by Jeffrey Tucker for Epoch Times
‘The Valorization of the Tyrants’
This is surely one of the strangest twists in official narratives in perhaps hundreds of years. The bad guys have been christened as the good guys, and the good guys have been purged, deplatformed, canceled, and demonized. It’s a turn of events none of us could have imagined back in 2020. It cries out for an explanation. I truly fear knowing the answer as to why.
Just consider the fate of former New Zealand Prime Jacinda Ardern. She locked down her country, trampling all rights of the people under the guise of controlling the spread of a virus. You could not go to church. You could not be unmasked. You could not leave the country and return. No one could travel there without official permission.
As bad as the United States and Europe were during this period, New Zealand was worse, and it was backed up by speech controls. Anyone protesting the policies was risking everything. And when the vaccine came along, Ardern outright said it: the people who get it will have rights but those who do not will not. It was a new biomedical caste system.
Eventually, the country did open. Now speakers decrying the whole period are attracting audiences in the thousands, and Ardern is widely unpopular. Her successor who continues to defend all this despotism is under a cloud and also deeply unpopular. The tables have completely turned. Of course the virus came anyway, as it must, so the junta that did this has turned their attention to climate change, the defense of censorship, and the escalation of the Russia/Ukraine war.
Five years ago, anyone would have supposed that a leader that acted this way would live in shame. I certainly assumed so. My supposition is that Ardern had made horrific misjudgments and would be widely decried as a confused tyrant. She would live out her days in disrepute, surely.
The opposite has happened. She is now the subject of celebratory biographies. She is lauded by mainstream media. She addressed the United Nations last year in a speech that was an open call for a new global censorship regime. True, the fact-checkers disagree with this interpretation. Instead she was merely calling out “the weaponization of free speech societies and platforms by misinformation agents.”
In any case, in my imagination, I could not have dreamed up a specimen of error and tyranny more deserving of devaluing than Jacinda Ardern. Everything she did during the COVID era flies in the face of values that the West has held for almost a thousand years since the Magna Carta.
But I was wrong. Completely. I underestimated just how broken the world is. Instead of being disgraced, she is enjoying not one but two fellowships at Harvard University where she enjoys massive prestige and adoration by faculty, staff, and students. To me, this seems like the Twilight Zone—an ending to the story that I could not have imagined. Are we supposed to be against segregation, house arrest, forced medical treatments, locking people in nations, and censorship? I thought at least we would agree on that much. Apparently not. Apparently, it is the opposite. Everything that I believed was deprecated is exalted and all the public virtues I believed we extolled are now denounced.