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2020/07/01 Polosophy - On Empires

NYT on Hong Kong’s new security laws (Tor)

Tomorrow the USA Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on pushing forward the EARN IT bill. If made law, this would cast a deep chill across the USA and it’s client states. No more would the vaunted USA constitutional provisions for freedom of speech and assembly hold any water.

One simply cannot have freedom of speech if one must live in fear of speaking in view of the panopticon state. One cannot have freedom of assembly without privacy. It just doesn’t work that way.

We all know what this will mean. Tech companies will be compelled to become active arms of the surveillance state.

Some more unwillingly than others. This collusion was already de facto the position of many, as the PATRIOT act’s national security letters led to surveillance capitalism finding common cause with the snoops. Snowden showed the rest, soto voce conspiracy against the people.

But to by law mandate allowing the USA security state to read all encrypted communications will mean an end to the remaining figleaves of privacy. We will finally be prone before the behemoth of the state, all the globe a prison in lockdown.

Orwell has become a cliche lately, probably because we are living his nightmares.

I can only marvel at how the USA is racing PRC to the bottom of the tyrannous barrel. A few months ago, the protesters discussed in the above NYT article were waving USA flags, hoping for some sort of cover and aid from the “international community” (read American Empire). I could only shake my head sadly for them, knowing how naive this desperate gambit was. A terror now grips the last city of Free China, as professors hide and drooling policemen burn books like it is 221 BC. My heart aches at it, and for Taiwan, with its tender young freedoms.

No one who has lived in PRC, especially those of us with family who have suffered it, can misunderstand the rôle of surveillance. If a mass surveillance regime is instituted, it must needs result in a more pithy destruction of freedom. Panopticon has no other function but to facilitate the parasitism of elites upon the body politick. As such, surveillance is the headstream of oppression. Build a globe straddling surveillance state, and you *will* end up with a globe straddling totalitarian leviathan. What comes next may well make the American Imperial depredations of the 00’s feel like the good old days. Get ready for a domestic disposition matrix. (My wager is it already exists, and has for quite a while.)

For we who would dare to harbour private candles to keep the light alive, there is no course now but relentless samizdat. Make no mistake, the trogs are coming with their truncheons. And the truncheon knows but one use.

Empires rot from their start. Our Earth is suffering under their yoke, and may break of it. I devoutly pray the damnation of empire. Once I was naive enough to hope for brighter commonwealth to come from such fallow grounds. Now I see the 太平 must come despite them, by all means and measures. If there is a future for any of us on this little marble world, it may be the final choice between survival of the species and thanatos. I’m not taking bets; the relative mights of these yearnings are too close to call.



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