The Ethic Of The Surveillance State

On October 25, 2015, the BBC reported that the Chinese government was establishing a “social credit” system (called Sesame Credit) that would attempt to “rate” a citizen’s “trustworthiness.” While the system is not entirely operational, the groundwork is already being laid by using commercial companies as social Petri dishes:

Details on the inner workings of the system are vague, though it is clear that each citizen and Chinese organisation will be rated. A long list of people in certain professions will face particular scrutiny, including teachers, accountants, journalists and medical doctors. The special list even includes veterinarians and tour guides…

A national database will merge a wide variety of information on every citizen, assessing whether taxes and traffic tickets have been paid, whether academic degrees have been rightly earned and even, it seems, whether females have been instructed to take birth control.

Although such systems sound wonderful in theory, it is capabilities that matter, not intentions. Every system of oppression and control masks its power with talk about how it is keeping us secure and safe.


Why is this system a threat to individualism and persona liberty? Because it steers everyone towards a stultifying conformity. If everyone’s value is dependent on how well they conform to what the establishment says is good, then innovation would slow to a halt. Very often, it is the outsider, the misfit, and the wayward genius who acts as the creative catalyst for positive change. This new surveillance and rating system cannot help but discourage innovative thinking and acting.

China has a long history of Confucian tradition, which arguably elevates obedience and social harmony over all other virtues. People were traditionally encouraged to obey the example of their ancestors, their parents, their local notables, and ultimately the emperor.

Some of this, of course, is a good thing: social stability must to some extent depend on a conservative continuity of tradition. But innovation matters as well; and when one is afraid to do anything for fear of social reprisal, innovation creeps to a halt.

An enervating stagnation sets in, and a blissful sense of one’s own superiority. Many volumes have been written to answer the question of why China stagnated and fell so far behind the West after producing so much innovation during the medieval period. The short answer, I believe, is to be found in a social system that valued conformity over creativity.

The stifling effect of conformity

Other societies have suffered from the same disease, and settled into a long period of stagnation. In the Islamic world, there was a time after the advent of the philosophers Averroes (Ibn Rushd) and Avicenna (Ibn Sina) when it seemed as if a real revolution in critical thinking might take place against theological orthodoxy. Scientists and scholars in Islam had produced a great deal of innovation and syncretic thought during the early centuries of Islam.

But it was not to last. In Islam, the theologians triumphed over the philosophers. In 1150 the caliph at Baghdad, Mustanjid, ordered the books of these great men to be burned; a similar order was issued in 1194 by the emir at Seville in Andalusian Spain.


Averroes (Ibn Rushd)

Independent thought thereafter was strongly discouraged, and any criticism of theological orthodoxy became dangerous. The result was centuries of stagnation, from which the region has not yet fully emerged.

Are the “social ratings systems” in the West any better? They certainly exist, but are far more embedded and hidden. Social media, the workplace, and the entertainment industry have a silent agreement among themselves to enforce the doctrinal controls mandated from their corporate Mandarins.

Those who stray too far from the bounds of permissible thought are quickly educated on the dangers of independent thought. I was speaking to a friend this weekend who had taken his son to see the new “Star Wars” film. He was literally shocked at what he saw. “The entire film,” he told me “was about indoctrination into political correctness, cultural Marxism, and social engineering. They basically just remade the original film to put women and minorities in all the top roles.”

It was also telling, he continued, that nearly every reviewer had gushed at how great the movie was. “Of course,” I said. “They have to praise these movies. They know that if they don’t toe the party line, they’ll be out of a job.” He then went on to describe how he took his son to an child’s amusement place called Legoland, where entrants are required to pay a $20 entry fee for the privilege of being bombarded with corporate consumerist propaganda.

It all comes back to the surveillance state

The surveillance state exists for a definite purpose. It is there to ensure the compliance and docility of the citizenry. The job of the corporate “citizen” is to be a diligent and reliable consumer, and not to question anything outside the established orthodoxy. Those who perform this function will be hailed as heroes by the mob. Those who do not find out very quickly how much their input is appreciated in the public discourse.

The warnings are there for us to see, if only we have the courage to look. If we combine the power of modern technology with the insatiable need for those in power to enforce conformity, the result will be stagnation and decline. The modern surveillance state has aggregated to itself terrifying power; whether it will use this power responsibly is doubtful.

