“The surveillance and terror that operates in Nineteen Eighty-Four was intended for [a small number of inner party elite] only. The bulk of the population are ignored. The situation in
“The key phrase always used to justify such ideas is ‘The innocent need have nothing to fear’. Whenever that phrase is used in final justification, as it was used in Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and no doubt every other totalitarian state since the dawn of history, then infringement of civil liberties is certain and freedom, as it is understood in America, and as it was understood in Britain in the nineteenth century,…will have passed. The gloss of the consumerist society will not be able to hide what has happened. And the word used to describe this tendency is still ‘Orwellian’ or, more simply, ‘Big Brother’. The justification of the need for such a regime was always, in the past, the fear of communism, or invasion, or revolution. With the ending of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet regime these reasons fall away. What is left is the most human motive of all, the motive of the righteous who have persecuted through the ages: power. As Orwell has O’Brien say when forcing Winston to admit that most absurd untruth, that two and two make five, ‘We are the priests of Power.’
- from The Larger Evils by W. J. West. This was written in 1992!