The Moral case against Mask Mandates

Aleksandar Svetski
13 min readJan 27, 2021

And any other mandates for that matter.

Stupidity abounds.

A short piece on why mandates from the centre, made especially by linear-thought-inclined central planners, are not only ineffectual, but fundamentally immoral.

I hope it will come in handy as a quick reference when having to explain it to anyone. Feel free to share it around.

***Before you freak out, this is the moral case against mask mandates. I don’t care if you voluntarily wear one yourself. So read until the end before you comment or dismiss this because it may genuinely be eye opening.

Common Ground

In order for us to have an honest discussion about this, we have to start from a place of objective truth. A position that applies to all of us equally.

I like to call this natural order, or natural law.
Some may call it divine, and others liberalism or simply just common sense.

However we label it, this is where we must start, and is where well discover the moral position.

Natural Order

Natural Law or Natural Order is best thought of as something that is true and applicable to:

  • Everyone
  • Everywhere
  • All the time.

You can also think about is as something that is;

  • Always true
  • Always consistent
  • Applies to everyone, equally

Authority is similar.

Natural authority is earned and emergent, whilst fiat is top down, arbitrary, un-earned and baseless.

Natural authority is earned through competence and experience, is discovered via the observation of reality, and emerges through millions of years of evolution.

Fiat authority is awarded by need, by relation, through lobbying, politics, popularity contests or by some other means devoid of merit and competence.

We can compare it to unnatural or fiat order to get a better sense of it:

These distinction are incredibly important, and if you’re interested to know more, feel free to review:

With this foundation we can build a set of functional principles based on competence, morality and fairness by which society can operate.

Without it, we slide into positivism, politics, moral relativism and all sorts of deranged and grossly mis-distributed rights and powers.

Positivism & Moral Hazard

Natural order, being emergent has a critical, skin-in-thegame property whereby there is equality in randomness or probability.

Positivism on the other hand is that which “a few” enact as law for “the rest”, and most often applies arbitrarily to one group or another, in some jurisdiction or another, and for some reason today and another tomorrow.

Furthermore, it generally does NOT apply to those who impose or decree the order, which is where it not only diverges from the “equality in probability” quality of natural order, but introduces a Devolutionary and detrimental form of “Moral Hazard”.

In other words, it means Individual/Group B pays for the consequences of Individual/Group A’s mistakes.
Moral hazard occurs when there is little to no Skin in the Game.
No skin in the game means benefits for “the few” at the expense of “the rest”.

This is what we’re seeing today. Worldwide. On so many levels.
Especially with the ridiculous mandates we’re all being subject to.

Why mandates are immoral

Autonomy is the cornerstone of individual sovereignty. Without it we’re just slaves to that which dictates our actions, whether that’s a stupid system, some institution, a master or a state.

The silver rule is what tempers Autonomy so that it’s able to scale.

“Do NOT do unto others as you do NOT wish them to do unto you”

- The Silver Rule, as termed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Keeping these in mind, along with what we discussed earlier, let’s examine exactly why mask mandates (or any other mandates for the matter) are inconsistent & incompatible with basic morality.

“You have to keep others safe”

This and “we’re all this together” is something we’ve been fed ad-nauseam over the past 12mths, as if they’re some grand virtues worth aspiring toward.

The simple fact of the matter is:

(a) they are not virtues,
(b) they do not scale,
(c) they are inconsistent with the reality of natural order,
(d) they are incompatible with the silver rule,
(e) they ignore autonomy and the subjective nature of individual reality

What these stupid statements suggest is that your protection, safety & defence is somebody else’s responsibility, and likewise everyone else’s is yours.

This is a ridiculous notion that is not only immoral, but doesn’t scale and completely disregards its very impossibility.

If this were true, we could extend that line logic to everything we do in life:

  • Driving should be banned because other people’s safety depends on it. Do you know how dangerous it is to have 1.5 tonnes of metal hurtling down the road at 60kph, in opposing directions, separated merely by some white lines on the road??? Millions die every year from this alone.
  • How about motorbikes? They should be outright banned, not by the motorcyclists themselves, but by anyone NOT riding a bike, because you all care about their safety.
  • Anyone you see smoking, you should walk up to and slap the shit out of them. It should be your right to stop other people for their own safety, not just your safety. We have no idea how many people die from smoking, but estimates are that ailments directly linked to it are in the tens of millions annually.
  • The same goes for drinking alcohol. It does more damage to a person than any respiratory virus could ever hope to do.
  • You should be able to stop somebody else from eating McDonald’s too. Just close down ALL fast food outlets, and in fact, while we’re at it, most restaurants too.
    Over 40% of Americans are Obese!!! That’s over 100m cases of a far more dangerous condition than a respiratory virus alone, and the existence of which almost ensures a respiratory virus can kill you.
  • Sugar and sweets of every kind should be banned. We have an actual epidemic of mass proportions with Type 2 diabetes. Almost 10% of the western world has T2 Diabetes, and it’s the 7th leading cause of death in the US !
  • Working too hard, running your own business and pursuing a career should also be banned because people are under stress from and encouraging others to do the same by their example. Their safety demands that they be stopped. Immediately.

