The history of government in this world tilts almost totally towards authoritarianism. A free society is the exception, authoritarianism is the rule.
People, driven by fear, are often willing to give up their freedom for protection from some amorphous, imagined, unseen or even perceived evil, and there is usually someone in government willing to capitalize on that fear to consolidate their power. In a constitutional Republic, those in position of government authority need more than just the bald assertion of power to institute an authoritarian government. Throughout history, authoritarians have used many excuses to displace the legislative process and consolidate power, and many have used an emergency as a reason to displace constitutional processes, because those processes “are just too slow” to deal with the effects of the emergency. If a political officeholder has authoritarian tendencies, any excuse will do. That is why the exercise of emergency powers in a free society must be strictly limited in scope and in time. The potential for abuse of freedom is just too great.
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