< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: A Little Truth with our Politics

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Little Truth with our Politics

Or at least, from our politicians.

One of the immune responses terrorists are not anticipating is greater local and individual autonomy when it comes public safety. I've blogged about this in the context of the Bombay bombing aftermath.

Autonomy of course is nothing unless it is used.

Naturally, the response to any exploited weakness in the social complex is for society to empower nearby agents to ward off the next attempt at exploitation. Just as it is natural for society in these situations to collectively "heal".

This is to say that in response to danger, real or merely perceived, the individual's autonomy in our social and legal systems is at its apex.

For example, in America, under certain conditions, you may use lethal force if the threat is grave enough. This is our custom.

From this the courts, legislators, and executives have reasoned that when the country as a whole operates under an imminent threat of danger, the country's executive power is at its apex.

A conflict arises here however when the executive power interferes with the individual's. Or rather, when the targets are confused.

If "our country" is under a threat as great as the Nazi threat of WW-II, as some politicans have recently implied, then it would make no sense to curtail the executive branch. A threat level like that of WW-II is existential. The very being "America" was put in jeopardy should Hitler have taken Britain.

However, if "our country" is not under a similarly grave threat of annihilation, but instead Americans, as individuals, are under individual threats of annihilation, it would make sense to assume that the individual autonomy, rather than the governmental, should be at its height.

As I stated at the outset, the tactics of terrorists assume Americans will hide behind their government in order to continue to live their blessed lives in as much peace as possible. Fear is particularly powerful where the individuals you are scaring believe they are powerless. After fighting and winning the Cold War in just such a state of relative blissful peace, this paradigm is familiar to Americans as a whole. Our "country" faced annihilation, and we gave up our local autonomy in order for the nation to preserve "itself". The tactics of our enemy suggest they see this as a preeminent weakness, and they will continue to exploit it until a corrective response is generated.

Any knowledge, worthy of its name, can and should be reduced to slogan. Here is the slogan of this post...

Smokey Says: Only YOU can prevent terrorism.