Orwell's 1984 becoming real in the US?

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  • #1
ksle82
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Is it just me being paranoid or it's really happening? Considering how the Bush admin used 9/11 and faulty inteligent to go to war in iraq, which they called "war on terrorism", used fear to win the 2004 election, the warrantless wiretapping on millions of americans phone call, and now the accessing of hundreds and thousands of amercans finanicial records. Anyone else feels the same way? Hopefully it is just being paranoid.
 

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  • #2
selfAdjoint
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ksle82 said:
What evidence is there that Jesus ever talked about hell, for instance?

Nonsense. The US has ALWAYS been at war with Iraq!
 
  • #3
mrjeffy321
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selfAdjoint said:
Nonsense. The US has ALWAYS been at war with Iraq!
lol.

Last time I checked my globe, I did not see a Eurasia, that's a good sign.
I am doing my part, I have a Macintosh computer (not really).

In Orwell's 1984, things are always reported to be great and getting better, a little less than what one might gather from watching the news today.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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mrjeffy321 said:
In Orwell's 1984, things are always reported to be great and getting better, a little less than what one might gather from watching the news today.

You sure about that?

It's true, we have managed to keep tabs on all this, and the media is not completely controlled by the government. However, it's not for won't of trying.
 
  • #5
Omega_6
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I don't know if we are quite up to 1984 yet (as in, not anywhere near), but every little bit of freedom lost is certainly disturbing. There is no way to have a perfectly secure free nation, and I lean more towards freedom :wink:. We should be working to keep every ounce of freedom we have, and not be following our government wherever it leads.
 
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  • #6
russ_watters
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I don't think we're anywhere close to "1984" and I think people misunderstand/misapply the analogy. It is one of my favorite books because to me it speaks to the pitfalls of socialism. I realize he was in favor of democratic socialism, but it is the socialism part that leads to "1984", not the democracy part. Ie, he uses the USSR as his model, and the USSR used socialism to achieve totalitarianism. Perhaps he didn't even see the irony there.
In his essay Why I Write, Orwell clearly explains that all the "serious work" he had written since the Spanish Civil War in 1936 was "written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism"... (Why I Write) So Nineteen Eighty-Four can be seen as a cautionary tale against totalitarianism, and in particular the betrayal of a revolution by those claiming to defend/support it (as Stalin did 1928 onwards). However, as many reviewers/critics have stated, it should not be read as an attack on socialism as a whole, but on totalitarianism (and potential totalitarianism).

Orwell had already set forth his distrust of totalitarianism and the betrayal of revolutions in Homage to Catalonia and Animal Farm. Coming Up For Air, at points, celebrates the individual freedom that is lost in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Orwell based many aspects of Oceanian society on the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The "Two Minutes' Hate", for instance, being based on Stalinism's habitual demonization of their enemies and rivals, and Big Brother himself bears a resemblance to Stalin. The motif of "Two plus two make five" is taken directly from a Soviet propaganda poster during Stalin's industrialization drive.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Regardless, the things that go on in that book are far, far beyond anything we see in the US. People talk about slippery slopes, but we're in Hawaii and what people are afraid of is in the Marianes trench.
 
  • #7
ksle82
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russ_watters said:
I don't think we're anywhere close to "1984" and I think people misunderstand/misapply the analogy.

You're right. US is far from Orwellian 1984. But we're loosing little by little our free becuase of their 'war on terrorism". i would say the US in on its path to 1984 on a mini-mini-level.
 
  • #8
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Well, I don't know about you, but I read 1984 for nostalgic purposes.
 
  • #9
SOS2008
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To me the specific form of government (totalitarian vs. socialistic vs. democratic) or example (Stalin) for 1984 is not the point. But rather abuses that may result due to various variables. I think we can all agree that power corrupts. We can see this in the extreme in a county like Zimbabwe, and in more subtle ways here in the U.S. per recent scandals.

I feel the current administration's efforts to "catapult propaganda" and to conduct domestic surveillance are very similar to 1984. However, I agree with Helen Thomas that the current atmosphere in the U.S. is more like Nazi Germany during which the greatest loss of freedoms came from SILENCE.
 
