Domestic Spying Destroys Honest Authority
We extend a level of trust to strangers because we live in a civil society. That trust is a beautiful thing and should not be thrown away. Domestic spying by the National Security Agency destroys our trust in government and eventually our trust in each other. We need to stop domestic spying or we will damage the United States in ways that are far greater than any foreign government could achieve.
We are all human and make human mistakes. We extend the benefit of the doubt to others and ask for fair treatment in return. That expectation of justice is necessary for civil society, for law and order. Omnipresent domestic spying calls civil society into question. For a moment, stop thinking about the government spying on us as citizens, and think about one branch of the government spying on other government officials and corporations. Far from protecting us from spies, domestic spying leaves anyone in authority subject to blackmail. It doesn’t requiret a great leap of imagination to understand why.
Few of us are without sin or an embarrassing event somewhere in our past. It could be in our past or in the past of someone we love. The leaders of our institutions have the same flaws we have. The corruption of authority by blackmail brings every action and inaction into question. The paranoid fears of conspiracy theorists would become common events. We’ve seen corruption like this before in police states like East Germany, but we have not lived with it in the United States. Corruption was uncommon in the United States, except in a few major cities like Chicago. Now it could become routine. Even the hint of corruption corrodes good faith.
- Did that policeman have a bad day, or was he blackmailed to look the other way so the criminals escaped?
- Was the recent vote in the city council the will of the people, or was a council-member blackmailed?
- Did my state assemblyman really feel that way about the issues, or was he told how what to say.. or else?
- Was that decision to relocate a small business really made for the best interests of the stockholders and employees, or was it made to benefit someone else?
- Why did that Supreme Court Justice change her vote at the last minute?
Integrity is hard to maintain. Corruption comes easy. NSA contractors can be bribed as easily as foreign officials are bribed by our CIA. If the NSA can get your internet data, then eventually local politicians can get it too. Maybe Google will give it to their favorite candidate. I don’t want that to happen. We have to stop domestic spying in order to save our country. It is the spies and their politicians.. or us; the contrast is that simple and that stark.
True, we might be at greater risk from external threats if we stop widespread domestic spying. We might have to restructure our society so it is more robust and independent so we can withstand the actions of evil men. We will increase the risk from outsiders but we will be safer from internal threats. By stopping domestic spying we will avoid a police state and the corrosive corruption that comes with it.
Some people figured this out long ago. To other people, this speculation about state sponsored blackmail still sounds far fetched. I’m in between. I earn my money by discovering new ways things can fail and sometimes it takes me a while to figure things out.
Rob the professional paranoid
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