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Individualism in a Globalized World & the COVID-19 Dilema.

Reader comment on item: Fellow Conservatives, Please Reject Conspiracy Theories

Submitted by Ludvikus (United States), Jan 18, 2022 at 14:07

Dear Dr. Daniel Pipes,

You've made it clear that your concern is with the Constituency - not so much the Conservative Leadership.

But let's look at the Conservative beliefs which are at stake today.

Whether or not one is a Conservative anti-Globalist, there are the Scientific issues at stake which (whether you one likes it or not) challenge the classical conservative beliefs and positions which I think you overlook.

It was in WWI and immediately there after in which the huge last major pandemic occurred. Now we are in the midst of a huge world-wide Pandemic which challenges Individual Liberty principles of American Conservatives regarding the Rights of Individuals to make their own choices. In the context of Covid-19 it appears disillusion simple: everyone should have a right to make his or her own choice as to getting vaccinated.

However, someone with a scientific mentality (in which I include you, Dr. Pipes) must recognize that not wearing a mask, or not being vaccinated affects the individual standing with you in a Crowded Theater or an Elevator. This is obviously not a simple dilemma to get out of. Is Education the Answer? This is clearly not an issue with the Chinese government of China. It also is an opportunity for the Chinese Establishment to make fun of our Democracy. More specifically, look at the Conspiracy Theories whereby Fauci's life is threatened because he is the chief Scientist advocating Medical (not Economic) policies regrading this deadly and hugely infectious Disease.

What I think you fail to address is the issue of Social Media which is responsible for the spread of these deadly Conspiracy Theories. There we have the Dilemma of dealing with our Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press embodied in our USA Constitution. But I think here we have a possible way out that was established by Justice Brandeis over a Century ago; it was he who recognized two (2) Constitutional Rights: (1) the Right to Privacy, and the Right to be free of Monopolies which restrain Free Trade.

From that great Jewish American Justice, who was also a Father of Zionism, I infer two (2) specific Strategies:

(1) It is the Media which these days is a Monopoly and responsible for what information is absorbed by the Constituencies you criticize; it is, for example, Google that plays a role in whether or not we read or hear Conspiracy Theories. And certainly neither I or you want Google to Censor what you and I read or hear. But the solution to that is MORE COMPETITION; for example, there should be a search engine that's just as strong or dominant, but which lets a Consumer, such as you and me, be able to Choose what we wish to Hear or Listen too.

(2) The right to Privacy, which every American has under our Constitution, should permit a Consumer more choice in controlling the flood of misinformation which reaches his or her home. Neither you or I wish Google to do that for us; so there should be much more choices for us; but those choices are currently limited by the monopolistic Dominance of Google.

As you know, I'm sure, Local Media (Newspapers) all over the USA are failing and going Bankrupt; there is no longer sufficient competition for "News" dissemination. I ask you to research the issue of why there is such "great success" in dissemination Conspiracy Theories among the Constituencies you (appropriately) criticize?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

"you fail to address ... the issue of Social Media which is responsible for the spread of these deadly Conspiracy Theories."

The internet in general and social media specifically greatly enhance communications, for both good and ill. They speed up conspiracy theories but do not basically change the role of this way of thinking.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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