To The Editor,

The American Attorney General, William Barr, made a statement last week comparing the lock-downs and stay at home laws to slavery, Was he wrong?

Webster’s defines slavery as “submission to a dominating force.” That definition certainly fits what is happening across many countries at this time. Virtually every aspect of daily life is now decided not by self but by some ‘health official’ sanctioned by government forces and enforced by government agents. Sounds right.

Old books from the time of slavery sometimes depict slave masters on horseback carrying whips for control. Present-day Australia shows police on very large horses, dressed in riot gear and holding batons (in lieu of whips) driving crowds of citizens who do not wish to submit to their political masters’ will. Not far off.

Slave owners had an economic interest in their chattels’ well-being: individuals’ lives were closely monitored and personal decisions regarding risk discouraged. A slave who did something not authorized might meet harm and thereby reduce the capacity to produce. Today, citizens are not allowed to make their own decisions on risk. Government agents do that for us, for much the same reason.

Power is another aspect of the master/slave relationship. It has been stated that power over others is the most addicting drug ever devised. Feeling a sensation of power is in fact the reason why many drugs are used. And like a drug, power is addicting. Once wired, it is very difficult to give up. Politicians of all stripes, are hooked on power now. “Is that allowed?” is a question which individuals must ask of government before any movement is made, and an official will answer. A “yes” response will be limited, and a “no” means heavy punishment if contravened. One more similarity.

Mask-wearing has become a visible symbol of this relationship. Wear and submit. No matter what is worn, how many times it is worn or of what it is made of, the imperative is to cover one’s face. Eliminating individualism is the goal. The motto that we are not all in this together is a farce. The government worker who stays at home while collecting pay is not in the same boat as the private entrepreneur who must watch her/his life’s efforts go down the drain. Even if they both wear the mask.

Once again the Roman question must be asked: Cui bono? Who benefits? The obvious answer is big money. Mr. Bezos of Amazon fame has seen his fortune rise by $74,000,000,000. since the lock-downs were commenced. Apple Corp. is now valued at more than the total Canadian GDP. Meanwhile virtually all pharmaceutical companies are working feverishly to be the one to dispense the vaccine which will liberate citizens and make themselves incredibly rich; thereby even more powerful.

The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants,” said Albert Camus. Tyranny is defined by Webster’s as “oppressive power exerted by government,” which fits hand in glove with its definition of slavery.

Was Mr. Barr wrong?

Gordon Fraser