A new pandemic of violence is spreading across the globe

World

A new pandemic of violence is spreading across the globe

The rising tide of protest shows it is naive to think you can sacrifice economies without cost

Tom Welsh

Everything about the anti-lockdown protests in the US seems designed to satisfy liberal prejudices about America. This is what happens when you combine a pigheaded attachment to liberty with anti-expert populism and a wilful dismissal of science, they say.

And no doubt there have been some genuinely dangerous lunatics — conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, white nationalists — among the thousands who have thronged state capitols, furious at the restrictions authorities have imposed to contain coronavirus and their devastating impact on the economy.

But if the armchair epidemiologists of social media, people who will damn you for doing so much as sitting on a park bench in the sun, think that anti-lockdown sentiment can be explained away as the hobby-horse of right-wing ideologues in the US, they are in for a terrible shock...

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