The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

It is nice to know that others are also discussing the shortfalls and failings of Democracy and what a gem we have that we must protect.

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Tyrannies across the world are crushing dissent. In Britain contempt for the political class is growing. Is it possible that democracy is dying?

By Max Hastings

PUBLISHED: 01:43, 22 June 2013  | UPDATED: 02:05, 22 June 2013

Few modern prophets prove themselves wise enough to invite comparison with Moses, but Francis Fukuyama made more of an ass of himself than most.

Twenty years ago, the American academic wrote a book entitled The End Of History. In it, he announced that with the end of the Cold War and collapse of Communism, liberal democracy had triumphed. It would become forever the dominant system around the world, 'the final form of human government'.

Americans alternate bouts of flagellation about their country with orgies of self-congratulation. They loved Fukuyama's book, which represented them as the winning side, and bought it in truckloads.

For five minutes, it seemed possible that the author's thesis could be right. In the Nineties, even Mother Russia, cradle of tyranny, seemed to be embracing popular consent and freedom.

Communism was the last of the 20th century's evil 'isms' to suffer defeat, after two world wars in which the democracies battled against militarism, fascism and Nazism.

And there was more good news, with South American military dictatorships giving way to elected governments.

In South Africa, minority white apartheid rule yielded to one-man, one-vote black government without the violent struggle many had feared.

A few surviving regimes, notably in China, Vietnam and Cuba, still professed themselves communist.

But the big beasts in Beijing were as greedy and materialistic as Wall Street bankers. Only a dwindling band of British university lecturers continued to fool themselves that Karl Marx was right about mankind's destiny.

Yet today, barely a generation since the publication of The End Of History, its thesis echoes hollow.

Even if communism is a dying duck, everywhere brutal dictatorships are flourishing as if their societies' flirtations with democracy had never happened.

Naive Europeans hailed the 2010 'Arab Spring' as promising a new era in the Middle East. Yet it seems more likely that those nations - Tunisia, Egypt and Libya - will merely be ruled by new autocrats.

The truth is that democracy is ailing - not least here in Britain. Many people despise and distrust politicians.

They doubt that the energy expended on trekking to a polling station once every five years will benefit them or their societies.

A few years ago, Portuguese Nobel prizewinner Jose Saramago wrote a brilliant allegorical novel about democratic corruption, entitled Seeing. It was set in a nameless modern city during an election campaign, where three-quarters of the voters are so disgusted by their politicians that they returned blank ballots.

The government, bewildered and furious  about the mass protest, orders a rerun: this produces 83 per cent of blank papers.

The writer's point, of course, is that modern politics has become meaningless to most people. It has simply descended into a struggle for power among small and unrepresentative elites, devoid of convictions or integrity, who ignore or defy the views of the people who elect them.

Earlier this month, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adopted one of the notorious phrases of the old fascist dictators: 'My patience is exhausted.'

He then committed thousands of riot police with batons and tear gas to remove peaceful protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square.

Erdogan has said that democracy is an instrument to be exploited only as long as it is useful. He is thought to aspire to changing Turkey's constitution to make himself an elected dictator.

Most educated urban Turks are appalled by his desire to break with the country's century-old tradition of secularism and to once more put Islam at the heart of law.

He has restricted alcohol sales and attempted to criminalise adultery. More journalists are in prison in Turkey than in China.

Erdogan has been able to act despotically because as prime minister, he has delivered economic growth. He has won three elections through the votes of the small business class and rural peasantry, who value stability and traditional values far above personal freedom.

He can claim popular support, even though his style of rule is a travesty of democracy. Turkey is only the latest example of a nation bent on rolling back personal freedoms or resisting demands for it.

China may increasingly embrace capitalist economics, but President Xi Jinping and his politburo are implacable in denying their people liberty to do anything save make money.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin is an unashamed Stalinist. His country is in the hands of a gangster elite, committed to suppressing dissent and bent upon personal enrichment.

Putin himself is thought to have accrued billions in his personal bank accounts. South America, 20 years ago, seemed to have turned its back on dictatorships, but today the continent is suffering a resurgence of personal rule.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is dead, but his successor intends to continue his disastrous tradition.

Argentina gained democracy in the wake of the 1982 Falklands War, but is now the victim of crazy Peronist economic policies that are wrecking the country.

President Cristina Kirchner can claim popular support: she wins elections by bribing the poor. But while Argentina still votes, its political system is a travesty.

Most people who care about British politics are appalled by the weakness of the current Coalition, led by Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (right)

Likewise in Africa, most rulers can claim legitimacy because they have won polls, but they rule in pursuit of personal or tribal profit, rather than in the national interest.

South Africa's ruling ANC party is riddled with corruption and its President Jacob Zuma has been up to his neck in it.

