Picture a society ruled by a tyrannical, totalitarian government that surveils and knows every move made by its inhabitants with intentions to brainwash, torture, and eliminate anyone that even questions its jurisdiction. This society has been vividly illustrated in George Orwell’s 1984 and is not too far off from what the United States will potentially become. The United States government is gradually becoming oppressive like George Orwell’s “Big Brother” in 1984; American society will eventually end up as a reflection of the Orwellian dystopia portrayed in 1984 if the U. S. government continues to invade the privacies of its citizens. Some oppressive acts that will be extensively discussed includes suspicionless drug testing, public video surveillance, and the probable result of cover-up stories executed by the United States government.
Mandatory and unreasonable drug tests are expensive, inaccurate, and unconstitutional. Brinkley Smithers of the Smithers Institute concludes that “the cost per ‘find’ from drug testing could be anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars. According to the Department of Education, the cost of a drug test is about $42 when not including the cost of administrative functions and conducting an additional test to guard against commonly false positives. Drug testing is very expensive and not worth the money required once considered how frequently unreliable and inaccurate it can be. The drug testing program incorrectly identifies addicts and fails to find more serious problems such as alcohol abuse or mental disorders.
The Drug Policy Alliance accurately conveys that “drug tests identify drug usage, not substance abuse problems, and most positive tests identify marijuana users, rather than individuals struggling with addiction. ” Marijuana use is not typically associated with drug abuse; according to JAMA Psychiatry, their recent data suggests that only about 30% of marijuana users will develop some degree of a marijuana use disorder.
Therefore, the abuse of marijuana use is highly unlikely and a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan even confirms that the individuals who tested positive were casual users with no identifiable addiction or abuse of drugs. Random and involuntary drug testing in a work, school, or personal situation cannot differentiate between habitual use, one-time use, and/or authorized use. Schools or employers should not be concerned about what their employees do on their free time anyways so long as the user is not under the influence in the working environment.
The Drug Policy Alliance also suggests that mandatory and suspicionless drug testing violates the 4th Amendment which provides protection from unreasonable search and seizure. A drug test is unnecessary when there are many other effective and less invasive techniques for detecting drug abuse such as through signs of intoxication which can be identified by the observation of physical and behavioral signs. There really is no use for drug testing when it is too much money to be inaccurate; there are substitutions to cameras and filming citizens and violating the privacy of others.
Public video surveillance is manipulative, a facade, and it is unconstitutional. People will act differently when they are aware that they are being observed. However, public video surveillance is a very extreme solution to keeping the governed under control and preventing crime as opposed to committing crimes. Instead of hiding security cameras in public areas, a simple alternative would be to hang up posters of human-like eyes.
A group of scientists at Newcastle University, led by Melissa Bateson and Daniel Nettle of the Center for Behavior and Evolution, conducted an experiment confirming that people’s behavior is significantly and positively effected by simply hanging up posters of staring human eyes. Hidden cameras would definitely reduce crime rates but only because the individuals committing the crimes are being put behind bars when the main objective is to prevent crime.
In order to prevent crimes then cameras should be publically displayed, a sign should be displayed, or do not use cameras at all and hang posters of people watching, it has the potential to be just as or even more effective than public video surveillance. Even though a study has proven that posters that depict human eyes in some way is effective there is still public video surveillance which suggests that the government is not using these cameras to protect us at all but rather to spy on us, which is not unlikely. A powerful surveillance system will inevitably be abused, says the American Civil Liberties Union.
Abuse of the surveillance system consists of criminal abuse. institutional abuse, abuse for personal purposes, discriminatory targeting, and voyeurism. The U. S. government says that they use this public surveillance system in order to protect its governed; this is essentially a cover up story in order to spy on American citizens. If American society continues to spy on its governed then it will result as a society that is in agreement with the dystopia depicted in George Orwell’s 1984 where there is present oppression, mistrust, and anarchy.
In 1984 there are these machines called “telescreens” that are just about everywhere, including homes; telescreens enabled for the Inner Party to watch an inhabitant’s every move. “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom,” (Orwell, 1984 64). In this Orwellian dystopia, there are no individual freedoms. For example, if a citizen were to show any expression of dissatisfaction through even a look on their face then they would be detained. 984’s dystopia is totalitarian and sensitizes its citizens through the editing of the past, editing of diction, and conditioning. “Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,'” (Orwell, 1984 37), this quote implies that whoever is in control can manipulate anything and anyone with exception of those outside of their society. “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones. ‘ ‘Well then, I ought to suit you, dear.
I’m corrupt to the bones. ‘ ‘You like doing this? I don’t mean simply me: I mean the thing in itself? ‘ ‘I adore it,'” (Orwell, 1984 132). During this dialogue taking place between Winston and Julia it becomes apparent that Winston enjoys sex because it is a political act in opposition towards Big Brother and the Inner Party, similar to protests and movements often formed to cause change typically for the better in the United States. The United States government has the potential to develop into a society that is just as corrupt and unconstitutional as 1984’s.
The United States can easily and inevitably abuse the public surveillance system in which society will conform to a society similar to the one portrayed in George Orwell’s novel 1984. For instance, in 1997 a top-ranking police official in Washington, DC was caught using police databases to gather information on patrons of a gay club. He attempted to blackmail patrons of the club by looking up the license plate numbers of cars parked and then researching the backgrounds of the vehicles’ owners. A cover-up is an attempt to conceal evidence of any wrongdoing.
Cover-up stories conducted by the U. S. government will lead to a sensitized society, oppression, and the altering of the past. The government creates cover-up stories quite often to cover up mistakes and to keep its citizens uninformed and ignorant because it is apparently better that way. This causes mistrust amongst the governed towards its government, but because the government is of authority its governed cannot do much to fend for themselves other than to conform in order to survive.
These cover-up stories that the U. S. overnment and Orwellian dystopia create are used to manipulate its people; psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded tactics. Government even ates mainstream media in accordance to Global Research. Carl Bernstein of Washington Post revealed that there were over 400 American journalists who had covertly managed tasks for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). However CIA claims that by far the most valuable of any association has been with the New York Times, CBS, and Time Inc.
These types of associations have continued to develop into something divine and expertly hidden from the public and as a result American society has become sensitive. In schools today it is unacceptable for a teacher to compliment a student by saying that they are an artist ordinarily because it has the potential to negatively affect the feelings of children who do not possess such talent. In a way it is oppressive considering that children are raised to never deal with anything that can be considered offensive.
Harsh truths have evidently become so acrid that Harvard students have even began protesting and want to make the “certain kinds of views” they deemed racist and classist unwelcome on their campus; Harvard students are protesting to get rid of academic freedom in place of academic justice rather. What these advocates believe in can likely lead to the altering of history as propaganda for the citizens and the sensitization of our society; no one would be able to differentiate between what is real and what is fake.
American society is heading downhill and will eventually turn into an oppressive and unconstitutional dystopia inspired by the Orwellian dystopia in 1984 if U. S. government maintains its current treatment towards its governed. In order to avoid a society in which there is no individual freedom then mandatory drug testing, public video surveillance, and manipulation must be put to an end or replaced with the better alternatives.