  • #11
Ronnin
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A saying always comes to mind when I hear topics like this come about. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty How much freedom are you willing to trade away for "order". One thing I can say about the possiblity of a 1984ish country is that technology has finally made this not only possible but relatively inexpensive to implement. The internet is perhaps our last bastion of true free speech so long as it doesn't become like China's version.
 
  • #12
SOS2008
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Ronnin said:
A saying always comes to mind when I hear topics like this come about. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty How much freedom are you willing to trade away for "order". One thing I can say about the possiblity of a 1984ish country is that technology has finally made this not only possible but relatively inexpensive to implement. The internet is perhaps our last bastion of true free speech so long as it doesn't become like China's version.
You are right about technology being a big variable for a 1984 scenario. As for the Internet, it is under attack by the Republicans and big business. Vigilance is indeed eternal.
 
  • #13
Ronnin said:
The internet is perhaps our last bastion of true free speech so long as it doesn't become like China's version.
The internet is also a huge database. When they decide to take it...they will have a very valuable database.

You have a powerful Executive. The Congress is amenable if not conspiratorial. Three solid votes on the Judicial, with an approval rating that hovers in the mid 30% range. All you need is a "Pearl Harbor like Event" and the support of the two judges you appointed and your in.

With control of the internet and unlimited access to anyones personal information, people can be categorized put into profiles and targeted. With totalitarian control, you can call them a terrorist, and they can disappear into a new Haliburton maximum security enemy combatant prison.

It all hinges on the two new guys on the SC. I think it really comes down to Roberts.

Didn't Roberts recuse himself from the case where Rummy tried to set up his own military tribunals?

Roberts, IMO has been a GOP opportunist. He is a very smart man. Now that he has risen to the top of his profession, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he is the highest judge in the land. I hope that he is no longer looking for opportunity, but instead is focused on Justice and the Constitution. I sure don't like the odds,

Hope this doesn't make you any more paranoid.:tongue: :tongue:
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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It would be interesting to see which most Americans think is most representitive of the American dream; the Constitution, or the flag. I would bet the latter. Perhaps not the Orwellian model, but IMO, BB is alive and well and growing up quickly; wrapped in the flag. And it didn't begin with 911. It has been happening for decades.
 
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  • #15
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WW II internments Orwellian? Waco? "Sue?" Yeah.

NYT getting credentials pulled for couple weeks maybe months for compromising govt. secrets in time of war is Orwellian? Absurd, maybe, but hardly Orwellian --- Times Square would be dominated by a burnt out shell with bone filled gibbets hanging from the roof today had they blown "Ultra" 65 years ago.
 
  • #16
Anttech
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russ_watters said:
I don't think we're anywhere close to "1984" and I think people misunderstand/misapply the analogy. It is one of my favorite books because to me it speaks to the pitfalls of socialism. I realize he was in favor of democratic socialism, but it is the socialism part that leads to "1984", not the democracy part. Ie, he uses the USSR as his model, and the USSR used socialism to achieve totalitarianism. Perhaps he didn't even see the irony there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Regardless, the things that go on in that book are far, far beyond anything we see in the US. People talk about slippery slopes, but we're in Hawaii and what people are afraid of is in the Marianes trench.

Russ, USSR was Communist, not socialist. Denmark is socialist, (for example) and last time I was there, the hardline position you are painting was nowhere near the truth of what it is actually like there. Perhaps Totaliltarianism is a better 'ism to describe 1984. Any political 'ism could lead to totaliltarianism, so to highlight Solcialism is a bit strange to me.

With control of the internet and unlimited access to anyones personal information, people can be categorized put into profiles and targeted. With totalitarian control, you can call them a terrorist, and they can disappear into a new Haliburton maximum security enemy combatant prison.

Nobody can "Control" the "internet" and take all the personal info. The perceived 'database' is held on million of computer spread across the whole world, so don't worry.

