poly: Re: freedom? Or mere survival.

From: d.brin <brin@cts.com>
Date: Wed May 27 1998 - 15:29:31 PDT

Hal Wrote:>>But surely the case of Germany and the Holocaust is one of the best
examples of a time and place where privacy led not only to freedom,
but to survival itself. <<

Hal, you say privacy in nazi Germany led not ONLY to freedom? Name one
single case. Once again, you conflate two very different things. Freedom
and survival. This fundamental point just does not seem to get across. But
I'll try yet again.

Secrecy can be a weapon of last result, used by the very skilled and very
lucky, to SURVIVE in a situation where freedom is already absent. I have
never denied this. I would use such methods myself. Likewise, even in
relatively free societies, there have been pockets of bigotry in which
gays, for instance, needed to continue using these techniques. (Though they
were far better off as a group erasing those pockets of bigotry.)

This emergency use of secrecy is absolutely irrelevant to the question of
toppling tyranny (rather than just surviving it.) These methods do nothing
whatsoever to restore or enhance the overall ambiance of freedom. Tell me
one case of a jew or gay hiding his or her identity, in which that act
changed the overall picture going on in the nation at large or improved the
lot of jews and gays in general. But ONE photo of nazi goons setting fire
to the Reichstag, in 1933, might have saved 50 million lives.

What gets me is the utter wimpy passivity and nihilism of the whole nym
approach. It wants to arm a few individuals (those rich & clever enough to
use PGP and other tools exactly right (despite the myriad technical flaws I
list in chapter 8&9 of The Transparent Society) and everybody else can go
to hell.

That whole approach is mean and selfish. I want to go and GET the bastards
who are bullying, persecuting, cheating, spying, conspiring and pushing
other people around. It is the only method that bullies understand. It's
the only method that has ever worked. It's the only method that does
anything for victims who aren't forgers, hackers or geniuses.

>>The documentary Shoah interviewed Germans and others from that era,
and it seemed that the facts about the concentration camps were fairly
widely known. People had few illusions about what was happening to the
Jews and others who were taken away.<<

That was after the complete terror state was already in place and competing
media were gone. Why do you think Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda was #1
in the cabinet? Why did they go to such lengths to keep the outside world
ignorant? It wasn't what they knew that gave them power, but what they
prevented others from knowing.

>>Didn't the Nazis encourage openness about diversity by strongly
recommending the wearing of badges such as yellow stars, pink triangles,
blue moons, and green clovers?<<

Hal, I am appalled, after all our discussions, that you'd say such a thing.
You know damned well that my agenda is to fight such horrors. Your
approach, secrecy, would help a few clever people save themselves to scurry
in the dark like rats. (Like some cousins of mine did.) My approach stops
nazis cold, before they even get near power.

 My approach is the method we Americans have used, in order to keep free.
Forcing accountability upon the mighty. You know it's true.

Catching vile or idiotic schemers before they can take over is a helluva
lot better than waging a guerilla war after they are in power. Disprove
that. Please.
Received on Wed May 27 22:29:31 1998

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