When you think of an abusive relationship, what adjectives come to mind? Controlling? Violent? Humiliating? Jealous? Obsessive? Go figure, it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to apply these same adjectives to many of the world’s governments throughout history and certainly the absolute states that emerged in modernity with their absolute warfare, constant surveillance, and obsessive control of every aspect of their citizens’ lives from cradle to grave– the federal government of the fifty American states being no exception to this unfortunate state of affairs.
To explore this idea a little further, I took a look at a list of warning signs of abuse, to see if our relationship with our government truly is analogous to an abusive relationship with a romantic partner. Spoiler alert: it is. The list was prefaced thusly: “The following questions ask you about your relationship. If you are not currently in a relationship, these are signs or ‘red flags’ to assist people in identifying a potentially abusive person.” Here are just ten of these questions:
1. Do you feel nervous around your partner?
Be honest – even if you’re a perfectly law-abiding citizen, do you feel nervous around police officers? Even when you’re driving the speed limit and obeying traffic laws in a car for which you have a valid license, deed, and registration, do you feel nervous when a police car is driving behind you or pulls up next to you on a city road or freeway? Do you feel nervous when you’re going through TSA checkpoints at the airport even though you have no prohibited items in your baggage and have no intention of doing anything disruptive, violent, or illegal? Have you ever wondered whyyou should feel that way when you “have nothing to hide” as the police say?