By J.B. Shurk
Two years ago, how many people would have predicted that tennis’s number one ranked player would be banned from competing in Australia and France for refusing to allow their governments to decide what is injected into his body? How many people would have predicted the construction of internment camps to house citizens who similarly refuse to comply? How many would have predicted that national leaders of “democratic” countries would demand censorship of dissenting points of view? How many would have predicted that tech and media companies would eagerly jump at those calls for censorship by actively deleting from the public square any voices contrary to the official narratives sanctioned by those in power?
Whatever threat to human health the China Virus poses, it has been dwarfed by the threats to peace, stability, and freedom caused by two years of government tyranny run amok. For people who either never experienced the authoritarianism practiced by dictatorships abroad or stubbornly believed that the “leaders” of “free” nations would be somehow immune to the corrupting influence of power, these two years have hopefully been a wake-up call. If and when we get on the other side of this COVID-1984 war against citizens, “never again,” must take on a new, additional meaning that includes peoples’ resolute promise never to allow their governments to embrace totalitarianism in the names of “health” and “security.” Take this shameful moment in the history of nation-states once committed to liberty and use it to advantage by teaching your children and grandchildren how quickly freedom can be smothered by politicians and bureaucrats with “the best of intentions.”
All of this leads to a damning question: why have so few people with power stood up during these last two years to call out this COVID-1984 madness for what it is — the greatest and most organized attack on human freedom in nearly a century? Yes, voices have been censored in ways once unthinkable in the West. Sure, companies have worked hand-in-glove with governments to intimidate, punish, and mock dissenters. It is true that part of the reason for the success of Wu-Flu totalitarianism is that a large portion of the population actually clamored for governments to strip them of their rights and dominate their lives in a “bargain” for personal survival as shortsighted as any ever made with the devil. What is sometimes overlooked, however, is that no system created by humans is capable of protecting freedom without constant pushback from the people whose freedom is at stake. Even people still in possession of some lingering virtue find it difficult to sustain a sense of right and wrong in the halls of government. Political bureaucracy, by its nature, drains morality from its workforce.
Human life as just a number
Every human life matters. The problem is that government work teaches the opposite lesson — that life is just a numbers game. Consider a small-town mayor in rural America. Far from the swamp in D.C., that official is still forced to make decisions that will statistically lead to someone’s death. Perhaps the choice of how to spend limited local tax dollars is between adding a traffic light and celebrating the harvest in the town square. Choosing the latter may one day lead to an unnecessary automobile death, while choosing the former may diminish the mayor’s re-election hopes. Government actors learn quickly that small decisions have unintended life-or-death consequences. read more