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The Era of the Creepy-State is Here

George Orwell was more right than he knew….

Congress passed a law – by unanimous consent in the Senate and by a suspension of rules in the House – to permit the Federal government to arbitrarily arrest and imprison for up to ten years members of the serf class (formerly known as “American citizens”) whose presence annoys or offends specally designated members of the elite and foreign dignitaries. A list that will no doubt expand greatly in future legislation to include very “special” private citizens.

Think about that, future “Joe the Plumbers” or Cindy Sheehans, before you ask an impertinent question of your betters or wave your handmade cardboard sign. Is ten seconds of glory on your local ABC affiliate news at 5 o’clock worth that felony arrest record and federally funded anal exam?

No? Then kindly shut your mouth, sir. Learn your place.

Two nebbish Representatives, one Republican and one Democrat, distinguished only by their lack of legislative or political importance, sponsored the bill on behalf of the big boys who fast-tracked it under the radar (they learned from the SOPA debacle). Forget ideology or boasts about carrying a copy of the Constitution in the breast pocket of their suit, whether you are in an archconservative Congressional district or an ultraliberal one, almost every member of Congress voted “aye” to trash multiple amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Almost every one.

This is an accelerating trend in recent years and in particular, a bipartisan theme of the 112th Congress, which views Constitutional rights of nobodies as an anachronistic hindrance to the interests (or convenience) of their powerful and wealthy political supporters. Our elected officials and their backers increasingly share an oligarchic class interest that in important matters, trumps the Kabuki partisanship of  FOXnews and MSNBC and inculcates a technocratic admiration for the “efficiency” of select police states.

It is from this demographic-cultural root of incestuous corruption that our creeping – and increasingly creepy – manifestations of authoritarianism in American life springs. The SOPA/PIPA internet censorship bills, naked scanners at airports, Stasi-like expansion of expensively wasteful TSA security theater, proposed 24/7 monitoring of  every American’s online activities, migration of police powers to unaccountable private firms, replacement of elected municipal governments with “emergency managers” (favoring financiers over taxpayers), Federal agencies monitoring political critics , the Department of Justice retro-legalizing corporate racketeering, fraud, perjury and conspiracy on a national scale, plus other infringements of liberty or gross corruption that I could list, ad nauseum.

We have reached the point where we as Americans need to stop, step back from moment by moment fixation on nonsensical, “white noise” fake political issues like “contraception” ginned up to keep the partisans distracted and become seriously involved in determining the direction in which our nation is headed. Our elite are telegraphing their strong preference for a “soft dictatorship” but we still have time to check their ambitions and rein in their looting.

It is almost quaint these days to pick up Friedrich von Hayek’s classic,  The Road to Serfdom and thumb through it. The libertarian antistatists of the 20th century were so focused on the clear and present dangers of totalitarianism that the idea of a weak state that endangered liberty through a mixture of corruption and regulatory capture eluded them. The Westphalian state at it’s apex was so overweening that the enemy of free societies, after foreign monsters like Hitler and Stalin, could be ambitious intellectual pygmies like Harold Laski or Tom Hayden. The state was so omnipotent that even it’s efforts at benevolence, to build a “Great Society” of the Welfare State were injurious to individual freedom because the expanse of statism crowded and weakened civil society , the market and private life. The argument gained political traction because, to varying degrees, it was true and looked prophetic when the Welfare-state began to crash economically in the 1970’s on stagflation.

Give the Welfare-state liberals and Social Democrats of the past their due though, their intentions by their own lights were benign. They wanted to make a safer, more secure, more equal, more just life through a more powerful state (whether that was a good idea or a realistic endeavor was the central political question between right and left). The current elite in comparison is so inferior in moral character and overconfident in their abilities that they may soon make us yearn for the former’s return.

What have now in our ruling class,  are the  builders of a Creepy-state and their intentions are not benign, except toward themselves, for as long as the looting of the American economy can last.

Unlike the Welfare-state, the Creepy-state, shot through with corruption, is  not omnipotent  because it is to be the servant and gendarme of the emerging oligarchy and not their master – but it is to be omniscient and omnipresent, constantly watching, monitoring, investigating, recording, interrogating, coercing, sorting, muzzling, gatekeeping and shearing the sheep on behalf of the shepherds.

Or the wolves.

The Creepy-state is not there to protect you or give you a higher standard of living or ensure justice or democracy, but to maintain a hierarchical public order from “disruption” (formerly known as “politics” or “democracy”). If the classical liberal ideal was the night watchman state, this state is the shadowy and ill-disposed watcher in the night.

