Friday, September 18, 2009

Withdrawing Consent

If you lived all your life in a concentration camp and there was no chance of escape, would you fantasize about what you'd do if you ran it? Would you dream of uniting it with other concentration camps? Or would you think it would be better if the camp was broken up into smaller concentration camps?

Probably none of the above, unless you didn't even realize you lived in a concentration camp.

But what if you were the only one who realized you lived in a concentration camp, and everyone else was scheming and debating about the best "system" to put in place?

You would probably tell them that they are actually living in a concentration camp, and that their schemes and debates only serve to persuade the powerful that the camp has the people's underlying consent.

When personally powerless to stop encroachments on their freedom, the people can at least withdraw their consent. This weakens the powerful. The Eastern bloc fell because of it.