Saturday, February 27, 2010

They came for everyone else; now they're coming for you

A friend sent me the following link: Man Branded a Pedophile. I posted the following to Sky News under Bedazzled Crone.

"And if it had been Mr Geraghty-Shewan's son who had disappeared in that shopping centre, what would he have been saying then. The situation could have been handled better, but that security guard was doing his job, what the society now expects him to do. The headline is as much of a problem. The man was not "branded a pedophile". He was questioned; who called "Sky News" - I'll bet it wasn't the security guard or the police! People want all this added security, they shouldn't be surprised when the system sometimes overreacts."

People should watch Snoops (on the BBC - I think it's called MI5 in the U.S.) if you want to see just how CCTV cameras invade every aspect of British life. If we want to stop this kind of Orwellian world, people have to step up and educate themselves on reality. One of the realities of child abuse and abduction is that it is usually someone the child knows who is the abuser. The media, academia, the governments and society at large create these "moral panics". People buy into the scare tactics  and demand something be done. Then they accept the curtailment of their freedoms "for the greater good". Then, somebody comes for them. Do people not understand that you can't have it both ways?  
Even though there has been a decrease in crime in Canada, there is this constant screaming for harsher crime legislation, for more prisons, for American-style justice. This is just the slippery slope down the road to giving up more and more of our freedoms. The thought police, the smoke police, the fat police, the drug police, the terrorist police. Create enough fear in the general population and people seem to willingly give up their freedoms. There is that old adage, "give an inch and they'll take a mile". In places, they have taken hundreds of miles.
What is rather ironic, I think, is that the Rights Revolution has turned into increased monitoring of the population as a whole, leading us, willynilly, into a potential police state. I doubt that that was the original intention!
The following is a quote from the conclusion of a wonderful little book about multiculturalism and the Canadian experiment called The Rights Revolution:
     "We have reason to be hopeful, and not just because places like Canada are rich and have capacities to conciliate conflict that are denied poorer societies. We are lucky too because, as colonial peoples, we were schooled in the life of liberty. Today, in our multi-ethnic, multicultural cities, we are trying to vindicate a new experiment in ethnic peace, and we have learned that the preconditions of order are simple: equal protection under the law, coupled with the capacity for different peoples to behave towards each other not as members of tribes or clans, but as citizens. We do not require very much in the way of shared values, or even shared lives. People should live where they want, and with whom they want. The key precondition is equality of rights; it all depends whether our differences can shelter under the protecting arch of legitimate legal order.
   So the unity and coherence of a liberal society are not threatened because we come from a thousand different traditions, worship different gods, eat different foods, live in different sections of town, and speak different languages. What is required of us is recognition, empathy, and if possible, reconciliation. .... "Let's face it, we're all here to stay."" (M. Ignatieff, 2002, pp. 140-141)
This is what we should be aiming for. It many ways it harkens back to the origins of liberalism (& dare I say libertarianism). The idea of equality of persons and rights has been turned into "my rights" and people don't seem to give a damn if somebody else's rights are trampled on.
However, if you let them come for everyone else, they will, one day, come for you.

1 comment:

  1. "if you let them come for everyone else, they will, one day, come for you."

    That, my dear, is exactly right. Once the principle has been compromised, no way left to defend it, because the only possible way to defend it has been compromised.