How close are we to having a real thought police?
On Beyond tomarrow they were showing how someone was making a machine to anylise thought paterns. Gosh, if they did that everyone would be incarserated. What are your thoughts on this?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Published on Monday, November 19, 2007 by The Baltimore Sun
Here Come the Thought Police
by Ralph E. Shaffer and R. William Robinson
With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman’s “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” passed the House 404-6 late last month and now rests in Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Homeland Security Committee. Swift Senate passage appears certain.
Not since the “Patriot Act” of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams’ suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn’t trust. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence not only proclaimed the right to dissent but declared it a people’s duty, under certain conditions, to alter or abolish their government.
In that vein, diverse groups vigorously oppose Ms. Harman’s effort to stifle dissent. Unfortunately, the mainstream press and leading presidential candidates remain silent.
Ms. Harman, a California Democrat, thinks it likely that the United States will face a native brand of terrorism in the immediate future and offers a plan to deal with ideologically based violence.
But her plan is a greater danger to us than the threats she fears. Her bill tramples constitutional rights by creating a commission with sweeping investigative power and a mandate to propose laws prohibiting whatever the commission labels “homegrown terrorism.”
The proposed commission is a menace through its power to hold hearings, take testimony and administer oaths, an authority granted to even individual members of the commission - little Joe McCarthys - who will tour the country to hold their own private hearings. An aura of authority will automatically accompany this congressionally authorized mandate to expose native terrorism.
Ms. Harman’s proposal includes an absurd attack on the Internet, criticizing it for providing Americans with “access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda,” and legalizes an insidious infiltration of targeted organizations. The misnamed “Center of Excellence,” which would function after the commission is disbanded in 18 months, gives the semblance of intellectual research to what is otherwise the suppression of dissent.
While its purpose is to prevent terrorism, the bill doesn’t criminalize any specific conduct or contain penalties. But the commission’s findings will be cited by those who see a terrorist under every bed and who will demand enactment of criminal penalties that further restrict free speech and other civil liberties. Action contrary to the commission’s findings will be interpreted as a sign of treason at worst or a lack of patriotism at the least.
While Ms. Harman denies that her proposal creates “thought police,” it defines “homegrown terrorism” as “planned” or “threatened” use of force to coerce the government or the people in the promotion of “political or social objectives.” That means that no force need actually have occurred as long as the government charges that the individual or group thought about doing it.
Any social or economic reform is fair game. Have a march of 100 or 100,000 people to demand a reform - amnesty for illegal immigrants or overturning Roe v. Wade - and someone can perceive that to be a use of force to intimidate the people, courts or government.
The bill defines “violent radicalization” as promoting an “extremist belief system.” But American governments, state and national, have a long history of interpreting radical “belief systems” as inevitably leading to violence to facilitate change.
Examples of the resulting crackdowns on such protests include the conviction and execution of anarchists tied to Chicago’s 1886 Haymarket Riot. Hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for several decades during the Cold War and the solo hearings by a member of that committee’s Senate counterpart, Joseph McCarthy, demonstrate the dangers inherent in Ms. Harman’s legislation.
Ms. Harman denies that her bill is a threat to the First Amendment. It clearly states that no measure to prevent homegrown terrorism should violate “constitutional rights, civil rights or civil liberties.”
But the present administration has demonstrated, in its response to criticism regarding torture, that it can’t be trusted to honor those rights.
Ralph E. Shaffer, professor emeritus of history at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and R. William Robinson, an elected director of a Southern California water district, wrote this article for the History News Service.
- 1 decade ago
Not no time soon will we have a thought police.
I'm not surprised that a machine can read certain electrical impulses.
Yet I hope it could help crime to end if a machine can say if someone did or didn't do the crime so that innocent people would not take the fault of another.
- 1 decade ago
there are mind rapists, there are dream-porn-terrorists, there are dream terrorists, there are technologies made by human hands that can infiltrate dreams there are extraterrestrial beings, so im told, that have technology way more advanced than what we have, and yes there are already "thought"-mind police.
but whether or not mortal man and government will ever form an interplanetary thought control police squad unit, that might be at least 50 years down the road, if technology and our society is allowed to survive beyond this generation. there are so many people that say people alive today will see the second coming.
- harbqllLv 41 decade ago
We're already there. Political Correctness is an attempt to control what you say, what you are allowed to talk about, and even the very words you use to talk about things.
It's a way to control language. The problem is that we *think* using language, and therefore the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the language we use to express them.
PC is yet another example of the old book 1984 coming true. It's NewSpeak come to life.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
check out a movie, next time you go rent called Idiocracy i think that is how you spell it. It stars Luke Wilson, should be in the comedy section. Anyway it is a corny movie, but if you look a little deeper it has a disturbing message on thought control.
- jleblanc42Lv 41 decade ago
We already have it. In Canada they're called "Human Rights" commissions and in the USA they're called the EEOC. They routinely prosecute people for expressing an unpopular opinion and the laws are written so that even telling the truth can be deemed an offence.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Well if it goes like any other part of the law theyll tramp all over your right to privacy. Cameras on red lights and no one complains. They talk of putting cameras on street corners no one complains. Im sure if they get that kind of technology theyll probably propose putting a chip in everyones head and talk about how they could almost instantaneously eliminate all crimes. And no one will complain. Baaa... baa... thats how it goes.
- 1 decade ago
I don't think we're going to have actual thought police, but since childhood a lot of attempts are made to manage the development of how we think. On top of that, even though we have freedom of speech, people are mostly afraid to use it do to narrow social guidelines. Even though we are free to think and speak, it's not really do-able unless you have some sizable cohones.
- adrift felineLv 61 decade ago
LOL. Just wait 'til the New World Order kicks in!
- 1 decade ago
What do you mean ? Vicianna? Could you explan a little more? I am not following you.