To enjoy your freedom, you must do exactly what you are told to do. If you want to be free, all you have to do is conform and submit to authority. Makes sense, doesn't it?
The logic is astounding, yet that is the attitude that many people had during the covid-19 pandemic and prior. If you just obey everything, we'll all get through this much faster. It's only a little bit of an inconvenience, nothing to worry about. The sentiment is terrifying.
After centuries of watching innocent people lose control over their own dignity and free will by submitting in good faith to authoritarians, it boggles the mind how they can still surrender.
Ordinarily in day-to-day life those in power like to allow the people to believe they have a long latitude of freedoms. Anything they're taking away from you is for your own good, the way a nanny takes away a dangerous toy from a toddler. The establishment knows best, so removing your personal choice is a matter of benevolence.
Emergencies are also exploited (or created) to take away the freedom of the individual.
Recall the year 2001, when the government needed a 24/7 surveillance state to protect us from terrorism after 9/11. Turns out, they were just spying on the American people for their own special interests.
If you have nothing to hide, then you won't mind. That was the prevailing attitude of the Bush Era. You can have your right to privacy, as long as you're not a terrorist, and if you aren't one, then you do not need your privacy.
As Snowden said, "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."
These are the tricks of the trade when it comes to authoritarianism. Your sovereignty is viewed as an obstacle to justice and civility, and you're made to feel inferior for wanting to safeguard it.
Freedom means that viruses and terrorists win, so wanting to keep your freedom is an act of defiance against all that is good and pure.
They will keep you on a short leash, giving you just enough bread and circuses to keep you silent and compliant; they will give you just enough space to roam so that you will gladly hand over half of your paycheck to them.
Their power continues to be concentrated and centralized into a monolithic juggernaut of worldwide authority while your freedoms and your buying power continue to narrow and weaken to obscurity.
All while you become more complacent in the knowledge that they have your best interests at heart.
The ruling class wishes to have a population of docile, cooperative, malleable subordinates that are just smart enough to run the menial operations of society while they get more and more and you get less and less.
And when the time comes that they need to uproot your entire life as you know it, they have the ability and power to do so.
Like Orwell said, "These people do not see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you."
You are free. You are free to do as you are told.
If you're on to them and want to keep digging, check out You Cannot Comply Your Way out of Tyranny.