Unfortunately, there can be no talk of any “Corona twilight” in Austria right now. Our government, under the leadership of the unelected shadow chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, has now ordered, in rapid succession, an escalating series of “tightened measures,” and their repressive character dwarfs all that that has preceded them. I published a detailed account for the magazine Freilich.
This escalation reached its climax today: All of a sudden, the government has announced a “full lockdown” beginning on Monday for all of Austria, as well as a “fixed” general vaccine mandate from February 2022 (coincidentally corresponding to the end of flu season)1. This also means forced “boosters” for everyone who thought they were finished after the first two jabs.
Yoram and I approach the role of religion in public life from different confessional backgrounds. But both of us have faced a typical, tired line of questioning which goes something like this. “You talk a lot about why religion should be an important part of public life. But when religious attendance has declined, how do you intend to get from a to b? And what’s the goal anyway—isn’t it . . . religious monoculture and rank oppression of religious minorities?!”
In Budapest Hazony made a forceful argument for publicly honoring and respecting Christianity in countries where Christianity is the cultural inheritance—even where church attendance itself may be low. Indeed, Hazony’s remarks at the MCC were one of the most passionate pleas for public Christianity, or for a political form of “cultural Christianity,” that I have heard. (For my own case made with Sohrab Ahmari & Chad Pecknold, see the American Conservative.)
Before the oppressive communist regime fell, the USSR was plagued by months of protests. Hundreds of thousands filled the cities of Soviet satellite nations. Their dictators fronted crowds, expecting to find the same praise and worship that decades of fear had accustomed them to. It was an exercise in delusion. Every civilisation has a tipping point where no amount of authoritarian power can overcome the masses.
If history’s most ruthless governments could not survive citizen outrage, what makes the West’s leaders think they will?
i was having a conversation with longstanding gatopal™ @elonbachman yesterday about what can be essentially termed as:
propagandistic praxis, the process by which lies about unpopular ideas are used to to make them seem unworrying and lead to their being ignored until they are already so widespread that you can claim they are normal, common, and even beneficial.
it’s the meme equivalent of tricking your immune system into not seeing a virus, reacting to a virus, and then, once it is overrun, embracing the virus as a form of new normal.