What can be controlled is:

Access to the internet, in several forms. At a local loop level from your house to the telecom provider, and via DNS resolution, which is what China is trying to do. Also goverments could scan www sites (information) and block access to these sites as it find information is doesn't like, like in China also. So basically access to info can be controled, not the info itself.

There are ways round this anyway, mailling lists for example will continue. The way the internet is structured as an Openly documented, openly standarised, cross border, Phenomenon I truly can't see anyone nation "taking control"..
 
  • #17
Anttech said:
There are ways round this anyway, mailling lists for example will continue. The way the internet is structured as an Openly documented, openly standarised, cross border, Phenomenon I truly can't see anyone nation "taking control"..
Well that's a relief. Al Gore did a good job when he invented it. :tongue:
 
  • #18
edward
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All in all I would say that we are much closer to Orwells ,"dystopia" ,and the "big brother" scenarios than we were in 1948 when the book was written. Hell we are even much closer now than we were in the actual year 1984. This guy was way ahead of his time.

I see the dystopia and big brother balls rolling in our direction at an ever accelerating pace
We have taken a quantum leap towards totalitarianism in just in the last six years.

As for predicting events in the future Eisenhower was right on the money with his warnings about the Military Industrial complex. On the other hand, in 1999, who other than Dick Cheney and the big oil executives would have predicted that the USA would invade Iraq in 2003?

Actually Cheney and his gang were shooting for 2001 for the invasion of Iraq, but 911 interfered with their nasty little plot. Had the public had previous knowledge that the current administration had the invasion of Iraq high on their pre-election agenda Bush would not have won in 2000.

I mention this recent scenario because if anything, this was one of the the types of tactics that Orwell was predicting would be happening in the future. In that respect he was correct. The political parties and forms of government involved are irrelevant to the overall Orwellian concept of "dystopia' and "big brother".

edit: dystopia was Orwells antithesis of utopia. I think the concept was used in Blade Runner and several other books.
A brief synopsis of 1984 is at:
http://www.enotes.com/1984/
 
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  • #19
selfAdjoint
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Dystopia is the general litcrit name for an anti-utopia of any kind. It parses More's Utopia as Greek "eu-topeia", "good place", though More is usually assumed to have intended "ou-topeia" "Noplace". cf Smauel Butler's "Erewhon". The oppposite of "eu-" is "dys-".
 
  • #20
Smurf
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russ_watters said:
I don't think we're anywhere close to "1984" and I think people misunderstand/misapply the analogy. It is one of my favorite books because to me it speaks to the pitfalls of socialism. I realize he was in favor of democratic socialism, but it is the socialism part that leads to "1984", not the democracy part. Ie, he uses the USSR as his model, and the USSR used socialism to achieve totalitarianism. Perhaps he didn't even see the irony there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Regardless, the things that go on in that book are far, far beyond anything we see in the US. People talk about slippery slopes, but we're in Hawaii and what people are afraid of is in the Marianes trench.
Russ, perhapse I missed something in your post but the source you cite seems to disagree with you when you say "to me it speaks to the pitfalls of socialism" and your source says "However, as many reviewers/critics have stated, it should not be read as an attack on socialism as a whole, but on totalitarianism (and potential totalitarianism)."

you quoted it yourself
 
  • #21
russ_watters
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Anttech said:
Russ, USSR was Communist, not socialist.
Socialism and Communism are on the same side of the spectrum and very much related, Anttech. Socialism is targeted at the economics while communism at the politics, but they are linked because both require similar government controls.
Denmark is socialist, (for example) and last time I was there, the hardline position you are painting was nowhere near the truth of what it is actually like there.
Denmark is not very socialist - and certainly isn't communist.
Perhaps Totaliltarianism is a better 'ism to describe 1984. Any political 'ism could lead to totaliltarianism, so to highlight Solcialism is a bit strange to me.
Smurf said:
Russ, perhapse I missed something in your post but the source you cite seems to disagree with you when you say "to me it speaks to the pitfalls of socialism" and your source says "However, as many reviewers/critics have stated, it should not be read as an attack on socialism as a whole, but on totalitarianism (and potential totalitarianism)."
I didn't say it was intended as an attack on socialism, I said it is ironic that it "speaks to the pitfalls of socialism". And the quote from the source I used says "cautionary tale against totalitarianism, and in particular the betrayal of a revolution by those claiming to defend/support it".

