Saturday, 30 October 2010
CASE 133 - The surveillance society
Governments, regardless of their political structure or historical background, have always striven to not only control information, but also to gather it from the people by covert means. Often, this secretive observation of the citizenry escalates into a completely open and full-fledged surveillance state. The U.S. in particular stands on a precarious edge: the line between abhorring invasion of privacy, and embracing invasion of privacy as necessary for the “greater good.” The UK on the other hand has more CCTV camera's than any other country, around 1000 per camera. Many people assume that such a mindset is forced on the masses by the elite, that strength of arms is somehow required to make them accept the conditions of a police state, but this is not always so. It is very difficult for governments, despite any technological developments or resources they may have, to enforce and maintain a fascistic political construct. In order to retain control, they must build a “Surveillance Culture;” a society in which the people watch each other, and where individuals censor themselves instead of being censored by the authorities. In the end, a police state cannot exist without the help of the people it means to dominate. By spying on each other, we destroy ourselves.
But how does a nation reach such a point in its collective psyche? How are we driven to passive enslavement? In this article we will examine the methods used by governments and aristocratic minorities to manipulate the majority towards self imprisonment, as well as examples of how this process is burgeoning in the U.S. at this very moment…
Communist China: The Future Of America?
Many of us conjure images of Hitler’s Germany and hordes of Nazi stormtroopers when considering the idea of a police state, and this extreme example often blinds us to the tyranny slowly building in our own country. There are forms of fascism that also wear a “friendly face,” and one need only look across the Pacific to find such a government.
China is a good example of the “modern police state,” and is in itself a construction of Western financial interests. Americans often wonder why we continue to deal with the Chinese Communist regime, even owing them tremendous debt, while they murder and oppress their own citizens. I remember the Tienanmen Square protests and subsequent massacre vividly. I also remember the U.S. government’s response to be muted, even flaccid. All the grandstanding by politicians and the supposedly hard nosed George H.W. Bush on the horrors of communism suddenly disappeared. The truth was, Western governments who posed as democratic actually had no interest in supporting the Chinese people fighting for liberty. Westerners had made China a police state and they planned for it to remain that way.
Also read - CASE 146 - Biometrics
The future of police surveillance