I encountered the term unavoidably unsafe in context of a specific supreme court ruling concerning manufacturer liability for harmful effects of vaccines. Government mandates a very extensive vaccination schedule on all children that involves multiple injection of substances that are “quite incapable of being made safer for [its] intended . . . use” where the intended use is injection into healthy symptomatic non-volunteers especially children.
I realize that this statement was narrowly focused on tort liability for certain manufactured products where there is some need that can be met only with products that can not be made safe. The quoted decision was specific to vaccine manufacturers in particular, and in context to a law passed with the express intent of protecting the vaccine industry so that we have a capability to develop vaccines for future epidemics. That law written in 1986 anticipated a situation we are in now where we need a vaccine to counter a new virus.
First of all, I note the date of the ruling in 2010 and the date of the legislation 1986. Both are now enshrined as permanent law unless something is done to undo them. As a result it applies right now where there is a rush to develop a new vaccine as quickly as possible where it is nearly certain that the government will mandate everyone get injected with a substance that is incapable of being made safe.
As I have written in this blog multiple times, this is an inevitability of our current government system that uses its trust in the infallibility of scientific knowledge to commit to permanent laws. Once such laws and rulings are settled, it is extremely difficult to undo this even if later we found it to be in error.
Going back to 1986, the situation at the time was a declaration of urgency by the vaccination industry that threatened to discontinue their production (and research capabilities) unless there was some kind of immunity from lawsuits. The urgency was further justified by the science at that time that vaccines are especially effective as controlling epidemics when applied to large populations of healthy people. The only ruling available to government is a permanent one that basically says from date forward to infinity vaccines are an essential part of life on earth so that any risks involved must be accepted.
We now live under this ruling 34 years later when there is a huge rush to develop an experimentally new type of vaccine that will be followed by a rush to vaccinate everyone on the planet under government mandate. I am sure this will happen and there is nothing we can do about it, because the law has permanently decided that this is essential for human life on Earth.
I write about a fantasy government that I describe as a government by data and urgency. Such a government is based on the notion that science is continually improving so that no scientific finding is permanent. As a result, this government would act only when there is a verified urgency (that I presume would have been met in this 1986 example) but would only act temporarily: the rule would automatically expire within a couple years. When the rule expires, it is incumbent on the complainants to reassert their urgency with backing of the science that has emerged in the interim.
If we lived in such a dedomenocracy, I’m certain that the 1986 law and the 2010 court ruling would no longer be in effect. We would be facing the new epidemic with a vaccine industry that has to worry about liability of any consequences of injecting their product into a huge population of healthy people.
There is something more fundamental in the difference between the two types of government. The concept of unavoidably unsafe captures that difference.
Fundamentally, life itself is unavoidably unsafe. Whether we are here by design or by evolution, we are born into a life on an Earthly world. Each of us individually have this one time blessing or opportunity to be alive at this time, fulfilling our place in both human and natural history. We have an unalienable right to experience this unique opportunity to live, where living is more than just breathing, it is participating in this world.
Implicit in this right to exist on Earth is a duty for the individual to face the reality that his existence is unavoidably unsafe. This is especially true for humans who have the intelligence to comprehend a vast extent of the unsafety and unavoidability he must face. Human history is a history of applying intelligence and sentience to the project of being alive on this planet.
We are facing an epidemic of a never-before encountered virus that may very well have been deliberately designed to harm humans. This has interrupted our recent period of extreme safety from a historical perspective. We are now facing conditions our ancestors faced at least 100 years ago or maybe more. Or at least we thought we were a couple months ago. Maybe we exaggerated this time, but even if we did there will be a time when it will be that bad.
The epidemic separates the population into people who have not yet had the disease, people who are currently suffering from the disease, and people who have recovered (though may still be at risk of getting it again). All three groups face unavoidably unsafe choices. The first and last must confront the fact that their current life pursuits can result in their catching the disease. The middle group must confront the choice of multiple unavoidably unsafe options: one is to minimize medical intervention with the reliance on the body’s ability to heal itself, the other is to maximize medical intervention and thus accept the gamble that the intervention itself may make things worse.
Given what I heard about this disease, a person with advanced deterioration of health will have very low prospects of recovery without medical intervention. Even so, I believe the patient ultimately has the choice of treatment. Society retains the right to quarantine the sick, but the patient retains the right of choosing the treatment.
