The Myth of Public Health

In this Covid era, all the tyrannical measures like masks and social distance mandates, horrible lockdowns, vaccine mandates, etc., implemented worldwide to supposedly stop Covid-19 have a common justification behind them: protection of public health. Public welfare has always been the favorite excuse of state officials to justify their coercive use of power over our lives. In its name they have been aggrandizing the world population since the inception of nation states, especially after WW I. But the type of tyranny we are seeing the world over today in the name of Covid is unprecedented in world history. It seems there is no escape from this tyranny anywhere in the world. Previously the West used to be the refuge of the world’s persecuted best and bright people, but today the West is leading the world in Covid tyranny. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Germany, USA etc., all countries have gone completely Nazi totalitarian. In the name of protecting people, state officials everywhere are trying hard to totally control them. Freedom, human rights, and the rule of law are all tossed out of window in the name of protecting people from a virus which has a mortality rate of less than 0.20%! 

Elsewhere I have already elaborated why the nation states, who are implementing these measures, are giant protection rackets. To fully grasp this point let us understand what protection means. 

Definition of protection 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary protection means an act of protecting. What then is the meaning of protecting? Protecting means, to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction. So in this sense the government is supposedly trying to protect citizens from Covid-19. 

What is public health and is health a public good? 

Before we define what is public health, we need to define what public is? Public generally means, of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state. This means, public health is a political word and it has no existence in reality. This is because a nation state is a political entity.  

In economics public good is defined by two criterions: 

  1. Non-exclusion and 
  2. Non-rivalrousnes 

This means a good is a public good, so government production of that good is justifiable and necessary, when its use cannot be denied to people or its use by one person will not bar other person from using it. For example, if health is a public good then any use of health services must not be denied to someone, or its use by one person must not exclude the other person from using it. Now, in this Covid pandemic we saw exactly the opposite happening e.g., in India the use of hospital beds or oxygen bottles by some individuals was denied use to vast majority of other people because of the scarcity of hospital beds and oxygen bottles in government, as well as private, hospitals. We saw different states in India fighting to procure the supply of oxygen from the central government. Why is this? Because the use of oxygen by one state resulted in its lack of supply for the other state and similarly for individuals residing in those states. This is because oxygen was scarce, which makes oxygen a private and not public good. The same is true for health systems the world over.

This means health is a scarce good and so it is a private good which should be produced and delivered by the free market system of private enterprise. Government’s monopoly of covid management is totally unjustified. That monopoly resulted in unnecessary deaths of many people. In the absence of government’s health monopoly and central planning, the market would’ve easily provided all the protection and care that was needed for covid patients and everyone else. 

Public health is thus a myth. The word public is a collective concept which doesn’t exist in reality. Public is always made of individuals, and different individuals have differing needs of protection from danger. The risk of danger is also measured subjectively by every individual e.g., for a professional mountaineer climbing Mount Everest is not as risky as it is for some common man who will never attempt to go up Everest. Similarly for someone who likes smoking, the risk of smoking is less compared to someone who hates smoking. 

Even objective assessment of risk is different for different categories of people. For example, let’s talk about the risk of death due to Covid in different categories of people. Below, figure 1 shows relative risk of Covid for different age groups: 

Figure 1 Covid Infection Survival Rate

(Source: Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 in community-dwelling populations with emphasis on the elderly: An overview)

This data tells us that the risk of covid for all is not at all the same. And because the risk is not the same, the need for protection is also not the same. As it is the case with every matter of life, things are always different and varied for all individual human beings. Nature has made us all different and so such data aren’t surprising. Except the elderly, who are specially suffering from underlying diseases, risk of Covid for all other age groups is almost non-existent. Even for elderly, the risk isn’t as high as many other diseases. Every individual’s health needs are different and so the whole concept of public health is dubious. 

Now, just for the sake of argument if we agree with the idea that governments exist for our protection, then the protection against Covid is needed only by the elderly population 70 years and older. In India the life expectancy is 70 years (Worldbank data) which means the risk of dying because of Covid for Indians is close to zero. The only question Indians need to ask is, is this close to zero percent risk a justifiable reason for destroying the economy in the world’s most brutal lockdown? Is this risk justification for the government’s mindless vaccine push to please the globalist powers? 

Is public health a just reason for all the tyranny? 

I know my above question is rhetoric. In no circumstances can tyranny be justified, but the way our world has turned into one giant concentration camp I must carry out this discussion. Can we justify coercing people against their wish in the name of protecting public health? Tyrants often make this argument to justify their tyranny: “Well, your liberty affects my health. When that occurs, we have to come to some sort of agreement.” Let’s dissect this argument and see if it holds water when put under logical scrutiny. First of all, on the face of it, this is a non-sequitur argument because even if my liberty affects your health that doesn’t mean we involve government in coercing people out of their liberty to comply to the wishes of those whose health is getting affected. The agreement here doesn’t necessarily involve the government. There is a better and moral solution to this conflict. That solution is private property rights i.e., privatizing everything. To understand this we have to understand how my liberty affects your health. Let’s take Covid as an example. Someone’s health is in danger when that person catches the virus from someone else. Where will he catch it? When he will go outside in public places. Because public places belong to everyone there is a conflict between these two parties. The conflict is, who will use these places? Those who want safety or those who want liberty? Public property results into this conflict. We can resolve this conflict by privatizing all public properties e.g., streets, gardens etc. Once privatized, owners can decide different rules so that both parties can use their property e.g., there can be a fee for using streets by liberty lovers. If safety lovers want to use that street then they will have to pay higher price and reserve a street for their own use. Whoever desires the street more than others will pay an appropriate price and use the street, and similarly for all other private properties. Private property will solve this conflict between the vaccinated and unvaccinated people. There is no need for violating the rights of either vaccinated or unvaccinated people. In a private law society separate areas will be designated for both groups of people. 

Or, the best thing is, our societies divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. There will be employers who will hire unvaccinated people, there will be restaurants, gyms and other such places that will accept unvaccinated customers, there will be airlines who will fly unvaccinated people and so on and so forth. That way the needs of both groups of people can be fulfilled without violating rights of other group. There is no need to impose the wishes of one group on the other group by using the coercive power of the state. People must be free to choose because freedom is supreme.

Conclusion

The mythical concept of public health or any other such excuse can never be used to justify any kind of violation of our God given natural human rights. In no circumstances can any kind of tyrannical use of force be justified. We or the State cannot pretend to protect someone’s health by violating someone’s freedom, which in turn will affect their health. If my liberty is affecting your health then what about your health fears affecting my liberty? If your health fears are important then my liberty is also important. Liberty gives life; it is its prerequisite. Control in the name of public health is anti-life. It kills people. And anything that is anti-life can never be more important than liberty which is life’s basic condition. 

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