I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return. —Senator Frank Church (1975)
Strengthening the health of the state by acquiring power. Knowledge is power, and total knowledge in the hands of the state’s imperial president is almost total, monarchical power over the individual. There are no secrets in the post-9/11 world. Financial, medical, or just personal, they are available to the government at a keystroke.* “War is the health of the state” because it provides the executive branch with the political capital to advance its powers and to reach deeper into the depths of jingoist fear and manufacture that fear into honed rage.
Is the battle to retain personal liberty in a free society a losing one? The events discussed in this work and the regular, consistent, and systematic manner in which they have unfolded throughout our history would seem to cause a prudent student of these times to answer in the affirmative. And yet, because freedom springs naturally from every human heart, it would seem as well that the government could never fully eradicate it, via war or pestilence or totalitarian systems. In America, the government’s swift brutality toward human freedom can deter even the brave. Jefferson himself predicted that in the long march of history, power and order would become concentrated in the government, and the personal liberty of individuals would be diminished.
Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Assault on Civil Liberties (Andrew P. Napolitano)—(An important read!)
A British author, residing in the United States for the past 30 years, created a small firestorm earlier this week with his candid observations that modern-day Americans have been duped by the government into accepting a European-style march toward socialism because we fail to appreciate the rich legacy of personal liberty that is everyone’s birthright and is expressly articulated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Os Guinness, the author of more than a dozen books defending traditional Judeo-Christian values and Jeffersonian personal liberty, argued that we should embrace individual liberty and personal dignity and reject the “no givens, no rules, no limits” government we now have. He went on to opine that the government today is not the constitutionally restrained protector of personal freedoms the Framers left us, but rather has become the wealth-distributing protector of collective interests the Founding Fathers never could have imagined.