As Long As Dishonest Governments Continue Moving The Goalposts, Public Anger Will Continue

Governments continue to infringe upon individual freedom, and show no signs of stopping.

Over the past year-and-a-half, “15 days to slow the spread” has become “do what the government tells you or else you lose a large portion of your freedom and potentially our economic livelihood.”

In addition, governments held out vaccinations as the ‘key’ to ‘returning to life as normal.’

First, it was one shot.

Then it was about needing two shots.

Now, it’s about needing ‘boosters.’

What will it be next?

The issue is that once a government grabs power, they are loathe to give it up, and instead will seek to keep expanding that power.

So, when a large segment of the public in many nations around the world accepted the idea that governments could continue restricting individual freedom beyond the initial emergency response to a then-unknown virus, governments locked-in that control, and kept building upon it.

As a result, we have seen governments treat their populations like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.

Every demand they make is followed by another demand.

And another.

And another.

When people start to notice this, when they realize how governments continue to impose restrictions on our rights and freedoms and continue to ‘postpone’ the end of those restrictions, politicians and the establishment media denounce them.

They have tried to make any questioning of the government seem like ‘extreme’ thinking, and this framing works on many people, since most will try to stay in the ‘safe’ middle of the group.

However, even with such a rampant narrative being pushed by politicians and the media, people are pushing back:

https://twitter.com/JamesMelville/status/1454702523080708096

https://twitter.com/JamesMelville/status/1454703296661397509

https://twitter.com/JamesMelville/status/1454705438939918338

https://twitter.com/JamesMelville/status/1454705988016160771

In Austria, there have been large scale protests, in response to the stunningly draconian policies being brought in there:

“Austria is to become the first European country to make vaccinations against Covid 19 mandatory, and will go into its fourth nationwide lockdown for at least 10 days from Monday, the chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, has announced.

The government said it was preparing the legal groundwork for a general vaccine mandate to come into effect from 1 February, with exemptions for those unable to receive a jab on medical grounds.

The age from which people will be required to be vaccinated has not yet been determined, the government said.

Those refusing to be vaccinated are likely to face administrative fines, which can be converted into a prison sentence if the fine cannot be recovered.”

Look at that again.

The government of Austria is now planning to throw people in jail if they don’t pay a fine for not getting vaccinated.

How can they consider themselves a free country?

Now, lets consider this:

Do you think anyone in Austria thought it would come to this?

Do you think anyone in Austria would have gone along with this if the government had told them it would reach this point?

If people knew this from the beginning, then there would have been a revolt.

But, this ratcheting down of freedom has taken place in stages.

It’s the same way the government has spoken about vaccinations, and how the goalposts have endlessly moved.

At first, they talked about how if around 70% had one shot, a combination of that and natural immunity would be enough to ‘return to normal.’

Then, it was 70% needing two shots.

Then it was 80%.

Then 90%.

Then 100% of all eligible adults.

Then 100% of all eligible adults and some children.

How soon until they say all children need to be vaccinated, regardless of the wishes of parents?

How soon until that isn’t enough?

How soon until everyone is mandated to get boosters?

This is the old boil-the-frog strategy. Get your foot in the door with a clampdown on freedom, and then once people have acquiesced, keep on expanding your control.

While the ‘slippery slope’ argument is often denounced and criticized, it has indeed been the case that governments have used each successive power grab to justify the next power grab, which is why opposition to the first signs of government overreach is so important.

Quiet protests

While many of these protests are happening loudly, there are also quiet protests, individual acts of resistance towards the ongoing infringements of our rights and freedoms.

By refusing to give in to fear, by refusing to do the bidding of the government, and by refusing to treat people as second-class citizens, each of us sends a message that we are individuals with minds of our own who respect the human dignity of others.

Authoritarian era

Authoritarianism hasn’t arrived in the form many expected, but it has arrived just the same.

Even now, there are some who think that is hyperbole, but the evidence is clear, as noted by the International Institute for Democracy & Electoral Assistance:

“Figure 4 shows the widespread nature of declines among democracies by mapping the increase in the percentage of democracies declining on at least one subattribute. However, there is important variation in what democratic erosion looks like in different countries. Some democracies have declined slightly in one area in particular (e.g. Canada’s decline in the quality of Effective Parliament), while others have declined deeply and across many areas (e.g. Brazil has had significant declines across eight subattributes). The countries that have declined the most (measured in terms of the average across all 16 subattributes of democracy and that were democracies at the start of the decline) in the past 10 years are: Turkey, Nicaragua, Serbia, Poland and Brazil (see Figure 5 for full list).”

Additionally:

“There are also notable new forms of democratic decline. Until 2020, the most common democratic declines in the world tended to be related to the integrity of elections, media and freedom of expression. Although these aspects of democracy have continued to decline during the pandemic, pandemic responses that have included travel restrictions, the use of emergency powers that sometimes sidelined parliaments, and the failure to mitigate the disproportionate impact of the virus on minorities and marginalized groups have expanded the scope of democratic deterioration (see Chapter 4 on Fundamental Rights for more details). Democratic decline has broadened to include less commonly seen drops in Freedom of Movement, Predictable Enforcement, Social Group Equality and Effective Parliament (see Figure 7).”

This simply confirms what we can all see.

The world is becoming less and less free, and the more our dishonest governments seek to take our rights and freedoms away the more people around the world will speak out and push back, standing up for the principles upon which ‘free’ nations are supposed to be based.

Spencer Fernando

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