The patriotic act and the 1984
George Orwell is the author of the novel, 1984. It’s a novel that gives an insight to the readers of a possible future where the administration has definite of complete control of its citizens. Does the term “control” describe such a rule? The government overlooks every aspect of the life of citizens. Everything is under the party’s watch and rule. The government corrupts the minds of the population so that there is no longer a line to divide the truth from lies. The government repeats slogans through telescreens daily so that the citizens are forced to believe in illogical statements gradually. While reading this novel, it’s not imaginable that it can ever happen. But it’s now a reality in the world we live in. This paper will compare this novel to the Patriotic act.
Both the 1984 and the patriotic Act use surveillance for the wrong reasons, this is because they interfere with the freedom and the security of people. The patriotic act was created after the 9/11 tragedy (Kerr, p607). Because the American citizen wanted the feeling of safety after the tragedy, the government used this as the ultimate chance to gain more power over its citizens. Just like how the administration in Oceania makes the people believe in illogical statements, the citizens of the U.S. are made to believe that the Patriotic Act will promote security in the country. The Patriotic Act allows the administration to search anyone’s location, tap into the phones of anyone and observe what the people are searching on the internet without any warrant. To some extent, it’s not a measure to promote security, but the government is gaining more power every day.
This can be compared with Orwell’s novel, 1984. In the novel, the people are ruled by The Big brother and the party. The individualism of everyone has ripped away. Someone is always monitoring the movement of everyone, and no one has the freedom to be alone. This is displayed when Winston Smith, who is the protagonist says, “The telescreens could be dimmed, but they was no way of shutting it off” (Orwell 2). According to this statement, telescreens are used to monitor all the moves made by the citizens even when they are unaware. This is similar to the Patriotic Act; no one knows when the government is monitoring them. Citizens have the freedom to make private calls or search the web privately.
When the government has too much power over its citizen, they exploit the right of the people. People can no longer do what they want without the government monitoring. The people in the government can use this to their advantage other than for service to the people. The government will always be craving for more and more power over the citizens. No one will be able to predict what the government will do next. Very soon the all the freedom of the people will no longer be, and the lives of people will reflect the life of Winston Smith in the novel, 1984.
The American citenzry demanded change to protect people’s privacy form the government by the USA freedom act. The bill banned bulk collection of information from the phones records and internet metadata. I do not think this would be possible in Oceania; this is because everyone’s individualism in Oceania had been ripped away. The citizens in Oceania have been made to believe in illogical statements.
Orwell, George. Nineteen eighty-four. Everyman’s Library, 2009.
Kerr, Orin S. “Internet surveillance law after the USA Patriot Act: The big brother that isn’t.” Nw. UL Rev. 97 (2002): 607.