Posts Tagged ‘erosion of civil liberties’

Thought provoking…

June 6, 2011

Michael Hudson’s “Europe’s new road to serfdom” – self explanatory title and far more eloquent than I can ever hope to be. Some cogent excerpts:

In May 2010, French President Nicolas Sarkozy took the lead in rounding up €120bn ($180 billion) from European governments to subsidize Greece’s unprogressive tax system that had led its government into debt – which Wall Street banks had helped conceal with Enron-style accounting. The tax system operated as a siphon collecting revenue to pay the German and French banks that were buying government bonds (at rising interest-risk premiums). The bankers are now moving to make this role formal, an official condition for rolling over Greek bonds as they come due, and extend maturities on the short-term financial string that Greece is now operating under. Existing bondholders are to reap a windfall if this plan succeeds. […] Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. This is what now is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight. ”

The emphasis has been added of course but that’s really all you need to know.

You probably don’t remember the name Bernard Von NotHaus, do you. Thankfully if uncharacteristically for the main stream press, the New York Sun does and offers this thought provoking editorial: “Von NotHaus’ Question” – cogent excerpts are too many to report without copying and pasting the entire article so whilst I hope you’ll give it a read here is a teaser:

[…] it is hard to think of a more basic question than that being raised by Von NotHaus in respect of whether the government has the power to outlaw private coinage of money. The issue was raised by Von NotHaus’ conviction in March of two counts related to his issuing of silver medallions called Liberty Dollars. There were no complaints from the persons who bought Liberty Dollars or took them in exchange for goods. The fact is that Liberty Dollars have held their value even while the value of the fiat dollars issued by the Federal Reserve has plunged, to barely a fifth the value of what they were worth at the start of, say, the Bush administration. This is not lost on anyone looking at the case. One can imagine that this humiliation was keenly felt by the federal government that brought charges against Von NotHaus.

The Von NotHaus question is not dissimilar to the question raised by Ashcroft vs. Arar as well as a host of other recent rulings that have all but suspended (trampled?) the constitution of the United States of America not to mention plain old decency.

But how can the government of a Western country presumably steeped in democratic principles and boasting a transparent and open society be allowed to deliberately and freely chip away at those very principles that make it the presumed envy of developing societies the world over? Why, you terrorize your own people and then you tell them they need protecting from evil forces that resent them for their way of life.

During the years leading up to the American Revolution, the British attempted to stifle the growing independent nature of the colonies by issuing laws such as the ‘Writs of Assistance’, bypassing rights to privacy and allowing officials to search homes and businesses at will without probable cause, supposedly in the name of “capturing smugglers”. Not fully satisfied with this intrusion on the lives of the colonists, King George and his cronies issued the ‘Quartering Acts’, which required all colonists to welcome soldiers sent to subjugate them into their homes and to their dinner tables. According to law, early Americans were not only forced to allow warrant-less searches of their homes, they also had to show hospitality to the goons sent to dirty their doorsteps!

The purpose of these actions by governments is to assert their control over a population. THAT – IS – ALL. Rationalizations are always made; usually in the name of “protecting the public from harm”, but the real name of the game is imperialism, and fear. When the establishment violates the line of citizen privacy, and gives its agents the legal free reign to enter your home at will, the message they are trying to send is: “Your property is our property. Your life is our business. The law does not protect you. The law is our weapon.” In other words: Resistance is futile.