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The difference between America and a communist regime no longer exists.

by TDV contributor, Wendy McElroy

Is America a Police State Yet? If you need to ask the question, then the answer is “yes”. But that is a glib response and I do not feel glib about America's slide through the nine rings of political hell.

A police state is generally defined as a totalitarian government that exerts extreme and pervasive social, political and economic control over peaceful citizens. Ayn Rand called it “the ultimate inversion...the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.”

There are various ways to measure where a nation sits on the police-state axis.

One way is to compare what you see in America with the following standard description of a police state. A police state maintains its control through the pervasive surveillance of peaceful citizenry, through a vast number of laws with draconian enforcement, and by converting rights into privileges that can be withheld – for example, the ability to travel. Typically, there is a special police force, such as a Stasi, that operates with no transparency and few restraints. The special police do not address violent crime; instead, they exert social control and enforce the law whatever the law may be.

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