2021 Nov 18, 11:00am
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The mandatory QR code first introduced in China in 2020 and subsequently in liberal democratic states around the world in 2021, to keep permanent track of people’s health status and as a prerequisite for participating in society, is the latest and deeply troubling phenomenon of this same surveillance capitalism. Here the dividing line between mere technocracy and totalitarianism becomes almost extinct under the guise of “protecting public health.” The currently attempted colonization of the human body by the state and its commercial partners, claiming to have our best interests in mind, is part of this troubling dynamic. Where did the progressive mantra “My body, my choice” suddenly go?So, what then, is totalitarianism? It is a system of government (a totalitarian regime), or a system of increasing control otherwise implemented (a totalitarian movement) – presenting itself in different forms and at different levels of society – that tolerates no individual freedom or independent thought and that ultimately seeks to totally subordinate and direct all aspects of the individual human life. In the words of Dreher, totalitarianism “is a state in which nothing can be permitted to exist that contradicts a society’s ruling ideology.”In modern society, where we see this dynamic very much at work, the use of science and technology play a decisive role in enabling totalitarian tendencies to take hold in ways that 20th century ideologues could only have dreamed of. Furthermore, accompanying totalitarianism in whatever stage, institutionalized dehumanization occurs and is the process by which the whole or part of the population is subjected to policies and practices that consistently violate the dignity and fundamental rights of the human being and that may ultimately lead to exclusion and social or, in the worst case, physical extermination.