Privacy as a Positive Good
08-10-2012, 02:40 PM
Privacy as a Positive Good
By Paul Rosenberg – LewRockwell.com –
We’ve all heard the insulting, tyrannical cliché: Why do you care, if you have nothing to hide?
The comeback, if not that it would fall on deaf ears, should be this: Because I value myself.
The real value of privacy is not because it allows us to hide things, it’s that privacy allows us to develop independently
– according to our own natures.
In other words, privacy is an essential tool for personal development.
Privacy is a positive good, not merely a tool for hiding things.
DECONSTRUCTING THE CLICHÉ
Before we get to the core of this issue, we really should deconstruct this dirty slogan we opened with.
Consider the implications of the words have nothing to hide:
First of all, it is an accusation and an insult, implying that you are engaging in evil.
Secondly, it is a threat to turn you in to the authorities.
Thirdly, it implies that the entity you are hiding from is supremely righteous and morally superior.
Fundamentally, this slogan is a weapon. It is used to intimidate and confuse you; to force you to bow down to authority;
to be as cowardly and compliant as the person using it.
The users of such slogans are angry that you are showing them up in courage.
They want you to be in the center of the enforcer’s gun-sites, just like they are.
Now, as to the party that these people think we shouldn’t be hiding from… do they mean governments?
If so, they are slandering themselves, since they almost certainly complain about governments endlessly.
The idea that a government is somehow morally superior to us is ridiculous.
By any objective standard they are far worse than an average working guy.
Pretending that our overlords are righteous is a superstition of the basest kind.
PRIVACY AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT
Let me start with a quote from French author whose name escapes me at the moment:
Everything from without informs man that he is nothing. All within tells him that he is everything.
It so happens that one of the better psychologists of our time is a friend of mine. He says that at least half of what we are,
we owe to the previous choices we’ve made. (The other factors being heredity and environment.)
But, whatever the numbers, choice is the only factor we can do anything about.
The truth is that our choices form us. They make us what we are.
What we are next year will be a reflection of the choices we make today. But, choices that are imposed on us from outside
– edicts, intimidations, fears, manipulations – work against our healthy development.
People wouln’t go through the work of imposing choices upon people if those people would make the same choices naturally.
Only if you want people to choose against nature do you try to push them in a particular direction.
So, the pre-packaged choices that are thrust upon us daily are not working in our interests,
they are working in someone else’s interests. Are we really to think that such choices are best for us?
To develop ourselves healthfully, we must develop ourselves by ourselves, without outside pressures.
The less we are able to choose freely, the less we are really ourselves, and the more we become what other people demand.
The positive value of privacy is that it stands between us and manipulative outside forces.
Privacy allows us to grow according to our own natures, not according to the demands of a collective.
Privacy is a tool for becoming what we authentically are.
THE HEDGE OF ANONYMITY
Anonymity allows us to develop our interactions with the outside world in healthy ways, rather than in manipulated ways.
We have all been intimidated by fear of what others might say. This has stopped us from doing and saying many things,
and that wasn’t good for us. Intimidation is clearly an enemy.
Anonymity protects us from this enemy by removing any way for consequences to come back to us.
Anonymity allows people to put their ideas into a public square while insulated from shame.
So what if some of those thoughts are not good?
Once spoken in the public square, they can be tried, analyzed and improved.
It is profitable for us that this should occur more, rather than less.
Forget the stories of anonymous people being nasty – those comprise a tiny fraction of the whole and are used
for the sake of fear and manipulation. (Humans massively over-respond to fear.)
THE MORAL HIGH GROUND IS OURS
I hide things because I wish to develop in my own way, not in the ways that manipulators wish me to develop.
Anyone who says that this is wrong is also telling me that I was born to be a slave.
Only those things that are reliably private are protected from the modern world’s ambient environment of intimidation.
It is in those environments that we can develop in our own ways, without obstruction and opposition.