I could go on and on, but I think you can see how stupid all of these are.

You cannot be responsible for the choices and decisions others make, because they are NOT your slaves, and it is impossible for you to know what is right or wrong for them. You are not a dictator and likewise they have no right to dictate upon you.

Protection & defence starts with the individual, and is your own first responsibility. Your safety cannot be somebody else’s responsibility, just like somebody else’s safety is not yours.

If we, for example, use the mask mandates as a case study it’s quite clear cut.

If you’re feeling fine, are a healthy, normal, functional, asymptomatic individual and you want to personally take the risk of not wearing a mask, by all means do so. You need to know that you may be at greater risk of contracting something, but hey, you may also get hit by a car next time you cross the road, or choke on some food the next time you eat — so you need to decide on the level of risk you’d like to take.

Before somebody starts with the asymptomatic spread nonsense, you might want to read the above. Asymptomatic spread is the greatest lie in medical history, and the most stupid thing people have believed in modern times (perhaps second to flat earth theory).

Now those who are worried about their own safety, who may just be scared, or may genuinely be unhealthy or immuno-compromised, they should by all means do one or all of the following:

  • Isolate themselves
  • Wear (multiple?) n95 masks (perhaps at all times??)
  • Stay away from other humans in general

That may sound bleak, but every decision has a cost.

On the one hand, the decision to venture out into the ‘unknown’ carries with it the cost of potential failure, injury, sickness and perhaps death, although the prize of freedom, growth and discovery lies here too.

Staying isolated may give you safety and prevent you from injuring yourself, but it will definitely cost you some of your freedoms, perhaps your immune system and probably also your sanity.

And so it goes it goes with the mask & lockdown mandates.

Somebody else’s fear about getting sick is not a justification for them to impose ridiculous restrictions on a healthy populace who are perfectly capable of making decisions about their own lives, themselves. Those who are afraid or concerned about their own safety should isolate themselves and quit playing god with everyone else’s life, because we are NOT in this together, and it is categorically selfish to try and drown others around you by virtue of your own fear, ailments or inadequacies.


So if these central mandates don’t work, how do we “deal” with a pandemic?

The answer is very similar to every other answer when it comes to complex problems in a complex system:

Get the fuck out of the way and let individuals decide for themselves.

Decentralised decision making is the only way to deal with any large scale problem, be it a pandemic or viral outbreak.

The anthroposphere, as a system, will have an opportunity to deal with it faster, more effectively and correct as needed based on the reality that individuals face at the edge, instead of some imaginary scenario that some bureaucrats have run in an isolated war room.

Does any of what I’ve said preclude a voluntary decision by anyone to:

  • Wear a mask because they want or need to?
  • Not venture out if they’re in contact with at-risk loved ones?
  • Isolate themselves and work from home if they believe they’re at risk?

Absolutely not.
A decentralised approach means that individuals have a choice with respect to how much risk they want to take, and can decide for themselves.

A simple case study is a restaurant.
The owner has every right to remain operational because he has invested his entire life savings and life’s work in this business.

Patrons who want to come to the restaurant would be there of their own volition, FULLY aware that others are coming to the restaurant and that it is open. These people take that risk on themselves knowing there is a small chance they might get sick and as such, there might be a consequence.

Anyone uncomfortable with that risk has a simple solution: Uber Eats.

We are not in anything together.

You might then ask:

“How about the stupid people, who don’t take care, and make others sick”?

Well, just like anything else in life, there will always be the dum dums who don’t evaluate things properly. This is perfectly normal.

Notwithstanding that fact, YOU DO NOT generate mandates for the lowest common denominator of behaviour, and apply it to all humans across all of society.

This is not only immoral, but for all practical intents a path to destroying the very fabric of the societies we live in. It erodes personal agency, critical thinking and individual decision making and incentivises dependency. That’s a very, very bad recipe.

Principles & Pathways

You might think my position is extreme and “shouldn’t apply here”, but I would posit that it is a principled position that must not be broken under any circumstances because of the precedent it sets.

If we allow any institution to mandate blanket rules across all of society, irrespective of the subjective & diverse nature of all individuals within it, we pave the way for a degree of power dictators like Stalin, Mao or Hitler could only have dreamt of.


Because instead of them having had to take it by overt force, we will have given them permission to do it to us.

This pandemic is NOT the first, and will certainly not be the last.

