Hungary’s parliament recently voted, by two-thirds majority, to give President Viktor Orbán almost unlimited emergency powers for an unlimited amount of time. He can rule by decree, suspending any laws he chooses. Parliament is closed; elections are canceled. Anyone spreading information deemed “false” can go to jail for five years. The opposition tried to put a time limit on the powers, but it was voted down. The only way those powers will be removed is if Orbán himself gives them up.
The Guardian wrote that the new law gives Orban “what amounts to one-man rule in an EU state.” They should know. The UK has itself all but embraced fascism. The government now dominates the economy, having placed vast numbers of workers on the government payroll. Public gatherings are banned and the entire country is now under house arrest. The only thing saving the UK from becoming a police state is a shortage of police.
If that wasn’t enough, Parliament is now pushing a new law, the Enabling Act, to give themselves unprecedented new powers that would leave Brits with the greatest loss of liberty ever experienced during peacetime. The law would enable authorities to arrest a “potentially” infectious person; not a sick person, not an actual carrier of the Corona virus, but anyone that was deemed “potentially” infectious. For all intents and purpose, the law would allow for arbitrary and indefinite detention for any member of the public, including children.
The saddest part of Britain’s current situation is how little people care about it. Just as in the United States, government over-reach is being rationalized the same way authoritarianism is always rationalized – the end justifies the means. Yes, we’re taking away your freedom, but we’re doing it to save lives! Never mind that coronavirus has killed substantially fewer people than an ordinary flu.
History shows there is a very fine line between protecting citizens and eroding rights — and that line can be exploited or extended in times of great uncertainty.
What about our ancestors who believed freedom was worth life itself? We clearly don’t believe that today. We’ve already shown that we don’t really care. That we won’t fight to defend our freedom. A taboo has been broken, and politicians everywhere will have learned the lesson that freedom is easy to take.
I didn’t think we would ever willingly hand over our freedom this easily. I thought the hundreds of years of tradition had force and weight. That any government would respect law and precedent enough that they would never do something like this. I was wrong.
We are slaves to our emotions. So, if the government scares us enough, we will rip the “Give me liberty or give me death” and “Don’t tread on me” bumper stickers off of our cars and stuff them in the closet while we cower alongside it.
“A government is entitled to protect its citizenry when there is a true threat of health and also of safety. But that right is not absolute… There have been times across history where the government has quickly turned to health as being its wedge issues in order to carry out what would otherwise be a political agenda.” Michelle Goodwin, Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, University of California
Source: Your Freedom Is More Fragile Than You Think By Richard Palmer, The Trumpet; Pastors Are Being Arrested For Holding Worship Services. This Is Not ‘Health And Safety.’ This Is Tyranny by Matt Walsh, Daily Wire; In coronavirus pandemic, authoritarians around the world see opportunity to crack down, By Guy Davies, ABC News