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View Diary: Despite Government Denials, Documents Show NSA Continues Harvesting Americans' Data (129 comments)

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  •  Power is corrupt. (2+ / 0-)
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    Kristina40, Einsteinia

    That's because, to be felt, power has to hurt. We do not perceive as powerful people who do good.
    The genius of government by the people is that power is dispersed, only to be assembly in times of need. Presumably, that need is generated by some external man-made or natural force. When it is generated internally, as by our clan of fear-mongers, it eats away at the people, like a cancer or a debilitating parasite.
    Fact is we never have had government by the people yet. It wasn't even possible as long as large segments of the population were excluded from participating. Then, when universal suffrage for all citizens over age 18 arrived in 1972, it became necessary to denigrate the participation and/or deny it via other means. Keep in mind that citizen participation involves more than putting a ballot in the box. There's also
    holding office
    serving on juries
    drafting laws
    providing support
    enforcing the laws

    When, for example, candidates for public office are winnowed by the chamber of commerce, the left-overs are likely to be all the same. Ditto for legislation that's drafted by ALEC. Even excluding some people from being taxed for federal purposes reduces their influence. People prevented from paying have no say. People prevented from accessing currency are practically incapable of going where they want. The poll tax was effective because some people had no access to money with which to pay. The same was true of the property tax. Any number of people "lost" their homesteads to the tax man's cronies, who picked up the tab.

    That said, data collectors are probably the same as any other obsessive collector of anything else. They want it all. Indeed, the phrase "exceptional control" describes the process -- collect and keep everything and except what's not wanted. And that's assisted by the corollary of excluding every person, except those that are read in. That's how we got the Gang of Eight who get to review information in a secret location, unable to take notes and with no staff present. Memory has to serve.

    We tend to ignore that exceptional and exclusive and executive are not symbols of status, but refer to behavior that shuts out some people in favor of others. We are fixated on the results, much as we are often focused on victims, for the purpose of agency (that which effects an act) getting a pass (going unnoticed). Being fixated on results is central to the deception or slight of hand. Power aims to hurt, but power also doesn't want to get caught. Because, if caught, the jig is up. Power will be dispersed, if only because the vast majority of the people aren't interested in it.

    Power may well be a peculiarly human obsession. Where it comes from, nobody knows. Maybe it's like musical talent, except in deficit. No question, those who lust for power are deficient in something.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:03:27 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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