In the late 1980’s, an old friend of mine based in Moscow was calling her husband in the USA late one night. She said it was a “typical dumb husband/wife call,” mostly about a broken garage door.
Around midnight, a gruff voice broke into the call. “This is your KGB listener. This is the most boring, stupid call I’ve ever listened to. Shut up and go to bed!”
Ah, those innocent Cold War days. Today, Big Brother listens to your calls, reads your email, and follows your internet searches on silent cat’s feet.
China’s Taoists warned, “you become what you hate.” They are right: the September 2001 attacks on the US, as John Le Carré wrote, producing a period of temporary psychosis. America was knocked back to the ugly days of Sen. McCarthy’s Red Scare of the 1950’s. The big difference was that today the bogeymen of “terrorists” have replaced menacing Marxists. And today, terrorists were everywhere.