Okay, if you live in the United States you know who Edward Snowden is and what he did. I don't care to discuss whether he's a Patriot or a Traitor. What I care about is the idea that Big Brother may be watching you, heck - us - and there is little anyone can do about such a program.
Some of you don't believe me right now. You say, innocently, "I have nothing to hide. Why would the government ever want to watch me?" Other folks are jumping up and down, screaming at the top of their lungs, "Dang Right! About time this clown posts The Truth." And some of us (called sheeple by the two ends) are blissfully unaware of anything going on anywhere but our won little perfect world.
If you've ever watched the CBS show Person of Interest you know how confusing this all can be. The government is watching you. Some other special interest (or Country) is watching the government watch you. And perhaps you even have a concerned citizen's group watching everyone watch each other. Holy crap; it gave me a headache just writing that scenario.
And yet, here most of us sit. Completely unaware of anything...anything!
When it comes to Dystopian writing, you have a lot of choices. The three groups watching everyone above is just one such choice. Orwell created the Thought Police in 1984. Some would say we're not too far from that today. In other worlds, such as the one the Huxley created, government is more of a loving big brother that "helps" you out. Gives you everything you need to survive. Even drugs to help curb any form of anxiety. Now who doesn't love a big brother like that? Even though they are actually manipulating you into the exact behaviors they desire.
Now, let's go to the other end of the spectrum; No Government. There's a scary thought, right? No one watching out for you. But who will fix our roads, our traffic signals? Who will run the DMV, the library? Who will patrol our streets and keep us safe? Answer: absolutely nobody!
You want scary? Don't tell me about the government spying on my pathetic boring life. How about if no one is there to help you. No police, no Army, no National Guard. Just you and those cool friends and neighbors of yours. That's it.
Wait, here comes a hurricane. Here comes a tornado. Here comes the largest winter storm known to mankind. Who is going to help us through this crisis? Who is going to give aid to whatever homeless people there will be after this natural disaster? Not the government. They are gone, people; they have gone home and joined their friends and family. We are all in this together...without one lick of help.
Edward who? That guy who is holed up in a dystopic country run by Vladimir Putin? Really? I bet he understands now what an evil government looks like.
So tell me, you think too much government is terrible? Hmmm, just wait until the day you arise from bed and the corrupt institution is no more. Maybe then you'll understand what you should actually be fearful of in this great big wonderful world of ours.
Have a great weekend all! Get some sun, grill out, and read a great book.