So our threader with the erudite “pomoncon name” of Pseudoplotinus gives us a plausible intrpretation of recent events, scandals, and such:
So heres a take I havent heard yet. This scandal broke weeks after the President declared the War on Terror over. In other words we are not planning to continue our overseas military operations against those intent on attacking us beyond the odd drone attack. So does this not put the entire burden of national security on the surveillance state? And would this not necessarily lead to an expanding omnipresence of such surveillance in light of the onerous challenge of being the only thing that stands between Americans and the Tsernaevs of the world?
It seems to me its time to ask the left which poison they prefer: a prudent geopolitical solution that includes asserting military influence where necessary, or big brother sifting through your underwear drawer.
So the truth is that we simply can’t withdraw from our position of global leadership and become a republic (or even POLIS) and not at all an empire. The president knows that, of course. Based on recent screw ups and disappointments, it is easy to see why the president would want to rely less on military might in the usual sense. So a lot of his enforcing, as libertarians complain, is given over to Drones. And other than that he’s stuck with relying on the techno-superiority of our surveillance system. I’m not denying for a moment that we should be no. 1 when it comes to every form of techno-warfare. It’s just that it’s a kind of Silicon Valley fantasy—one that does seem to justify needless impingements on personal liberty— that we can defeat those out to get us with digital control alone.
There is some creepy connection between this techno-confidence and the Democrats’ obvious techno-superiority when it comes to winning elections, as well as with the growing awareness that in the digital age there’s no such thing as privacy or, a very paranoid guy might say, personal sovereignty.
So the Silicon Valley ideology is that, thanks to the glittering victories of techno-solutionism, we live in the most libertarian of times. The right to privacy or autonomy is on the march. But there’s also no longer any such thing as privacy in the digital age, and, as Tocqueville might say, increasingly no “points of view” that invigorate the spirit of personal resistance against the (apparently) impersonal forces that surround us.
One piece of evidence: The near-disappearance of citizen soldiers and their replacement by “special forces” that don’t resonate with us in any personal way.