Government as racketeer

Harper's Cover, Aug 2011

A racketeer, writes the historian Charles Tilly, is one who “creates a threat and then charges for its reduction.” When governments…create threats and then offer citizens protection from those threats, the state is running a protection racket… Through…conjured threats, the public is treated to a simulation of a real terrorist attack, yet at each post-arrest press conference is reassured that the police were there every step of the way, and that… “there was never any danger.”

from “To Catch a Terrorist,” by Petra Bartosiewicz, Harper’s, August 2011

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