Released by the Afrikan and Diaspora Institute (AaDI) 17 August 2007
AaDI Opinion Paper No:0010.2007
Civil Liberties and The New World Order?
A Call for Coalition of Cultures to Defend Civil Liberties
Wire tap and e-mail monitoring laws are now enforced – when will these laws be repealed? Or is it likely that government officials will be returning to our legislators and asking for additional anti-privacy laws in the near future?
Do the ordinary citizens have a sense of foreboding that they are made part of a mechanism which is heralding a ‘New Era’, within a ‘New World Order’ of probable state repression? Or at least laying the foundation for such a situation?
Let’s imagine and forward twenty years from now. What can we see? Can we visual 2027 Europe? What sort of societies have Britain and Europe become? Is the power of Democracy sufficient to stem the flow of what appears to be a momentous removal of citizens’ sacred civil liberties by stealth?
Given the widely reported ‘lies associated with and motivated the start’ of the military campaign in Iraq, which was promoted by ‘democratic and humane good intentions’, national security considerations, respectable, powerful and complex state bureaucratic apparatus, are there enough credible assets left, to maintain citizens’ real trust in the very same group of people who gave birth to 2007 Iraq ? Actions resulted in continued bloody quicksand of deaths, disfigurements and destructions of European lives and foreign nationals’ alike.
Can the forces which triggered the Iraq realities be trusted with our citizens’ privacy and long term freedom? What are the safeguards for citizens, should things go significantly wrong? What is ‘Plan B’, to ensure that ‘the freedom bell’ continues to ring freely in future?
The ‘Free Press’? What was the ‘Free Press’ role during the Iraq ‘invasion’, if you prefer, ‘Iraq liberation’ ? Did the press whisper in the collective ears of the Administration concerned that members should show caution as they were ‘mere mortals’, as Roman Emperors were expected to be warned during triumphant exhibitions.
Since there are no clear definitions as to who is a ‘terrorist’, this suggests that each citizen is a potential suspect. It is just a question of interpretation by the relevant government agency, as to who is a suspect and who is not. ‘In order to clear the innocents, wire taps and e-mail monitoring may be necessary’. This stealthy repetitiveness will be heard again and again in the future, with a reminder that our legislators had given the authority for this to be done.
Does anyone really believe that mass wire taps and e-mail monitoring will deter a determined ‘terrorist’? Has mass wire taps and e-mail monitoring deterred any terrorists before, at any part of the free world?
Would the current wire taps legislation in the USA deter Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001), commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City bomber, and his un-declared accomplices? Did wire taps stop the Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing campaigns in the UK during the 1960, 70s and 80s. Did it stop the 7th July 2005 bombing in London?
Or will this wire taps and e-mail monitoring law ideal gifts to keep a more accurate tap and control on civil and human rights activists, and their organisations, chiefly civil rights and campaigning leaderships?
In our knee-jerk re-actions, have we taken our eyes off the civil liberties ball, resulting in default and demising liberties, never to return. Are we safer today than we were pre 9/11?
Have we now achieved a level of enlightened that we are immune to fascism? Can we say, as it were, ‘Fascism will not happen here.’ Yet history clearly taught that where the people are weak, it was made more easily for ambitious power hungry groups to usurp power and dictate their terms and societal rules and regulations. All were done in the name of ‘national security’.
State of Emergencies can be contrived for the purpose of suspending the provisions of a liberal and democratic constitution and the Rule of Law. One saw the potential of this during 2001 when the USA Presidency had to be decided by the Judiciary. What if Al Gore, the Vice-President and Democratic Presidential Candidate, at the time, and his national supporters did not accept the decisions of the Judges, to make George W. Bush President?
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”… “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. “ - Frederick Douglass (February 14, 1818 – February 20, 1895)
Are these quotes relevant today, in light of current events?
Give An Inch They will Take A Mile
After the ‘victors’ get comfortable’ with this issue of legally removing citizens’ rights to privacy, they will not stop there. They will be moving on to removing other liberties, because they know that people will accept it.
‘Evil grows’ when good people do nothing or very little to contain it.
Some argue that wire taps and e-mail monitoring are essential for the well being of society, in light of heightened terrorist threats. Moreover, citizens will get used to it. Should we accept what we are used to, simply because we are used to it? Suffer quietly? In that case, bring back slavery, Jim Crow Laws, the Third Reich, White South African Apartheid Laws, and other anti-libertarian laws, which for decades intruded on black people’s liberties. We were used to them.
Commonsense Sense, Collective Leadership and Vision
Black People had never control the legal system, and unlikely to do so in Western societies, in the near future, except in some small Caribbean islands in the Americas. In geo-political terms, while these are praise worthy, they are not highly significant, here.
