A few weeks ago, a friend in Australia called and told me about the country’s new Covid app. Residents of South Australia are required to prove they’re in quarantine by using face recognition and geolocation on this app. If they fail to check in, the app will notify a bureaucrat with the state’s Health Department. That bureaucrat will then call the police. The police, in turn, will go to the citizen’s home and make sure he’s not taking an unauthorized walk so his dog can take a clandestine whizz. “We don’t tell them how often or when, on a random basis they have to reply within 15 minutes,” said premier Steven Marshall. Fair warning, I guess.
See here, I wouldn’t check in through the app. I wouldn’t download the app. Let the police come out every hour if they need. And if everybody were like me, these measures would flop within a day. The COVID apparatchiks at my school tried to get me to download an app. Poor buggers have repented that request since then because I turned myself into a major nuisance with loud inquiries about when had workers been given free cellphones by the university administration and how come nobody in my unit ever got a free cell phone and I’m going to discuss this issue in my meeting with the Dean because if others are getting free cell phones, then it’s a major injustice.
“There are no free cell phones, ma’am,” somebody squeaked. “You could download the app on your own cell phone.”
After I asked them to prove I am in possession of a private cell phone and demonstrate paperwork that entitles them to control my private property, they cleared out of my life in a flash. Everybody else sheepishly downloaded the app.
I grew up in a totalitarian regime. Nobody is getting me to check in through an app that I have not freely chosen to use. I don’t do things I’m told. I do things I decide to do.
The patient sheepishness of people who supposedly were born free drives me up a wall. They just obey. I don’t get this at all.
I knew Australia was famous for its cattle but I didn’t know the cattle in question had human faces. What is the point of life if you’ve got to be proving your location through an app whenever some bastard decides you should? This is physical existence but it isn’t life. As a famous Soviet writer said, “the people who forgot not only the concept by even the word ‘dignity’ will never become free of totalitarianism.”