Tag Archives | orwell

Proposals for a Freer and More Just Society

The unnamed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The unnamed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is growing increasingly unfree and unjust. Just look around you.

As the revelations by Edward Snowden prove, surveillance of citizens’ private lives by government is at an all-time Orwellian high, with cameras becoming ubiquitous on street corners, drones patrolling the skies overhead, all forms of telecommunications regularly monitored and recorded. In general, there is massive intrusion by government into personal matters that would have been repelled by America’s founders. It was precisely such intrusion that inspired the writing of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the protections against such abuses supposedly enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

In addition to being constantly and suspiciously watched by a group having legal monopoly on both the creation and enforcement of its own rules, a group who seems ever more unaccountable for their own wrongdoing, it’s now taken for granted that cops everywhere carry military-grade hardware.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

When The Language Of Freedom Dies

When The Language Of Freedom Dies, Freedom Dies With It

Freedom is in peril stencil
Image by Leo Reynolds

Back in March (2015) a UK parliamentary select committee published a report [1] which expounded, amongst other things, its views on the police uploading arrest photographs, including those of people not subsequently convicted, into a facial recognition database. The police started doing this on the quiet, without any public announcement or public debate on their reasons for doing it or its impact on individual freedoms.

Here is what the Select Committee had to say:

“We fully appreciate the positive impact that facial recognition software could have on the detection and prevention of crime. However, it is troubling that the governance arrangements were not fully considered and implemented prior to the software being `switched on’. This appears to be a further example of a lack of oversight by the Government where biometrics is concerned; a situation that could have been avoided had a comprehensive biometrics strategy been developed and published.”

[‘Current and future uses of biometric data and technologies’ report, House of Commons Science and Technology select committee, 2015]

Oh boy, strong words, they must have been pretty annoyed – oh no, hang on a minute – “fully appreciate the positive impact”, “governance arrangements were not fully considered”, “lack of oversight”… There must have been a mistake at the printers, they appear to have accidentally printed a sermon on the merits of doing nothing other than producing yet more administrative red tape.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

1984 Action Day, 8th June – Orwell as Relevant as Ever

On 8th June 1949 George Orwell published his novel ‘1984’. It was a warning of the society that would emerge if the totalitarian thinking he believed had taken root in the minds of intellectuals and policymakers everywhere was left unchecked.

Sixty-six years later we find that Orwell’s novel resonates as strongly as ever.

Democratic governments around the world are enacting laws that enable greater and greater monitoring of the people, curtail freedom of speech and undermine protections once enshrined in our legal systems.

Bill C-51 in Canada, a new pro surveillance law in France, the Counter-Terrorism Legislative Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Act 2014 in Australia, a 1.6M euros system to track social media in Spain… And In the UK the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, a proposed new Counter-Extremism Bill and plans to re-introduce the “snoopers charter” to spy on all communications. To name but a few!

All this removal of freedoms is being done under the guise of protecting those very freedoms using a skewed human rights agenda that justifies anything in the name of “national security”, for example the UK’s so-called ‘Protection of Freedoms Act’.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

8th June 2014 – Time For Big Brother to Retire!

On 8th June George Orwell’s surveillance crazed czar of surveillance Big Brother will be 65 years old (in literary years). To mark the date we urge all lovers of freedom to take part in the annual 1984 Action Day and to call for Big Brother to hang up his high visibility surveillance jacket and retire.

Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ was first published on 8th June 1949. Now, sixty-five years later and thirty years after the book’s title year, few if any of Orwell’s warnings have been heeded. The slogans of the book’s ruling party: “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” are encoded in the marketing style propaganda of modern political parties. A surveillance state has been built all around us whilst we are encouraged to “share” our concerns in a modern reworking of the 2 minute hate – the 140 character tweet fest – hash tag “what about that funny dog!”

We are living in the dystopian world of ‘1984’ now.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Why We’re Not Living in 1984: “Orwell’s Oversight”

Picture: JoyHill09 (CC)

Picture: JoyHill09 (CC)

“Orwell’s oversight”

Any instance where the establishment’s official line is contradicted by the communications revolution. Orwell suggested a society where citizens were constantly watched and controlled by surveilence technology. We live instead in a world where everyone is watched by everyone else and “the rulers of the world” are no exception.

The following article from CNN is worth reading, as is the book, 1984 by George Orwell, a novel which changed my life for the better:

CNN: We’re Living 1984 Today We live in a world that George Orwell predicted in “1984.” And that realization has caused sales of the 1949, dystopian novel to spike dramatically upward recently — a 9,000% increase at one point on Amazon.com.

1984 is a victim of its own success. It’s a vision so compelling it has enchanted many, including those in positions of power, as an inevitable vision of our future in fact as opposed to fiction.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Experience JoyCamp and Escape the Orwellian Brave New World Order (Interview & Movie)


History… Interview and a Movie: Experience JoyCamp and Escape the Orwellian Brave New World

Tonight, on History… So it Doesn’t Repeat: We feature an interview and a movie with the comedy phenomenon known as JoyCamp, sharing their creative intellect and conscious comedy with all who could use a few laughs. We’ll discover what makes truth so funny, and how to conquer our own fears in the process.

JoyCamp is a term coined by George Orwell in his book 1984, The further life of a “comrade” continues under the watchful eyes of the Party. Everything people do is recorded by the telescreens. Even in their homes people have telescreens. Each unorthodox action is then punished by “joycamps” (Newspeak word for forced labour camps”). In the 21st century, JoyCamp is the antithesis of tyranny of the mind, it’s a liberation from dogma and an inspiration for creativity in life.

Would You Like to Know More?… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Orwell, Dali and “Degenerate Art”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/90/DaliGreatMasturbator.jpg/320px-DaliGreatMasturbator.jpg

Via orwellwasright:

When the Nazis mounted the exhibition Degenerate Art in Munich in 1937, it could be said that modern art was ironically validated in the eyes of cultural history. After all, a black mark from fascism – which promoted “art” that exalted blood and toil, racial purity and obedience – implies that modern art at that time stood for everything the Nazis opposed. This is, of course, simplistic reasoning – “modern art” at the time stood for many things, sometimes attempting to deliberately eschew ideology altogether, often apolitical and frequently controversial.

But the Nazis weren’t the only ones to see modern art as something controversial, or worse, a threat to the very values that underpin society. George Orwell – who sat about as far away from the political ideology of the Nazis as one can get – also perceived a moral degradation in the output of one of the most notoriously subversive artists of the time, Salvador Dali.… Read the rest

Continue Reading