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Human Rights and Terrorism Laws

             The "post-9/11" world we live in constantly questions the importance of the civil liberties of an individual. Basic democratic rights like privacy and freedom of expression continue to dwindle for the sake of the public's safety. World leaders appear to be creating and passing legislature that protects their civilians from the threat of "terrorists." But do these bills really help? Is the legislation advancing security, or merely attempting to create social hegemony? The following pages will look closely at the laws passed, the language used and the effect on the daily lives of citizens. While potential terrorist attacks are a danger to the public, the constant reminder of the possibility does nothing to improve the situation. Are the government warnings themselves not a threat? Though the bills created since September 11, 2001 aim to improve the safety of the public, the reality is that they create a submissive population willing to approve of safety precautions by any means necessary. Most of the bills passed have been an attacks on individuals masked as safety precautions for the community. More and more the individual is being overlooked for the sake of the community. The attack on civil liberties through anti-terror legislation threatens to condemn the individual in order to save the community. Power is created by the state to ensure the continued dominance over the individual.
             To begin the idea of hegemony must be understood. Antonio Gramsci explains this in his aptly titled 'Hegemony'. First he breaks down society into two levels, the "private" and the "political society", the latter of which he also refers to as "the State." It is basically a master-slave relation giving state command over the "private society" or subjects of a society. The only difference between hegemony and the classical master-slave relation is the fact that the subjects of hegemony do not consider themselves to be oppressed based on the historical prestige of the ruling class.

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