Yet, the records clearly demonstrate that Black leaders, and non-blacks who supported ‘just and compassionate’ laws for all, found ways to influence changes. What to do to effect change in this matter lies in vision and effective leadership. Preparation!
Current legal wire taps and e-mail monitoring are symptoms of larger issues, relating to ‘individual liberty’. This is not an issue relating to any single culture. ‘Liberty lovers’ worldwide should be united in ensuring that our sacred rights are protected from those who would remove them. It is really not ‘a race or faith thing’ - it is a ‘LIBERTY THING’.
Africans carrying World’s burden
Melaninated Africans, globally, seem to carry the burden of the World. They seem to feel the pains of others, while others do not feel their pains. As a consequence, Black Africans seem to be travelling always in the fast lane, on the highway of Social Conscience and Natural Justice.
They are the first to challenge wrongs. And once they do, they stick with it for generations until they succeed. They are ‘civil rights trail blazers’ for themselves and others. By their sacrifices, doors are opened to others. The USA today is a far different place than how it was forty years ago. Why? African Americans paid a high price for the establishment of civil, human rights and diversity institutions, which others now take for granted. This pattern is repeated in some European states, such as the United Kingdom, in which Black people made substantive contributions to civil rights laws, during the past sixty years.
Generic Africans are probably the main ‘ice breakers for social changes’. They are in a state of perpetual fight for human and civil rights. While they fight on this front, others build economic enclaves.
Educating the Black Masses for Economic Independence
There is a pressing issue about proper education of the Black masses’ – what type of education? Who is setting current curriculum which African children are expected to follow? Is not the current system the ‘mother’ of African historical experiences? From slavery, colonisation, neo-colonisation and post colonisation. What parts of the current education system, in Africa and the Diaspora, need to be changed to ensure parity, to accommodate the just call for the proper and culturally sensitive ‘education of the Black masses’?
Some activists call for accelerated economic activities, here is a view from the African American Community:
“We can get justice and respect through economic independence. Until this is understood by the Black man, he will always be asking, hoping, begging & marching for his oppressor to ease the pressure of the foot on his neck. We have been here in the USA for over 4 centuries, and supposedly free since January 1, 1863, but we are still talking about liberty.
On the issue of ‘economic clout and black business development as the solution,' how many Black millionaires are now in the forefront of making effectives changes, to create upward mobility for the poor, including Black people? How many had been civil and human rights activists, or even held leadership roles in this area, in the past?
What is economic independence? Which individual or nation has economic independence in a global and volatile economy? Economies co-exist, bouncing off one another. Because of her very high deficits, the USA Economy, including the USD, presents uncertainties on the world stage. The 1930s economic depression demonstrated that ‘rich today gone tomorrow’, as it were.
Talk ? Talk is good. We hear and respect what others are thinking. It provides for exchanges of ideas, hopefully for the construction, and or improvement, of worthwhile institutions to effect real changes. If we do not talk with our family members and friends, how would we know what they want? Or don’t want?
Yes – Self-Help must be the key. We also need courageous pragmatic leaders and supporters with vision. Where are they? They are those who are continuing the successful climb of the highest mountains, even with minimum equipment. When we recognise them, they must have our collective support.
Do nothing is not an option. That is not part of the solution. Unity is strength - be prepared!
Should we not elevate ourselves to the level where we can see the bigger picture?
Is it not time for all reasonable and liberty loving individuals, worldwide, to build coalitions, irrespective of culture, gender, creed, colour, nationality, social status, sexual orientations and political affiliations, to DEFEND, IMPROVE AND SUSTAIN individual liberties ? Simply, ‘The enemy of the individual's liberty is our enemy’.
Not only Black people need Liberty
Not only Black People need Liberty. Liberty is the natural aspiration of Humanity. Those who consider it sacred must claim collective ownership.
Disadvantaged Black people, like most disadvantaged people worldwide, are ever in a state of fight, as suggested earlier.
There are degrees of liberties. The first Liberty must be the liberation of the mind. An Army or Militia is not required to achieve the first and most important individual liberty.
Associated with mental liberation is the firm rejection of defeatism – the belief that one cannot achieve ‘what one’s will’.
Liberty lovers need to up-grade their thinking about Self. They must stop being or becoming clones of the people they believe are ‘oppressing’ them. Libertarians must not make oppressive protagonists the centre of their universe. Those who think and fight for civil liberties and other human rights, must reject ‘complaint culture’.
An oppressor cannot give justice because it is not his to give. Moreover, he does not know what Justice is. If he knew, he would not oppress. Historically, Black people had always fought for their freedom. If they did not, they would not have survived.