The government of India, hailed as the world's largest democracy, is mired in corruption. Paul Collier, professor of development economics at Oxford, wrote a brilliant book a few years ago, confessing that his own youthful faith in the ballot box as the solution to the Third World's troubles had been sadly mistaken.

Without a free Press, a tax system that forces citizens to think about what is being done with their money, an independent judiciary and an effective and uncorrupt civil service, democracy does not work.

Hitler showed back in 1933 that if a would-be tyrant can win just one election, he can bribe or fiddle the results of every poll thereafter.

Once a ruthless man or woman holds the levers of power, he can make sport with polls. The story becomes much more alarming when we see politics in deep trouble on our own doorsteps.

In the U.S., sensible people talk and write openly about a democratic crisis. The bitter divisions between Republicans and Democrats have created gridlock in both houses of Congress.

The old willingness to cut deals and make compromises to keep government moving has become a dead letter.

A large chunk of the U.S., and especially its old, white, mid-Western, Western and southern heartland, feels as disenfranchised as do UKIP supporters in Britain. It sees a host of things being done, or not done, in Washington, which inspires bitter hostility on religious, economic or social grounds.

The U.S. came closest to being a single nation in the Forties and Fifties, partly as a result of World War II. Today, though, it is profoundly divided, and likely to remain so, not least as a result of the rise of the Latino population.

Different sections of U.S. society want vastly different things for the country; their political leaders lack the will or gifts to reconcile them. And so to Britain.

It is strange to think that less than a century ago, universal adult suffrage seemed a precious thing - finally granted to women only after World War I.

Consider the huge impact of some general elections, above all that of 1945, which produced a Labour government committed to creating the Welfare State.

Today, by contrast, ever fewer people trouble to vote, especially in local and European elections. They feel a contempt for our political class, which seems utterly remote.

We have leaders so excited by plunging into foreign wars that they pay scant attention to the humbler hopes and fears of voters at home. Most people who care about British politics are appalled by the weakness of the current Coalition.

This could well be the shape of things to come, with the major parties repeatedly failing to secure absolute majorities at General Elections.

The result is that we get government at the speed of the slowest ship in the convoy. Most modern ministers of all parties have spent their entire adult lives in the fishbowl of politics and know nothing of real life as lived by the rest of us.

Britain's democratic process invites almost as much public cynicism as do those of Africa or Asia. Accountability seems chronically lacking.

The EU and its distant, all-powerful bureaucracies feeds more public disillusionment. Almost every day, decisions about our lives are being made without the consent of Parliament, and often against its wishes.

Lord Denning, an unusually wise judge, presciently wrote in 1974: 'The Treaty of Rome is like an incoming tide. It flows into the estuaries and up the rivers. It cannot be held back.'

He was quite right, but his bewigged successors today have plenty of their own crimes to answer for.

More and more unpopular and visibly unjust British law is made by the judiciary, often flagrantly over-riding the expressed wishes of voters and Parliament.

We are entitled to ask: why does no other country in Europe suffer as severely at the hands of its judges - for instance, in upholding the rights of terrorists and their sympathisers at the expense of public safety - as does Britain?

The judiciary displays a sorry combination of conceit and complacency. It has contributed substantially to the British people's mounting belief that, while they supposedly live in a democracy, they are denied their rightful voice in their own destinies.

It is another judge, Sir Brian Leveson, whose report last year into Press ethics threatens an unprecedented legislative assault on Press freedom, that vital pillar of democracy.

There are today some welcome signs that politicians are seeing the perils implicit in implementing Leveson's ill-considered recommendations. But it is dismaying to see judges repeatedly displaying their paucity of wisdom - the quality that, above all, we are entitled to expect from them.

Meanwhile, it remains true that democracy, for all its imperfections, is the least bad system of government to which mankind can submit.

But IF it is to function, we must be able to see some small correlation between what we think we have voted for and what sort of society we get.

The corruption of democracy in Africa, Asia and much of the Middle East places nations at the mercy of elected dictators.

In the U.S., Britain and much of the rest of Europe, we are instead threatened with chronically weak government, incapable of getting big, important things done to preserve our prosperity and even safety.

To restore voters' faith in democracy, we need also to restore that of our politicians. One of my favourite stories of Winston Churchill concerns a moment in 1942 when he was much troubled by the prospect of preparing and delivering a speech to the House of Commons about the war which at the time was going badly.

His chief of staff, General 'Pug' Ismay, said emolliently: 'Why don't you tell them all to go to hell, sir?' Churchill turned on him in a flash and said furiously: 'You must not say such things. I am the servant of the House.'