In other words, both I and the source are saying that the message of 1984 is 'be careful or your communism/socialism can become totalitarianism.' And the reason I find that ironic is because I don't think people realize that the real "slippery slope" here is in the communist/socialist ideologies. Purely economic socialism leads to, well, France. Purely political communism leads to the USSR. And France may not be finished yet: riots lead to curfews and more government control. Anyway, both are similar in that they both require a higher level of government control in order to happen (another irony for a leftist ideology supposedly favoring freedom), and it is that government control that leads you to "1984".

In the US, people on the left decry the voting away of freedom for the sake of security while simultaneously voting away their freedom for the sake of money. What they don't see is that either can take you to "1984".
 
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  • #22
SOS2008
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Communism versus socialism:

The terms socialism and communism were once used interchangeably. Today, however, communism designates those theories and movements that, in accordance with one view of the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, advocate the abolition of capitalism and all private profit, by means of violent revolution if necessary.
Unlike communism, socialism

...specifically advocates nationalization of natural resources, basic industries, banking and credit facilities, and public utilities. It places special emphasis on the nationalization of monopolized branches of industry and trade, viewing monopolies as inimical to the public welfare.
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761577990/Socialism.html

So one could say that socialism is a hybrid system that the masses, particularly the working class should naturally desire. For example natural resources would be taken out of the hands of big oil monopolies like Exxon/Mobil while other areas of the economy would continue to operate on a free/fair market basis. Sounds like a fair and good idea to me.

Totalitarianism is neither communism or socialism (which has already been pointed out) though it can evolve from either, or ANY form of government, including democratic revolutions gone awry. Or perhaps from the "Great Silence" that led to Nazi Germany, or maybe a military-industrial complex (both already mentioned), or perhaps a breakdown in democracy such as described in John Lukacs's Democracy and Populism, Fear and Hatred. From a book review by Milo Clark:

In his latest book, Democracy and Populism, Fear and Hatred, historian John Lukacs holds that democracy is degenerating or has degenerated into populism conjoining with nationalism.

Right and left in political spectra are less relevant, although not irrelevant. Populism, once left, and nationalism, still right, are being or have been co-opted and pre-empted into right-right. Populist nationalism in the once United States of America is now labeled, framed, branded and usurped by the Republican Party.

Moving to the subtitle, Fear and Hatred, Lukacs calls hatred a right phenomenon and fear a left characteristic. Hatred can be and often is a stronger motivator. When tied to religion, hatred is easily manipulated far beyond reason. Liberal (now "progressive?") reliance on reason is more tenuous than ever.

----------

In a 1984 book, Lukacs implied that the end of the twentieth century would see a return to barbarity...

Let us be clear, Lukacs admonishes, that the fruits of liberalism were mixed forms of government whether they be constitutional monarchies or "checks and balances" within executive, legislative or judicial branches. With legislature withered, executive triumphant and judiciary under savage attack, the once United States assumes the visage of hereditary monarchy. (pp. 14, 15)

We are also advised to maintain distinctions between democracy and liberty. In liberty, we are free to squelch democracy. Lukacs quotes post-WWII German parliamentarian Heinz Krekeler's cogent observation that ". . . a sovereign people may then again dispose of democracy and introduce a dictatorship." (p. 15)

----------

In any case, what once may have been left or, indeed, right are no longer what they were or are now. We have nearly myriad mutations of fiscal conservative and social liberal mixed with once vocal states' rights advocates now firmly in support of situational federal usurpations (viz. 2000 and 2004 elections as well as the Schiavo frenzy, not to mention burgeoning budget, ballooning federal employment and current account deficits along with a shrinking dollar).

