In One Eye

Monday, June 16, 2003
I see that Margaret Atwood is playing around with the Animal Farm/post 9/11 similarity also.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, it seemed for a time that ... henceforth, state control would be minimal, and all we would have to do was go shopping and smile a lot, and wallow in pleasures, popping a pill or two when depression set in.

But with 9/11, all that changed. Now it appears we face the prospect of two contradictory dystopias at once - open markets, closed minds - because state surveillance is back again with a vengeance. The torturer's dreaded Room 101 has been with us for millennia. The dungeons of Rome, the Inquisition, the Star Chamber, the Bastille, the proceedings of General Pinochet and of the junta in Argentina - all have depended on secrecy and on the abuse of power. Lots of countries have had their versions of it - their ways of silencing troublesome dissent.
I tell you, there's a dissertation in here somewhere.