Who can imagine any modern British prime minister saying, far less believing, such a thing? Until we can restore to politics the legitimacy that can derive only from respect for its processes, democracy in Britain will remain in almost as sorry a condition as it is today across much of the rest of the world.

Even if someone was silly enough to buy Francis Fukuyama's book today, the euphoric vision it offered could invite only hollow laughter.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-2346217/Tyrann...

Tags: Max Hastings

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Replies to This Discussion

Prosecutors in the US had to let a felon get a minor rap, rather than meet the judges demands to see the Stingray surveillance device in court.

I'd upload the graphic, but fecking Ning still can't upload graphics any more.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/secrecy-aroun...

I read last week that the NSA had hacked into the heart of the mobile phone SiM system.

I was in a consumer electronics shop at the weekend getting warm. One of the devices I saw on show was a keyring which alerts you when it detects a wireless webcam or microphone.

I also saw a story about how Apps which are installed on your phone can track where you are by monitoring the battery of the phone.

There's almost too much stuff to post in this area.

It seems even those who go to great lengths to conceal their identity online, are still identifiable.

http://brettpthomas.com/online-porn-could-be-the-next-big-privacy-s...

I suppose the good news about this is that an entire generation are growing up with no concept of privacy.  I have heard from beautiful, highly intelligent, middle-class nieces that the only way for them to find a boyfriend now is through Apps like Tinder. I was appalled to hear one of them tell me that the first contact she might have with a prospective boyfriend is him sending her a photo of his penis.  We are standing by whilst the future generations are destroyed before our eyes.

"racist" "trolls" to be banned from using social media.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11398855/Racis...

This is how our society continues the lie/delusion that we have freedom of speech.

Actually speaking certain things in public has been illegal for years.  Now writing those things down in a way that others will see them is also to be illegal.

One step further to dictatorship/totalitarianism/islam.

Strangely, I think many of us would agree with Snowdon on this point.

This is quite an extraordinary story.  Canada, at least its governing party, appears to be the last western country to be taking some kind of stand against islam.  However, the state institutions are another matter entirely.  This is the story of how a not-draw-mohammed-day was cancelled, just in case someone did draw mohammed.  Basically, an event to celebrate freedom of speech was banned.  Can you imagine any time in the last 200 to 400 years when an event about freedom of speech in a western country was cancelled, because the state was so scared of the consequences of not being able to control what was freely expressed?

Physicist, child of Soviet dissident from satellite state of the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and

Canadian blogger for  freedom, Alexandra Belair, granted an interview to describe exactly what happened when the event she had advertised for Parliament Hill on May 20th 2015 was first cancelled by Heritage Canada, and then after some publicity came out about the event cancelation, Heritage Canada claimed they had never granted her a permit in the first place.

http://vladtepesblog.com/2015/05/21/interview-with-organizer-of-dra...

What is obvious from our point of view is her naivety in trusting the the authorities to maintain and protect her rights and freedoms.  

The next time she and her people will play it differently.

Another ratchet in the surveillance state.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11655777/Nearly-1millio...

I was at public meetings years ago, where I argued against the NHS collecting & sharing public data.  I pointed out that govt. organisations have an atrocious record of allowing confidential data to be lost/exposed.  No-one in the room thought this was important.  They were all swayed by the Leftist (American) who wanted to ensure that if she had an accident while on holiday in Cornwall, all her medical data from London would be available to them.

So, the exception must be determine the system.  How many people have a serious accident on holiday in Britain, so serious that they cannot speak, and they therefore get misdiagnosed?

I have friends who have died in hospital when the medical records in front of them were ignored, and they were given medicine they should not have had.  I've had friends who ended up in intensive care, because the nurses did not adhere to the medical regime at the foot of the bed.  When I've had a referral letter from my own GP's records to take to a hospital 1 mile away, the data has been only half accurate.

So, computerising all this information in the hope that it will all be taken into account by the medical practitioners is just a vain hope.  

But what will happen, is that such confidential data would be leaked to destroy political enemies.  Can you imagine muslim neighbours looking up the records of (suspected) gay neighbours and then using the information that one of them has AIDS?  Can you imagine the UAF scum who had access to NHS patient data, and what they would have done with that data to harm Alan or Nigel Farage or even most Tory MPs?  

I suspect Chuku Ummuna has some secret, such as being gay.  And that this information was used against him to stop him from standing for the Labour leadership.  It wouldn't matter if the people using this information against him claim to be for gay rights, it wouldn't matter if Chuka himself has a record of speaking out for gay rights.  All that would matter would be: would this information make your chances/life more difficult if we threatened/released it.

Again, it is simply staggering, that after Orwell illustrated what a totalitarian society looks like, we all just stand by as we drift into it.

In discussing the new spying powers being brought in by the Tories, this article discusses the existing spying powers (which are already quite staggering in the breadth of their availability).