----------

Lukacs emphasizes that anti-communism was the most powerful determinant of American politics as well as foreign policy throughout the twentieth century. Anti-communism was and is politically and indelibly linked with America's right, with America's conservatives, with Republicans. Liberals were not identified as anti-communist. No matter the facts.
http://www.swans.com/library/art11/mgc158.html

Or as I've said elsewhere, conservatives lump Democrates in one group of "liberal" along with socialism, communism, etc., which is absolutely absurd but quite a successful strategy.

In any event, I have not found any official book reviews stating that 1984 is about socialism leading to totalitarianism, but rather Orwell was a socialist who was against totalitarianism in favor of democratic socialism. Here is a review from Barnes and Noble:

Mark Schorer - Books of the Century; New York Times review, June 1949 - It is probable that no other work of this generation has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness. 1984, the most contemporary novel of the year and who knows of now many past and to come, is a great examination into and dramatization of Lord Acton's famous apothegm, " power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. "
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?z=y&pwb=1&ean=9780451524935

From Amazon:

More relevant than ever before, 1984 exposes the worst crimes imaginable-the destruction of truth, freedom, and individuality.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0452284236/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
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  • #23
Anttech
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russ_watters said:
In other words, both I and the source are saying that the message of 1984 is 'be careful or your communism/socialism can become totalitarianism.' And the reason I find that ironic is because I don't think people realize that the real "slippery slope" here is in the communist/socialist ideologies. Purely economic socialism leads to, well, France. Purely political communism leads to the USSR. And France may not be finished yet: riots lead to curfews and more government control. Anyway, both are similar in that they both require a higher level of government control in order to happen (another irony for a leftist ideology supposedly favoring freedom), and it is that government control that leads you to "1984".

IMHO The US is on the road to Totalitarism, more so than France, and to be quiet frank, the US is closer to it than France is.
 
  • #24
SOS2008
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Anttech said:
IMHO The US is on the road to Totalitarism, more so than France, and to be quiet frank, the US is closer to it than France is.
The "Reich wing" never sees their behavior as fascist. I have posted a list of fascist behavior many times, most notably nationalism (which is confused with patriotism for purposes of propaganda). Right-wing nut jobs look at such lists in complete denial and write it off as left-wing nonsense.

On the internationl level, Neo Conservatives believe the U.S. has been pushed around too much and it's high time we flex some muscle--even with former allies. After all, we are the Superpower, so why bend to anything or anyone? They never consider that a benevolent world leader can rule better than a self-righteous belligerent one, and that democracy is best spread by example and not the barrel of a gun.

Domestically, a growing percentage of the population in the U.S. are increasingly ignorant about politics and/or world affairs. This is why they are so easily influenced by sound bites from the likes of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld (who also are lacking in qualifications, or IQ, or ideals, or...).

This is a new evolution to totalitarianism.
 
  • #25
SOS2008 said:
Domestically, a growing percentage of the population in the U.S. are increasingly ignorant about politics and/or world affairs.
I was having a conversation with a friend who just returned from Italy. She related a story where her and her husband were talking to someone they met, and this person said that in their country voting was mandatory. When asked how he felt about mandatory voting he replied; "If everyone doesn't vote you end up with George Bush."

Sounds like a perfect argument for mandatory suffrage.
 
  • #26
ksle82
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Skyhunter said:
"If everyone doesn't vote you end up with George Bush.".

I disagree. Bush got elected because the majority of americans was too [insert the antonym for intelligent] to make a good good judgment. He got reelected the americans allowed the admin to instill fear(terrorism) in them and too [insert the antonym for intelligent] to make a good good judgment. So we got bush because everyone can vote.
 
  • #27
SOS2008
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SOS2008 said:
The "Reich wing" never sees their behavior as fascist. I have posted a list of fascist behavior many times, most notably nationalism (which is confused with patriotism for purposes of propaganda).
In follow-up to this, elsewhere the point was made that Republicans would be more likely to view the flag as a national symbol than the constitution. Recent/ongoing legislation against burning the flag is good proof of this extreme nationalism, which is fascist. And ironically the cases of flag burning are rare, and making it illegal would only increase the frequency of flag burning. In the meantime it is the left that is fighting hard to preserve the constitution. Let's hope Americans will vote with their feet and kick the Reich wing out.

