Cross-posted from Mike Malloy
1984 -- An Overused Analogy?
In yet another example of the prescience of George Orwell, the US House recently approved the latest version of doublethink.
It is named the USA Freedom Act. This newest destruction of the right to privacy allows domestic intelligence agencies to continue sucking up all the available meta-data in a region, city, state or several states, using the same court order.
In other words -- not Orwellian, by the way -- the bill continues to authorize massive un-targeted surveillance of, well, everything and everybody.
The totalitarian behavior exposed and confirmed by NSA contractor Ed Snowden has not changed -- it just has a new title. This is, of course, a perfect example of Newspeak, language devised in George Orwell's 1984 to meet the ideological needs of the ruling party.
Representative Rush Holt -- the New Jersey Democrat reacted with, yes, a tweet! He wrote, "How could anyone support a bill that doesn't require probable cause to spy on Americans?"
Mr. Holt was either being suspiciously naive or showing he has learned to keep his resistance to totalitarianism within the 140 character limit required by his Twitter account.
And wasn't that brevity of language another requirement of Newspeak? To reduce the English language to the fewest words possible? Removing words removes ways to define anti-ruling-class feelings and the ability to disagree. For example, the word "surveillance" can be replaced by the word "watchful." Neat, yes?
This newest example of creeping fascism also allows the NSA to pry into communications of an individual simply because that person and a suspected terrorist both made a phone order at the same pizza delivery joint.
So, I wonder how soon before an official Hate Week is announced. We're close to it now with the constant official condemnation of, for example, homosexuality and marriage equality.
Or Thought Crime. Are our private conversations not Orwellian examples of Thought Crime if they are critical of the ruling class or if they question the actions of those in power and are discovered in massive sweeps of phone calls and emails?
Using George Orwell's novel 1984 -- or for that matter his Animal Farm -- is often said to be the easy way of pointing out the fascist political movement occurring in this country on a seemingly daily basis. Just as using Nazism to describe the actions of George Bush and Dick Cheney gets tiresome after a while. But, if these references are in fact true -- and is there any argument that they are not? -- then using them is proper and a clear warning of what is to come.