There is always an excuse for the enforcement of totalitarian restrictions on the public. There is always a reason. And, often these reasons are engineered to sound logical and practical at the time.
In Germany after WWI and into the early 1930s Bolshevik activists and the German Communist Party (KPD) engaged in aggressive economic sabotage, street violence and even assassinations. This along with the Great Depression led to German middle class support for the National Socialist Party and the Third Reich (fascism). Much of history’s focus is on the horrors of the Nazis, but many people are unaware of the extreme threat of communist revolution in Europe during this era, a threat which was used by the Nazis as a perfect rationale for constructing a police state. Arguably, without the existence of hardline communism, the fascists never would have had the public support needed to rise to power.
In Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Cheka secret police were established in the name of preventing “counter-revolution”. This is an interesting aspect common to communism in particular; they desperately cling to the narrative that THEY are the “revolutionaries”, even when they have all the power. Thus, the revolution never ends because there are always people who disagree with communism. Anyone who refuses to comply with Marxist mandates becomes an imperialist enemy and bogeyman, and is held up as an example of why the revolution must perpetually continue. The police state must exist forever to root out the evil classists lurking in the shadows.
During the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, a virus with a much higher death rate among younger Americans compared to today’s coronavirus, major US cities such as New Orleans instituted martial law measures and lockdowns on the economy; closing schools, churches, public transportation, and places of leisure. Of course, despite claims in the wake of Covid, these measures did little to nothing to stop the spread of the virus and the public became frustrated with their inability to function in the day-to-day economy (sound familiar). The population began to rebel against restrictions that were leading to financial decay, and there was little governments could do about it.
I’ve noticed that the mainstream media has attempted in the past six months to rewrite the history of the Spanish Flu as if martial law measures were a success, even though ultimately the flu ran its natural course in the majority of US cities. Infections and deaths continued unabated until the virus burned itself out and disappeared (no working vaccine was ever produced though there were many failed attempts based on the assumption that the disease was bacterial). Martial law actions only served to drag out the timeline of the virus.
One could argue that a hundred years ago governments did not have the same tools at their disposal as they do now. But are we really that much further ahead? Virologists have been working on an effective SARS vaccine for almost two decades with little success; the idea that they could come up with a working vaccine for Covid in the span of a year (as many governments are suggesting) seems absurd. History shows us that when vaccines are rushed into production by authorities, very bad things happen.
Regardless of lockdown measures, infection rates continue to climb in many nations, thereby justifying EVEN LONGER or more frequent lockdowns. This creates an endless cycle of economic instability which the public cannot endure, and many people are beginning to wonder what purpose of the pandemic restrictions serve? It’s obviously not to slow the virus and save lives as an effective vaccine is unlikely to be developed in time for the lockdowns to matter. But, if you wanted to quickly implement a totalitarian system, then using a global health threat as justification might be the ticket.
The problem for the establishment will be this: How can they keep the tyranny going once they have it? Ultimately, for a totalitarian system to work it NEEDS a large portion of the public to support it on principle. The public has to believe that the loss of their liberties is necessary to their survival for the long term.