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  • Author or Editor: Gwilym David Blunt x
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It is a trite observation to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way billions of people live their daily lives. There has been an escalation of government interference in the mundane experiences of day-to-day existence. This has included limitations on travel, mask mandates and social distancing, and, of course, ‘lockdowns’. These restrictions have been criticized for the economic harm they have caused, but perhaps the more salient objection, at least for a political philosopher, is the claim that COVID-19 restrictions undermine personal liberty, freedom and individual autonomy. This seems to be the public rallying cry for many of those opposed to the restrictions, including public figures like Lord Sumption. There is a glimmer of truth in this claim, but the problem is misrepresented. The real issue is not with COVID-19 restrictions in themselves but that they are arbitrarily formulated and liable to partial enforcement. This reveals that the problem is not just one of liberty but of equality. This chapter examines and revises the liberty objection within the theory of libertarianism to make it more attuned to the problem of arbitrary power and inequality.

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