Episode 119: Authoritarian Consequences of the Pandemic

The media landscape is breeding a generation of citizens that is getting taught to respect the authority of the state above all. No matter what the current issue of the day is, the pandemic, the War in Ukraine or climate change, it all boils down to a very dangerous thing: a citizenry that can’t, or won’t, think independently.

On this episode of The Private Citizen, I am examining what I see as several worrying trends within society that started with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and, sadly, continue apace eveb after the pandemic is, for all intends and purposes, over.

Due to my very high workload, this show was recorded and released belatedly. I also didn’t record it in front of a live audience as usual. I am still behind a number of episodes and I will put the show on a hiatus for the better part of two months over the summer, but rest assured, I will be back. And I will catch up and make up for the missed episodes somehow. If I’ll have to take a few weeks off from my other work later in the year to do so, I will.

The End of the Panic?

I ended my coronavirus-related coverage (for a second time) on episode 106, but I feel it is worth it to go back to the topic with a one-off-episode to examine the immediate consequences of the whole disaster.

For all intends and purposes, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is over. The various metrics to measure it fluctuate up and down, but nobody really cares anymore. In the news cycle, the pandemic was first replaced by the War in Ukraine, and now that that’s boring, things on the news front have more or less gone back to what they were post-pandemic.

Where restrictions are concerned, here in Germany, those are all gone again – and as far as I can tell, Germany was about the last country to drop this stuff. The only remnant from the pandemic we still have here is the need to wear masks in public transport. And that is becoming extremely laughable as the government is now introducing an extremely cheap ticket to get everyone and their mother to use as much public transport as possible during the coming three months.

As usual, I’ll be going against the grain and use public transport less. This kind of thing doesn’t get better the more people you cram into it. It’d rather pay more and have less people. On top of that, if they force me to wear a mask, I just go elsewhere. I’ve been doing the same thing with shops that still insist on masks.

I am still not completely convinced that the media, and with it the public, won’t go back to panic mode once the winter comes along and cases rise again (which has happened exactly like this twice before now) and the call for restrictions will rise again, but for now the worst seems to be over.

Corruption & Special Treatment

Meanwhile, we are figuring out that this panicdemic has opened the door to unparalelled corruption. The German police is estimating that the state was defrauded to the tune of more than one billion euros by crooks running testing stations. Just imagine how many specialised COVID nurses you could have trained and permanently employed with that kind of money.

In the UK, they are outraged, because it has finally sunk in for the public that even in a democracy, rules do not apply equally to everyone and that the elites will always cheat the man on the street to get their exceptions and special deals. Which applies to the members of the government first and foremost.

Authoritarianism on the Rise

While our attention is now being diverted to the alleged evil dictator Vladimir Putin, what we really should be focussing on are the authoritarian consequences of the pandemic right here at home (your home and my home, too).

People have been indoctrinated by mass media to do what the government tells them to do – even if what they are being asked to do makes absolutely no sense. Laws have been created and expanded to sternly punish those members of society who refuse to go along with this. People’s attention is directed towards problems that allow the government to tighten its grip on society and squash any real dissent. While other problems, that are just as bad and in many cases much closer to home, are being hushed up because it’s not in the interest of the government for the population to get outraged about them.

And this is not only pandemic-related. Take the climate debate, as an example: The German government is constantly discussing measures that would hurt or inconvenience ordinary citizens (speed limits, outlawing patrol cars in certain areas) while those who actually have the biggest impact on the environment, heavy industry for example, can just continue to do what they do without having to fear even the smallest interference with their affairs.

We’re rapidly heading towards a reality where a large majority of the population doesn’t understand what is going on and is guided by the mainstream media and social media influencers to only care about THE CURRENT THING™ at the expense of even seeing how their own life is made worse by their reactions. Even worse, we are fostering a generation of people who have been indoctrinated into willingly giving up their personal freedoms and the ability to live a good, fulfilling life because they have been taught that they possess all of these unfair “privileges” and must atone for their sins.

Being born in ‘83, I’m probably a member of the last generation that still remembers having freedoms, being sceptical of your government and living a rewarding and happy life while at the same time caring about your environment and being responsible towards those who have less. Back then, we did good things for society and the planet at large because we felt like it, not because society had created some sort of social currency that compels, or even forces, you to do so. People who were born after me seem to have never experienced this and seem to not understand that this is even possible.

In these times, it has become more important than ever before to think for yourself and to not just buy the propaganda that permeates every aspect of everyday life now. We need to somehow reverse this trend of just buying what the elites in power are selling or we’re heading head first into another authoritarian catastrophe. To someone who has studied history, the parallels to what has happened almost exactly a hundred years earlier are actually frightening.

Producer Feedback

I’ve had a very nice email from Matt Ivie:

I am going through some shit in life right now which will impact my finances a little bit. I am not going to be funding you through Patreon for a while but it is not a reflection of the work you are doing. You do great work and I appreciate your experiences and perspectives on the topics you discuss. I enjoy what you do and enjoy the little banter we’ve had in the past. At some point I would like to fund you again, but will from time to time still try to interact with you during shows. You’re a really cool dude Fab.

If you have any thoughts on the things discussed in this or previous episodes, please join our forum and compare notes with other producers. You can also contact me in several other, more private ways.

If you are writing in from Russia, you might want to use my whistleblower contact form.

Toss a Coin to Your Podcaster

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Thanks and Credits

I’d like to credit everyone who’s helped with any aspect of this production and thus became a part of the show. I am thankful to the following people, who have supported this episode through Patreon and PayPal and thus keep this show on the air:

Georges, Steve Hoos, Butterbeans, Rhodane the Insane, Michael Small, Jonathan M. Hethey, Michael Mullan-Jensen, 1i11g, Dave, Jaroslav Lichtblau, Jackie Plage, Philip Klostermann, ikn, Sandman616, Bennett Piater, Vlad, m0dese7en, Rizele, Kai Siers, Joe Poser, avis, Dirk Dede, Fadi Mansour, David Potter, Mika, Cam, MrAmish, Dave Umrysh, RikyM, Barry Williams, Jonathan, RJ Tracey, Rick Bragg, Captain Egghead, astralc, Robert Forster, Superuser, D, Noreply and krunkle.

Many thanks to my Twitch subscribers: Mike_TheDane, jonathanmh_com, Galteran, l_terrestris_jim, redeemerf, BaconThePork, m0dese7en_is_unavailable, jonathane4747, indiegameiacs and Sandman616.

I am also thankful to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting for this episode’s audio file.

Podcast Music

The show’s theme song is Acoustic Routes by Raúl Cabezalí. It is licensed via Jamendo Music. Other music and some sound effects are licensed via Epidemic Sound. This episode’s ending song is Medic! by Dexter & The Disciples feat. G Curtis.