No government in the history of history has spied on its own people to keep them free. They do it to keep us under control, to keep us in line. Anyone who isn’t in line is branded a terrorist, and surprise, you’ve lost your constitutional rights. No habeus corpus; no lawyer, no fair, open, trial-by-jury. It’s more of a trial-by-fire. Or firing squad.
Governments exist, in Robert Middlekauf’s words, to “keep the King’s peace” i.e. control the population and keep the status quo. There has been no other purpose, from the beginning of time, up until the American Revolution (at least, as far as my limited perspective knows). This quote comes from The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauf, from the Oxford History of America series, if you’re interested – that book in particular has been great so far.
I realize this is a super-hot topic and I’m potentially toeing the line here, but it’s near and dear to my heart, and I welcome rational, logical discussion on politics in this forum.
Hell, I’d love to have a discussion around this! i’ll just bring down the banhammer on anyone who violates the forum rules, which include provisions for rational discussion without ad hominem or other personal attacks or logical fallacies. Just fair warning. This applies to me as well – if I make a logical faux pas, call me out! I want to be better at rational argument.