Saturday, 17 May 2008

Paranoid police state

Quoting from one of the comments on this post at Boing Boing:
"To this outsider, the US appears to have become a paranoid, brutal, nasty, thuggish, selfish, war-loving police state little different from China or Russia except for wealth, and it seems like a majority of the people who live there either don't particularly care as long as they get their SUVs and big screen HDTVs and McMansions, or they actually PREFER things the way they are."

Truthfully, I think that might be being a little unkind to China and Russia, who may still have a long way to go, but who appear to have made some progress in recent years. Meanwhile, the US - closely followed by their puppy-dog, the UK - seem to be regressing to the dark ages with draconian control measures.

Old folk like me are particularly inclined to become divorced from reality (you know, the good old days were always worse / better, depending on nothing more than the needs of the storyteller), so I am conscious and check myself before making these wild assumptions, but whichever way I look at it, the paranoid police state seems to be a fact and so does the selfish attitude of people who do nothing, so long as they have their "day-to-day luxuries."

The question occurs to me: what do the authorities expect? If the example they're setting is paranoid, brutal, nasty, thuggish, etc., is it any wonder if the people behave in a paranoid, brutal, nasty, thuggish, etc., manner?

And, on the other hand, people probably cannot be expected to see the "big picture", when all they ever see is their local media. Personally, I'd make it compulsory for everyone to live for a time outside of their country of origin, so they could see things more clearly without the cotton wool wraps. Of course, I think I'm in an excellent position to see things more objectively. :)

Anyway, my question to the wind / internet at large is this: Is the paranoid, brutal, nasty, thuggish, selfish, war-loving police state the reality?

And, if so, how much of people's silence is because they are too self absorbed to care or, do they really fear the consequences of speaking out?

(That said, with the Canary Islands' Parliament having approved the formation of a Canary Island police force - this is in addition to 1) each town hall's municipal police; 2) the Spanish National Police and 3) the Civil Guard, one has to wonder if there are any places left not converting into police states.)

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