For the rest of the population, there is fear of contracting the disease, especially among the population that has not yet contracted it for the first time. Living on this planet with its nature requires facing the fact that contagious diseases exist. The benefit of being human is that we know of precautionary practices that we can use. One of those precautions is to isolate the sick from the healthy. These precautions are imperfect protections, there will always be some remaining risk of catching the disease.
Life on this planet can be scary. Another part of being human is that we have some instinct to expect some divine provenance or protection, where modern man replaced some supernatural being with the notions of science. We want science to solve this problem. This is especially a reasonable expectation if science was responsible for creating this situation.
In our government, we have subconsciously ratified a new amendment to our constitution that transfers to the government the right to choose when it comes to unavoidably unsafe options. This was explicitly stated in the context of the vaccine legislation mentioned above.
Because of that earlier concession to accept unavoidably unsafe vaccines, we are now facing an epidemic where we immediately conclude that our only option is to get vaccinated. There is no vaccine ready for injecting everyone, so we created a new type of vaccine that we described as a new normal: social isolation, social-distancing, outlawing of non-essential activities. From a government perspective, these are equivalent to vaccines.
We have already established that the government can mandate universal adherence to vaccine schedules and to obtaining government-approved medical insurance. Both of these come with dangers to the individual who has no recourse to sue for damages.
From this context, the government is able to conclude it can implement lock-downs and house-arrests of all healthy people as a substitute form of vaccination.
We already agreed that government can impose on us the unavoidable risks of lost wages, lost opportunities for career and life advancement, degradation of mental and physical health.
Vaccination by its very nature requires inoculating the entire population of healthy people. Accepting this theory automatically grants to government the right to mandate every healthy person to get the vaccine. This in turn grants government to right to mandate on every healthy person any policy that intends to address some public health issue. Thus, we are here with mandatory lock-downs as a substitute for a vaccine until one is found. Both are equally mandatory where we must relinquish our safety unavoidably to enable the government to protect us from what it deems important.
Healthcare is an option available to use individually as we live our lives on this planet we are blessed to live in, a planet that comes with a multitude of health risks. Over the past few decades, we have narrowed the definition of health-care to be evidence-based care as decided by government and we have transferred to government the responsibility to protect us from the risks of living on this planet.
This is how we got to this place were we expect government to shield us from nature itself. The new norm is that we have a right to live outside of nature, in a type of existence that places no more significance of living in the real world than we do living in synthetic worlds of cinema or virtual-reality games.
We have become a different kind of species, one that does not belong on this Earth, and apparently one that wants to evacuate this planet entirely to escape its ugly nature. We’ll capture the good stuff in our virtual reality we can enjoy in our pod home that are supplied externally from things we order online.
We never consented to this change in definition of what it means to be a human living in this world. I point to the above court ruling as exposing that there is a new amendment to the constitution, that from some point in history to government has the responsibility to protect everyone’s life from nature. Before that point, it was fact of life that we are free to live in an unavoidably unsafe nature. After that point, it is a fact of life that government imposes unavoidably unsafe protections from nature.
Quality of life is exchanged for Quantity of life. This is inevitable when we allow ourselves to believe in the perfection of science to guide us with permanent laws. Science only works with quantities, it is essentially blind to quality.
I believe this change is a corruption of our constitution. In particular, there is an underlying principle behind both the first and second amendment. The first amendment reserves the right of free expression to the people. The second reserves the right of the people to arm themselves. Both are unavoidable unsafe. We insist on living in this world free to express our thoughts and to defend ourselves without government interference. We accept the fact that doing so is unavoidably unsafe.
Under the first and second amendments, it is unconstitutional for the government to impose lock-downs and social-distancing of healthy people, and for the government deciding between essential and non-essential. Both of these are reserved as our rights for freedom of speech that includes freedom of association in public.
In addition, implicit in the second amendment is our right to self defense. Self defense includes defense of our health. We have a fundamental right to choose for ourselves how to defend our health.
The government has no right to impose these lock down orders under the guise of being an alternative to vaccination. The right to self-defense belongs to the individual.
I also do not believe that the constitution even permits the government to mandate vaccinations. To the extent it does, the government needs to periodically persuade the population that the most recent science supports the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. We certainly should not accept indefinitely scientific findings that are decades out of date.