology or modern science, and that the special status of human beings should be abandoned if science says so?
More than 2,000 years ago Aristotle wrote perceptively about what defines human beings as a species, on the basis of ordinary observations. America’s founding fathers appealed to the same common sense when they cited mankind’s natural rights and the sovereignty of the American people as the authority for the “just powers” of government. Without any knowledge of DNA or the human genome, they had no difficulty recognizing that only humans, and not cows or chickens, possess such equal rights and such sovereignty. This recognition of human nature extended even to slaves, who are referred to throughout the Constitution as “persons.” The founders, like Aristotle, appealed to the ordinary understanding of moral and political reality that all rational adults possess to inform their deliberations.
COVID and the Tyranny of Faucian Science
Today, not only judges but members of Congress, government bureaucrats, and our entire ruling class defer to science as the only legitimate ground of knowledge or political authority. This is a grave problem, as was revealed in the government’s botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When our political leadership deferred to Anthony Fauci and his team of medical experts to lock down American society—closing schools, cancelling public events, curtailing civil liberties, and crippling the American economy—they did so on the basis of what Dr. Fauci was pleased to call “science.”
It is worth noting that epidemiology is not the only medical science that has things to say about viral disease. We are only now beginning to understand the massive costs the lockdowns inflicted on Americans’ mental health. Increased psychological stress caused by the excessive COVID response has led to more depression and suicide, spikes in drug and alcohol addiction, and greater domestic abuse, among other effects. We may never know how many additional deaths resulted from people being too afraid (or too intimidated) to leave their homes to seek necessary non-COVID medical care, such as cancer screenings, during the height of the lockdowns.
Those are serious matters. Yet beyond that, we must remember that health, even broadly defined, is not the only human good. A properly functioning society has to balance many priorities besides minimizing disease—especially when the targeted virus has a low mortality rate and overwhelmingly affects elderly people and people with co-morbidity factors. Children, who were robbed of more than a year of proper education and social life, were never at serious risk from COVID-19. Yet the damage inflicted on America’s sons and daughters to protect them from this vastly inflated threat may stay with them for the rest of their lives.
In addition to the profound interest that every society has in the proper education and social development of its children, Americans may rightly ask what happened to the public debate about other human goods which should have been considered before such drastic and far-reaching actions were imposed. This includes concerns about national security, increased poverty and economic instability, the loss of personal freedom, as well as intangible harms to intra-community trust and civic friendship caused by panic, suspicion, alienation, and isolation. In the name of “slowing the spread” of a single virus, the oppressive requirements of social distancing, mask mandates, and mandatory vaccinations fundamentally changed how we live.
Surely Anthony Fauci does not claim be an expert in all these areas of social, economic, mental, political, intellectual, and emotional well-being. And when did the American people agree that concerns about the COVID virus should sweep away every other consideration about what makes life worth living?
Many Americans resisted from the beginning the government’s heavy-handed response to the virus. Now that the extent of the hysteria, and the damage from the overreaction, are becoming clearer, Americans are feeling betrayed, confused, and angry. The COVID response imposed by the “experts” has reinvigorated the radical questioning of our elite’s political authority and legitimacy that animated the election of Donald Trump. That crisis of legitimacy shows no signs of abating as we approach the 2022 midterm elections.
Trump’s explicit criticism of the leadership of both parties—as well as his challenge to the ruling class—helps explain his broad working-class appeal. His criticism resonated with that part of the electorate that thought America faced a crisis of economic, political, and moral decline. On the other hand, those who opposed Trump denied the seriousness of the crisis and saw Donald Trump himself as the greatest danger.
The Collapse of the Establishment’s Legitimacy
For more than a century, America’s intellectual class and political elites have joined forces to defend a specific kind of expertise or technical rationality as the basis of their authority over the direction of society and the lives of American citizens. This expert authority lays claim to specialized scientific knowledge, and confidence in a fixed, irreversible historical progress. Continuous human progress is assumed by these elites to be determined by a rational process, and this process culminates in and authorizes the rule of technical experts. This view is radically different from the American founders’ commonsense understanding of moral and political reality.
Trump opposed the intellectual orthodoxy promoted by the ruling class. He advocated change that is not understood in terms of inevitable progress or technical knowledge. He challenged the presumptions of the experts and their promises not on the basis of a future good, but the good of the past, a specifically American past. He wanted to make America great again.
