Thursday :: May 22, 2008

Enabling Authoritarianism


by paradox

I was immensely gratified last Sunday to see Eschaton hotshot pinch-hitter Jay Ackroyd nail what I hate so much about American flying post-9/11: almost all of the infuriating “security measures” at the airport have nothing to do with flying safety in the least, and everything to do with implementing authoritarianism on the American public.

For the life of me I cannot understand how humans so blithely accept some Jack in a uniform making them take off their shoes in a pathetic ruse of safety, when it’s always been crystal clear to me it was nothing more than an act of degradation, a form of humiliation from the Man that you aren’t even free in your clothes in America, we can make you do anything.

Rationalization and self-deception are the eternal handmaidens of the human mind, so ancestors of rebels and their Bill of Rights tell themselves, well, we need to fly. If we don’t do every stupid, irrational, freedom-stealing tactic to employ yet another self-deceptive ruse of “safety,” big scary bad guys might to terrible things to us.

Americans need to use all forms of public infrastructure and communications and don’t willingly give up their rights and freedom to employ them, but just at the airport it’s okay for some asshole to take your shampoo after rifling your bag.

The immense tide of trouble slithers forth when some Cheney disciple decides that since Americans so bleatingly went along at their airport we’ll just take their public communication rights away too, don’t we need safety there too? Bad guys use email, so rifle the backup subject titles for scary terrorist keywords, go ahead, we already smashed the Bill of Rights anyway.

There’s growing evidence that this is what precisely has happened, somehow in total secrecy a database of email and voice communications has been compiled from ordinary Americans, a “Main Core” of freedom theft. It isn’t clear if the program started before 9/11, but the way Americans accepted the smashing of their rights at the airport surely convinced the authoritarian “Americans” who implemented Main Core that they could easily get away with it.

Even if Main Core was definitively proven to exist and there were commercials on every night explaining how stupid it is for the TSA to take your shampoo Americans would not only still take their shoes off for no reason, many would vociferously defend the practice and demand we all accept it. I’ve written about rights at the airport many times before and I’ve always been flabbergasted at the many commenters who will accept any tactic in a desperate attempt for total safety.

Total safety and absence of risk is nowhere to found in the human condition, not hardly. Giving up rights and freedom at the airport simply opens the door for them to be taken away everywhere else, sooner or later.

Thankfully I’ve been employed recently where zero travel is required, I haven’t had to endure what used to be one of my favorite American experiences—deliberately watching humans hours before takeoff in thunderously cool jets—be utterly ruined and wrecked in an insulting, degrading act of “security” that humiliates us as it softens us up for more theft of freedom. The worst part is that I silently go along with it, I need to get where I’m going, defiance seems futile as I seethe in my socks.

Soon this will change, however, I have to be in Texas this July, still under the thumb of the Worst President of all time and his thugs. No, I so silently dream to say when that awful airport day arrives, you can’t rifle my bag. No, you can’t make me take off my shoes, you can’t take my shampoo, just forget my retina and get your god damn filthy mitts of my laptop! How dare you think my computer is something to be so casually confiscated!

I wonder if the vociferous proponents of “security” and “safety” would still be so strong in their support to have their shoes taken off if some uniformed hack was reading their sexy love notes with pics attached five minutes later. They probably would, the bad guys are still terrorists. Right?

paradox :: 4:00 PM :: Comments (22) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!