Monday, February 13, 2006

How Things Have Changed

What country am I describing?

  • The government was always right and never apologised;
  • Any dissent was suppressed, ridiculed, banned or worse;
  • Secret prisons were denied and never acknowledged or spoken about;
  • The torture of captives was condoned by the political elite;
  • State incarceration was not subject to the checks and balances of a legal system;
  • Economic plans, like for oil, were established/determined in closed sessions between politicos, commissars and production managers, far outside public view, and where government claimed privilege in so doing;
  • Wages were set at the lowest common denominator, no matter what Bloc country you were in;
  • Government agents had access to your medical records, your library records, your telephone.
  • A place where judicial power and judicial review were proclaimed concepts, but simply ignored in application;
  • Where criminal records of young adults were closed to all but the military;
  • Where a Constitution was a mere facade and ignored by state actors.
  • Any dissent, debate and protest were deemed unpatriotic;
  • The public media was bought, paid for, and provided by the state;
  • The military clandestinely and shamelessly influenced the national media and public opinion;
  • A place where wrong was declared right;
  • Where tapping a phone was like tapping a pencil;
  • Where lying was considered a patriotic skill;
  • The extraction of natural resources was paramount to any concern for the environment and the impact on the health of its people;
  • Where the use of “state secrets,” (those things embarrassing to the government) were confused with legitimate issues of “national security”;
  • A place where "secrecy" and "national security" were used to control debate;
  • Where legitimate secrecy, was subject to political use and abuse;
  • Where "legislators" were mere mouthpieces for and rubberstamps of whoever was in power;
  • Where you lived and died with the permission of the government;
  • A place where foreign policy was more important than domestic concerns;
  • Where fear was used as a political weapon and an acceptable means of control;
  • Where the best medical care was reserved for the influential;
  • Where wealth was concentrated in the top 5%;
  • A place where there was no middle class - just a small economic and political elite, and the working poor.

These were some of the reasons we in the West opposed the Soviet Union. Thank goodness there are no super powers like that any more! The full article, from which the above is an abstract can be found here.


jane said...

I recognize that as America, but I thought you were going to say it was Germany in Hitler's era. We're in the scariest of times, Mark. The sad part is, almost 50% of our nation don't see it. Blind f'in fools!

Mark said...

It's funny Jane, but dictatorships of any persuasion tend to end up looking the same.

sandegaye said...

I was guessing the Nazi's as well.. interesting.
And now Russians look sooo much more democratic than the US.. very strange..

Great post Mark!