[extropy-chat] Tyranny in place

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Oct 15 20:48:46 UTC 2006

On Sun, 2006-10-15 at 07:19 -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:
> Samantha writes
> > On Oct 14, 2006, at 9:27 AM, Lee Corbin wrote:
> > 
> >> In very many ways the government has become
> >> an enemy of its citizens, but this hasn't started just
> >> in the last decade. It remains to assess how much
> >> "we" are being targeted by government when those
> >> governments attempt to target Al Queda.
> > 
> > Personally, I don't believe that Al Qaeda is their target.
> So you see (as you explain below) that any inconvenience to
> Al Qaeda that occurs overseas  is just a side-effect of a 
> government grab for more power?  Would you try to make
> that argument apply to America in World War II, the Civil
> War, Korea, and Viet Nam?  Or is something different now?

I don't believe Al Qaeda is or ever was a significant enough problem to
justify what has been and is being done in this idiotic war on a form of
asymmetric warfare.  Bush has repeadely even lowered the priority of
finding bin Laden.  
> > I think massive expansion of government power and control
> > and a near blank check for any military adventures they deem
> > desirable is the primary target of their efforts.
> I think that the Bush and Blair administrations would like nothing
> better than to have buried Al Queda, especially by 2008, so
> that they could turn to the electorate and say "See?".

Do you think Al Qaeda are the end and be-all of terrorism?  Do you think
it is remotely possible to ever find and "bury" all cells of any such
organization?  Bush and most of the administration claim this war is
never ending.  The people should have been up in arms and soon as this
was claimed.  But no, most of us bring our freedom and our money gladly
to Washington to protect us from the B-A-A-D and E-V-I-L endless menace.

> One thing that is more dangerous now than in any point in
> Western history is the huge size of the bureaucracies, and
> their self-sustaining agendas. Far more civil rights were
> abrogated during the Civil War and World War II, and
> in effect in World War I, than now, but it was easy to pull
> back once the menace was contained.

Yep.  Which is why a "war" defined as endless is hideously dangerous.

> There are two very sad reasons why we'll never return to
> the halcyon days of the 1990s when the U.S. really was
> a superpower (or at least everyone thought so), and there
> seemed to be few threats from disgruntled individuals and
> groups.   One is simply technically small groups and 
> individuals can threaten organized society like never 
> before, and the other is that the unbelievably huge
> centralized bureaucracies that have been created to
> deal with them have self-sustenance as their primary
> goal. 

Yes.  I consider the second orders of magnitude more dangerous than the
first.  YMMV.

- samantha

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