No laws, values or controversies occur within a vacuum. Every social ill is symptomatic of a wider malaise, and a surveillance society is symptomatic of a either a society constantly under genuine threat, or one that thinks it’s under genuine threat. But which is it? No matter what the reality, if freedom is to be honored, surveillance has got to go, but like make-up masks the blemishes of an allergic reaction, surveillance masks the cause of its own purpose.
Terrorism interrupts the western mission of freedom, but fear, which the American media dishes out like a feeding frenzy, halts it entirely. At the same time, surveillance laws which supposedly keep society safer only reduce the scope of freedom that can be exercised, and what no better way to give credence to the surveillance state than instilling fear upon the masses, to which the remedy is the promise of “protection”.
~ from Surveillance and the American Illusion of Freedom by Robert Bolton ~
While we Americans like to think of ourselves as the sentinels in the home of the free and the brave, we aren't anything of the sort. Far from representing paragons of courage, we are a bunch of wusses! We're terrified of shadows in the dark, real AND imagined.
Why do you think we recently have gone on a gun-buying spree at the same time that violent crime has dropped precipitously across the board? Even though the chances of being a victim of an armed robbery or violent assault are lower today than they were ten years ago, we have armed ourselves to the teeth...just in case.
Why do you think we have stood by meekly as our freedoms have been steadily eroded by the growing police state? It is because we are scared of the off-chance that we might fall prey to a "terrorist" attack. Even though death or injury from such attacks is miniscule compared to almost any other criteria they can be matched against (like bathtub falls, being struck by lightening, accidental ingestion of poison, mass shootings by white males or auto accidents), this is the fear that keeps too many of us up late at night!
And why have we become a nation of wusses? It is because our own government, in conjunction with the mainstream media, has encouraged us to be this way. They sell fear like candy and we unwittingly buy it up. Fear of the shadows in the dark is their talisman. It magically allows them to say one thing, but do another. It serves to divert our attention from what they are up to behind the curtain. We have become hypnotized by phantoms, most of which do not exist.
Are there bad people out there in the world who wish to do us harm? Of course there are...it's just that we don't realize that many of those people live in Washington, DC!