Title

The USA Patriot Acts (et al.): convergent legislation and oligarchic isomorphism in the 'politics of fear' and state crime(s) against democracy (SCADs)

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Thorne, K & Kouzmin, A 2010, ‘The USA Patriot Acts (et al): convergent legislation and oligarchic isomorphism in the 'politics of fear' and state crime(s) against democracy (SCADs)’, American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 53, no. 6, pp. 885-920.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764209353280

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The irrelevance of habeas corpus and the abolition of “double jeopardy,” secret and protracted outsourcing of detention and torture, and increasing geographic prevalence of surveillance technologies across Anglo-American “democracies” have many citizens concerned about the rapidly convergent, authoritarian behavior of political oligarchs and the actual destruction of sovereignty and democratic values under the onslaught of antiterrorism hubris, propaganda, and fear. This article examines synchronic legislative isomorphism in responses to 9/11 in the United States, the United Kingdom and European Union, and Australia in terms of enacted terrorism legislation and, also, diachronic, oligarchic isomorphism in the manufacture of fear within a convergent world by comparing the “Politics of Fear” being practiced today to Stalinist—Russian and McCarthyist—U.S. abuse of “fear.” The immediate future of Anglo-American democratic hubris, threats to civil society, and oligarchic threats to democratic praxis are canvassed. This article also raises the question as to whether The USA PATRIOT Acts of 2001/2006, sanctioned by the U.S. Congress, are examples, themselves, of state crimes against democracy. In the very least, any democratically inclined White House occupant in 2009 would need to commit to repealing these repressive, and counterproductive, acts.

Copyright @2009, SAGE Publications