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View Diary: Choose: Freedom or NSA Total Information Awareness Surveillance. It's Either One, or The Other (111 comments)

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  •  sorry, WHAT is the totalitarian part? (3+ / 0-)
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    richardak, Cedwyn, virginislandsguy

    You're dangerously close here to arguing that the United States is totalitarian because Wikipedia. More specifically, because Sheldon Wolin says so.

    My interpretation of "totalitarian surveillance police state" would probably pertain to your assertion:

    ...a corporate-government alliance has set up a total information awareness surveillance police state.

    That is its main purpose: to protect the interests of a now-rapidly entrenching corporate state, and it does that by suppressing opposition to its hegemonic control.  

    (Of course, that quotation doesn't use the word "totalitarian.")

    That seems like a bit of a word salad to me, but it seems to mean, inter alia, that NSA's data gathering is designed to suppress opposition to the corporate-government hegemony.

    The further discussion also seems like a bit of a word salad, but it seems to mean that NSA's data gathering does this by continually monitoring citizens' communications (even, perhaps, their actions) and thereby reducing their felt freedom to dissent. Or something like that.

    I don't see where you lifted a finger actually to demonstrate that NSA surveillance does anything to suppress opposition, nor that that is its main purpose.

    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

    by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:57:01 AM PDT

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    •  Another ad hominem, logical fallacy, and mockery. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, lostinamerica

      Regarding this:

      I don't see where you lifted a finger actually to demonstrate that NSA surveillance does anything to suppress opposition, nor that that is its main purpose.
      There is a tone of evidence they've done just that, including the use of NSA-collected information to infiltrate peaceful activists groups, and Occupy Wall Street.

      I've written quite a few diaries providing very detailed accounts of this.

      •  beg pardon? (6+ / 0-)

        Where is the ad hominem or logical fallacy in my comment? ("Mockery" is too subjective -- and irrelevant -- to bother disputing.)

        There is a tone of evidence they've done just that, including the use of NSA-collected information to infiltrate peaceful activists groups, and Occupy Wall Street.

        I've written quite a few diaries providing very detailed accounts of this.

        Frankly, these comments seem doubly irrelevant. First of all, no one should be required to commit your corpus of diaries to memory as a condition of reading and commenting on your present work. If you think that "quite a few" of your diaries are pertinent, yet you fail to reference any, that is a defect in your argument.

        Second, "the use of NSA-collected information to infiltrate peaceful activists groups, and Occupy Wall Street" -- on its face, at least -- is neither necessary to that purpose nor even remotely sufficient to the broader purpose of "suppressing opposition."

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:04:21 AM PDT

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    •  Really? Could I offer this into the mix then? (5+ / 0-)

      Ten Steps To Close Down an Open Society

      4 Set up an internal surveillance system

      In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.

      In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens' phones, read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state scrutiny.

      In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about "national security"; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.

      It's not Wikipedia or just Wolin's opinion's here, many people believe this is what we're becoming/have become.

      And then I'd have to add in Monsanto.

      http://www.theguardian.com/...

      The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any Euroxpean Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show.
      http://truth-out.org/...
      You would think this concentration of industry would lead to antitrust litigation. In fact, shortly after taking office, the Obama administration began an antitrust investigation, taking over from several states that were looking into the market practices of Monsanto. The investigation was announced with much fanfare, but last November, without even a press release, the Department of Justice closed the investigation, leaving us to conclude that it may have been a tactic to thwart state efforts.
      Now can any of us say that the NSA spying is being used to protect the interests of Amerika, Inc?

      We do have evidence that they were using these tools to spy on their ex-wifes, lovers, etc.

      http://www.activistpost.com/...

      Where's the whistleblowers when you need them?  OH, that's right, their either in jail or in political exile.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 07:31:30 AM PDT

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      •  ? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, virginislandsguy, erratic
        In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens' phones, read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state scrutiny.
        "It became clear to ordinary Americans"? In 2005 and 2006? Is there any actual evidence of this? Is there any actual evidence that Americans have become more reluctant to dissent in the last eight years because of their fear of government surveillance? Is there any actual evidence that the NSA intends this? (Are NSA spokespeople just pretending to be horrified that this information is coming out at all?)
        In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about "national security"; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.
        I'm happy to stipulate that a major purpose of the Stasi was to inhibit dissent. Naomi Wolf didn't say she thinks that it is a major purpose of the NSA, but even if she had, I don't see how her saying so would advance the argument.

        I can't tell why you offered your next two blockquotes.

        We do have evidence that they were using these tools to spy on their ex-wifes, lovers, etc
        Yes, we do, which is clear evidence of abuse -- but I don't see what it has to do with the claim under discussion.

        It seems somewhat akin to arguing that because Nixon abused the IRS (for political, not romantic purposes -- as far as I know), the IRS was designed for the purpose of suppressing dissent. I wouldn't be surprised to see that argument, but I would be surprised to see it on Daily Kos.

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:00:19 AM PDT

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        •  Ah, okay...if they are using their positions for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, HudsonValleyMark

          petty personal reasons, I could safely assume, yes assume they are also using said to protect companies and their profits.  It is clear that our government is being used to advance Monsanto's reach and power, ditto with the British, the French, etc.  

          Britain's Opium wars and more recently the overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government done to protect British Petroleum.

          History reveals for us that our foreign policy has been dictated to advance and protect the profits and "markets" of our Corporate Overlords.

          Prime Example Hugo Chavez:

          http://english.pravda.ru/...

          Chavez’s decision touches upon the leading oil corporations of GreaT Britain, Norway, the USA and France: BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Total, Statoil and others. Until recently, Venezuela was repurchasing the shares at market prices within the framework of nationalization. Now it goes about the sum which exceeds 15 billion dollars.
          Didn't we support the failed coup there back in 2002?

          Yepperie.

          Now, I cannot say for certain the NSA spying is being used to advance the interests of corporations, I can say it surely is more likely than not, period.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:55:53 AM PDT

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          •  I think I see where you're coming from (2+ / 0-)
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            gerrilea, serendipityisabitch

            These kinds of discussions can be hard to have in DKos comment threads, although at least it's a step up from tweets.

            I don't exactly agree that "our foreign policy has been dictated to advance and protect the profits and 'markets' of our Corporate Overlords." Businesses (obviously) don't always have the same interests; sometimes political leaders do things that most business leaders consider pretty stupid.

            I do think it's plausible that NSA intelligence has been used to serve business interests at some point(s). To me, that seems a long way from the argument of the diary, or analogies to historic police states or the Panopticon. It's definitely imaginable that Americans will start self-monitoring as many Chinese do for fear of government surveillance, but I don't think it is at all obvious that they are doing so, or that the NSA or its corporate overlords intend or even want this to happen.

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:55:48 PM PDT

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