The lights are going out all over Australia, at least in terms of natural rights and the enjoyment of
freedoms. We may not see them lit again in our lifetimes.
Unlike the United States, Australian federal and state governments seemingly race to impose the
most draconian restrictions on people and their movements. Late last month, the premier of the
state of South Australia, Steven Marshall, bragged about a terrifyingly Orwellian app mandated
by the government. It will send random texts to citizens to determine their location. If they are in
the wrong location, or if they do not respond, the government could arrest them.
Marshall exclaimed that “I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the
national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.” To which National Review’s Charles C. W.
Cooke responded, I’m fairly sure that you could load me up on every hallucinogenic drug known
to man and attach my temples to a car battery and, still, under no circumstances, would I
willingly express pride at my government’s decision to run a national pilot for a home-based
This comes after violent protests in major Australian cities that occurred as the Australian federal
government mobilized the military for use in COVID regulation enforcement, an action illegal in
the United States since the Posse Comitatus Act.
Australia, “up to now, one of the world’s freest societies,” as the liberal publication The Atlantic
described it, has seen restrictions imposed in some areas that were not seen during the Spanish
flu or either world war. A recent article in that magazine, however, produced a terrifying list of
federal and state restrictions, such as limited crossing of state lines, curfews, suspension of at
least one state parliament, and more.
Many are subject to mandates requiring them to not even leave their homes under any
circumstances not already included in an official government list.
The Atlantic posed the essential question that every governing official should consider, “how
much time must pass before we regard Australia as illiberal and unfree?” Also, is an illiberal and
unfree society, and all the evils that inevitably come with it, worth whatever benefits these
restrictive policies confer?
Australia succumbed not to recommendations from serious science, but the heinous nature of
hysteria. People have legitimate fears, but as in many other areas, the effort to protect at all costs
has created unbearable burdens. In an effort to escape the real costs of the pandemic, but more so
the political costs from weaponized statistics and misinformation, Australia has refashioned itself
into Czechoslovakia of the 1970s and 80s, one of the most repressive regimes in modern history.
Americans ask if this can happen here and it most certainly can. The divine gift of natural rights
and the freedoms that come from them remain the best foundation of a free society. Efforts to
ensure public safety should always remain grounded in the ideal of those rights, freedoms, and
liberties that are ours by the grace of God/Nature.