Who Watches the Watchers?
Is freedom the price of eternal vigilance?
We all know how it is. We’ve been coerced into surrendering our hard won liberties in the falsified name of security, and have lost both freedom and safety as a result. We live beneath an umbrella that doesn’t offer us protection, but spans the skies like an omnipresent deity with ten thousand eyes. Gizmos observe everything we do, hear all that we say and record everything we read or write; far-flung sensory apparatuses of the world’s intelligence agencies, scanning the zeitgeist for a little more leverage.
The plane is faster than the eye. Two or three buildings fall down and televised pundits, shock jocks and paper tigers cajole and inflame us to loudly bleat like little lost sheep - and whole populations cry out to be rounded up and locked behind safe walls and fences patrolled by homeland nazis with corporate ties. Regrettable and shocking it may be, but surely the deaths of less than three thousand people can hardly be grounds for incarcerating all the peoples of the world in a system of total oversight and unprecedented surveillance.
Whether you believe the impossible conspiracy theory of Osama Bin Laden’s hijacking teams or the conspiracy facts of the Patriot Act and the ongoing oil and opium wars, the extraordinary scam appears to have worked perfectly. What a bunch of dumbed down bozos we’ve become, to fall for such a ruse!
Welcome to the brave new world of tomorrow today, a dystopian future where the walls have ears, the ceilings have eyes and human bodies have implanted transponder chips. Literally anyone can be watching, listening and recording your every move (even me!), and technologies designed for sieving your thoughts are coming to a city near you soon. In the outmoded worldview of warrior patriots who can’t let go of the superannuated dreams of their youth, freedom is the price of eternal vigilance.
We’ve created a computerised system that can note the Byzantine passage of every single dollar and record the fall of each little sparrow, but have abysmally failed to put any safeguards in place to control a system that essentially robs us of all our freedoms.
In the insecure straightjacket of distrust we’ve allowed ourselves to be sewn into, the fears of paranoiacs are based on solid fact and schizophrenics have good reason to believe they’re being watched, or even hearing voices. The most paranoid warmongers of all have grabbed the keys to the asylum. While we were all distracted by the latest ball game or gewgaw, dynastically minded control freaks have been putting the icing on a caked concrete prison which we’ve all blindly or blithely built at their behest.
The governors of our planetary jail have convinced us we’re all guilty until proven otherwise. We’re free to shut up and toe the line. We have the right to be searched at will, and our homes and workplaces can be bugged without our knowledge. Our DNA can be taken and stored if we’re suspected of having committed a crime. We have the right to be locked up for as long as deemed necessary, without the right to a phone call or legal representation. We have the right to have summary justice dispensed to us by faceless bureaucrats, nameless soldiers and gormless politicians.
We have the right to a free trip to the torture chambers and execution squads of a dozen tame dictatorships. We have the right to be tortured, maimed or accidentally killed while in custody. We have the right to delude ourselves into believing that we still live in free countries and liberal nations.
Ever since the dawn of the new millennium, the ‘free world’ has been rapidly descending into a loathsome quagmire of bad intentions and evil acts; of wilful distrust and misplaced retribution. When half a century of global nuclear madness ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the free people of the world believed that nothing could stand in the way of ongoing openness and liberty. In the new era of planetary progress anything was possible and the future beckoned like a shining beacon. It didn’t take long to turn all that around, to shift hopes into fears and turn us into them. All it took was a little sleight of hand, and the profiteers of doom and destruction are laughing all the way to the bank again.
We all know where we stand. The world has become indebted for generations to pay for murderous slaughters masquerading as wars, which will provide a tiny few with endless profits. The climate is a catastrophe, the excrement is about to hit the global air conditioner, an iceberg is looming and there aren’t enough lifeboats to go around. But there is a bright side for those who know the tides of time and we need to get ready for the next wave. A tide of freedom will return just as swiftly as it departed and if we do a little paddling it can carry us far away from the blind tunnels of industrious police states, to far greener and cleaner horizons.
Once upon a time, devices that observed you without your knowledge were rare. They were loathed and derided as spies and bugs; now they’re so familiar and versatile that filmmakers use fixed security cameras to record video projects and people use mobile phones to track down their spouses without their knowledge. We’re constantly assured that the cameras and microphones are there for our protection; that’s how protection rackets work. In this bright new millennium where anything, even peace, is actually finally possible, what is ‘national security’ – other than a series of large scale protection rackets?
Governments have always longed to watch every move made by ‘their’ citizens, and now the means of total surveillance are sitting in almost everyone’s pocket or handbag. People even pay for their expensive combination portable bugs and radio frequency locators themselves, and assiduously keep the batteries charged at their own expense. The spy agencies have their hands full with moneymaking projects; commercial spying is now the everyday province of national intelligence agencies, so the only real worry for most people is the fact that mobile phones are carcinogenic, and microwave the temporal lobes of their brains.