History suggests that the temptations of power and control will override abstract notions of personal freedom and liberty. The West’s traditions (especially in the United States) of freedom of thought provide some protections, but without the support of enlightened leaders, even these traditions can be tossed aside in the name of security and stability.


Gene Hackman in “The Conversation” (1974)

This theme—the moral implications of the surveillance state–has been dealt with masterfully in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film The Conversation. Gene Hackman plays a detached and repressed surveillance man who seeks nothing more out of life than anonymity. He is suspicious of emotion and emotional attachment.

But in a world of constant surveillance and voyeurism, anonymity is hard to come by, and even harder to maintain. This film was far ahead of its time in anticipating some of the key moral problems of our age: the inescapable presence of the government and large corporations, the sinister implications of cooperation with the system, and the growth of paranoia, whether real or unjustified.

The film’s conclusion seems to suggest that it is still possible for a society to preserve the privacy and freedom of its citizens, but only if it is willing to bear the high costs which must inevitably be paid by all of us.

It remains to be seen whether we, as citizens, are willing to bear such costs. The issue becomes, as H.G. Wells once said, a matter of “a race between education and catastrophe.”

Read More: These Are The Cards You’ve Been Dealt

96 thoughts on “The Ethic Of The Surveillance State”

  1. It remains possible to lead life freely, but it requires that you be absolutely unconcerned about what anyone else — high or low; public or private — thinks of you. That’s admittedly a tough mindset to cultivate, but it is achievable.
    The surveillance society is upon us, yes. There’s little we can do about it, given that both major parties and a substantial fraction of the electorate favor it, but we can still act freely and naturally if we can persuade ourselves that it doesn’t matter.

  2. Canada just appointed first trans judge. Idk if you Americans have this already, but I’m starting to sweat in this country.
    Say anything non pc , get sent to these types of judges for hate speech and bam your whole life is ruined.

  3. The most insidious part of the Chinese social score is the gamification of compliance. A high score makes it easier to get loans, jobs, other benefits. Your score drops if you make critical statements against the government or other favored entities. Your score also drops if you are friends with someone that has a low score. Big incentive to socially ostracize those with unpopular opinions. Noncompliance gets isolated and punished by friends, neighbors, family members.

  4. I suspect it will not be long until passive surveillance in the west evolves into Stazi-like persecution and tactics like “decomposition” (cladestinely screwing up troublemakers’ lives and deliberately lowering their self esteem) all in the name of deluded self righteousness. I doubt the ill-educated masses and millenials will care much about the elimination of free speech. The only escape will be to move to countries with poorly functioning governments until the collapse finally comes.

    1. I heard on the radio that somewhere around 40% of surveyed Millenials are totally cool with restricting the 1st Amendment to get rid of “offensive speech” aka anything that hurts their feelings. Chilling shit right there.

      1. They say conservatism is something you discover with age. These millennials might be changing their tune when attempting to pay back 90K student loan debt on a Starbucks paycheck.
        Paying taxes and folding into the system will eventually change their political leanings. Some will see the light…others will remain food for wolves.

        1. Maybe, maybe not. There seems to be a growing push to “forgive” debt and have Mamma Government finance all college. I used to laugh at it, but it’s getting louder every year. Generation Entitlement strikes again.

        2. We have that in Europe since I don’t know when. In my country I pay 275 bucks out of 1300 or 1500 per semester (even I don’t know how much is the real price exactly) for a major in the STEM field. And the universities still can’t find enough students because of demographic problems, so they introduce new, easier rules every here and there to attract new students. But the people learned that a diploma in 2015 does not have the same value as a diploma in 1950.
          My point is, if something like what you mentioned happened, it would be for the benefit of the universities.

        3. Because raping students for the sake of profit is better, right?
          There is a difference between being entitled and not wanting to be fucked over.

        4. You aren’t owed an education in college at the expense of others. Second, if you want to lay blame, go speak directly to the GOVERNMENT OWNED universities and ask them why they feel the need to raise tuition by 7% or more every single freaking year over the last fifteen years. Profit? This is about “state universities” meant to not cost a lot to begin with. Your beloved State is the one shafting you.

        5. I don’t disagree with you there. I don’t care who’s doing the fucking, it’s being done, and it is a problem, and not wanting to be a part of it does not make someone entitled.
          And hey, with that attitude, why even have pre-school, elementary school, or high school? Hell, damn kids aren’t owed an education right?

