If you crave power, and you sit in a position of authority, you will always stack the odds in your own favor. And if you’ve consolidated an outsized capacity for control over others, you will allow your opponent few options as you proclaim some new edict.
This is the state of play for the latest Covid mandate, the one in which the U.S. government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA – now requires all employees of the companies it supervises to get the state-sponsored jab.
There are two potential ”outs” for the citizen who wants to avoid the vaccine while simultaneously holding on to their job. One option allows vaccine skeptics to check the box for a medical exemption. For the other, they can check the box seeking a religious exemption.
Two options to save your paycheck while maintaining your personal agency. You are granted no other choices by the powers that be.
Due to the gradual centralization of power that has occurred across recent decades, authorities have gained tight control over the medical exemption option, since any approval must go through a doctor, and all MDs are now clustered within the silos of a top-down system. At the apex of today’s hierarchy sit centralized institutions like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). Just below them on the organizational tree are powerful groups like the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA). Once these “middle manager institutions” sign off on a dictate, the doctors face liability issues or employment termination if they choose to not comply.
Your healthcare professional’s advice is no longer guided by the Hippocratic oath. It is now determined by the policies of his or her financial umbilical.
Since the medical exemption is systemically controlled, the religious exemption becomes the only potential alternative for employees seeking to avoid the vaccine. Unfortunately, it’s also a choice that provides little relief. Instead, it represents a fighting retreat that merely delays progress toward the authorities’ goal of full uniformity. Those who check this box do so knowing it’s a poor choice. They are forced to hope that the society-wide psychological fever will break before the totalitarian goal is reached.
Most folks who check the religious exemption box are also vaguely aware of a conflation in their position. But they have no other option. Still, it’s instructive to understand the flawed logic put forward by their bureaucratic masters.
On the political circle, pure religion – which can be defined as “a reliance on un-provable and un-dis-provable Truths” – resides at either the left pole or the right pole. In other words, one’s subjective insights might orient toward paternal beliefs, or they might favor maternal beliefs. Either way, the conscience has governed.
But skepticism of the new vaccine technology is based, almost universally, on an individual’s reasoning. While there are many instances in which conscience can, and should, take the lead, in this case belief is determined by a person’s use of logic to link facts. Therefore, the debate over the most effective responses to Covid19 is objective.
The supporters and resisters of every potential Covid treatment rely on reason to decide their preferred approach. This reality sits at the heart of the ”follow the science” mantra. Both sides believe that the processes and procedures of science support their position. This means that most debate about Covid responses falls on the vertical axis of the political circle. It has few intersections with faith or conscience.
Two interesting developments follow from this connection …… one with important short-term consequences, with the other being of greater long-term magnitude.
In the near term, those who seek to avoid the mandated vaccinations have been painted into a corner by the limited two-box options. They aren’t allowed to “object” to the centralized authorities’ views based on ”objective” arguments. The roulette wheel has been weighted to land on “follow the mandate.”
In the longer term, however, establishment institutions are being forced out into the open, away from the protection of their foxholes. For example, throughout the twentieth century, they successfully utilized an intellectually dishonest gambit I’ve labeled The Great Conflation, in which their objective power ambitions were hidden behind intense (and sometimes ginned-up) debates about values. This agitation toward chronic left-versus-right conflict allowed them to quietly consolidate their grip on power while subjective debates raged on the public square.
But in recent years the dynamic has changed. And in recent months, the rate of change has begun to accelerate. Their opponents have learned how to effectively confront them on objective grounds, and they’re doing so with increasing success.
The centralists have not sat still in response to this new development, but have moved to restrict the free flow of ideas in public spaces. Rather than restore the authorities to the throne, however, this violation of long held American free speech norms has further eroded the country’s faith in its centers of power, specifically the corporations and national bureaucracies.
Thus, the centralists are watching their defensive position slowly erode. Each day, members of their base, especially the members their liberal base, are re-thinking their views about America’s governance. A gradual move toward citizen-empowerment is occurring, individual by individual.
But an important step remains. And there’s no guarantee that the newly-resurgent citizen coalition will self-organize into some functional form. Only when conservative citizens and liberal citizens recognize that their power commonalities outweigh their values differences, will an effective counterweight to concentrated power evolve. Only then will centralist mandates be mitigated.