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Friday, June 14, 2013

surveillance state

There has never been any private space for Winston or Julia—not in their “secret” meeting places, not in their sexual rebellion, not even in the few cubic centimeters inside their skulls. “

For seven years the Thought Police had watched him like a beetle under a magnifying glass. There was no physical act, no word spoken aloud, that they had not noticed, no train of thought that they had not been able to infer.” Winston should have taken more seriously the description of Oceania he read in the forbidden book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, by Emmanuel Goldstein:

A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected. Nothing that he does is indifferent. His friendships, his relaxations, his behaviour towards his wife and children, the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body, are all jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual misdemeanour, but any eccentricity, however small, any change of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of an inner struggle, is certain to be detected.
The Orwellian surveillance state is terrifying not because—as in Kafka—you might be arrested because of a rumor or a mistake, or because despite your innocence you might be caught in the State’s unnavigable maze. It is terrifying because it never makes mistakes. It does not need to listen to rumors. And it knows that no one is ever innocent.


Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-eyes-watching-you#ixzz2WEsDL5q8