Trump’s failures as well as successes found their source in his stated attempt to transform the moral and political landscape of the national government. His agenda depended on finding a ground of public authority outside of the Washington establishment. He found it in the people. He believed the electorate to be the only sovereign authority capable of establishing political legitimacy. Trump’s success would have required the formation and perpetuation of a new majority consensus, based not on historical progress or technical expertise, but on the consent of the governed, the source of all the “just powers of government.”
The principle of constitutional democracy or republican government depends on the people being sovereign. This sovereignty exists before and above any policies arising from the claims of science. This does not mean that all public policy is decided by a national referendum, but that any new political agenda must emerge from a constitutional majority established through lawful elections. Trump challenged the ruling class and tried to return sovereign authority to a new constitutional majority. His election in 2016 and run for re-election in 2020 were intended to establish such a political realignment, to create a new political majority with a new agenda. This was a direct challenge to the moral authority and legitimacy of the ruling class.
Donald Trump’s partisan attack on the establishment derived, in part, from his view that the political parties no longer formed a meaningful link between the people and the government. It was a position, and strategy, that alienated him from both established parties and the permanent government bureaucracy. Trump questioned whether either the parties or the permanent bureaucracy represent the American people. He campaigned on the idea that both parties had abandoned the electorate, the interests of the people, and the nation as a whole. He pointed out that wealthy and well-organized interests were often in control of the administrative establishment in Washington. Old-fashioned party patronage, and appeals to nationwide popular sentiments, had been replaced by a peculiar form of anti-democratic bureaucratic patronage. That patronage had become a privilege reserved for private interests. And the public institutions themselves had become the captive of those well-connected interests.
Washington had become filled with a permanent government of professional elites, which claimed to form the vital center between the people and the government on the basis of objective, expert knowledge of the public good. But these claims to know what was good for the people had become detached from the people’s consent. Trump offended and frightened the elites because he refused to acknowledge the authority of this policymaking establishment. In his view, the rule of the intellectual elites had undercut the political authority of the sovereign people. It is not surprising that few public intellectuals supported Trump. He challenged the very idea that these experts were the permanent rulers of the country. Yet despite some notable successes, he failed to alter fundamentally, or even weaken, the elites’ power and legitimacy.
Trump was frustrated by his inability to respond effectively to the COVID epidemic. He often appeared inconsistent. Yet this can be explained in part by the fact that he was often battling his own executive branch for control of the political agenda. Despite being the president, he frequently seemed to lack the authority to set federal policy. Trump threatened several times to fire Anthony Fauci, yet never did. It is not clear that he could have, given the lack of strong political support from Congress, the courts, and a majority of the American people for such a direct challenge to the bureaucracy. On November 2, 2020, the Washington Post claimed that “technically, the president of the United States cannot directly fire Fauci.” According to the Post, as “a career federal employee and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, Fauci is protected by federal civil service regulations that shield him from being fired or demoted for political reasons.”
There are only a few thousand political appointees in the government, who are replaced with each new administration, out of a total civilian federal workforce of about two million. If we accept the Post’s argument, this means that the president can only hire and fire about one-fifth of one percent of the executive branch. Who, then, does the bureaucracy answer to? In many ways, the permanent government is answerable only to itself. This insularity and lack of accountability helps to explain why the federal government’s COVID policies were so often characterized by misjudgments, contradictions, deception, and overreach.
“Rational” Legitimacy versus Political Legitimacy
The intellectual elite claim to understand the direction of history, as well as the scientific workings of the world, and thus feel authorized to impose their rationality on all aspects of society—including areas that had traditionally been regarded as private. This new scientific morality made it possible to present the bureaucracy’s policy preferences as moral justifications for progressivism and administrative rule. There was no limit to the power that could be used to make sure that everyone gets on “the right side of history,” as then-president Obama used to say. But that new morality and those policies could never be made compatible with limited constitutionalism and the rule of law. That is the root of the political crisis we face today.
It has become almost impossible to reconcile administrative rule with self-government. The morality mandated intellectually by our elites has destabilized traditional social institutions and produced a chaotic civil society, undermining any public deliberation and authentic public opinion capable of reconciling morality with the consent of the governed. The technical rule of experts downplayed the role of popular deliberation and public opinion, and also made it harder for any public debate to occur in an intelligent and effective way. Although self-government depends on public opinion to determine what can be done politically, that opinion cannot legitimately be mandated or controlled from the center. It must arise deliberatively from the people in the country at large, and should originate in civil society.