Conditions of privacy or anonymity are almost the only conditions that allow for healthy development.
I think we can all agree that prayer has long been used in personal development.
So perhaps Jesus had some of this in mind when he said:
When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.
But if the sloganeers are right, Jesus was a bad man, hiding his evil deeds from morally superior overlords.
They would have slapped him with their nasty little slogan, just like they do us:
So, Jesus, why do you need to pray in secret, if you have nothing to hide?
Credit: This article was inspired by a paper circulating in the darknet called The Treasure of Privacy.
August 8, 2012
Paul Rosenberg [send him mail] is the CEO of Cryptohippie USA, a leading provider of Internet privacy technologies.
Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
~ Veritas Vos Liberabit ~
08-11-2012, 09:29 AM
RE: Privacy as a Positive Good
Excellent piece. Too many times my so-called enlightened friends have told me I shouldn't care about privacy invasion.
08-11-2012, 09:55 AM
RE: Privacy as a Positive Good
"I could care less if they know what I search, or what I buy, I have nothing to hide."
That is what people tell me. I reply to them:
"Ok, so how about tonight I come to your house, watch everything you do, everything you eat, everything you buy, everything you wear, keep track of it, put it in a file, and possibly sell it to companies so they can send marketers to your door?"
If the things government did were committed by an average person who does not have any government super-powers, people would call the cops due to a stalker far before it could get this bad.
"Help! This guy is following me where I drive, watching me shop and writing down what I buy and my account info! He is at my window watching me watch tv and search the internet! Oh no, he just came in! Get away from my photo albums, you do not belong there!!!"
Someone with government super-powers comes with a list of invasive questions they do every decade, and people kowtow to them, and offer them everything for the sake of nothing to hide. So, the next time someone says "What do you have to hide?", ask them a ton of invasive, personal questions, and when they refuse, ask them the same back. It is far easier than trying to convince them of how liberty works.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - Henry L. Mencken
I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant. - Henry L. Mencken
08-11-2012, 12:23 PM (This post was last modified: 08-13-2012 09:05 AM by Negentropic.)
RE: Privacy as a Positive Good
(08-11-2012 09:55 AM)Anarchist Wrote: "I could care less if they know what I search, or what I buy, I have nothing to hide."
Damn right! Stalking is technically not force is it ? Especially if it's not done on your private property. So where does the legal basis for invasion of 'privacy' in public places come from ?
I could follow you all day everywhere you go staying 10 feet behind you starting from the second you leave your house or 'private property.'
What could you possibly do about it ? Confront me ?
Hey asshole, why are you following me ?
I'm not following you. I'm going where I want to go. I am within my rights. I just happen to be going exactly where you're going at all times? Is there a problem with that ? I am also within my rights to take these last 100 photos I took of you.
Listen motherfucker, stop following me or I'll kick your ass in.
Then that would be a case of you initiating violence against me since I have not invaded your private property or initiated violence against you.
Screw you douchebag, you're invading my 'space,' my privacy, get out of my face !
Your 'privacy' ? But you are not on your 'private property' sir, you have not earned the area of the entire public grounds of this town as your 'private sanctuary' paid for by the sweat of your labor, so how can you force me to do what I do not consent to doing on public grounds paid for by all our taxes, extorted from us all by the filthy government extorters ? I do not consent to being more than 10 feet away from your cute hairy ass.
Fuck you pervert, leave me the fuck alone, you goddamn homo !
I am not impeding your progress to your destination, I am merely progressing towards my own destination which just so happens to be similar to yours.
"We made a monster of Hitler, a devil. That is why (therefore) we could not after the war say otherwise.
We had personally moblized the masses nevertheless against the devil. Thus we were forced after the war to play along with this devil's sceneario
We could not possibly have made it clear to our people that the war was only an economic preventative measure! "
--James Baker, Former U.S. Foreign Minister
Source: Der Spiegel, 13/ 1992
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