Conspiracy theories have once again been launched in front of the public eye, this time in response to the current controversy surrounding former NSA sub-contractor Edward Snowden. This controversy first hit the public in this past month, when NSA documents provided by Snowden served as fodder for stories published in The Guardian and Washington Post. According to these reports, the NSA has authorized everything from surveillance of email and Internet searches to an ongoing metadata of all television calls conducted within the U.S.
The Snowden controversy has inspired questions of security and civil liberties, many of which have spiraled from there into the development of several conspiracy theories — some of which seem plausible and others that are decidedly wacky. Of course, this isn’t the first time conspiracy theories have taken a prominent place in pop culture. The media have long provided the public with plenty of examples of possible conspiracies, as is evidenced in the examples detailed below:
And now, thanks to the latest drama surrounding Edward Snowden, sales of George Orwell’s dystopian classic soar once again reaching record levels. For those of you who missed out on this great book in high school, here’s what you need to know: a province known as AirStrip One is in a state of perpetual war, with its government exerting the ultimate control over citizens through the use of constant monitoring.
All independent thought engaged by those, not a part of the inner elite is labeled as “thoughtcrime” — but one brave soul aims to break through this system in hopes of achieving some semblance of freedom. According to the latest conspiracy theories, the events of “1984" are currently playing out in the U.S.
‘Brave New World’
Like “1984," “Brave New World" is a dystopian classic that has received much praise over the years, as well as comparisons to current government policy. As with “1984,” the premise of “Brave New World" is that of a futuristic society in which very strict government has become normal and expected … but that this control arrives in a far more insidious format than that featured in “1984." Author Aldous Huxley feared future generations would become passive and petty, and according to many conspiracy theorists that prediction has come to fruition.
Ray Bradbury’s famous dystopian novel focuses on what could happen in a society in which all books were banned. In later years, Bradbury would admit to having written the book in response to McCarthyism, a movement that he feared had the potential to spur strong withholding of information from the public. Activists at WikiLeaks have released a number of documents for the very same reason, proving the issues addressed in “Fahrenheit 451" remain relevant today.
Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura
First known as a wrestler before exploring such career choices as an actor and governor, Jesse Ventura has now set himself apart as the host of a popular truTV show covering today’s wackiest conspiracy theories. Since its premiere in ’09, “Conspiracy Theory" with Jesse Ventura has covered everything from global warming to zany conspiracies surrounding September 11. His coverage is always interesting and often, surprisingly informative. According to GetDirectTV.org, this show proves truTV’s ability to keep up with the most prominent issues of the day.
Image by Dave Winer pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.
Article by: Victoria Campbell