Saturday, January 2, 2010


"It Couldn't Happen Here"

When Americans are shocked, shocked to wake up one day and realize they live in a police state, they really can't say there were no signs. The below is apparently actually playing in a movie theater near you. (HT2LRC)

Too bad there can't be a response video showing gravestones, guys with missing limbs, and a few clips from the movie, "All Quiet on the Western Front."

This isn't just an ad, it's outright propaganda for the police state.

"You, too, can be shooting machine guns and kicking down doors in as little as 180 days."
That video is even called "Epic"... it plays at many theaters in the pre-movie pre-trailer time, and that's what it's introduced as. It's really obnoxious.
I agree the video is awful. But I find it somewhat hypocritical for you to be calling it out. It's not like the government usurped the ad time. They paid for it. This is advertising in a capitalistic, free market system. That should be right up your alley. I find it ironic that you would use the message of the ad as evidence that we live (or are heading to) a police state when the manner of the ads placement suggests exactly the opposite.

I do not understand how it could be considered hypocritical to comment on the pro-state propaganda content of the video ad because it is done in a capitalistic manner. The point was simply that the content of the video was quite impressively candid with its message of, "the state is great."

The inference you make with your comments is that because it is done in a free-market environment apparently we should keep our mouths shut? I would question the soundness of such a strategy. I think you would find it quite difficult to have any success defending liberty when you waited until you had none and then started commenting on a government regulated and operated internet message board about how pro-state the advertisements were at your local government owned movie theater.

I do not understand how you cannot understand how it can be considered hypocritical.

The mere fact that the government, with its (admittedly vomitous) video is forced to espouse its 'pro-state propaganda' subject to the dictates of the free market system is direct and compelling evidence that we do NOT live in anything resembling a police state.

To use this as evidence that we do is quite ironic.

The message of the video is irrelevant. The message is just paid for advertising. They can say most anything they want. The important part is that that THIS was the ONLY manner they can reach you in a movie theatre- through the confines of the market.

It is precisely because of our freedom that this is true, not because of our lack of it.

You will be confronted with all sorts of messages you won't agree with in a democracy (and probably even more in your libertarian fantasyland)It's somewhat analogous to watching the Klu Klux Klan in a parade. You might watch the KKK rally and be inclined to think 'wow, we really are an intolerant society' when really the fact that we allow these kind of messages is evidence of our tolerance. It's the system that matters, not the message of the party currently using it.
Apathy -- Where does the Gunvermint get the funds to run the ad? Where does it get the funds to pay the people who it hires as a result of the ad? Is it a free market if the gunvermint sticks a gun in your stomach, takes the money out of your wallet, then "pays" you to do something it wants you to do? Is it a free market if the gunvermint throws you in jail (under threat of being shot) if you don't follow any one of its innumerable dicta which are often contradictory and generally have nothing to do with protecting property or liberty? Apparently, the only requirement for "free market" in your world is that there is something called "money" which changes hands.

I think you misread my post. I did not say, "I don't understand how you can consider it hypocritical to cite a pro-state video as proof that we live in a police state." Instead, I wrote, "I do not understand how it could be considered hypocritical to comment on the pro-state propaganda content of the video ad because it is done in a capitalistic manner."

The message of the video which you view as irrelevant is actually all that is relevant here. The battle for liberty is fought on an ideological front first. So to suggest that a government run ad recruiting citizens to join its ranks by espousing a message of collectivism has no relevance in regards to the possible progression towards a police state is inaccurate.

Your last comment I happen to fully agree with by the way, where you write "it is the system that matters, not the party using it." And that again is kind of the whole point here. If the system is slowly shifting its values from defending civil liberties and respecting the individual to instead, defending the nation and that serving the State is of the highest importance, one could see how this could lead to a greater expansion of the State then was originally intended for.

Finally, I do think you are reading too much into this blog post, as there was no direct claim that this is a sign that we are heading into a police state. Rather a brief commentary that if we do find ourselves there, it wouldn't be all that shocking given the current state of government and more importantly the mentality of our nation regarding government and the system, as it were.

I remember a time not too long ago that an act of government like the Patriot Act would have be met with scorn and contempt. Or perhaps even a, "well that's why I live in America" type comment as the notion of such a thing occurring in here the US was absurd. Ideas matter. And change tends to occur over a million tiny steps as opposed to one monumental event. I do not see anything hypocritical with commenting on or expressing concern over the ever louder drumbeat of statism, regardless of the fact that it is being done in a capitalist environment.

What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for a condition to be called a "police state"?
Apathy, I'm having trouble following your argument. You are saying that the fact that the government runs a recruiting ad in theaters is proof we live in a free society.

On the contrary, if the movie theaters rejected the ad as too collectivist or jackbooted for their liking, and the government said, "OK, we'll try harder next time," then I would say we live in a free society.

Or if you prefer, Michael Moore's anti-Bush films made me think we still lived in a free society.