In the meantime, happy Independence Day to all!
 
  • #28
loseyourname
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Anttech said:
IMHO The US is on the road to Totalitarism, more so than France, and to be quiet frank, the US is closer to it than France is.

The French system is the hybrid model most often cited as a semi-presidential system. In the French system, the President has broad powers. For example, the President nominates the Prime Minister and selects his own cabinet, over which he presides. The President, his cabinet and attending bureaucracy initiate and draft most legislation. The French President, like some others in hybrid systems, has some areas where his power is well defined, such as in the conduct of foreign affairs. The day to day running of the government is, however, left to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

I wonder what American citizens would think if the president here selected the leader of the other branches of government himself and also initiated most legislation, rather than Congress.

Unlike in a parliamentary system, the legislature in France cannot force the resignation of the President. Rather, the President may dissolve the parliament’s Lower House, the National Assembly (but not the upper house, Senate). Further, the President appoints, and can remove the Prime Minister, who is effectively the head of the cabinet and legislature.

Quick rundown: President appoint the leader of the legislature, President cannot be impeached, and President can dissolve the French equivalent of the US House of Representatives.

France’s transition from a parliamentary to a semi-presidential or hybrid system has been credited with resolving the instability created by shifting party alliances and resulting changes in government. The French hybrid system functions more smoothly when the majority party in parliament is also the party of the President, but this needs not always be the case. However, the French system has sometimes resulted in a situation of cohabitation, whereby the separately elected President may face a Prime Minister and majority party in the legislature from a party different than his own (which occurred in 1993 and 1997).

Am I reading too much into this piece, or does it say that for only two years since the French switched to their current hybrid system has the president ever been of a different party than the majority party in the legislature?

  • Bills can be introduced by the individual members, the executive and the government (the Prime Minister and the cabinet). However, the introduction of executive initiated bills takes precedence over member bills.
  • The executive sets the agenda in the legislature and can call for a package vote, which forces all or none of the pieces in a package of legislation to be passed.
  • The executive can make any bill it initiates result in a motion of censure if rejected, which dissolves the parliament.
  • The President can by-pass the legislature by taking a proposed bill directly to the public through a national referendum. If a majority of voters support the bill, it becomes law without any input from the legislature.

So again, the president can force the legislature to pass legislation, dissolve them if they refuse, or even bypass them entirely if he wishes.

All information taken from http://www.undp.org/governance/docs/Parl-Pub-govern.htm [Broken].

Are you sure you don't want to rethink your humble opinion of which country is closer to totalitarianism?
 
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  • #29
I was reminded of this thread when I came across http://baltimorechronicle.com/2006/070306FERNER.shtml". That example clearly shows how our country is far from Orwellian, Big Brother would not have been nearly as gentle towards such a flagrant attempt to subvert the will of the Party.
 
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  • #30
selfAdjoint
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kyleb said:
I was reminded of this thread when I came across http://baltimorechronicle.com/2006/070306FERNER.shtml". That example clearly shows how our country is far from Orwellian, Big Brother would not have been nearly as gentle towards such a flagrant attempt to subvert the will of the Party.

The title of the thread says "becoming real" not "Is real". I think that arresting and handcuffing a veteran for wearing a particular t-shirt in a veteran's facility is "1984 becoming real" in a big way. Where was the First Amendment in the police officer's mind?
 
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  • #31
It obviously goes in the same place as all of Goldstein's seditious tripe.


Yes, I am being sarcastic here. :wink:
 
  • #32
loseyourname
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Here is what Neal Catyan, the lawyer in the Hamdan case, had to say:

First, take a step back and think about what is happening: A man, Salim Hamdan—who is alleged to be part of the motor pool for a notorious enemy of the United States—is bringing suit against the Secretary of Defense and the President. How many other countries would tolerate such a thing? In some countries, he (and his lawyer) might be threatened or otherwise discouraged in any number of ways. But America is different and special. And for all the negative things said about our country both across the world and within its borders in the wake of the revelations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, I think it important that all of us remember that access to the courts, even to bring a lawsuit against the nation’s highest officials, is precisely what makes our country great.

