Authoritarianism In the Raw

When you live under an authoritarian regime, it doesn’t really matter what its ideology is. What matters is how it squashes you.

In my youth as a bourgeois intellectual wanker, the distinctions between Fascism, Communism, Corporatism and tribal Big Man societies seemed important. All the arcane differences, the cross-national variations, the varied social alliances, the reams of theoretical writing, it all seemed so…intellectually exciting.

Like a libertarian splitting the atom of their own ideological position, I got off on the complex historical detail.

And now? What we’re living under in Australia reveals just how much of a wank that was.

It doesn’t matter if you’re being squashed in the name of the proletariat, for the sake of the national volk, or the safety of the population. It doesn’t matter if the mobs are the Komosol killing peasants who own two horses, Brownshirts beating poor Jewish cobblers, or uniformed police crushing wogs, tradies and truckies who dare to walk on the street.

The result is still the same. Those with power, or connected to it, exert arbitrary control over those without power, under the threat of lethal force. Under the authority of some arbitrary ideological lie.

The ideological justification is, for those crushed, utterly irrelevant. All ideology does is focus hate and power on one group rather than another, but for arbitrary reasons. The driver is unrestrained power for the ruling class, the tool is the hated group. Which group is that? Whatever works in the moment.

In the end, only political theorists and historians who aren’t living under authoritarianism give a damn about the details.

Our own authoritarian society is nominally about medical safety.

But tell me, in practice how does it differ from an occupation by a foreign invader? From one designed to strip the rich and independent-spirited of their assets and livelihoods? From one targeting an ethnicity or religion independent of their wealth or influence?

Imagine our police as WWII Japanese soldiers. Yup, what we’re living under is exactly what you’d expect from a post-war occupation. Movement passes, vindictive punishments for disobedience, restrictions on speech, association and protest, removal of earning capacity, invisible executive decision-making, unjustified but coerced medical procedure, arbitrary street violence.

You might think I’m exaggerating, getting all conspiracy and angry-mannish.

No. I just see history in the making and have moved beyond the academic distractions of my youth.

So next time some preening, corporate-funded, “libertarian” thinktanker talks about the dangers of populism, ask yourself this: how would you describe our current society if our ruling and media classes were white, and our citizens were black?

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