April 24, 2011
George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1949. I first read it in High School in 1974. It was fiction then. Now it looks like this is America in 2014. Here are some quotes from the book (in quotation marks). Decide for yourself how closely the Elites are emulating the ideas found in the book. I will break it down for you. How does it feel to be a Prole?
Here's the link to the online text: http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/index.html
Part 2 Chapter 9
"The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought. There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve:
- One is how to discover, against his will, what another human being is thinking; and
- The other is how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds without giving warning beforehand.
Well we have solved the problem of killing hundreds of millions in seconds. That's no problem. The problem the Elites face is how to do it cleanly. They don't want to leave their heirs a poisoned planet. This is why soft kill is much more desirable. They do this through many means, and I'll leave you to imagine how.
Do you realize that there are people in this world who spend all their time thinking about nothing but how to wage war? Most normal people think very little about war, if at all. War is bad, like Mr. Mackey would say.
But thousands of people are paid by governments all across the planet to think about nothing but killing people. They spend all their time imagining new ways to kill and wage war. Not to mention the millions paid to fight those wars. Think about that for a minute. Are you getting the picture?
Remember, this is the world you live in, not the one you imagine you live in. 1984 is all about trying to wake people up to reality, mmmkay?
"Their lives are dedicated to world conquest, but they also know that it is necessary that the war should continue everlastingly and without victory."
So long as the goal of absolute power and appropriate depopulation has not been achieved by the Elites, they will continue to wage constant warfare in one form or another. Such is the war on terror. It is war on an unseen enemy (actually nonexistent) who lives in an unknown location (this varies from day to day) using unpredictable tactics. So it can be said that anyone, anywhere could be an enemy. Just the war we need to enslave and terrify a free population. Perfect. The Elites may be evil, but they didn't get to be Elites by being stupid.
"In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact."
See. Orwell spelled it out for you.
"The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable:
- The aim of the High is to remain where they are.
- The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High.
- The aim of the Low, when they have an aim (for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives), is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal."
The numbers of the low has been increasing in recent years with the growth of the welfare class in America. The middle class can no longer hope to raise their status because of an increased amount of taxation and cost of living. The middle class will soon be entirely wiped out financially; and they will be at the mercy of the criminal element in the lower classes, when rioting and chaos begins as social order disintegrates; and the criminal enforcement branches of the Elites will enforce an iron will from the top.
The Elite want to eliminate the possibility of another class rising up to replace them or overthrow them, so they will stop at nothing short of complete totalitarian rule in America. This will first manifest itself as Martial Law in some crisis state to be created in the near future.
"As usual, the High were to be turned out by the Middle, who would then become the High; but this time, by conscious strategy, the High would be able to maintain their position permanently."
Orwell prophesies here of the complete domination of the Elite over society by their application and control of science, technology, finance, and willingness to use complete brutality.
"Therefore, from the point of view of the new groups who were on the point of seizing power, human equality was no longer an ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be averted."
The Elites used the notion of equality to promote class envy among the lower classes and guilt among the middle classes to drag the middle down to the lower level. The Elite have used every device at their disposal to accomplish this: education, media, regulatory bureaucracies, and above all financial control. For instance, the IRS and the EEOC are just two examples of this bureaucratic and financial control. But it is their control of information that has been the most important tool of domination.
"About 1930, practices which had been long abandoned, in some cases for hundreds of years -- imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the deportation of whole populations -- not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive."
Three words: Gitmo, drones, and depleted uranium.
"Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end.
"Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time."
Orwell truly was a prophet. The Elites have brought this Orwellian vision of mind control to a reality. Political correctness = complete uniformity of opinion. With credit cards and iphones, they can track your every economic transaction and your location. There are satellites tracking mankind every second of every day. Yes, Big Brother is watching you.
"There are only four ways in which a ruling group can fall from power. Either it is conquered from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented Middle group to come into being, or it loses its own self-confidence and willingness to govern. These causes do not operate singly, and as a rule all four of them are present in some degree. A ruling class which could guard against all of them would remain in power permanently. Ultimately the determining factor is the mental attitude of the ruling class itself."
