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Argument Essay: Why Public Schooling is the Best Option - Danielle
Sociological reasing is also helpful. There is a classic text about the functional value of secrets for social differentiation, and how it is needed to create something like social complexity, by one of the founders of modern sociology: Georg Simmel, "The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies" American Journal of Sociology 11 (1906): 441-498.
A bit tough to read for non-sociologists, but highly recommended.
A strip cartoon by Jordan Coats for Pixton Comics.
Then you can look at hierarchy and power. A major problem in most of the surveillance schemes from Bentham to the DHS is the built-in asymmetry between the watchers and those being watched. This constitutes a form of hierarchy and potential power that should not be created easily and needs constant checks and balances. It somehow boils down to "who's watching the watchers", but more with a focus on power relations than on potential misuse. Bruce has it right: It is about liberty versus control.
Transcript of a discussion on CNN's "Connie Chung Tonight" (2002).
Privacy (or liberty in general) has always been sacrificed for the security of the group. But, our society has become so obsessed with safety that it has allowed liberty to be taken away bit by bit. The extremely litigious nature of our society reflects that, as does the surveillance issue. The solution to this problem is to return to an "at your own risk" way of life where people are responsible for their own actions. The passing of such a gargantuan body of laws as our nation has in order to protect the populace is treating only the symptoms: people need to think for themselves instead of letting others do their thinking for them. When people care enough to behave with respect and forethought, then we will not be forced to specify to the smallest detail what people can and cannot do. The rule of law has replaced good judgment; liberty has been sacrificed to protect us. We enable, and ultimately allowed to happen, the violation of our privacy in the name of security.
Another CNN debate transcript, this time from 2001.
Human nature has not changed and will not change. Those who believe that they 'have nothing to hide' need to be hauled (in cattle cars for more dramatic effect) to the nearest Holocaust museum and be locked therein until they lose their sanity or develop the necessary distrust for authority.