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Posts Tagged ‘Totalitarianism’

Orwell sought to awaken British and U.S. societies to the totalitarian dangers that threatened democracy even after the Nazi defeat.  In letters before and after his novel’s completion, Orwell urged “constant criticism,” warning that any “immunity” to totalitarianism must not be taken for granted: “Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”
For 19 years, private companies practicing an unprecedented economic logic that I call surveillance capitalism have hijacked the Internet and its digital technologies.
Because this power does not claim our bodies through violence and fear, we under-value its effects and lower our guard.  Instrumentarian power exiles us from our own behavior.  It delivers our futures to surveillance capitalism’s interests.  And it undermines human autonomy and self-determination, without which democracy cannot survive.
Surveillance capitalist falsely claim their methods are inevitable consequences of digital technologies.  But Orwell despised “the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment.”  Courage, he insisted, demands that we assert our morals even against forces that appear invincible.
Seven decades later, we can honor Orwell’s death by refusing to cede the digital future.  Like Orwell, think critically and criticize.  Do not take freedom for granted. Fight for the one idea in the long human story that asserts the people’s right to rule themselves.  Orwell reckoned it was worth dying for.
    —    Shoshana Zuboff
From her opinion / editorial:  “The Threat of Big Other
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 6 June 2019
This quote is from the hard-copy issue.  The article is also online, but significantly differs from the text version.
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On This Day In:
2019 Before & After
Quiet, Please!
2018 Heavy On The Starch
2017 But The Beginning Of What?
2016 Today’s Rule
2015 Remembering Oklahoma City
2014 Who Was That Masked Man?
2013 Enemy Mine
2012 Strengthen Me
2011 Service, Please
2010 The Church In Crisis…

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The right of dissent, or, if you prefer, the right to be wrong, is surely fundamental to the existence of a democratic society.  That’s the right that went first in every nation that stumbled down the trail toward totalitarianism.
    —    Edward R. Murrow
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On This Day In:
2015 Begin Combat
I Am A Runner
2014 Just Dig ‘N It, Why?
2013 Additions
The Object Of Instruction
2012 Telling Her
2011 On Torture

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Our Bill of Rights, the most precious part of our legal heritage, is under subtle and pervasive attacks…  In the struggle between our world and Communism, the temptation to imitate totalitarian security methods must be resisted day by day…  When the rights of any individual or group are chipped away, the freedom of all erodes.
   —    Earl Warren
[Of course today’s “Communist Threat” is “Terrorism / Islamic Fundamentalism“…    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

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