Creeping tyranny

John Dale (
Fri, 19 Dec 1997 02:32:28 -0700

Dear Friends,

In general, the article "Amerika, Amerika" by Claire Wolfe,
despite some mistakes of fact, does indeed make me wonder
about the future of legislative procedure in America and
the direction of human rights in an increasingly
electronicized and instantaneous, omnipresent "world
order" system where one's total official "file" can be
available at the push of a button and where the individual
has less and less control over the accuracy of the file and
less and less ability to rectify the errors it may contain.

Futurists have long been telling us that trends in the
control and distribution of information make it a sure bet
that one of the great human rights battles of the next
decades will be over privacy and citizen access to
information stored about themselves and their ability to
correct false information. I am rather new to this forum,
so my question is, what do extropians see of a hopeful,
positive nature in terms of coping with the privacy issue?


John Dale

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 21:01:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Anton Sherwood <>
Subject: creeping tyranny (or tyrannous creeps)


by Claire Wolfe

Let me run by you a brief list of items that are "the law"
in America today. As you read, consider what all these have
in common.

3. Confiscation of assets from any American who establishes
foreign citizenship.

[The item about confiscation of resources if you establish
a foreign citizenship must be, in my belief, the author's
misunderstanding. It is not a crime to become a citizen of
another country per se, and such an act does not per se
lead to confiscation of one's US properties. -- JD]


[How do you stop runaway government? My partial answer is: make sure that there are
provisions for direct democracy in every state and at the
federal level. Many states, and the national level in United
States, still lack direct democratic procedures. The powers
of referendum, initiative, and recall are vital, IMO, to be
able to redirect and check runaway governance if
things get to that point. Another way may be to allow the Supreme
Court to issue advisory opinions, in the manner of the
International Court of Justice, regarding the
constitutionality of a law before passage of the law and
before actual damages may start happening to people. The
requirement that there be a claim for actual damages before
the constitutionality of a law can be tested seems to me to
be outdated and harmful. Surely there can be some way of
using an ounce of prevention to bypass a pound of cure.

... Face it. If "working within the system" could halt
tyranny, the tyrants would outlaw it. Why do you think
they encourage you to vote, to write letters, to talk to
them in public forums? It's to divert your energies. To
keep you tame. 'The system" as it presently exists is
nothing but a rat maze. You run around thinking you're
getting somewhere. Your masters occasionally reward you
with a little pellet that encourages you to believe you're
accomplishing something. And in the meantime, you are as
much their property and their pawn as if you were a slave.
In the effort of fighting them on their terms and with
their authorized and approved tools, you have given your
life's energy to them as surely as if you were toiling in
their cotton fields, under the lash of their overseer. The
only way we're going to get off this road to Hell is if we
jump off. If we, personally, as individuals, refuse to
cooperate with evil. How we do that is up to each of us.
I can't decide for you, nor you for me.

... But this totalitarian runaway truck [Is Claire Wolfe
is living in the US or in North Korea? -- JD] is never going to
stop unless we stop it, in any way we can. Stopping it might
include any number of things: tax resistance; public civil
disobedience; wide-scale, silent non-cooperation; highly
noisy non-cooperation; boycotts; secession efforts; monkey
wrenching; computer hacking; dirty tricks against government
agents; public shunning of employees of abusive government
agencies; alternative, self-sufficient communities that
provide their own medical care and utilities.

[IMO, all the above types of response accomplish is to
provide fodder and incentive for the system to clamp down
tighter. There's got to be a more synergistic way. JD]