We have two paths forward:

Path A
We’re on this now and is one in which:

  • We give up our individual sovereignty to a centrally planned set of bureacrats who decide for all of us.
  • We exchange personal agency for dependency
  • We live in constant fear & anxiety of not only the next virus, but the set of mandates or lockdowns
  • We make it easier for the introduction of stricter and stricter measures by which point living in a city and living in a prison are scarcely discernable
  • We sterilise the hell out of society, and distance ourselves from anything that is natural (thus making us more prone to every subsequent outbreak)
  • We weaken our immune systems, our social bonds, our interpersonal connection and our relationship with nature.
  • We destroy the environment, people’s livelihoods, their careers, their businesses, their families, global supply chains, food stores, and plunge society further into poverty (which is a much larger problem)
  • Instead of building health & immunity, we become dependent on a new vaccine every year to “stay safe”.
This in the US. Other countries are faring far, far worse.
It’s estimated that more than 30bn masks are disposed of weekly around the world.

Path B
Is where we need to go to reverse this trend:

  • We decentralised decision making by allowing individuals to choose for themselves and their families, and communities to come together voluntarily
  • We encourage people to build healthy, immune systems and in doing so become naturally resistant to viral outbreaks
  • We encourage critical thinking, alongside natural, emergent convergence
  • We act local, so that there is a diverse set of solutions to any single problem
  • We adhere to the silver rule and thus remain consistent with natural order.

These all allow the broader anthroposphere to absorb an impact, digest it, deal with it, understand it, correct, adjust and move on.

Epidemiological Doomsday is Bullshit

No virus has ever wiped out humanity, and there is a very simple reason for this:

Severity is inversely proportional to virality.

The doomsday scenarios peddled by pseudo scientific epidemiologists like Ferguson in order to sell their stupid “models” to even stupider politicians all too willing to blindly spend our tax money, are all blown out of proportion.

They have to scare the shit out of everyone in order to sell their wares, and who better to scare than a moron politician that wants to be re-elected?

Then you have the moral hazard with people like Bill Gates. I’m not talking about conspiracy theories here. I mean people who are heavily invested in big pharma businesses producing vaccines, that would like to sell their wares. In the same way you don’t trust a used car salesperson, and ask a Mechanic to do a check up before you buy a lemon, you DO NOT just trust some guy selling you both a story of a ‘pandemic’ and a magical ‘cure’ at the same time.

It’s not rocket science. It’s just common sense.

Pharmaceutical companies have a perfectly rational incentive to keep you dependent on their products, as does every other business which is selling you something. Customer Lifetime Value is important.

Should all the doomsday scenarios have played out, which they most certainly would have since it is a physical impossibility for everyone to have been masked up, all of the time (the level of hypocrisy I’ve seen is staggering especially amongst those who purport to adhere to the mandates), then the virus would’ve wiped out 20% of the planet by now based on their ridiculous models.


This has gone much longer than I initially wanted, so I’ll wrap it up here.

Safety is first and foremost the responsibility of the individual, and the individual has no right to dictate what another can do with their body.

Mandates are immoral because they transgress the Silver Rule, they are inconsistent with natural order and they do away with the autonomy of the individual.

Not only do we have the problem of immorality, but we have the problem of impracticality. Mandates are never properly enforced, because it’s impossible to force everyone to do as you wish, all the time. So they’re not going to work even if they are good, and thus give the system false feedback.

Furthermore, centrally planned approaches are significantly inferior to decentralised decision making and thus lead us toward making things far worse instead of better.

Understanding Trade-offs is critical.
Every decision has a cost, and it’s borne by the constituents of the system, so as a result, they must be allowed to decide for themselves.

This is why no form of central decision making is applicable, especially from people like scientists. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

This is also why natural economics and the study of human action is so important. It takes into account trade offs. In fact, all of us have an innate ability to measure costs & benefits for ourselves (not others) without even having studied economics and are thus far more suited to making decisions for our safety than some bureaucrats sitting in an office thousands of miles away.

So I implore you all:

  1. Think for yourself
  2. Get out of other people’s business & their lives
  3. Stop buying into media-fuelled hysteria
  4. Look after yourself, your family and your community first

We are NOT in this together, we need to take responsibility and think for ourselves and it’s immoral for you to drown someone else. Only through realising this can we emerge victorious.

I genuinely hope you learned something from this piece.
Individual sovereignty has been eroded over the years and it’s been replaced with people’s dependence on faceless authorities.

I hope this inspires you to think for yourself and I really do hope you pass it onto anyone you care about as a way to help them articulate what we all know is wrong about Mask, Lockdown or other mandates, but may not have the words to say it with.

If you’re interested in my other work, please check me out on Twitter & Instagram @AleksSvetski, Clubhouse @Svetski and here on Medium Aleksandar Svetski.