June 10, 2011

The Thought Police

Have the Thought Police arrived? I give you as food for thought - this article regarding the arrest of 'members of the group Anonymous'. I am fairly certain that Anonymous is not a 'group' in the sense of the term that is normally used when referring to other infamous groups, such as 'the mafia', 'the Yakuza', 'the Senate' [see what I did there?]. Membership in the group 'Anonymous' as I understand it is open to anyone who is of similar thought. The group has no leader, and activity is normally sponsored by factions within, where consensus is what brings force to bear, with minimal planning and coordination. People who participate use the masks of Guy Fawkes - as dramatized by the movie 'V' as being a way for the general populace to show support for the actions of a leading antagonist. If the participants of the general populace merely demonstrate support for a thought or action, are they then liable the same way that they would be liable through conspiratorial conduct?

Have we come full circle in democracy to fighting the will of the people against the establishment, punishing those who show support for anti-establishment activities, legal or illegal? If you cheer 'the villain', are you now a member of a conspiracy? In the United States, will we use the RICO act to prosecute you for flaunting your agreement by wearing the mark of the criminal even if your actions are not illegal?

Unless the parties that were arrested are guilty of committing actual crimes, their arrest merely for being member of the group 'Anonymous' would entail the police having acted to curtail the showing of support for their ideas....The article does not give enough details, and is certainly slanted to lead the belief that Spain has arrested people merely for their stance. Even the image suggests only that those arrested wore Guy Fawkes masks - hardly a crime in any civilized country...

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