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Thursday, August 13, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Nietzsche and masks

My wife volunteers to do contact tracing at the Panhandle Health District office. Yesterday, July 20, when she arrived there were graffiti on the walkway leading into the offices. The most arresting bit read, “Masks Are for Slaves.”

This brought to mind Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Master/Slave,” philosophy whereby the “Master” in his lethargy and apathy confers more and more responsibility and power onto the “Slave” who thereby becomes more adept and learned, thus usurping the “Master’s” role. In Nietzsche’s philosophy the role reversal was a socio-economic one. Tragically, in today’s environment the role reversal may be one of life exchanged for death.

To add to the unpleasantness, the hapless author of the lettering may present himself at the hospital, placing his life in the hands of masked medical professionals who are risking their lives to save his.

Ernest Fokes, MD

Hayden Lake

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