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News Link • Martial Law

The Police State Is Personal


Does America now qualify as a police state? And, if so, where do you — or will you — personally draw a hard line and say, "No! That is a law or a police order I refuse to obey"?

As an anarchist, I view all states as police states, because every law is ultimately backed by police force against the body or property of a scofflaw, however peaceful he may be. I see only a difference of degree, not of kind. But even small differences in the degree of repression can be matters of life or death, and so they should not be trivialized.

A police state is more commonly described as a totalitarian government that exerts extreme social, political, and economic control. It maintains this control by a pervasive surveillance of its own citizenry, by draconian law enforcement, and by granting or withholding "privileges" such the ability to travel. Typically, there is a special police force, such as a Stasi, that operates with no transparency and few restraints. Unlike traditional policemen, who respond to crime, the purpose of such state police is to monitor and control society.

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