About six months ago, I wrote an article here explaining that state preemptions of local government are a bad thing — even when Ron DeSantis does it. I vehemently stand by these principles. However, it is now time for Ron DeSantis to take that principle of decentralized control and run with it—against the Biden administration. Just as it is acceptable to see local government’s passing laws in defiance of their state, it is now time for the states to pass laws in defiance of the federal government. This is because on September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that all employers with 100+ employees will be required to mandate vaccines or weekly negative covid tests.
Never in my lifetime has something occurred that was so egregiously opposed to Misesian concepts of liberalism and freedom. In fact, this is directly in line with perhaps the most opposite ideology to liberalism: fascism. Benito Mussolini said himself that “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” In today’s political discourse, people abuse the word fascism and sometimes even cite this definition of corporatism while stretching it somewhat from the truth.
However, the state requiring that businesses require the vaccine from one of three large corporations that were propped up by the state is undoubtedly the merger of state and corporate power that Mussolini dreamed of.
In my earlier mentioned piece criticizing DeSantis’ intervention remitted fines passed by local governments in regard to local covid regulations, I had two main issues with the order. First, was a preference for localism, citing the President of the Mises Institute, Jeff Deist, claiming that “Insisting on universal political arrangements is a huge tactical mistake for libertarians.” This concern is even more true as it relates to Biden’s newest announcement as this is simply another universal political arrangement, now expanding to the national level. My other concern was that the a sweeping universal political arrangement like this—even in the best case scenario when the decision is hypothetically good for everyone with no cost—sets a precedent that the central state now has authority over that issue.
Right now, take a moment to think of the issue that is by and far most important to you. We all have one. Then think of the politician that threatens that more than anything. Do you want that individual to have this precedent to rely on when he or she takes power one day?
Luckily, the solution to this was described by the great Tom Woods:
Nullification is the Jeffersonian idea that the states of the American Union must judge the constitutionality of the acts of their agent, the federal government, since no impartial arbiter between them exists.
Many businesses across the country will act in civil noncompliance, but that is simply not enough.
If one wants to see this end, states across the country will have to undoubtedly reject this. I am not here to make any criticisms of the vaccine. I still standby my initial piece that these bans on mom-and-pop shops wanting not to run the risk of interacting with unvaccinated individuals is a dangerous threat to liberty. However, I’d argue that any act of nullification at this point has little or nothing to do with the vaccine or the pandemic.
We are now facing one simple question: will we accept or reject a precedent for the merger of state and corporate power?
If we choose to reject it, then the governors of the free State of Florida as well as New York, the governors of Texas as well as California, all these governors alike must stand firm against this tragedy.