When Edward Snowden boldly revealed that he had leaked National Security documents, it was his stated purpose in doing so that stood out more than what he had disclosed. In an interview with The Guardian, Snowden told of his life living in Hawaii, working as a contractor for a security company and making “a ton” of money, but deciding to sacrifice it all because of what he’d found out about the government’s plan, already underway, to destroy privacy and freedom. Wow, anyone having a flashback to high school literature class?
Apparently government’s insatiable desire to control citizens through technology and by limiting information is nothing new. Even those hold-out optimists who desperately want to believe that the government has their best interests in mind have to see that the literature of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s was to the point, and the reality of that era isn’t merely in danger — it no longer exists.
George Orwell may have been off by a few decades, but he certainly got a lot of it right. Published in 1949, Orwell’s vision of the future had the world in a perpetual state of war, with citizens being constantly watched by the government. Even those who, haven’t read “1984” have surely heard the term “Big Brother.” After reading this Orwell classic, you’ll know what it means and won’t be able to stop yourself from making the connection to life in 2013. The Big Brother of “1984” doesn’t just monitor the good people of Oceanian, it practices public mind control and persecutes those bold enough to have an original thought or opinion, calling such heinous acts “thoughtcrimes.” Big Brother even goes so far as to rewrite history, employing people to revise already published news stories so that they support the government’s version of reality.
‘Brave New World’
“Brave New World” was published in 1932 and crossed over with “1984” in some of its themes. Author Aldous Huxley was just as concerned as George Orwell about government’s control issues, which is evident in the reproductive control through technology, psychological manipulation and subliminal learning during sleep that Huxley painted into his “Brave New World” book. Originally intended to be a parody of utopian novels of the time by the author, such as “Men Like Gods” and “A Modern Utopia,” the view of “Brave New World” from the 21st century is a sadly ironic one.
The theme of government-controlling citizens through mass media and technology is the thread that Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” picked up and carried on. Published in 1953, Bradbury painted a stark picture of a society suppressed and controlled through censorship and programming. Anyone reading “Fahrenheit 451” should be startled by the presence of items like earbuds as listening devices, ATM’s and flatscreen TV’s thin enough to hang on the wall. None of that technology existed in 1953, yet Bradbury included all of it. Futuristic as it was, it facilitated, rather than prevented, the manipulation and censorship carried out by the ruling powers.
These are all must-read books for the conspiracy theorist, especially when you feel yourself slipping out of paranoia. Whenever you start crossing over into a positive state of mind, a few chapters from anyone will be enough to sober you up. You should also keep abreast of current conspiracies, via shows like “Conspiracy Theory” and other cutting-edge reality shows. You’ll find them on networks like TruTV, available with most cable or satellite packages, according to www.bundle.tv.
There’s a Catch-22 topic involved here, so to speak: if the paranoid are proven right, that means the world as we know it is screwed.
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