Democracy Dies in the Absence of Trust

Democracy Dies in the Absence of Trust. By Christopher Akehurst.

The spectacle in Melbourne not long ago of battle lines of police girded and shielded like space-age gladiators firing rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds of civilians is not one we would ever have expected to see in Australia. It’s long been the norm in less happy places but most Australians would have witnessed that sort of confrontation only on grainy newsreels in TV documentaries about Paris in 1968 or Prague in 1968.

We certainly didn’t see it in the Melbourne “Black Lives Matter” demonstration at the outset of Victoria’s now semi-permanent lockdowns last year. The police conspicuously stood idly by during that, as they mostly did when adherents of the same public-spirited organisation went burning and looting in the United States. …

What has happened to Australia?

Arbitrary arrest and police engaging in street wars with the public on what were once the sedate avenues of Melbourne show that something has gone seriously wrong in our understanding of law and order and of the function of a police force in a democracy.

Why would Victoria’s police boast of having spent $500 million fitting themselves out with armour-plating and “military-grade” weapons when there is no enemy army to fight? Why have they come to regard the public as an enemy? — or at least that section of the public which bridles at being bossed around by a dictatorial Premier who has sidelined parliament to rule by fiat. The public pays the police wages; they have funded the stormtrooper get-up. How can they be at war with the police? …

A high-trust society no longer:

All around the Anglosphere and beyond trust between rulers and ruled is declining. … This is because the rulers have forgotten that they rule by permission of the ruled, by their consent. They are not masters but servants. But we have become so used to relying on governments for just about everything that we have played into the hands of the assorted control freaks and egomaniacs who get themselves into positions of authority, who fall over each other to scramble higher up the ladder of what was once considered an honourable profession of public service.

They hold us in contempt. We shrug our shoulders and murmur about “crooked pollies” or “self-serving idiots” and leave them to get on with it.

We used to trust our governments, whether we voted for the party in power or not, to do their best to look after everyone’s best interests. We don’t any more because governments like Victoria’s have shown that they only look after the interests of the minority factions that screech the loudest and reflect its prejudices.

Trust is a condition that makes our society work as a cooperative enterprise. But more and more you notice its absence. …

Trust has faded partly because it’s been devalued. Its name has been taken in vain, often by advertising and PR. We are invited, for example, to trust a health fund because it “cares” when we know that a corporate entity, if it can “care” at all, cares only about its profits. We are asked to swallow, on trust, the shortest lie ever told, that our hopelessly biased national broadcaster is “Your ABC” when only its “friends” are fooled by that; the rest of us know it’s “ours” only inasmuch as the taxpayer pours into its coffers the prodigious sums that enable it to go on disseminating views and attitudes most of us don’t share.

In international affairs we are learning that the élite orchestrators of the “Great Reset” are emphatically not to be trusted and that their slogan “Build Back Better” has nothing to do with construction and quality but is a verbal mask to cover the imposition of “global governance” by unelected authoritarians intent on filching what’s left of our freedom.

Importing lots of new citizens from low-trust countries hasn’t exactly helped either.

Who voted for this? I don’t recall ever getting a choice on immigration.