The Police/Surveillance state is not a danger of the future, it has already come into being and matured, we are too late to stop its implementation.
Its time to elect officials with an anti-security message. Yes, you heard me: Anti-security. I’ll take my chances with the U.S. attempting to prevent terrorist attacks through less insanely intrusive means than the apparatus of a security state. Surveillance/Security states are insidious because they create many, many security jobs. That’s good right? No. People with jobs in the bloated surveillance state need to justify the continued existence of those jobs, thus they need to constantly prove they are effective, successful, but above all indispensable.
If you take the view that if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear from being observed by the government you are pathetically ignorant of history. When the state runs on a currency of security and paranoia the web of what is wrong gets cast wider and wider; we are never “safe enough”, we always have to be safer. The security state is a beast that feeds on your tax dollars (Wake the fuck up Republicans and throw a hissy fit about something actually impacting your lives instead of made up “Fox-lems”) and does very, very little to keep you safe. Of course we need to be ever vigilant against terrorism but you don’t need to think very hard at all to realize that this security state is not about keeping us safe, it is about controlling people, about constraining rather than solving social problems. It is easier (and a lot more profitable for the private prison industry!) to imprison someone, to make them go away, than to help them. If our government wanted to keep us safe, if it actually cared about keeping us alive it might try a few of the following:
1. Actually regulate fracking and demand to know what chemicals are used BEFORE they are injected into the earth and seep into our drinking water. Its not an if, its a when. People ignore problems like this though until the chemicals are coming out of THEIR kitchen tap.
2. Demand food safety regulations so we can all stop dying from Listeria. Or getting stupider thanks to corn-syrup ( http://occupycorporatism.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup-makes-you-stupid-says-new-study/ ).
3. Provide some decent environmental regulations. So many people in this country are exposed to so many awful things because it isn’t illegal. Because god-forbid the chemical companies not turn a huge profit. No more passing costs onto the public in the form of pollution. Companies need to pay ALL the bills, then take home profits.
4. Gun control. Not no guns for anyone, just proper screening and a wait time before you can have one. Those ID things that only let the owner fire the gun seem like a good idea too… People kill people without guns but people with guns kill lots of people quickly. Lets not give the disturbed the power of rapid mass-murder huh?
5. Slow down greenhouse gas emissions. Seriously, how many people do you think will die as a direct result of global warming in the next decade? Between freak weather, freak temperatures, and crop failures things look a little grim.
6. Healthcare. Want to know what keeps people alive with a far greater level of success than video-cameras? Healthcare. Universal healthcare. That’s how you help people stay alive.
7. Education. People wreck their lives all the time through little more than ignorance. We do not educate people about the risks of their behaviors for fear that educated consumers WOULD NOT BUY THE JUNK (especially food, but also many products with poorly regulated and understood chemicals) THAT IS BEING OFFERED. Apparently its been decided that education is bad for business. Also, we don’t educate people that the brief glow from impulse purchasing is not an effective method of improving their happiness. But people are told that all they lack is things so they buy, and buy, and buy and little gets better.
The security state does not keep you safe. The security state provides a set of powerful social controls for your behavior. Google “panoptican” for some explanation as to why this works. If the government cared about keeping you alive they would change the things that actually cause lots and lots of American deaths instead of focusing obsessively on one type of danger without regards to other dangers or the painful social costs of their fixation. Do you want to live in a free country or do you want to give up all privacy to adjust your chances of being caught up in a terrorist incident from 0.002% to 0.001%? Seriously though, terrorists are scary, they do want to hurt Americans, but I do not believe that destroying the America we WANT to live in is a sensible price. I do not think that facial recognition cameras, or treating the population like criminals, keeps me safe. In fact, I think it breeds domestic terrorists. And we have enough of those idiots already, thanks.