Saturday, 3 January 2009

And so it starts .....

The central State is inherently weak. Those at the centre of the State know this better than the civil population, and this knowledge makes them fearful and paranoid. Every shadow is a threat, every blog an enemy, each dissenter a potential terrorist. As Willem Buiter wrote in the FT:

Every restriction on our liberties - our right to speak, write, criticize and offend as we please, to act and organize in opposition to the government of the day, to embarrass it and to show it up by forcing it to look into the mirror of its own leaked secrets - must be resisted. We cannot afford to believe any government’s protestations that it is acting in good faith and will safeguard the confidentiality of any information it extracts from us. Public safety and national security are never sufficient reasons for restricting the freedom of the citizens. The primary duty of the state is to safeguard our freedom against internal and external threats. The primary duty of an informed citizenry is to limit the domain of the state - to keep the government under control and to prevent it from becoming a threat to our liberties.

The threat posed by our own government to our liberty and fundamental rights is a constant one. Most of the time it is a much greater, direct and immediate threat than that posed by foreign states (through conquest or extortion) or by external non-government agents, the violent NGOs like Al Qaeda.

2009 will see violent upheaval in Greece, Spain and Italy as the fall-out from their membership of the single currency hits. The EU will be fighting for its survival as a putative Federal State - and it will fight. The legislation is in place for a Greek magistrate to extradite any one of us should we be seen as adding to the threat posed by their own people on their own streets; Europe wide jurisdiction is now a reality. You can all forget Magna Carta.

Both France and Germany - the EU's spine - will become increasingly repressive in defence of the EU under threat. The Guardian reports today that nine French 'anarchists' who sound more like modern hippies have been seized by anti-terrorist police from the small Limousin village (incredibly with a communist Mayor) that they had settled in. The French government says they posed a threat to the State; they say they were just being anti-State hippies and wanted to be left alone. We will see much more of this throughout Europe during 2009 as the EU feels threatened by its unwilling citizens. Any UK libertarian blogger who campaigns in their defence could see themselves the subject of an extradition warrant from the French examining magistrate; no longer can we stand safely in our realm and comment on the excesses of mainland Europe.

I've mentioned before that we are going through changes of the magnitude of those of 1830 - 1860. A period of fundamental political reform that will be resisted by the established but dying parties, the Statist civil service and those whom Peter Oborne calls the Political Class. British good sense avoided the blood spilt on the continent in the 19th century, and my most fervent wish is that we can do so again. However, the baneful grasp of the evil fronds of the EU on our nation may mitigate against this.

No, I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat or hearing voices. We're so used to political stability, so indoctrinated with the supremacy of individual rights, that anything else is incomprehensible. Everyone forgets that all those rights, rights of expression, of assembly, of thought and conscience, and rights of privacy are expressly caveated so that they only exist insofar as they don't threaten the State. The European Convention on Human Rights is actually the Convention on the Rights of European States over the People of Europe; just read carefully the second clauses of Articles 8, 9, 10 and 11 HERE.

And as the nine hippies of Tarnac are finding, one doesn't actually have to pose a real threat to the State - it's enough for the paranoid and weak central State to believe that you might.

1 comment:

mick said...

British good sense avoided the blood spilt on the continent in the 19th century
That's because we did the blood spilling 200 years earlier, allowing the rise of mercantalism and positioning us to create the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

Think you're right about the EU though. Our masters at home and abroad are growing less tolerant of free thought and are becoming more repressive by the day. That coupled with the fundamental re-alignment of world trade we're seeing now will make for an interesting few years ahead.