Last night I concluded my post with the following train of thought:
My question as follows: what have the establishment seen in the future that terrifies them into so much repression in the present?
All these moves around the edges to control and target and define. And in a century where computing powers and predictive tools have multiplied their perspicacities in an almost terrifyingly exponential way.
So what have they seen – these lords and masters of ours – which leads them to scurry about in such unseemly and unremitting ways?
Why have our brave and powerful eagles suddenly become rabbits in the headlights of the future?
What, in the future, really awaits us?
Today, via Rupert on Twitter, comes this website on a subject I only touched on by-the-by: drones. You can see the video he urged me to watch below.
America’s new Guantánamo – it’s quite an accusation. A new recruiting tool for Islamic militants, they say. And it’s a sorry state of affairs, both politically and morally. As if, of course, politics was somehow separate from the exercise of morality.
But what worries me most – what worried me most about Guantánamo itself – is that it serves as a clear signal of future intent from our security services: without properly informed public debate, without going – in an open and honest way – into the ins and outs of the matter, the security services – our security services – are burning our bridges on our behalf.
You create a generation of Pakistanis who only know the US as a death machine, a generation which will never know everything else the American people in the round have to offer them, and there is only one way forward for the rest of us to proceed: to continue in the future with equally destructive means of defence.
The potential for awful anger and the thirst for dreadful revenge, described almost off-hand in very calm language on the Living Under Drones website itself, is clearly being manufactured by the West – and, at the very least, hardly being discouraged.
And as citizens and generations whose turn will one day come, we will have no alternative – however progressive we consider ourselves – to maintaining the oppressive tools of distant remote-control engagement, as we strive to keep these newly-moulded enemies at bay.
The parallels between what our Coalition government is doing to the economy to destroy sensible British socialism (Legal Aid, the NHS, disability support services – that is to say, to make turning back an impossibility), and what our security services are doing to our future room for diplomatic and international manoeuvre (drones, secret courts, the automatic tracking of worldwide electronic communications – in essence, promulgating the publicly-shared mindset that anything and everything belongs to the military) really could not be closer than here.
It’s a bad sad day when younger generations are deliberately constrained by their forebears. It seems to me that people who know far better than we do how the future is going to unfold are deliberately devising a series of straitjackets in order to prevent sense and sensibility ever returning to our species.
And I ask the question again: what are they really so afraid of?
What is it about the world that approaches which makes them so terrified of their own acts, their own peoples, their very own legacies?
So much insecurity signposts a serious lack of control over one’s destiny – or, at least, a serious perception that one’s destiny is not there to be forged by oneself. Perhaps it is here where we discover the true reason for all the straitjackets.
Perhaps they are afraid not of the distant Pakistani tribes but, far more, of their own homelands.
The fear that a continuous beating-up on the harmless engenders, eventually, in the bully.