Welcome to Orwellian America, the Land of the Silent, the Home of the Submissive

Michael Payne 
RINF Alternative News

Something very ominous is taking place right before the eyes of the people of this nation; far too many Americans don’t seem to grasp what’s happening all around them; and if they actually do, it may be that they don’t have it in them to reject and resist the forces that intend to transform this society into one of subservience and submissiveness.

Since Edward Snowden blew the whistle and exposed its surveillance activities, the NSA (the National Security Agency) readily admits that it has been collecting all forms of communications of the American people, from emails to cell phone conversations as well as others. It has now also been discovered to have routinely used these same methods to collect the communications of people in other countries, many of them allies of America; even the communications of their leaders.

What we now have in America is a government that has these characteristics: it is o mnipresent meaning that it is “present everywhere at the same time.” It is o mniscient, or, “it has complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.” And lastly, as we well know, it is omnipotent: “it possesses “unlimited and unrestrained authority and power.”

Do the people of America even care that their privacy is being violated each and every day; that their communications of all forms are being monitored closely by the NSA? On the surface that might be the conclusion because their reaction to this invasion of privacy has been a deafening silence. But it’s more than likely that they are well aware of exactly how their Constitutional right of privacy is being violated and they just don’t have it in them to resist and demand that these actions be terminated.

One might describe the mass of Americans as greatly resembling the “proles” that existed in the era of “1984”, aka the Orwellian age. The proles constituted 85% of the population of Oceania, they were the working class. Their functions were simple: to work and raise children. About the only things they concerned themselves with were diversions such as family get-togethers, friends and neighbors, playing the lottery, drinking, and watching TV to make them forget about their meaningless jobs.

The proles in Oceania were not subjected to intimate government surveillance because the government considered them to be useless people who would never question or challenge the government in any way. But in the America of today everyone is under surveillance because, quite obviously, this government doesn’t trust anyone; everyone is suspect and needs to have their communications monitored. So the America of today can be in many ways considered as 1984 on steroids.

We have a president, Barack Obama, who has strongly supported and defended the policies and actions of this NSA spying agency and sees absolutely nothing wrong with how it is invading the privacy of Americans. This president, a Constitutional “scholar” no less apparently doesn’t see this as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 4th Amendment which guarantees the rights of privacy of the American people.

So while all this skullduggery and spying is going on all around us and our cell phones, emails, and other communications are routinely tapped and recorded for further examination, what is the response from the mass of the American people? Are they incensed, are they in a state of rage and outrage because of this gross intrusion into their privacy?

Apparently not; there has been little to no response or reaction, just the usual silence that permeates this society. Many Americans don’t even have the slightest inkling of what is going on; they are, like the 1984 proles, busy with their own lives, largely unconcerned with what they government is doing. Others say that they have nothing to hide and, therefore, the government can do whatever it wishes with intercepting their communications.

Or they may well be a throw back to the people in Germany who, in their hearts, knew exactly what was going on in the prelude to World War II and just looked the other way when The National Socialist German Workers’ Party established control over the nation and the people no longer had any rights and certainly no privacy. And we all know what happened next.

The degree to which this violation of the privacy of the American people has been pursued by the NSA is simply astounding. It’s starting to feel like we are actually living in the modern-day version of Orwell’s Oceania here in 2014; and their reaction to this situation might be best described as “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Or “don’t rock the boat”, “let sleeping dogs lie”, and “I could care less.”

This article from Commondreams.org: “Germany’s Der Spiegel recently reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA), working with the CIA and FBI, has been intercepting laptops and other electronics bought online before delivery to install malware and other spying tools.” That’s quite clever on its part but maybe the NSA will come up with even a more effective way to install these spying tools; they could just direct all the manufacturers of all these electronic devices to insert these special chips as a part of their normal production operations so that 100% of all electronics manufactured in this country will be covered.

The question is: will there ever be an end to this invasion of the privacy of the American people? What we may be seeing right now with these spying policies is likely only the beginning of something far more intrusive and widespread. Would it be a stretch to think that before long there might be monitoring devices installed in homes and cars?

These observations may seem like conspiracy theory to some but who would have, even five years ago, thought that the everyday monitoring of all forms of communications in this country would be going on? That kind of thinking would have been considered to be delusional. But suddenly that once fictional scenario has become a reality.

Recently a special panel made recommendations for limiting the surveillance activities of the NSA and presented them to President Obama for further actions. Since he has been so supportive of NSA policies and actions does anyone think that he will actually rein in these activities in order to preserve the Constitutional rights of privacy of the American people? Or does anyone think that this Congress will finally say that these practices have gone way too far and enact legislation to reform this agency?

Don’t look for either of those possibilities to happen because neither this president nor the Congress has shown any inclination to curtail the activities of this agency. And what would happen if they even tried to do just that? Here is a very powerful government agency that has the most sophisticated kinds of electronic equipment in existence. Suppose that they were told that certain of their methods of capturing communications could no longer be pursued or would have to be restricted. Could the Congress or this president ever know for certain that they were complying with the directives or know what goes on within that agency’s walls?

What’s really difficult to understand is that we Americans proudly proclaim for all the world to hear that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, that we are the seat of world democracy, and our Constitution and the rights it provides for us are sacred and cannot and must not be violated. And then the vast majority of us watch in silence and apathy as these violations occur.

The next version of this surveillance of the American people is being prepared as we speak. Coming in the near future will be hundreds of drones that will fill the skies over America. We might call this new intrusion into our privacy as the Big Eye in the sky, watching what the American people do, where they go and what they might be up to. That’s real freedom, real democracy and upholding the Constitution, right?

So what are we to do as these invasions of our privacy continue to evolve? Well, there is nothing that can match the power and voices of over 300 million American people if the majority of them speak out and loudly demand that these attacks on our Constitution and our personal privacy be stopped.

But there is no such outcry, there is no anger and outrage and all we hear from far too many Americans is a deafening silence. Welcome to Orwellian America.

Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues.