As the news of friends spying on friends ratchets up a notch (or a billion), it seems rather disingenuous that nations are reacting with calculated anger.
According to news reports, France’s response to reports of US spying on them was harshly worded, but spare, and that subsequent announcements were milder in tone. All this, even as French lawmakers are moving to vastly expand their own program of surveillance.
And (shocker) Germany is also being accused of spying on friends, after having flipped their wig when it was disclosed that we had spied on them.
Added to this is the disclosure of documents showing how drone strikes are carried out, with the help of the NSA (“Watching and listening to everything you do, since… well, simply forever…”™) and British Intelligence (“You’re eyes and ears around the world, since longer than you snotty yanks, anyway…”™)
So it really does seem rather frighteningly fortuitous that today we remember the birthday of George Orwell, who was born Eric Arthur Blair on this date in 1903.
George Orwell wrote:
“War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.
Those who ‘abjure’ violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.
Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
And of course, arguably his most famous quote, which so many have pooh-poohed as being needlessly alarmist, but is looking more and more like an eerie form of prescience:
Big Brother is watching you.
Image found here.