A justified nanny state? Part 2

June 9, 2022   |   Tags: , ,

Read part 1 here: a commentary by Margaret Figert.

Over the past weekend, I drove though one of the emptier parts of Wyoming and Utah, passing by Flaming Gorge Reservoir, a spectacular area built decades ago under the jurisdiction of the US Bureau of Reclamation, providing water for hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated land in Utah and controlling floods downstream in the Great Basin.

Notable and not present on previous trips were two distinct signs. These were posted in a dozen places.

A typical sign
The law!

The juxtaposition of the signs is a bit amusing, since BuRec is one of many federal agencies which uses drones to patrol and inspect their domains.

But the presence of these things in remote areas is very much a sign of our times (pun intended). They are a key part of the modern nanny-state’s security and surveillance regimen. The powers-that-be ENCOURAGE – and sometimes DEMAND – that all “good citizens” be snitches.

Perhaps some of these things make sense. Consider:

Typical US highway sign
Of course? Upping the ante.
The growing number of warnings and appeals

Is even this justified? It is claimed that safety does justify this sort of thing: even MANDATES that people be willing to rat out strangers. Those who do so are praised. Does it save lives? Perhaps, but at what cost to individuals and society in the long run?

All show how the surveillance regime has expanded more and more: when coupled with government use of private surveillance systems and the nanny impulse of so many people, it causes society – and even civilization – to crumble.

Now, consider some more recent events; notably the murders in Uvalde and the “mass shootings” across the country: especially the first weekend of June 2022. As usual, the various political factions are screaming past each other – and the usual suspects are “doing the will of the people” and “taking action” – mostly by passing laws that the criminals who kill people are going to completely ignore. (While those of us stupid enough to try and be law-abiding are to be disarmed. Making us more vulnerable to governments that are not just actively seeking to destroy our way of life, but are actively KILLING and planning to kill many of us.)

Meanwhile the other wing of the predatory monster called government is calling for more surveillence, more fortification, more intrusion into our minds and souls. The GOP (so-called Conservative) screamers are calling for mental health examinations, establishing permanent guard forces at schools, rebuilding schools by adding bulletproof glass and murder-passages and 24-7 camera coverage. And more. One outspoken person has proposed stationing a fire-team (of veteran Army and Marine troops) at each and every school in the Fifty States.

This is the nanny state on steroids, and they justify it to fight a threat which these actions will NOT stop. The proposals from all sides are merely upping the ante for tyranny, oppression, and lives without privacy and opportunity.

But there is more to it – by surrendering to the State and its officials the power to deal with unsafe and immoral actions, we surrender to it. I am not saying that revenge is necessary or good. But when we wait for the cops to arrive, for the game warden to show up, for the warning of a dangerous act, a dangerous situation to be made by the anonymous 9-1-1 operator or the electronic message signs, are we not surrendering our duties – and our rights – to the State? Yes, there is a hard-to-define line, but are we not abdicating our responsibility – and with liberty MUST come responsibility – when we wait for The Man to do something? Something more than “see something, say something,” that is?


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