The American political elite, Democrat and Republican, Conservative and Liberal, are in are largely in consensus that the government should, in regard to the American people:

Read your email
Listen to your phone calls
Track your movements on GPS
Track your online activity
Track your spending
Track your political activity
Read your medical records
Read your financial records
Scan your body
Scan your house
Scan your DNA
Keep you under video surveillance in public
Detain you at random in public places for security checks
Close off public spaces for private use
Seize private property for private use
Censor your speech
Block your access to judicial relief
Determine your educational and career path
Regulate your diet, place of residence, lifestyle and living standards (ever downwards)
Charge you with secret crimes for breaking secret regulations
Share or leak information about you at will

Is this the America we wish for our children or grandchildren? One that epitomizes the values of our Constitution or Declaration of Independence, or is it some kind of tawdry and shameful dime store fascism of a small Latin American country? Perhaps life is finally imitating fiction?

Fortunately, it is not too late. Irrevocable changes in the constitutional order have yet to be engineered. Our politicians are followers, not leaders here. They are a small and cowardly lot for the most part and will recoil in fear from this authoritarian ethos if a sufficiently large number of elected officials are thrown out of office at once. We can still roll this back – at least the most egregiously anti-American aspects – if we get sufficiently angry come November.

Self-interest is their only lodestone.

33 Responses to “The Era of the Creepy-State is Here”

  1. Lexington Green Says:

    This is the best summary of this incoming, noxious tide that I have seen yet.

  2. zen Says:

    Thank you. I have been trying to get my head around this for some time and the recent bill was the final straw. While stupidity and carelessness was a factor, the backers of such legislation look at their fellow Americans the way a rancher looks first at his herd and then at his BBQ grill.

  3. James Bennett Says:

    I pretty much agree with your analysis.  When you say “We can still roll this back – at least the most egregiously anti-American aspects – if we get sufficiently angry come November.” what specifics did you have in mind, considering (again agreeing with you) that this is a bipartisan oligarchy?

  4. zen Says:

    Hi James
    .
    The funding stream to both sides of the aisle, the strange unanimity, or at least strong bipartisanship on legislation related to social control, to Treasury policy, Dodd’s finance bill, DHS policy (Napolitano, going to Mexico City, prioritized not the raging insurgency or border issues but getting her Mexican counterparts to buy naked scanners from her predecessor, Chertoff’s, company). Nary a peep from conservatives on the bank settlement or the giveaway of Federally held foreclosed properties to insider investors engineered by the Obama administration, despite a chance to make political hay.
    .
    There’s still partisan conflict but it is gravitating to issues of cultural identification/affiliation/symbolism and fighting over who gets the bigger share of the spoils or friend a judgeship but given the increased political polarization in Congress, major bills that affect cardinal civil liberties should not be sailing through both houses unnoticed by enormous majorities

  5. Jeff Brokaw Says:

    This is awesome. Thanks ZenPundit. I’ve had many of the same thoughts in disjointed form going through my head for years, and have written a bit about some of that, but this encapsulates all of it, perfectly. For me, this is what November 2012 is really all about, trying to stop the out-of-control growth of government. Obama just happens to be the guy that pushed it over the edge, but it was building for a long, LONG time.

  6. J. Scott Shipman Says:

    Hi Zen,
    .
    This recent legislation is the continuation of a dangerous trend. I do not believe becoming “sufficiently angry in November” will do much good. It is not in the best interest of the the ruling elites from either party to scale back the national government’s continued encroachments. And, let’s not forget the people who vote who see nothing wrong with the present trend. This will get worse before it gets better.
     

  7. Joseph Fouche Says:

    Those who outsource duty in the name of leisure are doomed to a State of Fear.

  8. zen Says:

    Thank you Jeff!
    .
    Hi Scott – I fear that you are right, but given enough of a cavalier disregard of the electorate and a well-timed scandal(s), we might get an earthquake. Voters are unhappy, anxious but unfocused. A visceral event could be a sea-change to vote out ppl in supposedly safe seats
    .
    Very true JF 

  9. Bob Morris Says:

    Great post. Yes, we do still have time. As a leftie who currently lives in southern Utah, I’m struck by how much in agreement the various political sides are once you get past social issues. There are plenty of Utah cowboys who would agree with what you say, as well as lefties too. (Not liberals though, who generally are wed to the corporate state and are mostly useless anyway.)

    I think the run-up to the elections could be something like Chicago ’68 but on both sides.  I mean, the White House just moved the G8 summit from Chicago to Camp David. People are increasingly pissed and the White House knows it.

