Hey! 1984 is not a friggin’ instruction manual!

And when all else fails, when the voices “external” and “internal” can not be silenced that easily anymore …

Dystopian times

Dystopia combined the dys, Greek word for bad or negative with topos, meaning bad place. As some people have noted, the difference between an utopia and a dystopia? One person’s heaven can be another’s hell.

A dystopia is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. Science fiction, in particular post-apocalyptic science fiction and cyberpunk, often feature dystopias. Social critics, especially post-modern social critics, also use the term “dystopian” to condemn trends in post-industrial society they see as negative. In most dystopian fiction, a corrupt government creates or sustains the poor quality of life, often conditioning the masses to believe the society is proper and just, even perfect. Most dystopian fiction takes place in the future but often purposely incorporates contemporary social trends taken to extremes. Dystopias are frequently written as warnings, or as satires, showing current trends extrapolated to a nightmarish conclusion.

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In December 2014, the US Senate Intelligence Committee published a 499-page summary report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program–or torture. In secret CIA facilities overseas, between 2002 and 2007, prisoners were subjected to “enhanced interrogation” techniques, such as waterboarding, beatings and “rectal feeding”.

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Prison Privatisation

The privatisation scramble extends far beyond all of these aspects of our everyday lives, into the critical exercises of the power of the state over individual citizens.

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Inside Prisons

Inside isolation pods in U.$. prisons we are subject to sensory deprivation, restricted movement, lighted cells 24 hours a day, the constant clanging of metal doors, bullying by guards, unhealthy food, as well as sporadic screaming and banging by the “truly” insane. This constant barrage of negative stimuli over a period of time is agitating, if nothing else. Agitation leads to the need for an outlet for the release of pent up tension. That tension leads to anger and resentment. This anger can have far-reaching, long-term effects. This awareness is underlined by my own persynal experience of having a quick temper, blurred reasoning after being agitated, and less thought out reaction to anger with little to no thought of consequences.

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Solidarity network

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Excited Delirium

Excited Delirium is also a little booklet, a protestor’s guide to “less-lethal” police weaponry (including an introduction to taser-proof jackets), intended for educational purposes. And while the information within is accurate to our knowledge, we don’t have first-hand experience with more than a handful of these weapons. Do your own research and don’t ever assume that you’re invulnerable.

Excited delirium is a controversial proposed condition that manifests as a combination of delirium, psychomotor agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, speech disturbances, disorientation, violent and bizarre behaviour, insensitivity to pain, elevated body temperature, and superhuman strength. Excited delirium is sometimes called excited delirium syndrome if it results in sudden death (usually via cardiac or respiratory arrest), an outcome that is sometimes associated with the use of physical control measures, including police restraint. All or nearly all of reported cases of excited delirium involve people who are in police custody or are fighting with the police.

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A citizenry that’s constantly on guard for secret, unaccountable surveillance is one that’s constantly being remade along the lines the state would prefer. Foucault illustrated this point by reference to a hypothetical prison called the Panopticon. Designed by utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the Panopticon is a prison where all cells can be seen from a central tower shielded such that the guards can see out but the prisoners can’t see in. The prisoners in the Panopticon could thus never know whether they were being surveilled, meaning that they have to, if they want to avoid running the risk of severe punishment, assume that they were being watched at all times. Thus, the Panopticon functioned as an effective tool of social control even when it wasn’t being staffed by a single guard.

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After the crisis of the 1970s, a third added surplus-absorption mechanism, financialisation, emerged, propping up the underlying system of accumulation as the stimulus provided by the sales effort and militarism waned. Each of these means of surplus absorption were to stimulate the communications revolution, associated with the development of computers, digital technology, and the Internet. Each “necessitated” new forms of surveillance and control. The result was a globalisation of surveillance, associated with all three areas of: (1) militarism/imperialism/security; (2) corporate-based marketing and the media circus; and (3) the world of finance.

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Every communication system is a spying tool. Digital systems are just far easier to penetrate than analogue systems and thus much easier to use for spying:

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… while so loudly advocating for freedom from (whatever…), the Internet Freedom (IF) coalition was, in fact, providing the diplomatic cover and lobbying campaign to ensure that no outcome of Internet governance would interfere with the overall US strategy of freedom “to” — surveil, subvert, suborn and overall embed and maintain (as the NSA so aptly put it) — “total information dominance” of the Internet. ~ Michael Gurstein

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Sousveillance is the conscious capture of processes from below, by individual participants; surveillance is from the top down, while participation capture is inscribed in the very protocols of cooperation and is therefore an automatic ‘inscription’ of what we are doing.

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Sousveillance is commonly directed against police as a way to document their (anticipated) abuses. Now that lightweight cameras are everywhere and footage can easily be posted on vimeo and other websites, sousveillance videos have documented police abuse from everywhere. FitWatch is the tactic of filming the Met Police Forward Intelligence Teams and sharing photos, badge numbers and names. In the US and Canada, there is a network of volunteer organizations called Copwatch that monitor the police and host a user-generated database of police misbehaviour.

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Spooky business

Many of the world’s largest corporations and their trade associations — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown & Williamson and E.ON – have been linked to espionage or planned espionage against non-profit organizations, activists and whistleblowers.

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Spy cops

Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark documents how corporations are halting legitimate action and investigation by activists. Using exclusive access to previously confidential sources, Eveline Lubbers shows how companies such as Nestlé, Shell and McDonald’s use covert methods to evade accountability. She argues that corporate intelligence gathering has shifted from being reactive to pro-active, with important implications for democracy itself.

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Tracking kids

A growing market. Big business. Booming. Experiential learning for kids on that being tracked and surveilled by authorities is okay. First by parents, then teachers, government … A great future lies ahead.

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And now for something completely different

The old demonisation tactic appears to have also morphed into a “benign” tactic. A new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD has been created. Brilliant in its simplicity. An increasingly inhumane system that medicates and incarcerates the growing number of people feeling powerless and dissenting from it. Big Pharma and the Prison Industrial Complex utterly pleased. What an opportunity for profit!

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What future?

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Got more links that are helpful for (our) research of overt or covert interventions going on? Post in the comments below please!

  1 comment for “Hey! 1984 is not a friggin’ instruction manual!

    January 30, 2015 at 14:38

    Globalisation doesn’t work. The world is unhappy. Most Governments don’t know the meaning of the word being fair.

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