From social media censorship to mandatory medical treatments, it seems that Westerners have lost sight of the unique freedoms that once made our nations the envy of the world.
Multiplying fears make it tempting to trade in our precious freedoms for the promise of greater safety. At a crossroads like the one we face, America’s Founding Fathers are a wellspring of wisdom. And for a good reason: they understood the cost of liberty and fought off English tyranny to secure it.
“Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to liberty, and few nations, if any, have found it,” John Adams wrote. The second President of the United States also warned that “liberty once lost is lost forever.”
Thomas Jefferson, the successor of Adams, expressed a similar idea when he declared that “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
The lesser-known Samuel Adams, also a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, observed that “our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”
It is sobering to consider that the 45th President of the United States remains permanently suspended on Twitter. Meanwhile, the leader of the Taliban, the terrorist outfit that just defeated the United States and its allies in the War in Afghanistan, is still tweeting away. This is from a company that is headquartered in San Francisco and is governed predominantly by US laws.
At least half of those paying attention back in January were shocked when Twitter blocked Trump. But our shock has fast given way to apathy, faster even than America’s founders suggested it might.
Or consider Sky News Australia, which was banned from YouTube for a week for voicing incorrect opinions on the pandemic. “We don’t allow content that denies the existence of COVID-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” YouTube said at the time.
Never mind that any evidence of this alleged denial is yet to be produced. And never mind that some 23 percent of the world’s nations—mainly in the Global South—are treating Covid-19 with ivermectin, even if it remains off-limits in the West. Also, never mind that, as the health bureaucrats constantly tell us, “the science is constantly changing”.
All the same, News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch and a parade of Sky News presenters must now appear before an Australian Senate hearing to answer for their thought crimes.
And now we face the prospect of mandatory vaccinations—a year ago, the stuff of science fiction and today presented as the only way out of our covid crisis. Countless Australians face the tough decision between retaining their medical autonomy or keeping their career.
Craig Kelly may be the least popular man in Canberra, but he is right about this issue. In a recent parliamentary speech, Kelly voiced his concerns:
We find ourselves here in 2021 … [where] the freedoms and the birthrights of Australians have been stolen. Stolen mostly by unelected bureaucrats and cowardly politicians [who] are violating human rights and [who] are violating the principles of the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights.
The declaration to which he refers states that “any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.”
As I have elsewhere argued, vaccine passports are an ethical disaster. They pose an unprecedented threat to personal liberty; they replace informed consent with coercion; they assume no reasonable grounds for declining vaccination; they create medical apartheid; and they open the door to untold medical control.
But I suppose Kelly and I will soon be banned for wrongthink on this issue, too.
To all the Australians reading this: think about the future you want to leave for coming generations. Think what our nation’s social fabric will look like in a few decades if speech continues to be silenced and the State takes mastery over your bodily integrity.
Speak up while you can and remind others of the liberties we once prized, bled and died for. Because forgotten freedoms fade fast.