Unfortunately, those who are critical of current policies to combat the coronavirus by massively encroaching on citizens‘ civil liberties are being defamed as alu-hat wearers or conspiracy theorists. Of course, there are crackpots everywhere, but nevertheless there are good reasons to criticize current policy.
I’m not criticizing current policy because I believe Angela Merkel or other heads of state who are enacting restrictions in order to establish a surveillance state. Our government is not evil! But oppressive systems are not always installed by bad people with bad intent, but instead, with naivety and the best of intentions.
There are two very well-known novels that describe dystopia: the novels „1984“ by George Orwell and „Brave New World“ by Aldous Huxley. In „1984“ there is a „big brother“ who suppresses the people. An evil entity keeps the people in bondage. In „Brave New World“, however, we are dealing with a society in which people, with good intentions and in hope of a brave world, who gave up freedoms gradually until oppression became total. In this dystopia, people imposed the lack of freedom on themselves because they were afraid and wanted to live in a non-violent, healthy and peaceful world. For this beautiful world they were ready to sacrifice freedom. Aldous Huxley showed that the desire for the healthy national body gives birth to fascists.
When I criticize Merkel’s current policies, I’m not suspicious of some conspiracy. I feel certain there is no conspiracy. But I am just as certain that because of fear deriving from new, uncertain and sometimes even dangerous situations, people are prepared to sacrifice those freedoms for which millions of people had previously fought for. Although those sacrifices rarely make the world any safer, they have led to a world more humane and worth living in.
Out of selfish fear for their own well-being, some people are too willing to sacrifice their hard-earned freedoms for total peace.
Behind all the imposed restrictions there’s no conspiracy and no secret plan, however we’ve entered a stage of uncertainty and mass fear.