And you get a cookie, or cupcake, of your choice, courtesy of me. NO GOOGLING!
More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop-and-frisk laws. Government inspection of first class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is even charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for possible subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The bombings, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason—or are manipulated into reasoning—that the entire populace must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the public. The people agree that they themselves can't be trusted.
The book from which this passage derives is still classified as "science fiction" by bookstores and libraries, though it's older than 95% of what you'll find on such shelves. So old that I had to change two words to keep it timely.
The quoted language comes from "The Eye In The Pyramid," the first volume of the Illuminatus! trilogy, by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. At the time the book was written, even in paranoid 1969, it was considered an outrageous fantasy, a send-up of conspiracy literature, by mainstream critics and reviewers. Yet with one (arguable) exception everything written above has come to pass. I don't know what secret plans someone has for establishing internment camps, yet I do know, pursuant to the authority of Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 65 S. Ct. 193; 89 L. Ed. 194 (1944), that such camps would be considered constitutional, if the public can be stirred into enough of a frenzy.
I recently pulled Illuminatus! from the shelf, last having read it in the 1990s. I'm sad to say that it's held up quite well as a seriously playful study of the ways we manipulate ourselves into giving others authority to run our lives. Highly recommended.
For my next paranoid book post, a review of Jess Walter's Every Knee Shall Bow, the best book on what happened to the Randy Weaver family, why that tragedy still matters, and a gratuitous appreciation of Gerry Spence.