Tuesday, October 19, 2004

In the dead of night

"After the protests, they instituted a police state. Soon after, that very night in fact if my memory serves me well, they began rounding up everyone who had anything to do with the Solidarity movement or who had protested and started sending them to jail. There were camps along the Russian border - one for men, one for women. They were held for a long time and questioned." He looked at me wearily. "Of course, you can imagine how the Russians 'questioned' them. Their lives were effectively over from that point because although they were allowed to return, they were not permitted to work."

"There were no funerals because there were 'officially' no dead. Parents, husbands, wives, children would get a knock on the door in the middle of the night and be shown a sealed black plastic bag containing someone they loved and had no idea was dead. The burial was that night - hasty, surreptitious, frightening."

This isn't some figment of my imagination or a Tom Clancy novel, people, this is what I heard one week ago from my godfather in Poland. It is living memory and testament to what happens when citizens allow or encourage their state to get out of control.

I know that I must sound like a broken record when I speak about how much I hate the European Union but it's because, more than anything, I'm afraid of it and it's seemingly insatiable power lust. If the EU - with it's courts and it's parliament and it's mandate to assimilate all - continues to do things like this then there will simply be no way for it to be kept in check.

All things have their basic principles, behaviors and urges that are innate to the creature's nature. A bureaucracy has the natural tendency to grow, to expand in scope and power and bring everything and everyone into line with it's policies. It's what the creature does and to hate it is like hating a shark for eating a human - pointless. To state that a bureaucracy has been tamed, in turn, is to slip a leash around a shark's neck and pretend that it's a pet rather than a vicious animal barely contained by circumstance.

There have been a few examples of the state being kept in check - most notably the American Constitution which worked very well for a fair while, allowing that country to be prosperous and free. Of course, over time, the effectiveness of the document has been curtailed as the insidious nature of the bureaucracy there wormed it's way into the cracks and destroyed entire swathes of civil liberties and freedoms afforded by that very document - evident if one reads the document in spirit as well as in word.

The state is a dangerous animal that, left unchecked, preys on citizens' lives, livelihoods and freedoms. This little court ruling signals that the animal doesn't particularly wish to bend to the will or requirements of a master...and that is dangerous indeed.


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