7 Examples of a “Police State,” and How They Are Appearing in the U.S.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
“Has the United States become a police state?”
That’s the stark question I was asked at the beginning of a recent radio interview.
Framing the current political climate in these terms is quite blunt, and can be jarring to some people because it automatically conjures images of, for example, Nazi Germany. That’s clearly different than what is occurring right now in the United States. So how do we conceptualize the current state of government repression, and how do we put it in a historical context?
The image that most people hold of a “police state” is a representation of extreme power dynamics, and repressive tactics to maintain them, at specific points of history. The current political climate in the United States is unique in many ways, and distinct from those eras. However, it shares core attributes that we generally associate with a “police state”:
1. Raids, harassment, and intimidation of dissidents by police
When FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided multiple activist homes in the Northwest recently, they were in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature.”