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To Those Americans Who Say "I Have Nothing to Hide"

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Many Americans think right now that they "have nothing to hide" and that if the government says that it's necessary for them to be spying on everyone, then all right then, it must be the truth. After all, my government would not lie to me.

There are multiple dimensions to this issue but I'm going to confine myself to just one for the time being.

If you think that the Fourth Amendment against "unreasonable search and seizure" is trumped by the "War on Terror" and that there is nothing "unreasonable" about "search and seizure" and that the government's searching and seizing everything about everyone is ok and that we may as well get rid of the Fourth Amendment, then you are also saying that you and everyone else in the entire society from now until the end of the "War on Terror" (which will last, according to Cheney, for generations) should give up entertaining, let alone acting on, a desire or need to dissent from what the government is doing for essentially ever.

Why is that?

By giving up your and everyone else's rights to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure and your approving of the government conducting search and seizure of yourself and everyone else in the entire world, you believe, in other words and in effect, that you and everyone else should give up your and their right to freedom of speech and assembly forever because you have decided that it is appropriate for the government to have truly comprehensive, detailed information about each and everyone of your and everyone else's associations -- every person you know, have dealings personal and/or professional with, and how close you are to them; any and all personal information about you -- what you've done or not done during your life and also what everyone else has ever done, embarrassing, illicit, or otherwise.

You are ok with them having all of this in their hands and not worried that they will ever be tempted to use it against you -- either in fully accurate form or in any conceivable distorted but plausible form in a concerted effort by those who are in authority to character assassinate you and everyone else who they don't like and disagree with - because you have given up your rights and those of everyone else in the society to ever run afoul of authorities in any way whatsoever.

What happens when someone, you or anyone else, tries to stand up and resist something that those in authority want to do? What has been the experience of each and every person and organization that has resisted what those in authority want to do? Do those in authority listen solely to reason and are they persuaded by reasoned argument? Are they willing to revise what they are doing because anyone points out to them the error of their ways? Is not the historical record that authorities and governments tend to use their authority and power to silence, ridicule, marginalize, or eliminate those who challenge them?

When you say that you're ok with giving up the Fourth Amendment, you are not only foregoing your right and ability to ever dissent from authority, you are abandoning the right of each and every other person and organization everywhere of ever dissenting and organizing against anything that authority says forever.

While you might think that this is ok, then what happens if by hook or by crook a dictator gets into office and institutes fascist measures across the board slowly but surely over the course of years in every arena in public life and you no longer have the right and ability to organize and speak up and no one else does either because you willingly allowed the Fourth Amendment to be destroyed?

Do you think you would recognize it when such a person comes to power and then object?

How could you when you don't recognize how this is already going on step by step on a slippery slope NOW?

Initially published at dennisloo.com.

 

http://dennisloo.com

Cal Poly Pomona Sociology Professor. Author of "Globalization and the Demolition of Society," co-editor/author (with Peter Phillips) of "Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney." National Steering Committee Member of the World Can't (more...)
 
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Full of convoluted assertions without the necessar... by Truthbug on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 4:49:09 PM
What necessary logical steps are missing? ... by Dennis Loo on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 6:48:29 PM
why does acceptance of the current spying by gover... by Truthbug on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 11:33:32 AM
Truthbug:There is a relationship between the form ... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 1:50:00 PM
In looking this over further, I think I might need... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 2:21:43 PM
articles, but I have the feeling that you and I wo... by Truthbug on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 4:25:05 PM
Glad to hear it. I recommend you check out what el... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 5:37:37 PM
for writing the article in the convoluted way you ... by Truthbug on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 3:02:28 PM
Truthbug:You can find my writing in two books. The... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 4:21:10 PM
You don't seem to understand what the essence of t... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 4:30:22 PM
comment, which may summarize things nicely.  ... by Truthbug on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 7:35:08 PM
You raise a few different issues. First, as to the... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 8:33:03 PM
of why I say you're being hysterical:  "If pe... by Truthbug on Friday, Jun 14, 2013 at 12:57:41 AM
T - The sentence of mine that you have highlighted... by Dennis Loo on Friday, Jun 14, 2013 at 2:03:59 AM
news, but I don't recall hearing that Obama and th... by Truthbug on Friday, Jun 14, 2013 at 3:06:46 AM
You are something. You rail at my article for a wh... by Dennis Loo on Friday, Jun 14, 2013 at 3:43:35 AM
"Obama and the NSA falsely claim that they are onl... by Truthbug on Friday, Jun 14, 2013 at 12:15:32 PM
I understand how you would be upset at your need t... by Truthbug on Friday, Jun 14, 2013 at 12:17:42 PM
Whether the article was well written or not think ... by Tom Durham on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 3:06:35 PM
I can't imagine Truthbug and I were reading the sa... by Patrick Walker on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 5:11:28 PM
The ideas expressed here should be read by those w... by Gloria Grening Wolk on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 5:24:24 PM
... by Dennis Loo on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 6:51:09 PM
The King authorized his agents to carry out wide r... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 12:30:42 AM
I think this attitude is akin to those who blame v... by Gloria Grening Wolk on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 5:18:11 PM
Absolutely. People who are disinclined to act poli... by Dennis Loo on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 6:50:29 PM
Thank you Prof. Loo, from this article. From it I ... by Ceric on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 5:27:24 PM
That's the reason that I wrote it - to give those ... by Dennis Loo on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 6:41:10 PM
There are two aspects to the surveillance programs... by Ceric on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 3:01:25 AM
There was a great deal of information and urgent w... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 3:25:09 AM
I certainly agree with the author on this.  (... by Richard Pietrasz on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 7:04:32 PM
The people who have nothing to hide, have lost the... by James Lico on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 8:29:06 PM
What those who say "I have nothing to hide" are mi... by Dennis Loo on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 9:34:10 PM
This is an Official Announcement from your Leader.... by Vietnam Vet on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 2:24:10 AM
This sounds like a line from John Carpenter's 1988... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 3:26:29 AM
But there's one major flaw in your logic.You don't... by 911TRUTH on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 6:42:16 AM
While I agree with you that there are many (but no... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 2:03:48 PM
It was logical for Snowden to release the document... by Gloria Grening Wolk on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 6:27:43 PM
... we fight this relentlessly and by drawing into... by Dennis Loo on Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 at 7:38:39 PM