  10. Madhu Says:

    Excellent piece. But most people don’t care, it seems. Or am I too influenced by my experiences in Boston and Chicago? People seem to know the system is rigged and yet do nothing.
    .
    On the other hand, moving to another state has always been the answer. What happens when that stops being an option? States as laboratories of democracy and all that?
    .
    Cheery mood I’m in, eh?

  11. Madhu Says:

    So, who voted “no?”

  12. cuffleyburgers Says:

    Mr Zen

    Great post, and sums up perfectly not just your travails on the other side of the herring pond but also the activities of our colleagues in Brussels.

    I do not share your optimism that we are in time to do something about it – in theory we could but the political debate which counts is still the one in the MSM and on both sides of the pond that is at such an infantile level that the mass of the electrorate is not angry enough, and what anger there is is not dircted in any useful direction.

    The overwhelming political instinct in Europe and undoubtedly the USA as well is ” hang on to nurse for fear of something worse” – conclusion; things will have to get a lot worse before they can get any better.

    Our political classes are doing all they can to make things as bad as possible as quick as possible (credit where its due) but I want to start seeing some of the bastards hang (in a purely metaphorical, non-violent, vegetarian way of course).

  13. Gil Friend Says:

    “…almost every member of Congress voted “aye” to trash multiple amendments in the Bill of Rights.
    Almost every one.”
    Who didn’t?

  14. AgreeToDisagree Says:

    Try the below site for simple but effective voting strategies.

    http://malaysiandemocracy.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/2-articles-on-preservation-of-freedom-of-life-and-humanity-reposted-by-agreetodisagree-7th-march-2012/

  15. Concerned Says:

    Ron Paul was one of three who did not vote for the bill, and the only candidate even TALKING about these issues. I hope people realize that time is, indeed, running short and while you may not find this candidate “perfect,” he very well could be the last chance.

  16. The Era of the Creepy-State is Here | American Expat in Chiang Mai Says:

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  17. zen Says:

    Bob,
    .
    yes I think there is a lot of room for people on the Left and Right who are not insiders and who want to see a level playing field where everyone is under the same laws and rights are protected to make common cause. It’s the Bill of Rights, after all. :) I hope that ppl start waking up.
    .
    Cuff,
    .
    I understand the UK and the EU have gone much further down this road with camera surveillance, limited due process, outlawing self-defense and so on. We have here Democrats who frankly admire that and Republicans who see that transformation as an opportunity to make a buck from the taxpayers.
    .
    Three Republicans voted “No’ on HR 347 – Ron Paul (R-Tx), Justin Amash (R-Mi) and Paul Broun (R-Ga).
    .
    All Democrats and 223 Republicans voted “Yes”. A disgrace.
    .
     http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2011-149
      

  18. joey Says:

    Great post,  I would only add that the those developments are something that’s been applauded by a large majority of Americans.  Its not just the “greedy elites” that are the problem, and blaming them is part of the general malaise.  As I see it there has been a large retreat from public participation and involvement
     in government, the endless complaints about Washington and big government have hindered any kind of reform of the system, and have left it open to capture by corporate interests (who actually appreciate what government provides)
    I also think that the pervasive belief that America is better/more free/number one/ ect has hindered the ability of Americans to realize what is happening to there republic.  
     

  19. James Says:

    It’s to the point that politics these days consists of two wolves discussing with the sheep, what to have for dinner.

  20. Lorenzo Malowane Says:

    Love the piece…to the point…similar, if not exactly the same shit…trying to be dumped on Canada…I am the g.m. of The New Agora..we are one of the only real news, newspapers….publishing in print..and I would love to see about having this article in one of our upcoming issues. Naturlaly we would give credit and link back to your site..if you so wish….big cheers

    Lorenzo Malowane. 604-565-0721

  21. The Era of the Creepy-State is Here | realizethelies Says:

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  23. zen Says:

    Hi Lorenzo,

    You may reprint in part or whole with attribution to zenpundit.com. Glad that you liked it! 

  24. zen Says:

    Hi Joey 
    .
    Its not just the “greedy elites” that are the problem, and blaming them is part of the general malaise.  As I see it there has been a large retreat from public participation and involvement in government”
    .
    Very true.
    .
    I think the difference in terms of corruption was that under the old Eastern Establishment (Say the Teddy Roosevelt-Lodge era through Dulles/JFK) the elite took their skim with a degree of restraint on the way towards advancing national interests or raising GDP. Today, the skim itself is the objective of our rulers, and if doing so harms the economy, US power, living standards, the poor or middle-class they are fine with destruction so long as they are doing well personally making a killing. The restraint and stewardship are gone, or even the sense not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. The mass of the population has become disengaged, tribalized politically and easily led and, although i did not touch upon it in my post, I think ed reform and attacks on college education ( also a bipartisan activity) are designed to keep them that way.