        6. The point is that the “solution” is not to place the government’s money pumps directly into the pockets of state universities. We still have *some* level of market control now (minimal, granted) because if they go too high too fast then the debt will appear to large to justify the education. Put government as “single payer” for colleges and you can bet your bippee that there will be a zero percent reduction in university budgets, that college profs and administrators will see soaring salaries and that taxes will necessarily soar. It will be a direct transfer of tax money from people not even in college into the pockets of government workers. It’s a horrible idea.

        7. It’s not consensual when millions of potential students don’t sign the paper and don’t go to college because they know they’re being fucked. What about those students? They don’t count because they didn’t sign the paper? Millions of people don’t consent and don’t sign.
          It’s also not consensual when the students signing the papers don’t have the slightest fucking clue what they’re getting themselves into, and want out after the stark realization.
          Consensual my ass. It’s not hard to trick an ignorant person into becoming a debt slave.

        8. The US system is bad for everyone except the universities. The main problem is that because (I believe) the loans are largely decoupled from academic attainment or predicted income many students are enabled to take out loans they will never be able to pay back and study useless degrees thst function as little more than leftist propaganda courses. However, because the easy credit allows nearly everyone to go to college young people are practically forced to go to in order to compete. This also means there is no downward pressure on fees. You get the worst of all worlds – high fees, high levels of debt and detachment from market forces. At least in the European system (although it’s flawed) the students get something out of the deal.
          If I were king for a day I would fully privatise higher education and student loans (allow private companies to judge which students will pay back loans or are good investments) and instead pay every 18 year old a one off grant of money (say 10k) to spend either as they wish or on a regulated basis (ie only for productive purposes). This would help foster equality of opportunity while not distorting the market. Perhaps it could also be cancelled or docked if the youngsters acquire criminal convictions to incentivise good behaviour.

        9. If you sign something without understanding it, then that’s *your* problem. There is no such thing as a “debt slave”, there are only people who feel that their economic needs of the moment outweigh the very real necessity of taking responsibility for their own actions and acting reasonably and rationally. We’re not talking inner city illiterates here, we’re talking kids who presumably can read and who, most of the time, have parents that can read and help them understand if they have questions.
          How can students who don’t sign a paper and don’t go to college be getting fucked by college tuition, precisely?

        10. In fact no, they are not owed an education by government. We used to be all private schools and did quite well (that little house on the prairie was kept by a private schoolmarm hired to do the job 99 times out of 100). With homeschooling and continued private schooling hopefully we’re getting back to the private model.

        11. Yeah, signing something without understanding it is a stupid thing to do, but allowing somebody to sign something who doesn’t fully understand what they’re signing is downright immoral and criminal.
          How can students who don’t go to college be getting fucked by college tuition?
          They’re being fucked out of an education altogether, period.

        12. I agree 100% with the private model. But with your attitude, it sounds like you wouldn’t educate your own children simply because it is not “owed” to them. Like hey kid, fuck you, go educate yourself. Am I right? Cause that’s kinda how you come off.

        13. He does purposefully say” “not owed an education by government.” though.
          And honestly, it doesn’t matter which safety net you are advocating despite the best of intentions, it is still asking for government intervention and one of many other cuts chipping away at and eroding our former standards and values.
          If you want to help those people who are too ignorant or well-meaning to understand what they are signing, distribute some free pamphlets or other educational materials because goodness knows the education system here is fallen down on the job and sending more people into it when they can’t even properly understand basic paperwork will only exacerbate the problem, not alleviate it.

        14. Many of them will be seeing the light once the power grid goes down…no more Xbox to play.
          Life has been too easy for too many of them. They haven’t gone through any hard times and we may need those hard times to get them into “the game” with the rest of us. Hate speech was never a thing before this group came was just some asshole with an opinion…you ignored him (or her). Today, it’s all about the god damn feelings.

        15. I don’t advocate government intervention in anything. I said I believe in the private model. I believe government should get the fuck out of where it doesn’t belong, and I believe schooling should not be for-profit.

        16. Those kids that didn’t sign the loan papers and didn’t go to college will more than likely be better off. College nowadays is worthless. Why pay so much in tuition to waste 4 years of your life top get a job that will pay you less than what you paid in tuition? What kind of horrible ROI is that?

      2. Especially when you consider that supposedly only 5%-10% or so of Americans started the revolution against Britain. I know you are an optimist, but it’s hard for me to see the glass half full when it’s so quickly draining out of the bottom.

