Compliance is inevitable, let’s use it to our advantage.

In order to acquiesce to the latest UK government regulations relating to compulsory masking, we must agree that the wearing of masks is safe and effective. We also must agree there is indeed a deadly pandemic, that the principle of asymptomatic spread is a significant factor in the spread of the disease and that masks are effective and preventing that spread.

These principles should be the foundation of our compliance. If we were really “following the science” we would know this. Yet, compliance is not about the reason of the scientific method. But it is about following.

If there was really a deadly pandemic, where there was a serious risk of dying from contracting the disease, would one dare to expose themselves to that risk if they could avoid it. If our lived experience matched that portrayed by the legacy media, would any of us seriously believe that the appropriate response to this major threat to life was a thin piece of cloth placed on our face for an extended period? Or would we in fact avoid entering any public setting at all costs for fear of our lives? In a real pandemic, would people flock to the Apple Store or go to Starbucks for a Frappuccino?

Avoiding the plague?

Would someone more mainstream than the Ice Age Farmer have advised at some point to utilize our gardens and green spaces as best we could to grow as much food as possible and graze livestock due to the inevitable supply chain disruption? Would that not be greener also?

Would it be legitimate to go shopping, or to a football match, or a restaurant, risking imminent death or life changing, debilitating side effects from a deadly pathogen?

I’m certain that many who suffer the well-established cognitive dissonance will point out that is exactly what they have been doing for the most part, whilst skipping over the questions they cannot bear to follow through to their logical conclusion.

True, people have stayed at home and locked down. Look at the number of independent shops that have shut down on your local High Street. It is sad and it is shocking. These are just businesses closures you can see. There are many more artists, services and subsidiary businesses that support the hospitality and retail sectors that have quietly petered out without the obvious scars of empty and boarded up shops.

No, this is not all about business. It is about people and how they can establish themselves independently without the reliance upon government or corporations. The ability for people to create their own independent livelihoods is a freedom not understood by people who do not seek independence.

There will be detractors who earnestly believe that by muzzling themselves for extended periods of time has something more than a negligible effect on the transmission of viruses.

We are now at a stage where it is safe to establish that our compliance with this narrative is the real danger. Looking at what has happened around the world and the general acquiescence, it is difficult not to draw analogies to what happened in Germany during the 1930s. No doubt, a Reddit subscriber would jump in here, screaming Godwin’s Law. The ‘rule’ that as an online discussion grows, the probability of a comparison to Nazis is inevitable. If we cannot reasonably and proportionally reflect upon the history, because we are hamstrung by a cynical quip, not an actual law, then we stand to lose a great deal.

It’s difficult to believe that Hitler was voted into power. When he began to annex neighbouring countries, they, for the most part, welcomed the invasion. The Austrian people cheering Hitler as he paraded in an open-top limousine, JFK style, through the streets of Vienna. His approval ratings were very high right up until around 1943. Hitler was extremely popular, not just in Germany, but in many quarters of the Anglo-American establishment. The New York Times carried articles favouring the great dictator. He appeared on the front cover of Time magazine in the US many times, and was their Man of The Year in 1938. That’s been fact-checked by Snopes. So it has to be true. Adolf Hitler: Man of the Year, 1938 eBook ...
Hitler. Time magazine’s Man of the Year, 1938.

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

Solzhenitsyn reminds us where our compliance leads. For him, it meant many year’s hardship in the network of inhumane prison camps established under Bolshevism. In the week when there are widespread reports of aboriginal people being put into “quarantine camps” in the Northern Territory of Australia, perhaps these warnings from history should not go unheeded; just because someone in their mother’s basement made up an acerbic rule that has become a trope. Remembering what happened under Hitler does not concede the argument.

So what should we do about compliance? Calling compliant people “sheep” and threatening punitive measures in some personalised imagined dystopian mob-justice future is unhelpful. If we want to change the world, we have to be responsible for the actions we take, not worry about the actions that others do not take. There is good reason for this.

I have a much better strategy than blaming others for the ills in our lives. It’s called saying “No!”. It’s very simple and effective.

If someone says, “Where is your mask?”.
Just say “No!”.
If they say, “Have you had your vaccine/booster?”
Just say “No!”
If there are any follow-up questions,
Just say “No!”

It often prevents follow-up questions quite effectively. The matter is swiftly resolved. “No!” is a very powerful word and when used correctly, it allows the person who actually wants to say “No!”, but is insecure, the power to say it. That in turn gives the person next to them the power to say it, and before long, all the sheep in the herd have the ability and the courage to say “No!”.

The shepherds and their sheepdogs lose the power they have assumed. Very quickly they learn that without the herd they are neither a shepherd nor a sheepdog. In fact, the herd is what defined them.

The only difficulty is finding the courage in oneself to say “No!”. That is the really hard bit, because the “What ifs?” rush into one’s mind and try to persuade you otherwise. But if we resist listening to the “What ifs?”, they would end up losing all their power too.

It is the “What ifs?” that actually control us, not the shepherds or the sheepdogs. They know they don’t really have any power unless they nudge the “What ifs?”. First with calm commands, then with barked orders, and eventually by crook and teeth. By then, their desperation to control the herd is palpable to anyone with skills of observation.

As I say, the real power rests in the word “No!”. When enough of us get into the habit of saying “No!”, the “What ifs?”, shepherds and sheepdogs fade into obscurity. But you have to really mean it when you say it. You don’t have to be rude. But you have to be unequivocal in your conviction.

Once critical mass is reached, the herd behaviour that is the bane of so many, will become an ally. We do not need everybody in the world to receive the same level of understanding in order to enact positive change. That would be impossible, and in waiting for it, we find ourselves Waiting for Godot. The same herd mentality will eventually turn the tide as the sheep follow the general direction of the herd.

As this video demonstrates, once the first follower has signed up to the party, compliance is inevitable.