In a democracy near you, using Covid-19 for cover, and without due process, a government has delegated authority and accountability to unelected bureaucrats who shamelessly manipulated computer models to panic you into surrendering your precious freedoms. No compelling scientific evidence has since been presented to justify the oppression which followed.
After spending eighteen months pursuing an impossible virus eradication policy, economic reality and a fraying social fabric demanded a rethink. Exemplifying the hollowness of government ‘health advice’, Victoria, holder of the world record for the longest and meanest lockdowns, was forced to ease restrictions with infections ironically at their highest. But while kids’ playgrounds were reopened and shopping could be conducted outdoors, the government kept its tight grip.
Throughout this pandemic, few nations have exhibited the dictatorial tendencies of Australia’s governing class. Its true menace has now been exposed. Virtually overnight, it has confiscated an inalienable right of the people and made it a political gift. Elites now determine how much freedom to allow. But their trust in the people doesn’t run deep.
Victorian police inspect coffee cups to ensure empty ones aren’t a mask-avoidance prop. In New South Wales, Police Minister David Elliott encourages the public to dob in anyone who disobeys ‘health orders’. And Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, tells his officers they won’t be held to account for wrongly issuing Covid-19 fines.
This shouldn’t happen in free societies. Nor should defenceless elderly women be crash tackled to the ground by burly black-shirted police. Or demonstrators be fired on with rubber bullets. In real democracies heavily pregnant women are not carted off in handcuffs in front of terrified infants, simply for exercising free speech.
Genuinely free societies don’t require citizens to seek permission to leave the country or wilfully divide people into vaccinated and unvaccinated classes. Nor do they disenfranchise voters by banning from Parliament unvaccinated MPs or those who refuse to disclose their status.
Businesses have been quick to get the ideological drift, with many large firms mandating vaccination as a condition of employment. They have realised their future is inexorably linked to big government and are paying close attention to the new doctrine. They understand that defending personal choice risks being labelled an anti-vaxxer, a conspiracy theorist or an alt-right trouble maker.
Milton Friedman would describe them as ‘unelected government officials’, ‘unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society (for) decades’. But today’s professional rent-seekers tolerate the extra demands social responsibility make on their businesses even if it does mean undermining the very foundations of capitalism. They rationalise it’s better to join the consensus than take risks.
Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote about this cowardice two hundred years ago. ‘Tolerance,’ he said, ‘will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend the imbeciles’.
‘Tolerance’ is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s middle name. When it comes to free market capitalism and socialism he is shamelessly agnostic. He doesn’t care how woke you are or how much freedom you have lost. He tolerates police brutality and the undemocratic behaviour of state premiers. He just cares about jobs, whatever that means.
As the son of a policeman who has reached the nation’s highest political office courtesy of a free society’s upward mobility, he now seeks refuge in the crony capitalist consensus, seemingly oblivious to the developing fascism and the tyranny which inevitably accompanies it.
With this in mind, Mr Morrison should feel at home among the 25,000 government officials, media representatives and other global warming devotees gathering in Glasgow for the UN ‘climate’ summit. There, he will dutifully commit Australia to ‘net zero 2050’ and join the chorus determined to consign coal and meat to history.
No doubt the Prime Minister will be targeted by activist central planners whose outrageously biased computer modelling confirms the coming climate apocalypse. They will argue the need for a Beijing ‘social credit’ system to micromanage every aspect of our lives. Their ultimate objective is to have national governments and globalist institutions introduce ‘personal carbon allowances’ which will decide what food we eat, what homes we live in, what cars we drive, how many flights we can take and so on. It follows there will be no privacy and that breaching the authorised budget will likely lead to penalties.
This is not Orwellian fiction. Covid has already conditioned people to accept government coercion as a necessary evil. And apps are now available to track household emissions right down to the CO2 released in the growing and transportation of the apple you ate for breakfast. As President Dwight Eisenhower prophesied sixty years ago, ‘public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite’.
To this power-hungry coalition, it matters little that net zero is an un-costed, untested experiment. Nor that at present the mechanism for achieving it does not exist. But, like Covid medical advice, people are expected to trust the experts. And like Covid, the poor, the elderly and other vulnerable groups will be hit hardest. They will find, once again, we are not ‘all in this together’.
That net zero is even an issue is not due to real science or an aberrant election or two, but a calculated campaign waged by intellectuals who, for decades, have been hostile to the competitive nature of capitalism. They want outcomes they control not those determined by people exercising their rights in a free market. They have formed an unholy alliance of reckless central bankers, university bullies, greedy rent-seekers and naive mainstream journalists to push a manufactured threat which will precisely achieve that aim.
As Milton Friedman observed, ‘Freedom is very far from being the natural state of mankind… the natural state of mankind in most periods in history has been tyranny and misery’. By 2050 people may better understand what he meant
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