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The Prisoner: A Chilling Metaphor for the American Surveillance State

The American government wants its citizens to blindly obey its demands and think that they are living the dream, but in reality, they are caught in a never-ending nightmare of slavery and oppression.

The government wants its citizens to blindly follow its dictates. Every day, the manner of life in our country more closely resembles the dystopian lifestyle depicted in the television series “The Prisoner,” which debuted in the United States 55 years ago. The series addressed a variety of topics, some of which are still topical in our modern world, such as tyranny, groupthink, corrupt governance, and mass marketing.

The plot of “The Prisoner” centers around a British secret agent who decides to resign from his position, only to find himself locked up in a virtual prison that is posed as a picturesque beach resort. The residents of the Village live in opulent conditions, but they have no freedom since they are under continual observation, their activities are monitored by drones equipped with military technology, and they have no individuality because they are only known by numbers. The main character, identified only as “Number Six,” fights against being brainwashed by the Village, strives to keep his identity secret, and makes an effort to break free from his captors in each and every episode. His attempts to flee the Village are rendered pointless when he encounters the menacing spheres known as “rovers,” which block his path. The Village can never be left behind.

The show is a sobering reminder of how difficult it is to acquire freedom in a society in which the prison walls are camouflaged behind technical development, national security, and the necessity to guard against the threat of pandemics, civil unrest, and terrorism. The American surveillance state functions similarly to a panopticon jail, despite the fact that it presents itself to its subjects as a paradise and creates the impression that they have complete freedom. The social theorist Jeremy Bentham was the first person to conceptualize what would become known as the panopticon model. This idea has since been the basis for the contemporary surveillance state. A regulated, vigilant, and punishing society is the outcome of the authorities’ constant monitoring and management of the populace, with the authorities benefiting from the citizens’ work in return.

In conclusion, it is concerning that the government of the United States requires its citizens to obey its orders and that the country is increasingly becoming a police state. We have an ongoing duty to remind ourselves of our uniqueness, our rights to freedom, and our responsibility to fight against the brainwashing that comes from our society.

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