The greater good - or a grander evil?
Every time I hear some middling news reporter parrot ‘for the greater good’ in reference to whatever the next absurd Covid health order is, I am reminded of that famous scene in Hot Fuzz.
A circle of people are discovered in a secret underground lair by the protagonist – torches held beneath their chins and black hoods covering half their faces. They nod at each other chanting ‘the greater good!’ over and over after confessing to murdering half the village to win the coveted ‘Village of the Year’ award. Their addiction to perfection and rules created a superficially idyllic, but ultimately violent hell.
The black comedy is meant to depict a very real ideological horror story where the pursuit of utopia justifies terror.
When civilisation gives up on moral principle and decides to try out ‘moral outcomes’ it leads the government to view individuals as subservient to the collective. Their rights and safety can be ignored so long as the ‘greater good’ is being served. Once the individual is no longer sovereign, any group desire can justify the abuse of rights until citizens become nothing more than depersoned identities. This is the idea that sits at the heart of every collectivist regime and we have seen it quietly gaining popularity within a range of activist movements.
Want to starve a few hundred million people to death? That’s fine, because the regime will survive through their ‘sacrifice’. Want to annihilate an entire race? It has to be done to protect the purity of the collective. Want to reduce an entire nation to slaves? All good. Their misery means that the collective has achieved its promised ‘equality’.
There is no measure to say how much atrocity must be survived before the collective admits failure. Usually, collectivist regimes are overthrown only after shocking levels of violence have been endured.
For thousands of years, Western Civilisation has rejected the ‘greater good’ in favour of individual supremacy. It is only through enshrining the safety and liberty of each member of society – rich or poor – that society has flourished. Respecting the individual, by proxy, creates respect for society at large. While it is not a perfect solution, it has proven enticing enough that people run from collectivist regimes toward the safety of Western democracy. Even liberty’s critics must admit that whatever is going on here is desirable when compared to alternative systems.
Human beings have a general understanding that life isn’t fair. It is, after all, the basis of evolution and the foundation of necessary competition. What humans require is confirmation that life’s rules have some kind of justice to them. Collectivism is a betrayal of this basic need, which is why it facilitates enormous harm no matter what sort of ‘collective’ is being serviced.
The Age of Covid is increasingly being referred to as ‘medical fascism’ because it embraced collectivist thinking.
All manner of civil abuses were permitted in pursuit of puritanical health orders while the messaging put out by the government was fundamentally collectivist. ‘Do this to save others.’ ‘You’re selfish if you refuse vaccination.’ ‘We’re all in this together.’ Their Covid mandates were equally skewed in favour of the collective. Segregation, state-sanctioned discrimination, stalking apps, vaccine passports, state vaccine employment policies – all of these things violated what Australians understood to be their individual rights. This abuse against the population was rationalised by premiers and Chief Health Officers insisting that it was ‘necessary’ to protect Australia as a whole.
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