The power of town hall staff to target phone and email records has been subject to growing concern for many years, amid accusations of abuse.

Officials are supposed to use laws designed to combat terrorism and serious crime to crack down offences such as benefit fraud, rogue traders, scams against the elderly and illegal waste dumping.

The powers are currently governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which the new bill is set to replace.

But there have been high profile cases where the powers have been abused to combat minor or trivial matters.

In August 2010, Poole Borough Council admitted it spied on a family to find out if they were lying about living in a school catchment area.

Gosport Borough Council in Hampshire also used the act to allow park wardens to covertly spy on dog walkers with digital cameras and binoculars to catch those failing to clear up their pets’ mess...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11973612...

It seems there is barely any attempt to conceal the fact, that laws brought in "to combat terrorism" are, by design, supposed to be used by even low-level officials to monitor and prosecute citizens for (relatively) trivial breaches: benefit fraud, rqgue traders, etc.

In the light of this, I think it is foolish to believe that the elite do not want terrorism in the west. It gives them the perfect excuse for keeping the population under surveillance.  How else would the elite justify the cheap (and thorough-going) surveillance now available to them?

30 years ago, the cost of covert surveillance was high and the quality low.  The technology becomes dirt cheap, so how does the elite manage to get the population to accept being kept under surveillance?  By introducing terrorism as a cover.

Let us remember: the group most drawn to terrorism had no trouble getting surveillance cameras removed in Birmingham.  When my family were the victims of violent racists, we were told there was no way the council could afford to provide us with video cameras to capture the racists in action.  Yet it is clear they are able to fund such surveillance of people out with their dogs.

Joe - re local councils being given surveillance powers - given that local government offices are often full of muslim staff, it is likely they will use these facilities to spy on counter - islamist activists, or more mundanely, to benefit criminal/gangster type contacts within their own community.

Yes.  But I think the Left are even more likely to do this.

The EDL gay division was run by an apolitical conductor on the trains, whose family had lived in east London for generations. He left EDL (thinking that marching into towns was too confrontational).  A couple of months later, when east London was declared a Gay Free Zone, he organised a gay pride march in his own area.  His trade union gave out his name and address to the gay muslim group, who then put it up on their website. This gay trade unionist was being given police protection (they thought muslims would kill him), and the gay muslim group only removed his details when the police threatened to prosecute them as accessories to murder.

Trade unions (these days) are all for gay rights - unless you are gay and right-wing. Then they will happily provide your details to people to have you killed.

Imagine what the psychopathic fascists would do with more power.

Antony said:

Joe - re local councils being given surveillance powers - given that local government offices are often full of muslim staff, it is likely they will use these facilities to spy on counter - islamist activists, or more mundanely, to benefit criminal/gangster type contacts within their own community.

There's nothing (apart from the threat to yours and your families lives) to stop people from holding freedom of speech events in their own homes. 

If they close all the doors draw the curtains and tell no one, you can actually whisper or better still mouth many things other people may not like. 

Of course if you really want to push the boat out and practise some free speech, try standing in the middle of your city centre and start yelling death to the UK, or run around your local college campus and call everyone a racist or Islamophobe. That'll be just fine as well. 

Joe said:

This is quite an extraordinary story.  Canada, at least its governing party, appears to be the last western country to be taking some kind of stand against islam.  However, the state institutions are another matter entirely.  This is the story of how a not-draw-mohammed-day was cancelled, just in case someone did draw mohammed.  Basically, an event to celebrate freedom of speech was banned.  Can you imagine any time in the last 200 to 400 years when an event about freedom of speech in a western country was cancelled, because the state was so scared of the consequences of not being able to control what was freely expressed?

Physicist, child of Soviet dissident from satellite state of the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and

Canadian blogger for  freedom, Alexandra Belair, granted an interview to describe exactly what happened when the event she had advertised for Parliament Hill on May 20th 2015 was first cancelled by Heritage Canada, and then after some publicity came out about the event cancelation, Heritage Canada claimed they had never granted her a permit in the first place.

http://vladtepesblog.com/2015/05/21/interview-with-organizer-of-dra...

MI5 & GCHQ secretly bulk-collecting comms data for years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11976008...

This is no surprise to me. I've no doubt that they do things which are illegal, to get information which they know will not stand up in a court of law. But with that information they will then target people using techniques that will be usable in court.

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Muslim Terrorism Count

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom of Movement
The government can import new voters - except where that changes the political demographics (i.e. electoral fraud by means of immigration)
4. SP Freedom from Over-spending
People should not be charged for government systems which they reject, and which give them no benefit. For example, the government cannot pass a debt burden across generations (25 years).
An additional Freedom from Religion is be deducible by equal application of law: "Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight - except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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