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Old 10-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
Yeah, that can be seen as Orwellian constant surveillance--Big Brother is watching, and the necessary fear needed to control the people can also be seen in the perpetual wars in which we engage as well as the constant defining of problems as crises.

We can also see similarities of the erasure of the past in 1984 necessary to brainwash the people, to subtle present ways such as the changing of the meaning of words even to the point where they mean the opposite of what they used to mean (Orwells 1984 slogans "war is peace," "ignorance is strength," etc.) such as the shifting meanings of "liberal" and "conservative", legislation that uses words or phrases like "for the children" which often restrict freedoms of children and parents. And, most dangerously, interpreting words in the Constitution such as "commerce" to mean anything that affects commerce (which is just about everything) and also to mean even activities that are not actually commerce, and "between the States" to mean within a State or within a community or between two people in their home, or to one person acting for his own benefit. Or to interpret the Constitution totally differently than it was written or intended. Further erasure of the past, more subtle and hidden, is the altering and changing of curricula in K-12 to minimize or ignore past history and magnify the present in ways that devalue the mores, politics, and philosophical and religious beliefs of the past and give credence to modern "progressive" views. The temple of these views from whence they flow to the rest of society is our university system, which teaches our present day elite that we are shackled to an outmoded past by strictly constitutional governance and we would be better suited to rule by centralized administrative "experts." Though this is all somewhat Orwellian, it is not strictly so. It is not the hard despotism of 1984, and the populace does have rights and can still vote.

What we may have more to fear is the soft despotism prophecied by Tocqueville. He believed that democracy could drift into despotism, a "soft" despotism, in which "an immense protective power" would be responsible for all of society's well-being as long as that society allowed it to be the "sole agent and judge of it." This despotism would be as a parental authority that kept its people "in perpetual childhood" that left its children"free from all the touble of thinking and all the cares of living." Democracy's descent to despotism would be "soft" as opposed to the harsh despotism of dictatorial forms, because it would be allowed by consent of the people who vote for politicians who promise to give them an easy comfortable life--to trade the hard life of liberty and personal responsibility for the soft life of cradle to grave government care. Tocqueville saw the threat to liberty and civic virtue in the elimination of "intermediate bodies" (local governance). Without local self-governance democracy would be transformed by expert, well-meaning, administrators appointed by the elected rulers into a "soft," benevolent, despotism where a central government would regulate all details of an individuals life--for his good.

In 1984, Orwell had his various ministries such as those of "truth," "plenty" and "peace" which were methods of brainwashing the people into acquiesence and to loving Big Brother.

Tocqueville says "After having thus successfully taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends his arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." Though he feared centralization of government, he understood that there is a need for some basic centralizing of power. He saw democracy as divided between legislative and administrative centralization. The legislative type was more cumbersome and most difficult to centralize the distribution of power. The administrative type most easily gathers that power by circumventing the legislative process. Administrative centralization of power was, to Tocqueville, the most dangerous to individual liberty.

In the Declaration of Indepence there were 18 charges against the King including "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance." And "for taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:"

We now have hundreds of government administrative boards, departments, commissions, corporations, committees, and independent agencies many of which unconstitutionally bypass separation of powers by posessing legislative, executive, and judicial power, and are administered by unelected "experts" in their fields which includes most of the functions of our lives. Their intent is to ease the process by which those functions are performed--to make our lives better, easier, to help in dispensing government largesse to its people. We have a growing percentage of our population that has been convinced this shifting of personal responsibility to government functionaries is good.

Or has there, through our progressive education, media propaganda, and political maneuvering, been an Orwellian brainwashing? Do we have the growth of a soft despotism? Are these administrative agencies "swarms" of officers "sent hither", for our good, "to harass our people and eat out their substance"? And are we now about to alter "fundamentally the forms of our governments" so the soft despotism will be complete?

Last edited by detbuch; 10-25-2011 at 09:57 AM.. Reason: typos and additions
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