Our Government Today Essay

It was a time of total government, so in many ways reflects that moment.

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It seems as if we have gone through the looking glass and entered a world where, in the words of captures some sense of living in the modern era, with extensive government, military, technology and media.

But in Orwell’s imagined Oceania, the state is monolithic, overseeing all activity with total control. It sees what you do, tells you what to do, monitors what you think and punishes any variance.

Now, with the National Security Agency perusing our phones (hi!

), Google combing through our search engines, and our high-tech TVs able to watch us, Orwell was all too prescient.

The social theorist Michel Foucault held that a central feature of modern society is the soft control of surveillance.

It informs our sensibility, disciplining us without overt force and compelling us to adhere to normative behavior.

But more so than propaganda, we live in a time of ads -- accumulating thousands of hours by the time one is 10 years old.

One of the creepier details in is that the screens can also watch the inhabitants.

A chilling vision, but that misses perhaps the most distinctive sense of our contemporary world: consumer capitalism provided by a phalanx of corporate sponsors.

Conservatives might complain that government extends too far, but if one looks around one’s home, one can immediately see the reach of Apple, Google, Starbucks, Verizon, Amazon, General Foods, Exxon, Citibank and on and on.


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