        1. Oh, to be clear, Millenials scare the living shit out of me, as a group. There are plenty of good ones individually, but as a group they seem to have, and act on, some really scary shit.

        2. I am actually a millenial. My peers scare me too but I take solace in the fact that only 5 years ago I was a raging lefty. There is hope of redemption.

        3. It’s a movement without the traditional historical roots that anchored people to their own land communities and nations. Globalization is one cause, but, the change in educational standards in western democracies is a far bigger cause, I think.

      3. You’re right…scary stuff. I don’t worry about millennials because none of them know how to truly lead. I won’t be them securing this country (or taking it back) but older guys who actually have an idea on how to lead, what we’re fighting for and what many in the past have died for in this country.
        Milennials are the type to vote for us to use military force in other countries…as long as they don’t have to go. They have no idea what it took to do the heavy lifting in this country that gave them so many rights.

      4. Theres a college offering its students a “safe zone” if they feel triggered- its a room with puppies!

      5. Meh, I bet 93.33333% of hippies were against weapons and war but they didnt change shit. There is obviously a push for gun restrictions nowadays because it gives the liberals a purpose to exist. What would they do when everything is banned? Hmmmm?

    2. “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17
      Doesn’t seem so implausible anymore.

      1. I always wondered how on earth Christians would be hated and persecuted in these times.
        Now I see the words Christian extremist and Christian terrorist being thrown around. Christians being demonized left and right by any and every group you can think of. Fucking amazing the accuracy of the Bible. Astounding to see it happen before your own eyes.

  5. Americans have always had a soft spot for the rebel and the outlaw. It’s ingrained in our culture.
    America is maybe the only nation well suited to resist globalization and all it entails. I believe, once again, it is incumbent upon us to show the world how to fight back.

      1. The people, armed, showing up at every state capitol in numbers from 5,000 to 10,000, across the nation in 2012 when Obama was pushing hard for gun control and ultimate confiscation, says differently.

        1. My main beef with the 2nd amendment protectors is that many of them seem to only get riled up on this one issue. While government constantly chips away at every other freedom without pushback, gun rights are seen as sacrosanct and defended completely and totally.
          Even if gun sales stopped tomorrow, there are more than enough guns for every one of us to be heavily armed. But if one lets the government violate the 1st, and 4th-10th amendments (the 3rd is sort of a toss up) then the whole idea of the 2nd, that arms are needed to preserve a free society, won’t even matter because the free society will no longer exist.
          On the other hand, if we saw the same amount of “rebel” spirit when the government tried to pass the Patriot Act, issue rules restricting free travel with the TSA and border patrol, and spy on all citizenry, I would fully get behind them also supporting the fight for bearing arms. But being free to hunt deer in a dystopian Orwellian slave state is nothing for me to get excited about.
          I value all the freedoms granted by the bill of rights, but I use freedom of speech, privacy, freedom of assembly, travel, etc. far more often than I do the right to bear arms. I wish others would also see the importance of losing the constitutional protections we have lost in the past 15 years.
          In the future, it won’t matter how many guns you own if the government listens to everything you do, knows your whereabouts at every moment, and can shut down your vehicle and confiscate your person at a convenient time, taking you off to torture you indefinitely.

        2. Yes, because we’ve all been buying guns to simply give them up when Hillary says so.
          The only reason our females aren’t being gang rapped to death by Somalis on a weekly basis is because they fear our retribution.
          When that happens, unlike the Germans and the Swedes we wont be wishing we had guns…we’ll be sighting in.
          What spicynujac says makes sense only because we have been hoping on common sense to prevail the last 15 years. Now that Americans are waking up to the tyranny we will not take this shit so lightly….see the backlash on Paul Ryan for the omnibus bill.
          America is getting pissed.

        3. Pissed? No signs of that.
          Your government licks Israel ass and your guns are getting rusty. The resistance was diluted with sodium fluoride.

        4. Then you’re not paying attention troll. You’re just pissed that Putin is fucking your nation while its sucking U.N. cock. Go fight for your sovereignty and get off online forums.

        5. She’ll do nothing, get nothing, and like it.
          If they thought that they could force compliance, they would have already.
          Nice try though.

        6. There are many, many gun owners sorely pissed off about what’s going on outside of guns these days. Isolated silos of concern are disolving.

        7. The current strategy is to force feed your children poison and then give them drugs to exacerbate the mental illness they suffer as a result.
          Then hand them a gun and let them destroy their 2nd Amendment rights.

