Would-be dictators aren’t letting the covid crisis go to waste. Instead, they’re using it as a pretext for sometimes shocking, sometimes silly impositions on what used to be seen as basic freedomes. Some examples, starting with this from Consent Factory’s CJ Hopkins:
It’s August 2021, and Germany has officially banned anti-lockdown demonstrations. Other public assemblies, like the Christopher Street Day demo (pictured below), one week ago, are still allowed. The outlawing of political opposition is a classic hallmark of totalitarian systems. It’s also a classic move by the German authorities, which will give them the pretext they need to unleash the New Normal goon squads on future demonstrators.
In Australia, the military has been deployed to enforce total compliance with government decrees … lockdowns, mandatory public obedience rituals, etc. In other words, it is de facto martial law. This is another classic hallmark of totalitarian systems.
In France, restaurant and other business owners who serve “the Unvaccinated” will now be imprisoned, as will, of course, “the Unvaccinated.” The scapegoating, demonizing, and segregating of “the Unvaccinated” is happening in countries all over the world.
At the sillier end of the spectrum, Zero Hedge notes that Apple has banned a dating app for the unvaxinated:
Apple on Saturday removed a dating app for unvaccinated people. Allegedly, the app violated Apple’s policies for COVID content.
Considered the “Tinder for anti-vaxxers,” Unjected is a dating-and-community app for unvaccinated people. In May, the app was launched after top dating websites, such as Bumble and Tinder, partnered with the White House and encouraged users to get vaccinated.
Apple removed the dating service from its App Store after being contacted by Bloomberg. In an email to Unjected, Apple said the app “inappropriately refers to the Covid-19 pandemic in its concept or theme.”
And in maybe the weirdest bit of fascist overreach, it is now apparently unacceptable to mention Hitler.
A Twitter/Instagram account called 100YearsAgoLive (run by a Jewish blogger) noted that July 29 was the 100th anniversary of the führer’s ascension to the top of the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ Party, aka the Nazis.
Instagram censored the post for violating community standards. As Matt Taibbi notes:
The frightening thing about the 100YearsAgoLive incident is that it’s not hard to see this becoming a trend, where history itself is deemed to violate common decency. The whole idea of historical education is to prevent future horrors via graphic warnings from the past. Survivors of the Holocaust have always been adamant that we must “Never Forget,” that places such as Auschwitz must never be buried or hidden away but instead displayed prominently, made into lasting cultural artifacts whose purpose is to be so conspicuous as to prevent the natural human impulse to whitewash our sadly expansive history of evil.
In the name of combating hate speech, violence, conspiracy theory, etc., Internet platforms are removing not just advocacy, but knowledge, in a wide-ranging effort that may help the companies create a more frictionless, commercially successful product, but will impede the past from chastening the present. If the aim is preventing the spread of hateful ideas, nothing could be more counter-productive that cleaning away the record of their real-world impact.