"The idea of creating systems designed to threaten, coerce, and kill,
and to imbue such agencies with principled legitimacy, and not expect
them to lead to wars, genocides, and other tyrannical practices,
expresses an innocence we can no longer afford to indulge."
by:
Butler D. Shaffer
Professor, Southwestern University School of Law
Date:
June 9, 2003
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Reader comments about this quote:
Agreed. (Though to what he refers specifically, I do not know.)
 -- David L Rosenthal     
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    Sober and true.
     -- EGL, LA     
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    An excellent quote - but not so innocent. WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    I believe the principle of the quote can be applied very broadly. By way of example: when government claims the need of super military exponents in its private sectors (SWAT, etc.), and threatens its patronage into compliance (license, victimless crimes, theft of labor's fruits, torture interrogation, etc.) society at large and most individuals are hardened and move to equal the violation set upon them by way of wars, genocides, and other tyrannical practices.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    People that support such ideas for 'security' prepare for the enslavement of their children -- not to mention perpetual war.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    It is not innocence that causes people to abdicate their responsibilities to provide for themselves; defend their families, lives, and properties; and to make decisions on how to live every minute detail of their lives to government agencies. It is laziness.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    "Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition."-Thomas Jefferson
     -- Anonymous     
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    I fully expect artificial intelligence will be developed someday to the extent the professor describes, but until it can also reproduce itself, as biological organisms do, there is no need to worry, for without the capacity to propagate - generating the raw materials, assembling them, and instilling the learned intelligence, they pose no real threat to mankind. A well placed monkey wrench would put an end to their "genocides, and other tyrannical practices". Darwin pointed out, survival is the key, and only those that can reproduce themselves will survive.. Mr. Shaffer is a sci-fi dreamer
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    Jack should note that Shaffer did not indicate AI for these systems... indeed, the systems which we the people have tolerated King George to create are a great example of the ills he warns us of...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Jack, do you not see agencies such as the BATFE, IRS, FBI and others, regularly threaten, coerce and kill? Principled or ligitimate they are not. The wars, genocides and tyrrannical practices are often agains its citizens, the people of the United States of America. i.e. War on drugs, genocide of the people in Waco, tyranny of government for control of our very lives, and illegal/unconstitutional income taxation.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    Well said Joe, and the war on drugs is actually a war on people. This outrage has to be terminated.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    What the #@$% is he saying. I guess this means he is against the death penalty.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, please go to Prof. Shaffer's other quotes (included below) and then view his videos on types of government. It will give you a much better understanding of what the Prof is saying. You have read a simplistic interpretation into a very complex thought. There is a 3 part series of his from which you may learn about different types of governments. I think it would clarify a few things for you. All 3 videos together are about 20 plus minutes total.
     -- Carol, Georgia     
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    Okay Carol after you aswer my question about how you claim that the Stock Market is down this year when it is actually up.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler's willful ignorance only serves to hold his delusions in place. Carol, he will not understand, he will never understand, because he believes he is a crusader who is trying to save 'us' from ourselves -- his faith in government knows no bounds. His philosophy can be summed up : "Might makes right." The stock market eventually went up, too, after the Great Depression, which economists say we are going through again today. It is like saying, "Hey, I know you have been robbed of your job, your home, your savings, basically everything you have, but you've been approved for a line of credit!" What Waffler knows about economics is not found in any economics book.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Innocence, perhaps do-gooders blinded by the socialistic nature of soft tyranny. Honest economic practice was thrown out the window long ago. Oppression through legal plunder, striping Liberty from the very hands it was given.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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