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View Diary: To the self-described "patriots" of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like (177 comments)

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  •  Uh huh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    You once lived in one, so now you are an expert on everything that comes within the compass of "police state".

    Does it not occur to you that this is ... illogical?

    You claim to be a liberal. I've read a lot of your writing here, including various descriptions of your military career. I don't follow you, or stalk you, so you may have expressed regret and remorse for what you chose to do, to whom you chose to do it, and upon whose orders ... but if you have done so, I never saw it. The fact that you were, once upon a time, a voluntary, self-enlisted, and apparently enthusiastic elite agent of state violence against a bunch of people who, by any reasonable "liberal" analysis, were no threat to you or to anybody who might have mattered to you prior to your enlistment, and that it still doesn't seem to have occurred to you that you shouldn't have done that, is not great testimony to your liberalness. It also suggests a bit of a blindspot with respect to the shortcomings of your "homeland".

    You insist that "we" don't live in a police state -- but again, your perception is entirely about you, your experience, etc. etc. Sure, most people would blankly stare at you if you asked them whether we lived in a police state, but then most people would blankly stare at you if you asked them what habeas corpus means.

    Riddle me this, batman: Are we an empire, or not?

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:25:00 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  You never know what rights you have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      Until you try to excercize them.  Ask 50 nazis if they live in a police state.  Most of them will stare at you blankly.

      "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

      by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:44:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You could ask 50 Amish the same question and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheFern

        they too might stare at you blankly.

        •  That (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          At least would be worth the effort, rewarded with wisdom perhaps.  

          "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

          by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:34:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They firmly believe in exceptional protection (0+ / 0-)

            under the law, reject the very idea of equal protection under the law. They believe they are bound by God's laws, not by the laws of man, and have conducted various successful campaigns of civil disobedience over time. They are exempt from a variety of laws, school curriculum to name one, and social security tax, to name another.

            The reason they are generally law abiding, is because they seek to be ignored, to keep a low profile.

          •  But realize, the Amish, who enjoy exceptional (0+ / 0-)

            protection under the law here in the US, (the Amish in Europe, and those who fled to Russia did not survive, they assimilated), are among those who agree with President Ahmadinejad, "What did you say? Gay people? There are no gay people in Iran."

            We have people with those views right here among us, who believe there are no gay people in the Amish.

            No, we have abuses of power, and in some industries, extensive corruption, and we have a highly militarized police force, but we do not live in a police state. A friend who grew up in a dictatorship told me that before 9/11 people he knew wanted to live and work here, but didn't want to become US citizens. It was looked down on. Since then, they all want to become US citizens if they can; still have the most coveted set of rights and freedoms in the world.

            •  The principles of the Amish aside (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              UntimelyRippd, LilithGardener

              And they seem to be, if nothing else, very principled people. Though I admit I know very little about them.  My point is:  If we claim to be a free people, or at least if we claim to have the rights afforded to us by our governing documents,  then these rights should be on display when people actually take to the streets and exercise them.  The OWS saga demonstrated something else.  When the people took to the streets with a legitimate grievance they were met with state resistance and, oftentimes state violence.  This being the case,  you don't have guaranteed rights.  You have cherished principles.  The state (government, banks, industry) is only on the people's side if the people comply.  You have every freedom imaginable if you never use your freedoms.  If you get a face full of mace and a court date for redressing a legitimate grievance, well, you should question your freedoms.

              "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

              by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:28:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The point of my posing the Amish as a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TheFern

                counter point to your example is that every society has a range of participants and it's easy to judge FROM OUR OWN CULTURAL vantage point and from what we read in news and in history books.

                And they seem to be, if nothing else, very principled people.
                They are highly sincere, for the most part, but I'm not sure what you mean by "principled." They have a full range of social ills as the wider society does. Part of their stability, as a culture, is that people who don't toe the line are kicked out or made miserable enough that they leave "voluntarily."  

                They are also extremely restricted. Are they a police state? No. Do they tolerate ANY dissent? Hell, no!

                It is a culture in which there is no art, no musical instruments, no creative writing, no science, no literature, no statistics, no calculus, no formal teaching of deductive reasoning, no statistics, no research, (I could go on and on). Most importantly there is no approval for anyone challenging of authority (except to challenge outside authority in a few well-proscribed ways).

                There are NO gay people in the Amish, and there are NO options for women except marriage and motherhood. There is NO religious tolerance. There is no tolerance of independent thought. If you disagree you are kicked out.

                They are an example of your point that freedoms not used can be completely lost, to the point of not being aware of what freedom could be.

                And they are also an ironic study of the co-existence of extreme authoritarian control and American religious tolerance ("freedom" depending on where you fall on the religious practice spectrum), co-existing in a single culture, neither of which requires police or a military to maintain.

            •  For starters, please stop equating dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

              with police state.

              For seconds, the enthusiasm some people have for our rights and freedoms is not necessarily reality-based. People who have lived in other highly-developed western democracies find this particular variety of American self-congratulation particular tedious. Ask the average Canadian whether she "covets" American rights and freedoms. Or the average Swede. Or Parisian. Or Nederlander. You'll be right back there in blank-stare country. People from banana republics covet a phony hollywood version of our rights and freedoms, and know nothing about how those rights and freedoms compare with the rights and freedoms of citizens of other countries -- starting with, but hardly ending at, the right to see a doctor when you're sick.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:38:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Neither the Amish nor the other group the (0+ / 0-)

                commentor mentioned are "average" in anyway.

                In a country as diverse as the US "average" doesn't mean a whole lot. Even on a smaller scale, what does "average" New Yorker mean? Go ahead if you dare to answer your own question, where does an "average" New Yorker fall on the "reality based" spectrum of appreciation for realized freedoms?

                The personal anecdote made a different point than the one you are harping on, and doesn't equate what you suppose it does. I suspect you and I might agree with much, but I find your style to be __.

                I left it blank since you seem to be good at projecting your perspective into any comment. You probably call that "reading between the lines."

                •  I'm sorry, but I was responding to something (0+ / 0-)

                  very specific in your comment. If I misinterpreted the point being made by this:

                  A friend who grew up in a dictatorship told me that before 9/11 people he knew wanted to live and work here, but didn't want to become US citizens. It was looked down on. Since then, they all want to become US citizens if they can; still have the most coveted set of rights and freedoms in the world.
                  please clarify.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:15:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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