by James Rickards
You're probably familiar with George Orwell's classic
dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (it's often published as
It was written in
1948; the title comes from reversing the last two digits in
The novel describes a
world of three global empires,
...in a constant state of
Orwell created an
original vocabulary for his book, much of which is in common, if
sardonic, usage today.
Terms such as,
...all come from
Orwell intended it as a warning about how certain countries might
evolve in the aftermath of World War II and the beginning of the
Cold War. He was certainly concerned about Stalinism, but his
warnings applied to Western democracies also.
When the calendar year 1984 came and went, many breathed a sigh of
relief that Orwell's prophesy had not come true. But that sigh of
relief was premature.
society is here today in the form of Communist
China has most of the apparatus of the totalitarian societies
described in Orwell's book.
China uses facial
recognition software and ubiquitous digital surveillance to keep
track of its citizens.
The Internet is
censored and monitored.
police will arrest you for expressing opinions opposed to the
government or its policies.
'Millions' of Chinese have been arrested and sent to
"reeducation" camps for brainwashing (the lucky ones) or
involuntary organ removal without anesthetic (the unlucky
ones who die in excruciating pain and are swiftly cremated as a
While these atrocities
are not going to happen in the U.S. or what passes for the West
these days, the less extreme aspects of China's surveillance state
could well be.
And while you might not
be arrested for expressing unpopular opinions or challenging
prevailing dogmas (at least not yet), you could face other
You could even lose
your job and find it nearly impossible to find another.
You can certainly be banned from social media…
Anything seems to go on
social media, primarily,
...and a few other
platforms, unless you're a conservative personality or politico.
That's where the
Many conservative social media participants have had their
accounts closed or suspended, not for threats or vulgarity but for
criticism of "progressive" views (albeit criticism with some sharp
Meanwhile, those with progressive views can say almost anything on
social media, including the implicit endorsement of violence. But
Other conservatives report being the targets of "shadow banning."
That's where your account
is open and seems to operate normally, but unbeknownst to you, much
of the network is being blocked from seeing your posts and popular
features such as "likes" and "retweets" are being truncated and not
It's like being a pro-athlete who finds out the stadium is empty and
no tickets are being sold. That's bad enough. But Twitter took the
war on conservatives a step further.
Well, one of the most widely followed accounts on Twitter is none
Donald J. Trump's, with 68
President Trump uses
Twitter to announce policy initiatives and personnel changes and
to offer pointed criticism of political opponents.
It's a major platform
Last month Trump issued a
identified the so-called "whistleblower" of the Ukraine
phone call that led to his impeachment.
That's not as big a deal
as it sounds because everyone in Washington knew
whistleblower was (you can look his name up on the web), and he
wasn't even a real whistleblower because he didn't meet statutory
Twitter blamed a
temporary system "outage," but that claim was highly suspicious.
Later, Trump's tweet
was restored, but the original account that Trump linked to had
No one ever said that
politics was fair...
But Twitter's blatant interference in the election could have
adverse consequences for the company in Trump's second term.
And a few social media companies are now de facto censors, taking
over the job from the government. Given their massive media
footprint, they wield extraordinary influence over the American
They're in essence becoming propaganda outfits...
It's not just here of
Canada, for example,
is actively pursuing digital surveillance to track the
activities of law-abiding citizens.
A report for the Bank of Canada says that financial information
gathered from digital transaction records could be used for
"sharing information with police and tax authorities."
If all transactions are digital (including credit and debit
cards), authorities can track your whereabouts, buying habits,
restaurant choices and much more.
They could also reveal your
political orientation and personal associations.
It's not difficult to imagine the police and tax authorities
using that power to make life extremely difficult for those who
criticize the government or sacred ideologies like "climate
If you think that sounds
extreme, some have actually advocated jailing climate change
Do you think I'm making that up?
Well, the executive director of an outfit called
Climate Hawks Vote
"Put officials who reject science in jail."
The Nation also ran an
Is Literally Killing Us: The victims of Hurricane Harvey have a
murderer - and it's not the storm."
"How long," its author asked, "before we hold the ultimate
authors of such climate catastrophes accountable for the
miseries they inflict?"
And Robert F. Kennedy
Jr. said the
"should be in jail,"
"with all the other war criminals."
has since died, so he'll escape Kennedy's justice.
But their "war crimes" consisted of funding organizations that
question the climate change
alarmism the media is constantly feeding
But guess what?
There's plenty of hard scientific evidence that
refutes the alarmist view...
This article isn't the venue to get into
it, but the scientific case against climate alarmism is much
stronger than the case for it.
But if you dissent against the official view, today's tech censors
will silence or marginalize you, no matter how valid your point.
The problem is, the trend is moving very quickly in this direction
and it's difficult to stop. And sophisticated surveillance
technology to monitor citizens is already in place…
cameras with the latest surveillance technology can
spot and match millions of faces in real time with an accuracy rate
of over 99%.
They're touted as anti-terrorism and anti-crime tools,
which they certainly are.
But as Stalin's ruthless secret police chief
"Show me the man and
I'll show you the crime."
It's easy to see that
power being abused to target everyday citizens.
(By the way, Beria would ultimately prove his own point, as he was
later arrested and executed for treason).
And actually, many people welcome intrusive surveillance technology
on the grounds of convenience. As an example, look at microchipping,
where people are injected with a small microchips beneath their
Microchipping has been
associated with an Orwellian nightmare in which Big Brother
constantly monitors your every move.
Well, over 4,000
Swedes have already happily volunteered to have it done.
In addition to account information that negates the need to
carry cash or credit cards to pay for goods, these chips can
contain personal information.
It's all happened
fairly quickly... Just a few years ago, the
very idea of it would have sent chills down the spines of most
But that's how fast Big Brother can go from nightmare to
reality, and appear benign or even beneficial.
Big Brother's on full display in China right now, but he could be on
his way here before too long...