This Is Not Freedom, America: The Profit Incentives Driving the American Police State
By John & Nisha Whitehead
October 12, 2023
Pay no heed to the circus politics coming out of Washington DC. It’s just more of the same grandstanding by tone-deaf politicians oblivious to the plight of the citizenry. Don’t allow yourselves to be distracted by the competing news headlines cataloging the antics of the ruling classes. While they are full of sound and fury, they are utterly lacking in substance.
Tune out the blaring noise of meaningless babble. It is intended to drown out the very real menace of a government which is consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population.
Focus instead on the steady march of the police state at both the national, state and local levels, and the essential freedoms that are being trampled underfoot in its single-minded pursuit of power.
While the overt and costly signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government are all around us—warrantless surveillance of Americans’ private phone and email conversations by the FBI, NSA, etc.; SWAT team raids of Americans’ homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that collect and disseminate data on Americans’ private transactions; and militarized agencies with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling—you rarely hear anything about them from the politicians, the corporations or the news media.
So what’s behind the blackout of real news?
Surely, if properly disclosed and consistently reported on, the sheer volume of the government’s activities, which undermine the Constitution and dance close to the edge of outright illegality, would give rise to a sea change in how business is conducted in our seats of power.
Yet when we're being bombarded with wall-to-wall news coverage and news cycles that change every few days, it’s difficult to stay focused on one thing—namely, holding the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law—and the powers-that-be understand this.
As with most things, if you want to know the real motives behind any government program, follow the money trail.
When you dig down far enough, you quickly find that those who profit from Americans being surveilled, fined, scanned, searched, probed, tasered, arrested and imprisoned are none other than the police who arrest them, the courts which try them, the prisons which incarcerate them, and the corporations, which manufacture the weapons, equipment and prisons used by the American police state.
These injustices, petty tyrannies and overt acts of hostility are being carried out in the name of the national good—against the interests of individuals, society and ultimately our freedoms—by an elite class of government officials working in partnership with megacorporations that are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions.
Everywhere you go, everything you do, and every which way you look, we’re getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.
Not only are Americans forced to spend more on taxes than the annual financial burdens of food, education and clothing combined, but we’re also being played as easy marks by hustlers bearing the imprimatur of the government.
Examples of this legalized, profits-over-people, government-sanctioned extortion abound: On the roads. In the prisons. In the schools. In the endless wars abroad. In the form of militarized police. In profit-driven schemes such as asset forfeiture. By the security industrial complex. By a government addicted to power.
This perverse mixture of government authoritarianism and corporate profits has increased the reach of the state into our private lives while also adding a profit motive into the mix. And, as always, it’s we the people, we the taxpayers, we the gullible voters who keep getting taken for a ride by politicians eager to promise us the world on a plate.
This is a far cry from how a representative government is supposed to operate.
Indeed, it has been a long time since we could claim to be the masters of our own lives. Rather, we are now the subjects of a militarized, corporate empire in which the vast majority of the citizenry work their hands to the bone for the benefit of a privileged few.
Adding injury to the ongoing insult of having our tax dollars misused and our so-called representatives bought and paid for by the moneyed elite, the government then turns around and uses the money we earn with our blood, sweat and tears to target, imprison and entrap us, in the form of militarized police, surveillance cameras, private prisons, license plate readers, drones, and cell phone tracking technology.
With every new tax, fine, fee and law adopted by our so-called representatives, the yoke around the neck of the average American seems to tighten just a little bit more.
All of those nefarious deeds by government officials that you hear about every day: those are your tax dollars at work.
It’s your money that allows for government agents to spy on your emails, your phone calls, your text messages, and your movements. It’s your money that allows out-of-control police officers to burst into innocent people’s homes, or probe and strip search motorists on the side of the road. And it’s your money that leads to Americans across the country being prosecuted for innocuous activities such as growing vegetable gardens in their front yards or daring to speak their truth to their elected officials.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, this is not freedom, America.
Editor’s Note: John Whitehead is an Attorney and Author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of Constitutional Law, Human Rights and Popular Culture. John Whitehead's Commentary are his views and he is open for discussion, he can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at: www.rutherford.org