One could argue that there are a lot of similarities between George Orwell's book "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1984) and the world we live in today, and
perhaps increasingly so. A lot of people throw around the term "orwellian" when speaking about subjects in regard to our society and government, but
what does it mean? Perhaps we can figure this out together?
Well, 1984 is a book that depicts a particularly dystopian society where the government is in control of anyone and everything with few exceptions.
Constant surveillance, constant control, constant suppression of free thoughts and ideas by careful and purposeful manipulation of the masses. In
effect eliminating individuality and personal freedom, invoking unquestionable and patriotic faith in the government and its nefarious efforts.
I'm sure some of us today are feeling a lot of what the book exudes from these thematic elements.
I won't get into details too much. One reason for that is because the book illustrates this perfectly, and it's recommended to read it. Because it's a
classic. And secondly, because I'm not able to do it as good as Orwell, and it would take too much time and space. The point of this thread isn't the
story of the book, but the themes of the society and the parallels we can draw to our own society. There are plenty of resources on the internet
where you could catch up on the book if you are unfamiliar with the content.
But let's just get to it, and try to get through with the topic. I can't promise I will do it justice, but as the title suggests, I hope we can do
this together. I will start by organizing the thread by themes. You are more than welcome to add your own if you feel something important has been
missed, or expand on the existing ones that are provided.
And to shield me from too much criticism; it's been a long time since I read the book, and I'm writing this with a memory riddled with holes like a
swiss cheese. Also this thread will come off as especially paranoid, and with limited knowledge the content is pointed, but not without merit. But who
cares?! Perhaps paranoia is fun.... to some degree.
The news are fabricated in accordance with the status quo. In other words; it will always fit the totalitarian governments wishes. Let's say if, in
the future, the old "news" is not in accordance with the new ambitions or wishes of the government, it is revised and edited to suit the governments
needs of the time. This happens perpetually, and weakens the memory and ability of the citizens to stay informed. In effect; history is altered in
perpetuity. The agency responsible for this is the Ministry of Truth.
News articles today or articles in general, especially on the internet, can/ or are subject to revision. At least it's possible without the reader
even knowing it has been revised or edited. The date and year of something published on the internet should not be a problem to alter without a trace.
And truly, isn't digital media the new and growing and perhaps preferred platform for news? Are there people that read both digital newspapers as well
as on paper? How will it look in the future, especially with transhumanism and the concept of being constantly wired to the web?
The newly coined term "fake news" comes to mind. And it begs the question; will there eventually be an equivalent to the ministry of truth?
And with the media being owned by a small group of people with questionable affairs and backgrounds, why shouldn't there be a cause for concern?
As an afterthought, should the so-called "Mandela effect" be included in this portion? I can imagine the above as a cause for this phenomenon.
The war effort
There's constant war, and the citizens are constantly reminded of this daily when gathered in large groups. There are chants that invokes patriotism
and elements of mass suggestion. Meaning: If you don't participate you are liable to be disappeared. There will be no record of you anywhere. Your
friends will not talk of you (it's implied; if you do, you yourself will disappear) or recognize that you ever existed. Do not under any circumstance
speak against the government or the war effort.
The reasoning behind the war is not revealed, and you don't get a clear picture why there's a war in the first place. The end goal is not revealed.
There's plenty to pick from? The constant polarization between nations, states, groups of people, blacks and whites, muslims and christians... Isn't
everything made into a war these days?
The surveillance state
Telescreens: They are in every apartment, every household. Bascially televisions in every apartment that keeps an eye on you every day, every hour of
the week. Any sign of infraction or sign of contempt or sedition made by even the smallest facial expression can result in arrest and imprisonment.
This ensures complete obedience. Even showing signs of this during sleep puts you in danger.
Thought Police: Undercover agents that poses as normal citizens report any person that acts outside the norm or shows sign of rebellion. Even children
are employed, or at least encouraged, to report even their parents. Which happens frequently.
Also there are secret cameras and microphones hidden in almost every conceivable place.
There's a lot to cover on this theme. In recent times, thanks to Edward Snowden, we have a lot more to compare. I'm sure you are able to fill in a lot
of subject matter here yourselves. It's not difficult to put this in context, if not for all the subject matter available.
The patriot act for instance. CCTV. SOPA. Your mobile phone. Web camera on your laptop. GPS on your handheld device. Facial recognition software. Bla,
bla, bla... There's a lot of effort on the part of the elite to know what you're on about.
Big Brother: An elusive, almost mythical, but charismatic leader that you never see in person. He determines the path of the nation, but are mostly a
figure that riles up the masses and appears on the telescreen and on posters everywhere.
Citizens (at least Winston the main character) has some sort of recollection seeing him in person, but widely unsure of this. Perhaps this is because
of the historical revisions.
Shadow government. There are someone in the background pulling the strings. The person elected to office is a figurehead doing the bidding of someone
behind the screen (telescreen?).
The proletariat, or "proles", live in poverty and are kept sedated with alcohol, pornography and a national lottery (whose winnings are never
actually paid out, a fact obscured by propaganda and lack of communication between various parts of Oceania). At the same time, the proles are freer
and less intimidated than the middle class Outer Party: they are subject to certain levels of monitoring but are not expected to be particularly
patriotic, lack telescreens in their own homes, and often jeer at the telescreens that they see.
This I actually had to extract from wikipedia as I had totally forgotten about it. But I have to say it has a close resemblance to my own life. And I
am suddenly struck by a strange realization.
edit on 9/12/16 by Droogie because: (no reason given)
edit on 9/12/16 by Droogie because: (no reason given)