Yesterday Sean Gabb published a rollicking press release from the Libertarian Alliance, laying out the prime reasons why such a state database is a dangerous object, and some mild thoughts as to what ought to be done about it. No other nation on the planet, so far as I know, is having public discussions about this idea, or is having them at such a seemingly advanced stage – nor has such a large existing database…..nearly 4 million people….what for?
We ought to examine the reasons why, in Britain today, there is so little popular AND principled opposition to this idea, or that nobody is rioting due to there being so many, many individuals already on it.
“Tools” such as a DNA database – or indeed any state-run database of private information, ought not to exist – or if they do, should not be left lying about. They exist because if information is able to be collected, then bureauphiles will demand its collection. Perhaps it’s something to do with a bureauphile’s mindset; Samizdata had something worthwhile about this problem a few weeks ago.
We can bet at least 40p, moreover, that a disproportionately large number of these poor listed sods are “young black males”. But where is the supposedly inevitable chorus of howls from the “race relations” industry, or from these people’s “community leaders”? Not a peep. Not really, not interested. Told you so ….. 40p please! There is something fishy going on here. Granted that we all know why these poor young “black” chaps seem unfortunately to draw the Gestapo’s and the Kriminal-Polizei’s attention to themselves – due mainly to Nazi-imposed multiculturalism and deliberately-Stalinised education in the UK, they get into trouble with the “FUZz” rather a lot – but that is another (related) issue. (From “first principles”, the “Fuzz” are supposed to detain villains – if you become a villain due to being desocialised by socialism, then in the first instance it is your problem….in the second it is ours, for we have to get rid of the socialists who have enabled you to feel it is right to be the way you are ……this is another post later.)
So! What data could a state hold, justifiably, on ALL its subjects/citizens (whichever you prefer)?
In a minimal state regulated by classical liberal tenets, it is reasonable to suppose that a state ought to be allowed names and addresses for taxation purposes. This is not ideal, but conservatives, which is to say liberals (I do not share the US definition of political “liberal”, finding it as I do rather unhelpful since it defines specifically lefties such as the awful Clintons and Michael Moore etc) know that we do not live in an ideal world. But I suppose we could allow it, under condition of a limited bureauphiliac establishment, which is itself disenfranchised out of legal and manichean necessity – a condition of being paid to administer a state.
In a world in which Western civilisation is under mortal assault for the forseeable future, defences need to be organised, enemy personnel need to be watched, thwarted or preferably killed silently, frequently and in ways designed to discourage further attacks. All this costs money, for not everybody can be eligible to be in the SAS or become James Bond - it is probably less inefficient to perform the tasks with collective funds raised by taxations. I don’t agree wholeheartedly with taxes as a principle, but there it is for now; presently we live in an emabattled real world, bounded by practical politics, and beset by enemies.
Insofar as a state is still “responsible” for providing what passes laughably as “health care”, I suppose that some “records” ought to be kept. But this again is not ideal – both for confidentiality reasons and because states have no business ultimately in interfering in the health of subjects, or their habits. The monster can all to easily mutate into a machine for coercion, such as interfering in smoking, drinking, eating, walking/driving habits, and the like. The proper custodians of one’s medical records are one’s doctors, but in a degenerate state-directed system one does not know who these are, and whichever one is seen has no obligation to know one closely or at all – so the status of the records is necessarily public, for all practical purposes So no, state medical records won’t do, I guess.
Education records? States have no justifiable interest in these at all. As the badge used to say, “people should not learn about the government in schools taxed-for and run by the government.” End of story.
Crime? Everyone knows that the strongest drivers of crimes are the criminals’ individual decisions to commit them. I suppose one could justify letting the Police bring prosecutions on the basis of fingerprints found, but what then happens to these things? I hope they are destroyed when convictions are spent, but I guess not. The compulsion to hold onto such potentially useful stuff must be strong, and given that 99.9% of criminals are under about 30, and a few % may go on to re-offend after this age (thought I guess not many, since crime is a young man’s profession) it is tempting to hold onto the dabs.
But enter “SCIENCE” ….. along comes a new technology, supposedly allowing us to know “all about our own genes”, and to allow people seemingly to be distinguished absolutely one from another. Enter now the state!
“We ought to collect this data, on people, don’t you think, Tristan?”…..
…..or whatever your chum at Oxford was called, before you both sat and passed the “Civil Service” with those flying colours and glittering prizes! Both of you probably had the odious, self-regarding Terry Eagleton as your Tutor.
With rampant new biotech firms springing up out of the grass, eager to get fudgepacked by the state, so as to get money to develop and sell it quick DNA-recovery and amplification techniques, it seems a simple and cheap matter for tristan and his chums in the “Home Office” to get the Police to collect DNA from every passer-by who has the bad fortune to enter the “Station” after a good night out, and a bit of slapping.
So, the thing grows. And grows.
Then, since the weeping, distraught parents of murdered underdressed pretty young things who insist on either walking home at 3am after snubbing someone in a “club”, or getting lifts with strange guys, or (worse!) jilt their rough-tough unsocialised boyfriends, make “GOOD TELEVISION”, personal tragedy gets translated into “public calls for” a universal DNA database.” I am sorry, but I deem such weeping parents – WHO AGREE TO BE WIRELESS-TELE-VISULAISED WHILE IN THE ACT OF GRIEVING (which ought to be private) - to be utterly without personal pride or self-respect, and to be a detrimental instrument in the body-politic. Being a parent, I would not begin to want to undergo the same grief they suffer – I can imagine exactly what it would be like, and I wish fervently, under God, never to be in their position. But their grief is a private matter into which the grotesque, evil, smarming, Godless and hell-begotten Wireless Tele Vision monsters ought not to intrude, for it to be broadcast to millions who do not know them, and which is definitely NOT anyone else’s business but their family’s and friends’.
(Why is it always the dead girls who make it so very publicly to the News?) DISCUSS……..
“If the database saves one life, it’s worth it” is what we hear, from the Tele-monster journos. Chris Tame’s “safety Nazis” have indeed now struck, in a big way, and the public acquiescence to the idea of a DNA database is being built up.
Then, people in the West are these days not much interested in defending individual rights. This much ought to be obvious from the reports of daily encroachment on normal abilities to do almost anything that did not cause harm to others – coupled with the blurring of the boundaries of what criminals are allowed to get away with.
This is what they’ll say:
“DNA database? And so…? What’s it to me? I’ve got nothing to hide, so I’ve got nothing to fear!”
And so the monster will creep on, and on, and on, until it’s too late and someone has to go in and take it down.