"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
It may seem ironic to speak of Freedom when so many have currently chosen to isolate themselves from the world and confine themselves indoors. However, it is precisely the ability to do so that makes it so priceless. One may admire the efficiency that comes with centralized authority and limited individual autonomy. As a consequence, internal borders may appear to immediately shut down and drastic measures are swiftly. One should rightly envy such a seemingly powerful display. But getting it right once does not mean such a system would stand the test of time if challenged again.
Individual actors are constantly pitting against one another in the battle of ideas. This appears akin to chaos to someone who requires firm and decisive action. But when allowed to make decisions at such a small scale, does this not allow the collective to survive by limiting the mistakes? The constant distrust of overarching authority is the antidote to the potential inaction that is so dreaded. In fact, it seems to me that the level of trust in authority is actually the weakest when crucial, in authoritarian systems. In a time of pressure, the individual does not have to wait. He takes the decisions that directly affect him or those he cares about without needing permission. A small group can have immense influence, I would much rather have this originate from a place that is grounded in reality. This cannot be replicated in a system where dependence on large-scale authority (politicians, experts, etc) leads to complacency or where it is actively suppressed.
It may seem attractive to forego our best judgement for the sake of direct action, if only temporarily. But this is paving the road to hell. Roman law provided for a temporary halt to their strongest asset (separation of powers) and it ultimately led to the perforation of their system and finally its death. An inch is all that is required.
There are no half measures. Which is why it is precisely in times of crisis that you should value Liberty. It is so easy to squander it in favor of the comforting hand of saviors. Should we trade one crisis for another, and on and on until the collapse? Or should we instead choose to stand our ground and hold in high regard the same principles that allow us to shine a light on egregious mistakes? The beauty of overcoming challenges is growth from the ashes. It means we should pursue obstacles that make us stronger and be prepared for the ones that seek to destroy us. There is no gain from trading downside for downside, or worse: painting over the lessons because they crack the walls.
The survival of individuals is more important than the survival of the system. Those aim for their own inherent continuity and will therefore inevitably cause destruction at the expense of the former. Should the decisions made be disastrous for our survival, there is only one type of thinking that will permit a correction before the system’s death. That is, an environment which values Liberty. And if we admit this, then we cannot abandon it lest we never enjoy it again.