Firing the Nanny

Here’s a fellow contemplating moving to the uS from Canada. He’s understandably nervous about living in the Police State, with considerable justification.

We uS frogs have been boiled slowly by the militarized constabulary. We’ve slowly been acculturated to the security apparatus, first at airports, then, increasingly, everywhere else. Homeland Security has inserted its tentacles everywhere, into every orifice that might conceivably harbor subversive thought and action.

This is not to say that we do not appreciate and value our local police, even though they are increasingly falling under the thrall of the Homeland Security beast. Our local police are still our neighbors, friends and relatives. They still share our streets and sidewalks, shop in our stores, gather for our cultural events. Here in Santa Cruz, the chief spokesman for the police department, Zack Friend, (no kidding… really!) performs in a monthly stand-up comedy show.

The Police State does not arise from within, it is imposed from without, in the form of federal money dangled in front of local police departments starving for money to run their departments. With the money comes training, and with training comes indoctrination. So the Police State grows.

Somewhere along the line, we gave up the idea of local control, of local decision-making, of taking responsibility for our own communities, our own neighborhoods, our own lives. We’ve turned our lives over to the Central Nannies, in the form of City, County, State and federal government bureaucracies, giving them the power to make decisions for us, giving up our power to control our own lives as fully involved, democratic decision-makers.

The answer, of course, is to organize locally in neighborhood assemblies to determine for ourselves our neighborhood problems and what we want to do about them. Some people call it anarchy, I call it democracy.

I don’t know if it’s possible to organize ourselves in such a form, now that everyone is used to being cared for by the state. It seems we’ve lost the ability to take care of ourselves, or at least the will to make the effort.

But then, how will we know unless we try?

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