But how you can say that movie theaters running government propaganda, paid for with tax dollars stolen from the public, and which clearly glorified our military, is proof that we are a free and open society...I don't see it.

Are you simply referring to the fact that they need to recruit volunteers? Then yes, that is still a good thing.

I was arguing this was a sign we are headed for a police state. By definition, you are not yet in a police state, if you are headed for a police state.
Oh and anyway, your odd criticism made me lose the original point: What struck me about this ad was not so much that they would create it, but that they obviously felt the time was right for something like this. It alarms me that this is what they came up with, in the hopes of getting people to volunteer to join them.

Let's just exaggerate it to make the point: Suppose an ad for the Marines showed guys in Iraq and Afghanistan kicking in doors and shooting people running checkpoints, and the background music was death metal. Words flashed on the screen saying, "Be a Sharpshooter", "Show Those Arabs Who's Boss" etc.

Everything you said in this post would still apply. If I said this was a horrifying sign of our imperialism, you would argue that no it was a sign of our free society?
Bob... Just to make sure something is clear here: This ad is for the National Guard, not the Army of the Marines. I don't think you thought that, but wanted to make sure.

This isn't new. The National Guard ran ads/music videos in movie theaters all last year, specifically a music video called "Citizen Soldier". It was a nicely produced product, and it depicted the National Guard defending against Natural Disasters. It may have also depicted a hostage rescue, I didn't bother rewatching the whole thing.

I agree that this latest video is an escalation. I feel that adding the foreign soil ops is disturbing (though one could claim that it simply "truth-in-advertising"), and replacing the "I'm here to help" theme from last years video with "I place the Mission First" is VERY disturbing. But this is the Obama-Academics approach. Where as last years video was appealing, this one will disturb and turn off a lot of people (your post is proof.)

Let's get down to brass tacks: The Police State in America will come from 1) Obama's National Police Force (sourced no doubt from here), and/or 2) the placement of foreign troops on US soil, no doubt through some UN-initiated action.

You see, I've dealt with a lot of military folks; National Guard, Marines, Navy. Leadership excluded, these people are dedicated to the Constitution (knowing more about it than, sadly, 98% of the civilian populace.) And they understand the concept of illegal orders. They may fall prey to a false-flag operation, but it will have to be a damn good one to fool a lot of these men and women.

I guess I write this to ask you to be very careful and to be very clear in who you depict as villain's in the military. The villain's are the military's political leadership, the money interests who profit from constant war (banking and industrial), and the Executive Officers who willingly translate the policies of these groups into action.

The guy whose boot is going through the door in Iraq THINKS he is doing the right thing, and only historian's will be able to tell us if he is or not.

Thanks for flagging the video and continuing the debate. I saw your post, but didn't see the video until I was in the Movie Theater last night watching "It's Complicated" (which SUCKS by the way; best part was getting to see how god-awful fat Alec Baldwin has gotten. Now I know why people refer to him as a "Leftist Pig" because he sure looks like one.)
RatherBFlying, I was with you until this part:

The guy whose boot is going through the door in Iraq THINKS he is doing the right thing, and only historian's will be able to tell us if he is or not.

In my ethical system, it is wrong to occupy another country. You don't need to wait to see if it "works," just like I thought Obama's stimulus was wrong even without waiting to see unemployment shoot up.
I think it's somewhat disturbing that you can't see my argument. It's pretty straightforward and clear, and to not even recognize the point makes me seriously question your objectivity. I also find that spelling government as 'gunvermint' instills a level of doubt in me about the objective and reasoned quality of the level of debate.

I understand you weren't saying we are IN a police state, and just headed there. What i'm saying is that the nature and circumstances of the placement of the ad argue very strongly in the opposite direction.

I don't think the argument that its essentially a police state because its all paid for with illegitimate tax money is a good one. You can make that argument for EVERY government activity. Obama going to camp david becomes evidence of a police state because the money to pay for it was blah blah blah. If you want to talk about this ad in particular, I think its hard not to acknowledge that it wasn't placed according to free market capitalistic principles.
@ RatherBFlying:

You can't really trust the historians. Look at the Lincoln, FDR, and Che cults.
The Blackadder Says:

Quote from the video: "I will never leave a fallen comrade."

Comrade? Clearly the U.S. Armed Forces are a bunch of dirty pinko commies. Now there's proof!
Am I the only person here who finds this kind of video disturbingly cool and emotionally compelling? I'm an anarcho-capitalist, but I still feel the lure of throwing myself into a cause that's bigger than me. I actually found that my internal emotional collectivist liked this video a lot more than last year's Citizen Soldier, RatherBFlying, and I think there will not be a lot of people outraged by it.
I suggested to my wife that if we really need more National Guard, the government might want to consider increasing wages for them rather than advertising. Honestly, I can't think of any organization apart from the military that makes COMMERCIALS advertising the jobs they have available.
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