Saturday, April 23, 2005

I want to be political today too

I remember my reaction as a child to learning of the existence of the Geneva Conventions. I thought it was absolutely absurd because, I reasoned,

If they can make rules to dictate conduct in wars, then why can’t they just make a rule that we won’t have any wars?

And it turns out that I was right all along. We have these rules on the treatment of prisoners of war and it is an absurd idea and no one is following them. Perhaps US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was right when he called the Geneva Conventions “quaint” and “obsolete”.

I have been worried about the deterioration of freedom in the US and elsewhere. The Patriot Acts in the US and the Terrorism Acts in the UK are taking rights away from us in the name of protecting us from some great undefinable danger. People accept this because they believe what they are told, they think our "security" is the most important thing and/or they believe it does not directly affect them, as in “I’ve got nothing to worry about because I am white and christian”.

But this is the fascist way. The government takes small steps because people do not object to them. Other people’s rights are taken away first; the majority can usually live with that. But we need to be aware and we need to be very cautious because the small steps will eventually cover a lot of ground.

Patrick Henry said in 1775:
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

4 comments:

Dave said...

"War is the health of the State."
- Randolph Bourne

"Giving money and power to politicians is like giving a bottle of whiskey and car keys to a 16 year old boy."
- P.J. O'Rourke

Dave said...

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
- Ben Franklin

Max said...

DD, do you keep a book of famous quotes by your computer?

Dave said...

Nope, just stuff rattling around in my head. I did have to use the internet to get the wording correct on the Franklin quote.