A Comparative Analysis of George Orwell’s 1984, as Related to Our Time

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In 1949, George Orwell wrote a rather prophetic book.  1984 was a fictional account of a future society in the year 1984.  The book was also made into a movie titled nineteen eighty four  It was a nightmarish, dystopian world.

The world was divided into three major powers: Oceana (the US, UK, and the nations of the British Commonwealth), Eurasia, consisting of Europe and Russia, and Eastasia, or China and Southeast Asia. The three great powers were in a state of perpetual war with the other for control of a belt of geography from roughly North Africa to India.

The story focused on two characters, Winston and Julia, who dared to rebel against the totalitarian state, with disastrous results.

rundown neighborhood pexels

Airstrip One, what we know as the UK, was an impoverished, oppressive, dull, and rigidly controlled totalitarian state. The lower class and middle class was under the iron grip of the ruling party, known as Ingsoc, or English Socialism, who distracted the populace from their daily misery with dubious luxury items such as Victory brand Gin, Victory brand cigarettes, and rarely, a chalky, dull chocolate bar.

All were inferior products. Young women joined the Anti-sex league, whose purpose was to remove any trace of pleasure from sexual intercourse, reserving it only for procreation. It was  a grim and bleak existence.  People wore the same plain grayish fatigue-like clothes, worked joyless jobs, mostly in bureaucracy, industry and farming.

Commodities such as razor blades and necessities such as food were in short supply. A chunk of stale bread, and a stew made with “not-meat”  was a typical meal. The state was personified by a figure, which somewhat resembled Josef Stalin, who was called Big Brother. The enemy of the state was personified by a man named Emmanuel Goldstein.

At the start of their shift, workers would gather for the Two Minute Hate, a morale boosting and motivational session in which they spewed their rage against the enemies of Oceana who were depicted on a movie screen, and then were comforted by a reassuring image of Big Brother.  I found this one of the most disturbing and disgusting scenes in the movie adaptation, watching these brainwashed drones chanting and crossing their arms in an X shape above their heads.

Although people were married, romantic relationships were forbidden, and men and women could copulate only to produce children. Children were encouraged to turn their parents into the state for any violation of the rigid and inflexible rules. The doctrines of the state were brutally enforced by the Thought Police, who had both an Undercover and Uniformed division.

They watched people through the telescreen, a device which both presented information and watched you periodically, though you didn’t know when (sound familiar?) The Thought Police would fly helicopters around neighborhoods, shining searchlights in people’s windows, mainly focusing on the lives of the middle class. Dissidents were arrested, and held in squalid prisons.

They were subjected to torture, not to extract information, not only to crush their spirit but alter their perception, and submit to the state, loving Big Brother above anyone else. Some were sent to the dreaded Room 101; a torture chamber in the basement of the prison where they were faced with their worst fears. Upon successful brainwashing, they were released, and possibly executed a short time later, though this is somewhat uncertain from the book.

There are elements of Orwell’s story which are being expressed in our world today. There has been a gradual erosion of free speech. The right to bear arms is being threatened. Freedom of religion has been taken more as freedom from religion, and our words are being increasingly policed. We are all under surveillance from cameras in stores, on the street, on traffic lights, and even on our laptops and HED’s (Hand-held Electronic Devices). Many expressions that you hear are based on Orwell’s book.

The term Orwellian is synonymous with something benign sounding presented by those in authority, which is actually sinister. Social Justice Warriors are referred to as thought police, as they scour people’s speech and work to sanitize it lest it offend some little snowflakes fragile sensitivity.

Here is a breakdown of key elements from 1984, and the eerie similarities we are facing today:

Newspeak & Doublespeak

Language is used as a means of oppression and social control in 1984. The very concept of rebellion or insurrection, disobedience, or even criticism of the state or Big Brother was being made impossible through elimination of the words for such concepts.

