Today marks the 72nd annual anniversary of the publication of 1984 by George Orwell.
The story takes place in an imagined future, the year 1984, when much of the world has fallen victim to perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism, and propaganda. Great Britain, known as Airstrip One, has become a province of a totalitarian superstate named Oceania (EU?) that is ruled by the Party who employ the Thought Police to persecute individuality and independent thinking. – Wikipedia
What could someone in 1949 know about our future? Orwell missed the boat with 1984, because that year and decade were nothing like his book.
This self-described Democrat Socialist missed the mark by 37 years, but his Thought Police and Ministry of Truth have finally arrived to control our speech and even our thoughts, not only in China and Russia, but throughout the once enlightened Western democracies.
We see Orwell’s perpetual war in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, promoting future conflict by pacifying Iran, planning for battles against China and Russia, all to distract our thoughts. For added bonus, America’s warlords use private contractors to please investors, creating profit centers for over-runs, over-charges with little or no over-sight.
The current omnipotent government surveillance is also both a private and public effort, rooting out dissidents, crushing voices on universal media – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, networks, et al. America’s 35,000 FBI agents and spooky CIA spies are assisted by schools, news media, Hollywood, phone companies and internet providers, all watching for improper words, unusual ideas, and anything opposing newly-established doctrines.
As our children are taught 1619 and not 1776, historical negationism changes the past into a tapestry of lies agreed upon, replacing pride with guilt and courage with oppression.
To do their part, entertainment and mass media add propaganda to their story-lines, while the government removes old slogans, invents new words, forbids traditional ideas, approves sex by percentage, and offers rewards for all skin colors, except one.
In today’s 1984, no organization is more vital to dictatorship of the fearful than the Thought Police, headed by brazen bureaucrats, and under the furtive fingers of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Sundar Pichai (YouTube/Google).
As in every cult, there is only one king of kings, ruler of rulers, holy of holies, the infallible and perfect voice. For us today, it is Big Brother.
The truth is he may not exist at all, and the real Big Brother is just induced mass insanity.
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In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy.
The heresy of heresies was common sense.
And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable—what then?
― George Orwell, 1984
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