As the stockings are taken down and the tree is put away, our minds ponder next year’s Christmas gifts; maybe the newest tech gadget. Apple is currently working on plans to release a hologram watch in a couple of years and sooner than later a company named RED is releasing a holographic smartphone. Thinking of these future Christmas gifts also makes one think, the future is here. Just like one of the most iconic scenes of Star Wars was with Princess Leia’s holographic message. Could those Star Wars movies have predicted correctly the use of holograms in our time? Star Wars not only expands our imagination on technology but look a little closer, and it can expand your imagination on a loss of democracy. George Lucas himself said the idea of the epic movie Star Wars comes from the extension of how democracies aren’t overthrown, but they are given away.
This idea of giving up on democracy can be seen clearly at the turn of the century. In the United States, we gave up many rights in the name of safety. After 9/11, in the name of safety, our government passed the Patriot Act. ACLU reported there have been over 300,000 secret requests on Americans by the FBI in the form of a letter, that the United States government calls a “National Security Letter”.
“The Patriot Act was supposedly enacted to safeguard the American homeland. George Orwell couldn’t have dreamed up a more vile piece of legislation. And now, Congress wants to restrict even more of your rights – all in the name of public safety.” – Ray a United States blogger
In this time in our world of Terrorism, Nationalism, and Fascism spreading across the world, the book 1984 published more than 20 years before Star Wars would be more relatable. Star Wars may have foreseen holograms but 1984 foreseen doublethink. Doublethink is used by leaders all over the world.
One of the thousands of examples across the world of doublethink can be seen in Spain’s Citizen Security Law. It was implemented a few years ago to curb an uprising in protest during an economic crisis in Spain. There is a force out there willing to stand up and fight against holding down the voice of the non-ruling class. In 2015, this force came together and created a push back to Spain’s Citizen Security Law. On April the tenth of 2015, holograms made up of fifty people and the eighteen thousand who left their voice and messages. Sadly, it doesn’t seem as though the hologram march worked in freeing the voices of the non-ruling class. Over three years later the act has gone fully into effect. Federico Lopez-Terra reported in an Independent article that 70 people have been jailed for their tweets alone.
“People are not scared to say what they think, and that makes me feel very proud, in a way” – Maria from Spain
The force fighting for the right to speak can be heard and seen throughout the world. Similar to the fight against Spain’s Citizens Security Law, Amnesty International in South Korea fought back with holograms to its country’s National Security Law. A law initiated in 1948, which criminalized pro-North Korean comments by a person in South Korea. It is more than that today. Today, it is a tool used by the government to ban protest.