Comments from Rebecca Solnit of the Guardian:
The pandemic focused and intensified the need to recognize the interconnectedness of all things—in this case the way that viruses spread and the responsibility of those in power and each of us to do what we can to limit that spread, and to recognize the consequences that could break our educational system, our economy, and our daily lives and hopes and dreams if we did not take care, of ourselves, each other, and the whole.
The contemporary right has one central principle: nothing is really connected to anything else, so no one has any responsibility for anything else, and any attempt to, say, prevent a factory from poisoning a river is an infringement on freedom. They reject the evidence of climate change and other scientific realities on the grounds that it displeases them by undermining their ideology, rather than on the evidence. Freedom as they uphold it is the right to do anything you want with utter disregard for others.
In their logic, poverty must be caused by individual failings, not by systematic inequality and obstacles. Gun deaths must be disassociated from the deregulation and proliferation of guns. Taxes are a form of oppression, since no one owes anyone anything. Those who benefit from the system that taxes underwrite – infrastructure, law enforcement, education of workers – deny that their success has anything to do with anything but their own bootstrapping virtue and hard work. Climate change’s underlying message that what we do has long term planetary consequences outrages their sense of autonomy.