Austin Preshko: Enforcing mandate with informants will encourage false reports against those who engage in ‘wrong think’



“Eva, dear, did your father teach you anything last night?”

My grandmother, Eva Hahn, received this question almost daily at school in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. While the question seems innocent enough at first glance, the teachers were actually fishing for proof that my great-grandfather, Jaroslav, was teaching his daughters “non-communist” ideas, such as the unabridged history of Czechoslovakia.

While my grandmother and her sister never turned their father in, eventually the communists found the “proof” that they needed against him – testimonies of neighbors and former coworkers. Jaroslav heard from friends that a warrant for his arrest was forthcoming, and that the outcome of the trial was already decided – guilty, with a sentence of six years in the uranium mines. This was a death sentence, as the average life expectancy in the uranium mines was just under five years. He escaped with his family soon after.

History may not repeat, but we can see patterns. No one is being rounded up and sent off to camps in the United States—but government (and social media) are demanding more and more strict adherence to approved ways of thinking.

Already, COVID-19 has justified massive increases in government power and reach. The recent vaccine mandate is a perfect example of this. For government officials at all levels, it was not enough to shut down the country, shatter the economy, wreck educations, and require masks everywhere. Now, the federal government is making an unconstitutional power grab by requiring businesses to force their employees to be vaccinated or consent to daily testing.

The most disturbing part is how it would be enforced: through employee reports. The Biden administration claims this is a good thing – OSHA won’t be kicking in doors and demanding vaccination papers; instead, it will simply respond to reports from employees. These employees will be protected and rewarded under the False Claims Act, which was designed to protect whistleblowers who reported fraud to the government.

Sound familiar?

While the communists did use secret police, surveillance, and wiretaps to weed out dissidents, they also relied on a vast network citizen-informants. This system encouraged false reports—you could report a supervisor, competitor, or even just a disliked neighbor with no repercussions. The “trials” were a foregone conclusion—anyone in the system was assumed guilty. There was no justice and no due process.

We’re assured no one will go to jail over the vaccine mandate, but it sets a dangerous precedent in the enforcement of regulations—asking Americans to spy and report on each other.

If a company is reported, OSHA can dig into private records to see if the mandate is being enforced. Imagine the potential for abuse there. By nature, a system that relies on reports like this is built entirely on the word of one person against another. Since there is no trial in this situation, there is no risk to the reporter if they issue a false report—they could submit a report out of spite.

The woke crowd in America already tears people down for the most minor of transgressions against political correctness. Enforcing a mandate with informants is sure to encourage false reports against those who engage in wrongthink.

The Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who spent almost 10 years in the Soviet gulags, said of the West, “There always is this fallacious belief: ‘It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.’ Alas, all the evil of the 20th century is possible everywhere on earth.”

Fortunately, the vaccine mandate has been temporarily stayed due to the actions of Texas Public Policy Foundation’s own Center for the American Future. However, this is not permanent and could be undone at any moment. The threat that the vaccine mandate poses towards freedom is enormous—it must be stopped.

Editor’s note: In the above photo, Eva Hahn is in the center. To her left is Eva’s mother, Maria Riha, and to right is her grandmother, Maria Zezulkova. This column, used with permission, first appeared Nov. 17 at Texas Public Policy Foundation.


  1. In Nazi Germany and Communist Russia there were many “Karen’s”. The Gestapo and KGB were relatively small organizations. It was the Karen’s which empowered them.
    I wonder how many of those Karen’s survived WW-2? The greatest percentage of deaths were civilian.
    Karen’s help totalitarian ideologies to take root. How many Karen’s, what percentage of them have perished in whatever chaos they helped to bring about?

    • Joseph, there is always and everywhere a substantial fraction of the population who will not only blindly and gladly accept the dictates of those in authority, no matter how corrupt, outrageous or evil those dictate may be, but will go further and act on authority’s behalf in snitching on “badthinkers” and noncomformists. These servile and bootlicking kind of people (and I use the word ‘people’ loosely here) are beyond my comprehension, and I find them the most contemptible of all humans; indeed, I find it hard to consider them truly human at all.

      • Their most common denominator is fear. They fear what they can’t control, what they can’t understand, what they can’t relate to.

        • Definitely lots of fear floating around in the air nowadays. Seems like it’s only those on the far extremes who let it dictate their lives.

      • Jeff,
        Why doesn’t it surprise me that you literally dehumanize those you disagree with and don’t even sense the blind irony involved in your statement?

        • Steve,
          How is it “dehumanizing” to rightfully condemn the servile and sycophantic collaboration of Quislings with tyrannical authority? This is not a matter of ‘dehumanizing’ willing collaborators with evil — they have already dehumanized themselves as a result of their own cowardly and evil actions.
          Once again, you parade your disingenuous speciousness and strawman arguments in kneejerk defense of blind support for the establishment power structure. Which makes me even more suspect that you are one of those very same people to whom I am referring.

          • Jeff,
            You don’t really understand what occurred during the Holocaust, do you? An entire race of people were dehumanized simply because they were born, not because of what they chose to believe, but because they were born. The propaganda of the Nazi’s dehumanized these people to the point that everyday citizens thought the wholesale slaughter of a people was somehow acceptable.
            If you are willing to be a collaborator, or in your case an unapologetic dehumanizer of people, well that’s on you.
            You really should look up what a strawman argument is, along with the other words you clearly do not understand the meaning of.

  2. Some beautiful values to be cherished in the US is conformance to the 1776 Constitution including privacy and right to exercise personal conscience. These are out of favor at the moment with the left agenda.

  3. When a corrupt government rewards the ratting out of citizens BY citizens it will create a school ground mentality as the rats scurry to seek the favor of the entity encouraging it. Just as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Look up the final scene where Donald Sutherland, mouth wide opening, points out a person who has yet to comply (transform). Sobering times, kids.

  4. OSHA can “dig into private records”? What private records? Medical records? Financial records? Criminal records? We need more information on this!

  5. All ruthless dictators use the population for control. It’s a long list..Hitler,.Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, Pol Pot, Castro, Duvalier, Mao, Xi Ping…the list grows today. There is a true blueprint on how to control your population and weed out dissenters.

  6. So, Preshko… nothing about hitting back, for example, drowning mandaters’ hot lines with tens of thousands of “complaints” daily… hourly if need be.
    Or have we finally learned t be so fearful of our own shadows that we dare not even think of such things?

  7. Our system is working as planned. The unconstitutional mandate has been stopped and will be handled by the courts and ultimately ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS, probably in a unanimous decision.

    • Steve-O, I’ll bet SCOTUS will not even hear this case and let the lower Court ruling stand. That’s how repugnant to the Constitution the “CHINA JOE” dictate is.
      BTW Steve, some of us wonder about the humanity of those that are so mesmerized by their fear that they support injecting the poison jab into healthy children.

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