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View Diary: Anonymous Plans Internet Blackout Monday To Protest CISPA - Hillary's Speech Appears In Promo (132 comments)

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  •  History will probably show that the FOIA was (30+ / 0-)

    more significant than the other civil rights legislation that was passed. For, together with the Federal Tort Claims Act of 1947, which wrote finis to the principle of "sovereign immunity," the FOIA made it possible for the people to actually know what the representatives they elect and appoint are actually doing in their name.
    On the other hand, because this is a revolutionary change to the system that persisted from the founding to the end of World War II (petty potentates acting in the name of the people in a "in loco parentis" kind of way), there has been considerable push-back by ruling elites that don't want to be relegated to public servant status. So, since the laws, which were passed when much of the potential electorate was not politically involved and not considered important, cannot easily be repealed (as was DADT), the push-back has been less direct in the form of privatization and the elevation of "national security" concerns. That is, the duties and obligations of public officials, which are subject to public inspection, have been increasingly handed over to private corporations, which enjoy the protections of patent, proprietary, and privacy rights. "Out of sight, out of mind."
    In other words, "privatization" is for the benefit of public officials who want the influence, but not the obligations of public office. Moreover, since public services are not inherently profitable, private corporations have to be bribed to take them on -- i.e. they have to be paid a premium. Which is why contracted public services always cost more. (Perhaps we should call it the "privacy premium" -- what public officials have to pay to hide their negligence).
    Long story short, the effort to make public servants more accountable has prompted them to retreat into various strategies to regain secrecy, because secrecy is the key to power. "Transparency" is part of the effort, a compromise to avoid what is really feared--inspection and investigation. Transparency is a half measure, which is about as good as a half truth--i.e. worse than a falsehood, because intentional.

    People who lust for power will always be with us. Which is why democracy cannot run on automatic. It needs to be a constant, hands-on enterprise. Power, to be felt, has to hurt. The genius of democracy is that power is dispersed over the whole population, only to be assembled when and as needed. Power dispersed is not power-less. Think of iron filings that need a magnet to collect them. Force is what prompts people power to coalesce.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 03:55:59 AM PDT

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