Monday, December 8, 2008

Law-Abiding Citizen

Quoting from a recent Samizdata post,

It is only people who behave suspiciously who should – and quite rightly deserve to – fear. That is the purpose of having ID cards!”
“Like my friends and acquaintances, I cannot understand how a law abiding citizen can object to the proposal or how they will limit or infringe my “civil liberties”.
- Unnamed members of the public quoted as endorsing the Home Office view
This reminds me of something Ayn Rand said, "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." Once your identity is known and recorded, it isn't going to change. Something like how nothing that is put on the internet ever comes off again. The same can't be said for the law. The phrase, "law-abiding citizen" does not contain any information about what "law-abiding" means. Giving a government power to change the law is good; how else would we be able to update it in light of new knowledge? Giving them both power to change the law, and one's own biometric data, is scary.

Not to mention: people who behave suspiciously? Let's just read that again. People who behave suspiciously deserve to fear. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?! Not people who do wrong, but people who look wrong? Did the person who wrote that have any idea what they were saying? Did they think before they began speaking? In this person's dream society, looking suspicious - which could mean anything; people are fallible! - is going to earn one a knock on the door at two in the morning. That is the purpose of having ID cards? Digusting.

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