The determining factor is not just the mental attitude, but the spiritual and moral fortitude of the ruling class. When America's rulers no longer ruled by spiritual principles, they fell prey to the Elites main tool of control: gold. Once our leaders were bribed into submission or threatened into silence, then a new Elite arose in America--a foreign Elite with no love for America or its citizens.
With the creation of the IRS, the passage of an unconstitutional amendment to collect wage taxes, and the control of our currency being given to the Bankers of the Federal Reserve, we were doomed.
And this Elite ruling class has the mental attitude to retain control--the end justifies the means. They are wicked to the core and will kill, murder, steal, and lie to maintain their control.
"Proletarians, in practice, are not allowed to graduate into the Party. The most gifted among them, who might possibly become nuclei of discontent, are simply marked down by the Thought Police and eliminated."
This is what happened to JFK and is coming to a FEMA camp near YOU!
"From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and from century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without any impulse to rebel, but without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is.
"They could only become dangerous if the advance of industrial technique made it necessary to educate them more highly; but, since military and commercial rivalry are no longer important, the level of popular education is actually declining.
"What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, is looked on as a matter of indifference. They can be granted intellectual liberty because they have no intellect. In a Party member, on the other hand, not even the smallest deviation of opinion on the most unimportant subject can be tolerated."
Notice how no one in power or anyone who stays in power deviates from the party line. As soon as you deviate, say like a Ron Paul, you are shut out from the public view. You have freedom of thought, so long as you keep your thoughts to yourself. You have freedom of speech so long as you say what you're supposed to say. For instance, racial differences are not to be commented on, unless it's derogatory comments directed at the white male.
There are a thousand instances of thought and speech control used against the populace on a daily basis. But it appears that most people are like the proletarians described by Orwell. They use their intellect as little as possible, and if they use it at all, it's for purposes that hold little or no importance at all to society, such as: who will win the talent competition tonight, or who will be the first to cross the finish line at the circle track?
It is this behavior by the lower and middle classes in America that to the Elites justifies their control over us. We have the power to crush them if only we rose up as a united whole. The fact that we don't proves to the Elites that we aren't worthy of freedom, but must be treated as slaves.
Part 3 Chapter 2
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
History and education and science are just further means of mind control. All your opinions are formulated by the Elites, whether you like it or not. The only way to escape their control is to learn to think for yourself. But you have to be willing to face the truth.
Part 3 Chapter 3
"The proletarians will never revolt, not in a thousand years or a million. They cannot."
Our forefathers were not proles. They were men with an idea. An idea that God was on their side, because they were on the side of freedom and goodness.
Who among our people or among our rulers has the courage to stand up for anything that represents goodness and virtue? We don't even understand the concepts of goodness and virtue anymore.
The masses will never revolt--until they're starving and then it's going to be too late.
"We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power...'We are the priests of power,' he said. 'God is power.'"
This is the motto of the Elite: Might is Right. That's what is meant by God is power. They want to be gods. We are to be their servants. Lord Acton said it: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
"The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred...We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother."
The lawyers, prostitutes for the Elites, have destroyed our country and destroyed every normal human relationship. Because of the evil this creates, hatred is growing. Children are killing their parents and parents their children. Bloodshed and violence is becoming an epidemic.
Beware the judgment of God because it will come and cannot be avoided.
When the problems created by the Elites, and which are based upon human nature, lead us to societal chaos, then Big Brother will step in, and all notion of freedom will be erased and you will have to prove your allegiance to the STATE. You will be chipped, or marked, or made to conform in some manner, and you will have no other choice but death or imprisonment. Welcome to the New World Order.
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever."
Don't worry children of God, because the boot, the beast, the antichrist, the new world order will only last for about 7 years, and once they have stomped out all goodness and slaughtered their last Christian, then Jesus will return and He will put an end to all this corruption. No, the future is bright for the children of God. If you are a follower of evil, then yes, hell will be your reward.
"We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable. Or perhaps you have returned to your old idea that the proletarians or the slaves will arise and overthrow us. Put it out of your mind. They are helpless, like the animals. Humanity is the Party. The others are outside -- irrelevant."
Orwell did not believe in Jesus, otherwise he would've known that only the power of God is greater than the power of Satan.
Orwell did understand degenerate human nature very well. And he understood how the power Elite operated. That his book was allowed to be published and advertised demonstrated what the Elite think of the lower classes--they are irrelevant, other than they are good for slave labor.
