Digging the grave III

Lay back, relax and try to remember the typical features of oppressive, authoritarian police states in Sci Fi since the 80's.

What are commonalities of different such portrayals?

I think it's dark-clothed anonymous 'security' personnel, 'shock' ticks used to maltreat people into submission, flying surveillance drones, domestic spying and people getting snatched and arrested without the right to challenge this treatment in a fair court.

It's probably the greatest and most surprising tragedy of the past ten years how easily and silently Western nations moved towards this horror. I began to warn about the import of warzone population control methods for domestic policing five years ago.
No, I did not expect to make any impression of note. Still, it's frustrating.

The US military and CIA have used drones armed with lethal weapons to target militants overseas for years. The prospect of having “lite” versions of those remotely controlled killer-machines circling over America gave some second thoughts to rights groups.
It's not like Tasers, black or militarised-look SWAT teams and equivalents, Patriot act etc weren't enough. Some think the time is ripe to get the drones, too. Not only for surveillance, but even with armament.

The good news is that this crap doesn't develop in all Western countries in a synchronised way.
The bad news is that those which 'advance' a lot on this appear to inspire followers, for there are enough authoritarian-minded people out there, and they're clearly over-represented among police personnel.

Again my position: We MUST NOT build up the arsenal of dictatorship in a democracy for supposed "security" reasons. Effective police, that's crime scene investigation and detective work, in case of major crimes a committee of up to 40 detectives. Such committees ("SOKO") have almost 100% success rate in Germany.

Good policing - that's having the resources and allocation of resources to actually investigate instead of administrate crimes. It is NOT about spying, surveillance, weapons or tasers. The German police uses almost no tasers and pepper spray only very rarely. Still, all German policemen combined did shoot only 85 bullets in conflict with humans during 2011, 58 of which were warning shots. (Germany has about 81.8 million inhabitants!).

So don't fall for the bullshit arguments for such new and police state-ish things. Whenever there's a security challenge - be it organised crime, errorists, pedophiles or other idiots - demand proper funding and allocation of funds to conventional police work first. Make sure that the police actually has the resources and (if necessary) the political backing to actually investigate crimes properly first. We should only pay attention to police state-ish stuff only when this is already accomplished and still insufficient.

Trust me, there's almost no place where this has been accomplished so far. Politicians are much too populist and prefer to let the police show off too much, not investigate enough.
Germans: Remember my words when you read the next time about some police chief sending his men out on patrol in groups with bulletproof vests and submachine guns. That's -next to the excessive stationary object security-  among the most useless police activities ever.

S Ortmann




  1. "For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences" - United States Declaration of Independence

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." - Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution


  2. What if the intention is not to have this properly handled by the police, but to establish different rules? From a political system theory any system can be regarded as dysfunctional with people pushing for change, including no more old school democracy.

  3. This is just my two cents but I always thought California was a bit of a police state. But hey, that's just me.

  4. Nice concept, Tim, but it's long since died in the heart of the average American. And without the support of the average American, the fourth amendment holds as much meaning as the rights spelled out in the old Soviet constitution.


  5. To the troll who doesn't get his comments published because everytime I show one of them to friends, they tell me to simply block the asshat:

    The linked article is not some propaganda piece, and even if it was it would still be about facts.




  6. Duh, all of this ties in with the staging of the 911 attacks, which the neocons promptly used as a pre-text for domestic tyranny, just like when hitler burned the reichstag and blamed it on the communists (instituting a security policy of creeping normalcy to gradually institute total societal control).

    Sven, your vanilla stance on the issue is not helping things. For the second time in its history, germany is creeping towards fascism. It is the duty of patriots like yourself to vigorously oppose this political misdirection. I advocate a policy similiar to what the syriza party of greece is doing: Total government overthrow and reorganisation is the eventual goal (well, for the U.S, anyway. Maybe germany hasn't gone past the point of no return).

    1. Overthrowing the German government? Why?
      They do have a number of douchebags and reign rather for survival in position than a vision for the future, but that's no crime.
      Helmut Schmidt, held in high esteem as a far sighted statesman today, did face lots of problems pushing his far sighted ideas and lost power pretty soon because of that. This is normal in Germany, Helmut Kohl or Konrad Adenauer could rule for 12 to 16 years over an increasingly ossified system. If you try to reform and advance things, bets are high you won't have a regular end of the second term in office.
      Germany does not have armed drones hovering above her citizens.

