Three word distillations

Sometimes those dots we all connect are flashing neon. I read Chris Muir’s ‘Day by Day’ cartoon and something one of the characters said in the fourth panel today, referring to The One, jerked me upright in my seat — ‘For him, freedom is consent, citizenship is compliance, wealth is the state, and mendacity is the native tongue.’

I thought, wow, that’s consise and insightful. I’ve always appreciated writers who can distill complex thoughts so well. Almost immediately I remembered something else consise and insightful: ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.’

For a few moments I was comforted by the fact that Winston Smith, 1984‘s protagonist, was undone by the near constant surveillance of the ‘telescreens’ found throughout his dystopia and the nervous dread he carried with him everywhere from the omnipresent giant posters reminding him ‘Big Brother is watching.’ Hey if you turn off recommendations on your TiVO and don’t have a library card, you’re in the clear, right?

And then I saw the headline on a Washtimes editorial today: ‘Obamacare’s secret surveillance‘. It points out that the formerly cooperative data sharing between the manufacturers of things like pacemakers and those who use them is to be gobbled up by the ‘health care’ leviathan. Of course, the law is suitably vague about what becomes of this information so everyone should relax. It’s common knowledge that personal information gathered by gun toting census takers or corporations is never misused.

The editorial points out it was just a few weeks ago that the Justice Department had argued in federal court that we have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when it comes to cell phones, so triangulating our location for the purpose of tracking us should concern no one. I mean, who among the cognocenti cares what us knuckledraggers in flyover country are doing anyway?

Citizenship is Compliance.
Freedom is Slavery.

As fine a job as Muir and Orwell have done with three word distillations, both left one out: Arbeit macht frei. It would be silly to think the left has.

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