|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
I knew that something was very wrong in Britain back in the 1990's when my roommate's brother came to visit from London. The conversation turned to free TV and cable; he stated that you did not have to pay for BBC if you did not watch it -- but that government trucks would prowl the street to find cheaters who had their TV set turned on.
He did not seem to think that there was anything unusual about this.
Now we hear that problem families in Britain will be placed under continuous surveillance. (Hat tip: Instapundit inter alia. Note when reading the linked article that you have to scroll to the comments to find people who think this proposal is alarming.) It's not clear whether the government intends to implement this via 1984-style telescreens, or just giving agents of the state carte blanche to enter citizens' homes 24 hours a day.
Pitt the Elder famously stated that "The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. ... the King of England cannot enter!" Now the King, or anyone in his employ, may not only enter but may also dally.
Pitt also orated: "[W]ho that has an English heart can ever be weary of asserting Liberty?" Well, ...
I always welcome criticism of government and all angles of attack are welcome. My POV is more focused on Milton Friedman's brilliant critique for "free regimes" and on direct political change for "fear regimes". I love Orwell, but 1984 was fiction and implementing it down the managing individuals requires recruitment of unpaid private individuals, like the Soviet fear regime did. By instilling such fear that even not turning in a suspicious person can lead to your family beinig "interned", you turn all neighbors (and even relatives) into the state's cops. This and other symptoms of true police states is far, far away from our government (though again, please criticize our government at will to keep it that way). My concern related to our (elected aristocrats) government is a death by 1000 cuts, and the creation of a welfare state, which we are moving towards. Rapid change that trumps political process and any proxy for the will of the people occurs most often during economic collapse, when "the ends justify the means". The solution to both the personal freedom and economic freedom problems is smaller government. Pick your favorite MF quotes to support this: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman