Global Undemocratic Revolution

Sunday, May 30, 2010
By Paul Martin

Once a government has become committed to achieving omniscience over its subjects, any half-witted justification for expanding the dragnet suffices. After the British government created the largest DNA database in the world, ministers urged that “police be allowed to take the DNA of anyone stopped for not wearing seatbelts.” When people balked at a mandatory national identification card with extensive biometric data, Charles Clarke, the home secretary, declared that the proposal was a “profoundly civil libertarian measure because it promotes the most fundamental civil liberty in our society, which is the right to live free from crime and fear.” After promising freedom from fear, a politician can always invoke polls showing widespread fears to justify seizing new power. The more people government frightens, the more benevolent its dictatorial policies appear.

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