This has happened in our world. Through the poison of political correctness, language has been gradually and subtly altered to distort and change reality, making ugly heinous things more acceptable, softening and dulling the sharp edges of reality, and changing our perceptions. Here are a few examples:

Illegal alien Undocumented immigrant
Prostitute Sex worker
Mass homicide Ethnic cleansing
Slavery Human trafficking
Psychiatric patient Consumer
A man or woman Cis-gendered individual

The need to police language is becoming ubiquitous. When you do a google search, a box pops up urging you to report any offensive search keyword suggestions. This is unbelievable. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone.

simple google search

google search

Why do people mindlessly embrace the idiocy? Why not speak up and say this is crazy, instead of following along? Because to speak out against the idiocy of political correctness gets you labeled as hateful, a misogynist, a bigot, narrow minded, ignorant, and other labels. Your job may be threatened.

Your freedom may be threatened in what was once a democratic society like Canada, the UK or Germany, if you do not use the correct words.  There are too many highly sensitive whiny weaklings that have complained about the most irrelevant minutiae because they took offense. Then you have spineless individuals who bend to them instead of telling them to fuck off and not worry about it.

What about an ordinance in a South Carolina beach town where swearing can get you a $500 ticket or 30 days in jail. Are they fucking serious? Who comes up with this shit? This is what elected officials are concerned about? Maybe you should be concerned with real crimes and threats to public safety.

Or the California anti-discrimination law that makes it a crime to call someone the wrong gender. Yes I read the fine print, and it only applies to health care workers who deliberately and repeatedly use the wrong gender, but this is a Teflon coated slope that free speech is sliding down. Criminal penalties for refusing to indulge someone’s mental illness by not calling them the delusional title they imagine? People are buying into the gender politics lunacy without question. It’s enough to make you want to scream at the sky.

See the video below for further thoughts on the power of words:

The government divisions in 1984:

There are four bureaucracies who manage the state of Oceana:

  • The Ministry of Truth, aka Minitruth, whose job is propaganda dissemination. We have this with the mass media. CNN has become infamous for their distortions, inaccuracies, and outright lies. It is remarkable how small changes in the written word or inflection of the voice in a newscast can change our perception, and our thinking. Other news is suppressed, tucked away, and given minimal attention. I don’t understand whose side the media is on. Much of the content they publish seems traitorous to our nation, or intended to incite outrage, civil unrest and violence. What is most disturbing is how people mindlessly embrace what they are told, without question.
  • The Ministry of Peace aka Minipax, in charge of the Armed forces, or Department of War. Come on. Let’s call it what it is. Don’t try to pretty it up if it is ugly, as reality often is. The armed forces are armed. They are about protecting our nation and national interests by killing those who threaten us, or convincing them they will be killed if they threaten us. If we really wanted to be badass, we could rename the Department of Defense the Department of We Pity Our Enemies.

lost places old decay ruin

  • The Ministry of Love aka MiniLuv, A prison where political dissidents are tortured and brainwashed. This does not sound very loving. Maybe I am just being narrow-minded.
  • The Ministry of Plenty aka Miniplenty, in charge of production and distribution of goods. It was the exact opposite in the world of 1984. There was not enough to go around, which is the typical result of a socialist economy. Look at Venezuela and North Korea. The left are forever crying about the 1% and uneven distribution of wealth. A few years ago, groups of very confused people camped out in parks, in the Occupy movement. They were not even clear what they were trying to accomplish. See the video below for some basic economics. The people in this country who hold the majority of the wealth have worked hard to earn it. And for the most part, they already distribute it, through philanthropy and creating jobs and businesses, and strengthening the economy. No I am not in the 1%. I am far below that actually. I admire, rather than envy those who are, and strive to learn their methods. Here is a start: Don’t put yourself $50,000 in debt with a degree in Gender Studies or Fine Arts, then bitch about making minimum wage working in a café part time. What were you expecting?

Undoing the past

In 1984, the main character, Winston, was part of a bureaucracy which would periodically re-write the past to suit the needs of the state. He would scour news archives, deleting and changing events to reflect consistency with the current party doctrines.

Here we are now. Confederate statutes are being taken down. Streets are being re-named, holidays no longer celebrated or the names changed, our founding fathers decried as slave owners.

