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Invasions of Privacy and the Tools of Terror Maintenance (Carta Maior, Brazil)


"We live in the fear-dominated era. Fear is the integrating factor in the United States (and in some ways, the planet). Without a frightened population, the exercise of authoritarian rule would be impossible. ... Under the pretext that terrorism must be defeated, the actions of Uncle Sam stretch across the world. With continuous threats and attacks, the United States maintains its strategy of citizen submission by means of fear."


By Luiz Flavio Gomes*



Translated By Rachael Bradley


July 24, 2013


Brazil - Carta Maior - Original Article (Portuguese)

In the summer of 2013, with the revelations of Edward Snowden, that which everyone already knew or sensed was confirmed: that the U.S. spies on the entire world. Billions of e-mails and communications, including those of Brazilians, are being monitored and collected by the Guardian of the World!


After the Second World War, the United States came to dominate the world through the pursuit of pleasure through consumption (with neoliberal free market economics), conveying the message that the material wealth of every citizen (transforming them into consumers) was the ultimate purpose of humanity. When consumerism reached the point of exhaustion, fear was the method selected for retaining domination. We live in the fear-dominated era. Fear is the integrating factor in the United States (and in some ways, the planet). Without a frightened population, the exercise of authoritarian rule would be impossible.


One means of maintaining fear is the massacre. All massacres, however, in order to magnify fear, depend on the selection of an enemy. In the Middle-Ages, the Catholic Church opted for witches. No witch was ever found - but the war against them went on anyway (almost 100,000 women were massacred in this particular "hunt"). In the 1960s and 1970s, the enemy of the United States was communism (Marxism). It was defeated (the spectacular moment came in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall). In the late 1970s, national social welfare programs (the welfare state) became the enemy. That was then defeated by neoliberal free-market capitalism (unemployment or underemployment, wage instability, the destruction of nature, etc., are expressions if this "victory").


Concurrently, with the war on the welfare state, the war on drugs was launched (1971, Nixon). The war on drugs was never won (and never will be). Later came the Persian Gulf war, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq (chemical weapons are to Saddam Hussein, what witches were to the Catholic Inquisition), the war in Libya, the war against bin Laden and the war on Islamic terrorism, etc.

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Under the pretext that terrorism must be defeated, the actions of Uncle Sam stretch across the world. With continuous threats and attacks, the United States maintains its strategy of citizen submission by means of fear. International law does not apply to the United States, continued violations of human rights are ignored, Guantanamo and it humiliations continue, torture is justified, and havens for illegal activity are scattered around the world.


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Sociologist Loic Wacquant calls this the "Era of Torment" (anyone who has travelled through an international airport over recent years knows exactly what that means: humiliation and a sensation of imminent danger. In the scanners' presence, complete nudity will never be punished). Our belongings (belts, shoes, wallets, watches, phones, liquids etc.), as the writer Carlo Paris mocks, "are placed on trays as if offerings to a protecting god from the threatened citizens of the world" (Etica radical, p. 150). These are tricks employed to maintain a sense of fear. Everyone in airports must be reminded that a threat to our planet exists. Of course, all the staging is to ensure that the public remains terrified, because this is how submission is achieved.


*Luis Flavio Gomes is a lawyer and president-director of the Avante Institute Brazil.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US July 4, 2013, 12:49am