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The Open Society Is Dying

Once upon a time, the United States was a place where you felt like you had almost unlimited freedom.  You could get in your car and travel from coast to coast without anyone hassling you.  You could do any type of work you wanted – or even not work at all if that is what suited you.  You could say whatever you wanted to say and associate with whoever you wanted to associate with.  You could write mail without fearing that the government would read it and you could make phone calls without fearing that the government was listening in.  It was a place where freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and freedom of movement were respected and protected.  But over the past couple of decades (and especially since 9/11), things have been fundamentally changing in America.  The American Dream used to be about liberty and freedom, but now it seems to be all about giving up our liberty and freedom for safety and security.  Today, tens of millions of frightened Americans are cheering as the U.S. government implements Big Brother security measures that are so extreme that they would have made even Stalin, Hitler and Mao cringe.  But it is not just in America where the open society is dying.  It is literally happening all over the globe.  In a world where real and imagined terrorism is perceived to be the greatest threat, governments are increasingly feeling the need to watch, track, trace and control everyone and everything.

To an extent, our own technological advances have brought this situation about.  Humanity has created awesome weapons of mass destruction that humanity simply does not have the moral capacity to handle.  There are literally millions of people out there today who would use a weapon of mass destruction in a populated area if they could get their hands on one.

Now the truth is that the majority of people in the world are not prone to such violence, but when you are talking about weapons of mass destruction, it only takes one.

It would only take one nuke or chemical warhead or biological weapon set off in the middle of a major city to set off a worldwide panic.

So are there legitimate security concerns?

Yes, there are.  We simply cannot allow one person to walk into the middle of a major city and instantly destroy it.

Thankfully that has not happened yet, but it seems inevitable that someday it will.

But to protect ourselves against the weapons of mass destruction that we have created is it necessary to completely destroy our liberty and freedom?

That is the path on which we are headed.

In the name of “security”, we have pushed freedom of speech into special “free speech zones” at public events.  These “free speech zones” often resemble little more than prison cages.  The truth is that we are only a couple of steps away from eliminating free speech altogether.  Already, Christians are being arrested in various areas across the United States for quietly passing out literature on public sidewalks.  How long will it be until we have absolutely no freedom to say whatever we want?  How soon will it be until websites like this are totally shut down?

Already, it is a well known fact that the U.S. government filters all electronic communications (including all of your phone calls and all of your emails) through a complex computerized filtering system.  The goal is to scan all communications for certain keywords, and to intervene before a “threat” can materialize.

But weren’t we just supposed to be looking for “foreign terrorists”?

Well, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, now “homegrown terrorists” represent as much of a threat to American national security as al-Qaeda does.

Are you starting to get the message?

Things have fundamentally changed.

Now searching for “homegrown American terrorists” is as big a part of the “mission” as searching for al-Qaeda is.

If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine then you are probably dead.

The truth is that our society is transitioning from one of great freedom to one that is increasingly resembling George Orwell’s 1984.

Yes, we need some security, but is there any excuse for how bizarre things are getting?

For example, organic milk is now considered such a threat that the FDA has been conducting military style raids on Amish farmers in the state of Pennsylvania.

Are Amish farmers now as big a threat as al-Qaeda?

Things are really getting weird.

Barack Obama is pushing a plan to create a national database that will store the DNA of all individuals who have been arrested but not necessarily convicted of a crime.

Have you ever been arrested for anything?

Would you like your DNA to be forcibly taken and put into Barack Obama’s secret database for the rest of your life?

Not only that, but U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham have been promoting legislation that would institute a biometric national identification card for all Americans.

Are you ready for a national ID card?

Did you ever think the day would come when security officials in the United States of America could pull you aside and ask you for “your papers please”?

In addition, new legislation that was being promoted by U.S. Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman would allow the U.S. military to round up large numbers of Americans and detain them indefinitely without a trial if they are believed to ”pose a threat” or if they have “potential intelligence value” or for any other reason that the President of the United States “considers appropriate”.

Talk about tremendous potential for abuse!

Under such a law, any American could be picked up for any reason whatsoever!

But the state of Florida has taken things even farther.  The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice will now start using analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents, putting “potential offenders” under specific prevention and education programs.

Perhaps you thought that “pre-crime” was just for science fiction movies.

No, the reality is that America is quickly turning into a bad science fiction movie.

