I have posted twice before about why tax is theft (put very simply it is not voluntary, the state forces you to pay) and while every instance of taxation is stealing I can think of no clearer example or evidence than the actions of Cyprus. The Cypriote Government has pilfered 10% of people’s deposits. Let’s be clear that is 10% of people’s hard earned cash that they worked for (and had a large chunk already siphoned off by the state).
This is the terrifying thing about the state: it can grant itself the power to do almost anything. One day it was fine to keep money in banks, the next the State demands a ‘one-off’ 10%. One day it is fine to criticise the Government, the next we’ve always been at war with East-Asia.
Leveson takes away hundreds of years of law and replaces it with a chilling brave new world. A world where the rich and powerful can bully and intimidate us into silence. We may not have telescreens in our bedrooms but if your gossip blog, your critical tweet, or your jokey status update fall into the hands of the wrong people then the consequences are almost as dire as if you didn’t praise big brother hard enough. Just be glad there are no Room 101’s.
An Orwellian nightmare state is not impossible to imagine, look at North Korea where those that didn’t mourn the passing of a brutal dictator hard enough were dragged off to disappear. Look at the USSR, which used to be one of the world’s largest powers where dissenters disappeared to the gulags, or Russia today, where critical journalists accidentally cut their throats while shaving or get conveniently shot by criminals.
Even the US, the land of the free, is moving worryingly closer to giving its Government the power to kill its own citizens whenever it pleases. If you think America is free try asking the inmates of Guantanamo Bay who still languish without trial 5 years after a president of hope and change promised to close it down.
We are all to blame. Every time we say ‘well the blues are awful but the reds are worse, I better do everything I can to ensure a blue victory’ we help them. Every time we support chilling new powers because we know the people we support would never use them in a bad way. Every time we give up a little bit more freedom for a little bit more temporary security.
The truth is, all politicians, all parties have the potential to become like Norsefire. While none may have actively spread diseases to create panic and increase their control, their reactions to external disasters – 9/11, 7/7 etc. have been telling. Every panic is an opportunity to tighten their grip, every attack a chance to cut down liberties, every outrage a chance to censor and control (phone hacking and Leveson are perfect examples).
There is no perfect state, because every state grows. Like bindweed choking off other plants life, if a State exists, it slowly but surely increases its power and influence. Look what the freedom movement across the world has become: we no longer have the time to fight campaigns to roll back the state and give people back their liberties. It is all most campaigners to do to hold back a few choice pieces of creeping authoritarianism. While we fight one battle a hundred others pass us by.
We aren’t going to wake up in 1984 tomorrow, or the day after. It might not happen in your lifetime. But one day, at the rate we are going, we will. And by that time it is too late. There are no V’s there are only Winston Smiths.