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Honored Social Butterfly

What Founders Thought About Masks And Quarantines

Coronavirus plus July Fourth raises a question: What would George Washington do?
The founders endowed us with a system to handle COVID-19 responsibly. They also left us a record of how they managed public health crises.
 
July 4, 2020, 3:30 AM CDT
By Zachary R. Goldsmith

 

With states such as Texas, Arizona and California closing stores and restaurants to rein in COVID-19 and cities nationwide mulling the requiring of masks in public, angry residents and business owners claim these restrictions violate the American idea of freedom. These measures clearly do involve hardships and exceed the normal restraints citizens expect from their governments in liberal democracies, but are they truly an affront to liberty?

 

The extensive body of writings, constitutional arguments and lived experience of the American pioneers of freedom and self-government, as well as those who inspired them, make clear that they are not. The founders endowed us with a system to handle the circumstances of an epidemic responsibly; we should be following their lead rather than trampling on their legacy, as well as the health and well-being of our fellow citizens.

 

In a crisis as profound as COVID-19, our Founders would expect government to take all appropriate action.

 

Where better to start than with John Locke, the 17th-century thinker who arguably had the greatest effect on the political philosophy of America’s founders and who set the course for contemporary liberalism. Locke’s writings articulate a highly nuanced view of freedom, one far removed from the slogans displayed at protests decrying missed opportunities for a haircut or a meal out.

 

Locke revolutionized thinking about political power by arguing that the true source of legitimate authority rests with the consent of the people. Freedom means that every person is allowed to follow his or her “own will in all things” rather than be subject to the “arbitrary power” of another person.

 

However, Locke adds, freedom is not “a liberty for every man to do what he likes,” since “who could be free, when every other man’s humor might domineer over him?” True freedom — the freedom to be partners in our own self-governance — entails not only a freedom from external arbitrary power, but also a freedom from internal prejudices and other impediments to reason.

Looking at scenes of protest around the country, and especially in my home state of Michigan, I am reminded of what Locke observed about a certain “mistaken” idea of liberty: If “true liberty” means to “break loose from the conduct of reason, and to want that restraint of examination and judgment, which keeps us from choosing or doing the worse,” in that case, “madmen and fools are the only free men.”

 

What Locke sketched out in theory, America’s founders knew in practice as political and military leaders, and enshrined in the laws and the guiding documents of U.S. government. The founders understood that government is necessary to “promote the general welfare” by facilitating collective responses to general problems — it’s even included in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

And, as Alexander Hamilton wrote in “Federalist No. 23,” it would be an “absurdity” to entrust to government “the direction of the most essential national concerns,” but then not entrust it with the authority that is “indispensable to their proper and efficient management.” Surely this means that in a crisis as profound as COVID-19, our founders would expect government to take all appropriate action.

 
Much More At Link:
 
 https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/coronavirus-plus-july-fourth-raises-question-what-would-george...

Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly


@ChasKy53 wrote:
 

 

And, as Alexander Hamilton wrote in “Federalist No. 23,” it would be an “absurdity” to entrust to government “the direction of the most essential national concerns,” but then not entrust it with the authority that is “indispensable to their proper and efficient management.” Surely this means that in a crisis as profound as COVID-19, our founders would expect government to take all appropriate action.

 
 

Basically nothing in the post says anything about quarantines or even masks regarding the founders.  In fact they actually had no idea of how diseases were spread.  The one thing thing they were close to was blaming it on 'bad air' or 'bad blood'.  Considering they used leeches to drain blood (I.E.  George Washington) they were mostly completely medically wrong.  An exception was that a good many of the folk remedies were used successfully.

 

It wasn't until 1878 that laws were passed by the Federal Government.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/historyquarantine.html 

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@TxGrandpa2 wrote:

 
 

Basically nothing in the post says anything about quarantines or even masks regarding the founders. 


No one claimed that quarantines or masks were mentioned by the founders. For the Constitution to allow our government or a POTUS to require quarantines and/or masks, they simply don't have to have been mentioned. One doesn't have to have read the article very closely to realize that.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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ChasKy wrote IP I am reminded of what Locke observed about a certain “mistaken” idea of liberty: If “true liberty” means to “break loose from the conduct of reason, and to want that restraint of examination and judgment, which keeps us from choosing or doing the worse,” in that case, “madmen and fools are the only free men.”

 

I would add Republicans, but that would be highly redundant.

This is what Republicans have been driving for over the past half century - the idea that "Freedom" means "totally ineffective and powerless Government". The GOPerLords got their bots to buy this not because it was a pathway to freedom for the masses, but because it eliminates the ONLY power that can constrain the Corporate Oligarchs from taking our freedom and replacing it with a serfdom in which we must rely on our jobs for our subsistence, shelter, and health without any hope of creating generational wealth or achieving a retirement with dignity.

 

In 1964 the AVERAGE savings rate was 10% and everyone working for a major corporation was assured they would have a DEFINED BENEFIT that would carry them from retirement at 65 to the grave.  The jobs came with extensive benefits won for workers by their Unions - paid sick leave and vacations, "time and a half"overtime for more than 40 hours in a week, double time for working holidays, FAMILY health care plans that covered everything from OBGYN and surgery to kids braces for a low ($5) copay. The Oligarchs were perfectly willing to pay for all that because if they kept the money for themselves, it would all go for taxes and while they hated their workers, they hated OUR Government more.

 

Today's young people are entering the 'GIG ECONOMY" which is how Republicans try and disguise that serfdom I mentioned earlier. The thrust for the last 20 years was not to create better jobs, but to OUTSOURCE everything possible and replace permanent workers with temps  at half the pay  and NO benefits where ever possible. The lofos who support tRump THINK this is somehow inevitable, caused by "automation" and "globalization" but its caused by unbridled GREED on the part of Corporate Management, they being the ones who made all the decisions that are destroying the middle class. They are redistributing all the income, which causes the wealth to likewise divert FROM the ones creating the goods and services TO the pockets of the ones overseeing the process.

 

A successful Whiz Mob (gang of pickpockets) uses DIVERSIONS to keep their prey oblivious to what's happening - like shouting "watch out for pickpockets" in a large crowd, then observe where everyone "pats themselves" to locate the pockets with the cash.

 

The GOPerLords are doing the same thing by shouting FREEDOM and watching their victims focus on guns, racism and immigrants, never noticing their pockets are being picked by Reagan's Tax Scam and a dozen other tax "improvements" the GOPers have made.

Honored Social Butterfly

fourth of july 2.png

 

Yes.  The far right has changed the concept of freedom to be completely self-centered and self-serving, when it wasn't meant to be that way at all.  With rights come duties.  We have the right and the duty to act in a way that's best for America as a whole.  

Honored Social Butterfly


@ManicProgressive wrote:

fourth of july 2.png

 

Yes.  The far right has changed the concept of freedom to be completely self-centered and self-serving, when it wasn't meant to be that way at all.  With rights come duties.  We have the right and the duty to act in a way that's best for America as a whole.  


The far right has perverted many of the intended meaning of the Founders, it's no surprise they would do it with freedoms. Greedy, selfish, and no compassion for others, some of which are older members of the very own families. Those are the "spoiled brats" (that were mentioned in another topic), no matter what age they are.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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