UPDATE: Here in 2016, we have seen a classic demagogue nominated to run for the Presidency. A man who appeals to people’s extreme distress by pitting them against one another, as in “us against them”, and more specifically “white against color”. He laughs at the inequality that is built into the American political process and that is rampant throughout the entire world while pretending that he will tear it all down. (Not a chance.)
In the West, we had almost solved equality by the 60s and 70s, but it has resurged and is now at its highest ever and its growth is out of control. We are allowing this to happen while the political process is manipulated by the wealthy into total chaos, which has always been a terrific way to control the proletariat. Orwell’s book makes a great manual. Rampant greed for money and power does the rest.
This is how fascism comes to the world, starting with the strongest country and bleeding outward from there. I never thought I would see us get this close.
The book 1984 denotes a chilling dystopia in which personal rights and freedoms are non-existent, in which people are regularly taken by the state and held (and tortured) without habeas corpus, and of course with a perpetual state of war against a vaguely defined enemy. All in all, a book that will disturb you, written back when “mom, apple pie, and the white picket fence” was still the norm.
Fast forward to today and we have seen a decade of erosion of rights and freedoms with rendition and similar suspensions of personal rights. We have seen state-sponsored torture defended in the highest office. The USA remains in a perpetual state of war … on drugs, against terror, and so on. We have seen the sprouting of technologies (analytics) that can analyze phone calls and images from public cameras (e.g. traffic cameras) to track people in real time, along with your GPS phone of course. And from what I have read, these technologies are in day to day use.
So now we see that the uproar against the spectacular loss of privacy and anonymity that the CISPA bill would bring only slowed it down a bit. It is back, it has passed the house and it is now on its way to the senate. Which means that there is nothing that the state or its private partners cannot know about you in a heart beat.
Next year is the 30th anniversary of the Orwellian vision of the future. Slowly we see the pieces falling into place. I hope you are shuddering at the thought of where this ends.