One of the most dangerous philosophical contentions even amongst liberty movement activists is the conundrum of government force and prevention during times of imminent pandemic. All of us at one time or another have had this debate. If a legitimate viral threat existed and threatened to infect and kill millions of Americans, is it then acceptable for the government to step in, remove civil liberties, enforce quarantines, and stop people from spreading the disease? After all, during a viral event, the decisions of each individual can truly have a positive or negative effect on the rest of society, right? One out of control (or “lone wolf”) citizen/terrorist could reignite a biological firestorm, so, should we not turn to government and forgo certain freedoms in order to achieve the greater good for the greater number?
If the government in question was a proven and honorable institution, then I would say pro-Medical Martial Law arguments might have a leg to stand on. However, this is not the case. In my view, medical martial law is absolutely unacceptable under ANY circumstances, including Ebola, in light of the fact that our current government will be the predominant cause of viral outbreak. That is to say, you DO NOT turn to the government for help when the government is the cause of the problem.
The recent rise of global Ebola is slowly bringing the issue of medical martial law to the forefront of our culture. Charles Krauthammer at The Washington Post recently argued in favor of possible restrictions on individual and Constitutional liberties in the face of a viral pandemic threat.