This may help explain why so many people acquiesced in shutting down schools to protect children from a virus that overwhelming affects the elderly. In deference to the claims of scientific expertise by the federal bureaucracy, many Americans ignored their common sense understanding. But the immense and often unnecessary costs of the COVID mandates and lockdowns are now becoming clearer, and more citizens are coming to question elite claims to superior knowledge.
At every important juncture in the growth of the modern state, there have been those who have questioned the expansion of the powers of the administrative or bureaucratic state.
In recent American politics, the 2008 election established what appeared to be the high point of twenty-first century progressivism. But its very success produced a crisis of liberalism that threatened the progressive legacy established over much of the prior century. Barack Obama won the most consequential and decisive presidential election of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson. His party gained control of both houses of Congress. His campaign slogan said it all: Hope and Change. Hope is established and animated by an awareness of an abstract and future good; the purpose of government is to bring about social change on behalf of that vision.
In his first term, Obama sought to achieve the dream of every progressive president since Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson: to make it possible and even necessary for government to secure universal economic, social, and personal well-being without any principled limits. In FDR’s memorable phrase, “necessitous men cannot be free”; the purpose of government is to establish universal security against natural necessity, relief from the risks and contingencies of life itself. The elites in government have come to believe that scientific knowledge and technical mastery over nature could guarantee universal security.
Obama staked his reputation on universal health care, an expanded regulatory apparatus, and greater control of the financial markets. His legacy would be seen in the completion of the political conditions to consolidate and perpetuate the administrative state.
The permanent government’s extreme reaction to the COVID pandemic must be seen in part as an attempt to vindicate Obama’s promise: the limitless power of government could “guarantee” public health. It is important to note the strong evidence that Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health probably cooperated with the Chinese authorities to bio-engineer the COVID-19 virus. Science had created the virus, and the scientific mindset was committed to the idea that it could control it. It is for this reason that increasingly strict and overbearing measures were seen as necessary by the expert class. The legitimacy of scientific expertise was in jeopardy. In part because the federal government’s “gain of function” experiments had created the problem in the first place, controlling the spread of the virus at all costs became a test for the fundamental legitimacy of elite governance and technical expertise.
It remains to be seen whether the obvious failures of the scientific community and the administrative ruling class will result in an effective political backlash, or if the establishment media will succeed in changing the narrative to preserve the authority and legitimacy of the elites—despite the damage they inflicted. This will depend in large part on whether the elections of 2022 and 2024 can form the new political majority Trump started to build in 2016, but could not carry forward in 2020.
What Trump Revealed
Partly because of Trump, and partly because of the increasing recognition of its missteps in handling the COVID pandemic, the ruling class now feels deeply threatened. All the organized forces within society and government who have a stake in centralized administration are likely to defend the use of administrative power against political opponents who deny its moral authority or legitimacy.
The permanent government is a powerful force. It has established its own legitimacy apart from its political or constitutional authority, within the ranks of both political parties and the courts. Bureaucratic rule is defended as essential to solving, in a non-partisan way, the problems of modern government and society. But the bureaucracy has become a political faction on behalf of its own interests. Moreover, the party that defends progressivism and elite authority is increasingly open about politicizing the last vestiges of non-partisan government, including the Justice Department and federal law enforcement. As their power has grown, these defenders of administrative government are increasingly unable to understand, let alone tolerate, anyone who fails to recognize the legitimacy of the administrative state.
A very, very good article. Spot on.
Given the propensity for the above-cited illegitimate establishment to censor or erase any dissention, I’ve made sure to copy the article and keep it safe.
Itallians are all in line for food stuffs, have your social credit card available to collect the benevolence of the Government. Wheres the mafia?
Shanghi they destroyed vegetable gardens no matter how small, no food distribution.
The powers here want you to put a chip in your hand no need for cards or to carry your phone. 100% comply and die.
The court appeal over masks has nothing to do with science or health, its to show the power of the CDC is not to be questioned its above the Constitution.
It’s interesting to remember that when Trump was moving early on to face the coming epidemic, Democrats poo-pooed the threat and accused Trump of acting dictatorial in enacting emergency powers to produce PPE and ventilators. They were advocating ignoring all the precautionary moves and promoting their characteristic stupidity. They were slow to realize the extent to which they could exploit the epidemic, but soon they were imposing mandates for the sake of establishing the ability to control human activity and suppress civil rights. They also stooped to accusing TRUMP of not doing anything.
