Already, in these early days, the COVID-19 pandemic and government responses to it have drastically reshaped life and society. Lockdowns. “Stay at home” directives. Millions of businesses, schools, and organizations — shuttered. So far more than 370,000 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide. In the U.S. that number exceeds 33,000, with 400 dead. On the front lines are heroic doctors and nurses, battling the virus amid shortages of medical supplies and mounting risk.
We at New Ideal (along with the rest of the Ayn Rand Institute) feel very fortunate that we are able to continue our work, remotely. Our hearts go out to the many in-person businesses — restaurants, theaters, airlines, etc. — that are closed down with an uncertain future. We’re awed by the ongoing efforts of medical professionals and scientists racing to slow the spread and find treatments for the virus.
The mission of this journal is to explore pressing cultural issues from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, and, amid the havoc and upheaval brought on by the novel coronavirus outbreak, there’s much to cover.
For the weeks to come, perhaps longer, we’ll be putting a special focus on pandemic-related content (publishing on other issues occasionally). Here, in case you missed them, are two insightful conversations about the pandemic:
1. In a recent special episode of Philosophy for Living on Earth, Ben Bayer interviewed Onkar Ghate and Greg Salmieri on how to think philosophically about the pandemic and the complex scientific and political issues we are confronting. Topics included the ongoing heroic efforts to stem the virus’s spread, the destructive impact of government force in medicine, the need for government to make its reasoning clear when imposing controls, the need for regulatory decontrol, the role of altruism in distorting impact assessment, techniques for evaluating the flood of information we’re all receiving, and the vital importance of reason in coping with the crisis.
Audio of this event is available on the Philosophy for Living on Earth podcast (Apple and Stitcher). You can watch the entire discussion here:
To get you started, here are some short clips that focus on particular topics:
2. In another episode, Onkar Ghate interviewed finance experts Yaron Brook and Rob Tarr about the economic ramifications of the pandemic, and the government’s reaction to it:
There’s more coming up, so please subscribe to our email updates to stay in the loop.
Finally, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.