Okay, that’s enough about the Syrian bombing for one day. SLL will toss a hypothesis or two into the ring in the next day or two. Let’s move on to totalitarianism, from Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
There’s a word to describe a state with unlimited power over the private lives, spaces, choices, behaviors, communications and accounts of its citizens: totalitarian.
A limited government is concerned with proscribing the exploitation of citizens by elites and criminals. A Totalitarian State seeks control of everything–including what goes on in the bedrooms, living rooms and minds of its citizens.
A recent conversation with my longtime friend G.F.B. clarified a key distinction between the public and private spheres.
G.F.B.’s example of the state exerting control over its citizens’ private choices and behaviors in their own homes was the Prohibition of alcohol which was the federal law of the land in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933.
Though alcohol consumption in the home was not banned outright at the federal level, the net result of banning the manufacture and distribution of alcohol was the criminalization of everyday citizens’ attempts to purchase alcohol for their home consumption.
A limited government’s purview is actions taken in public that could harm other citizens. Drunken drivers, for example, end up killing innocent citizens. Limiting the “freedom” to drive drunk is a state action that is limited to the public sphere: if a citizen chooses to get drunk in the privacy of his own home, that’s different from driving on public streets while drunk.
In the good old days of the early Republic, the government was focused on matters of sovereignty and defense, not what citizens were doing in their own homes or communicating in private letters. Enforcement of federal laws was largely limited to collecting tariffs and other revenues and adjudicating property disputes.
Central states have long had an interest in control and adjudicating property disputes.ling every aspect of their citizens’ private lives, beliefs and choices.What separated these total-control autocracies and totalitarian states from governments “of the people, by the people, for the people” was the sacrosanct civil liberties that protected the privacy and private choices of the citizens from state control.
To continue reading: Why Is the State in Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms as Well as Our Bank Accounts?