Saturday, July 27, 2013

2013/1984, Part 8

Trey Smith

I could stretch out this miniseries for several more days, if I wanted to, but I've covered the main points I wanted to address...with three exceptions: one being the telescreens and the other two of which I will address in tomorrow's posts. These television-like devices figure prominently in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and, surprising as it might seem to many, this is one aspect of his dystopian tale that we are moving toward at breakneck speed.

Telescreens are mounted everywhere in Oceania, including in the homes of members of the Inner and Outer Party. Not only are they equipped with the ability to see and hear everything in the vicinity of each screen, but Big Brother (in the form of an unknown representative) can instruct or threaten people when they don't behave in the proper manner. For example, if an individual smiles, sings, laughs or expresses warmth towards another person, you can be sure that the voice on the telescreen will tell you to "cut it out" or else!

More than anything else, it is the telescreens which allow Big Brother and the Inner party to rule with such an iron fist. When the populace is under constant surveillance and the expectation of any degree of privacy has been cast aside, the powers that be are in complete control. They can snuff out any opposition or rebellion before it even begins. The moment they perceive the smallest incongruity, they either can intimidate people back into line or, if the "problem" appears more serious, they can send their thugs to arrest the recalcitrant individual.

While we don't have such telescreens in the world today, our government is utilizing a number of strategies to accomplish much the same thing. As I have written about before, the number of ways we are being spied on keeps growing. Phone calls are no longer private. Neither is any form of internet communication. Our letters are being photographed and the information stored. License plate readers and cameras of all sorts are being used to track our comings and goings. In-vehicle communication and safety features can now be used to listen into our conversations while we are in our vehicles and to remotely-control those vehicles without our knowledge. And domestic drones are flying overhead in many locales collecting who knows what!

Remember what I wrote above -- it is one of Orwell's central points -- When the populace is under constant surveillance and the expectation of any degree of privacy has been cast aside, the powers that be are in complete control. This is where we are headed, notwithstanding any of the gobbledygook that President Obama or Congressional leaders try to feed us. They can talk all they want about safeguards and protections, but this is the rational and logical conclusion of such strategies.

No government needs this vast amount of information from individuals not suspected or accused of any wrongdoing UNLESS they plan to utilize it in some way. These programs have little to do with protecting us from so-called terrorism and far more to do with setting up the apparatus of absolute elite control.

If we don't fight these efforts today in every way we can, the day will arrive soon when opposition will be virtually impossible. The government will know about our displeasure almost from the moment we write, say and think it. We will be silenced and/or whisked away before we can "infect" other people.

Big Brother then will reign supreme.

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