Alexandra Marshall The Spectator Australia 9 February 2022 Every time I hear some middling news reporter parrot ‘for the greater good’ in reference to whatever the next absurd Covid health order is, I am reminded of that famous scene in Hot Fuzz. A circle of people are discovered in a secret underground lair by the protagonist – torches held beneath their chins and black hoods covering half their faces. They nod at each other chanting ‘the greater good!’ over and over after confessing to murdering half the village to win the coveted ‘Village of the Year’ award. Their addiction to perfection and rules created a superficially idyllic, but ultimately violent hell. The black comedy is meant to depict a very real ideological horror story where the pursuit of utopia justifies terror. When civilisation gives up on moral principle and decides to try out ‘moral outcomes’ it leads the government to view individuals as subservient to the collective. Their rights and safety can be ignored so long as the ‘greater good’ is being served. Once the individual is no longer sovereign, any group desire can justify the abuse of rights until citizens become nothing more than depersoned identities. This is the idea that sits at the heart of every collectivist regime and we have seen it quietly gaining popularity within a range of activist movements. Want to starve a few hundred million people to death? That’s fine, because the regime will survive through their ‘sacrifice’. Want to annihilate an entire race? It has to be done to protect the purity of the collective. Want to reduce an entire nation to slaves? All good. Their misery means that the collective has achieved its promised ‘equality’. There is no measure to say how much atrocity must be survived before the collective admits failure. Usually, collectivist regimes are overthrown only after shocking levels of violence have been endured. For thousands of years, Western Civilisation has rejected the ‘greater good’ in favour of individual supremacy. It is only through enshrining the safety and liberty of each member of society – rich or poor – that society has flourished. Respecting the individual, by proxy, creates respect for society at large. While it is not a perfect solution, it has proven enticing enough that people run from collectivist regimes toward the safety of Western democracy. Even liberty’s critics must admit that whatever is going on here is desirable when compared to alternative systems. Human beings have a general understanding that life isn’t fair. It is, after all, the basis of evolution and the foundation of necessary competition. What humans require is confirmation that life’s rules have some kind of justice to them. Collectivism is a betrayal of this basic need, which is why it facilitates enormous harm no matter what sort of ‘collective’ is being serviced. The Age of Covid is increasingly being referred to as ‘medical fascism’ because it embraced collectivist thinking. All manner of civil abuses were permitted in pursuit of puritanical health orders while the messaging put out by the government was fundamentally collectivist. ‘Do this to save others.’ ‘You’re selfish if you refuse vaccination.’ ‘We’re all in this together.’ Their Covid mandates were equally skewed in favour of the collective. Segregation, state-sanctioned discrimination, stalking apps, vaccine passports, state vaccine employment policies – all of these things violated what Australians understood to be their individual rights. This abuse against the population was rationalised by premiers and Chief Health Officers insisting that it was ‘necessary’ to protect Australia as a whole. Not only was this claim always demonstrably false – it ran contrary to every law and ethical obligation that the Australian nation was built on. The government’s only role in a respiratory pandemic (where it was known almost immediately that the spread could not be contained) was to offer medical intervention for those that wanted it and to funnel public resources into offering protective equipment and necessary aid. While organisations like the World Economic Forum were off brainwashing our leaders into collectivist responses at their yearly pandemic simulation events – this is not the reason Australia wound up as a medical fascist state. At the outset, all levels of the Australian government made the crucial political error of assuming personal responsibility for the pandemic. They came out and promised that they could ‘keep Australians safe’ – hoping, no doubt, that their pledge to protect would translate into a winning election strategy. Predictably and dangerously, this made government actively responsible for the progress of Covid. As the virus did what it was always going to do – work its way through society in waves – governments saw increasing cases as a reflection on their performance. Public backlash blamed the government for the spread of the virus instead of the understanding that it was an unavoidable biological reality. This is the fault of the government for inviting the comparison. In order for governments to protect themselves from public backlash, they drafted and implemented ever-more tyrannical health orders to bring the pandemic (and their reputation) under control. Suddenly, the rights of citizens to make informed and free choices about their health were treated as ‘selfish acts’ by a government desperate to enforce mass compliance to their public health plans. Any form of contrary debate or conversation that challenged the ‘science’ sprouted by the Department of Health had to be erased – not discussed. There was nothing scientific about how Covid unfolded. Australia played host to a landscape of dogma and entry-level propaganda that manipulated public responses. Society was dangerously incited to hate dissenters to the point where actual harm was caused not only by police, but by members of the public. The government’s desperation to protect itself in the face of an uncontrollable crisis is how we ended up with civil liberty being defined as ‘terrorism’. What is less clear is why the media, tasked with holding governments to account, decided to assist in the erosion of civil rights. Generally speaking, it seems that this was done willingly by a class of journalists terrified into collectivist behaviour by personal fear. They believed the propaganda put out by their publications and were happy to silence the public, hide information, mislead, and outright lie about protesters. Truth has a way of surviving. With every week that passes, the narrative peddled by the government sheds more armour. It is becoming easy to hurl pitchforks into the open policy wounds and watch ministers relinquish their unlawful control one health mandate at a time. This collapse of Covid will probably result in the return of our liberties (eventually), but it is doubtful that the wider public will recognise the dangers of collectivist thinking and how easily they were led into supporting ruthless authority. The unvaccinated, and those that were coerced into vaccination, will remember what it felt like to watch family and lifelong friends turn on them overnight to the point that they were perfectly happy to report them to government authorities. Strangers assaulted people over masks and lamented on social media that police didn’t shoot Freedom protesters with real bullets. Many continue to cheer premiers like Mark McGowan for using sick children to emotionally bully their parents, and how many rejoiced in the sacking of unvaccinated colleagues or sneered at those left standing outside businesses with a big red ‘X’ on their phones? We fell so far as a civilisation that we allowed pharmaceutical companies to endanger children to make adults ‘feel safe’ while denying them access to a normal education and social life. As with every collectivist regime in history, most of the terror was perpetuated by ordinary people against each other. Australians lost their humanity during Covid after being led easily astray by fear. If we fail to acknowledge this failure in ourselves, it will happen again. The climate change cult is already moving in to replace Covid with the same collectivist message. ‘We’re all in this together.’ ‘Individuals have to make sacrifices to save the planet.’ On and on it goes. The poor will freeze in their homes. Millions will starve. Citizens will own nothing while the rich collect more super yachts. The fear of apocalypse will be used to justify the removal of rights and this time the pandemic of fear won’t end because there is no apocalypse. It is a dateless bargain with a global collective. In serving ‘the greater good’, you are constructing a grander evil. One that, once established, will become inescapable. Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at donor-box.
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