Tap into the psyche of the nation and reflect on the meaning of life
On the surface, it may appear that “passivity” of the people, risk-averse attitudes and hope for certainty enabled authorities to “morph into…authoritarianism” in Victoria, as Henry Ergas implies. However, I contend that it was more to do with the hefty fines, threat of imprisonment and public shaming that cowed millions of ordinary men and women into compliance. It is interesting that Ergas asserts there is “long-term rise in society’s aversion to risk”, as risk, I believe, is inextricably entwined in life itself, irrespective of one’s conscious awareness. For example, crossing a busy road of cars, even with a green light, can be a risk. Indeed, hundreds of pedestrians are killed each year. Moreover, thousands of Victorians did flout lockdown laws, at different times and in different ways, as active protests against incursions on their freedoms. This behaviour was retarded by the police, who were out in full force to arrest them and contest their “own mistakes”. It was a brutal retaliation against many. While Ergas accurately points out that when COVID first appeared, “there were good reasons to fear the threats it posed,” it seems this initial fear remains, with the Andrews continuing to capitalise on this fear as justification for his repeated lockdowns. Sadly, many believe him and the new expertariat.