Why Fuss Over Privacy If We Have Nothing to Hide?
That Sweet Paranoia
Sabotaging our own happiness---and directly or indirectly the one of others---seems like one of the mankind's favorite pastimes. What makes it somewhat ridiculous is the fact that otherwise we seem to be doing so well at all those many aspects of survival within a social arrangement.
I mean education, profession, career, relationships, entertainment, all that; except that for a mysterious reason or a bunch of them we are on a life mission to spoil every attempt of feeling "at home" in our world.
Indeed, like wolves in a pack people are watchful for any realistic or only imagined signal meaning that they might get bitten at any unguarded moment. Everybody seems to be after our precious ass, from a too pushy salesmen to our government.
A possible violation of our civil rights and freedoms is driving us additionally crazy, after we are already doing everything in our might to keep an unrest in our souls while in this unholy "pursuit of unhappiness" guaranteed by our paranoid attitudes.
Privacy is one of those monumental words which makes us wonder how much and in what ways our governments might be spying on us. It brings a revolutionary spirit in us to even think how those "up there" might hurt us by tapping our phones and so learning all details about "our cousin's daughter having just delivered a healthy baby-girl".
Yes, after all, whose business is it to stick their big nose into out private affairs---so we reason. To so many folks it feels like being naked to the public eyes, with all fat, warts, and every lousy sexual experience being a laughing stock to someone there pointing a mocking finger at us. Terrible, isn't it?
Double Standards in Privacy
And yet, everyone seems to cheer over those juicy stories about celebrities' private lives, including those compromising photos provided by the paparazzi. With all those concerns about our privacy it doesn't bother us a bit to gossip about our friends, bosses, co-workers, neighbors---and especially about our presidents' family who are not in any imaginable way included in any state's decision making.
Hey, we don't even spare those historical personages from our passion for depriving others of their privacy. How else would I know it if I didn't read about Alexander the Great being gay; about czarina Maria Theresa enjoying a long line of "secret" lovers; about king Louis XVI keeping his royal concubine Madam Pompadour in his royal bedroom.
All the way to the super-genius Albert Einstein stuttering and otherwise being an odd-ball; or Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis fainting in every slightly bigger stressful situation.
Doesn't it make you wonder, how come that there hasn't been a known case of a scholar who publicly protested and demanded that private lives of those folks don't matter, only their legacy and their place in history?
When we say in a chorus with every journalist in the world: "Public has the right to know"---why are we exempting ourselves from it? What special secrecy privileges do we enjoy as citizens over one Brad Pitt or Charley Sheen? This double standard can't be justified by the fact that they are "public figures", because only their public activities are defining them as "public figures", not their private lives. Agree or not?
Insecurity in Disguise
All this goes much deeper, because that need for privacy is merely a tip of an iceberg called "insecurity".
Now, before we go any further, of course I am not talking about those things that we simply have to keep private for obvious reasons, like our bank account numbers, pin numbers, our passwords, or any other information which, if made public, would hurt us financially or otherwise.
Rather, it's about the privacy of our telephone calls, the people we are associating with, places we go and how frequently, our sudden big jumps in material possessions, our employment and driving record, our level of education, that stuff.
It's basically the information that we might casually mention to our friends and acquaintances about ourselves and our life. Indeed, it doesn't take a genius to figure how this kind of information, private as it sounds, can't possibly hurt us by becoming accessible to the government.
And please note that I am talking strictly about government spying on us and our privacy being somehow violated by them. I am not talking about your becoming a victim of gossiping, where some people may abuse information about you. It's up to each one of us to protect ourselves from that kind of malevolent use of our information---nothing to do with the government.
So, at this point let's be aware that the title of this article is not covering "all" aspects of our privacy.
Well, you may call me any name you like, but I don't really give a rat's ass about government checking on any of the above features of my social activities. For sake of my own sanity, I refuse to spend my life in this paranoid spell.
They say how a "brave man dies only once, while a coward dies thousand deaths". I don't think of myself as a hero, but neither do I want to spend my life in a constant worry over "how others might destroy my precious ass". That includes those concerns over "who is listening to my telephone conversations".
Let them listen, I've got nothing to hide which could potentially either put me behind bars, or to a morgue.
A Mutual Distrust
I may stray a bit from the main topic by pointing at other aspects of our mistrust for our governments---which are actually the same cluster of fears where our need for privacy belongs.
Let's face it folks---trust is not a right word, no matter how much we are patriotically waving that little flag with our president's motorcade passing by. We don't really trust him---just like he really doesn't trust us, judging by that bullet-proof limo.
I don't want to bust anyone's colorful soap bubble, but the whole idea of democracy is not based on a trust between the people and the government. As someone who is decently informed in matters of suggestive influence, I can assure you that the efficiency of every suggestive séance depends mostly on how much you have convinced the person that "they are in control at all times".
That's why the name was so cleverly chosen: "demos" is Greek for nation, and "cracy" is a suffix denoting "rule". Have you ever watched a good fisherman how he at first gives some space to the fish that got caught before he slowly pulls the fish over. Democracy works the same way---you get "some" taste of freedom and ruling power, but the government generally does whatever they want.
I am just trying here to make a point---it's useless to lose your sleep over your "freedoms" and "rights"; you get to call your president names, to demonstrate, even to burn some cars and smash some shop windows in the name of that freedom---and, whether you see it or not, it's all about that fish being allowed to get tired before it gets pulled to the dry land to become food.
There is that old saying: "Dog doesn't bark for the safety of the village, but for his own". Those who have the most to lose will make an impression like they are taking all those national security measures "for you".
Well, just enjoy the ride, like that minnow enjoys the security of a swim over the back of a shark.
The Only Privacy and Freedom We Have
Someone with a distaste for anarchism might accuse me of degrading the importance of our leadership. No, I am not. Leaders are a necessary evil, we can't do without them---at least not at this stage of our consciousness evolution.
Moreover, I totally agree with their sniffing around for all potentially hostile elements in society---which includes listening to my phone conversations and checking me out in any other way they find necessary to eliminate me from their list of possible shit disturbers. This is how they are protecting us, and I won't go paranoid over it.
Just as I won't feel like I am being treated as a possible criminal at the airport while having to go through all that security procedure. It's good and it's necessary, and I don't feel one bit like my "rights and freedoms are being violated".
I hope I am not the only one here seeing it as an unhealthy suspiciousness. For it is highly unhealthy to go through life always watching over our shoulder for a possible threat. Being "street-wise" will always be a good idea, but here we are talking about its exaggerated extent.
Once that paranoia creeps up into our way of living, it's hard to get rid of it, because it becomes an addiction. Then we suspect everyone and everything in our life, and even our faithful dog may look at times like he has a secret agenda of his own.
What becomes a ridiculous paradox in our life is that we are apparently fighting for our freedom---while enslaving ourselves into this constant fear of being spied on.
Well folks, there is only one true freedom and one true privacy---it's in our heads and in our hearts, and no government in the world can either "guarantee" it to us or take it away from us.
So, we are free only inasmuch as we are making it so.