Edward Snowden's Leaks Prove Book and TV Conspiracy Theories
It's difficult not to develop some conspiracy theories with all the news about Edward Snowden and his leaks regarding the National Security Agency. The former contractor went public with claims that American intelligence agencies are using illegal government surveillance to monitor their own citizens.
The backlash of this leak has left Snowden looking for political asylum, split public opinion regarding national security, put President Obama in the hot seat and caused conspiracy theorists to break out their tinfoil hats and reread their favorite books and watch TV shows that fictionalized similar events.
'1984' in 2013
George Orwell's 64-year-old dystopian novel may very well be the ultimate conspiracy tome. It coined the terms “thoughtcrime,” “doublethink” and “newspeak.” The story focuses on a simple, everyday servant living in a world ruled by an authoritarian government. A key player for the opposition is O'Brien, a man who turns out to be a double agent. The book is about the risk of letting one party take control. It centers on a society living in fear of the ruling body.
Apparently, the similarities between this fictional world and the headlines of today are not lost on the public. Online book sales for “1984” have increased by almost 10,000 percent since Snowden released his bombshell.
Welcome Back to the 'Brave New World'
"Brave New World," a 1931 novel by author Aldous Huxley, explores a Utopian society built around pleasure without any moral side effects. Although the people of this land seem to live in luxury, the stability they enjoy comes out of fear of the government. Huxley focuses on the loss of individual identity in support of the common good.
The point the author tries to make with his fictional world is that people own the right to be unhappy. The world may rid itself of all that is ugly and unpleasant, but in the process, society loses its right to exist beyond the mind-numbing dependence of the government.
“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury is a science-fiction novel that explores a government that controls so completely that books become illegal possessions. It's about the dumbing down of society to further the interests of the ruling body. The idea is to keep the culture in line by eliminating creative thought. The result is a world of shallow people who pay little attention to the actions of those in charge.
Television Entertainment for Conspiracy Theorists
Networks like TruTV feature some compelling shows for conspiracy theorists who prefer a visual medium over print. These networks are available as part of Direct TV packages.
“Conspiracy Theory” with Jesse Ventura, for example, is a reality show that investigates things the government is trying to hide with stories that revolve around futuristic endeavors like time travel, death rays and aliens. “Conspiracy Theory” just completed its third season on TruTV and features not only Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura but his son, as well.
Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” These days it seems that classic fiction is more of a precursor to the strange and controversial headlines of the day. Stories like “1984” and “Brave New World” have been haunting conspiracy theorists for decades, and now some think Ed Snowden and the NSA are proving them true to life.