You don’t freely trade away any of your liberty, no matter what the other side is promising you for it. Australia is finding out the hard way what happens when you trade away all your liberty, and good luck trying to get it back. This article is going up tonight because while most alternate news readers know the situation in Australia, this article appeared in a mainstream publication, The Atlantic. From Conor Friedersdorf at theatlantic.com:
How long can a democracy maintain emergency restrictions and still call itself a free country?
Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET on September 3, 2021.
In a bid to keep the coronavirus out of the country, Australia’s federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens. Prime Minister Scott Morrison knows that the burden is too heavy. “This is not a sustainable way to live in this country,” he recently declared. One prominent civil libertarian summed up the rules by lamenting, “We’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetimes.”
Up to now one of Earth’s freest societies, Australia has become a hermit continent. How long can a country maintain emergency restrictions on its citizens’ lives while still calling itself a liberal democracy?
Australia has been testing the limits.
Before 2020, the idea of Australia all but forbidding its citizens from leaving the country, a restriction associated with Communist regimes, was unthinkable. Today, it is a widely accepted policy. “Australia’s borders are currently closed and international travel from Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a government website declares. “International travel from Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.” The rule is enforced despite assurances on another government website, dedicated to setting forth Australia’s human-rights-treaty obligations, that the freedom to leave a country “cannot be made dependent on establishing a purpose or reason for leaving.”