The New Normal, or “welcome to New Communism”?

Social Distance

Last Saturday, I wanted to go shopping at our closest supermarket. Since we discovered a long queue in front of the entrance, we decided to only get a few essentials at the petrol station and the corner shop. This way I avoided standing for around 15 minutes in a queue with social-distanced people staring at their smart-phones.

I never grew up in a Communist country, but I’ve always been interested in what was going on in Eastern Europe since the fall of the wall. Being married to a Polish citizen, I get to hear some close-up reports of life during the last two decades, under communist regime. One of his memories includes, standing for hours (and sometimes days) in queues to get hold of everyday things like flour, butter, milk or “luxury” products such as chocolate and meat.

In Your Life is worth Living Fulton Sheen writes:

“There is actually such a thing in the world as authoritarianism; it is communism. What is the essence of authoritarianism I would say it is threefold: it subjects the mind to dogma; it makes fear the basis of obedience; and it destroys freedom of thought.”

What has happened to the UK (and elsewhere) within the last few months? People are frightened and have become obedient sheep that follow draconian restrictions, without questioning, without doubting. They have given up their freedom of movement, freedom of choice. As it seems, even their freedom of what to think.

I know, I’m not the only lockdown sceptic. But in general, or at least, this is what mainstream media plus social media owners are letting us know, it’s bad to have your own opinion. Posting lockdown critical articles or publishing videos with doctors opposing the lockdown regulations are being censored. Now, in real time.

Yes, that’s right, censorship. Don’t get me wrong. Posts that are criminal should get deleted. But people expressing their honest and sound views on a health issue being muzzled? This is more than fishy. It’s terribly stinky.

Please study history. Learn how communist USSR had a list of banned books, did not tolerate opposition, and how they treated free speech as a crime. And we all know (or do we?) where this peaked: A dreaded trip to Siberia, forced labour, death from cold and exhaustion.

Oh, no, no. That’s not the same, of course. But can anyone explain to me, why does Facebook plan to crack-down on people posting anti-vaccine content? And let me repeat: Doctors, professors speaking-up against the panic-causing, fear-mongering Corona hype are being silenced. In the USA and Germany – it’s not one area in the world that’s going mad, it’s a global thing. So, what’s next in store?

Churches are still closed due to the pandemic, although there’s enough evidence, that shows us, there is no need for a general lockdown. There’s not just no Mass taking place, churches are literally shut, also for private prayer. It’s okay to fill your shopping trolley in superstores, but not to nurture your soul in a church.

Comparison alert: Take a look at the misuse of church buildings in Russia or Czechoslovakia. Where they weren’t destroyed, Communists used churches as grain bins or factories. They wanted the pious people to completely forget God, because God was forbidden. Through brutal violence and enticement, folks were robbed of opportunities to cultivate spirituality. In communist regime, there was no other paradise than socialism and no other belief than “scientific atheism“.

Now, big media are trying to sell the tracing app as something normal, something acceptable, something tasty. Of course, it’s not mandatory (yet?) to download the app. But it is being pushed and it will be pushed even more. People will want it, people will download it and people will feel hostility towards that “irresponsible, selfish” lot, who doesn’t want to be tracked by Big Brother. That’s my pessimistic prognosis. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Because the next step – or is it happening already? – would be, denouncing your neighbour. It has happened in the GDR. During this era, you couldn’t trust your neighbours. What if they’d name you for cracking a joke on the Stasi? What if they’d find out you were secretly planing to leave the country? Neighbours and friends could turn out to be your enemies. “For the greater good”, they’d tell on your “crime” against socialism. The state was the “good father”, whom they served. Again, mindless obedience.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, people can’t do without ritual, without some kind of thanksgiving – if not to God than to something else. Communists expected the people to attend 1st of May Parades. They were expected to hang up their red flag, to honour and praise work and glorify socialist achievements. Woe to the comrade who did not join the forced joy.

I hope it never gets that bad. I hope people won’t be treated like outlaws, when they don’t join the NHS clapping Parades or don’t stick rainbow posters on their front room windows. Will secret police soon sneak up on us, if we don’t stay two metres apart from each other? Could refusing lockdown lead to getting locked-up?

Let’s not get used to the “new normal”. We don’t need more restrictions, more tracking, more surveillance. Let’s make sure, our children and grandchildren can live in a free society. This depends on you and me. Let’s not welcome a new communism.