RE: law enforcement for profit

From: Ruthanna R Gordon (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 15:03:36 MDT

On Fri, 5 May 2000, Zero Powers wrote:

> >From: "Billy Brown" <>
> >Eugene Leitl wrote:
> > > Most of list subscribers probably don't understand the mechanics and
> > > the scope of control present in totalitarian states, not having lived
> > > in one. Why do you think it can never happen here?
> >
> >It could very easily happen here.
> There has never in the history of humanity been a nation which allows its
> citizens as many freedoms as ours. There has similarly never been a
> government which is as accountable to the populace as ours is. There has
> never before been a nation in which the press has had an absolutely
> unfettered right to criticize the government. There has never before been a
> populace which has been as well educated and informed as we are now. There
> has never been a time where the average citizen could reach as wide an
> audience as any member of the media or the goverment until now.

True. And being well-educated, free, and informed, as well as
imaginative, we see the flaws and the possible flaws. We want to preserve
what is good about this society and improve that which is imperfect.

> I mean come on! In light of the recent thread regarding politeness, I will
> guard my words as much as possible. I am *not* calling anyone here stupid.
> But, it seems to me that to believe that America of 2000 a.d. could somehow
> suddenly devolve "very easily" into a totalitarian state is..., well...,
> um..., way, way, very much less than reasonable?

Any government tends towards tyranny. (The problem with power is that
when you give it to people, they want more of it.). Even as we have
rectified some of the injustices of the past, we have added new victimless
crimes to our lawbooks. We fight tooth and nail to keep what freedom of
speech we have, and we don't always win. If we assume that "it happening
here" is unreasonable, we've already given "it" a way in. Eternal freedom
requires eternal vigilance (on the part of the free, that is). (Yes, I've
not only read 1984, I've read The Dispossessed too! :) )

Ruthanna Gordon

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