Pounding Keys Yet Again

The line of thinking that supports the “the only reason that oppressive, orwellian legislation is passed is because of terrorist acts” is a nice cop out. It’s easy to take the administration-friendly line of painting the government as a reluctant oppressor, that it doesn’t REALLY want to spy on its people or treat them as unruly cattle, but plans like the Levin Amendment to the NDAA, the amendment that allows the US military to indefinately detain United States citizens without any access to legal services wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to some imminent threat, it was cooly composed and inserted into the NDAA AFTER Osama Bin Laden was killed. But the argument never takes the opposite track in mainstream political discourse. We always see the erosion of our civil rights, our liberties and our freedoms as the unfortunate result of some grave, dire threat, that somehow taking away the ability to use a megaphone at a political rally will save thousands of lives, or whatever ridiculous example you want to give. We– the news media, the public and our elected officials– never frame the debate in the opposite manner, that the ridiculous, horrible act comes after it is made illegal, and this as a result and reaction to its banning. Everything in society is framed like this: “there was no choice but to invade Iraq because there were terrorists there” is retroactively justified because some ignorant people who rarely pay any attention to the news perk up whenever they hear “terrorist attack in Iraq.” They cannot make the connection that the reason for the existance of that terrorist is a direct result of the invasion of Iraq– for whatever reason, they believe that Iraq has always been populated exclusively with terrorists. Similarly, they do not understand why– after so much high-level diplomacy– certain countries still hate all westerners with a passion. They cannot understand that protestors who are being gassed with tear-gas canisters stamped “made in the USA” is a far more potent diplomatic gesture than all of the five-star luncheons or glad-handing photo-ops ever conducted.

If there’s one major flaw in direct action, it is that it is far too optimistic in its goals of “waking people up to the truth.” People have been conditioned to believe that the government is a generally benign behemoth that has no real desire to oppress, and that “oppression is something for other countries.” People have been trained to accept the model of causality that posits the government as ONLY acting harshly and oppressively as a tactical reaction against something harmful, never vice versa. You know the chicken and the egg metaphor– in this reality, The CHICKEN CAME FIRST. Only commie hippie scum think the egg came first, and even if the egg came first, the chicken was ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED in what it did!

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