The COVID-19 Tyranny: How Can We Encourage the Silent Middle to Speak Out?

“Rather than relying on ‘the science’ to change the minds of those in the silent middle, we must resort to psychology, the main aims – in the first instance – being to increase doubt and curiosity about the veracity of the dominant COVID-19 narrative. This is a difficult task. Strongly held beliefs, that the holders have rarely (if ever) questioned, are self-maintaining; they significantly bias the way people perceive, and make sense, of the world around them. In the words of the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, ‘The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts’.”

The COVID-19 tyranny: How can we encourage the silent middle to speak out? (

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

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