ostracizing the secret police will deprive them of the tech talent they need
Spies are human garbage.
The enduring popularity of espionage as a form of employment for otherwise intelligent individuals–an employment that inevitably destroys their morals, bloodies their hands, and turns them into human vermin little better than the dog turd you and I scrape off our shoes–is made possible in large part by the mystique and glamour of the profession, a glamour that could not be further from the truth.
For this I blame James Bond.
Is it a coincidence that Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, was himself a former member of the British Secret Service? One rather wonders if, after the Second World War, some balding, pipe-smoking gent pulled Fleming aside.
"What ho, I say, Fleming. We need some propaganda to keep us in business. Can’t go running around blackmailing politicians and spying on journalists without some excuse, eh, what? Need to make it look like we’re good people fighting evil, all that sort of humbug. What about a novel or two about a super-spy? Make us all look good. We’ll send you a cheque. Off you go, then. Enjoy Jamaica. What ho!"
And now, thanks to dear departed Mr. Fleming, we have the NSA.
There are many valid attack vectors we can use to destroy the American Deep State. We can increase the cost of mass surveillance until it’s unsustainable. We can increase the cost of targetted surveillance. We can demoralize mid-level American espiocrats by slandering them in public at every opportunity, shunning them in public, and generally making them feel like the dog shit that they are. (You’ll note I have not mentioned “changing the law” as an option here; these people are state-sponsored criminals, and do not much care what the law says.)
There is another line of attack we must pursue: Destroying the public perception of espionage as a worthy and noble career for anyone but a criminal born and raised in the gutter and with a mind and morals to match.
We must deprive the CIA, NSA, and all the other alphabet fascist soup of the human talent they need in order to survive.
So the next time a spy movie comes out that glorifies these Top Secret criminals, vote with your wallet. Tell your friends and family to stay away. Any time the spook profession comes up in ordinary conversation, make a rude noise, and say something like, “I’d rather be an armed bank robber or a pedophile than the filthy scum who work for the CIA.”
Do your bit. Know someone who’s being recruited by the CIA or NSA? Ostracize them. Refuse to have anything to do with them. Make it clear to them that if they accept the job offer, you will cut them off like a boil.
Mystique and glamor–prestige, even–are things that you and I create by our acceptance of them. We can destroy that mystique simply by an act of collective will. Turn the glamor into disgust and loathing. It’s worked for anti-fur campaigners. And the stakes here are far higher.
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J.M. Porup, “James Bond Must Die”