We have been talking covid, covid, covid, and the thought of mandates - which doesn't mean holding people down, BTW, whatever else happens - but issues of liberty have been coming up in libertarian and conservative circles for years. This just pushes them over the top.
It's not crazy. We have had liberating technologies, but governments have moved in to try and "make sure people use this right" just as often. We have many more restrictions, but I actually think we are in a net gain.
When I was a young man, the federal government could draft you and send your ass* overseas to get killed.
Tax rates in the 60s hit 90% for the highest incomes - which were not all that high - until Kennedy and then Reagan pulled them down. We roll our eyes at the fanatics talking about "confiscation" now, but really, look at that. How is that not a serious limitation on all your business actions, when nine parts in ten are going to DC?
Because we have made transactions less restricted, there are lots of things that are no longer an obstacle. You can buy a drink at a restaurant everywhere, including the south and midwest. You don't have to go to that one store, sometimes in the next town, to buy Playboy, if anyone is still interested in that. You can buy lots of things without your neighbors knowing. You can buy things on Sundays, and if the store isn't there you can order it online.
Plus, you might ask Black people about restrictions on their lives compared to pre-1970, and women could explain to you about some of the de facto vs de jure restrictions of their youth.
Much of what we object to is the government or large corporations knowing things about us that IBM or Eisenhower never dreamed of. It is new territory for freedom, but much of it immediately captured in worrisome ways. Counting credit cards, retirement and investment accounts, credit unions and banks, and online purchases that are essentially an account kept in records, how many more accounts do you have than your parents? Faceless entities know more because there is more information to be had.
Surveillance does alarm me.
*That construction is actually a pronoun now, according to linguist John McWhorter, and I think he is right. Think about it, and try to separate your thinking from its origin and look at what its usage is now. You might call it a synecdoche, but I think it has even gone beyond that at this point. "My ass," "Your ass," "Her ass" is just a coarse, dramatic, colloquial version of my/your/her