      9/11 or the Hufeisenplan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Horseshoe are at least partly lies to create the right motivation for a necessary action. Good lies are part truth, part lie and serve a higher goal in politics that is deemed important, but unlikely to be achieved via the straight route.

      9/11 was a complex operation that involved nano-thermite, a difficult to manufacture military explosive with very high energy content. The plan to destroy these very buildings (more than the two towers collapsed, despite skyscrapper design being engineered to withstand such aircraft accidents that happened before) was over a decade old. Whoever prepared the strike was very professional and no rag-tag-can't-fly-striptease-bars-visiting-alcohol-drinking-Muslim-martyr, but they were part of the operation (patsies?).
      The US government, like most other governments before and since, realized the potential of using the mind-bomb effect of this event for their own longterm goals. At the same time they took care not to highlight how professional the guys were who pulled of this show. Acknowledging the professionalism would have seriously undermined trust in US capabilities.

    2. No conspiracy theories or 'thermite = exlosive' nonsense, please.

    3. Thermite is not at all explosive (my fault in explaining). If you reduce particle size and increase surface the reaction speed is enhanced and the energy release is rather sudden. Materials melt and some are turned into gas or are already gas with now expanding volume.
      Thermite or nano thermite is not an explosive (my oversimplification), you create shockwaves through radiation energy supply and not by direct gas expansion.

      Conspiracy theories blame the CIA and Mossad. I don't buy that. I do buy what I can verify and support the scholars and demolition experts for 9/11 truth and not some wackos for whom the Mossad/CIA is responsible for bad weather.

      The nanothermite issue is often quoted by the conspiracy guys. It's due to sampling on site by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_E._Jones.

    4. Matthias Wilde20 June 2012 at 17:45

      I concur on this point.

      Personally, I do not hold any specific opinion on the whole 9/11 issue, but I´m saddened by the fact how the accusation of being a "conspiracy theorist" serves as a "Totschlagargument" nowadays, killing essentially any and all rational debate.

      Especially given the subsequent developments in the Middle East during the following years and the fact that what today are called "false-flag operations" are a political tool as old as mankind.

  7. to Anon:

    I have a feeling most Americans couldn't pass a test on the United States Constitution. There are many things in the United States Constitution that are ignored and the means to enforce it are wanting.


  8. I'm not big on the conspiracy theories stuff, to act one needs concrete proof not theories. I do understand that in some constitutions the right to abolish the government does exist. Example the US.

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." - Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." - United States Declaration of Independence

    I want to draw attention to the part of the Declaration of Independence that says, "it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    Think of how powerful it would be if large numbers of the people told the government, if you keep this up we are leaving.


  9. It's just a written piece of paper.

    What really counts is whether the people stick to the illusion and how closely they stick to it.

    This 'living the order of the society' thing can be overthrown by a shock event or eroded slowly by small steps away from it.
    We saw both during the past decade, and keep seeing more. There are often no sanctions on those who make the small steps, so they keep going away from it.

  10. Indeed, i think they should investigate all office holders of any high rank to see how they conducted themselves in office. The problem is that too often the ones with the power to investigate wrong doing are themselves doing the wrong or can otherwise be control or blocked by the wrong doers. Politics is full of propaganda techniques

    Sadly people are like sheep and having politicians seems to me like letting the fox guard the hen house or if you rather, letting the wolf watch the sheep.

    Impartiality and good governance are needed for a government to run properly. Words can be powerful IF they inspire others to rally to a cause.


  11. The conspiracy theories around the WTC don't hold up against even basic plausibility checks and they didn't hold up against scientific investigation. I'm tired of this crap after a decade and I spoke as host.

    Discuss that crap elsewhere. It's off-limits here.

  12. Sven, even if the september 11th attacks weren't staged (a stance which is, at best, inconsistent with the nature of their collapse), you can't deny that the event has been masterfully manipulated by the americans to institute a sweeping new foreign policy, justifying their imperialism and wars for corporate profit. Haven't you ever heard of the project for the new american century, PNAC? It stated that without the presence of a pearl harbour type event to catalyze the american public, none of the projects ambitous and illegal aims would likely be achieved. And then, two years after its completion, you got planes slamming into buildings. We are civilised people, we don't want 911 being used to excuse the americans invading sovereign countrys. Four wars is four too many!