Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Struggle Against Tyranny

A friend writes:

I don’t want to sound like a scold, but if you didn’t see this coming, you weren’t paying attention. The worst abuses of the Patriot Act probably won’t come to light until we have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission or something… in any case: many, many years down the road. There’s so much secrecy in the Act that there may not be anybody who really has large-scale knowledge of just how bad it is out there — certainly nobody who cares.

There’s a brief window between when it becomes completely obvious to anyone who isn’t trying to hide from the truth that things have crossed the line and when it’s crossed the line so far that it’s too dangerous or too late to stop the speeding train. I think we’re in the window. I think if we pass the window, lots of people will look back and say “if I knew then what I know now, I woulda done something… I’m sure of it.”

The key is to be one of those people who actually did do something so you don’t have to live with the stomach-churning or life-denying neurosis involved in having to repeat that phrase to yourself over and over again in order to get to sleep at night or look at yourself in the mirror the next morning.

So far as I can see, there are folks on the right who are educating themselves and each other pretty well… we who speak lefty as a first language ought to concentrate on educating the left — the left is acting at least as idiotic, slavish, and obedient these days as the right is.

I’m working on the assumption that what’s needed isn’t for more people to see the problem — it’s for the people who do see the problem to act like they mean it. Until that happens, people who don’t see the problem don’t have any reason to believe those who do. “It can’t be that much of a problem, or you hippies and malcontents would be doing something different than just complaining and waving signs like you always do.”