What is the answer to 1984? Unless you believe in the resurrection of Jesus, the future looks quite bleak. The Elites are not working for the good of mankind. But there is a God who will intervene in the affairs of men and destroy the wicked once and for all, and then and only then will there be peace and love on this earth.
December 31, 2010
The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s “1984.” Among those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, the debate was "Who was right?"
Would we, as Huxley envisioned, be entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? Or would we, as Orwell wrote, be dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control?
It turns out Huxley and Orwell were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement; Orwell saw the second.
We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement. While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected us were rewritten and we were impoverished.
Now that credit is drying up, good jobs for the working class are gone forever and mass-produced goods are unaffordable, we find ourselves transported from “Brave New World” to “1984.” The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. It is time for Big Brother to take over from Huxley’s feelies, the orgy-porgy and the centrifugal bumble-puppy.
We are moving from a society where we are skillfully manipulated by lies and illusions to one where we are overtly controlled.
- Huxley warned of a world where no one wanted to read books. Orwell warned of a world where books were banned.
- Huxley warned of a culture diverted by mindless pleasure. Orwell warned of a state of permanent war and fear.
- Huxley warned of a state where a population, preoccupied by trivia and gossip, no longer cared about truth or information. Orwell warned of a state where every conversation and thought was monitored and dissent was brutally punished.
- Huxley saw us seduced into submission. Orwell saw us frightened into submission.
Huxley understood the process by which we would be complicit in our own enslavement. Orwell understood the enslavement.
Now that the corporate coup is over, we stand naked and defenseless. We are beginning to understand, as Karl Marx knew, that unfettered and unregulated capitalism is a brutal and revolutionary force that exploits human beings and the natural world until exhaustion or collapse.
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake,” Orwell wrote in “1984.”The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term “inverted totalitarianism” in his book “Democracy Incorporated” to describe our political system. It is a term that would make sense to Huxley. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise and abundance of a consumer society. Political participation and civil liberties are gradually surrendered. The corporation state, hiding behind the smokescreen of the public relations industry, the entertainment industry, and the tawdry materialism of a consumer society, devours us from the inside out. It owes no allegiance to us or the nation. It feasts upon our carcass.
“We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
The corporate state does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader. It is defined by the anonymity and facelessness of the corporation. Corporations, who hire attractive spokespeople like Barack Obama, control the uses of science, technology, education and mass communication. They control the messages in movies and television. And, as in “Brave New World,” they use these tools of communication to bolster tyranny.
Our systems of mass communication, as Wolin writes, “block out, eliminate whatever might introduce qualification, ambiguity, or dialogue—anything that might weaken or complicate the holistic force of their creation, to its total impression.”The result is a monochromatic system of information. Celebrity courtiers—masquerading as journalists, experts and specialists—identify our problems and patiently explain the parameters. All those who argue outside the imposed parameters are dismissed as irrelevant cranks, extremists or members of a radical left. Prescient social critics, from Ralph Nader to Noam Chomsky, are banished. Acceptable opinions have a range of A to B.
The culture, under the tutelage of these corporate courtiers, becomes, as Huxley noted, a world of cheerful conformity, as well as an endless and finally fatal optimism. We busy ourselves buying products that promise to change our lives, make us more beautiful, confident or successful as we are steadily stripped of rights, money and influence. All messages we receive through these systems of communication, whether on the nightly news or talk shows like “Oprah,” promise a brighter, happier tomorrow.
And this, as Wolin points out, is “the same ideology that invites corporate executives to exaggerate profits and conceal losses, but always with a sunny face.”Our manufacturing base has been dismantled. Speculators and swindlers have looted the U.S. Treasury and stolen billions from small shareholders who had set aside money for retirement or college. Civil liberties, including habeas corpus and protection from warrantless wiretapping, have been taken away. Basic services, including public education and health care, have been handed over to the corporations to exploit for profit.
We have been entranced, as Wolin writes, by “continuous technological advances” that “encourage elaborate fantasies of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, actions measured in nanoseconds: a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility, whose denizens are prone to fantasies because the vast majority have imagination but little scientific knowledge.”