How WELL Trump handled the epidemic wasn’t fully revealed until idiot Biden, after promising to “shut down the virus”, let far more die under his watch than he claimed Trump should have been removed from office for, drove the national debt up while having no affect on the economic pain being felt due to the pointless shutdowns.
The administrative state has its own agenda and only allows members in that share that agenda. They view anyone that reverts to the concept that government should be serving the people instead of pursuing a personal agenda as a threat.
“Ruling Class” aka Bush/Obama UNIPARTY need to feel more than threatened!
05/12/22 – Trump officials and meat industry blocked life-saving Covid controls, investigation finds
The guardian, the preeminent left wing rag.
How about Forbes? Meatpacking Industry Worked With Trump To Downplay Covid Safety, Report Claims
How about the 61-page report from the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis itself?
Even less credible.
What is wrong with joes economy?
Techno Fog: Fusion GPS Loses Fight to Keep “Privileged” Documents From Special Prosecutor John Durham
Biden Regime Shipping Pallets of Baby Formula to Border Facilities For Illegal Aliens as American Babies Go Hungry
It appears they made the right decisions. We now know most of the “precautions” were pointless and superfluous.
Maybe you should answer why more died under idiot Biden than under Trump? Wasn’t idiot Biden going to “shut down the virus”?
It was impossible to do with so many fighting against the simple precautions that would have helped.
So he was a stupid, lying idiot to claim he could then, huh?
Which precautions would have helped?
No. He had a misguided belief, I guess, that you and your ilk would not go out of your way to make things worse, because decent human beings wouldn’t do that. He was obviously wrong to think that you were a decent human being, but it wasn’t a lie.
Hundreds of thousands died who could have gotten treatments for Covid, even ones that were not controversial all so big pharm could make more money. Pfizer made double profits last year.
You idiot sheep went along with all this and now people are dead.
A “misguided belief” that, though they have been wrong about every aspect of the virus, from shut downs to masks to denouncing the vaccines to its origins, they were going to suddenly “shut down the virus”? How do you think he was going to do that?
No, he was LYING. He was spouting bullshit, as he did with everything else he discussed. LYIING. He’s a liar that never gets called out by his ministry of propaganda for lying, so he tells more and bigger lies.
Plus, STUPID people believe him. YOU believed him, if that tells you something.
It WAS a lie because he didn’t do it. In fact, he made it all WORSE. Why did it all get worse? Well, let’s review:
So he was a stupid, lying idiot to claim he could then, huh? Additionally, he’s corrupt.
That’s a lie. History will reveal what the real intent behind Covid was, and the unconstitutional mandates on measures that you SIMPLY CAN’T REQUIRE in a democracy-based, Constitutional Republic.
If the threat was clear and the information honest (the gov and science communities admitted they lied “for our own good”, there would be no issue.
In a real pandemic, people don’t argue combatting it. They just do it.
This was not a pandemic.
You probably still “know” hydroxychloroquine is effective against COVID. It isn’t.
Ivermectin is no better. Article after article promoting its use against COVID have also been retracted.
In spite of which, elected Republicans in multiple states are still touting the drugs’ effectiveness against COVID, and promoting their use with legislation.
Republican political opportunism and medical quackery for self-promotion and profit has killed THOUSANDS.
Strictly regular use of ivermectin as prophylaxis for COVID-19 leads to a 90% reduction in COVID-19 mortality rate
HCQ and ivermectin proven effective. No telling how many people Democrats killed prohibiting and denouncing their use. But they don’t care.
For malaria and parasites. Properly done double-blind studies have found them useless against COVID-19.
Vaccination works. There’s also Paxlovid, which is highly effective if taken within the first few days of infection—a lost opportunity, if you waste time treating yourself with HCQ or ivermectin.
Vaccination has some merit, but the dangers are real and were suppressed.
Lies. Improperly done government funded propaganda “studies” are being used to double-down on the fact that Biden and the rest killed hundreds of thousands by withholding safe and effective HQC and Ivermectin.
They were suppressed so pfizer could push this new shaky drug called Paxlovid.
For their part, it’s very likely these people will hang for the genocide they’ve caused.
I’d distance myself from them, greg, lest you be labeled an accomplice and suffer the same fate as all traitor and foreign combatants do.
Does scientists routinely use double blind studies on patients that have a disease that is supposed to be deadly? greggie, you just can not stop being stupid!
