When I first started reading about Operation Choke Point, I wasn’t even sure it was real. Or perhaps it was real but egregiously exaggerated.
The more I read, the more ominous the future looks.
The great Maggie McNeill has an excellent overview. (H/T S.)
My worries are broader yet. Covert ostracism of groups of people — any group of peaceable people — starts a dangerous (to the point of deadly) trend. Covert ostracism by private corporations at the direction of government is fascism (and I don’t use that term in any figurative or overblown way; that’s one normal function of the corporate-government partnership that’s the definition and essence of fascism).
Covert ostracism as a tool of government for getting its way when it can’t get its way through open law-spewing is … a big, big step on the path to destruction. Of trust. Of human decency. Of the concept of equal protection under law (never mind that equal protection has always been a myth; even a myth can have a civilizing purpose). Of civil society. Of so many valuable things.
Yeah, we’re already on that path. I know. But once you start shutting masses of peaceable people and businesses out of normal commerce, you create pariahs. You don’t drive them out of business; you merely drive them … elsewhere. You also drive them to be something other than what they are.
And like so many other attempts to force some governmental ideal of “morality” on people, you end up driving immorality.
Of course, you also create Freedom Outlaws. So the ostracism promised by Operation Choke Point (and its inevitable successors) wouldn’t be a total loss. But OCP is both a sign of and an “advance” upon the irreplaceable loss of all that makes civilization worthy of the name.