How American Society Relates To That In "1984"

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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America; the home of the free and land the land of the brave. That is, before the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Heeding the warnings by George Orwell in his novel, 1984, connections can be made between aspects in the book and aspects of today. The logical results of our current actions as a nation should be looked at more closely as the War against Terrorism continues. We must ensure that the measures we use to protect ourselves do not destroy the very freedoms we seek to safeguard. For those civil liberties are what separate our society from that of 1984. The War against Eurasia/Eastasia in the novel serves as a method of keeping the people suppressed, just as the war against Afghanistan is beginning to infringe on many human rights and liberties.

The government of 1984 exercised its control of the populace through secrecy. The "Inner Party" was privileged to know the workings of the government, but the majority of the citizens knew and believed only what the government wanted them to.

By keeping the society ignorant of facts and truths of the world they lived in, they were able to control their actions, thoughts and opinions. The United States supports the idea that a government of the people and by the people must be visible to the people. In other words, American democracy is a political system based on the ideas of transparency and accountability. Government secrecy is a concept completely at odds with this idea, however after September 11th, this occurrence has become much more frequent.

Prior to the passage of the USA Patriot Act, several privacy statues required that the government notify Americans when it collected private information, including credit reports, students records, financial information and other personal data. The USA Patriot Act allows law...