With the astounding new power-grab being attempted by Dan Andrews in Victoria, making him and the health minister effectively dictator for life while trashing democracy and human rights, we need to once again learn from the past. Philosophers and political theorists from Aristotle on up have spoken about ways in which despotism can be resisted and kept in check.
The need for organisations and groups which offset the power of the ever-increasing state is a major part of this. The naked individual against an all-powerful state is the dream of every tyrant and the nightmare of every freedom-loving citizen. That is why there is always the pressing need to have something that stands between the individual and the state.
These include the family, neighbourhood, churches, labour groups, voluntary associations, local communities, and so on. These have been referred to as mediating structures or intermediary institutions. Political thinkers have long stressed the importance of these.