Recently on YouTube, I came across a fascinating 2019 interview with Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who exposed the U.S. government’s mass surveillance practices to the world back in 2013.
As I listened to Snowden describing how the political crisis of nine eleven led to massive expansions of government power in the United States and routine action by security agencies that violated every American citizen’s constitutional rights on a daily basis, it struck me that he could just as easily be discussing what has happened in the world in 2020.
In the following audio clip, we hear Snowden describing how a panic-stricken political class embraced unlimited government in the wake of nine eleven.
It’s uncanny, isn’t it? If you didn’t know who he was and that he was discussing something that happened two decades ago, you’d swear he was talking about the world’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now listen to this second clip of Snowden discussing the mentality of risk-aversion and total safety.
Again, if you didn’t know otherwise, you’d think he was referring to the way the world’s political leaders have been overcome with risk-aversion and the fanatical pursuit of total safety over the past year.
Nine eleven and the coronavirus pandemic. Two major political events twenty years apart. They were very different in nature, but both created a period of mass fear. And that’s why in both cases, government power was rapidly and massively expanded. Nine eleven gave birth to America’s mass surveillance state. And it lives on, two decades later. A public health police state is what has emerged from the coronavirus pandemic. It would take a brave man to bet against some form of medical surveillance state still existing twenty years from now.
As Mark Twain once wrote, history doesn’t repeat but it echoes. And the echoes of nine eleven in the coronavirus pandemic are loud and clear.