...In the long term, protests work because they can undermine the most important pillar of power: legitimacy. Commentators often note that a state can be defined by its monopoly on violence, a concept going back to the philosopher Thomas Hobbes and codified by the sociologist Max Weber. But the full Weber quote is less well known. Weber defined the state by its “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force.” The word legitimate is as important as the words physical force, if not more. Especially in the modern world, that monopoly on violence isn’t something that self-perpetuates. Violence doesn’t just happen; it has to be enacted and enabled by people. The Soviet Union did not fall because it ran out of tanks to send to Eastern Europe when the people there rebelled in the late 1980s. It fell, in large part, because it ran out of legitimacy, and because Soviet rulers had lost the will and the desire to live in their own system. Compared with Western democracies, their system wasn’t delivering freedom or wealth, even to the winners. If the loss of legitimacy is widespread and deep enough, the generals and police who are supposed to be enacting the violence can and do turn against the rulers (or, at least, they stop defending the unpopular ruler). Force and repression can keep things under control for a while, but it also makes such rule more brittle. ...https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/06/why-protests-work/613420/
Moderna’s vaccine was apparently designed in just a few days, over a weekend, after the genetic sequence became available on January 10th, 2020.https://zeynep.substack.com/p/the-pandemic-heroes-who-gave-us-the
Here’s why that date matters: the sequence was published ten days before China acknowledged the severity of the problem by admitting sustained human-to-human transmission and shutting down the city of Wuhan, on January 20th. The sequence was published while China—and the WHO, which depended on China for information—were still downplaying what was going on, in their official statements. The sequence wasn’t published in an official document. Instead, it was published independently in an open-source depository by Yong-Zhen Zhang, a professor at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and School of Public Health.