A liberated mind assumes Justice. One should not confused Justice with individual or collective sacrifices, which citizens are required to make from time to time.
On the matter of ‘chattel’ slavery and ‘emancipation’, this must not be confused with Liberty. Africans who had been made chattel slaves had a greater degree of mental liberty that the ‘slave masters’.
‘Bling bling’ Culture and ‘Wilderness of Ideas’
Twenty First Century promoters of individual liberties must teach respondents to think ‘out of the box’. Current ‘bling bling’ culture does not have the capacity to generate individual liberties. What it can create are ‘haves and haves not’ and associated siege mentalities.
World citizenship are being told that, in order to sustain humanity’s current levels of consumptions, we need another two Earths, of the same size as our existing one. Of course, we only have one Earth, which seems to be dying rapidly, caused largely by our multiplying consumptions.
On the issue of effective generic African leadership, Africans in Africa and the African Diaspora must not expect other ethnic groups to love them. Africans must take ownership for not up-dating their ‘freedom formula’, known to them in the past, which brought them together successfully to achieve their objectives. Part of the current failures, to achieve more, is lack of setting collective and meaningful targets. Here, clear Vision is needed.
Black people, the world over, are ever being shunted into ‘wilderness of ideas’. They become dream chasers. A significant numbers of the leadership, from top to bottom, want to become millionaires. They have been conditioned from birth to think like this. With this dream, come destructive competitions and often violent deaths.
Some citizens are plagued by holders of ‘supremacist’ ideas – members of the White and outdated Hindu Caste communities probably have a higher level of deluded individuals embracing ‘supremacist’ concepts. However, some members of the Black Community also embrace this negativity, although they may not have the force of ‘white power’.
Black members who exploit the vulnerable of the community are doing basically the same things as ‘white supremacists’. Black males who oppress their female partners, imposing unacceptable domestic burden, violence, failure to support their children and otherwise, are inflicting basically the same pain as would be white supremacists and other liberty takers.
A liberated mind rejects supremacist ideas and exploitations from all quarters.
A Coalition of Cultures to defend Liberty
The call, here, is for a ‘coalition of cultures’ to ‘DEFEND, IMPROVE AND SUSTAIN’ peoples’ liberties, based on sound leadership with clear visions.
Ordinary people continue to be pushed deeper into a wilderness of ideas, partly to confuse and deceive them. If their minds are not liberated, they are forced to engage ‘interpreters and guides’ to navigate the’ wilderness’, because the ideas are not their. This renders them helpless and dependent on others.
Until citizens, as individuals and as a Collective, begin to liberate their minds, believe in themselves, respect one another and learn to recognise falsehoods, they are likely to hover at the periphery of protest and self-pity, feasting on delusions, conjured by others, used as social tranquilizer to keep citizens 'quiet,' even to suffer quietly.
Today’s Fantasy Is Tomorrow’s Doctrine for Survival
Citizens, including Africans worldwide, must rise above their immediate experiences and grab hold of the bigger picture. Don't be diverted by ‘immediacy’.
Open the windows of their minds and begin to think the unthinkable. Reject temptations of being swayed by cultural and ethnic personalities. Concentrate on substance. Find common grounds and forge unity with others, whose well-being and existence are being threatened. Selfishness will not overcome selfishness.
Multi-national liberty takers are united in their cruel deeds. They do not necessarily like or trust each other. They are united on the basis of preserving their collective and 'permanent interests'. There is no permanent friend among them.
Those who oppose these interests, in the name of a liberated Humanity, must also work collectively to achieve Balance. Imbalance will destroy us all, including liberty takers. If we maintain our current course, not even liberty takers will be able to control future events, unleashed by the genie of their greed and anti-humanity actions.
Historically, the doctrine of 'divide and rule' has thrown the poor and the weak against each other. The masses are better controlled when they fight among themselves, even for crumbs and low paid jobs in the ‘ghettos’ of our world urbanizations.
Wise and Visionary Leadership should expect this, and develop appropriate counter measures. We should not fall victims of this tried and tested method of social control. Nothing remains constant. If it begins, it will end.
Those who select the path of inflicting pain and hardships on large sections of Humanity know that their position is not permanent. They know their weaknesses. The Will of the People is greater than those who would want to keep them in permanent darkness.
State of the art communications have truly made the World a ‘global village’. Let the seeds of good ideas germinate and be fruitful, as they say. Today's 'Fantasy' is tomorrow’s 'doctrine for survival'.
In Honour of His Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s Birthday, 17th August 1887, this paper is concluded with some of his quotes, lest we forget:
· "Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will."
· "Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do."
· "One God! One aim! One destiny!" [MORE}