        8. Do they march when State say them what to do with their belongings??
          Do they march when the government robs their money to give it to invaders and ex wives who have broken the work contract with you but you still have to pay???
          Do you want firearms to protect your right to have firearms or to protect all your rights???
          I haven’t seen anyone fighting for your natural rights.

    1. Don’t be absurd. You have blacks commingling with whites. You are among the least suited to “resist globalization”.

      1. When Germans can be incarcerated for using social media to criticize Islam I would suggest we are far from the least suited. For now, we have the 1st and 2nd amendment. More than Europe can muster.
        Your comment is ignorant.

      2. The key is really the 2nd amendment. It is important to make the new immigrants understand the importance of the right to bear arms.
        If that freedom is maintained, all the rest will follow.
        The patriot movement needs to do a better job or reaching out to Hispanics. When they understand that they can ressist the gangs in their community by arming law abiding citizens, the new immigrants will be Americanized.
        Meanwhile, La Raza and liberal groups are telling them not to focus on liberties but government goodies.
        (It was so wonderful to meet a Russian immigrant yesterday who was enjoying his 2nd amendment freedom. Arrived less than 3 weeks ago, so we made sure he got to see a gun show. He is already figuring out what to buy after he gets a job. As far as I am concerned, he is already a better American than your average liberal )

        1. I see your point. But the Mexicans can be good Americans if all the liberal victimhood groups would get out of their way. Groups that are trying to encourage them to depend on government. Or scream for affirmative action quotas.
          Annyone who can be self-reliant is a potential American patriot in my book. (especially if they are Christian or at least not Muslim). And a lot of Mexicans do pass that test in my book. Like the ones who built my deck for cheap.) The patriot community needs to target these groups with propaganda that is liberty and 2nd amendment oriented.
          If I were a young man and saw a pretty senorita, I sure would not hesitate to marry and start a family with her.
          I like the generation of older Mexicans where they also have the cowboy hat and cowboy boot culture. Now I am not crazy about these repulsive tattooed criminal gangs that “open minded liberals” say we should tolerate..

        2. I actually do not mind the “pro-white” folk. As I would like to continue to see pretty blonds, red heads etc.
          That being said, married an Asian and I like our mixed race family too. My wife is still beautiful even at over 50 years old.
          We are all very right wing and against too much immigration. My son is a master firearms dude and will be a US Amrmy officer.
          So I still do not have a problem with the Mexicans as long as they slow down immigration.
          I would like to see our blue collar white boys get good jobs again. And I also do like the pretty senoritas. And that cowboy style Mexican culture blends well with ours on that Western ranchero culture.
          I do hate the Mexican gang graffitti. They it look like a home for cockroaches.

        1. Relatives of mine once kept a small, horny and yappy dog. I moved in with my pussy cat who was in heat. It was a match made in heaven.

  6. Thanks for the very well-written and thought provoking article, Quintis.
    State surveillance, espionage and spying as always existed since the ancient times to fetter-out and ultimately crush any dissent against the State.
    The big difference though is now, due to the advent of technology, it’s possible for the State to intrude on our personal lives in ways that most people aren’t even aware of.
    For example, satellite-based radar and infra-red systems can light up a family living in the woods away from the city like a Christmas tree. In essence, our privacy, and as a result, our liberty and freedom, are irreversibly and exponentially going down to zero.
    What it all comes down to is who is and who should be at the top with all this power? Should it be a democratically elected puppet of the elites? Should it be a self-styled dictator? Or should it be a council of Philosopher-Kings?
    The ethics of State surveillance all depends on the level of ethics, morality, wisdom, judgement and rule of law employed by the person at the top (and as I write this, that standard is very, very low in Western civilization).
    That’s the question that we, as men, must answer first before we can really start pushing for change.

    1. There is hope. Technology has advanced to the point where individuals can create counter-measures to the state’s snooping.
      Nobody should be at the top.

      1. I use tor but thinking about it, any major software, communication tool, must have backdoors built in or the elites would of shut it down instantly

        1. Whose the we? Cause when u look at the blueprints of how the internet was created, backdoors are the foundation, it’s virtually impossible to be fully anonymous, in this age

        2. Its always been virtually impossible to be fully anonymous. Somebody, somewhere, knows who you are.
          We is us, opposite of them.

    2. William Penn once said that “Men will be ruled by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants.” And we’re pretty much in the second half of that.

