Friday, March 15, 2019
The oldest refrain of the Right is that socialism leads to tyranny. Yet for the last four decades, it's neoliberalism that's been inching us closer to a police state. he gulag hasn't come to Sweden or Norway just because their governments pay for people's medical bills. Not to mention that the society envisioned by socialists devolves decision-making power, whether economic or political, to working people, rather than concentrating it in the state. But put this to one side for the moment, because it's now clear -- more than seven decades after Hayek worried that "what was promised to us as the Road to Freedom was in fact the High Road to Servitude" -- that it's neoliberal capitalism that has put us on that high road.
n the US, there now exists what Matt Taibbi has accurately described as an "authoritarian state-within-a-state," and which Tom Engelhardt once termed a "shadow government." It has the power to decide who lives and dies based on evidence that's never seen and that the condemned can't challenge, dispensing death to unknown numbers of human beings across the globe without trial or jury, including, sometimes, American citizens. This same shadow state operates a vast, global surveillance system that collects impossible amounts of data about our intimate, private behavior. Sometimes this information is collected to be used against political enemies.
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