Re: Fwd: schafly on nat'l id (fwd)

Joachim Feise (
Wed, 15 Jul 1998 21:19:42 -0700

Tim Byars wrote:
> << start of forwarded material >>
> ->
> ->
> -> > Monitoring Americans by I.D. and
> -> > Federal Database
> -> >
> -> > July 15, 1998 by: Phyllis Schlafly
> -> >
> -> > Two of the principal mechanisms by which the rulers of 20th century
> -> > police states maintained their control over their people were the File
> -> > and the Internal Passport. The government kept a cumulative file
> -> > (called the Dangan in Communist China) on every individual's
> -> > performance and attitudes from school years through adult
> -> > employment, and the internal passport was an identification that had
> -> > to be presented to authorities for permission to travel within the
> -> > country, even a few miles away from home or job.
> -> >
> -> > These two methods of personal surveillance -- efficient watchdogs
> -> > that prevented any emergence of freedom -- required an army of
> -> > bureaucrats fortified by a Gestapo, a Stasi or a KGB,
This is hogwash. How come everybody who can spell Stasi thinks he knows how they
The Stasi at least (more recent, and I know about them a bit), did not keep a
file on everyone, only on people that made subversive (in their minds) remarks.
They kept an army of spies to report those remarks, and only when that happened
did they start a file. There were quite a lot of spies, your best friend, even
your spouse, so that was enough to create fear, and people kept their thoughts
to themselves. As a citizen of East Germany, you learned to read between the
lines. The authorities were just too stupid to understand that. And as soon as
the fear subsided, the wall fell.
BTW, everybody could travel within East Germany without getting permission, and
retired people were allowed to visit relatives in West Germany without problems.
Disclosure: I lived in Berlin (West) for 10 years and witnessed the fall of the
wall and talked with a lot of people from the (former) East Germany.