Friday, May 08, 2009

Against the Database State

ID cards: ill-advised and illogical |

Socialism does not mean having the state in your face and it having the most personal, most intimate, the most unique and most valuable, liberating thing they own – their identity. Let's get this straight.

When the state has your DNA, you cease to be free. The citizens of Germany – both Nazi and Stalinist East – found this one out the hard way.

We still have time to throw out this mockery of socialist democracy. Socialism is supposed to be about freeing people from the tyranny of unregulated free market capitalism by making sure that collectively, all of our basic needs are met as a society. At a time when working people are being forced to pay the price for the recklessness of the bankers, we shouldn't be wasting billions on this ill-advised, illogical scheme – and put the money into more useful public services instead. Not create a Department of Social Scrutiny.

The crucial point with ID Cards, DNA databases, email/web browsing megabases etc., is that the state does not own us as individuals. Rather the state is a product of our activity as social beings.

I accept that in time of war, a state may have to act in some ways that contradict individual liberty, but the state should not be defined in such a way that it is always in some "state of war". And that includes wars on terror, wars on drugs, and even wars on crime.

There seems to not be a single argument for ID cards that could not also be applied to requiring that everybody be implanted with a micro-chip. Indeed, I suspect at some time to see some government arguing that micro-chips are better since you can't lose the card!

So I repeat this question: what argument can be made for ID cards that cannot be made for chipping everyone?

UPDATE: See an account of US concerns about these issues -
Lawmaker Joins Fight To Outlaw Human Microchip Implants

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