The “Database State”

This database state we’re building is a unique and especially pernicious threat. It’s completely arbitrary.

Before, it was simple: there were clear laws. Some things were illegal, everything else was permitted. You do something illegal (even if it shouldn’t be) and get caught, you get a public record. The chain of cause and effect sometimes had cruel effects but it was rational even when it was wrong.

Now, you buy a video-game while Muslim… you get a record. It’s irrational AND wrong. There’s no logic to it. There’s no way to refute it. We are faced with an inhuman monstrosity that absolutely nobody whatsoever has control over. The bureaucracy has spiraled out of all human control and it will not stop. “Those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to worry about.” Except, someone will misuse it. Someone untrustworthy will be granted access. There will be a mistake, a leak even.

The data will be used in ways that were not intended. Credit files are already used this way, to make employment, insurance and housing decisions. They’re not supposed to be but they are. This will be the same way.

Nothing could kill western liberal democracy. There is no force on earth that could destroy it from the outside. The suspicious heterodox dudes with videogames couldn’t do it. Even a sustained attack by a powerful nation-state could not do it. But it can commit suicide. It won’t even take very long.