Sunday, 24 November 2002

Was Orwell Right?

Like I always say, Orwell was a prophet and 1984 was just a typo! Give up your power to the fear of "terrorism" and pretty soon you'll have one of those black helicopters hovering outside your window telling you that it's illegal for you to be breathing in the wrong way!

Many of the predictions made by George Orwell in his book 1984 in relation to "Big Brother" surveillance, corruption of language and control of history have already come about to a great extent in Communist countries and to some extent in the West. The powers of security police in Western countries to intercept mail and tap phones have often been extended, police agencies keep numerous files on law-abiding citizens, and more and more public officials have the right to enter private homes without a warrant. Many government departments keep computerized information on citizens and there is a danger that this information will be fed into a centralized data bank.

Attempts by law enforcement agencies to obtain more information through informer schemes, through new law enforcement agencies, and through new techniques such as computerization of information, are understandable, but the cumulative effect of such Big Brother activities is to make countries such as the United States, Britain and Australia increasingly totalitarian societies. The corruption of language described in 1984 is widespread in the media today, with "Newspeak" terms such as democratic, socialist, fascist, war criminal, freedom fighter, racist and many other expressions being used in a deliberately deceptive, propagandistic way to whip up mass hysteria or simply to ensure that people can never achieve even an approximation of the truth.

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