  7. To bring up another film, and I despise Jim Carrey, a lot of people need to watch The Truman Show. Right now, our culture isn’t only tolerating this bile, our younger generations are actively seeking for it with no heed paid to the dangers.

    1. Andrew Niccol is a great director. He also made Gattaca, In Time, and SimOne (director creates a new actor via software)

  8. I hadn’t heard of the chinese system. ‘Sesame’ – how innocent sounding, even if there is no chinese sesame street.
    Surveillance is probably the greatest threat we face today. Its far greater than the Islamic State / terrorism unless the latter actually manages to create a world caliphate, in which case surveillance would probably be combined with actual enforced compliance.
    The whole point of the surveillance state though is to get the citizenry to do what its supposed to without coerced compliance. Why? Not because our leaders are above coercion – indeed they will happy use force if necessary – but because forcing people to comply is actually the least effective way of running a state system. Indeed the whole idea of the totalitarian government – popularized by the likes Hannah Arendt and others is flawed with the perspective we now have. The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany etc were never completely totalitarian because they worked primarily through the administration of fear and coercion. Our more enlightened rulers today, know that that ultimately doesn’t work – even the soviet union didn’t last that long – what works is if people believe they are free, believe they can and are making free choices, and one of the best ways to make this happen is for the state to be relatively invisible, but to encourage people to police themselves. That’s where the SJW and the progressive comes in; that’s where Foucauldian governmen tality and technologies of the self come in. The way we govern ourselves today manages tgo appear to be consensual. More often than not we’re lining up to accept the free shit and join up to the social networks which will gradually shape us into conforming, politically correct citizens, with all the Chinese Sesame style reward systems, systems of social, financial and career credit and status which all those likes and fake friends, shares, and retweets translate into .
    But that’s the positive reinforcement of the beast, which grows ever larger as we seek always to feed it and please according to its whims. There will always however be the non-conformist, those who increasingly get labelled as extremists. Overwhelmingly these people are men, usually young men, often relatively or sometimes completely disenfranchised by a system that is purposefully designed to keep them down as the biological trouble-makers they will always be – until aggression, and independence of thought are completely bred out of our genes.
    That of course is where the surveillance state really comes into its own. Facebook and social network, and policing each other is never going to cover the hardcore of cynics and dissidents who seem almost hardwired to rebel and cause trouble. So now we have a situation where the intelligence services can observe or upload pretty anything we write or are working on, in real time and in detail, or simply through meta-data – it may be better or worse depending on the situation – but they have the capacity to more or less surveille everything. As the article indicates the main result of this will be compliance and the stagnation that results, but not entirely of course. There are only going to be certain areas that are off limits – “free” thought will be encouraged everywhere but where it really counts – i.e. with respect to how power really works. But just as feminists moaned about the male gaze shaping and constituting women and their bodies, the gaze of the surveillance state will also shape and of course – with homage to Foucault himself -discipline our minds and bodies with greater or lesser severity depending on dangerous we appear to be. As some have pointed out this surveillance state bears a close resemblance at the level of the body politic as a whole to the Victorian panoptikon, where no part of the object of scrutiny – the prisoner’s behaviour will go unobserved.
    But of course that’s not enough for our wardens. Why, because we still have the internet, and just as they can gaze upon us, we can gaze upon them. For the elites in power, who wish to skulk in the shadows without any possibility of accountability to the people who in theory are theoretically soveriegn (or thereabouts) this is an intolerable situation.
    Which is why they’ve let the terrorist threat fester, and hold back in Syria, and permit things to get worse rather than better, because they can now approach surveillance, and compliance in terms of risk management, and can claim cynically that they are doing what they are doing to keep us safe from harm. Which brings us back to the extremist. Not just the islamic terrorist who wants to cut off the heads of any man or woman who doesn’t dig Allah, but anyone who doesn’t like or agree with the ideologically enforced consensus values that have slowly been downloaded by stealth as hidden firmware updates into our minds and culture. Anyone who’s too slow to nod their heads about great diversity and equality and feminism and gay rights and climate change is, or openly defies these things might as well be a terrorist with wearing a suicide vest. Moreso because the terrorist doesn’t threaten state power at all, whereas the dissident, non-conformist and therefore ‘extremist’ does.
    Listen to Cameron talking about equating the islamic extremism and other types of extremism, listen to Wesley Clarke talking about internment camps for dodgy sorts, and you should realise we have a genuine cause for concern here. In UK we have another 2 billion allocated to intelligencde services – which is great if its used to combat actual terrorism – but most of it seems to be dedicated to online activism – i.e. sock puppetry, co-intel-pro and other forms of highly dubious HUMINT most of which seems designed to flood the information superhighway with disinformation and confusion. Add that to the machinations of Tony Blair and the Kantor’s European Council on Tolerance and Rehabilitation with its europe wide scope and ambition and the proposal for what amounts to re-education (camps?) for youngsters who don’t think like PC Bros or who threaten fragrant and mediocre female MPs on twitter etc then you have the underpinnings of something that could in time be geniunely totalitarian in a way that arendt, Shapiro etc never even dreamed of.
    People who actually care about freedom should make damn sure they defend tooth and nail the rights of citizenry, free speech and free association that we still have. We need to constrain the power of the global elites who are trying to create this nightmare
    For that of course there

