Mr Monderman’s thesis feels right to me — that by creating the illusion of security you relieve the citizen of the need to make his own judgments. That’s really the story of September 11. If 19 punks with box-cutters had tried to pull some stunt in the parking lot of a sports bar, they’d have been beaten to a pulp. But, as I wrote at the time, the airline cabin is the most advanced model of the modern social-democratic state, the sky-high version of the wildest dreams of big government. Up there where the air is rarefied, all your rights have been regulated away: there’s no smoking; there’s 100 per cent gun control; you’re obliged by law to do everything the cabin crew tell you; if the trolley dolly’s rude to you, tough; if you’re rude back, you’ll be arrested on landing. For 30 years passengers surrendered more and more rights for the illusion of security. So on September 11, on those first three flights, the cabin crews followed all those Federal Aviation Administration guidelines from the Seventies, and the passengers did everything they were told, and thousands of people died. By the time the fourth plane got into trouble, the passengers knew big government wasn’t up there with them and used their own wits to prevent the hijackers from reaching their target.
Read the whole thing here.