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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Prole Nation: We Love Big Brother

A WaPo/ABC poll says that 63% of Americans approve of being spied upon by the NSA as a way to prevent "terrorism." Billmon explains how government and corporate beauracracies are turning us into the new, improved Soviet Union.
By giving up their privacy and – potentially – their civil liberties in exchange for a degree of protection (real or imaginary) from terrorism, they’ve sacrificed items that apparently are of only marginal value to them for something more important – their belief that the organization is looking out for them.

We can argue all we want that the deal is a sham, that any sense of security is an illusion, and that having gobbled up their privacy and some of their liberty, Leviathan will only come looking for more, because that’s all it knows how to do. But an awfully large number of our fellow citizens have already decided, or have been conditioned to believe, that it’s better to be subjects and let others make the hard decisions for them. After all, the organization must have its reasons.

Of course, this potentially sets the scene for the next loop in the downward spiral towards a full-fledged police state. If and when the next terrorist attack comes, the natural response of the national security bureaucracy (and its legal camp followers) will be to insist the tragedy never would have happened if it had been given access to all the data it wanted, all the money it needed, and all the investigative powers it demanded. It’ll be the fighting-with-one-hand-tied-behind-our-back argument, re-imported from Iraq. And who’s going to say no when another major American landmark is a smoldering ruin?