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Understanding Freedom and Oppression in the Context of the Great Lock-down

Cottage time last Fall, 2021, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Cottage time last Fall, 2021, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

The last two years have been indeed difficult for most people. Their routines in their lives have been disrupted. Many people lost their jobs, businesses and many lost their lives as well. The level of anxiety was also intensified because people generally want certainty and the last two years have been everything and anything but certain.

In this context, it is understandable that people have different opinions on what should happen in respect to how we should go about our lives. We have people such as myself who has not seen a doctor in over fifteen years and has no plan on seeing one. Then, we have people such as my sister, who is immune-compromised and would take a vaccine each month if she thought it would help keep away a virus that could certainly kill her. An pneumonia killed my mother. That was because she was already sick with leukemia, which basically killed-off her immune system so, she couldn't fight-off the pneumonia.

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple" said Oscar Wilde. How ever right he was!

I see people screaming foul at all sorts of different measures that western governments have taken in relation to this pandemic. "Tyranny, oppression" many scream as they have no idea of what "oppression" means, or is. I saw a sign on a truck on the highway yesterday, it read: "F**K TRUDEAU". As if our Prime Minister Trudeau, is Kim Jong-un, or Vladimir Putin and he controls everything in this country.

Usually, I can laugh things-off but the misunderstanding that people carry regarding oppression, freedom and the role of our politicians, is too great and stopping any sort of smile from forming. There is a grave misunderstanding of how western political systems work.

Everyone who is saying that western democracies have been tyrannical in the last two years, is basically slapping me in the face because I was born and raised in a real dictatorship, in Romania, in the late 70s. I know what real oppression means. I lived in a real dictatorship, in which if You even muttered a word of displeasure with the government, I mean even a light criticism, could mean your entire family disappeared forever; like nobody even existed.

There were political prisoners jailed for decades. I met one man after the Revolution who was imprisoned for 17 years. His eyes sunk to the back of his head and looked like two black sink-holes because he did not see light a big portion of the 17 years. That's oppression, not having to wear a fucking mask to the grocery store! That man Corneliu Coposu, had one metal plate in which he took a shit in and also ate his food from, while in prison. That's a real story, from a real dictatorship. What does anyone born in the western world know about living in oppression (unless You're Native)? Let's be honest with ourselves.

I had distant relatives shot for trying to cross the border, to escape the country. On the other hand, I had a friend leave Toronto last December because he did not want to put-up with the restrictions. He's in Mexico and as Ontario has just announced the lifting of restrictions, he will be coming back as he originally planned. So he left when he wanted and he'll come back when he wants. Terrible oppression!!!

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We now passed day three, or four in which members of our Parliament are arguing over the fact that our minority government enacted the Emergencies Act, to clear protestors from our capital, Ottawa. So, since the government does not hold a majority, it had to get support from another political party and it did. Different members, from different political parties are supporting the implementation of the Emergencies Act. Do I agree with it? No. I think it is an over-reach but Members of Parliament are agreeing with it. The Emergencies Act can be stopped at any minute if Members of Parliament chose to do so. Yes, that is how democracies work. I don't like the way the Parliamentarians are choosing to vote on this but they are making their choices out of their own volition.

Sigh ... most people have no clue how their own political system works. I do because I was born in a place with no political freedom and very few social freedoms as well. I had to learn about politics to understand my existence. In the revolution of 1989, the entire country went out on the streets and everyone at that point was willing to die; many did.

Having a protest of several thousand people on the other hand, or even tens of thousands of people, doesn't mean the entire country is behind You. Or, if You and your Facebook friends have a group of thousands of people who agree on a set of issues, again doesn't mean the entire country agrees with You.

You might feel oppressed right now, as I did when weed was illegal in Canada. Yes, a handful of years ago weed was illegal and I felt oppressed. Did that mean that Canada was tyrannical, or that it was a dictatorship because Mr. Joe Blow over here felt a little oppressed?

Is there oppression now, when two years into this pandemic I have not had any vaccines and I am still living comfortably? Does that photo at the top look like oppression? I am not jailed with no sunlight, eating from the same plate I shit in because I did not get vaccinated. Yes, there have been restrictions but God ... not even a fraction of a fraction of what I was born into and all the restrictions have been voted for by the politicians we all voted for. That's how democracies work.

At this point I wish every human being in the Western world lived just one month of my childhood, to see what real oppression is like. Until then, people should have a second thought before they yell: "Oppression!!!" (And go vote for fuck's-sake because it's our politicians who make up the rules. Vote who You want in power to implement whatever rules You want. We do have that option. We still live in democracies here in the western world, fragile as they are.)

All the best to everyone!

Corneliu Coposu, Romanian political prisoner for 17 years during the Ceausescu dictatorship

Corneliu Coposu, Romanian political prisoner for 17 years during the Ceausescu dictatorship

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