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Essay on National Security vs. the Right to Privacy

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During totalitarian leadership, many control tactics are used to maintain power. Whether it is censorship, revised history, terror, or propaganda, these tactics ensure that the dictator remains in power. I believe the three most important tactics are propaganda, censorship, and terror. The most effective is terror, because fear can make people completely change who they are as people to stay alive. If you can control what people are afraid of, you can control almost every aspect of their lives.
One of the simplest ways of controlling a society is by propaganda. By surrounding your civilians with pro-leader artwork and media, you can eventually convince the people that totalitarianism is actually for their benefit. Using propaganda to sway people’s opinions on the government takes away their human right to chose who and what they stand for. The change in propaganda shows how the dictator’s power increased over time. By looking at posters from the early 1940’s, when Stalin was starting to gain power, and looking at posters from the early to mid-1950’s, when Stalin was in total command, you can very easily see the differences. In the 1940’s propaganda, Stalin is usually pictured with a group of people, symbolizing the new government as a whole. In the 1950’s propaganda, Stalin is usually pictured with no one else, showing that he has become a totalitarian dictator, to be the only leader honored by the country. You can see that the propaganda started out in favor of the general government, but eventually became in favor of the singular leader. In 1984, you don’t see as many early forms of propaganda, but you can tell that now, the people are surrounded by pro – Big Brother propaganda. Even when Winston is at home, he is still surroun...


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...on’t know what will happen to them. The fear is worse than the actual punishment. I believe that terror is the most important control tactic because it directly affects the most human rights. Censorship and propaganda take away a few rights, but terror has the ability to take every single human right. The obvious affect on happiness when your human rights are taken away is that you have neither freedom nor security. You are left with nothing but fear.
All in all, taking human rights away by terror is the most effective, yet cruelest way of maintaining power in a totalitarian government. You take the most from people, but you get the most power. This is a main reason why group security is more important than individual freedom. When you are guaranteed safety, you can find happiness within yourself. If all you have is freedom, there is no way of ensuring your safety.


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