He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. -Benjamin Franklin
We used to have police officers with radar guns giving out tickets for going too fast. Then photo radar was discretely mounted to parked cars on the side of the road. Next up, red light cameras. Now, since the boxes were already up on the poles, we may as well have the red light cameras give out speeding tickets, too. Pretty soon, every vehicle’s GPS will be tracked, and drivers will be fined for every single infraction:
“Let’s see, Mr Piedlourde, you exceeded the speed limit four times, failed to stop at one stop sign, and didn’t signal while changing lanes. Total cost for your trip to the store: $813.00. Have a great day.”
So much for the open road, and the skies haven’t fared any better.
Thorough pat downs… sure. Take off our shoes… okay. No liquids… fine. X-ray our luggage? Hell… why not just x-ray our bodies to see us naked. Whatever you need to do, oh great and all-seeing security guard, we’ll just switch into sheeple-mode and allow ourselves to be corralled and prodded in order to reach our destinations.
And it’s not just on the streets and in the air… these escalating levels of security and authoritarian control are happening everywhere. While some of these steps may make us feel safer, few, if any, of the new regulations and precautions are actually making us significantly safer. Most of these security measures serve as security theatre, where the price of admission is nothing less than our freedom and civil liberties.
Then, if and when the shit hits the fan (as it inevitably will) and another traffic accident happens or terrorists strike, what do we do? Do we recognize the futility in attempting to eliminate all risk from life? No, we mindlessly allow our civil liberties to be eroded as we cave to what are predominantly irrational fears.
Well, the time has come to say “Enough!”. We need to define a balance between freedom and security. No more additional precautions. To hell with more police powers. Let’s draw a line in the sand- and it needs to be behind where we are now because we’ve already let it go too far!
If we don’t stand up to authoritarianism, if we keep succumbing to fear and continue to enable a system that holds an ever tightening grip over our lives, soon enough the biggest threat will no longer be speeders or airplane bombers. If this keeps up, the greatest risk to our lives will be the very system we’ve created to protect us.