Sunday, June 07, 2015

Liberalism and the Surveillance State

"When people are locked into local communities they are subject to continuous informal monitoring of their behaviour. Modern individualism tends to condemn these communities because they repress personal autonomy. But societies that pride themselves on their devotion to freedom dread disorder. The informal controls on behavior that exist in a world of many communities are unworkable in a world of highly mobile individuals, so society turns to the technology of surveillance... Near-ubiquitous technological monitoring is a consequence of the decline of cohesive societies that has occurred alongside the rising demand for individual freedom." -- John Gray, The Soul of the Marionette, p. 122

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