Looking At Security Theater Through The Lens Of The Utøya Massacre
from the tragedy dept
Like many people, I’ve been horrified all weekend reading story of the Utøya massacre in Norway. Although it’s difficult to use such a fresh tragedy to prove a point, a post by Rick Falkvinge looks at why security theater in Norway was ineffective in preventing this tragedy, and how no further ratcheting up of security theater is likely to do much until it reaches ridiculous levels (random, frequent police raids of farms). The key point is the one Falkvinge concludes with:
Benjamin Franklin famously said, that ?a people who gives up its freedom to gain a little security will lose both and deserve neither?. But now that it has been shown in the most gruesome, in-your-face way that we don?t even gain a little security by giving up these freedoms, then why are we doing so?
Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg is absolutely right when he says we must fight antidemocratic lunacy with more democracy and more humanity. His quote from one of the young on Utøya, “if one man can show so much hate, imagine how much love we all can show together“, is one of the most statemanworthy I have seen in my entire life. Both when it came from the young surviving lady right off the island, and from Stoltenberg on repeating it in his official capacity.
It brings me to tears, and to something more important: hope.
As with past tragedies such as this one, we’re already seeing some evidence that some people are using this tragedy as an excuse to ratchet up security theater. Editorials bemoaning the openness in Norway quickly appeared, and officials in other countries, such as the Philippines and Australia, have already used the tragedy to talk about changing security laws and even how such laws could prevent similar incidents from happening there. Of course, some of the laws they’re talking about were already in place in Norway.
Thankfully, as Falkvinge noted at the end of his story, Norwegian politicians (so far) appear to be going in the other direction, noting how the response to such a cowardly (and yes, such a massacre is cowardly) and fear-inducing act is not more cowardice and fear, but openness and love. Hopefully those views continue to predominate in Norway. Giving in to such acts by increasing the culture of fear is actually what killers like Anders Breivik want.