Particularly important now…
As the one branch of the US government that actually listens to its people – the NSA – collects information about everyone, many people are saying that if a person is not doing anything illegal, they have nothing to fear from the loss of privacy. If you read this blog regularly, you know my contempt for this mode of thinking, because…
The more you know about someone, the more you know what is important to them and how they make their decisions – the more easy it will be for you to coerce them.
Knowledge is power…always was, always will be. And, even the most innocent things, strung together in certain ways and presented in a spun way, can make a person look guilty of something if the government decides they don’t like the way they are complaining about something.
Milton Friedman has it right – freedom is being free of coercion.
Dependency on government for services – from public transport to medicare to food stamps – opens one to easier and easier coercion, as does the loss of privacy. That is why totalitarians always foster dependence and erode privacy.
And that is corruption of freedom!