Warning: clichés may abound in this piece. Take a swig of mineral water and hunker down for the long haul.
I like to think of myself as being fairly rational. This is obviously a self-serving perception, but at least in relation to the blaring shrieks of our mainline political animals, the shoe fits. Stories which the media deems as “outrageous” don’t shake me much at all, because in almost every case there is a less radical idea behind the headline.
But exceptions exist. Still in this case I am capable of absorbing the information without becoming irate, although it is certainly disturbing. Officials in the German province of Saxony have announced they will be repurposing refugee camps to detain people who violate COVID quarantine guidelines. According to regional Interior Minister Roland Wöller: “I assume that these will be very, very few cases. At the moment, none is known.”
Oh, he assumes. How comforting. Now consider the context for a minute. German authorities are repurposing refugee camps (and presumably releasing the existing foreigners) while putting their own citizens in cages for the mere crime of visiting family or breaking some draconian curfew. Detention orders must be approved by a court, but we already know the history of Germany’s judicial system well enough. Don’t expect much civil libertarian opposition from judges.
The parallels to 1930s regimes are obvious, but that doesn’t get at the real issue. At least those models were open and unabashed about their intent towards dissidents or enemies, so one can prepare themselves. In the modern day, we have a German state run by the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party, two apparently moderate forces meant to defend freedom. A perfect pair to undermine peoples’ rights under the guise of consent and franchise.
What’s more, our brains have become so inundated with WWII dramas and propaganda that many cannot make logical connections unless the aesthetic is absolutely similar. Merkel’s pantsuits aren’t military uniforms, which means she is a believer in democracy, because that’s how democrats look. As for Trump, who a actually opposed the lockdowns and quarantine arrests, he’s an evil fascist, because feelings.
Pray fair the humanity.