What is a citizen? A rational, self-governing individual, so that the political task consists largely of debate and persuasion? Or a potential victim whom the government must protect from harm by imposing controls?
According to Matthew Crawford, we have drifted to that latter conception of the role of citizens and the role of government. In his essay Covid Was Liberalism’s Endgame, he argues that the pandemic exposed the weakened state of liberal democracy and, indeed, may have brought it to an end.