“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
This admonition comes from 1984, the classic book written by George Orwell. In 1984, a dystopian future of a totalitarian regime is shown in its full, and necessary consequence. Parallels of such a system’s nascency can be seen in contemporary America today. We do not need to go far into history to see where these parallels began, we just have to look at the last two administrations to see how much it has accelerated.
In 1984, the story takes place in Oceania under the principles of Ingsoc (English Socialism). The ruling party is the Party; there is the elite Inner Party, there is the Outer Party who are the citizens, and the ‘proles’ who are the lowest class. America has its Inner party, and it has nothing to do with whether one is a Republican or a Democrat as both sides have members in Amerisoc. Here we will see numerous ‘R’s’ and ‘D’s’ showing who makes up our Inner Party.
Oceania is one of the three remaining countries after a great war, and Oceania is constantly at war with the remaining Eurasia or Eastasia; the actual enemy may change, as is needed for one enemy is always needed. War without end. Our accelerated move to Amerisoc was the beginning of our great war without end: the ‘War on Terror,’ after the attacks of 09/11/01. The Bush (R) administration began this ‘great’ war, and though Obama (D) campaigned on stopping and overturning various Bush creations, Obama actually continued them; the broken promises include: closing Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo), using diplomacy in dealing with other countries (Libya and Yemen), withdrawing from Iraq (we have in part but not totally, for we need a ‘residual’ force), to bring the troops home; Obama went beyond the level of attacks of Bush with drone strikes.
But let us step back a moment before getting into the details of how there are Republicans and Democrats as Inner Party members. The structure of Ingsoc’s Party structure needs to be examined in how it deals with its subjects. There are four main divisions of government: the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) where lies are created, and history is erased or modified in order to defend the Party’s current position; the Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty) where rationing of poor-quality resources are offered to the undernourished masses; the Ministry of Love (Miniluv) where prisoners are incarcerated, tortured and killed; the Ministry of Peace (Minipax) where the plans for war are formulated and enacted. There is also the Thought Police who arrest those who are thinking improperly, meaning not as the Party desires. Finally, and as he was the main Inner Party member we saw, there was O’Brien who first takes us in as a friend and confidant, but then shows his true beliefs and seeks to break us down as he explains the way of the world… according to the Party.
Like the agencies in Oceania, our governmental agencies have names that gloss over their true, pernicious reality; agencies are not alone, for various bills and laws that are passed are also named as beneficence, but have malicious and rights-violating reality.
Examples of names sounding good, but hiding bad ideas:
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) sounds good, for piracy is theft and stopping theft is a good thing, of course. Though the wording in the beginning of SOPA is that the bill isn’t to infringe upon First Amendment rights, through vague definitions someone thought to be violating the law, or linked in someway, however indirectly to someone charged with violating the law may have their own internet shut down. The charge is enough, and afterward the defendant may ‘prove’ their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. SOPA shuts down our internet speech, our first amendment.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also sounds good, for who doesn’t want to have their homeland well-defended? However, NDAA allows the government to detain anyone without trial or even being formally charged. Obama has the power, but advised he ‘won’t’ use it; how reassuring. Let us remember his promise to close Gitmo (whether or not you agree it should be closed, it was one broken promise among other broken promises). NDAA actually enables Obama to pack Gitmo with more detainees, even US citizens.
The Patriot Act was passed not too long after 9/11 (by Bush), and has been recently extended (by Obama and most of Congress). One’s own country is the ultimate ‘home team.’ However, the Patriot Act, beyond its flowery name is codified violations of the fourth Amendment, as government agents may authorize their own searches, instead of needing to go to a judge.
The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) was created as a part of the Department of Homeland of Security that was created following 9/11. The very name states its about safe transportation; the actions of the TSA involves that which doesn’t deal with transportation, but with violating rights as its parent (Homeland Security via Patriot Act) states its agents may search anyone without a warrant.
Affordable Health Care for America Act (colloquially known as Obamacare) isn’t about health but is about medical costs; those are not the same. In making it mandatory, Obamacare, also by law has the people tied to governmental services, and with such strings begins to state that as we are receiving its benefits, it may begin to tell us how to live how they define a healthy life, and judge our individual worth whether we receive necessary medical services.
These are but a few of the numerous examples of fools’ gold offered by the Party.