Freedom for me but not for thee
When I think of totalitarian regimes I think of places like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.
These were times and places where a dictatorial government tried to maintain complete control over the thoughts and actions of citizens.
"That which is not compulsory is forbidden".
And these countries were notorious for encouraging citizens to report on the behavior of the people around them. It created a kind of hell on earth where everyone was paranoid and suspicious.
I look with some alarm at movements happening now in America.
Two things this week caught my attention.
The mass murder in Texas stimulated politicians into their "guns don't kill people, people kill people" mode.
And they start talking about how we need to get violently mentally ill people off the streets.
They talk about 'red flags" that should have alerted the authorities to take action before the mass murder occurred.
Consider how that would work.
The authorities would have to be arresting people before any crime had been committed based on suspicions
Say a mother might grow alarmed that her son had just bought 2 rifles with his birthday money and reported that to the police. The police would be unperturbed; guns are pretty OK. No red flag there.
Say a cop kills by kneeling on a neck has a history of violence. No red flags there.
But I think Gov Abbott had a different thing in mind. If a citizen grows suspicious of somebody then they should tell the cops who would then check them out.
What could possibly go wrong?
And Abbott's thesis is wrong. Statistics show that Americans are no crazier than any other people. The difference is American gun culture that creates a society where privately owned guns outnumber the citizens.
And in calling for citizens to be on the watch for dangerous people, Abbott is among those who refuse obvious steps in that direction like background checks.
Texas already has the Texas Heart Beat act which among other things "authorizes members of the public to sue anyone who performs or facilitates an illegal abortion for a minimum of $10,000 in statutory damages per abortion, plus court costs and attorneys' fees."
In anticipation of Roe v Wade being overturned, many states are passing even more draconian anti-abortion regulations: Members of the public would be able to sue a woman who has an abortion.
They'd be able to sue even if she went out of state for care.
Which raises the question of how would people know if a woman had had an abortion.
How would they know if she got abortion pills via Fedex?
Siblings don't always get along - what would prevent one from making up a story and suing a sister? Or a classmate?
But leaving that old fashioned stuff aside, there are new possibilities.
Google tells me that there are 11 menstrual cycle tracking apps.
I read one article (can't find it) that pointed out that the data in such an app could be parsed to identify possible abortion events. Unexplained stopping of periods and then restarting.
So if such data was hacked it could provide the hacker with a trove of women to try to sue.
The point I'm trying to raise here is that these examples show that bad right wing ideas lead to totalitarianism in an attempt to enforce them.
So we need surveillance on citizenry invasive enough to prevent crimes before they happen and to intimidate women into carrying all fetuses to term.
And these wanabe totatalitarians speak of themselves as fighting for freedom ffs
What do you think?