The death of freedom in Europe

The death of freedom in Europe. By Brendan O’Neill.

Europe is on a precipice. It has marched, blindly, towards something very much resembling tyranny. Austria will shortly criminalise those who refuse the Covid vaccine. Germany looks set to follow. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, is wondering out loud if every member state should do likewise and make offenders of those who reject this form of medication. In Italy you are deprived of your livelihood rather than your liberty if you say no to vaccination: the unvaxxed are not permitted to work. Anywhere. In Greece, everyone over the age of 60 must pay the government 100 euros for every month they remain unvaxxed. …

Rarely has modern Europe’s bluster about ‘human rights’ and ‘respect’ been so savagely exposed. …

We are living through a chilling overhaul of the entire relationship between the state and the individual, with the state empowered to such an extraordinary degree that it can now instruct its citizens on what to inject into their bodies, and the individual so politically emaciated, so denuded of rights, that he no longer even enjoys sovereignty over himself, over that tiny part of the world that is his own body and mind. …

Many seem not to recognise how serious a development mandatory vaccination is. Even those of us who are pro-vaccination, who have been happily vaxxed against Covid-19, should look with nothing less than horror upon the proposal that it should be an offence not to be vaccinated; that a citizen should be fined thousands upon thousands of euros if he refuses this treatment. …

Everyone is saying mandatory vaccination goes against the Nuremberg Code, which insists voluntary consent must be given for medical intervention. But the ideal of individual sovereignty goes back much further than that. In his Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), the great Enlightenment philosopher John Locke sought to ‘settle the bounds’ between the individual and officialdom. …

To Locke, as to other great European thinkers whose ideas gave rise to our Enlightened continent, the desire to ‘save’ an individual is not a good enough reason to meddle with his soul or his body. ‘God Himself will not save men against their wills’, he wrote. Yet where God once failed, the EU hopes to succeed.

Where even the Almighty once feared to tread, held back by the small matter of man’s will, of man’s right to govern his own soul and body, the bureaucracies of 21st-century Europe will now rush in.

Amen.

hat-tip Stephen Neil