Originally posted by LoneGunMan
I dont see how our freedoms have improved considerably, maybe some of the worst conditions have been improved but as a whole the nation has become
more oppressed. Look at America in the 1800's. You could go to the pharmacy, general store, and purchase anything. Any drug, any weapon, any tool you
needed, it was your discretion as to how it would be used. You abuse the tool you purchased, and harm another soul, you went to jail/prison.
Now you cannot purchase most drugs period, and a good share of the rest are prescription. Try and purchase dynomite, cannibis or coc aine. All
these things that are against the law, all the things that you have to pay the government to get a lisense for is eroding our freedom to nothing. We
now have the biggest prison population in the world, over 2 million people. Regulations from the government should be to protect the people from
corporations, not protect people from themselves. You need laws against tresspass, but nothing else. That is freedom.
Actually it is fairly easy to get hold of most illegal drugs in the modern world. There is a demand for them and therefore a supply. However that is
I'm not a libertarian. Left to their own devices, people will be cruel, discriminatory, selfish and probably violent. While the majority of people
will probably be responsible, there will always be a minority who will not and it is these people who will endanger the stability of society as a
Personally, I'm glad that I live in a country where it is nigh on impossible to own a gun. Maybe the decriminalisation of drugs would be advantagous
as it would mean fewer crimes and better treatment of addicts but it would not solve all problems.
In any case, in America in the 1800s you could buy a gun, drugs etc but you could also buy a slave. Just as there are market failures in laissez faire
economics, so it is that there are political and social failures when people are left to their own devices. You do need a state to regulate how people
live their lives. This does NOT mean the state is always correct (in fact every governing body gets things wrong all the time) but in general,
authority is a stabilising force and helps to make a society safer and 'freer'.
Although government introduced a number of laws that have persecuted groups it has also introduced laws that have made these groups 'free' again.
Legislation tends to ebb and flow because the authoritarian and the libertarian over the long term.
"Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple
matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the
people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the
pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
--- Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reich Marshall
Actually I disagree with Goering there. There is plenty of historical evidence that suggests that ordinary Germans did not believe the Nazis, nor did
they do their bidding willingly. For all their propaganda, most Germans loathed the Nazi Party. However, they went along with the Nazis because they
were scared. However, there are many ways that people rebelled in terms of passive resistance if not open demonstrations or revolutionary activity.
"Those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid the terrorists for they erode our
national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends"
-- Former Attorney General, John Ashcroft
I mentioned before that the US Government has utilised a Hobbesian approach to their rhetoric. However, this does not mean that people are buying it.
There is considerable resistance to Bush et al in the US at present. People are surprisingly resiliant and difficult to brainwash. Some certainly toe
the party line but many do not.
We are bieing setup, and the fall will take your breath away. You cant erode to much freedom at once until everything is in place. This takes time and
I think they are almost ready. The last two things that will go will be the right to bear arms and freedom of speach. Those two go and people will
wake up before its to late.
One could argue that there is no need for a police state. What purpose does it serve? It would be far far better to give people the illusion of
freedom in a world that is not free, then destroy this illusion by introducing totalitarianism. One could certainly argue that consumerism and
entertainment are the biggest distractions of the modern day: they give the public the illusion of freedom while actually those freedoms are lies.
Moreover, the right to bear arms and free speech are also lies - again why curb these when removing them would only cause violence and rebellion?
Did you know that under the terms of the new Patriot Act prosecutors will be able to seek the death penalty in cases where "defendants gave financial
support to umbrella organizations without realizing that some of its adherents might eventually commit violence"? (NY Times; editorial 10-30-05) So,
if someone unknowingly gave money to a charity that was connected to a terrorist group, he could be executed.
Or, that the Senate Intelligence Committee is fine-tuning the details of a bill that will allow the FBI to secretly procure any of your personal
records without "probable cause" or a court order giving them "unchecked authority to pry into personal and business matters"? (New York Times,
"Republicans seek to widen FBI Powers, 10-19-05)
Yes. I'm not disputing that the Bush administration has broken many human rights and has taken the US down a very distrubing path. However, this is
not to say that a police state is inevitable. Indeed, US governments have been contravening human rights for years now - not just internally but also
externally (Incidently this is not US bashing, the UK has a similarly appalling record - just look at Northern Ireland in the 1970s).
Certainly, one could argue that the US took the moral high ground in the Cold War by claiming to be a democracy when in actual effect it has never
been the land of milk and honey that it has proported to be. The US Government has been a country that has never been shy to be authoritarian when
needed (eg. the Allende assassination in 1973 or the responses to the 1968 student riots). Perhaps the difference now is that the US government is
more blatent with its infringements of human rights.
However, ott responses to terror threats are nothing new historically. As mentioned earlier, the UK has had plenty of moments in its history when it
introduced radical terror legislation and democracy still continued. Even in the aftermath of WWII (where the UK was arguably an authoritarian
regime), things did not just revert back to normal, they swung completely the other way to a progressive, socialist government.