:: essays ::
The War Within...
Well I've just finished reading 1984 by George Orwell and Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal, two books written more than 50 years apart, one a fictional story, the other an essay along with two letters about the current state of our grand republic, that should have little in common but that in fact was not the case. In 1984, Orwell paints a vivid and believable picture of a totalitarian ruled world that maintains a constant state of war which the leadership of all sides involved know is futile but necessary in order to consume world resources, keep the standard of living down, and ultimately to maintain the status quo of the established power heirarchy. The government is its population's worse enemy, where even your very thoughts are punishable by torture and death if they do not conform to the orthodox way of thinking. To this end, the government's Thoughtpolice, reminscient of the Nazi gestapo, maintain a 24 hour watch on all citizens and routinely abducts them with no warning or warrant.
For those who would discard Orwell's warning from the late 1940s as pessimistic alarmism and obviously a future which America, the land built on ideas of freedom and peace, has safely avoided, one has to only take a serious look at the true state of our great nation. Since World War II and the days of when the first atomic bombs were dropped, the United States of America has been in a perpetual state of war, and additionally a state defined by its futility. From the Cold War post World War II, to the War on Drugs of the 1980s to the present and finally to the War on Terror we have just begun against as vague as enemy that can be imagine (note: war can only be declared by Congress and further more war can only be declared against a sovereign nation and not against an individual or even a group).
And for all their costs (the military budget being approximately $344 billion which is interestingly more than almost all our so called "enemies," including Russia, China and Iraq, spend on their militaries combined) what tangible and beneficial things have these perpetual wars attained? The Cold War, if anything, almost brought about the end of the world. Wars such as Vietnam, fought to stop the "domino effect" of communism, effectively suppressed a sovereign nation's right to choose its own type of government for over a decade. And even with the "fall" of Vietnam, all of Southeast Asia did not follow suit. The War on Drugs is perhaps the most laughable of all our endeavors. For, as any high schooler can tell you, the War on Drugs does nothing to actually stop the flow of drugs into this country and far more to place people of color in the control of the Department of Corrections. And finally the War on Terror is by far the most dangerous, but not to who many may think.
In 1995, President Clinton signed into effect the Anti-Terrorism Act. This Act effectively neutralizes five of ten admendments we once called our Bill of Rights. And this singular act underscores the true reason why we continue fighting all these wars that do nothing but drain our national economy, and in turn, lowers our standard of living (note: for being the "best" country in the world the US is not even in the top 40 in terms of public education and the only 1st world country not to have universal health care, which is almost contradictory when you consider the billions spent to keep us drug free). These wars have allowed our federal government, a behemoth that has grown so large and powerful that it is now a threat to the population it governs, to conduct war on its own citizens and slowly but surely turn our republic into a police-state and shred every right our country is suppose to be founded on. "Once an unalienable right becomes alienated, it will never be so again."
Orwell wrote, "who controls the past, controls the future, who controls the present, controls the past." Our governement long ago ceased to be a governement for the common person and is now only representative of the needs and wants of big business. Who then are the media answerable to? Why to the corporations who own them of course. As for the survelliance and abductions, one needs only to go so far as the 1990s and such incidents as Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge or more recently the hundreds detained, possibly indefinitely, for "suspected" ties to terrorism. So the future Orwell gives us 50 years ago of the Thoughtpolice monitoring their populace continually, compared to the activities of the FBI, CIA, INS, ATF and IRS, and a Ministry of Truth whose soul purpose is to constantly shape all form of media to suit its own end isn't only remotely possible, it is currently reality.