Freedom is never free.....

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."-Samuel Adams

Political Frivolity (maybe)

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Friday, July 3, 2009

1984 (or 2009)

"From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."

George Orwell-1984

Written in 1948, George Orwell’s 1984 was a prophetic look in to the future regarding Totalitarianism. Many phrases in this book are widely used today, such as “Big Brother”, “doublethink”, “Newspeak”, and “Orwellian”.

As I was perusing The Drudge Report, an article jumped out at me regarding the federal gasoline tax. A federal commission has determined a “mile-by-mile tax would be the best way to keep dollars flowing to maintain interstates. This would mandate GPS units in every car driven in the U.S. The rationale revolves around the need to increase revenues for road maintenance. The fact that each state has its own fuel tax PER GALLON in addition to the 18.5 cents per gallon already collected by the Feds is, apparently irrelevant.

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."
George Orwell-1984

As I have said in the past, incrementalism is a dangerous concept, and one that has been utilized to perfection by our elected officials in Washington. Consider the USA Patriot Act, enacted under the guise of national security to root out terrorists and evildoers. This legislation was passed with virtually no debate, and continues to violate your fundamental freedoms by giving the government the power to access to your medical records, tax records, information about the books you buy or borrow without probable cause, and the power to break into your home and conduct secret searches in direct contradiction to the Fourth Amendment protecting us against illegal search and seizure. The fact that any of us could fall victim to eavesdropping on private conversations on our telephone or computers doesn’t seem to be an issue that is a concern for the populace at large.

“Big Brother is watching you” - George Orwell-1984

Incremental increase in the power of surveillance is analogous to legislation that outlawed smoking on domestic airlines. While this wasn’t a bad idea, it was the first installation in a long line of building blocks that have, incrementally, enacted legislation outlawing smoking in ALL public places. While this is being done on a state level, which falls in line with this author’s beliefs, it was a direct result of a federal campaign to reach all 50 states through extortion and intimidation. An example is the federal bill just signed into law giving the FDA, essentially, carte blanche authority to regulate manufacturing and marketing of all tobacco products. Incrementally, from domestic flights to complete federal control, the federal government’s ability to force the states to cede power should be a concern for those of us who love and believe in personal freedom, responsibility and the 10th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

“‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.’’- George Orwell-1984

With the advent of 24 hours a day “news”, from CNN to Fox, with viewership at record highs, one must understand the power of broadcast news. The last election cycle is a case in point with regard to the statement “ignorance is strength”. President Obama has the full support of all the networks news channels, as well as a large portion of cable news. The talking heads assured Americans that “Senator Obama is campaigning to the left for votes, but will most certainly govern from the middle”. Ouch. Wrong is right. Right is wrong. Unfortunately, there are a plethora of ignorant Americans who fall prey to and worship from the alter of The Church of Cable News, where the truth is derived from distorted history and revisionism.

"He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past." – George Orwell-1984

Historical revisionists remain a plague to a free society, in large part, because current social norms and legislation are created based on historical significance. What history shows to be injustices, moral, ethical, or otherwise, mold current thinking to right perceived wrongs. If history can be distorted, a false foundation can be structured in such a way to meet the criteria of any modern agenda. One example is FDR’s “New Deal”. Another is LBJ’s “Great Society”. Current occupants of the Whitehouse and the Capital have spoken of these programs as “a victory on the war of poverty”, “creating racial equality”, etc. This is a perfect example what happens when history is revised to fit a particular ideology. While espousing the ‘resounding successes of these programs, a political party, in essence, holds an entire generation hostage. Real history shows that these programs did the complete opposite, that is they created generations of Americans dependent upon the monthly checks mailed from Washington. The “Great Society”, should be referred to as the “Great Tragedy”. As millions of Americans believe the history created by our leaders, they effectively cede more and more power and liberty to those who sole existence is driven by the need to be reelected.

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. “
George Orwell-1984


The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia, Uganda, etc. are examples of regimes the exemplify Orwell’s above quote. The Politburo’s members had mansions on The Black Sea, luxury automobiles, all the toys and extras that come with the positions of power. Meanwhile, the rest of the Soviet Bloc lived a hand-to-mouth existence, surviving day to day, with a bleak future devoid of hope. This is true of any totalitarian regime, whereas the central power structure controls more and more, until the vast majority of the population is completely dependent on the government for the very basics and necessities just to survive. Sound familiar? As a government take control of private concerns and contends “they know what is best” for there constituents, and when these smaller government entities cede power to the next level up, we are incrementally moving toward that Utopia that Orwell spoke of. The American Communists referred to that very same Utopia as they attempted to grow their own movement.

It's the one thing they can't do. They can make you say anything - anything - but they can't make you believe it. They can't get inside you. –George Orwell 1984

If we commit this to memory, and believe what it really means, all is not lost. No controlling power can speak to your heart. No agency or entity can tell you what to feel, can empower you to abandon the basic fundamentals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. As a political body, there is still time to recover the liberties that are incrementally eroding day by day, all in the name of Big Brother. Do we continue to relinquish personal freedoms for the sake of road maintenance? Are we content to allow the Feds to monitor our internet usage and telephone conversations due to “national security? The only GPS I want in my car is to give me directions to a restaurant. “1984” was fictional, the characters and ideals straight from the imagination of a writer who, perhaps, had a vision of things to come. Imagine how “safe” we would be if the Feds really could monitor our thoughts as well as internet traffic.

"We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness."

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."
George Orwell-1984

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