Today it is fifty years since George Orwell’s novel 1984 was published. Its nightmare scenario of a totalitarian society with total surveillance and total tyranny is long since realized in today’s world, and taken a step or ten further.
The surveillance is massive, with cameras practically everywhere, and ever new laws and regulations are introduced to read and listen in on our communications. Big Brother and Sister are very much present all over the world. The moment you enter civilization they are there to greet you and pet you and whip you into obedience.
It’s subtle in many ways, with the stick and carrot method used to entice and deceive you, but the threat of violence and brutality are ever close, if you should step out of line and disobey the long list of no, no’s. Democracy is the sneakiest tyranny in history, because it gives people the illusion of participation. The goal is ever control, more and more control, with countless various subtexts used to achieve it.
For each new generation the noose is tightening. The current generation approaching adulthood is called Echo-boomers, because they tend to echo their parents and society’s viewpoints to an uncanny degree, and even skip the temporary teenage rebellion. This is grave news, and shows, on a long list of chilling revelation how far the social control has come. What is one generation’s horror is next generation’s shrug. We, all of us passionate about saving humanity from itself are in a hurry.
The thing is, every new oppressive legislation is either met with a shrug or eager support by an indifferent population. The leaders could never have gone this far without more or less active participation by their clueless subjects. The time of the lone, classic dictator is pretty much of the past in this Brave New World. Oh, there are a few left, but their time has come. The modern dictators basically control people by guile, deceit and sleight of hand, as stated a far more sneaky and effective method of persuasion and subjugation. The modern tyranny has all the strings, hold all the cards in its hands, except the jokers, the wild cards and those not buying into whatever the guys at the top of the pyramid are selling.
It is very much about selling, actually, about selling a concept, selling peace, about bartering freedom for safety, about selling out. If you can make people give up the most valuable piece of themselves, the very piece making them human you can make them do anything.
2 plus 2 equals 5, and that’s just the beginning.