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We Love Big Brother
“You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him; you must love him”
Every year, Americans find themselves with less freedom and their government with more power. The people who once defined themselves with their laissez-faire economy have reduced themselves to little more than proles. Asking for economic bailout and stimulus, the people see only the bright side of government intervention. However, the dark side is present and ever-growing. If the American people do not stop their government’s intervention in the economy, the line separating the two will disappear. Once this disappears, you can say goodbye to free market economy and hello to Big Brother.
While the government has been involved to various degrees in the economy throughout the centuries, recent involvement has taken a stronger grasp. In response to a deteriorating economy, President Obama created an economic stimulus package to jumpstart the economy. Whether this boost will actually work is unknown, but judging by the unemployment rate of April appearing at 8.9% (the highest it’s been since October, 1983) it seems unlikely (Unemployment Rate, 2009). However, this package was created based on the President’s good-natured belief that “If we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse,” (President Pushes Economic, 2009). This belief may be based on the intent to do good, but it comes with many hidden dangers and unknown consequences.
Despite constant negative criticism from right-wing politicians, the government can help the economy. They can support, they can control, and they can moderate. However, they can also commandeer. Recently, the government has tried to help the economy by pumping billions of dollars into companies on the verge of the collapse. This is a valiant effort to assist companies and the American economy, but it is a double edged sword: dangerous as well as helpful. Once the government assists companies with stimulus money (as they did with AIG by giving them 180 billion dollars) the government has a stake in that company(AIG CEO, 2009). They do not want to see the company fail after the money and time they’ve put into it. So, naturally, they may try to ‘assist’ that company even more. Perhaps a few tax exemptions, some illegal trading; anything to help the company get back on it’s feet. Even worse, the government may decide that the company is no longer worthy of managing their own affairs, and will take over the company completely. Now government competition is involved in a free market. Once this begins the United States will have changed from being capitalist to socialist. Next stop, communism and a totalitarian government similar to the Party from George Orwell’s, 1984.
In Orwell’s book, the Party controls all, the Party is all. Party Members are constantly monitored and checked to make sure no deviation from the word of the Party is being spoken, written, or even thought. The Ministry of Plenty, which controls the production of the everything ensures that 98% of the population live in poverty while the upper 2%, or, the Inner Party, live in luxurious conditions by comparison. How exactly the Party and it’s Ministries came to power is unknown, but one thing is certain. The power that the Party has over the people, news, and economy is used for nothing short of complete and utter destruction of the human spirit. The Party ensures that there is no health, no hope, no happiness. If you wanted an idea of how the Party treats humanity, “...imagine a boot stamping on a human face–forever,” (Orwell, 267). This is the power and rule under an all-powerful and ever-watching government.
The Party may seem like an inconceivable idea that is something of the imagination, yet it has already happened in other countries around the world. Stalin, Hitler, and–to an extent–China, have demonstrated the reality of 1984 through the treatment of their people. And we, the citizens of the United States of America, have supported it’s beginning in our own country. We chose our leaders. Those who are shaping our future are none other than those brought to office by the will of the people. Yet the future they are shaping has dark clouds on it’s horizon. The Party and Big Brother will not come from outside the U.S. They will come from within, from the government, from the elected officials. They will come from the people. And the people, all too eager and enticed by promises of a better future, with no responsibility or consequences for the economy, will welcome them with arms wide open. They will line up to become Party Members, and they will love Big Brother.
This future that is still quite preventable. However, strong efforts from everyone are imperative. America must recognize that a free economy means as little government intervention as possible. This is the type of economy Americans have chosen. This means the opportunities, decisions, risks, and returns belong to the American people. However, it also means that the consequences–of foolish decisions, greed, and neglect–are also theirs. When an economy takes a downturn, it is not the government’s job to pump eight hundred billion dollars into it. Yet this is the turn in government that we have come to support, vote for, and appreciate. Once again, however, this double-edged sword may come back to sever us from our freedoms. The responsibility should be the people’s, not the government’s.
There will be difficulty. Everything will not be perfect, but in the end the United States will be better for it. The eight hundred billion dollars that were spent on the economy cannot be retracted, but another incident that requires such drastic measures can be prevented. The people must learn to avoid making decisions that led to the current economic crisis, and companies and businesses must to do the same. The great freedoms enjoyed in the U.S. are followed by great responsibilities. Americans have these freedoms: they can choose where to they want to shop, think what they wish, and say what they want. But they also must be careful to spend no more than they have, educate themselves before making opinions, and think carefully before speaking their mind. Responsibility begets freedom, irresponsibility, slavery. We must prevent ourselves from becoming proles to our government. If we wish to prevent a future controlled by the Party, we must act now, before we love Big Brother.
AIG CEO: Insurance Giant Remains Toxic After $180B Bailout - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com. Breaking News | Latest News | Current News - FOXNews.com. 13 May 2009
Orwell, George. 1984 (Signet Classics). New York: New American Library, 1961.
President pushes economic stimulus package - CNN.com. CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. 13 May 2009
Unemployment Rate. Data.bls.gov. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 13 May 2009