As far as I have seen, libertarianism doesn't seem to have much of a following here in Mexico. Over the course of the nation's two centuries, the federal government has had a hard enough time getting the government to control the whole of its territory; the concern that it could turn into an all-powerful big brother doesn't keep a lot of people up at night. Nonetheless, the plan to have all Mexicans submit "physical characteristics" to a national database in order to create a national ID card might awaken some fears of government.Now that the Senate has approved the creation of a national database of cell phone numbers, I'd like to repeat those sentiments, though today with even less expectation of any groundswell of libertarian hostility to government.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, for a country with a long authoritarian past, Mexicans seem really comfortable handing the federal government the keys to their private lives. With a less divided government and a less democratically minded president, this tendency could be really dangerous.
On the other hand, crime is a much bigger problem than government intrusion, and cell phone extortion is an unusually dangerous nuisance. (I know maybe a half dozen people who have been the targets of an attempted extortion via their cell phones, including one 14-year-old kid.) As I said in the October post, despite the regular bouts of authoritarianism, Mexico's political history has been two centuries of governments struggling to maintain control over the country, not exercising too much of it.