It’s not how any of us wanted this year to end. And it shouldn’t have ended this way. But the heart- breaking story of Baby Will again illustrates the nature of what we in the freedom community have been fighting these past few years.
It’s a story of the individual (or in the case of Baby Will, his parents) standing up to the all-powerful State. A State that has shown itself willing to sacrifice the individual for that meaningless concept, ‘the common good’.
Our story is an heroic one. David versus Goliath. Freedom versus authoritarianism. Right versus wrong.
It’s one where this time last year we were being mandated out of our jobs and society. Excluded from cafes, restaurants, gyms, libraries, sports facilities and tertiary campuses. Our children excluded from sport.
At the time we couldn’t understand why family members, friends, and fellow kiwis turned against us. Why the population was so unwilling to support our individual choices and so ready to sacrifice those freedoms our forebears had secured. It was ugly and inexplicable. This was not our New Zealand. Our country had lost its innocence.
Professor Mattias Desmet provided us with an explanation. Looking back at history he observed that when certain societal conditions were met, then society would be at risk of a mass formation. That is, “a kind of group hypnosis that destroys individual’s ethical self-awareness and robs them of their ability to think critically”. Ultimately it leads to a form of extreme collectivism and an environment in which the well-being of the individual is sacrificed to the ‘common good’.
But Professor Desmet also made a crucial observation. The most effective way of stopping mass formation (this group hypnosis) is if a small group makes the right choices and speaks out in an honest and sincere way. It only takes a few.
Individually we will never know how we each contributed to stopping the mass formation. But collectively our small group has been making a big difference.
So if you removed your mask, delivered flyers, attended one of the many marches, joined a pop up, or simply asked a question, then you are part of a small group that is changing history.
As the year comes to an end we should reflect on that success. On how each of us, in our own way, has made a difference. We stood up and spoke out when it was most needed.
While Baby Will’s case and a number of other cases were lost in courts of law, we must now put our energies into winning in the court of public opinion. And that must be the focus in 2023. It is only by winning in the court of public opinion that we will ultimately create a society which respects the rights of the individual.
We have come so far especially in the past 12 months. We have learned so much. We have found new friends and built new and resilient networks of support. And now with summer holidays fast approaching it’s time to enjoy what we have achieved together. Most importantly we must use this time to reconnect with the New Zealand we love.
For there is still much for which we can be thankful in these beautiful isles at the bottom of the world.