  9. For all the gun lovers here. Consider your government has BIGGER and better guns so your little toys don’t really matter. They win.

    1. Yeah, sure pal. That’s why empires go to little Afghanistan with its bolt action rifles, to die.
      I have 110+ million armed men on my side who do not wear uniforms and live right next to the families of the government goons who do wear uniforms. They have a military with a total combined size of 1.47 million people, many of whom are REMFS, and many of whom are on our side.
      We win.
      EDIT: I love when leftists go on about my “toy guns”. As if the 7.62 bullet coming out of my StG-58 is silly and bounces off of people, unlike the 7.62 bullet out of a government gun. Pshaw.

      1. Terrain, the terrain wins in Afghanistan. It is is very mountainous and porous. The men also are tough and used to adversity. The Americans can not even control their own women.

        1. Damn, if only we had mountains here in the States! Curse our luck to be one large, flat land with no discernible geological features! I guess this cancels my plans to move out to Wyoming or Montana, I had no idea it was all farm land out there and nothing more. Shoot.
          Your snide, insulting blanket statements and snarking are not winning you anything here, Krum.

        2. When weapons are cheap to get and so easy to use that almost anyone can use them after a short period of training, armies are generally made up of large masses of amateur soldiers.
          Such weapons we call “amateur weapons,” and such armies we might call “mass armies of citizen-soldiers.” The Age of Pericles in Classical Greece and the nineteenth century in Western Civilization were periods of amateur weapons and citizen-soldiers. But the nineteenth century was preceded (as was the Age of Pericles also) by a period in which weapons were expensive and required long training in their use. Such weapons we call “specialist” weapons. Periods of specialist weapons are generally periods of small armies of professional soldiers (usually mercenaries). In a period of specialist weapons the minority who have such weapons can usually force the majority who lack them to obey;
          The Rise of Authoritarian Government
          In the twentieth century the military situation was drastically changed in two ways. On the one hand, communications and transportation were so improved by the invention of the radio and the internal-combustion engine that control and
          movement of troops and even of individual soldiers became very flexible; mobilization ceased to be equivalent to attack, and attack ceased to be equivalent to total war. On the other hand, beginning with the first use of tanks, gas, high-explosive shells, and tactical bombing from the air in 1915-1918, and continuing with all the innovations in weapons leading up to the first atomic bomb in 1945, specialist weapons became superior to amateur weapons. This had a double result which was still working itself out at mid-century: the drafted army of citizen-soldiers began to be replaced by a smaller army of professional specialist soldiers, and authoritarian government
          began to replace democratic government.
          Tragedy and Hope – A History of the World in Our Time
          By Carroll Quigley

        3. Dumbass, military gear is mass produced, replaceable and cheap, ask any soldier.
          My gear is expensive, well maintained and the envy of my friends who do serve, they often lament that a high quality AR15s sold to civilians are superior to military grade arms. It makes little difference that they are not fully automatic as most soldiers are taught burst fire control and accuracy anyway. SAWs are used for fully automatic suppression.
          It is not uncommon for American GIs to purchase civilian gear to use while overseas.
          You’re stupidity is showing.

        4. They can easily bring you down with gas and biological weapons. You fancy gear will not protect you.
          Besides like said, you people are weak, you can not control your own women, let alone survive a long and exhausting guerrilla war.
          Those days are gone!

        5. I admire the original Germanic people but they went extinct a century ago. Plus the Anglo-Saxons don’t count.

        6. Anglo-Saxons are much needed watered down Prussians. The Prussians emerged as the main Germans becasue they were much stricter and organised than the rest of the Germans.