Just check out the video news report about TSA security abuse posted below.  Yes, we do need security at our airports, but do TSA officials have to act like Nazi thugs to get their jobs done?  Do they have to treat us like dehumanized cattle?  Is it not possible to keep everyone safe and still leave us with a few shreds of dignity?  What you are about to watch will have your jaw on the floor….

But things are about to get even worse.  The new full body security scanners going into airports all across the United States can actually see through clothing and produce very clear and very detailed images of the exposed bodies of everyone who walks through them.

So are you willing to let gawking security officials examine your entire naked body just so that you can get on an airplane?

What happens when these scanners start going into bus, train and subway stations all across the United States?

Is it inevitable that we must be treated like a herd of human cattle that does not deserve any privacy or any dignity?

But if one weapon of mass destruction goes off anywhere in the world, the cry for even greater Big Brother security measures will become absolutely deafening.  It seems as though today people are willing to give up just about anything in order to feel safe and secure.

Not that security is a bad thing.

But if we have to give up all of our liberty and all of our freedom and if we are forced to live in a closed Big Brother police state just to feel safe, what does that say about us?

The open society is dying.

Liberty is dying.

Freedom is dying.

If you plan on standing up and saying anything about what is happening to society, now is the time.

  • http://no David

    Where were you during the Bush years?

  • RedGypsy

    I hate to say the christian’s and their wonderful George Bush
    brought this on us.
    Just like the Nazis when they hauled my grandfather away never to be seen again it was for the better of society.

  • Mr Carpenter

    David, read the arcticle again; he says “especially since 9/11″ but also alludes to this situation gradually encroaching onto life (or should it be “existance”?) in Amerika… take your obvious pro-boma blinders off, please! Perhaps then the scales will fall off your eyes and you’ll realize that the demoncrats and repugnicans are two sides of the same (fake) coin.

    As for the entire article, it is well written as usual. Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who wrote “those who are willing to give up liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security”?

    That pretty well sums things up.

    We should take lessons from the Israelis in regards to security, and allow the adult portion (small as it may be) of the US public to actively engage on a daily basis as do virtually all of the Israeli public. When I say “adult” I don’t just mean physically; I mean mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

  • Mr Carpenter

    Well RedGypsy, it sounds like you’ve described your colors right!

    Seriously, please read this then try to blame JUST the Repugnicans.

    Be sure to read the comments, too.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/institutionalized-gangster-government/

  • Gary

    We need a North/South Korea type border fence on the Mexican border. We already have enough unskilled and marginally educated people in the USA, we do not need more. This is the first step in security is to secure the borders. This way we will not have to do so much of what the article says in the USA proper. Of course the right wing machine will never do this as they would loose all the cheap labor they exploit and would not be able to purchase that fifth house in the Hamptons.

    There are no such things as jobs Americans will not do, However, there are jobs that Americans will not do for exploitative low poverty wages. We never hear the businesses owners tell the whole story, they just stop at the jobs Americans will not do.

    I realize my advocating for a secure border fence goes against my normally left leaning politics. I can’t help how I feel!

  • Ron Maier

    they should jail (better yet, disappear) any and all religion pamphleteers and their promoters. religion of any kind is at the root of all this crap!

  • james

    Anyone who blames Christianity or religion in general for the decline in freedom in this nation is an ignoramus. It is the secular atheists who are rooting out any speech they do not like. They simply have a new word for it: Progressiveism.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      That is a very good point.

  • Anne

    The sad fact is that this is a trend that has been growing for many years – certainly under Reagan/Bush Sr.; Clinton had barely moved into the White House before Waco occurred, followed by the violent raid on the house where Elian Gonzalez was staying. Then 9/11, and Bush Jr./Cheney were in their element. The US had already become pervaded by a culture of harsh, punitive responses to bad decisions and societal transgressions, and now we see that each administration finds it harder to kick the addiction to power.

  • http://endoftheamericandream.com OLDDOG

    Well, second try to submitt…bottom line for the mass of illiterate…dems have been in majority for sev years…BUSH BUSH whines are for the sheeple….and campaign money to? the truth is why is an Amer Pres bowing to ONLY muslim dignitaries?????? oh well if you too stupid to catch it…and it goes on and on…just dont blame the few who still keep working to pay for yo cig…

  • jasehawk

    LOL Redgypsy. Just remember every time you point the finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at you. The only thing we have to blame is our own narcissism and ignorance.