Friday, December 31, 2010

America’s Slide toward Totalitarism

By Abby Martin, Consortium News, December 27, 2010

Editor’s Note: The chance of an American getting killed by a terrorist remains miniscule, especially compared to other possible causes of mortality, like not getting timely medical attention because of the wasteful and costly health-care system. But Americans continue to surrender freedoms (and spend a fortune) to add a tiny bit of protection from terrorism.

The larger picture is even grimmer, since the accumulation of surrendered freedoms to fight the “war on terror” is shifting the United States piece by piece from a constitutional republic toward a new-age totalitarian state, as Abby Martin notes in this guest essay:

In George Orwell’s 1984, Britain is depicted as a totalitarian police state that is ruled by the Party, or Big Brother – an enigmatic, ubiquitous elite that controls society through heavy surveillance, nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism.

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The concept seems like a far-fetched portrayal of a democratic nation’s demise into totalitarianism, but in America’s “post 9/11” climate of fear, the United States government has been building a comprehensive grid of surveillance and control that bears frightening similarities to Orwell’s fictional narrative.

The glaring difference between the two is that Orwell’s dystopian society is overtly totalitarian. America, conversely, operates under a “soft fascism” – an insidious, systematic method of preventative action and corporate top-down control over society’s media, economy and politics – while maintaining the necessary illusion of personal choice and freedom.

A populace with little to no concept of their subjugation makes them the perfect subjects to rule.

Many Americans might not feel the government’s hand or Big Brother’s watchful eye directly in their lives. However, with the use of GPS, cell phones and the Internet, every move we make can be tracked, cataloged and divided into demographics that are used to increase corporate advertising efficiency and to create a “chilling effect” throughout our culture, stifling dissent and diminishing activism.

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