No More “Emergency Measures”! Civil Rights Must be Restored
26-09-2020: Just when you thought that government repression under the guise of “healthcare” could not get any worse, Dictator Dan Andrews in Victoria ramps it up to mind-boggling levels. The Labor Party Premier is attempting to pass through the Victorian parliament the Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill which among other things could result in detention without trial. If enacted, it could mean that basic civil and democratic rights have become meaningless. Even the Victorian Bar Association has written to the Victorian government asking that they reconsider the bill which would allow Health Department appointed “authorised officers” to detain anyone they “reasonably believe” would negligently spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Sections of the establishment itself are opposed, as a group of retired judges and current QCs (Queens Counsels) have separately written to the government warning that the “emergency measures” could result in “unprecedented, excessive powers”.
Raising a civilian paramilitary army
Barrister Stuart Wood AM QC, in an interview on the “Emergency Measures” bill, was aghast at the prospect that, if passed by the Victorian parliament, the legislation could empower untrained and unqualified individuals to detain their fellow citizens. Union officials, so-called “Protective Service Officers”, public servants or members of the public appointed by them could be “authorised” to detain neighbours and members of the public who are suspected of not complying with self-isolation orders, protesting against lockdowns or even if they have a mental health issue. It is suspected that these “authorised” persons would also have the powers to enter premises without a warrant if they “reasonably believe” a breach of public health orders is occurring. This is because police in some states are already able to do this – a grievous abolition of perhaps the most important right of all.
Currently, the Bill is being opposed by the Liberal Party opposition but may get across the line if some independents in the Upper House tip their hand in favour of the Labor Party. Whether this Bill comes into being or not, it is yet another grave warning of what is to come unless the working class resists and is able to assemble the organisation needed to strike blows against the inhuman lockdowns, mandatory facemask orders, social-distancing and all associated Corona ideology. It should be clear – if it wasn’t already – that “Covid-19” is being used as a Trojan Horse to inflict political repression greater than that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Lockdown fascism may be a greater threat, because the proposed Omnibus Bill in Victoria appears to be aimed at raising a civilian paramilitary army.
Even in Nazi Germany, one would imagine you had to actually be a member of the Nazis or one of their organisations to enact fascism against innocent workers and their families. Now, potentially under mainstream politicians in Australia, one can be appointed with a “monopoly on the means of violence”, and the authorisation to use force against blameless civilians without being a member of any political organisation whatsoever. In practice, however, such people will be the political shock troops of lockdown fascism. That is, they will be partisans of the capitalist assault on the working class which is falsely premised on the abjectly inverted reality of “saving lives” due to a “pandemic”. One could plausibly argue it is an intentional measure to create conflict in society, to tear it asunder.
Politics in 2020 is the reverse of the 20th Century
During the 20th Century, the danger of fascism always came from the right. For a whole range of reason, in the 21st Century, the danger of fascism is now coming from the left – or the so-called left. Union officials and the lockdown left comprise the spine of lockdown fascism – even if they themselves believe they have liberal and humanitarian values. It is this so-called left – the Labor Party, the Greens, Union officials and left parties which make now bizarre claims to be “revolutionaries” – which today is the strongest pillar of political support for a capitalism dangerously careening out of control. In addition to the police force itself, it is also the lockdown left which currently has the greatest propensity for verbal and/or physical violence against anyone they suspect of being skeptical about lockdowns, i.e. those who have a different opinion. This is why we can categorise lockdown mania as a form of fascism irrespective of its political leadership.
It is also why Dictator Dan Andrews is seeking to enlist the lockdown left as shock troops authorised with state violence. The lockdown left is already ideologically committed to the government and its capitalist state, as demonstrated by its deafening silence on the horror of the Melbourne “Ring of Steel”. By unleashing lockdown fanatics against other civilians, Dictator Dan can deflect blame away from his authoritarian rule and onto its only ideological foe – the anti-lockdown movement. In the same way that the pro-lockdown juggernaut can be designated as fascist regardless of its political form, the anti-lockdown movement can be designated as anti-fascist regardless of its political form. It follows that the pressing task for workers in 2020 is to politically and materially aid the anti-lockdown movement.
Under these conditions, the space for socialists within the anti-lockdown movement potentially becomes a minefield. Yet it must be navigated, even if it means employing a number of political and tactical concessions. Much of the anti-lockdown movement is anti-socialist, or at least according to the notion that socialism means political repression. What they reject – correctly – is a “socialism” without political rights for workers, e.g. the Soviet Union under Stalinism, China under Maoism, and so on. Yet lockdowns are currently eliminating political and civil rights, and they are wholly dispensed by capitalism, not “socialism”. As difficult as the venture may be, Marxists should attempt to imbue the anti-lockdown movement with the perspective that capitalism means political repression, and a collectively owned and democratically planned economy – socialism – means the opposite.
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