The Overlord wrote:
Can you provide examples of the CIA making average Americans disappear for criticizing the government? The closest thing you have is drone strikes, which usually doesn't target American citizens. Its not like the CIA goes around killing members of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street.
Neither of which are remotely a threat, and may even still be considered as being within the confines set by a bourgeois establishment - as they hardly advocate class war or violent revolution - and to put it bluntly, have zero power (i.e. leverage).
I'm not saying the CIA have assassinated US citizens, I'm just pointing out that using some toothless middle class advocacy group as an example in a debate on freedoms is very far off the mark - using something like the Black Panther Party, would be more pointed.
Or the bloody history of unions in the USA...
Textile workers being confronted with fixed bayonets, at a strike in 1912.
Union membership by country:
We have no evidence, but it's likely that the intelligence agencies, or parts of the military, have done some underhanded and unconstitutional things over the years. I admire the USA pre-WW2, and the ideals of the founders of it's constitution - for all it's mistakes. But since then, it has become a highly militarised society, largely because WW2 level production could not be ramped down without massive unemployment, and people made too much money out of weapons sales - so for the first time in it's history, the USA gained a standing militarised state, where previously, high states of readiness were raised if-and-when.
We do know about human experimentation, such as the deliberate infection of patients with syphilis
, as well as project MKUltra
, and other disturbing breaches of personal liberty by the central government. Granting immunity of Nazi and Japanese scientists such as Dr Shiro Ishi - a man who infected humans with bubonic plague, conducted vivisections on people, etc. Here is one poor sod who was involuntarily used in the testing of mustard gas - a serviceman, given no choice:
See more here
Some people, famously, compare the modern USA to the Roman Empire. Obviously they have some features in common. A multitude of ethnic groups united in a diverse continental empire, including asiatics and africans. A system of outposts spread across the frontiers of the world, patrolled by legionaries, again of many ethnic groups. A need to justify foreign campaigns as defensive actions. But also, obviously, there are many differences. The US military does not practice 'decimation', where one in every ten soldier from a failed campaign is executed. It has abolished slavery (although some would argue wage slavery is a more productive form anyway). It grants all citizens rights that only patricians would have had in Rome. It's capable of becoming more or less like Rome, with the requisite suffering that would entail, depending on the choices of it's rulers and people.
The Romulan Empire, as an imperial democracy, bears many of these features too. But during TNG the added mystique of a totalitarian state was added - because it lent itself to fanciful Tom Clancy type romanticised fantasy Cold War situations between the Federation and Romulans. And that worked. Maybe the Romulans went through some kind of cultural revolution between TOS and TNG - I've always thought the Klingons of TOS must have adopted a fascist system, explaining their sudden penchant for modern militarism, as opposed to feudal culture.