Monday, November 22, 2010
The impending death of the concept of the individual
The latest uproar over intrusive search procedures by the TSA at airports is just another step in a possibly irreversible trend in America and other societies. LINK Thanks to the Enlightenment, Civil Rights, and other movements, human beings came to be viewed as individual beings entitled to rights and to be treated with dignity and respect. Authoritarian government was rejected. Obviously, some intrusions can be justified. However, the cumulative effects of both justified and unjustified intrusions will have dire consequences. Because of a number of factors, including mass culture, mass society, fear of crime and terrorism, huge, paternalistic governments and unethical corporations, those values are being lost. The individual will no longer be valued as a citizen, voter and taxpayer. Individuals will come to be viewed by government as clients, people in need of help and protection against bad choices such as diet, recreation, etc. Increasingly everyone will be viewed as a potential criminal or terrorist.. Freedom of choice in important matters will disappear. Mass processing and the assembly lines will be how most individuals are dealt with. Welcome to the cattle pen and the cattle prod! 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 will no longer be viewed as scare tactics.