Any freedom is illusion. Democracy is now an academic concept, totally unworkable in the real world. The UK has a parliamentary system, and in my opinion, is far better than the US or Germans. At least the UK still has a free press, and all groups get a say in government.  Many other democracy’s serve the corporate oligarchy, not the people.

Basically, every government in every part of the developed world has decided along with each other, that all their citizens should be subject to mass surveillance. Those pesky things that were included in the declaration of universal human rights (and in other human rights legislation, etc) such as a right to privacy, a right not to have one’s personal papers rifled through at will, the right of freedom of speech and of freedom of association – that were seen as essential to prevent the abuses to which authoritarian governments subjected those under their power – have been destroyed. It’s OK, we still live in democracies! But how can a democracy operate where the government can record who you correspond with or what you say to them; how can we live in a democracy where governments and spies and corporations colluded to spy on the people and declare that we shouldn’t know what’s going on, that we should trust them, that they only want to do the right thing; that they only want to keep us safe. And, besides, If we don’t know what’s going on how can we, as part of a democratic system, choose those who represent our interests? We don’t get to do that, the government says: we just have to trust that these mass surveillance systems are being used by people with pure hearts and noble intentions. People like the politicians who run the government who have access to this data, who’s only interest is our wellbeing and safety. But, who will save us from those who want to subject us to mass surveillance? What if the government is not really interested in our wellbeing or safety? What if it’s interested in controlling and exploiting us for the gain of itself and those it really represents – wealthy businesses and corporations? What if it doesn’t use that access to our data to keep us from harm, but to harm our interests when those interests oppose theirs? To stop us or thwart us when we organise protests or plan strategies to make political change, or when we oppose things the government is trying to do, be it privatize the NHS, neo-liberalisation of social security masquerading as austerity cuts, saving therich masquerading as saving the Euro , or allow private mining companies to frack the countryside? And if we were to organise to protest and oppose these matters which governments, civil servants, spy masters and corporations have decided lie outside what we are allowed to democratically decide, what if the government was to use it’s mass surveillance system to stop such opposition? Or to any other matters they have decided we are not allowed to influence or change? What freedom is there then? What democracy?