Thought Police Arrive in Free World

Things are about to change.It’s long been said they can’t arrest you for your thoughts.  That’s no longer true in the United Kingdom.  Today, CBS This Morning aired a five minute segment about how the United Kingdom has found to deal with “extremists” or “radicals” who may some day be a problem.

In the U.K., the government is actively seeking out those youth who might fall prey to Muslim extremists who are proselytizing and recruiting them into their way of life.

The story seems benign enough, that is until you lift the top layer and see what’s really being said.  It works like this:

  • A community member contacts law enforcement to tell them someone (usually a youth) might become radicals or are “radicalizing”.
  • Police investigate to determine which appropriate action to take:  Rescue or Arrest?
  • Rescue process is a re-education and normalization process
  • Arrest because they’re too radical for society and it is determined they can’t be rescued.

Seriously?  Someone doesn’t like the way you think and you are on the way to brainwashing camp or jail? Why?  Mostly because they might spread those ideas to others which could lead to violence.

By Britain’s current way of thinking all of the Civil Rights and environmental advocates, just to name a few people, would fall into this category before they committed any illegal actions.

It was deeply committed believers in liberty that brought the United States into being.  Later believers in civil rights were relentless when bringing about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Even so, these battles seem to never be finished.  United States citizens must constantly be on the look out for infringements on the rights afforded by our Constitution.  In the United Kingdom, however, not only are they losing the right to free speech, but also to free thought.

They claim they are “helping” and “saving lives” from people who believe differently than the government wants them to believe.  In this case religious matters, specifically, extremist views that call for action that could lead to violence.

On the face of it, one could justify such a program.  The problem is that the program can be aimed at any line of thought the government doesn’t like.  Think you don’t like paying those unfair and burdensome taxes?  Planning to protest if necessary?  Not with the thought police on the job.  As soon as someone reports you as a “radical thinker” your mission is over.

Freedom, the right to vote, and civil rights were all won by people who had radical thoughts and the courage to act on them.  Almost every person has a radical thought now and then.

It’s one thing to seek out people who are planning and preparing for terrorist actions.  It’s quite another to target those who have certain beliefs.  Never forget that which is applied to a specific sub-population can be expanded to any population within a society.

Like all radical thoughts, the creation of thought police as a social control can spread through governments around the world as quickly as a nasty virus on airplanes.  Already the cast of the CBS This Morning show were talking about how important it was to find those people who might become radicals and “rescue them” to save other’s lives.

Not one single word was said about free speech and free thought.  Nothing was said of the implications of justifying arresting people for what they believed.

Absolutely we do NOT advocate the actions of the terrorists currently being targeted.  What will happen when the thought police have finished rescuing and arresting youth citizens who they consider Muslim radicals?  Will they then turn to other groups of citizens to look for the next radical thinkers?  Perhaps it will be survivalists, environmental, or civil rights activists?  Those people are radical thinkers too.  Few people with radical thoughts are prone to acts of terrorism.

Lastly, consider these points.  Youth who are likely to fall prey to these extremist recruiters might also fall prey to any other group or gang who shows them the attention they need and gives them a purpose for life.  The reason the U.K. chose to focus on youths is because to stop proselytizing by these extremist groups would be in violation of their civil rights.  The government was deciding whether to squelch the rights of adults who can talk back or the rights of marginalized youth who have no voice.  Instead of taking away rights, peace loving groups need to be proselytizing and giving purpose to the marginalized youth more vigorously than violent extremist groups.  The results would be great for everyone except those with violent intentions.

Reference:  CBS This Morning, October 17, 2013