For controlling the spread of the infection, stupid. Just because you know some morons that self-medicated themselves to death doesn’t reflect on the effectiveness of the drugs used in controlled conditions.
But THAT is exactly what is wrong with the Democrats’ response to COVID: you make it all political. You favor things and denounce things based solely on politics, polling and public pressure. Nobody was making money on HCQ and ivermectin; vaccines were the cash cow. Politics flushed science down the drain.
If vaccines were so great, why did ALL YOU DEMOCRATS denounce the vaccines as they were being developed? How many has THAT killed?
Meh. HQC and Ivermectin are effective against Covid.
The current vaccine is not.
Just enjoy the last gasps of your world order, son.
Your time is up.
Biden’s Economy is a Colossal Failure When Compared to President Trump’s
Trump’s is a failure compared to Obama’s. At least, so saith the graph.
Except wages went up under Trump. They were stagnant under Obama and the only way he could lower unemployment was for those looking for work to lose all hope and give up. Only idiot Biden is a greater and more monumental failure than Obama.
obamas job creation was part time service sector jobs. You know, the minimum wage jobs that do not generate enough income to live by.
That must be the May 12 page on your Word-A-Day calendar.
Why is joes economy that is in recession, on its way to depression?
BREAKING: US Producer Price Index – A Measurement of Inflation – Reaches 11% in April
Meanwhile, the attack on our country that is Joe Biden is threatening babies with a formula shortage.
This guy needs to go.
Are you aware that a plant was shut down and formula recalled nationwide because of Cronobacter contamination that killed several babies?
Apparently you’re more concerned about the abortion of a zygote than the poisoning of living infants. Or maybe you just don’t look any deeper than the potential for political exploitation.
Are you aware that a plant was shut down and formula recalled nationwide because of Cronobacter contamination that killed several babies?
And no connection with the deaths was found and no bacteria found in the manufacturing areas of the plant. But the FDA has kept it shut down.
Plenty of formula for wetbacks, though. Just not for the people PAYING for it.
Baby formula is being withheld from American citizens but freely distributed to illegals and Ukrainians while the Left is doing everything, they can, to persuade women they need to abort their babies for financial reasons(janet yellen). Connecting the dots is not difficult!
I’m aware that when Trump, and any Republican President is in office, the buck stops with them. Every covid death was literally Trump’s fault, remember?
You idiots set the precedence, unless you’re just admitting your a foreign information combatant, or worse…a traitor.
Biden is to blame for the formula shortage. It’s all on him. The Cronobacter contamination, in one factory, is not.
Go get some more points, boy. You suck at this.
That was then , if baby formula is available why does your president play favorites with illegal aliens over Americans? Is biden doing this because Roe is being overturned and he wants to continue to kill babies?
So greg, why would your president do this?
With Gas Prices at All-Time Highs, Biden Decides to Cancel Oil and Gas Lease Sales in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico
We have now learned that the CCP actually had the gnome coding and it revealed the virus was loosed from the wuhan lab. The CCP requested it be taken down and dr francis Collins obliged. Thanks to Dr Maria Ryan for exposing this bombshell
Robert Malone? If you click on the “Research Gate, February 2022 DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.20069.68320” link in his article, you’ll discover that the article he’s promoting was subsequently removed from Research Gate by it’s author. Malone’s top link is to the article that appeared before the study had been peer reviewed.
It’s right here
Yep. Note the date of the article that it links to. A month later, the initial reports that generated all of the hope and excitement were dropping like flies. The studies didn’t stand up to close peer scrutiny.
Nope…still up at both sites.
greg has nothing to offer beyond repeating lies already debunked.
Ivermectin works against Covid. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died who could have been treated.
No credible studies exist to refute this.
Meanwhile your “approved” medications:
Of course. Anyone questioning the governments scheme is going to be censored, marginalized, or even killed.
That’s how Putin does it. That’s how Biden does it.
They are the same.
Not safe nor effective.
03/02/22 – More Republicans have died of COVID-19. Does that mean the polls are off?
Wishing us dead isnt going to help, its the vaxxed and boosted with their destroyed immune systems being hospitalized. The Fauchi protocol that finishes them off. Notice how every big name testing positive has been fully vaxxed? It is them that gather at big parties with only the help masked.
But masks were proven useless, as useless as the vaxx. The numbers skewed horribly there is no flu or any other cause of death if the fake test shows positive when run at the high cycles the CDC recommended. Yes the statistics can always be tinkered with.
95 to 99% in Australia, 60% in Isreal,