When a security state begins to incorporate knowledge and power derived from neuroscience and neurotechnology, we must be especially vigilant to understand the reach of those powers and to limit them before they are abused.
As we know from recent history and current events, however, this incongruity between a pre-modern mind-set and post-modern weaponry is not limited to non-states actors or global networks of terrorists. Many Western leaders, especially have taken Bronze Age notions of “good and evil” as their guide to exercise their monopoly on “legitimate” violence. Nevertheless, the power of single individuals and very small groups to plan, obtain information and weapons, and execute massively destructive acts has never been greater in human history.
This means a shift in the focus and responsibilities for public protection. It means recognizing (even inventing) threats from individuals both near and far and increasing the breadth and depth of surveillance. It means the extension of the doctrine of preemption beyond threats from rogue or ungovernable nations and applying this doctrine to rogue or ungovernable individuals. It means a governmentality that sees every human mind as a potential weapon of mass destruction. It means governance becomes the act of controlling the threat of the ungovernable mind.