Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Edward Snowden and two great Orwellian truths – News and views for Wednesday 18 December

News and views noted along the way.
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  • Orwell in America – “Orwell spent his life loathing intellectuals and state technicians like Edward Snowden. He was sure they would betray the people. Well, Orwell did not always get it right and in this particular matter there can be no doubt that – as the cliché goes – if he was alive today the greatest political commentator of the 20th century would be supporting the young American. For Edward Snowden recognized two great Orwellian truths; first that liberty depends on millions of private lives kept private. As a fully paid-up non-deceived realist, Orwell would have argued the difficult case as to the point at which state secrecy should end and private life begin. Second, Snowden recognized that the War on Terror is no war and the quicker we drop the impossible abstraction of it all the better. Far better that we stick to what is ordinary: ordinary law, ordinary war, ordinary security, ordinary guys. Far better too that we stick to ordinary presidents.”
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