THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 635, September 4, 2011
"The people who benefit from the
system see reform efforts as attacks"
Some Animals Are More Equal than Others
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
Suppose an anonymous hacker cadre went into your city government's computer systems. Therein, they would find the records of water bills charged to individual households. Would there be any surprises?
Quite possibly there would be. Some homes might be using water without paying any bill. Some homes might be using enormous amounts of water every month, but paying a very small bill. Why? Very simply because "some animals are more equal than others," as George Orwell noted in his book Animal Farm many decades ago.
What would be the effects of publishing this information? How would the people in a given community respond to those who gain privilege at their expense? How many families had their water cut off this month because they were unable to pay, because the fools pretending to manage the global economy have continuously failed to maintain even a semblance of "full employment" or "reduced business cycle" as promised?
Suppose that hacker cadre went into other aspects of your local government. What might they learn? Would there be certain places to which the police were not to respond? Other places to which the police were to respond very promptly? Would the positioning of police in different locations reflect a desire to intimidate certain persons, or to benefit certain others?
How is this information, properly speaking, private? If the community pays for that water, if the community pays for those police, are they not entitled to know? What does it mean to have transparency in government if there is no transparency? Is it a hollow word, a "Mr. Cellophane" that you look right through? For transparency to be meaningful, everything about your local government should be fully transparent. And the same for county, state, and national government.
What other deals are worked at the local level? A big developer wants certain benefits. The city government provides themexpanding a sewer here, adding parking places for the condo building there, abusing eminent domain to seize land here or thereand who knows about these things? There are records. E-mails. Correspondence.
Those in power are arrogant. They don't expect to get caught. And once the information is published, they don't expect anyone to do anything about it. Naturally, there are limits to the hacker aspect of the revolution. Once the information is exposed, it may have to be acted upon. Who is going to act on this information? You? And what are you going to do?
The question, to me, is not whether the governments at various levels ought to do their business in the light of day. The question is whether you are going to continue to let them get away with treating you like a plantation slave after their behaviour is exposed. The question that only you can answer is whether you plan to be a slave, or whether you mean to be free.
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