Thursday, February 24, 2011

2011 and 1984

Did you ever read the book 1984 by George Orwell? I recommend picking it up even if you’ve read it before. The plot of the book surrounds a one Winston Smith who is a low ranking member of the ruling Party in London, in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party’s seemingly omniscient leader, a figure known only as Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people’s history and language. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it. 

The sad truth about this book is how it’s being played out today. We’ve been witness to an erosion of our freedoms, corruption of language and the control of history. From our schools to our work environments we’ve seen ‘Big Brother’ push his way in. We have phone taps, we have warrantless entry in homes, we have websites shut down, we have our facebook posts monitored, we have the Department of Homeland Security at WalMart (coming to mall, retail outlets and perhaps hotels across the US) spouting a video message – look out for suspicious activity and report it, we have ‘words’ either spoken or written that will get our names on a watch list thus prompting a ‘file’ on the seemingly law abiding citizen. We have words that have been mandated as unacceptable ie: illegal alien now undocumented worker.  As for history just pick up a textbook from one of your children. Learn how America’s true history has been perverted. Today we learn that a Justice has deemed Congress can regulate our mental activity under the Commerce Clause. This is Big Brother hard at work.

Orwell wrote that ‘indifference to objective truth is encouraged by the sealing off of one part of the world from another, which makes it harder and harder to discover what is actually happening. Net Neutrality and the kill switch pop into my mind.

The media also plays a big role in Orwell’s book. Their aim is to incite hatred and to divert attention from the real domestic problems the nation faces. Sound familiar?

1984 leaves us with no hope – no way out – but there is a way out. The best way to combat Big Brother is to ask questions and challenge their claims. We must be the propaganda watchdogs. We must challenge anything presented as fact from either side.  We need to support groups that actively oppose intrusive government measures that restrict or seek to restrict our basic freedoms – including freedom of speech. We must not give in to pressure; we must think for ourselves and speak out. 
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Our country is under attack from within.
If you’re not outraged-you’re not paying attention.