As threats to national security increase, and as these threats expand in severity, governments will find it necessary to enact draconian measures. Over time, many of the freedoms and civil liberties we currently take for granted, such as the freedom of assembly, the right to privacy (more on this next—it’s worse than you think), or the right to travel both within and beyond the borders of our home country, could be drastically diminished.
At the same time, a fearful population will be more tempted and willing to elect a hardline government that promises to throw the hammer down on perceived threats—even overtly undemocratic regimes.
The threats to national security will have to be severe to instigate these changes, but history has precedents. Following the September 11 attacks and the subsequent mailings of anthrax spores, the US government enacted the Homeland Security Act. This legislation was criticized for being too severe and reactionary, but it’s a perfect example of what happens when a nation feels under threat. Now imagine what would happen if another 9/11-type event happened, but one involving hundreds of thousands of deaths, or even millions.
Such an act of terrorism could be unleashed through miniaturized nuclear weapons, or the deliberate release of bioweapons. And the fact that small groups, and even single individuals, will have the power to attain and use these weapons will only make governments and citizens more willing to accept the loss of freedoms.
The Futurist Co. Secret Society Decoder: Set Your Decoder To 12.
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