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Monday, February 23, 2015

And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household

Phil Burpee

To the Editor,

As the debate surrounding the proposed anti-terror legislation Bill C51 roils around us, it is perhaps worth revisiting a couple of quotes from yesteryear: -

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.” – George Orwell

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

It is, of course, hyperbolic to suggest that Stephen Harper and his Conservative government intend to deliver us into mute subjugation to the over-arching sanctity of the state, however it is by no means excessive to point out that the erosion of liberties has historically all-too-often occurred on an exponentially-rising scale wherein the progressive loss of freedom to question authority and so-called accepted wisdom can rather quickly and shockingly burgeon around us, to such extent that the cheap, jingoistic phrase ‘you’re either with us or you’re with the enemy’ becomes the functional threshold of allowable dissent. And this is to say that any utterance that appears to question the government line thus renders the speaker suspect, and therefore worthy of surveillance and possible censure.

It is wise then to be watchful. Threats are indeed threats. Yet they can just as well come from the inside as the outside.

“And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household.” - Matthew 10:36

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