Editor’s Note: In the wake of last weekend’s shooting in North Charleston, which saw an American police officer deliberately killing an unarmed black father of four who goes by the name Walter Scott, after fatally shooting him many times in the back (video underneath), The Moroccan Times is running yet again Dr. Mourad Beni-ich’s article “The Decline of the Republic: How Shifting To A Police State Will Destroy The Structure Of Civil Societies,” especially that the killing revives in the one’s mind the various murders dark-skinned people were victims of recently.
“If citizens cannot trust that laws will be enforced in an evenhanded and honest fashion, they cannot be said to live under the rule of law. Instead, they live under the rule of men corrupted by the law.” Dale Carpenter
While browsing some media outlets’ local news, an investigative report caught my eyes, regarding a police officer causing a permanent disability to a man of Indian background, because the neighbors complained that he looked “suspicious”! The man is currently lying paralyzed in a local medical facility in the State of Alabama.
What a disturbing news. It is indeed so sad that an elderly man lives his last days on Earth unable to care for himself, and what a way to end up, and what an image many Law Enforcement representatives are delivering to both, Americans and the world at large.
There is no doubt that most of the countries in the world are moving towards becoming “Civilian” societies, relying on setting legal standards and foundations in organizing its affairs and that of its citizens, and that all is under the total rule of law regardless the social stature of any citizen. Therefore shifting towards emphasizing a society founded on “institutions” rather than “individuals”. This will ultimately lead to a perfect governing of the law, which is the sole method to avoid “customized” laws to fit certain. This will indeed prevent turning any society into a one-man enterprise or corporation.
However, what we have noticed worldwide, and at a larger scale, is that many countries have become entirely or partially “Police States”. Meaning, that those countries rely and depend on many security standards and State Intelligence in dealing with citizens. The latters have become guilty by default, until proven otherwise, and not vice-versa. It becomes so notable the heavy police presence in many countries; many new laws have been enacted giving the law enforcement more powers than ever before. Needless to say that many States, including those in the Western hemisphere, have enacted since 2001 what is widely known as “Terrorism Act”, which gives unconditional powers to the State to detain any suspect, or any person for that matter, without bail or a time limit for his detention.
Those laws and regulations have turned citizens into prisoners in their own countries, and hostages to governments’ instructions, which hinder citizens’ rights to the freedom of political performance, simply because it does not fit the whims and desires of those who have been elected to, supposedly, protect the supreme rule of the law of the land.
It is so obvious in any Police State that there is a specific décor or a sociopolitical structure that governments always implement. It seems so evident the predominance of the Executive Branch over the other political, social and judicial institutions. The ultimate power and control of the Executive Branch stem from its deep believe that it generates its power and “holiness” from the instructions received from its repressive intelligence apparatus, and governments’ representatives consider themselves “guardians” over “The People” and possess the total right to implement whatever has been issued to them from all security agencies.
A quick glance at the history of Police States, we will notice that they will eventually collapse. The Third Reich implemented severe rules on Germans, and the regime lasted just over a decade. Other regimes struggled once the rule of law was lifted and was substituted with a “Bismarck” style of governing. In Europe, we all witnessed how The Greek authorities dealt with protesting citizens during the collapse of Stock Markets, The French had their own share in tackling social uprisings with a fist of iron, the British government also followed the footsteps of the French. In the United States, the authorities used excessive force to deal with protesters of “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and many were held without charges and detained, only to be entered in the Federal government’s database of “ones to watch”. This was a clear violation of the First Amendment and the right of “The People” to protest against government’s regulations, which worked more and benefited the controlling 1%s.
One factor all Police States in the world share and have in common is the systematic use or the media as a tool for propaganda, and to spread the “fear factor” among citizens. There is always an invisible threat and/or enemy who is after destroying our liberties, and therefore to be fought by all means and methods, even by invading civil and God’s given rights. We all remember the scandal that put the U.S. government to shame when the Executive Branch authorized through National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to wiretapping ordinary American citizens. Such an act proves my previous statement that citizens have become guilty until proven otherwise. We all know how those who protested against former President George W. Bush and his policies, and what they had to endure as consequences. I am afraid, we are losing more liberties day after another, and the excuse is always that invisible threat and a possible terrorist attack on U.S soil. If this is the case, I wonder what agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) and all those agencies under the umbrella of the Office of Director of National Intelligence are actually doing?
It is important for governments to reconsider the implemented policies and enacted laws that ostensibly appear serving citizens, but in depth, they serve only themselves. Politicians should never forget that they were elected or appointed, and took an oath to serve people and ensure their prosperity and security, any violation of that oath should be dealt with according to the law, and there should be a strict and effective link between responsibility and accountability. That if we truly aim at making the law govern, once again, and maintain the true core and concept of democracy, otherwise, it is just a matter of time before witnessing a total collapse of modern governments and institutions. It will be a total anarchy and social chaos.
Lord Acton once said: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Governments are heading towards gaining an absolute power over their people, and there where the core of the problem lies.
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Dr.Mourad Beni-ich is a Political, Intelligence & Strategic Analyst based in Washington, DC. Mr.Beni-ich holds a BA in Law, a BA in Political Sciences, a MA in Security and Intelligence Analyses, a MA in Global Terrorism and a PhD in International Politics. His studies were pursued in England and the U.S. Mr.Beni-ich began his career as a lawyer working for the British Home Office (The Ministry of Interior) as well as The British Foreign Office. Mr.Beni-ich gave many lectures in the United States regarding the current affairs in the MENA region, both in universities and organizations. Mr. Beni-ich is currently based in Washington, DC where he lobbies for the Moroccan affairs and coordinates with many U.S. officials and Think-Tanks to promote Morocco’s interests, both in the United States and Morocco. You can follow him on Twitter at: @MonarchKnight[/symple_box]