By Paul Collits
The Covid era produced many villains, across countries, governments, major political parties, the
bureaucracy, the legacy media, the universities, the corporates, Big Pharma and Big Tech. Many villains
and few heroes.
Or as author Ramesh Thakur, one of Australia’s undoubted Covid heroes of resistance, put it: “The years of living with increasingly oppressive Covid restrictions and mandates is a tale of many villains complicit in tyranny and a few heroes of resistance.”
Thakur is a political scientist, a former senior United Nations official, an Emeritus Australian National
University Professor, and, most recently a columnist for The Spectator Australia and The Brownstone
Institute, living in what has turned out to be an analytical and perhaps agitated retirement on the north
coast of New South Wales. I am sure Ramesh’s retirement plans did not include experiencing and
subsequently chronicling a totalitarian dystopia. That came out of nowhere. For him, and for the rest of
But chronicling a totalitarian dystopia is precisely what he has been doing, culminating now in the
publication of a very substantial book, titled Our Enemy the Government: How Covid Enabled the
Expansion and Abuse of State Power.
The first thing to note about the book is its title, borrowed, no doubt, with knowing irony from Albert
Jay Nock’s Our Enemy the State, published in 1935. Nock was an essayist and one of the earliest and
most famous leading lights of America’s libertarian movement. Nock was at the anarchist end. Post-
Covid, Ramesh Thakur might well feel sympathy for Nock’s position. Clearly, in the anarchist tradition,
Thakur sees government as “the enemy”. This has all sorts of implications for political obligation.
Thakur’s book will stand proudly alongside some of the other chronicles of public health dystopia,
including the works of Alex Berenson, Scott Atlas, Naomi Wolf (two, now), Robert Malone, Robert F
Kennedy Jr (also two, now), Tom Woods, Laura Dodsworth, Mattias Desmet, John Stapleton, Sharri
Markson and Gigi Foster (with Paul Frijters and Michael Baker).
Mercifully, the list is growing. All power to those who are contributing.
We might also include an emerging literature on the coming new world order, not unconnected to the
Covid affair. Here we can note the work of (USA Libertarian Party candidate) Michael Rectenwald and
Michael Walsh. At least there are two 2024 presidential candidates who somehow have noticed that
there has been an attempted global totalitarian takeover. Another, Florida’s heroic Governor, Ron
DeSantis, is also up to speed on the Covid era.
So, there is a critical, dissident, narrative attacking literature emerging. It will continue, and it will
matter. Getting the true story of Covid down matters, deeply.
That Australia has produced several works on the Covid period is, as old lefties used to say, “no
coincidence”. It is illustrative of three aspects of the response to Covid down under. First, outside
China, Australia’s Covid regime was just about as bad as it got. Second, the willingness of most
Australians to hand over their freedoms without demur was astonishing to many, both here and
Third, Australia is, with Britain, leading the way in Covid non inquiries. This has raised the need for those outside the Covid establishment to undertake their own deep analyses of what occurred on the watch of a political class that has, since infamous lockdown czar, former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, unilaterally declared Covid exceptionalism “over” last year, shamefully looked the other way.
Thakur himself has given us a succinct overview of both the book and the era:
It’s a story of venal, incompetent politicians and brutish police – thugs in uniform – acting at the
behest of power-drunk apparatchiks.
Medically idiotic, economically ruinous, socially disruptive and embittering, culturally dystopian,
politically despotic: what was there to like in the Covid era?
Billions, if you were Big Pharma.
Also to like were:
Unchecked power, if you were Big State.
Power over the whole population of a state and fame with extended daily TV appearances
on all channels, if you were a chief medical officer.
More money and power over the world’s governments and people for the WHO.
Template for action for climate zealots.
Dreamtime for cops given free rein to indulge their inner bully.
But anguished despair, if you were a caring, concerned citizen who loves individual freedom and
The existing frameworks, processes and institutional safeguards under which liberal
democracies operated until 2020 had ensured expanding freedoms, growing prosperity, an
enviable lifestyle and quality of life, and educational and health outcomes without precedent in
Abandoning them in favour of a tightly centralised small group of decision- makers liberated from any external scrutiny, contestability and accountability, produced both a dysfunctional process and suboptimal outcomes: very modest gains for much long-lasting pain.
The book isn’t only about Australia, by the way. Its lessons are for readers everywhere, certainly across
the Western so-called democracies.
While Australia was at the forefront of the world’s Covid policy crimes, it wasn’t alone.
The Covid crimes were global, and Ramesh’s book covers the territory.
He analyses the course of events in his own native country, India, for example. He covers the non-
medical interventions, the vaccine wars, the silencing of dissent, the sins of the regulators, the media
“lickspittles of State power”, the failure of international institutions like the World Health Organisation,
the failures of parliaments, the descent of the Anglosphere into authoritarianism, the maskism, and the
linkages between Covid management and climate catastrophism. All are bundled into an all-
encompassing, critical analysis of the State’s Covid crimes.
A frightening attack by the State on the governed. For Thakur, who knows his Thomas Hobbes, it has been a complete demolition job on liberal democracy’s fundamental principle of the consent of the governed. This book is a comprehensive demolition job. Footnoted and researched, and reasoned. Meticulously.
The Covid failures were, at bottom, a crisis of politics. The seasoned political scientist in Thakur focuses
on the “virus thin” line that separates democracy from dictatorship.
There have been two kinds of Covid realist. Those who were sniffing the totalitarian breezes from the
start, and those who, while initially on board with China-style responses, subsequently saw the light.
Ramesh was onto the Covid dictatorship very early on. His very first article appeared on 30 March 2020,
its title: Coronavirus pandemic: sceptical question marks make for better policy than excitable
And once he was involved with the beast, he didn’t let go.
He upbraids the “science deniers” and the “self-censoring” media. He identifies lockdowns as
the tools of the elites involved in a class war, and a war of the cities on the countryside. He pings the
health regulators for not doing their jobs and of doing the bidding of their funders, Big Pharma, and he
takes to task the journalist profession for abandoning ship.
Above all, the book is about executive overreach, the great scourge of our Western polities.
As a record of the Covid lunacy you aren’t likely to get a better, fuller record than that provided by
Ramesh Thakur. A high level record. There is much depth here to be plumbed. This is a complex story,
written by a political scientist of international repute who has committed himself to address the deep
issues that have plagued the world these past years. And has taken the time to attempt to figure out
what the hell has just happened.
Read the book. Note its messages. Send to friends. Hope that they will suspend their comfortable
ignorance and embrace the uncomfortable truth about Covid.