Innoculating Freedom

flu-shotSince Disney’s measles outbreak, vaccines have been the topic de-jour of mainstream news and social media outlets. There are and have been many arguments on both sides, each supported by scientists in various fields.

Yet, what is truly bothering about the vaccination “debate” is not the statistics but a statist-uniform belief in the omnipotent and absolute truth of Science on the pro-vaccine side (right or wrong though it be) that positions itself as arrogantly nationalist, imperially impositional, and religiously dogmatic.

Like Aaron who threw in a bunch of gold and “out came” a calf, our modern priests throw in a bunch of numbers and “out come” scientific “Truths”. Touch not the golden calf of our age.

(See here or here for said statist sentiments. Feel free to read the top comments under NYT’s OP)

To be clear, having been in the military, I have a vaccination chart that’s three pages long. I’ll either die a horrendous death for which the government will conveniently find no cause or I’ll live forever because all the vaccines combined to inoculate me from death itself. As a friend said, we’ll either die soon or be preserved forever like an MRE.

So, although I’m not against modern scientific developments, I am opposed to their nationalized enforcement as incontrovertible absolutes, which is actually anti-science; in fact, it is religion. The religious dogma can be tested: hesitate to show zealous allegiance to “settled science”, or merely to question said results, and you will be labeled a tinfoil-wearing anti-vaxxer threat-to-society. You have touched the golden calf of scientific certitude. You are unclean. You must go outside the camp.

Yet, anyone who has read a little scientific history knows that what science deems true today may be repudiated and deemed erroneous tomorrow.free Hence a little acceptance and a little skepticism toward vaccines is the best route. However, freedom of choice, diversity, and tolerance are not the issues – they rarely are in our progressively enlightened day.

Let us consider things from the pro-vaxxer side: If vaccines work as advertized (and I believe they usually do), then mainstream pro-vaxxers should not be upset since they’ll be inoculated from the diseases that un-vaccinated people supposedly will contract. Isn’t that why one gets vaccinated?

A common reply is that it is not enough to be concerned for one’s own kids but for the kids of others, of society, of the herd collective. Hence, the real issue is not with vaccines (it could have been anything – next week it’ll be something else; global warming again), but with a populace bent on imposing its will and ideology on everyone else, which is statism and tyranny, however soft and benign.

A friend has noted for some time that “public safety” will be the trump card in every case that violates our Bill of Rights. The French Revolution had its Committee of Public Safety (aka Reign of Terror). Legislators will begin doing just what this or this article suggests in the name of public safety. The courts will call it public policy, and the Constitution will be successfully ignored. This is a worldview issue, and history is against those who desire safety over freedom. Though thankful for and accepting of modern medicine, I’d rather be sick and free than healthy and enslaved.

Let it be said again that I do not mean that all pro-vaxxers are pro-statism; that would be an empirically unverifiable absolute statement of the kind I mean to denounce. Still less is there a way for me to know how many pro-vaxxers are anti-statism – since none of my pro-vax friends have spoken against the tyrannical statist sentiments on their side. I do not wish to debunk their position, in fact I believe the division to be a false dichotomy, perfectly fit to fuel class war that requires government regulation.

But I would wish for my pro-vax friends to join with me in voicing both their aversion against a nationalist ideology under guise of health and their love for individual choice and liberty of conscience. Nature and Man have both played the tyrant; but Man far more so.

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