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I don't think there is much commonality of purpose with many of the legal/governmental trends today, other than acting out of fear of some perceived bogeyman (though not necessarily the same one in each case) or in the interests of a powerful minority at the expense of the majority (ditto).

Still, it doesn't matter to a black kid in London whether he's being excessively hassled because a senior officer made an active decision to employ racial profiling or because of institutional racism within the Met. The consequence is still the same.

Moreover, in most of the worst cases today, there really is someone actively making those decisions. Guantanamo Bay did not become what it is by accident. The West did not invade Iraq by accident, and the Blair administration did not fail to notice the two million citizens marching in protest to demonstrate that the war did not have popular support. More recently, the police did not detain peaceful protestors in London in a restricted area for hours without food, water or toilet facilities by accident, and the courts that condoned such behaviour did not reach their decision without looking at the evidence to establish the facts of what really happened and why.

These actions all had different victims, and obviously some had much more serious consequences than others. The one thing they all have in common is authorities that are granted powers in law that most of us don't get using those powers in ways that conflict with what we used to consider basic human rights and getting away with it. However well-intentioned they might have been in their actions, however they rationalised those decisions in their own minds, some rights and freedoms should be above interference by the administration of the day, whoever the victims are and however small their number, and any decent human being ought to stand up for those rights and freedoms wherever they are threatened. As I said, I think that is exactly the warning Pastor Niemoeller was trying to give us.




So the only difference between Western governments and the Nazis is a matter of scale and your evidence for this is that Western governments are abusing their power.

All governments past and present abuse their power. Sometimes in large ways. Sometimes in small ways. That alone is not sufficient to warrant a comparison to Nazi Germany which carries more historical baggage than it's clear you realize.

You are cheapening your position by resorting to hyperbole.


You are reading things into my posts that are not there. I am commenting only on objective things like laws that are being passed and practical policies being adopted today. Those laws and policies have very serious consequences for a relatively small number of people today, but for now only much less serious consequences for the wider population. However, they could be exploited by an undesirable administration at some future point to have serious consequences much more widely.

Please notice that at no point in this discussion have I suggested that any current Western administration is behaving like the Nazi party of 1930s Germany, equated any current leader with Hitler, suggested that the motivation for these laws was genocide, or anything similar. I have criticised only specific measures already taken that pose a much wider threat to basic human rights and freedoms than has yet been realised, and I have been careful to acknowledge that I am considering only the end results and that the motivations for such measures are probably very different.




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