Our generation has forgotten that the system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom. These words Friedrich Hayek wrote decades ago in “The Road to Serfdom.”
What was forgotten by that generation is even more foreign to this one. The government infrastructure for a technological police state now exists. We are perhaps only a few years away from living the things we dreamt up in movies.
Some might say we have already begun.
Is this the inevitability of technological advancement or just bad statesmanship? There have been several sound bytes from people actually defending this massive government surveillance program.
“I have nothing to hide,” is one of the simple-minded responses. The assumption here is that the government is only monitoring for suspicious activity (of course, definition needed), but as we have seen from the IRS scandal and the media surveillance program, suspicious activity under the Obama administration means saying anything negative about our Dear Leader.
It even means supporting our heritage.
So, it may have been better to say, “I don’t care if the government monitors me, I am one of their unthinking drones.” Well maybe that is a tad harsh because the truth is that many of us supported the legislations that brought us here.
The “Patriot Act” sounded wonderful especially at a time when everyone wanted to be a patriot, but no one really expected to wake up in a Will Smith movie.
So here we are. We need to be strategic. We have been, philosophical, moral, inclusive, and exclusive. If we are to actually stop the “Enemy of the State” scenario, there must be actual thought about how we accomplish this for the long term.
That strategy will have to answer questions such as, how do we give the government enough power to defend our interests without empowering it to destroy our liberty.
We can make this all about Obama, but he is just one man and I will be surprised as hell if he happens to declare himself king of the nation. Our enemies are far more discrete and actually more incompetent than you think.
Their only major asset is that the electorate is filled with what my economics professor calls, “rationally ignorant” people. This is a nice way of saying idiots. Liberals have been able to grasp all the power they can dream of…but they have no real clue of how to yank complete power from this particular nation.
That is our weapon and this is why they destroy our heritage and keep minorities angry and inferior rather than independent and empowered.
I am telling you the good news. We aren’t truly locked in yet. There is still a grace period where we have the opportunity to turn things around.
What we lack is creative vision on dealing with the issues of a modern era and a way to help a larger portion of the nation regain their love for liberty.
How we secure private property rights in the age of Googleglass will have to be addressed. We need to discuss foreign cyber threats as well. The conversation will have to begin with the framework of the Constitution.
Using it as a guide, we must look to these problems of the modern era.
Our beautiful Constitution was not written as a document to constrain the populace, it was designed to disperse power so that no single entity became stronger than the liberty of the people.
The problem we face in Washington right now is figuring out how to disperse the power of the federal government while maintaining a modern security standard.
“We’re constantly struggling,” Janet Napolitano said at a recent press conference. “It’s not easy–because technology has increased so much–these balances between security and privacy and other values.”
Napolitano seems to have no clue about how to get started, so I sincerely hope she is reading this now. The spirit of the U.S. Constitution is liberty for her citizens. That should be the guiding principle in government, no matter wha