Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The encroachment of the State can't be stopped if people increasingly give it the justification

The case after case listed at the Ron Paul site is interesting, not just for the encroachment of the police state but for the stupidity and/or borderline criminality of the punished anyway:
Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day. 
In Georgia, a toddler had his face severely burned when a flash bang grenade, launched by a SWAT team during the course of a no-knock warrant, landed in his portable crib, detonating on his pillow. Also in Georgia, a police officer shot and killed a 17-year-old boy who answered the door, reportedly with a Nintendo Wii controller in his hands. The cop claimed the teenager pointed a gun at her, thereby justifying the use of deadly force. 
Then there was the incident wherein a police officer, responding to a complaint that some children were “chopping off tree limbs” creating “tripping hazards,”pulled a gun on a group of 11-year-old boys who were playing in a wooded area, attempting to build a tree fort.
The trouble is, the criticism of both sides is justified.  Yes, the SWAT team and female police officer were not only way OTT but they were criminal as well.  On the other hand, the burglar shooting the police dog needed to be put away all right.  But for 23 years? The public itself is making it so easy for the enforcers to get in and do what they shouldn't.  Much has been written about Mentoring programmes and these look nasty. It's become a science with its own sets of qualifications, extending the social service departments of local authorities to almost ravening monsters, ready to step in and remove a child at a moment's notice. The product of Children's Minister Aileen Campbell's backers:
Unfortunately, this dystopian future has arrived a little faster than I imagined, as last week the Scottish Government’s plan to give every child a state guardian from birth was launched. This state-appointed overseer will be a specific, named individual, and every child will have one, from birth. The responsibility for creating this named guardian will fall on the heads of the health boards for the first five years of a child’s life, before being transferred to councils. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this development is that it clearly comes in large part as a mechanism to target and prevent child abuse.
It's not just over here:
Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Youth and Families take another child hostage because hospital staff disagree with the parents on the child’s medical diagnosis.  In California, “Baby Sammy” was taken from his parents because they left one hospital to seek a second opinion at another before subjecting the child to open-heart surgery.  In Ohio, an Amish family was forced to flee the country to spare their daughter unwanted and dangerous chemo-therapy, including a cocktail of drugs not approved for children by the FDA. Reports indicate the girl is in remission through natural means, but the Ohio hospital and child services department are livid.
In every case though, there were ostensible justifications which many might agree with.  In other words, there is a new era of parental irresponsibility, particularly with the young and single parent.  Over here, Labour acknowledges the problem but as it always does, tries to sheet it home to poverty because that ties into inequality and that means the rich can be slugged and the middle-class further attacked and eroded to "even the playing field" to that of stagnant mediocrity.

 All the while, state institution administrators draw fatcat salaries - witness the Baby P payout to Shoesmith. So what we have on the one hand is a society progressively debilitated, e.g. by the single parent family on benefits, the rise of gay adoption and so many other factors contributing to the death of the two original parent family which cost considerably less and gave a better chance to the child. Single parent families have issues.


 Even left-leaning publications acknowledge certain facts:

 No one's suggesting it is the only factor - there is the world culture at an earlier and earlier age, dark gaming, children isolating themselves online, whereas once they were part of the family and so on and so on. The point being that the question of bad or irresponsible parenting is increasingly hard to define. It used to be the child found in squalour, with faeces about, having not being fed. But now even middle-class families which might have passed muster before fail on the criteria of increasingly empowered state agencies - hence the issues quoted and linked to above.

 And every one of those defends to the death that the children are loved and are being brought up well, that the parent knows "tons" of other cases where the original parents are abusive to each other and so on. And once again, these people are not wrong. Nor are those pointing the finger at single parents' situations.

They're all correct on their side of the argument. The issues, not cut and dried and fiercely contested, are simply an open invitation for the Mentor Service to step in. The Mentor Service is the foot in the door. It's the Mentor who notices "the problem" and passes it on to Social Services. It is Social Services which take it up from there. Encroachment. It couldn't happen without something to point to and this vanguard of the state does have many things to point to, to justify its intervention.

