The USA is not yet a dictatorship no matter how rapidly it would seem to be moving in that direction. Sadly and perhaps very significantly the United States has employed a number of paranoid tactics that delegitimize its democracy. This phenomenon is on display in the fictional TV series “Homeland,” which depicts hysterical CIA agents in a hysterical country.
We se it in the newspapers and on television news, in comment threads on internet sites and in the megalomaniacal ravings of the rent boy President. And when we se it reflected in the scripts of television dramas we can be sure the country is in big trouble.
Agent Carrie Mathison, main character in the American TV series “Homeland,” (played by the gorgeous Claire Danes), shows her true relevance in the first few episodes, in which Mathison is nervously sitting at home, observing and listening in on the life of a terror suspect on a large screen.
His apartment is bugged and Mathison is determined to find out as much as she can about him. She is hysterical, bipolar, paranoid and sick. And all these things are considered qualifications for her job.
In real life United States security personnel working for the CIA, NSA and FBI are much further along the District Line than agent Carrie Mathison, next stop Barking for most of them. They spy on everyone, from dole dossers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, unlike a certain Barack Hussein Obama, has not so far been accused of maintaining ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Everyone is a threat, people who grow vegetables in their back garden are extremists, people who visit “conspiracy theory websites” (do they mean anyone who looks at this site? Probably.)are seen as seditionists, people who criticize Obama’s economic or foreign policy, Obamacare or any government action are racists, and people who eat donuts in the street in some cities are terrorists.
Everybody it seems is a threat. It is starting to make the world of Orwell’s 1984 look positively Utopian.
More traditional spy fiction may tell us that spooks and secret agents live in a kind of fantasy world of beautiful women with perfect cheekbones, fascinating accents and permanently moist vaginas. T V shows like Homeland however are an expression of the societies in which they exist. It may be then that paranoid populations demand paranoid protectors.
Most of the USA’s image of itself until recently was based on the freedom myth, a land of rugged and self sufficient individuals surviving against the odds. But to survive against the odds we must see everything as a potential threat. That leads to paranoia. Paranoia in turn, poses a threat to freedomdom threatened Americans become even more paranoid. Where does America’s fear come from?
Franklyn D. Roosvelt, according to many people America’s greatest president, once said, “You have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Freedom means that there is an endless range of possibilities, and that anything can happen, including both good and bad things, predictable things, unpredictable things, unimaginable things. Freedom engenders fear.
American paranoia is self sustaining.