On Paranoia and the Police State

Ron Paul on the coming police state:

Undoubtedly many Americans and members of Congress don't believe America is becoming a police state, which is reasonable enough. They associate the phrase with highly visible symbols of authoritarianism like military patrols, martial law, and summary executions. But we ought to be concerned that we have laid the foundation for tyranny by making the public more docile, more accustomed to government bullying, and more accepting of arbitrary authority- all in the name of security.

Those who believe a police state can't happen here are poor students of history. Every government, democratic or not, is capable of tyranny. We must understand this if we hope to remain a free people.

I got a lead on the above article from Brad Spangler, another left libertarian whom I am digging thoroughly these days. His article on the paranoia felt by those of us who find this ongoing war dangerous is enlightening to me, as it satisfies my need to believe that I'm not all alone in my suspicions. I need to believe that the sky is blue, and not green just because they're saying it is.

While some will, or must, deny that darkness is descending, one way to get one's bearings is to pay attention to how merely reading the news has become an exercise in Kremlinology. If you have (and use) critical thinking skills, strong indications that policy decisions may have been made for reasons other than their publicly stated rationale practically leap out at one constantly. The challenge then becomes a matter of how to avoid letting one's speculation about such matters run rampant.

He points out a great example of bureacratic non sequitor. It's possible that all this is just gov't being stupid. But remember the natural, unswerving law of politics: each gov't fuckup is just an excuse for granting the gov't still more power. At this point, seemingly ridiculous, nonsensical acts take on a significance - does it really even matter at this point whether it's conspiratorial design or a well-established, organic pattern of SNAFUs - that too many actively ignore.

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Written on Friday, December 30, 2005