Friends, following a close look at blogs in America, Britain and Australia today (combined with my perusal of world news over the last few months) I feel that the question raised in the title can now be legitimately asked.
Right-wing, ever more despotic Governments, using the 'We're Fighting Terrorism' pretext, have, during the last few years, been actively engaged in reducing the rights of citizens. They have been stopping people's right to protest, to march, to assemble, etc. They have been locking people up without charge and sending some of them off to foreign destinations to be tortured. Some unfortunates have been kept in cages for years without trial, etc.
Governments, illegally, have been actively listening into people's phone conversation, vetting their emails, examining their bank records, who knows what else? They have been impeding travel at airports, targeting certain ethnic minorities and stopping people from carrying some personal items onto planes, etc. Existing laws and the judiciary are frequently being ignored and there has been a flood of new restrictive laws, most of them rushed through Parliament with little or no debate.
The slide towards despotic, right-wing government in some Western Nations has been assisted and supported by both Big Business and Religious Fundamentalists. Such alliances work against the interests of 'the people' and against peace. Such alliances often favor war which can bring super profits to armament manufacturers and new resources like oil to energy producers; and shape events to favor the fulfilling of anachronistic biblical and koranical prophecies.
At the current rate, how long will it be before the internet is closed to those voicing dissent and laws passed to ensure that all bloggers are registered (but only if they agree to promote the government line)? Will the Letters page of the print media be closed down soon and talk back radio vetted by government officials and critical voices deleted before they go to air? Will we all have to take psychological tests shortly to verify our suitability to be citizens of our respective countries?
I would urge all of you to reread 1984 and compare the bleak picture that Orwell painted with the reality of the world you now live in and the one that might exist in five or ten years given the current rate of change. Read also the Handmaid's Tale by Atwood. She paints a similar picture with more a religiously-oriented despotism.
Big Brother has escaped from the cupboard and grows ever bigger. He can't wait to enfold you in his brawny, suffocating embrace. The tipping point may have already been reached. The picture above may soon be the grim reality for all of us.
Perhaps 1984 has already begun!
(P.S. Remember those chilling words from Orwell:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH)