WORTH REPEATING: On The Surveillance State


“‘Objectivity’ in media culture means, essentially, reporting accurately what’s happening “within the beltway” – that is, within the bounds of the state-corporate system of approved thought and perspectives. Challenging conventional doctrine and permissible evidence is dismissed as “biased,” “emotional,” or some other term of abuse. The cases you mention illustrate that. It’s possible to go beyond these bounds, for example, by investigating and reporting how power systems quite generally seek to use available technology to control and subdue the populations within their reach. Elsewhere I’ve brought up in this connection historian Alfred McCoy’s study of the sophisticated techniques used by US occupation forces after their murderous conquest of the Philippines a century ago, employing the best technology then available, soon applied at home for domestic repression.

Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population.This is obviously something that should not be done. But it is a little difficult to be too surprised by it. They [governments and corporations] take whatever is available, and in no time it is being used against us, the population. Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich. They don’t want people to know what they’re doing. They want to be able to use [new technology] against their own people.Take a look at drones, and what is developing. You will find new drone technology being used in 10 or 12 years from now. They are looking at [trying to make] tiny drones that can go in your living room, like a fly on the wall. Remember, the greatest enemy of the state in the US or anywhere else is its own population. That’s what they’re really afraid of.” — NOAM CHOMSKY