The few who raise voices of dissent, who refuse to engage in the corporate happy talk, are derided by the corporate establishment as freaks.
Attitudes and temperament have been cleverly engineered by the corporate state, as with Huxley’s pliant characters in “Brave New World.” The book’s protagonist, Bernard Marx, turns in frustration to his girlfriend Lenina:
“Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?” he asks.He laughed,
“I don’t know that you mean. I am free, free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”
“Yes, ‘Everybody’s happy nowadays.’ We have been giving the children that at five. But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybody else’s way.”The façade is crumbling. And as more and more people realize that they have been used and robbed, we will move swiftly from Huxley’s “Brave New World” to Orwell’s “1984.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she repeated.
The public, at some point, will have to face some very unpleasant truths. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. The largest deficits in human history mean that we are trapped in a debt peonage system that will be used by the corporate state to eradicate the last vestiges of social protection for citizens, including Social Security.
The state has devolved from a capitalist democracy to neo-feudalism. And when these truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed cheerful conformity. The bleakness of our post-industrial pockets, where some 40 million Americans live in a state of poverty and tens of millions in a category called “near poverty” (coupled with the lack of credit to save families from foreclosures, bank repossessions and bankruptcy from medical bills), means that inverted totalitarianism will no longer work.
We increasingly live in Orwell’s Oceania, not Huxley’s The World State.
Osama bin Laden plays the role assumed by Emmanuel Goldstein in “1984.” Goldstein, in the novel, is the public face of terror. His evil machinations and clandestine acts of violence dominate the nightly news. Goldstein’s image appears each day on Oceania’s television screens as part of the nation’s “Two Minutes of Hate” daily ritual. And without the intervention of the state, Goldstein, like bin Laden, will kill you.
All excesses are justified in the titanic fight against evil personified.
The psychological torture of Pvt. Bradley Manning—who has now been imprisoned for seven months without being convicted of any crime—mirrors the breaking of the dissident Winston Smith at the end of “1984.” Manning is being held as a “maximum custody detainee” in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. He spends 23 of every 24 hours alone. He is denied exercise. He cannot have a pillow or sheets for his bed. Army doctors have been plying him with antidepressants. The cruder forms of torture of the Gestapo have been replaced with refined Orwellian techniques, largely developed by government psychologists to turn dissidents like Manning into vegetables.
We break souls as well as bodies. It is more effective. Now we can all be taken to Orwell’s dreaded Room 101 to become compliant and harmless. These “special administrative measures” are regularly imposed on our dissidents, including Syed Fahad Hashmi, who was imprisoned under similar conditions for three years before going to trial.
The techniques have psychologically maimed thousands of detainees in our black sites around the globe. They are the staple form of control in our maximum security prisons where the corporate state makes war on our most politically astute underclass—African-Americans.
It all presages the shift from Huxley to Orwell.
“Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling,” Winston Smith’s torturer tells him in “1984.” “Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”The noose is tightening. The era of amusement is being replaced by the era of repression.
- Tens of millions of citizens have had their e-mails and phone records turned over to the government.
- We are the most monitored and spied-on citizenry in human history.
- Many of us have our daily routine caught on dozens of security cameras.
- Our proclivities and habits are recorded on the Internet.
- Our profiles are electronically generated.
- Our bodies are patted down at airports and filmed by scanners.
- And public service announcements, car inspection stickers, and public transportation posters constantly urge us to report suspicious activity. The enemy is everywhere.
The FBI’s targeting of antiwar and Palestinian activists, which in late September saw agents raid homes in Minneapolis and Chicago, is a harbinger of what is to come for all who dare defy the state’s official Newspeak. The agents—our Thought Police—seized phones, computers, documents and other personal belongings. Subpoenas to appear before a grand jury have since been served on 26 people. The subpoenas cite federal law prohibiting “providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
Terror, even for those who have nothing to do with terror, becomes the blunt instrument used by Big Brother to protect us from ourselves.
“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?” Orwell wrote. “It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.”Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.
January 4, 2011
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, and statesman (1775)In 2049, when the 100th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell political novel “1984” will be celebrated, it will be recalled that the immediate post September 11, 2001-period marked the beginning of a gradual decline in personal liberty and freedom—especially in the United States but also elsewhere—and the emergence of a great information-obsessed Leviathan.