 Which intervention is, in principle, wrong and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Especially with Common Purpose and its brainwashing present in every council in England near the mayor's office. Common Purpose gets in on everything - witness Leveson. Some try to remove themselves from the State, from the grid but even that is fraught and anticipated. The Ron Paul site again:
Meanwhile if you’re one of those hoping to live off the grid, independent of city resources, you might want to think again. Florida resident Robin Speronis was threatened with eviction for living without utilities. Speronis was accused of violating the International Property Maintenance Code by relying on rain water instead of the city water system and solar panels instead of the electric grid.
Only an American phenomenon?  Blogger Macheath, over here, tells this tale:
Decades ago, in the maternity ward of a hospital later castigated in the national press for its shortcomings, a combination of indifference and brutally rough handling provoked me into expressing my opinion of the ‘skills’ of some of the nursing staff. As the objects of my fury stalked off, another nurse remained behind; “Please be careful,” she said, “if you say things like that, they will report you as having postnatal psychosis and have the Social Services in. They might even take your child away.” Parents, it seems, criticise those placed in power over them at their own peril.
The two points coming out of that are the danger and that it has been going on for a long time in the background in this country, only now it is coming to a head and reaching the press. The Ron Paul site again:
Now we can shrug these incidents off as isolated injustices happening to “other” people. We can rationalize them away by suggesting that these people “must” have done something to warrant such treatment. Or we can acknowledge that this slide into totalitarianism—helped along by overcriminalization, government surveillance, militarized police, neighbors turning in neighbors, privatized prisons, and forced labor camps, to name just a few similarities—is tracking very closely with what we saw happening in Germany in the years leading up to Hitler’s rise to power. 
When all is said and done, what these incidents reflect is a society that has become so bureaucratic, so legalistic, so politically correct, so militaristic, so locked down, so self righteous, and so willing to march in lockstep with the corporate-minded police state that any deviations from the norm—especially those that offend the sensibilities of the “government-knows-best” nanny state or challenge the powers that be—become grist for prosecution, persecution and endless tribulations for the poor souls who are caught in the crosshairs.
The people themselves must shoulder much of the blame for what they have become. They're almost inviting the State in with their irresponsibility and excessive self-centredness or even being innocent and finding themselves drawn into things made easy for them to be drawn into.  The kindly offer of help.  The kindly pay-day loan people.  The kindly Mentor.  Plus the infantilization of society in which parents would even countenance such things.
So who or what is to blame for this bureaucratic nightmare delivered by way of the police state? Is it the White House? Is it Congress? Is it the Department of Homeland Security, with its mobster mindset? Is it some shadowy, power-hungry entity operating off a nefarious plan? 
Or is it, as Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt suggests, the sheepish masses who mindlessly march in lockstep with the government’s dictates—expressing no outrage, demanding no reform, and issuing no challenge to the status quo—who are to blame for the prison walls being erected around us? 
The author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt warned that “the greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.”
How many of the people described above are going to be remotely aware of what is happening? And of those who are aware, e.g. readers of this blog - how many dismiss it because it might criticize them either directly or obliquely?

 So therefore, what chance that anything can change and halt the advance of the State via the backdoor route of bureaucracy at local level?  The enormous danger is that the root causes are so diffuse, so hard to pin down, so removed from events further along the chain and so many people have bought into them that there is an inert but still collectively massive barrier to anything being done.

 If, for example, the "all must have prizes" paradigm in schools is but a tiny issue on the surface of a wider malaise and a group of teachers have bought into that, those teachers are not going to support any connection made between that and the malaise of society which allows a portal for the State to move in, even if the case can be made.  There's something for these individuals to lose here.

 And that's how Them operates.  It brings in legislation piece by piece via the backdoor, in response to some need perceived by people.

When they see that contrived need addressed, they're hardly likely to see that they have just enabled further totalitarianism.  When the State publishing organ - the MSM - brings up obesity and paedophilia and smoking and this and that., it wants the people who love banning things to all speak up.

 And slowly, the State, on the say-so of such people, bans this, then there's a new crisis and it bans that and onwards and onwards and then it extends it to everyone, just to be on the safe side, as in that Scottish Children's Ministry Mentor Number for all.

 And there we are.  Ninety Eighty-Four for a new age.


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Paddington said...

The Ohio Amish case was close to us. The parents refused state of the art treatment at one of the best facilities in the country, so they could treat the child with herbs.

With chemo, she had a decent chance of survival. Without, she'll be dead soon.

Does a parent have the right to kill their own child?

James Higham said...

Interesting dilemma, Paddington.

Wolfie said...

Part of the problem here is the the left-leaning elite are waging a class war. They have taken authority from the middle-class (and I mean the proper middle-class) and given it to members of the working-class and lower-middle who have the propensity toward arrogant despotism with the slightest authority.

Our ancestors knew this and maintained a strict class code to keep a lid on things, now we are seeing the consequences of this class war.

Put the middle-classes back in the driving seat and things would improve rapidly. These are the people that created the first public hospitals and championed the end of slavery, they aren't perfect but they can wield power with heart.