November 16, 2012

On the coming authoritarian police states - 2

On the coming authoritarian police states - 2
    2. Updating Nederlog mostly done
PS. My eye problems


This Nederlog consists mostly of remarks about some interesting independent support for ideas expressed in earlier Nederlogs about the decline of the West, and an update on the status of Nederlog, to which I returned five days ago.

1. On the coming authoritarian police states - 2

As I argued in October
I think it is more likely than not that Western Europe and the US are developing towards authoritarian police states.

As I also wrote then, I much hope that I am mistaken about this, but I am not blind, and am a lot better informed about history and politics and philosophy than most. There are lots of arguments why I think so in
and indeed it is someting that is not simple:

It is the economy, it is the bad quality of those who govern, it is the lack of real education in those who elect those who govern, it is blatant idiocies the medias reproduce without being sanctioned or ridiculed by those who use the media, it is the protection of the few rich at the cost of the many poor, and it is the simultaneous destruction of both the welfare state and individual rights, because of what is claimed to be "the war on terror" but seems to be the project to finish the welfare state and the individual rights of citizens living in Europe and the US to live in privacy and not to be spied upon by the state nor to be arbitrarily detained and abused by state bureaucrats.

It turns out that Glenn Greenwald has been thinking and indeed speaking along similar lines. Here is a link to a speech he gave in the summer of 2012:
He speaks about Big Brother - that is: about the supermen who are our ruling elite; the supermen who are our secret service men and women, of the ilk and morality of David Petraeus: the supermen who are our government bureaucrats.
These are the folks who are watching you, and are downloading your mail, and have your picture, and your fingerprints, and who indeed also may watch you watch this speech, and may notice and record that you read the present text, all without you having any say so about whether this happens, or what the information gathered about you will be used for.

Why do I think these things are happening? Here is a statistic Greenwald gives: Every day 1.7 billion e-mails and phones are being tapped and stored by US agencies, to be used against you, eventually, possibly, at some indefinite time in the future, for some reason that then probably will never be disclosed to you, if only because some of the US agencies that are involved
are even now so extremely secret that not even US senators are entitled to know of their existence.

In fact, as things are in the United States, right
now you may be  detained indefinitely and secretively, and right now you may be "renditioned", in order to make you talk about whatever you may know that might endanger or have endangered any of the supermen and superwomen that govern you and me, who have taken the freedom to do all these things to you and me, in order to protect their freedoms to do all these things so that their kind remains in power, and whom you should trust, because they are as superior in morality and in  intelligence as are David Petraeus, the CIA and the Information Awareness Office. (Check out this last link!)

And if none of these things happened to you, so far, that is, if you have not been "arrested" without a warrant, and questioned without benefit of a lawyer, and also have not been renditioned to some hell hole, then this must be because these superior men and women who rule you and me, and who are entitled to know all about you, know that, so far, you are no threat to their rule, and also know that you do not know anyone who is or may be.

Greenwald's speech is a frightening speech, that probably is mostly factually correct, as you can check out also from the last link and the links it contains.

In fact, one of the most frightening things about it is that so few people seem to care about these things, or to be frightened by them, it seems because so few people know how easy it is to destroy civil liberties and individual freedoms, and
because so few people know how normal authoritarian states have been in history.

I am probably less optimistic than is Greenwald, but then I am older, and I am also no optimist about ordinary men, though indeed I do hope I am mistaken.

In any case, it is an interesting and brave speech, but Greenwald did not mention several things I would have mentioned:

(1) most people are neither especially smart nor
especially brave, and in all known dictatorships the vast majorities collaborated, always and everywhere, which is how dictatorships were and could be perpetuated so long so often (e.g. in Russia and China);
(2) the Big Brother schema - the Surveillance State - is based on the crazy myth that bureaucrats and politicians are a superior class of folks - but average people tend to accept that myth, as they did in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, and Mao's China, while
(3) in fact
bureaucrats and politicians are not a superior class of folks at all, and the likelihood is that - as in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union: in dictatorships the worst types float to the top just like shit does in a latrine - the majority of them is morally speaking inferior to the average, and intellectually speaking unintelligent compared to average academics.

But then each and all of such folks belong to the state organs of the ruling elite, and the state organs know and control all, as they will claim, "in the interests of all who are not terrorists", and with vastly greater powers of control and espionage than were possessed by Hitler's Gestapo or by Stalin's KGB.

Anyway... as I have been updating Nederlog (see below) I have also been updating
the crisis series. Here are the recent additions, for some background to what I just wrote:
Note that I have been saying the sort of things Greenwald's speech is about since  2005 or earlier - and indeed, this has a lot to do with knowing what the American Constitution and individual freedom are about - and see Mill's On Liberty, with my extensive notes.

Updating Nederlog mostly done

Yesterday I uploaded the texts for October 2012, most of which I wrote as texts in Notebook, which I started because of my eyes, and stopped after having found out that I could maintain and edit Nederlog in ways I had not been aware of  before.

Herewith the updating of Nederlog and its index is mostly done.

I still have to check some links and do some formatting, and also have to insert some text on the problems with my eyes and with my health, and perhaps also expand the summaries of my Nederlogs, but I will do those things silently, except possibly for the last two.

In any case: the texts are there, and the links mostly work, and I can't and won't make it much better than it is now.

Finally, I have also updating
the crisis series some, as I also mentioned above, and have been adding the "Crisis: " prefix to some titles.


Maarten Maartensz

P.S. My eye problems

There will be a new PS, probably with another name. In any case, the eye problems are diagnosed
as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, quite possibly as a part of Sjoegren's syndrome, which is a fairly common complication of ME/CFS, but also exists independently from ME/CFS.

                  PS: Any necessary corrections have to be made later.