It has been asked where my priorities are, so maybe it is only fair to answer.
I believe more in the individual than in the collective. The individual can surmount more adversity, solve more problems, address more issues than can any collective mind ever created. Our nation was not made great by its collective, but by extraordinary individuals who worked on behalf of the collective. Whether it was the handful of individuals who founded this nation, or each individual at Valley Forge who endured great hardship on behalf of a collective, or the individuals who rose above the collective to repel tyranny during World War II, it has always been the individual who has made this nation great…not the other way around.
We ceased to think as individuals in the early part of the 20th century. Many writers reflecting the times wrote about this loss of the individual, and they predicted a troubling time in America as a result. They were, unfortunately, correct.
The counter-culture of the 1960’s sought to bring back the individual, but it too was ruined by a sense of the collective. Today, we can’t think for ourselves without first running our thoughts through the collective mindset in ourselves, Republicans must think like Republicans, Democrats like Democrats, union rank and file must think alike, police officers who see wrongdoing in their collective cannot speak out against it, and as a nation you either agree with the collective or you are not part of the collective. You can no longer be American while disagreeing with it.
In other words, you cannot be an individual anymore. You cannot think thoughts based on something beyond collective thought. You cannot act in opposition with the collective. You must live like a drone on an island of drones if you want to survive.
Or else the ATF will burn your building down and kill you all. Maybe the FBI is listening in to your phone calls. Maybe Google and even this forum report your every move to some super-secret agency posing as an internet service provider.
The issue of privacy is an individual one. Privacy is simply the act of one acting as in individual away from the collective. It is one of the last bastions of individuality left in our nation, and it is under attack. It is under attack by big business interested in tracking your every move. It is under attack by a government using fear to make you feel as if this attack somehow serves you well. Collectives like religions have a long history of attacking the individual, at some points killing a person rather than let them not be like the collective. It is even under attack within yourself as some struggle with how they feel versus how they are supposed to feel.
It is simply up to you as individuals to determine how much of yourself you are willing to give away. Either you can stay tied to the binds of materialism which is the essence of such loss, or you can reject it all and move forward as yourself. You can either identify with a collective or you can choose not to. Ultimately in that decision comes an air of responsibility, one that you cannot pass off.