“We are the dead,” said Julia.
“You are the dead,” said an iron voice behind them.
“It was behind the picture,” breathed Julia.
“It was behind the picture,” said the voice. “Remain exactly
where you are. Make no move until you are ordered.”
“Now they can see us,” said Julia.
“Now we can see you,” said the voice.
“The house is surrounded,” said Winston.
“The house is surrounded,” said the voice.
“I suppose we may as well say goodbye,” said Julia.
“You may as well say goodbye,” said the voice.
This chilling sequence from Orwell’s novel, 1984, describes the
horrifying experience of two lovers, hiding from an insane world, being discovered
and trapped by men in black uniforms---the “thought police” of a
totalitarian government gone mad.
In studying the words, and thinking about this sequence, one needn’t
go much further to see that this kind of insanity is where our own government
is heading if the present march toward the total control of our lives isn’t
When I say control of our lives, I do not mean laws about savings accounts,
product labels, seat belts and speed limits. I’m talking about TOTAL control:
what we read, what we say, where we go, what we do, who we meet, why we’re
in a doctor’s office, right down to the final step in human control: what
Any government “spinner” knows and understands that by manipulating
minds---stifling dissenting actions and ideas by controlling thoughts---anything
is possible; including rationalizing even the most irrational things. Such as,
fighting illegal and unnecessary wars, threatening the freedom of innocent people
in search of alleged terrorists, and bankrupting a nation to build a military
force capable of both holding the public at bay and attacking any “enemy”
anywhere in the world.
And all the while, semi-conscious people watch the managed news on
TV, listen to speeches by the president or the lackeys in his cabinet, and obediently
give their tacit approval to announcements of more invasions, more occupations,
more domestic spying, more sacrifices, more spending----all sounding so logical,
so necessary, so innocent.
And so familiar.
We, like Orwell’s Julia and Winston, are trapped; not by black-booted
thugs carrying pain-inflicting truncheons---not yet anyway---but trapped all
the same---in the Iron Triangle.
What is the Iron Triangle? It is three entities of the government in unified
intimidation---the arms industry (technicians who make war weapons), the Pentagon
(strategists who decide where and how these weapons will be used), and the U.S.
Congress (irresponsible congressmen and senators who let the executive branch
usurp their authority without a whimper).
This Iron Triangle forms the power nucleus of our present war and all future
wars; of the phenomenal growth of our spying techniques and surveillance capabilities,
and of our military power and the many uses we put it to.
The reader may consider the horrors of Orwell’s Big Brother government
an extreme comparison to our present situation. Yet, is it? Consider this administration’s
propensity for fiat declarations of war, intrusion into the private actions
of our citizens, reckless unconcern for our rising war deft, and the unjustified
act of secretly spying on our citizens.
It is this kind of suffocating situation that a government entity like the
Iron Triangle helps make possible and is necessary to sustain and propagate
The Iron Triangle wasn’t always part of the American experience. It was
born during World War II, when the armed forces, the arms industry and the political
interests, were needed to win the war. After WWII, this three-headed monster
grew in scale and influence until, in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower, in
no uncertain terms, felt he must call it to our attention in his farewell address
to the nation:
“The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms
industry is new in the American experience. The total influence---economic,
political, even spiritual---is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office
of the federal government.
“We recognize the imperative need for development, yet we must not fail
to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are
all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government
we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought
or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous
rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of the combination endanger our liberties
or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and
knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial
and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that
security and liberty may prosper together.”
Proponents of a totalitarian government would be the first to acknowledge that
a nation as strong and powerful as America cannot be taken down in one mighty
effort. Nor can its people be subjugated and made slaves of a New World Order
in a week, a month, even a year. It takes time.
And more. It takes a gradual, but constant, assault on the Constitution, an
absence of news about what is actually happening, a deterioration of principles
and values, a skewered version of history, and a spoon-fed program of servility
and passive acceptance of the “inevitable.”
Look closely. Don’t you see it happening all around you?
Welcome to the brave new world.