We might think that the police state, or so-called security state is here to protect us, the people of the state, from terrorists and other dangers. That would seem a likely purpose and it’s one that is often stated by federal and state governments in the media. All those heavily armed and darkly armored men we see breaking down doors or looming over demonstrations in great numbers, or simply posted alone in front of Bank of America, are reminders of this perceived protection from terror.
The threat of the Climate Crisis involves rising seas flooding our coastlines and some major cities during either monstrous storms or overtime by melting ice. The threat also involves massive droughts, firestorms, increased infestations, crop failures, erratic weather patterns and more. These disasters in the making, these terrifying events, have a source. Quite frankly the science is in on this: industrial society is the culprit. The terrorist is our way of life, specifically the Western world’s energy production, promotion and consumption. There are degrees of complicity however. Your turning up the air conditioner is not quite the same as David Koch dumping millions upon millions of dollars into undermining efforts to confront the Climate Crisis.
One might conclude that a “security state”, say in the form of those armored men, the Department of Homeland Security, or similar agencies would be keeping the producers and promoters of dangerous energy sources under surveillance much as the Drug Enforcement Agency might keep illegal drug producers and dealers under watch. But that’s not how it works in Corporate America. In Corporate America it is the consumers who are under surveillance, especially those disgruntled consumers who resist the title, who complain about the situation, who perhaps take to the streets to demonstrate their complaints as all the while the tide rises along the coastlines and the real terrorists hatch further destructive plans in boardrooms high above the fray.
The armored men in black are not breaking down the boardroom doors, they’re not monitoring executive fetes in the Financial District where the major enablers of climate chaos sip champagne and dine over endangered species. No, the robocops and their masters are monitoring the protesters occupying Wall Street, they are eavesdropping on communications between activists like the group Rising Tide that’s trying to stop the ruinous Keystone XL pipeline or Native organizations like Idle No More attempting to protect the Earth from ecological terrorism. The targeting by police of those who are actually trying to confront terrorists, those who are acting on behalf of the seemingly voiceless environment, is classic Orwellian behavior. Of course, we expect nothing less from Corporate America’s henchmen, even though they work against their own true interests, the long-term interests of their children and future generations. Their paymasters and superiors know full well that an indoctrinated and not too intelligent police presence is all that stands between them and retribution.
A restless population, outraged by various injustices has always been the enemy of the state that claims to protect them. The police state is like the mob extortionist or the overly strict parent who attempts to beat the child into submission, to make him “behave”. But the New Normal is not acceptable. The seas are rising, the ice is melting, real security is found at higher ground where there is a whole different Rising Tide.