Circle Post #3
Eamonn Bailey does not guide Mae to create these three mantras, rather he manipulates her and appeals to her on such a deep emotional level that she is actually convinced of the validity of these slogans. Going into her meeting with Bailey, Mae is so fearful to lose her job that readers believe she will do anything to preserve her place at The Circle. Bailey is conscious of this as well and thus takes advantage of her vulnerability, and later he uses her again as the poster child for these mantras.
The first saying “Secrets are lies,” may hold true in certain situations where the secrets that are told are in fact lies, but simply keeping a secret does make it a lie, it just makes it a private thought, or an omission. A lie is when someone makes a deliberate choice to mislead another person or purposefully changes their statement, either for personal reasons, which may be justified, or for malicious intent. Bailey asks Mae, “in a family, is a secret a good thing? Theoretically, do you ever think, you know what would be great to keep from my family? A secret (284).” Here Bailey is deliberately invading Mae’s emotions, especially given the recent turmoil with her family. However, this is an unfair example to use in order to sway Mae’s opinion because sometimes family members, either for the protection or for the preservation of the family keep some things private, because in all honesty we do not need to know everything. I also think that we trust more when we do not know everything because have confidence in those that surround us to have our best interests. Bailey claims that secrets only “better the keeper of the secret,” when in reality it is usually harder for the keeper of the secret to maintain its covert status (285). Bailey declares that everyone is “entitled to know” everything, but no one is entitled to know or have access to any information that is not their own (285). There is indeed a difference between healthy secrets and those that weigh us down, but only we can decide how our secrets affect ourselves, no one else can make that decision for us. Bailey has a very simple way of looking at things; he believes that if everyone knows all then all danger would be eliminated. But his utopia demands the participation of everyone involved, but not everyone has such an idealistic outlook, thus his system is flawed. Bailey also ties in the idea of National Security and how if all nations divulged what they know then all conflict would end, I beg to differ.
The next mantra, “Sharing is Caring,” is not as far-fetched as the previous one because it does have many applications and should be implemented, but not to the extent The Circle wishes. The extent at which The Circle wishes it citizens to share indeed infringes on personal privacy and individuality, for if everyone shares all their experiences then there is no room for personal expression. Also, if you share too much, it may become a crutch to not only yourself, but to others and then they may rely on you too much. Bailey reveals to Mae that “knowledge is a basic human right,” and it is, but the extent of that knowledge cannot impede upon the privacy and individuality of other citizens; there must be limitations, so that everyone can grow to be their own person.
The third and final mantra that is presented is “Privacy is Theft.” Maintaining your privacy and having your own secrets is not theft, rather if privacy was actually erradictaed that would be theft because everyone has a right to privacy. There is no correlation between privacy and theft because either way, if privacy is maintained or destroyed, crime will still exist.
All three of these slogans connect to one another through the common thread of the expression of the individual or the expression of the collective group. The Circle aims to eliminate the individual to preserve the greater good; however, the way in which they hope to achieve this does not guarantee greater freedom and safety, but regulation and control.