        7. The English are very much like the Jewish, a topic discussed at length by Wagner and Weiniger (if you’re interested).

        8. I was driving through some Pennsylvanian forest-mountains a while back, and all I could think about was how awesome it would be to fight a war there.

        9. Americans are now in war but you aren’t fighting.
          When someone fights get incarcerated, without any opportunity to form a resistance. Your country is being literally invaded
          The government is currently saying americans what they should do with their private property(affirmative action, anti gender and racial discrimination…) and even personal life(wife and children support) and I am sure than more, only that I don’t know it because I’m not living in USA. I only know the government is who rule in your wives and property and all the weapons can’t expel it from your house and business.
          The only thing that government can’t do is kill you in mass. All other against you and your rights no matter where are written, is guaranteed.
          The government will growth until you won’t have even the chance to fight back against a mass kill.

    2. Then I die a free man on my feet. You’re a coward and your comments prove it. Assuming from your name you’re Ukrainian maybe you should try fighting for your people’s liberty as opposed to letting Putin and the United Nations double penetrate you.
      Then again its no surprise since your nation has been invaded over 36 times in history. I am sure giving up and bending over is in your culture at this point.

    3. The point is not fighting the government. It is resisting crime when things break down.
      Here is why guns are important. If the middle class can defend itself against petty thugs, there will not be an outcry of people begging for a police state as the economy gets bad.
      I do think there are probably some militia groups training to fight the government. They mostly miss the point. Not smart. fOR ME, 2ND amendment is to make it so a gang or cartel will have to pay a cost for stealing in a middle class suburb with (as things degenerate) with an armed community watch.
      (I personally see the hard core militia groups as potential terrorists. If there is a SHTF scenario, they could go after the middle class suburban folk like me).
      It is their right to form a militia. But the government is right to keep an eye on them. I have met a couple over the years. Some, but not all, are mean and crazy.
      (I will admit I was pleasantly surprised that at the Bundy Ranch, the militia did a lot of good. But I still do not trust them. Oathkeepers, which consist of retired police and military, are probably honest folk but I do not know for sure. Also like Sheriff Richard Mack ok. but he disappointed me at the Bundy Ranch when he moved the women and children to the front of the firing line to be shot at 1st by the feds. I followed the whole thing on Inforwars.)

  10. Most westerners don’t get this, but the confucian tradition has little to do with modern chinese totalitarianism. The Chinese empire was a vast and diverse expanse that the emperor could not personally control, so the obedience due to him was mostly nominal. There is another saying that ‘the mountains are tall and the emperor is far away,’ that really shows that attitude. And when the emperor historically attempted to impose his will on the provinces, then the daoists would tell him that it was against nature to do so. Even the confucian tradition has the concept of the ‘mandate of heaven,’ which suggests that a tyrannical ruler can lose his justification for ruling, as happened when the Han dynasty overthrew the Qing dynasty to usher in the chinese golden age. So while chinese culture is authoritarian, it does not allow for despotism as much as westerners are inclined to believe.
    The real reason the CCP rules with an iron fist is because the Soviets and the U.S. both backed them at varying times. Now they’re entrenched, so there isn’t anything that can be done to oppose them.

  11. I love the MANTRA repeated by our “Dear Leader” the MSM bimbos & boofheads, & of course the brainwashed four pack Joe,& Mabel saying to you????
    “If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t worry about it “??

  12. In Toronto landlords do credit checks for renters. It’s been like this for over 1/2 a decade now. I personally have never had to deal with this but it just highlights what a true dystopia the city is.

  13. I’m always surprised when people express outrage that the latest Hollywood blockbuster is a propaganda vehicle. It has always been thus.
    I don’t think this article gets to the heart of the issues surrounding the surveillance state. No of course the state will not use this power responsibly. It will use the power to expand its domain and increase its resources, like it uses every other power.
    In the future, we are looking at a world where the state knows what you are doing, what you have done and what you will do. The ultimate police state, the ultimate prison.

    1. “No of course the state will not use this power responsibly.”
      And that is part of the problem when looking at alternative places to live outside the US or Western World: for all it’s faults, they are (at the moment) some of the more ‘freer’ places to live compared to say Russia or China social media / internet-wise.

  14. Quintus, have you ever read any books on political ponerology? The intoro, while it could have been more astute, and the following paragraphs seem to show almost a political comercialization of the intended product. I ask this as constructively as posible.

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