Policies like the Alien & Sedition Act and the USA Patriot Act stripped away American civil liberties. Individuals were detained without being told the reason for their detainment and without fair representation. Individuals were treated under the worse inhumane conditions. It happened in France political history, especially to those individuals imprisoned as French Revolution sympathizers. Now, the correct term used in the United States is called Islamic “terrorist” sympathizers—“one man terrorist as another man freedom fighter.” The War On Terror used cruel and unusual punishment on detainees —done out of the necessity for national security interests. When there is a necessity, there are no such things as moral justifications and thus the wrongs committed become morally justified, according to just war. In theory of morality and everything we deem to think humane about our own humanity, for the price of “freedom”, for the price of “safety”, we become slaves subjected to governmental control. WE committed atrocities in the name of national security —nationalism pioneered by Statism. There are people who would die for freedom and those who would sacrifice freedom to save loved ones, and even those who would give up freedom in the name of safety. Society subjected them selves to government control in the prevention of terrorism, but is it at a cost “worth” paying? However, there are no guarantees for safety; it is ignorance to believe otherwise. An act will not prevent someone from committing acts of terrorism inside the United States. It is those extraordinary individuals in the field of Intelligence, whose ignoble endeavors that “protects America” through secret warfare.
Our parents before us fought for decades with blood to ensure civil liberties and justice for this generation —the next generation. The balance between liberty and order has tipped —it is now unbalanced. Everything that has been fought for is undermined … where there is a thin line between nationalism and totalitarianism. The United States Patriot Act has given the government authority to do anything within their power, not to take away freedom, but to take away our civil liberties.
I read,’ I say. ‘I study and read. I bet I’ve read everything you’ve read. Don’t think I haven’t. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and CD ROM-drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it” … I’m not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could if you’d let me, talk and talk….’ ~ From Infinite Jest By David Foster
Without freedom, humanity dies. Even the American patriot, Patrick Henry, during a speech delivered on March 23, 1775 had stated ever so eloquently “Give me liberty or Give me Death.” During the passage of the USA Patriot Act, there were expressed apprehension among the populous about it taking away our liberty, rather a governmental implementation that could take away men “will” into a “sea of Democracy” spiraling towards a totalitarian State. Even at this very moment, awareness, being conscious of the truth is intercepted over the Internet and monitored through library systems, and even in our home network servers. Under the Patriot Act, interception was disguised as the intrinsic good for society in the name of national security, along with Google’s street view elicit compliance —with security cameras at every street corner.
Increased surveillance strips the individual of privacy, the very right that makes every individual and every American citizen human. Once privacy is taken away, the right to feel is being taken away, and the right to think is taken away —-through suppressed fear inflicted upon our psychological minds. Once the held belief “privacy does not exist” is established, there is no “Liberty” and there is no “Freedom”. John Ashcroft may have defended the Patriot Act as the demi-god of “peeping toms” — by labeling societal fears as “mass hysteria”, but the fact cannot be mistaken that an individual knows when their rights as human beings are endangered —threatened by the status quo. President Abraham Lincoln, our old man Abe once stated ever so eloquently, “To be ignorant and free, is not to believe in anything at all.” Society decided to live in ignorance.
Society, during the time of war, dating back to the troubled times of McCarthyism, have chosen security at the price of “liberty”. The USA Patriot Act “claims good” for serving a purpose of protecting our society against an actual or potential attack, hostile act, sabotage, international terrorism, or clandestine intelligence activities conducted by a foreign power or its agent, as well as information relating to the national defense, security, or conduct of foreign affairs of the United States. In reality, the USA Patriot Act serves as a way to control the lives of people, while violating the Bill of Rights. Control begins when the spread of information is limited. Control begins when a person has to watch what they read and say. Control begins when one is unable to express ones self as a human being. Control begins when surveillance goes into the homes, the library systems, and even the classroom where young minds are being taught. Then we begin to wonder, where will it end?
Theoretically, let’s say a person has read The Anarchist’s Cookbook, Communist Manifesto and the Mien Kampf: Those books in some circles are considered dangerously subversive, for their studies or because it just interests them, and want to be able to discuss it. However, they’re flagged as “dangerous” —red tagged, but those students have no intention whatsoever of becoming a danger to society. What right does a democratic government has to say to its citizens, “No, you can not read that, it is potentially dangerous?” Lots of things are potentially dangerous. Rocket Science or Biology could equally be used to wreak havoc. In the John Locke’s social contract, the citizenry cedes some of its autonomy to the government in exchange for the protection of the person and of property. No where else in the Western world does the government purport that “protection” is equitable to keeping the entire population ignorant as to the evils of their world —globalization, or assume that the population has ceded them the right to dictate what they can read without them being thrown in jail. The only moment in history where that was ever done was Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Stalin’s Russia.
“He, who will sacrifice liberty for safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Hitler and Lenin all recognized that students of our age were of utter importance to their continual success that’s why Hitler brainwashed the youths from a younger age. These are the events of our times, the pivotal points of American history that continues to define and shape the nation —the Occupy movement.
The dangers of conformity are misconceptions based on facts with enormous plausibility. The plausibility of man being stripped of freedom has been experienced and learned throughout history. Society has expressed this danger through the classical literature, such as 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, where censorship is the way of life. The cinematography of Equilibrium directed by Kurt Wimmer also visualized this conception, the danger of conformity, through the Machiavellian evil of tyrants like Adolph Hitler and Ayatollah Khomeini that subjected the masses to governmental control.
Under the USA Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, Nation Defense and Authorization Act, SOPA & PIPA, government control begins with the steam-rolling agenda for the bringing in the New World Order to proceed unchallenged, while brainwashing and manipulating the people into calling for “Patriotism”, “Nationalism”, all in the name of “freedom” and “national security”. Despite the effects of the USA Patriot Act, today’s society has survived because the human spirit for freedom and justice lives. There is hope because, for everyone who says “I consume information. I am not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions” and express them, humanity will forever remain in the heart of man.
Revised in 2012, because I realized how relevant this has been since the past-Cold War and over the past decade. Thank you Edward Snowden for validating everything that I have thought about the growing power of the State.
- Author Of Patriot Act Says NSA Abused Trust, Must Be Reined In (news.firedoglake.com)