by Gary Galles, Mises Institute:
The relationship between ends and means has long been debated. For instance, the legacy of “the end justifies the means” traces back to Sophocles’s Electra four centuries before Christ, Ovid’s Heroides, and Machiavelli’s The Prince. And more recently, Leonard Read pointed out that if the ends are just hopes that will not, in fact, be achieved, they cannot justify means that infringe on others’ rights.
Currently, the draconian and often arbitrary policies that have been imposed in response to COVID-19, combined with a result far less deadly than was originally forecast, have raised a different issue about ends and means.