Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Slide Into an Authoritarian State

How does one tell whether one is living in a dictatorship, or almost? The signs need not be so obvious as having a squat little man raving from balconies. Methinks the following indicators serve. In a dictatorship:

(1) Sweeping laws are made without reference to the will of the people. A few examples follow. Whether you think these laws desirable is not the point. Some will, others won’t. The point is that they were simply imposed from above. Many of them would never have survived a national vote.

Start with Roe vs. Wade, making abortion legal, and subsequent decisions allowing late-term abortion. Griggs versus Duke Power, forbidding employers from using tests of intelligence, since certain groups scored poorly. Brown versus the School Board and its offspring requiring forced integration, forced busing, racial quotas, and so on. (I disagree with Fred on the Brown case A/O.) The decision that Creationism cannot be mentioned in the schools. Decisions forbidding the public expression of Christianity. The decision that citizens can be stopped and searched without probable cause. The opening of the borders to mass immigration.

These are major, major laws grossly altering the social, legal, and constitutional fabric of the country. All were simply imposed, mostly by unelected judges against whom there is no recourse.

Note that there is no practical distinction between a decision by the Supreme Court, a regulation made by an executive bureaucracy, and a practice quietly adopted by the intelligence agencies and federal police. None of these requires public approval.

For that matter, consider the militarization of the police, the creation of Homeland Security’s Viper teams that randomly search cars, the vast and growing spying on Americans by government, and the genital gropings by TSA. Consider the endless undeclared wars that one finds out often only after the troops have been sent. All simply imposed from above
Read the rest here.


Jason said...

The thing is, it's something everyone pretty much knows, but doesn't care to do anything about. James Shelby Downard characterized the American people as an animated corpse, waiting until the next jolt to give us a momentary thrill. After the shock wears off, we shrivel back up into our illusory cocoon. Perhaps that's why pop culture is saturated with zombies - art reflecting life.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

And supposing the American people were to wake up and want o take action, what should we do?

Christopher D. Hall said...

Well said, Jason.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Diverse societies require a large national security and law enforcement apparatus because of the lack of cohesion and low trust between different, often antithetical groups. The peace is kept by a vigorously enforced belief in equality requiring not just authoritiarianism but totalitarianism. Reality itself must be obscured, camouflaged and perceptions twisted to make the apparent conform to the ideal.

The problem for the national security state does not end at its borders. So many of its multi-national citizens have a personal stake in the outcome of foreign conflicts that the State literally must invade the world because it has invited the world. The intervention triggers blowback which justifies in its turn further policing and foreign intervention, ad infinitum.