"The National Defense Authorization Act"
--As usual with Congress, the name of a bill is either innocuous, confusing, or completely obfuscating what it actually is going to do once signed by the Executive.
In this case, American citizens, we are to assume at this point only Muslim extremists, can be arrested and held indefinitely without charge or trial. This is suspension of Habeas Corpus. It is the abrogation of the Bill of Rights. This bill is the sine qua non of a Police State.
Liberty dies with the passage of this bill.
At the time of this writing, Liberty is still warm, rigor mortis hasn't set yet, so most people don't notice.
The individuals that take note of the death of Liberty have had their hands on the pulse of Liberty for some time, and watching the (legislative) heart monitor, knew that it's demise was close, and inevitable. The monitor flatlined on the 220th anniversary of the passage of the Bill of Rights.
Most Americans won't notice until Liberty is so long dead that it has begun to rot, and the smell hits them.
Why is liberty dead?
I think it was put down (i.e. quietly euthanized/executed) in the legislature because the oligarchical powers that be know their economic endgame is afoot. With the loss of economic sustainability of the Corporatist state, the oligarchy (insert the oligarchy of your choice here, whether it be the two party system that does all it can to stifle alternate political parties, or the Banking/Corporate powers behind the mainstream two political parties, it doesn't matter. The oligarchy is there, it controls, and We the People are irrelevant other than as a source of productive wealth to confiscate. Some of the wealth is kept by the oligarchy, some is redistributed. The redistributed portion of the confiscated wealth of the People serves the two parties and their natural constituents. The purpose of the Neoconservative right is served by using taxes or borrowed money to assuage the aggressive nationalist portion of the People, while the Progressive wing is served by distributing their share of loot to Unions, those sympathetic to Marxist philosophy, and the impoverished and/or nonproductive portion of the People.)
If the people become restless, as they must when they cannot support themselves or their families, they threaten the status quo for the oligarchy.
The People must be made to come to heel, and the portions of the NDAA that concern Constitutional conservatives are designed to do that. If not now, then when it may be needed.
If the People cannot be distracted with bread, circuses, or shovel-ready jobs paid for by someone else's confiscated wealth, they must be kept docile by fear. Fear of foreign menace, fear of planetary disaster, or fear of the SWAT team breaking down their door at 4 am all serve the purpose. We have arrived at the Fear stage.
What happened to the greatest and freest country in world history? We fell into the trap that destroyed other Nation-States.
Self determination leads to nationalism. (Those of us who believe in Southern nationalism think of this as a good thing, and one of the reasons that I support the League of the South is that their economic vision is the classical liberal vision [i.e. true free market laissez faire capitalism]). Any people bent on self determination must be wary and cautious of the economics and worldview of their nationalism.
Sometimes, the size and power of the Nation state reaches a tipping point that triggers an agressive form of nationalism. This typically has lead to imperialism. Imperialism leads to economic overreach by war, which leads to the death of the nation state. Certainly liberty dies along the way, because such an evolution is necessarily coercive to the population, and the coercion logically must increase as the economic situation deteriorates. This has been true in many other countries, and other empires. It is not a historical inevitability, but follows logically when certain conditions are met. It happened to Rome, Persia, Alexander, Great Britain, and the AustroGerman peoples, to name a few examples.
It has happened to the United States of America. I do not mean the 18th and early 19th Century "these United States of America" of the republic. I mean the involuntary Nation of the United States of America born in 1865. That Nation turned more and more to the aggressive form Nationalism, leading to Empire, overreach, and soon, collapse.
Here are some relevant quotes from Ludwig von Mises:
Modern imperialism is distinguished from the expansionist tendencies of the absolute principalities by the fact that its moving spirits are not the members of the ruling dynasty, nor even of the nobility... but the mass of the people, who look upon it as the most appropriate means for the preservation of national independence.
-- Man, Economy, and the State (Nation, Staat und Wirtschaft), 1919.
It would be a mistake to ascribe the ascendancy of modern nationalism to human wickedness. The nationalists are not innately aggressive men; they become aggressive through their conception of nationalism. They are confronted with conditions which were unknown to the champions of the old principle of self-determination. And their etatist prejudices prevent them from finding a solution for the problems they have to face other than that provided by aggressive nationalism.
-- Omnipotent government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, 1944
Interventionism generates economic nationalism, and economic nationalism generates bellicosity. If men and commodities are prevented from crossing the borderlines, why should not the armies try to pave the way for them?
--Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949.
Our choices at this point:
1. I believe in the system and will vote.
2. I will be completely passive (i.e. "There's nothing I can do about it")
3. I don't believe in the system and will go to ground, maybe even go Galt.
4. I can be proactive to resist by signs and placards.
5. I can be proactive by joining an organization I think might make a difference.
6. I can be proactive by actively resisting the State. Cyberattacks, passive resistance, active physical resistance, whether it is a brick through a window when you know no one is around, or planning for guerilla warfare.
There may be other choices that you can think of that don't quite fit this list.
What will you choose?