“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.” - Norman Vincent Peale (1898 –1993), American Christian preacher and author
"A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone... At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration." - George Orwell (1903-1950) (Eric Arthur Blair) (book: 1984)
“Since information gives power, access to personal files can lead to unreasonable pressures, even blackmail, especially against those with the least resources, people who depend upon public programs, for example. Big Brother isn't a camera. Big Brother is a computer.” - C.J. Howard, political novel “Cybercash”
Freedom rarely disappears in one fell swoop. Its disappearance is rather the end result of a thousand encroachments.
Pushed to the extreme and without clear democratic oversight, it becomes the mark of a totalitarian state, when authorities feel that they never have enough information on the people. It is because information is power and state bureaucrats and politicians naturally like to be in control—on the one hand, releasing as little information about their own actions through an imposed secrecy; and, on the other, accumulating as much information as possible about the citizens.
And today, modern governments have all the tools to transform their country into a creeping police state, more so now then ever before, in this electronic age. They have access to information technology that previous full-fledged “police state” governments could only have dreamed about.
Nowadays, with super computers and revolutionary new models to gather information and build databases, governments, i.e. bureaucrats and politicians, are in a position as never before to accumulate and correlate tremendous amounts of personal information on their citizens, from public (federal, state and local) as well as from a plethora of private sources. Government intelligence on each and every citizen is thus rendered much easier and, I would add, much more frightening.
Indeed, the potential for abuse is enormous.
In 2002, for example, retired Vice Admiral John Poindexter proposed that the U.S. government create a tracking and monitoring system called "Total Information Awareness," in order for the U.S. government to gather information in a preventive way about individuals from widely varied sources—including tax records, telephone calling records, credit card charges, banking transactions, airline or ship reservations, and various biometric databases—without taking into consideration civil liberties or a citizens' right to privacy, the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974, or without having to request search warrants and without having to give prior notice to the persons involved. The pretext was to allow the government to thwart possible terrorist activity, thus creating an unlimited appetite for information.
Well, there are clear signs that this massive data mining system on individuals is now solidly in place and is in full operation and can be expected to grow over time. George Orwell must be turning in his grave.
First, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s network of fusion centers, launched in 2003, has allowed the government to centralize a host of previously disparate information about Americans and foreigners alike—whether related to personal and business records, drivers licenses, local taxes, local infractions, police records, etc.—through a host of coordinated information-sharing networks. [N.B.: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established on November 25, 2002 and is the domestic equivalent of the Department of Defense.]
Secondly, central provisions of the USA Patriot Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, allow the government to operate roving wire taps; search any individual’s business, personal, and even library records upon presentation of a national security letter; and spy on so-called "lone wolf" suspects, i.e., foreign nationals who have no known links to groups designated as terrorist. On this, the current Obama administration, by extending those provisions, is scarcely different than the previous Bush administration.
Thirdly, since passports and tight intelligence screening have been made a requirement for most international travel by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, since January 1, 2008, every individual traveling in and out of the United States has all his or her whereabouts and movements recorded so the government knows at all times his or her address and the places he or she has traveled to and from.
For instance, U.S. Transportation Security Administration's recent decision to use full-body airport X-ray scanners and full body groping at airports is another example where so-called security procedures are applied blindly and indiscriminately. There is more to come, since it has been announced that such invasive intelligence screening is coming to hotels and shopping malls, as well as to trains, buses and ports, etc.
These are some of the main features of the new government apparatus to gather information on people. There are many others. Take for instance the requirement, since 2002, that all American high schools must give Pentagon military recruiters the names and contact information of all their juniors and seniors. Failure to comply on their part may result in the loss of government funding.
The logical next step for the U.S. government would be to follow a recent lead by Italy and outlaw outright the use of cash for most transactions, except for small ones, thus providing the government even more minute information about an individual's income, purchases and displacements.
Nothing will escape the watching eye of the government in the electronic age. People will be filed, photographed, corralled and branded.
Indeed, the way mass government surveillance systems are growing, by year 2020, chances are good that Americans will be living in a “Brave New World”!
—CYBER BIG BROTHER would know it all and it will be watching you.
Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal. He is the author of the book The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles.