Cameras Don’t Deter Crime

In the aftermath of New York City announcing cameras will be installed in every subway car, I have been thinking about the near-constant surveillance state that now defines America and how the idea that it deters crime is another lie.

The most important point here is that the people most supportive of Americans living in a police state and under near-constant surveillance are wealthy white people who are never going to be victims of the police state. On the other hand, those most likely to oppose the police state and its omnipresent spying are people of color who know they are likely to be misidentified, racially profiled, and systematically targeted by the police.

To follow the news is to be fed a steady stream about terrible crime waves rocking American cities. Television and radio stations and newspapers are doing their best to sell the public the lie that American cities are more unsafe than ever before. As always, the media promotes the idea (given it by police, politicians, and the corporations they work for) that the only way to stop this historic crime wave is by hiring more police, giving them more power, and letting them surveil the public constantly.

The problem is reality tells a story very different than the corporate-sponsored propaganda masquerading as news.

As anyone who thinks about this issue for a second knows, security cameras are everywhere. Millions of homes have cameras people can use to share video of their neighbors with a few clicks. Just about every business has cameras. Communities have installed cameras on lots of streets. Unless you have been under a rock for the last several years, you know cameras are almost everywhere. You know every time you leave your house most of your movements can be tracked and archived.

At the same time that we are all being surveilled like never before, we are being told our communities are unsafe and many are convinced to be afraid. Amazingly, the corporate propaganda machine gets so little pushback that the obvious contradiction is never challenged.

If security cameras and a police state that basically surveils everything we do exists at the same time crime waves are destroying cities, how is more surveillance a logical solution to crime?

Increased surveillance has nothing to do with stopping crime. Logically, we know additional spying does next to nothing to reduce crime. But additional surveillance does create additional surveillance.

The idea of a police state with constant access to our movements is an idea that will never provide any benefit to any American who actually believes in freedom and liberty. We know it doesn’t deter crime. But it does allow corporations and government to know way more about us as individuals.

Sadly, additional surveillance is not a serious attempt to solve any actual problem. It’s another time where corporations, their media, and their politicians have sold the public a premise that is largely false to justify doing something they should never be allowed to do in a society with even a tepid commitment to freedom and liberty.

I'd love to hear from you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.