Oh me of little faith

“Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism’. I’m afraid, based on my own long experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”

Sen. Huey Long

I’m not great with the idea of faith.

Both faith in the sense of religious belief and to have faith in the things I’m told. Actually, the two concepts aren’t that far apart. Both require a suspension of rationality and an absence of proof.

I’m finding lately that I’m gloomy over the news, want to throw shoes at CNN, and I’m having trouble facing all the left-leaning publication that post on my Facebook news-stream. They keep telling about all the horrible things that are happening to my human and civil rights. And not a thing about what can be done to stop it.

Let’s face it folks, things aren’t looking so good these days.

But then again, faith in “the system” is something I’ve always struggled with. I was raised by two people who often showed an open contempt for authorities figures. I was taught that there wasn’t anything particular special about people in places of power other than they’d found often unappetizing ways getting in that position and staying there – and that far too many of the professional order keepers were studies in hypocrisy.

I think that’s possibly why I have what would be considered in some circles, an unhealthy interest in conspiracy theories. Who really shot JFK, Chemtrails, UFOs, 9/11 Truthers, all of it. Granted, I’m not quite at the tin foil hat level. The underlying reason for my interest in these thing is that I admire people who with sufficient independence of mind to conclude that they’re being snowed and are willing to risk ridicule in their search for the truth. The conspiracy nuts don’t bother me—in fact I feel a certain questioning kinship with them. I don’t believe the government or the media either, particularly not in the last decade or so. What I fear are those who are either so gullible or apathetic that they can continue to swallow the stories they’re being fed. I think it’s become painfully evident that we’re not getting the whole story. On just about anything.

When Julian Assange embarrassed the U.S. with Wilkileaks, there was a certain amount of bitchiness to it—people in high places saying nasty things about other people in high places. It was interesting, surprising for some, but remote. But when Edward Snowden broke the news that the NSA was spying on…well, everyone…I felt that kind of information should have sent the entire population out into the street demanding justice, revenge, a massive upheaval of the entire corrupt system.

But it didn’t.

I learned a few weeks ago that CSIS in own country, meek, mild Canada was monitoring metadata from people using the free wifi in the nation’s airports. Frankly, I could never get it to work and quite honestly, I’m not even sure what metadata is, but if it comes from the cellphone or iPad that I bought and paid for, it belongs to me. And no one has the right to invade my privacy without just cause—and a warrant.

So it’s safe to say that whether American, Canadian or just passing through as a tourist, you’ve been spied on. Your rights have been trampled. George Orwell was prophetic, Big Brother is watching (and listening) to you.

The big question is what else are they doing that we don’t know about. And might never know. Doesn’t anyone else find that terrifying?

I don’t understand why—knowing the things we’ve learned recently, the Internet hasn’t come to a near standstill from the bulk of complaining emails sent to elected official. I don’t understand why there aren’t so many people protesting that one can’t get within blocks of government offices at every level. I don’t see how we can function as citizens knowing we’ve been lied to and treated like criminals in our country. I don’t know why we’re not all mourning the loss of our rights and why we keep believing night after night that whatever the news is telling us is the truth.

So what’s it going to take? What would happen tomorrow if we learned that we’ve been lied to, explicitly or by omission about other things? What if 9/11 was an inside job, designed to turn up security at home and bring acceptance of foreign wars? What if all the UFOs people report are really secret weapons, reverse engineered from Roswell, with technology costs that explain why the government says they spend $25 on bolts and $400 on toilets.

Too far out? Fine. What if we find out that Snowden has only leaked the tip of the iceberg and nefarious organizations here in North America are plotting to do much more than just monitor our communications. What happens when we get asked to report on the anti-government sensibilities of our neighbors on a 1-800 hotline? What happens when we started being stopped on the street or in the mall and need to show our ID? What happens with the smart meters and smart appliances we’re being sold start reporting data and images  of our daily lives to some anonymous authority?

Don’t think for a moment that it couldn’t happen.

The term fascism is going to come across as overdramatic to a lot of people—but the basic definition of fascism is merely a system in which the government has all the power. No jackboots required. At least not at first. You’re either with them or against them…and being against them is to be in a dangerous place. It begins when our rights and basic expectation of government, like honesty and transparency, slowly erode, one by one, until we no longer recognize the country we live in.  I think too, it takes two sides. Fascism comes by implicit agreement, a contract if you will—the government of the day decides the people no longer matter, that they should no longer have power, no longer deserve rights and freedoms—and the people play into their hands by being too unaware or apathetic to recognize and protect the power they could have.

One act couldn’t happen without the other.

So do I have any faith in the future at all? The big, we are the world future? Frankly, not so much. I’m hoping the Occupy movement was a dry run. I’m hoping intelligent people see that whistleblowers like Assange and Snowden may be our only salvation, not the traitors they’re being painted to be by the governments whose secrets they’ve revealed. I want us to stop trusting a docile media that’s owned for the most part by the corporations whose existence is dependent on keeping corrupt governments in power and the people on their knees. I want us to see sports and reality TV as the distractions they’re supposed to be. I want people to confront and complain and question everything they are told by those in authority. I think we need our own “fill-in-the-blanks spring.”  We need to rebel and revolt and say, “no, we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

But sadly, while I have absolutely no faith in the powers that be—I’m starting to lose faith in a citizenry–all of us–that is too easily allowing their power to be pulled away.







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