Steyn Gets It Exactly Right

In this short post over at NRO he to my mind sums up exactly where we are

Because the formal, visible state has been neutered by political correctness, the dark, furtive shadow state has to expand massively to make, in secret, the judgment calls that can no longer be made in public. That’s not an arrangement that is likely to end well.

I know there are many on the right who feel that this massive data mining is necessary to ‘prevent another 9/11’. I most emphatically disagree. There is no such thing as absolute safety, there are no guarantees, and this is a very slippery slope into totalitarian life. This is not the realm of paranoid fantasy, as the news revelations should make rather clear to any sentient being. Everyday in our own lives we see people around us, hell we see us in various ways to varying degrees who are corrupted by the little tendrils of power that pass through our fingers. A furtive glance at scribbles on a co-worker’s desk. A peek at someone’s record at the DMV. A gentle (or not so gentle depending upon what we think we can get away with) snub of someone who for some reason annoys us. Regardless of the philosophical framework you want to couch it in we are all fallen and prone to corruption and moral decay. Yet we are told that people just as inherently weak as we are but who are, in essence, nameless, faceless and thereby effectively unaccountable who are offered this unimaginably rich trove of every juicy and salacious detail of everyone’s lives will not somehow not fall prey to the natural incessant urge to gossip, mine and abuse their position and this information? And they say this even after we have not mere anecdotal evidence but actual, verified, concrete proof that across the full spectrum of the government, from the local town level to the state to every root and branch of the federal government that in fact power, all power not just ‘absolute’ power, does in fact corrupt absolutely, still there are those who say that gosh it’s tolerable because we need to protect ourselves from terrorists. There are and always will be terrorists. There always will be people who will do what they can to kill other people. A totalitarian state is no guarantee of personal safety; it is only a guarantee of personal subjugation.

5 Responses to “Steyn Gets It Exactly Right”

  1. Gunslinger says:

    “I know there are many on the right who feel that this massive data mining is necessary to ‘prevent another 9/11?.”

    They are the ultimate expression of fools. We already know a good sized chunk of our enemies and where they are plus how to utilize what we do know to identify and smash more of our lesser known enemies. We don’t need to use the panning for gold method of data collection.

    Unfortunately our current administration thinks that America’s enemies use words like “freedom”, “patriot” and “constitution” rather than “jihad”, “infidel” and “allahu akbar”.

  2. nancy says:

    I think Napolitano gave us a big fat clue a while back…It’s internal terrorist, such as returning vets and right wing extremist.

  3. Kathy Kinsley says:

    I think you got it exactly right, too.

  4. Greg Newsom says:

    You hit another grand slam. Bases loaded bottom of the ninth.Damn, you said it great.

  5. major dad says:

    I believe some smart guy once said something to the effect of “If you give up your liberty for security you will end up with neither”.

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