History / Ideology / Philosophy / Politics

Tools of Power

File:Olympe gouges.jpg

A tool to prevent crime and terrorism, in the hand of a government, seems to be a good thing on the face of it. But crime and terrorism are just other types of human activity. A system capable of preventing crime would have to be a system to prevent any type of human action the user of the system defines. With other words, it would have to be a tool of power.

There is no guarantee such a tool would be used in the interest of the citizens and not against them. Only a free and lawful democratic society can make sure such a tool is not used against it but that same free, lawful and democratic society is, at the same time undermined by the presence of such a tool.

A tool that can be used against terrorists can also be used against opposition members whose only “crime” it is to have a different opinion about what the government should do. Governments must be seen as service providers for the people, but given to much power, they will turn into tyranny.

A tool of power in the hand of a government must therefore be controlled. If it is not controlled, it will very likely be misused. Therefore tools of power in the hands of governments have to be restricted to the possible minimum and have to be controlled strictly and publicly. If the power of the government is not restricted, you are on the way to dictatorship and state terror.

In a democracy, the real sovereign is neither a president nor a monarch, it is the citizens. Secretly introducing means of power that can be used to suppress or prevent actions of citizens, and thus to increase the likelihood of the tipping from a lawful, constitutional democracy into a dictatorship, can and should therefore be viewed as an act of treason against the sovereign, maybe not in the sense this word is used in the legal codes of states but according to its original meaning. In such a case, the citizens must take action to restore the lawful constitutional order of the free, democratic state.

(The picture is from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olympe_gouges.jpg. It is showing the beheading of Olympe de Gouges, a female author from the time of the French Revolution and author of Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen.)

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11 thoughts on “Tools of Power

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of expecting the government to do good, we the people could prevent the government from doing evil. I enjoyed reading your article.

    • We must not expect governments to do good out of principle. That is why there is a need for checks and balances. Power is a self increasing phenomenon and there have always been corruption, lobbying and so on. I think the terrorism problem is only an excuse, the whole thing is mainly about power.

    • I was thinking about Prism and similar programs. Prism violates the 4th Amendment of the American constitution, as far as I understand it. So before we think of a revolution, legal ways like the courts should be tried.
      In the French Revolution, the power apparatus of the state was turned against the citizens themselves, Olympe de Gouges is an example. Some people said about Prism that those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from it but that is naive because whom such a system is used against can be redefined, just like it can be redefined against whom the power apparatus of the French state was used.

  2. Whoever penned the words he who controls information controls power was right. Anything that gives governments so much power over the governed should be objected to decisively and collectively by all.

    • Exactly. I don’t know about the legal situation in Britain. In the U.S. I think it is against the 4th Amendment of the constitution and it can and will be fougt on that basis. In Germany where I live, there is a ruling from the constitutional court making such systems illegal, so NSA and Co. are criminal organizations according to German law, doing organized crime.

  3. America not only undermined there own constitution they undermined international by spying on eu members,Now they will not be as trusted anymore,the snowball is getting bigger and will only get even BIGGER.
    They say it’s for the good and to find the bad mark these words they have driven all forms of criminality underground in there bunker (counter productive) the snowden snowball is rolling lol

  4. Pingback: Kiwi Observation | The Asifoscope

  5. Pingback: What is a Crime? | The Asifoscope

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