Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 712, March 17, 2013

"Sure, guns are dangerous. Like books."

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Cops Are Old-Tech Drones
by Paul Bonneau

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I was having a conversation with a friend, similar to many conversations these days, about all the recent fuss over drones, and then later touched on cops. He had been threatened (assaulted actually) for no reason, as is commonplace.

Later as I was driving it struck me how similar cops are to drones.

For one thing, drones are a tool used by the state for surveillance. Cops are almost the same; they are always "bracing" you and sticking their nose into your business. They also have access to most of the surveillance cameras you see around, including automatic license plate readers and databases that can track everyone's movements.

Drones can kill, obviously. Cops too; they are getting notorious for killing innocent people, with no consequences outside a paid vacation.

There are some things cops can do that drones can't yet; for example torturing people with tasers.

The main thing both cops and drones are for, though, is instilling fear and, through that, promoting self-enforcement and self-submission among the mundanes. See Larken Rose's "The Tiny Dot". Even though there are 390 Americans for every cop, and we could completely ignore them if it suited us, the fear they invoke in our brain controls us. In essence, we are tyrannizing ourselves.

There is a lot of fuss about 30,000 drones, but there are 790,000 cops in America! Drones might seem cheap, but every flying drone requires a pilot, and there must be mechanics and facilities to support them; and these pilots and mechanics are of course recruited from the general population. Their loyalties to the ruling class may be pretty shaky in any future revolution.

I guess if we can put up with the often-obnoxious behavior of 790,000 cops, then drones should be of little consequence to us.

The other factor to think about, is that drones are just another technology that can be used for good or evil. Violent minions of the state and other criminals can kill us with guns—or with drones—but we can also return the favor. Drones will work out the same way that guns do. Nobody with any sense thinks we should get rid of guns; why is it any different with drones? Drones may eventually be thought of as a technology for freedom just as guns, the printing press, and the Internet are. I wouldn't be too smug about them if I were a member of the ruling class. "Those who drone, will be droned."

Stop letting fear get the better of you. That's what the ruling class wants. Drones are currently used primarily to make us fear, to make us "governable". Don't fall for it.

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