Covid 19 has well and truly sorted people into believers, non believers and some two-bob each way people. The latter, appear to comprise mainly of libertarians, making for bizarre bedfellow drawn from disparate political streams, all spruiking opinions on the Victorian Government’s handling of the pandemic using a lockdown with curfews and enforcing ‘covid safe’ rules. The dissenters joining libertarians are a mix of free marketeers, grifters, experts from ‘small government’ political think tanks such as the IPA, neo-Nazis, wanna-be SM influencers, political opponents, and partisan main stream media outlets .
Then there are the political journalists not living in Australia, such as Vanessa Beeley, who used a photo of police arresting a man at a manufactured anti-government demonstration held at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, as an example of the engulfing new fascism, or the author, Naomi Wolf, who tweeted that protecting the USA Constitution trumps any loss of individual freedom even when intended to subdue this virus and protect lives. She was criticising the Victorian government’s curfew and lockdown of Metropolitan Melbourne. Her views were slapped down very quickly on twitter.
So, there you have it: “The common good” versus ” individual freedom.”
I have a couple of friends who believe the pandemic response is all international conspiracy. The underlying ‘why’ and ‘who’ are using the pandemic as cover to further enforce societal controls. My friends avoid the contradictions in their arguments saying the data is rigged. Each to their own view. For me, safety first allows you to fight another day, and I don’t see them driving the ambulances, delivering food or working in the emergency wards.
Those promoting Covid 19 as just like a bad flu and the pandemic is a conspiracy, must have a distorted idea of their self-worth, that can only arise from a sense of entitlement and positions of privilege. To idea that corporate governments are using the pandemic to implement a new world order on citizens is a blind. FFS, we are already enslaved, and us slaves can chew gum, walk the walk and decide what to fight all at the same time. But right now, I will believe our Chief Health Officer and his team over a celebrity chef or a SM influencer in what are the best responses to a pandemic and the reality of the novel virus. As a Victorian, I accepted the introduced rules curtailing my freedoms, a choice made freely, knowing I was acting humanly for the common good of all Victorians.
The increase in surveillance, police powers, and restrictions was occurring well before the pandemic, and yes, such power is there to protect wealth and privilege. Any encroachment of our civil liberties must be challenged, but not by self righteous outrage or politically partisan activism, but by an activism based on principles of individual freedoms striving for the common good. A show of real communitarianism?
The pandemic has exposed many fissures in our own capitalist society. And yes, it may speed up ‘a reset’ in how many of us will work and live and increased the wealth of some individuals championing the digital revolution. What changes are necessary is where the fight is!
The world watches the USA in disbelief and despair, observing the result of decades of unbridled capitalism now exposed for all to see in how it copes in a crisis.
So there you have it, my shorthand views on Covid 19, the pandemic and society. It is far too sunny outside to continue pondering on how to save the world so I’ll go and feed my squabbling Currawongs and pat a magpie.
Any further discussion on these complex issues and the machinations of the plutocracy will just have to wait.