Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Big Brother is Getting Bigger

I find it difficult to imagine that anyone reading Orwell’s masterpiece [1984] put the book down and said, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could live like that?” But if we don’t consider all of the aspects of double-edged technologies, and if we get too caught up in convenience or too scared to accept less than the most intrusive security, that’s the world we’re going to live in.
c/o Lady Liberty for Liberty for All

In George Orwell’s classic “1984,” Big Brother was the personification of Big Government. He was always there to protect citizens and to steer them in the “right” direction “for their own good.” To maintain the status quo (i.e. government as the ultimate authority), Orwell’s Big Brother did everything from rewriting history and redefining language to engaging in constant prophylactic surveillance of citizens on the streets and in their homes.

In the world of “1984,” thorough records were kept on each and every citizen, and paranoia and fear alone ensured that Big Brother’s control was absolute even when his technological eyes might randomly be turned elsewhere. Those few who dared rail against such things were re-educated using tools ranging from mere propaganda to outright torture.

Is it any wonder, then, that more and more people are talking about Big Brother these days?

If redefining words or rewriting history is “Big Brotherish,” we must take note of recent developments.

The manipulation of history isn’t new, nor is it as difficult as you might think when you consider that history is typically written by the victor. A prime example is the virtual hero worship of President Abraham Lincoln who is credited with ending slavery in America. The reality of Lincoln’s actions leading up to and during the Civil War aren’t quite so glorious.

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