Reality: Our Founding Fathers and ancestors were not perfect. They were flawed and imperfect human beings, following the social norms of the time, and eventually changing those norms. They owned slaves as most people did who had any wealth.

Slavery has been practiced throughout history, including the enslavement of Africans in America. Note that slavery also ended due to the effort of White Republican men.  Instead of trying to rewrite or erase the past, preserve it. Let it demonstrate how far our nation has progressed, correcting injustices.

The correction of injustice is historically a process; it is an unsteady series of changes and improvement. Celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that commemorates a peaceful gathering and feast between colonists and Native Americans. Some states have substituted it with Indigenous People Day.

Like the Aztecs who practiced human sacrifice and beheaded prisoners of war? Like the Comanche who fought against their neighbors for territory, tortured captives, raped women? Here is a historical reality: Native Americans are human beings. Human beings are warlike and aggressive. The Native Americans were not all peaceful and living in harmony with nature until the evil white European Christians came and slaughtered them. They were making inter-tribal war and slaughtering each other before Columbus arrived. Learn History everyone.

night television tv theme machines

The Telescreen

The telescreen was a media device that was present in all public buildings, and all citizens had one in their homes. It was always on. It broadcast propaganda and mandatory calisthenics classes among other content. People would watch the telescreen, but you never knew when a member of the Thought Police or another government official on the other end was watching you.

We have such a device. We watch it, and it watches us.  There are ways to protect your privacy on line, though none are foolproof. Start with an encrypted browser, or at least a non-information retaining browser. There are also numerous privacy –enhancing extensions available through Firefox.

See the Ted Talk below as the importance of privacy:

Big Brother

Big Brother is a figurehead, the symbol of the state, ruggedly handsome, with a thick mustache, and a countenance that promises fatherly protection to friends, and brutal and certain death to enemies. In the world of 1984, his face is on posters on every corner, and appears reassuringly during the aforementioned two-minute hate.

No one has ever seemed to actually see him, and it is unclear if this man even exists, or lived at one time and is deceased. We see similarities with the regime of Kim Jong-Un.  To the oppressed, victimized and isolated people of North Korea, he is regarded as a semi-divine being, who has supernatural powers, and loyalty to him must be absolute.

The Two Minutes Hate

Liberals scream at the sky to protest a democratically elected president, a year after he was elected. In the video below, a pallid, hideous, ghastly woman with a vacant stare is screaming repeatedly and holding her middle fingers high during a trump rally. She looks possessed. I worked with the seriously and chronically mentally ill for the five years early in my career.

They heard voices, saw things that were not there, had little in the way of coping skills, and were largely disabled. At their very worst I never saw any of them behave the way this woman did. She really personified the definition of unhinged and deranged, as they are being called. They do not appear capable of rational thought.

Take a look at this video:

Thought Police & Thought crime

It’s here. We have our thoughts, expressed as our words, being scrutinized. On social media we are tried and found guilty and sentenced in seconds. Free speech is being suppressed.

Conclusion

1984 was a fictional look at a very disturbing world, and a warning not to let our world regress to that state.  It is about remaking reality, twisting, yanking, and distorting objective reality so it better suits one’s individual preference.  Read the book, see the movie, and think for yourself. Spread the word to anyone who will listen, as Western civilization and our nation are in trouble.


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2 Comments

  1. I’ve seen the movie as well as read the book. I’ve been saying we were heading this way for at least 10 years and have been greeted with the response that I’m paranoid. I don’t think so. Trump has given us a breather from this spiral downward. If, and we all better hope, he remains in office for two terms, he will do much to dismantle the network and foundation which has been placed by the globalists. It is a scary world today. I fear the world that my children and grandchildren will be forced to live in. I told my son, since my daughter lives in a fantasy world, to get his passport and find where he wants to live, then take his family and go. I kinda like Belize but I’m too old to drop it all and move. For everyone else, I’d recommend getting into a stable 3rd world county. Belize, Guyana, are both English speaking countries. I looked at both.

  2. The more insightful prophecy of our times is in the New Testament. The end of history, however, is not a happy ending for most of us. Which is why most ignore Revelations.

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