Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sit Quietly And We Will Control All That You See And Hear

When I was just a kid there was a TV show I loved to watch.  That show was The Outer Limits.

Each episode would open with a “Control Voice” warning the viewer, “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to—The Outer Limits.”

Throughout history, compassionate minds have pondered the dark and disturbing question:  what is society to do with those members who are a threat to society, those malcontents and misfits whose behavior undermines and destroys the foundations of civilization? Different epochs have found different solutions to this disturbing problem.

Peggy Noonan, in her Op-Ed for The Wall Street Journal writes, “The security age began on Sept. 12, 2001. The enormity of the surveillance state since has grown. Americans, in the shock after 9/11, didn’t mind enhanced security, and in fact were mostly grateful for it and supportive of it. But built into that support, and the acceptance of the surveillance mentality’s intrusions, was I suspect, a broadly held assumption that we’ll just do it now, and down the road we can stop it. It’s just an emergency thing. We can make it go away when we no longer want it. But can we? Do government programs tend to remain static, or wither? Or do they tend to grow?”

The web is ablaze with debates about government surveillance of ordinary citizens.  The focus is on the Fourth Amendment and the FISA courts, the NSA and the recently revealed Code Name PRISM.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution reads, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Back to The Outer Limits.  One episode, O.B.I.T., opens with this narrative:

“In this room, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, security personnel at the Defense Department's Cypress Hills Research Center keep constant watch on its scientists through O.B.I.T., a mysterious electronic device whose very existence was carefully kept from the public at large. And so it would have remained but for the facts you are about to witness…”

The Outer Limits was a science fiction anthology created in 1963.  Science fiction then.  Now, not so much.

There is another electronic device with which we became familiar.  The “telescreen” in George Orwell’s 1984 enables “the Party” to monitor its members almost all of the time. In Orwell’s dystopian novel, technology (the telescreen and microphones) are generally perceived as working toward moral good but can also aid and abet the most diabolical evil.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,” is the first line in 1984.

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

These are the official slogans of “the Party” and are referred to as “doublethink”.  They are illogical but are central to the psychological control of the masses—the low information voter, if you will.

If the government’s constant propaganda induces fear and doubt then its citizens will accept anything.  A common enemy keeps the people united.  The man who is independent is doomed to fail and the man who accepts the collective is free from want and danger.  The powerlessness of the people to recognize the contradictions bolsters the power of the authoritarian regime. Every citizen lives to serve the nurturing mother state.

Keith Koffler at White House Dossier opines, “President Obama and his fully politicized White House have shown their contempt for the Constitution, the rule of law, the other branches of government and the watchdog institutions of our society time and time again.”

“Laws are meant to be circumvented. The Supreme Court is to be vilified for making the ‘wrong’ decisions. The press is to be bullied and intimidated. Opponents in Congress are cynical, politically motivated extremists who want to oppress Americans they don’t like.”

In the dark and brooding video below, a totalitarian propaganda world is ruled from above.  A young girl witnesses the fate of a tortured worker and the murder of her protesting mother.  The girl rises up and confronts the dehumanized regime occupying her Motherland.

She can be all it takes to spark off a revolution…




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