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originally posted by: Domo1
a reply to: dreamingawake
There's a huge difference between a police state and recognizing problems with the police.
Think making a sexist remark vs. gang rape.
originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: AlphaHawk
You don't seem to realize "police state" is not a binary condition like on and off.
Looking at the world through a binary filter really limits what you can and can't see doesn't it?
Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people.
Soft despotism gives people the illusion that they are in control, when in fact they have very little influence over their government. Soft despotism breeds fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the general populace. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that this trend was avoided in America only by the "habits of the heart" of its 19th-century populace.