George Orwell Panopticon

796 Words4 Pages
Panopticon, George Orwell and CCTV cameras.

Submitted by Ananthajith KR HS15H004

Two hundred and twenty seven years ago, an English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, conceived an innovative way of massive surveillance, the Panopticon. One hundred and sixty one years later, in 1949, an English author, George Orwell, foretold about a world where every move that you make, every word that you speak and every thought that cross your mind is monitored. With the advent of the twenty-first century, George Orwell was proven correct; Panopticon was electronically extended.

The Panopticon, as designed by Bentham was in its form a circular building that housed the inmates with a central watchtower from which the watchman could watch the inmates.
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It instills a belief in people that they are constantly being monitored by some unknown entity. This tempts people to change their behavior, external manifestations of their thoughts and feelings. This control of mind over mind is what makes CCTV (or Panopticon) effective surveillance tools.

With the emergence of CCTV, the balance of power has shifted. We are not in control of ourselves, yet we control ourselves. Somebody sitting somewhere, or somebody not sitting anywhere, somebody non-existent is telling us to control our behavior. The CCTV system ensures its masters high efficiency with almost no expenses.

This makes CCTV an ideal choice for ceaseless surveillance. A person living in New York City will find it impossible to go to a departmental store without making themselves present to surveillance by CCTV cameras. The fixed stare of the cameras will follow them everyplace they go. Privacy becomes a misapprehension. CCTV systems and their omnipresent, non-stop surveillance is the primary reason why self-awareness escalates to self-consciousness in the present-day society. We become machinelike in our movements, social interactions cease to be humanistic. The whole world works like a pre-programmed machine. There are no organic interactions, no empathy, no emotions, and no feelings. Everybody becomes suspicious of others and of themselves. A single poster saying, “You are under CCTV surveillance.” is enough to
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They make us less human. They invade into our privacy, they remodel our minds and they restructure the way we think. And strategic positioning of cameras are not going to ease the awkwardness we feel. But unfortunately, that is not what its advocates
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