But that’s life as she is lived, in the wondrous modern feudal rat race of workaholic wage slaves known as the ‘developed world’. Total control begins with regimented industrialised schooling for most luckless people, and progresses through a lifetime of uniform conformity on a cog-grinding, mind numbing treadmill. Yet even without such repetitive entrainment and domestication, human primates have always been remarkable sociable.
It’s extraordinary how law-abiding human populations actually are, even when no-one’s watching; could it be that most human beings actually have an inbuilt moral sense and ethical foundation? Could it be we’re all born with open minds and loving hearts? Could it be that most people can actually be trusted? Can we be trusted to know what’s good for us? In democratic societies we the people ultimately decide what’s best for us, and we always get the governments – and oversight - we deserve.
It’s time for a fundamental change of direction. It’s time for a global peace, which is the only way we’ll do away with all need for draconian governance - and that can only come from a fair division of the spoils from the imperialist and racist wars of the past two centuries. Peace and true prosperity can only come with trust, and trust is never given freely; but the alternative is the same old boom and bust cyclic artifice of dynastic gangsters, who rub their hands with glee when economies crash and wars blossom forth, and rake the table clean of winnings.
Peace is the only path to paradise on Earth.
Perhaps privacy is becoming a bygone concept. Now that we’ve allowed ourselves to become part of a gigantic Big Brother experiment we currently have little choice in the matter – but we still don’t have to vote anyone off the island. The cameras are here to stay – for now – and many people simply seem to hope that they’ll look good onscreen, rather than consider the potential of such technologies in the hands of untrustworthy governments or murderous dictatorships. And yet the very fact of ongoing surveillance can be a lever that reopens the door to a truer freedom.
Surveillance is a two way street. If we the people must accustom ourselves to constant surveillance, then we can feel free to demand that our politicians, soldiers, corporate executives and bureaucrats do the same. If governments and employers claim the right to observe all the activities of workers and other citizens they must be willing to accept the same level of oversight.
We can only trust technologies of total control in a world where government secrecy has become a thing of the past. There’s no excuse for anything but complete openness in peacetime (and one-sided battles against nebulous concepts like ‘terrorism’ or concocted illegal occupations don’t constitute wartimes). Now that we’re all expected to live totally open lives, we must demand the same of the public servants that we all too often mistake for leaders dwelling on another plane of legal existence.
Let’s all put our cards on the table and let the chips fall where they will. Let’s break open the secret boxes that politicians believe have been sealed away for the next generation or three. Let’s find out what people who believe they’re above the law have been doing behind our backs, while their lackeys have been recording our bank account numbers and personal habits. Let’s hear all about the backroom deals and under-the-table shenanigans. Let’s read all about it on the world wide surveillance web. Let the voyeurs watch us watch them, if that’s what they want. But they’ll have to do their watching out in the open, without a cloak of secrecy to shield their intent.
Who watches the watchers? We do! The truth is already out there, buried in a haystack of a trillion pages. But how to tell where the truth lies, and to know which words are true? Even before that joyous day when the secrets of the world are hacked into being and displayed before our astounded eyes, we already have an inbuilt dowsing facility - if we only choose to pay attention to our inner sense. We all know the truth if we listen to our hearts. When we learn how to trust our inner signals we can all know whether someone is telling the truth or lying, or are simply mad or misled.
All it takes is dowsing practice and enough space to swing a pendulum. The tools are simple, and once we learn how to use them we can dispense with the physical trappings and recognise the ring of truth or the wrong note of falsehood in our very being. All it takes is a little concentration, a little meditation and a little private space. We all deserve private space; a small amount of privacy contains a whole lot of peace of mind.
To chart a true course one must first know how to recognise truth. To trust others, we must first learn to trust ourselves. The future is still written on water, regardless of the hopes, fears or prophecies we are subjected to, or create for ourselves. It’s all up to us – there is no them.
Freedom of Information - Free the Plan Net!
- R. Ayana
P.S. – Hand-held laser pointers have been banned in many countries – ostensibly because they can ‘blind pilots’. None of the pilots I’ve spoken to believe this to be possible, and some have literally laughed at the notion; one said, ‘just you try using a hand-held laser to hit a rapidly moving target and hold it in place – and they don’t even dazzle your eyes if they hit for an instant.’
However – these recently banned lasers CAN easily burn out the optical sensors of surveillance cameras…
See Part 2 - http://hermetic.blog.com/2009/6/4/
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