Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Unconscious Orthodoxy

Let’s see if I understand this correctly: the United States Department of Justice cannot investigate the National Security Agency’s warrantless eavesdropping program because its lawyers don’t have a high enough security clearance. According to the AP:

“The inquiry headed by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice lawyers’ role in the program.

“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey.”

In other words, the government does not have the security clearance to investigate itself.

Remember, the President said back in January that the investigation would be “good for democracy.” Just not good enough that he would actually let it proceed. Hiding behind the veil of “national security,” the Bush administration has proven once again that it will continue to act in complete defiance of anyone who would question its right to trample our freedoms, even itself. Orwell tried to predict it, in pre-war, Socialist Britain when he had Syme tell Winston: "Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to your, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

To create the unconsciousness of the new political orthodoxy, Bush has nominated the man who created warrantless eavesdropping, the NSA’s own General Michael Hayden. And as The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart noted, he did it with the exact words he had used to nominate Hayden’s predecessor, because he knew that we were already all but unconscious.

Who’s going to question it? Who’s going to stop them? Congress? The military? The people? No, we’re all busy, thank you, filling up our Hummers and betting on oil futures. Not a single human being alive can even understand the conversation.

2 comments:

Jason Leary said...

Dear Brother Tim Ervolina ,

The quote from Orwell regarding newspeak is very timely and quite cogent. The important meta-political sources of authentic community are being more and more squeezed out of our once fair continent---and much of the Earth for that matter... by the Society of The Spectacle (see the writings of French essayist Guy Debord) that falls under that pagan Idol of lifestyle mystification & mass man/mass consumption called The Economy or Economic Growth (like Legion it has many names).

And those meta-political concerns that really count are threatened ultimately regardless of whether "liberals" , "conservatives", "neo-conservatives" , or "moderates" are running the goverment...as long as the Spectacle of the Rat Race society is allowed to go on without being exposed ...and exposed as totally worthless and wrongheaded...NOT merely "wrong" from a so-called "perspective" or any of that sell out conflicted pomo talk ...

Culture jamming (to put it mildly) is long overdue. What we are seeing with this growing spectacle that apparently tries to co-opt phrases like "national security" for purposes of fostering more anomie, more hype ...for purposes that are to put the matter succinctly ...weird...ever so weird (not unusual in an edifying way ...but weird...Kafkanesque) .

What is being fostered by the movers and shakers ...many of the prominent and vapid trendsetters in goverment and the News and Entertainment, and Advertising complex...is apparently a sort of freaky mass shell game where somehow keeping everyone guesssing and glued to media outlets for the latest word from the latest pundit or politician who is the man of the hour. They apparently get something out of this..profit? Yes, but perhaps even more sinister is the prospect that information ...and what philosopher Edmund Husserl called the 'lifeworlds' of people are themselves being treated like commodities to be banded about in some Game that is always in flux...And that prospect is, indeed, quite creepy .

It's time more people decide to be single-minded and not get desensitized. The newspeak...the mystification...ambivalent thinking...including lateral thinking and doublethink are evil ...it's high time more people make a concerted effort *NOT* to ignore that .

Of course, thus we must keep coming back to the perrenial truth ...that we should NOT give that weird postmodernist ad hoc respect to beliefs that are crass and supercillous ...or otherwise dodgy .Postmodernisn ---which has infiltrated much of what flies under the heading of conservatism AND contemporary liberalism AND the moderate middle is totally evil and without a scintilla of merit. And worse than a full-blown postmodernism---is thinking that has latent partial elements of some of it...the thinking shown by the mellow sophisticates. latent ideological poison is ultimately worse than the full-blown variety .

The problem...again to "ramble", yet further is not ultimately whether Hillary clinton , or Mr.Lieberman, or Karl Rove is running the White house (though getting the Bush administration out of there and sent packing would be delightful)...but , instead, is the mass culture of conspicuous consumption, along with the concurrent wild sex and sexy products, death as glamourous fodder for media gossip (ala monstrosities as CNN 's Nancy Grace show) , dysfunctionality, and economic games disguised as war. The problem is the suburban ideology of "Keeping Up With The Joneses" and the themes of what might best be called 'cultural entropy' which goes along with it ...the Society Of The Spectacle. It's high time we unplug the Spectacle ....it's high time for quaintness ...and for the blessedly passe ideals of Integrity, Beauty, Truth, and authentic community .

Marc Edwards said...

Dear Brother Tim,
I must disagree with one subtle point you made about freedom. I cannot conceed that goverment has anything to do with freedom. They can give or take liberties that are inline with freedom; but freedom is completely internal.
I believe that freedom comes from the Living One. Hence, Paul could do what he felt the "Spirit led." Machiah could tell Ahab the truth. Jesus could go to the cross. And Abraham could continue through his journey.
But to put my freedom in the hands of corrupt goverment officials, is to choose a death of my spirit.

Much Love!
Marc