As the premise and before we begin, let me again share that common belief is not the same as common sense.
Let’s go on an expedition of the history of science and see how history DOESN’T repeat itself but it sure does apply later in the journey of our species.
Recall at the turn of the 20th century – in the US of A – eugenics was “scientific common sense”, and EVERYONE just inherently KNEW forced sterilization of mental health peers (known as “degenerates” in professional publications) was the only logical thing to do. It was for the future and safety of the people and an accepted sacrifice for the greater betterment of humankind.
If you were hospitalized for insanity, when/if you left you returned to the world unable to have children. And not by choice. This was “scientific common sense.”
Eugenics was required teaching in American high school textbooks and course work. Our young adults were entering a successful industrial and technological world and responsible academic preparation included learning all the “leading science” of the time. Because it was “scientific common sense.”
The US of A eugenics programs and policies were so rigorous and convincing the attention of Europe was caught, or more accurately, the attention of Germany was caught. In the 1920s, Adolf Hitler was so taken by American eugenics he adopted our eugenics research with enthusiasm. To Hitler, this was “scientific common sense.”
Read primary source material. Hilter’s admiration of US of A eugenics is included in the landslide of writings from Hitler leading to the Third Reich.
During this period and by chance, the US of A was so distracted by our Great Depression that all meaningful eugenics reasearch shifted to Germany. Lamented by US of A medical researchers, the Great Depression and the coming world war killed eugenics research and implementation in the US of A. This wasn’t “scientific common sense.” This was simply dodging the bullet dumb luck.
So eugenics was medical and scientific fact in the early 20th century, right here in the US of A. And do you know which state proudly led the pack with the most forced sterilizations of “degenerates”?
It’s almost so comical you’d mistake this for an article on The Onion. Degenerates weren’t only mental health peers. This ever so fortunate collection of lesser people included Orientals, men who joined labor unions, and women inflicted with “hysterics” who behaved “hysterical.”
If you ever wanted to know the etymology of “hysterical”, there you go. “Hystera” is the Greek root for uterus and not the Greek root for “super funny.”
Hysterics was a disease only women suffered from, and most medical texts of the 1890s and early 1900s agreed women could have the disease between the ages of 12 to 54. This was most definitely “scientific common sense.”
Remember those forced sterilizations? Now you know where the word “hysterectomy” comes from. Without doubt, this is “scientific common sense.”
Forced isolation mandates and forced masks mandates – due to COVID-19 – are also “scientific common sense.”
So what’s my point? In no way am I saying if you stay at home and wear a mask you’re a Nazi sympathizer. It’s intectually lazy and that’s just not my groove.
The point is broader, yet more poignant. In retrospect, eugenics in the US of A was a reaction to classism and industrialization, a judgment of who was educated and who was worthy.
This was “scientific common sense” based on social bias and was ultimately shown to be backed by nothing remotely scientific.
Eugenics in the US of A was a social program masquerading as a scientific law. And, it was accepted whole-heartedly and believed without inquiry by the masses, or at least the masses who stood to benefit from oppressing others in the name of “science.”
The same can be said for COVID-19. These gubernatorial mandates have more to do with a hatred for opposing political parties and manipulating public opinion by presenting scientifically baseless social policy as impossibly uncontested and inherently logical fact. The mechamism is in place for willfully masquerading a social program as “scientific common sense.”
And, if allowing a jab at motivation and if making a prediction, this is all in service of the first Tuesday in November.
Admittedly, this is a broad theme with much more intricacy in collective motivations. Still, it isn’t unknown that if one advocates for mask mandates this indicates a liberal and Democrat and if one champions pro-choice and nuance this indicates a conservative and Republican.
And right there is the smoking gun. The undisguised politicizing of pro-mask/pro-choice is the purest betrayal of a biaed social agenda and not a scientific school of thought.
This battle is played out on social media … all media, really … and is so politicized and saturated in party line talking points the opportunity for exploration of empirical fact is buried under reflexive partisan truth. It’s science faith and not science fact. Emotional adherence to political ideology leaves no room for knowledge, reason, consideration, collaboration, and independent conclusion. A false flag called “because science” is comfortable and satisfying. All of which brings us back to the central exploration of this narrative:
Common belief is not the same as common sense.
To end things off, I have a few observations that add weight to COVID-19 mandates being a social program and not a scientific law.
1.) To date, it is the left end of the spectrum who have a near monopoly on “because science” claims of “scientific common sense”, bolstered by a small handful of media darling national science advisors with a near monopoly on widespread media coverage.
2.) Despite state-level demands to comply with strict isolation and distancing mandates, heavily partisan nationwide protests did not adhere to mandates, nor were mandates enforced at protests.
3.) The COVID-19 virus is being promoted as highly contagious AND highly deadly. If so, C19 public biohazard disposal sites should be available for used masks and gloves. None exist and public parking lots are choked with mask and glove litter.
4.) No specific materials are mandated for use in homemade masks, by this meaning the size of the holes in the material weave. Empirical and quantified direct observations demonstrate there are no effective materials for homenade mechanical filter masks. The mask mandates on a state level remain in effect.
Encapsulated, it is the unashamed politicized environment of COVID-19 state mandates that make these mandates the epitome of a social program masquerading as scientific law.
A few reactions are possible if you made it this far, along with my responses.
1.) “The others are worse than us.”
– Whose point are you proving?
2.) “Prove it.”
No. Disprove it. In no way do I feel any responsibility to impart 40 years of accumulated knowledge on an internet dare from someone I don’t know. Nor do I want to rob anyone of the thrill of discovery.
3.) “What makes you an expert?”
I’m an expert in all I know. And, I’m always well-informed on any topic that catches my passion. That’s a lot of stuff and things. Feel free to test my expertise and I’ll openly admit to when I don’t know the answer to a question… after which I’ll poke about dilligently until I have an answer.
4.) “Leading scientists say…”
Let me stop you there. Skepticism is the foundation of good science. And no one has a monopoly on science. And anyone can learn and do science. Give it a try.
5.) “You’re ignorant, you’re an idiot, you’re clueless, and you love Trump.”
– Okay, then. I can’t argue with logic like that. I really can’t. It’s impossible to argue with logic like that. Impossible.
Anyhow, among my many passions is the history of science and scientific revolutions. Suggested related reading:
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; 4th edition 2012; Kuhn, Thomas S.
Read this one if for no other reason than to learn where the idiom “paradigm shift” comes from.
or Encyclopedia of Health and Home
1919 edition; Ruddock, E.H.; Wood, Geo E.
Yes, Pearl Jam named an album after this book.
And, yes, that is my copy of the book pictured above.
Dedicated to Professor Timothy Moy who over two semesters recharged a long dormant battery.