Picture, if you will, living in a land of tyranny and oppression. It’s hard, I know, since we all know we live in the Land of the Free, so I’ll try and help you picture some details that may help you form that picture in your mind. Follow along at home, and we’ll see what you win.
To start with, let’s say that this oppressive land has cameras that scan town to monitor what its citizens are doing. They scan crowds looking for unnamed offenses and for no reason other than something might happen. There’s no reason to assume something will, but privacy isn’t something you really have a right to.
Now, let’s look at your personal property. In a free society, this is something that wouldn’t be touched, but not in our evil state. There, they dictate what you can do with things you own, despite the fact that they don’t harm a soul. They will tell you to dispose of things you own, simply because they can. Failure to do so leads to stiff punishment, and repeated failures to comply with the will of the state will result in possible imprisonment.
However, these are only the tip of the iceberg. In oppressive societies, corruption is the norm. People are given jobs because of who they are connected to in the government, and not so much on qualifications. Others are given free reign to bilk the taxpayers of this oppressive state for large sums of money, and only pretend after the fact to be upset. Little is done to prevent it from happening again.
Taxes are levied using assessments that violate the oppressive state’s own laws, without any regard towards those pesky things the peons call “rights”. They aren’t citizens, after all. They’re subjects, and subjects should be glad they’re allowed to keep any money from their pay and shut up about taxes.
In oppressive states like the one we are picturing, attempts by the press to bring problems to light are laughed at by those in power. Citizens using new media to bring things to light are mocked by those in power, while more established media men are accused of “not having their facts straight” about much of this corruption, despite the fact that every time that media man has been proven right.
Truth be told, this oppressive society I’ve outlined for you doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Well, it’s not. You and I both know it, because many of us live or work in this society. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’ve accurately described Albany and its ridiculous assaults on freedom.
From surveillance cameras downtown, we find ourselves leaning more and more towards an Orwellian society where privacy is a silly, childish concept. The government believes it has a right to spy on its citizens in the name of “keeping them safe”, even when there is no threat and statistics show they rarely solve crimes.
Government dictates what kind of furniture people can have on their front porch, and can fine you for failure to have the proper kind. They will cite you for having a vehicle on your property they deem a “junk” car, despite the fact that it’s yours through legal means and is on your own personal property. They will tell businesses what kind of signs they’re allowed to have, even though those businesses are the lifeblood of any town.
Then, we take into account the actions of those who govern. From Don Buie’s shenanigans to the most recent stunt by the Dougherty County School Board, we see government that seems oblivious to it’s obligations to the people of this community. Al Lott dares to accuse Kevin Hogencamp of not having his facts straight, despite Hogencamp having been right previously when Lott made such an accusation.
There’s a lot more going on, so much that I don’t have room to write on it all. But if you think of Albany as a free society, then perhaps you need to rethink your definition of the term. The only thing free about Albany is leaving.