Seneca (d.65 AD) a Roman stoic philosopher had answers for these questions:
Do you have to obey?
When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity. But if the dog does not follow, it will be compelled in any case.
Do you obey graciously?
It is not possible that any evil can befall a good man, unperturbed and serene he turns to meet every sally, all adversity he regards as exercise, a test, not punishment. Adversity is exercise. It matters not what you bear, but how you bear it.
Is your hurt and suffering imaginary?
We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.
A stoical population would be relatively compliant to govern, compared with those holding libertarian beliefs, such as Ayn Rand’s. Seneca’s approach would be less anxiety-inducing, until government becomes oppressive and totalitarian.
My writing on Covid 19 and Government is at https://martinknox.com
What would philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982) have said about our governments’ COVID-19 policies?
Invisible laws create guilt.
There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you can create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt.
Sacrifice is wrong.
‘An individualist is a man who says” ‘I will not run anyone’s life – nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone – nor sacrifice anyone to myself.’
It is time to count the cost of restriction.
Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter.
What should we be doing differently?