by Patrick Kane
While reading this article, please consider the fact that the United States Government:
– Has Killed American citizens without trial via drone strikes
-Is over 17 trillion dollars in debt (over $150,000 per citizen)
-Surreptitiously spies on all electronic communications of both citizens and foreign leaders
-Has refused to stop spying even after being caught
-Persecutes journalists and whistleblowers for exposing crimes they commit
-Targets people based on their political and religious beliefs via the IRS
-Regularly kill innocent citizens and their dogs during ‘no knock raids’ where they break into citizens’ homes at night, and they kill the owner if they try to defend themselves.
With the revelation that the government is watching the world’s online activity, many people turned to encrypted email services, such as Lavabit and SilentCircle, to keep their private matters private. In response, the US government petitioned these businesses demanding that they turn over their customer’s encrypted correspondences. Instead of complying, many of these groups shut down their services to avoid betraying their customers.
In an unfortunate pastiche of Randian heroes, companies like Lavabit shut down their businesses, leaving only a short message on their website explaining how the government had driven them out of business. Though the government is acting out scenes from Rand’s epic almost verbatim, thankfully some of the entrepreneurs bullied by the government are too. Luckily, unlike in Atlas Shrugged, owner and operator of Lavabit Ladar Levison, is fighting this abhorrent breach of privacy in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals instead of hiding in the mountains.
V for Vendetta
What’s really striking about this graphic novel is how the society in the story isn’t an impoverished, decaying metropolis like most fictional dystopian societies. Citizens in this novel seem to live in an almost identical fashion to us. People seem to be employed, with enough money to afford decent homes and things, and appear to be relatively happy. People in this novel live comfortably, but at the price of almost all of their freedom. They are constantly monitored by the state and are subject to a highly militarized police, and no one questions it.
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