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Are you living in an Orwellian society? Let's find out!

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posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 06:53 PM
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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

Orwellian:

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.

Reality:

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

Orwellian:

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.

Reality:

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

Orwellian:

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.

Reality:

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.

The leader

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.

Reality:

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 underclass

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. wiki


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)




posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 07:15 PM
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a reply to: Droogie
You should add that one must be PC in one's speech.


Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as "thoughtcrime".


You must not speak ungood of our grand government.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: Droogie

I'll start worrying about it when I have to start drinking government made and rationed Gin. As long as whiskey is being made somewhere there's hope for humanity.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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I was talking about this with my sons just this morning! Big Brother is here, and we willingly opened the door and welcomed him in with open arms.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: Droogie

I'll start worrying about it when I have to start drinking government made and rationed Gin. As long as whiskey is being made somewhere there's hope for humanity.

I have to laugh because when I was a little girl my grandma used to make wine out of anything that fermented. Neighbors visited regularly to enjoy her efforts. One of their favorites was her apple cider.

I remember when they shut her down because for some reason hard cider was a big no no.

So you see it has been done before and the government is very much in control over what drink you can and cannot buy or sell.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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DP
I saw the screen jump and knew this was what happened. Would love to know what causes this.
edit on 9-12-2016 by NightSkyeB4Dawn because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 08:56 PM
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a reply to: Droogie

Beautifully done for the underclass that will never venture to find and read it.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 09:10 PM
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originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: Droogie

Beautifully done for the underclass that will never venture to find and read it.


Too bad. It was mandatory reading when I was in the 8th grade, but I had already read it before I got the assignment.

I will never forget that day. The teacher handed out the mandatory reading list. I think there were about 10 books on it. 1984 was at the top of the list. I told her that I had already read them. She told me to read the next one on the list. I told her I had read them all. She looked at me sideways and asked me what 1984 was about, I gave her a brief but good run down on the book. She was amused so she asked me to tell her about 3 other books on the list. I did. She laughed and told me I could read what ever I wished, because it was obvious that I had already read all the books required.

That was back in 1965. I thought at the time that it wouldn't make any difference if it did happen, because I would be an old fart in a wheelchair by the time 1984 came along. Here I am an old fart, minus the wheelchair and all the things I thought would never happened has.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 09:32 PM
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originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn

originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: Droogie

I'll start worrying about it when I have to start drinking government made and rationed Gin. As long as whiskey is being made somewhere there's hope for humanity.

I have to laugh because when I was a little girl my grandma used to make wine out of anything that fermented. Neighbors visited regularly to enjoy her efforts. One of their favorites was her apple cider.

I remember when they shut her down because for some reason hard cider was a big no no.

So you see it has been done before and the government is very much in control over what drink you can and cannot buy or sell.

Oh yeah. But a lot of times something being illegal is what makes it worth what it is.

I only made that comment because that's one of the parts of the story that stuck with me haha.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

Oh yeah. But a lot of times something being illegal is what makes it worth what it is.

So true. I think the thought of knowing they were doing something naughty is what kept her customers coming back.

1984 was one of my favorite books growing up. Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Brave New World, were also on the top of my list. I think even as a child I realized there was something about our world that came with deep dark issues.



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 07:21 AM
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Books like: 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and others did not come about for no reason.

People saw something coming.

What is a common theme in all of these books is that it portrays a government that doesn't just allow people to live out their lives in the way they please, to pursue their happiness.

They feel like they have to impose their will upon you to conform to their vision or view, or their goals for a society, even at the cost of the happiness and well being of the people, feeling that they know better than you, or what is best for you.



edit on 10-12-2016 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat
Nothing new under the sun. People have tried to pass down warnings and truths through allegory or song, throughout time.

Yet we are resistant to simple truths, especially when in our hearts we know them to be truths.



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 09:21 AM
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Big Bwudda Comed into yorns house outta yer TV.



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 09:48 AM
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originally posted by: MyHappyDogShiner
Big Bwudda Comed into yorns house outta yer TV.

Maybe that was true once, but Big Brother stepped out of the TV years ago.

He is firmly seated in our hands and in our minds. The only thing that Big Brother fears is rejection.

Like we turned off our TV sets we have to unplug him from our lives. Much like in the M. Night Shyamalan's movie "The Happening" and Stephen Kings the, "Cell", we already caught up in a toxic web of signals being transmitted even when we are not aware of them. We need to voluntarily shut it down and walk away. We need to take back control of our minds and our lives.



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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A good thread. Yes, Orwell was prescient in his writing.

In this era of "fake news", it is even more true that in a time of universal deception, speaking the truth (or printing it) is a radical act.



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 10:26 AM
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As you have correctly opined, people have not only allowed, but welcomed today's Orwellian society. People's lack of independence and insecurity coupled with people's selfish demands for near constant coddling and sheltering from reality have created fertile ground upon which such a state can rapidly evolve and thrive.

The problem with Oceana, and the thing most people fail to realize is...once you create Oceana it is very difficult, if not impossible, to dismantle once people see it for what it is.

People need to understand that it is the globalist mentality which is the shortest path to living in the shadow of the ivory towers of dominance forever more.






edit on 12/10/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 10:40 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
As you have correctly opined, people have not only allowed, but welcomed today's Orwellian society. People's lack of independence and insecurity coupled with people's selfish demands for near constant coddling and sheltering from reality have created fertile ground upon which such a state can rapidly evolve and thrive.

The problem with Oceana, and the thing most people fail to realize is...once you create Oceana it is very difficult, if not impossible, to dismantle once people see it for what it is.

People need to understand that it is the globalist mentality which is the shortest path to living in the shadow of the ivory towers of dominance forever more.

We have climbed the steps of those towers, paying the toll at every step along the way. By the time we realize our mistakes, the way back down is slow and treacherous, or quick and deadly.

From my vantage point I see that there are no locks on the cages we have chosen for shelter. It is not that we can't open the doors to our self constructed cages, it is our fear of lost that keeps us so soundly caged. Selfishness, coddling, contentment, false sense of security, armor that we don daily that keeps us bound to the very thing we claim to fight.



posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 10:53 AM
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Today we see many references to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four. It is often cited as the quintessential biography of our time. However, Orwell was not nearly the first to write such a work.

In the year 1516 Thomas Moore authored the book "Utopia" which foretold the future of a dystopian society. Many of the observations and conclusions reached are strikingly similar to Orwell's. Orwell's setting was just far more futuristic, but otherwise the parallels are notable.

And to distill these themes down into a single thought...

The more you try to homogenize everything, and everyone, the more you restrict individual freedoms and creativity. There is no other alternative.



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