Libertarianism has led to rich countries vying for vaccines. Collaboration, not competition, is the only the way forward
Last week, the “age of I” finally peaked. The 45-year rise of libertarianism reached its high tide. The doctrine that gave us Brexit, Trump and a wholly inadequate response to a global pandemic has been exposed for what it always was. A viable civilisation cannot be founded on the primacy of our own islands of self-interest. We humans have to hang together and if we don’t this deadly virus punishes us with isolation, despair and death. To forget the “we” is to be lost.
Lockdowns in Britain and over Europe have exposed how much in lockstep we are and how universal is the menace of Covid-19. Success requires the abandonment of the culture of each rich country trying to capture as much as it can of whatever vaccine – indifferent to why there are shortages of global supply – and shrug at what is happening elsewhere. If we are learning anything as the virus mutates, it is that it has to be suppressed globally if the threat is to be banished.