Coronavirus: Lockdown is another triumph of populism over science – most people have behaved rationally so far

By | 25th March 2020

All infectious disease outbreaks generate three social epidemics – of fear, explanation
and action. The last describes the pressures to “do something”, however pointless or
The Government’s lockdown represents another triumph of populism over science. Its
approach is reminiscent of the line from the Communist playwright Bertolt Brecht about
the failure of the people to live up to the politicians’ expectations – so the people must be
dissolved. The people are portrayed as selfish, needing to be hectored, bullied and
disciplined rather than engaged.

Most people have not behaved badly so far, simply in ways that are individually rational
but have collectively irrational consequences…

From the Daily Telegraph 24 March 2020 (paywall)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.