Hamdan has had the cards stacked against him every step of the way from Afghanistan to the Supreme Court: from his capture by the Northern Alliance, who sold him for a bounty to the Americans, to the President’s executive order subjecting him to trial by before a military commission with rules defined by the Executive alone. From the Defense Department’s shifting policies and rules about Guantanamo to the commission’s decision to kick him out of part of his own criminal trial. And if that weren’t enough, we’ve recently seen some members of Congress try to pull his case off of the Supreme Court’s docket. It has been a difficult road, to be sure.

Yet, today I, as his lawyer, will walk into the nation’s highest court and plead his case to a panel of impartial, independent jurists. This is why my parents came to America—because we don’t sacrifice justice simply because we are scared. We allow a Yemeni with a fourth-grade education accused of conspiracy to plead his case to the highest court against the most powerful individual on earth. This is why we are the greatest nation the world has ever known.

http://www.thepocketpart.org/2006/04/hamdan.html

This was before he won the case. To think, an opponent of Bush administration policies can actually be gracious about the state of affairs in the US. This man obviously has no future in politics.
 
  • #33
russ_watters
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Great stuff, your last two posts, loseyourname. I didn't know that stuff about France's government - I was actually just talking about the recent implimentation of what amounted to martial law in much of the country due to the rioting.
 
  • #34
russ_watters
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selfAdjoint said:
The title of the thread says "becoming real" not "Is real". I think that arresting and handcuffing a veteran for wearing a particular t-shirt in a veteran's facility is "1984 becoming real" in a big way. Where was the First Amendment in the police officer's mind?
I love the fine print at the bottom of the article:
The author was at the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center because he was participating in the Voices for Creative Nonviolence's 30-day, 320-mile "Walk for Justice," from Springfield to North Chicago, Illinois, to reclaim funding for the common good and away from war.
So basically, that "I'm not protesting" bit was just B.S. :rolleyes:

Still, kudos to him for finding a creative way to get arrested. It's great publicity if you can get it.
 
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  • #35
russ_watters
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SOS2008 said:
Communism versus socialism:

So one could say that socialism is a hybrid system...
Yes, which is why I said communism and socialism are related: a good one liner way to say it is that socialism nationalizes some things, communism everything.
...that the masses, particularly the working class should naturally desire.
I don't see how that follows, because...
For example natural resources would be taken out of the hands of big oil monopolies like Exxon/Mobil...
ExxonMobil is a monopoly? You can't think of any other oil companies that exist and are similar in size?? :confused:
while other areas of the economy would continue to operate on a free/fair market basis. Sounds like a fair and good idea to me.
Sorry, but it would be fair and good if it were based on reality but it isn't. The reality is that oil/gas prices are high ( :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: <-for our foreign readers who pay many times what we pay) because of those free/fair market forces, not because oil is a monopoly - because oil is not a monopoly.
Totalitarianism is neither communism or socialism (which has already been pointed out) though it can evolve from either...
Yes - that's what I said!
...or ANY form of government, including democratic revolutions gone awry.
True. But look through recent history and see where totalitarianism has come from: virtually always from extreme leftist ideas. That (stated again below) is the irony of "1984". Orwell is arguing against the problem that his chosen ideology creates!
Or as I've said elsewhere, conservatives lump Democrates in one group of "liberal" along with socialism, communism, etc., which is absolutely absurd but quite a successful strategy.
[COUGH!]
The "Reich wing"
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Et tu?
In any event, I have not found any official book reviews stating that 1984 is about socialism leading to totalitarianism, but rather Orwell was a socialist who was against totalitarianism in favor of democratic socialism.
Again, you are missing my point. I'm not saying that that was Orwel's point, but that it is ironic that he missed the reality that leftist ideas more easily lead to totalitarianim.
 
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