  25. J. Scott Shipman Says:

    Hi Zen,
    .
    You said:  “I think ed reform and attacks on college education ( also a bipartisan activity) are designed to keep them that way.”
    .
    I believe in Charles Murray’s ideas w/respect to ed reform. (Real Education) I also believe the academy (higher education) is pricing itself out of the market, and firmly controlled by the left.
    .
    In addition, I don’t believe we should buy into the idea that everyone should go to college—some people have other plans and inclinations—those sorts of contextual attacks, are, I believe, legitimate.  

  26. zen Says:

    Hi Scott,
    .
    I read Real Education when it first came out and agreed with parts and might quibble with others, but in essence Murray is making an empirical critique and isn’t making policy suggestions intended to coerce anyone. His suggestion today or yesterday, in an interview, that employers are using a BA req. for applicants as a cheap sorting device frequently unrelated to the position is correct. The solution is, as Murray suggests, not to use the degree to screen ppl where it is unrelated and not ( as other ppl would like to do) some roundabout set of regs/policies to ratchet the number of ppl down.
    .
    Not everyone needs to go to college. Some ppl who want to go aren’t ready to handle the responsibilities at 18 – the maturity and affective/organizational skills aren’t there yet and are better off, goal-oriented and much more successful as older/nontraditional students. In general, career/educational options should varied and doors kept open rather than foreclosed so ppl can take actions to suit their circumstances

  27. David Says:

    There is so much to consider here with all this corrupt government bullshit.  It’s not just one thing and it hasn’t just come upon us.  It has been in the works for MANY years.  All this crap that has been going on for years seems to be near to what the worlds elite have wanted for such along time….One World Order….We have been brain washed for so long, manipulated, lied to etc..etc…and even when most of us know it and understand what is happening we still sit back and take it up the ass….Why?….because we are so caught up in our every day lives (working, taking care of family, paying bills, making sure our homes are kept up and our cars are running etc…etc…) We just don’t have enough time in the day to keep up on all the things that our government is getting away with…..(and they so count on that)  They take our focus away with things like 911 or whatever and shove shit underneath our noses like CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement) So again while we are looking up they are sneaking things between the cracks of our asses and most of us don’t even know it.  Here (and not just my opinion) in my opinion are some keys words to listen for in the time to come. Just as I did with the word “Global” that I first recognized in one of Bush seniors speeches I remember hearing on tv. Now it is part of every one’s vocabulary. 
    1. Sustainable  (as in sustainable communities) which is already being implemented throughout our country in our home towns….Goggle it…..it may just be practiced in your hometown.
    2.HAARP (Google it)
    3.Chemtrails (Google it)
    4. IMF (International Monatary Fund)  (Google it)
    5.Georgia Stones (Google it)
    6.FEMA…Concentration Camps (Google it)
    7.U.N.  (United Nations)
    8. One (New) World Order (Google it)
    9. Depopulation
    I could go on and on get educated before the government decides to take control of the internet and/or shut it down. (and that’s another thing you can Google…they have a bill out there to control the internet HR something.  And thousands of internet sites including Google shut down for a day in protest of this bill….google it.
    Any ways to really get to the point that I wanted to say in the first place is that…..”We the people of America WILL NOT change ANYTHING until the big dog comes and shits in the majority of the American peoples yards” Until then maybe JUST maybe we Americans will come together all at once (power in numbers) and revolt. There will HAVE TO BE a revolution and quite frankly a world wide revolution (and it’s starting in other countries already…Greece, Spain, Syria, and many more) I hate to say it but I feel that it is going to have be a bloody revolution not only here in America but abroad to wake these elite people (families) up and let them know they are taking everyone down a very VERY dark road.

  28. J. Scott Shipman Says:

    Hi David,
    .
    You know, your post reminded me that the several States created the national government—and perhaps the several States can reign it in…just a thought. 
    .
    Hi Zen, We’re on the same page w/respect to Murray.

  29. David Says:

    Here’s a website I found interesting….you can believe what you read or not.  “knowthelies.com”

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  31. racing Says:

    Thank you, Mark rest and comfort for the soul! Love Louie Armstrong too!

  32. Ian Duckles Says:

    Very nice post, but under the list of powers the government asserts you forgot “assassinate without due process.”

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