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(25 SECONDS) Trudeau overthrows government in midst of the COVID national emergency? Queen Elizabeth no longer head of state? Is democracy dead? These are just hypotheticals. But what if? Hi, I’m Rustam. Today I going to be talking about the dangerous modern-day (and historic) issue of authoritarianism, the impacts it has on society, and what can be done to prevent it from occurring in the future.
[TedEd INTRO] (10 SECONDS)
(1 MINUTE 30 SECONDS) Authoritarianism is emerging all around the globe. But first, what is it? Authoritarianism is society being compliant to one head of state, at the expense of their civil liberties, rights, and freedoms. It usually comes to be in states of emergencies, with one leader seeing an opportunity to take hold of a country. Okay, let’s put in another way. Trudeau wakes up one morning and decides to overthrow Canadian democracy for the sake of “safety and protection” during the virus. Yes he will have the power to instantly act on any issue and impose laws in place to exterminate the virus, but what then? Once the virus is eradicated, Trudeau won’t simply give up his power, he will continue to abuse it. As we have seen in the past, charismatic and cunning leaders like Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin can completely unite their country through a social goal, but it doesn’t always end up so well. Another way authoritarianism can form is demonstrated in the 2014 post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven written by Emily Mandel, in which the tyrannical leader known as “The Prophet” unites people to be subservient to him through divine indoctrination principles like religion. Picture this, thousands are roaming a wasteland without any hope, but one man decides to deceive them by giving them hope through religion, but then uses his power to control them. Pretty vile, isn’t it? Well, that’s authoritarianism for you.
(20 SECOND VIDEO)
(40 SECONDS - PARK RENDER) So what would it be like to experience life in this sort of world? Well, the modern day world is already experiencing it in countries in Europe, like Belarus, Sweden, and Poland, among many others. Let’s see this through Jimmy’s travels around the globe.
Jimmy visits Belarus. There he sees no journalism, only the government killing journalists and cutting their funding. If there was, it would expose the wrongs of authoritarian leaders. Think of Jimmy’s friend. He owns a news outlet in dystopian Canada, but he openly criticizes Trudeau’s new regime. Trudeau personally calls him over for a cup of tea, and Jimmy’s friend is never heard from ever again.
(1 MINUTE 20 SECONDS - DOWNTOWN RENDER) Jimmy then makes a stop at the now-military-controlled Myanmar. He witnesses the strict law enforcement that patrols in all places after the coup d'etat. And cameras - cameras everywhere. All to keep order in civilians and “reduce crime”, at the expense of intimacy. He moves on to Uzbekistan. Jimmy better not freely expresses himself, his coffin is always prepared for him. Throughout Jimmy’s next travels to countries like Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain, he notices that there is no opposition to the current head of state, and that all political parties are banned. Censorship is number one on Jimmy’s encounter list. From what he's learned, he labels it as “priority to keeping things in check.” Truth and reality becomes hidden. Lies become the reality. In places like China, the CCP have been silencing their citizens for decades, while also covering up war crimes, such as genocide and massacres. Should Jimmy post a negative tweet, his social credit score will be bombed, as well as having his family be taken hostage by authorities.
(30 SECOND VIDEO)
(15 SECONDS) In short, authoritarianism is the government controlling the social, economic, and political lives of civilians, as opposed to democratic governments that let citizens manage their own social, economic, and political matters. Now think for a second if these laws were imbued in the Canadian Charter, or if the Charter overall was taken down. Think about how it could affect you. You wouldn’t be able to defy government action. You would wake up every morning reading propaganda instead of Trudeau’s incompetence being criticized.
(SNOW RENDER - 1 MINUTE 15 SECONDS) Now, unless you’re Fidel Castro, the man who took down the Cuban government, then authoritarian regimes are very difficult to bring down. But every regime has its arising signs. Every one of them mentioned a minute ago - control of media, abolition of journalism, silencing opposition, and more. Once again, let’s look at it realistically from Jimmy’s perspective who lives in dystopian Canada on the brink of authoritarianism.
While Jimmy does still have some rights and freedoms in place, he organizes a protest online, which quickly grows into a massive, peaceful protest aimed to stand up against tyranny. If most of the government isn’t corrupted yet, then there is hope for Jimmy’s cause. Secondly, authoritarian leaders tend to rely on the military to maintain power, so Jimmy’s protests might provoke the Chief of the Military, who is Queen Elizabeth, to take action against Trudeau before he turns to totalitarianism. This would result in a coup d’etat until approaches towards democracy can be settled once more.
This is honestly as realistic for a solution as it gets, but it does involve a lot of deaths, pain, and suffering along the way.
(25 SECONDS) It is essential to notice signs of growing authoritarianism, and quickly counter it as fast as possible before the government becomes near-impossible to bring down. And although I’ve given many examples through an authoritarian version of Trudeau, it is highly unlikely he will really seize power, because in Canada, the strength and unity of the people greatly outmatches the power of the government.
OUTRO (5 SECONDS)
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