I’m an introvert, I spend plenty of time by myself at home. I can cope reasonably well with being locked up in my house. What I can’t cope with is this realization, that people I used to know and respect, would want to impose something as revolting as this on others. I have to live with the reality, that the majority of my countrymen wish for the government to have the right to determine whether or not I am allowed to step outside of my door at this very moment.
I never gave civil liberties much thought. I saw them as something that everyone took for granted except for a handful of delusional extremists. Freedom of speech and public gathering, freedom of religion? Those rights don’t need to be defended, because to question them is unthinkable.
I thought the 20th century had been convincingly won by liberalism, that nobody in the West doubted this. I thought we all had a kind of unspoken adherence to Thomas Paine’s conception of Natural Rights: That there are certain rights that are an inevitable outgrowth of nature itself, that for a government to violate them puts it at odds with nature itself.
But in the 21st century, I witness my fellow countrymen embracing a response to this virus that was invented by a genocidal communist regime: The idea that a small group of technocrats should have complete control over your life, for the betterment of society as a whole. That’s painful for me to realize. It makes me look from a whole different angle at the Second World War and it makes the country I was born into stop feeling like home. When you see the mentality that has developed among the public, you start recognizing the symptoms of it in previous historical eras.
Oddly enough, this is a common thing you heard from Dutch Jews after the war as well: That the realization that people they saw as good neighbors would do this to them made their own home country feel suddenly alien to them. You might think the comparison is inappropriate, but we now have cases here of people who rattle on their neighbors because they are having a party, only for the police to insinuate that CPS may need to be informed if you take care of your children in such an “irresponsible” manner. It’s the atmosphere of the 1930’s that we live in.
History is filled with accounts of people who became nomadic. Almost always, you find that at the core of this nomadism lies the psychological trauma of betrayal. You only really find out how people are during times of crisis. Most of us become very ugly. If there’s one lasting scar I’ll carry from all of this, it is that the country I grew up in no longer feels like home.
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