Too Scared to Speak
Not only are you too scared to say what you think, you are too frightened to even comment, like or favourite articles you come across that you earnestly agree with. You have been silenced. Hello, Winston Smith.
Why do I say this? Because I have seen and felt the change in what I read on social media, and how people react, or in fact not react at all to anything that could be classed as, well, topical, or involving something that could be remotely seen as political. Political debate and free speech have not been enhanced by social media; it has been strangled, squashed, killed off and defeated by the threat of being caught by the spooks! People are too scared to speak their mind.
Edward Snowden enlightened us all, but he also warned us that our desire to speak freely is a dangerous occupation, because he proved that what we say online or on our cell phones is monitored, recorded and can be used against us – no matter where you happen to live in the world. The NSA, the US government and all of its clandestine agencies operate with impunity on the Internet, and they can act anywhere in the world.
Of course, they have no right to do this, but they do, so, therefore, the threat is 1984 real. At least one mystery is solved. We, unlike Orwell, know the real identity of Big Brother.
I don’t blame you at all for being fearful and scared to speak, but I would rather not be enslaved by Big Brother, by any name.
I say all this because I read a news item today, which was of course not on the front page of The New York Times. Despite ensuring that all its allies have imposed strict sanctions on Russia, which have been at the cost of countless jobs and enormous damage to the economies of the countries which have obeyed the US demand, the US has kept a convenient loophole up its untrustworthy sleeve that allows it to sell $7.4 billion worth of Boeing aircraft to Russia. So bad luck, from German car maker BMW, down to Nick the Greek olive grower, who have no such loophole. They only suffer, in relative proportion.
While this may not sound frightening, what I found most disturbing was that when I posted this fact on social media, I was met with total silence. Scared to speak and frightened silence I believe, as I am absolutely certain that many found the information hypocritical and absurd. Yet, no one wanted to comment, like, favourite or go anywhere near my posts.
Yet, if I had posted a photo of my bloody dog, I would have been commented and liked to death. What a sad moral state we are in.
In years gone by, before the Internet, I was never afraid to express my opinion, be it by writing to a newspaper for inclusion in ‘letters to the editor’, in my writing, or in discussions with friends. Nor will I be afraid now to express my opinion on the Internet and social media. Free speech is the only right that separates us from enslavement.
Yet, there appears to be many, who are already enslaved, by their silence.
Well, hello Winston Smith, and have a nice day – hiding there beside the bookshelf, too scared to speak.
5 thoughts on “You Are Too Scared To Speak Your Mind, Aren’t You?”
i have no fear of “Big Brother” what I do fear is the restrictions placed on our movements by Government reaction to acts of terror. Why should we be afraid to travel to Tunisia? There have been attacks in Paris, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Berlin and London. Some of these places I have visited, others I have never had any desire to visit. After 9/11 I wanted to fly to the USA, there were no flights allowed into American airspace for days after even if I could have afforded to go.
I will not have my movements dictated to me by terrorist cowards, Governments, nor by someone telling me that this country or that city is out of bounds. When your time is up, no matter where you are or what you do, you will breathe your last.
I am not sure what country you are from, but I can tell you that activists in the U.S. have been watched for years, decades! Have you ever heard of COINTELPRO? Well, in the 80s, when we protested the wars in Central America, we weren’t just being watched, we were being infiltrated. At the time, I thought my boyfriend (who later became my husband and then my ex), I was sure that he was being totally paranoid, covering his face with a large bandana whenever the media showed up.
Later we were made aware that we had an infiltrator, probably not the first, but this one was so obvious, because he gave his name as the brother of a Salvadoran in the group. This caused the group, in their naiveté, to tell him stuff about the member who “happened” to have the same last name and a brother with the same first name.
There were probably other infiltrators, but they would say that they came for the women. It seems that the politically active woman had a reputation of being “looser” than other women.
There were also phone calls when we had speakers come from Central America. They named names and threatened members’ lives.
Two of our members were visited by the FBI. One was an American citizen though her two twin sisters were working for the Sandinista government. The other one was a Salvadoran whose visa had run out when he stopped taking classes at the university that brought him there.
There were also Cubans doing a small counter demonstration every time we had an anti-war demonstration. They were allowed to have their signs on poles that had been sharpened so they could use them as a weapon. We, on the other hand, were warned that we would be arrested if we carried anything that looked like a weapon.
Then, one day, one of our members got hold of his FBI file. Most of it was blacked out, but the few words and sentences we could read were total lies. They said he was an alcoholic, though he drank one to two beers a day. They also said he was a womanizer, sleeping with all kinds of women, when, in fact, despite not having a girlfriend, he never came on to any of the women and we never knew of any that went home with him for the night.
About fifteen years after this incident, I got a postcard from the Freedom of Information Act saying I could get a copy of my file for $25. I have no idea why I didn’t order it. If it WAS filled with blacked-out lines, it would still have been interesting to see what was there and how much was the truth.
Back then (in the 90s), it was said that one in four Americans have FBI files. I can’t help but wonder how high that ratio is today. My guess would be much higher. The protests are larger and more often. The issues are often local rather than about issues in other countries or even other parts of this country.
Anyway, my friend, my suspicion is that people actually do care more about that bloody dog than that bloodied person. From what I can see, we have become numb to human suffering. It is faked in so many TV shows and movies that people feel they’ve seen everything. With PETA around, making sure that the world knows when animals are mistreated, people think about their own pets and are outraged. We need a PETH so that the world starts calling for the ethical treatment of humans and people start thinking about their family and friends whenever they see a bloodied and tortured human being.
Do you know a/b my debut novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador”? A young American woman goes to war-torn El Salvador: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
My husband made a video for my novel. He wrote the song too:
inspiring writings and I greatly admired what you have to say , I hope you continue to provide new ideas for us all and greetings success always for you !
I think you substitute fear when apathy would do. It’s not that people are scared to share it’s that they don’t care. It takes work to care about world issues, it’s much more comfortable to live in ignorence and the bliss it provides.
I have to agree with on that, Craig.
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