I think the most pessimistic observation that I could offer would be that the regime does not even bestir itself to honest torture. Our polite totalitarians go Mr. Orwell much better: they believe, at this time unfortunately not without evidence, that they can ignore Winston Smith to death.
Fortunately, I'm too much of a cynic to believe that pessimism has much of a future. I think our empire is headed the way of the Soviet Union not with a bang but a whimper.
June 25, 2001
Strakon replies (finally)
I'm grateful to Mr. Lallier for helping me separate the concepts of cynicism and pessimism. As I'm always telling people, I'm a pessimist and a skeptic but not a cynic.
As for the empire's fate, I say, bang or whimper, let's get it over with. But I'm not holding my breath.
January 11, 2002
To the column.
Return to the table of contents.