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Tue Jun 11, 2013, 11:32 PM

Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’

They Thought They Were Free

"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

<snip>

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

"How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.


Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm

As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency's massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet.

The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. High-performance NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.

The Utah Data Center is a data farm that will begin harvesting emails, phone records, text messages and other electronic data in September.


Yes, I realize I've broken Godwin's Law with this post. Can't be helped. Think about this - The NSA gets $1.2 billion to build this gigantic data gathering center, while food stamps are cut, while Meals on Wheels are cut, while cuts to Social Security are being proposed. Because those programs are too expensive, because government is "too big".

The National Security State is stealing from all us - not just our data, but our common wealth, our prosperity, our prospects for forming a "more perfect union".

Please, consider the end.

sw

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Reply Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ (Original post)
scarletwoman Jun 2013 OP
Vinnie From Indy Jun 2013 #1
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #12
Tierra_y_Libertad Jun 2013 #2
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #13
Phlem Jun 2013 #3
OnyxCollie Jun 2013 #4
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2013 #5
DeSwiss Jun 2013 #6
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #14
WheelWalker Jun 2013 #7
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #15
Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #8
liberal_at_heart Jun 2013 #9
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #16
ReRe Jun 2013 #10
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #11
snagglepuss Jun 2013 #17
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #18
Canuckistanian Jun 2013 #19
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #20

Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:07 AM

1. Bravo!

A very hearty well done to you on this OP. You are exactly correct!

Cheers!

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Response to Vinnie From Indy (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:27 AM

12. Thank you.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:10 AM

2. "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right."

 

Thomas Paine

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:29 AM

13. Excellent quote! Thank you!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:32 AM

3. Screw Godwin's law

it's for hacks that need a way out.

Excellent post!

Thank You.

-p

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:44 AM

4. Godwin's law now equals whistling past the graveyard. nt

 

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:55 AM

5. Thank you and ignore Godwin. A. It's not a law by any definition of the word, B. Godwin is a

 

right-wing lawyer in Texas. C. The original observation has been blown up beyond all recognition by internet ignoramuses with the sole purpose of stifling debate.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 02:39 AM

6. K&R

 

''You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.'' ~Morpheus

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:30 AM

14. "...they will fight to protect it.'' Indeed.

Thank you.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 02:40 AM

7. The problem is not that one's eyes misinterpret something one sees —

the problem is that one believes one's idea about it, so that one doesn't question it anymore

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Response to WheelWalker (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:35 PM

15. Perception through lenses shaped to fit our biases. (nt)

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 02:41 AM

8. It's strange that I am in the middle of this book right now.

But its really quite relevant, as you have pointed out.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 02:47 AM

9. this is what makes me want to turn to a third party.

Both parties are guilty of widening the gap between the government and the people. The 1% own both parties and both parties are drunk with power and wealth.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:45 PM

16. I don't see this as a solution.

The power structure in this country is far more encompassing than simple party politics. Our only hope for the massive structural changes needed to root out the rot and corruption of our policital system would be massive and relentless challenges to all the laws that have enabled the Overclass to run roughshod over the rest of us.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 03:36 AM

10. And we think we are free...

We didn't resist the beginnings. And now all we can do is consider the end. Thank you, sw, for this OP.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 06:46 AM

11. I think we MUST consider the end.

And resist all the calls to accept it.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 08:22 PM

17. to read later

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 08:25 PM

18. I appreciate the kick. :)

And I do hope you go to the link in the first excerpt and read it all. It's a wonderful thought-provoking piece.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 08:30 PM

19. And using your own tax dollars to do it.

Is this what everyone voted for?

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Response to Canuckistanian (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 08:41 PM

20. The infrastructure of the National Security State has been assembled over decades.

At least since the end of WWII. It's a cancer in our body politic - like cancer, it's cells grow and multiply without limits. Left unchecked, it will eventually kill the host, our weak and failing democracy.

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