In my previous article, I asked readers to consider making a submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) regarding the draconian Misinformation Bill. I have always been sceptical of the effect of such submissions, but it is hard for government to fly in the face of overwhelming public backlash.
Politicians, like prostitutes, are in the business of pleasing people and, while that continues, there is value in protests, petitions, submissions and all manner of public dissent.
While I completely understand the hesitation of many people to engage with the government any more than they absolutely must, there is one motivation we should never allow the government to use to manipulate us: fear.
THE BATTLELINES HAVE ALREADY BEEN DRAWN
For those who are too scared to be public with your dissent for fear of retribution, I am sorry to break it to you: it’s too late.
The battlelines have already been drawn. If you think you will be spared from a murderous and reprehensible entity with unlimited resources that it can steal with impunity because of your ‘anonymous’ social media account or refusing to submit your dissent to impending legislation, I have a bridge to sell you.
For many years I watched politics and culture from the sidelines: I had strong opinions, but they were only uttered among the safety of family and close friends. After the novelty of social media had worn off in my late teenage years, I barely posted anything. I always removed myself from photos that were likely to find their way online and maintained a very private life. My online persona, or lack thereof, was unusual for someone my age.
But then Covid happened.
DIE ON YOUR FEET
Before I decided to run for public office in the 2022 South Australian election, I thought a lot about the implications of my political ‘coming out’. Would I still be able to find a job? Would I lose friends? Would this be used against me? But the reality is, that kind of thinking was a selfish luxury. And in the harsh light of the tyrannical Covid response, it didn’t matter anymore.
Who cares about friends when you can never trust anyone?
Who cares about anything being used against you when you’re already living in a free-range prison?
While we are still a long way away from dystopia, it is coming faster than you think. And totalitarian government only seeks one thing: more power. It will leverage the useful idiots, those who have honest intent but are not aware of the authoritarian intentions of the policy they advocate, until they are no longer useful – then it will throw them aside. No one is safe from authoritarianism, whether you dissent publicly or not.
While Emiliano Zapata is generally considered a socialist, we can still learn from his ethos: ‘It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.’
LIVE FREE OR DIE
The reality is, we are faced with two options: live a short and miserable existence in silence, until the authoritarians have rendered you useless, or speak up and fight back!
If you speak up and fight back, I cannot promise you that your existence won’t be just as short, but it will be far more rewarding. And maybe, just maybe, if we all speak up loudly enough and fight back hard enough, we will all exist to (not) fight the next battle.
I do not fear being put on a watchlist. I embrace it!
Live free or die because death is not the worst of evils.
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While always avidly following politics and culture, James Hol was not politically active until the overreaction to COVID. In a matter of months, James gained invaluable insight into all levels of government, being heavily involved in Federal, state and local election campaigns.