Tag Archives: 1984

The Omnipresent Surveillance State: Orwell’s 1984 Is No Longer Fiction, by John W. Whitehead

Orwell couldn’t have dreamed of the many of the methods and technologies by which governments now keep track of us, although he anticipated some of them. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

Tread cautiously: the fiction of George Orwell has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state.

It’s been 70 years since Orwell—dying, beset by fever and bloody coughing fits, and driven to warn against the rise of a society in which rampant abuse of power and mass manipulation are the norm—depicted the ominous rise of ubiquitous technology, fascism and totalitarianism in 1984.

Who could have predicted that 70 years after Orwell typed the final words to his dystopian novel, “He loved Big Brother,” we would fail to heed his warning and come to love Big Brother.

“To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone— to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings!”—George Orwell

1984 portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state. There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society. Snitches and cameras are everywhere. People are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought crimes. The government, or “Party,” is headed by Big Brother who appears on posters everywhere with the words: “Big Brother is watching you.”

We have arrived, way ahead of schedule, into the dystopian future dreamed up by not only Orwell but also such fiction writers as Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood and Philip K. Dick.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”―George Orwell

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70 Years Later, It’s Still ‘1984’, by Matthew Feeney

Orwell realized that controlling the language was essential to controlling thought. From Matthew Feeney at insidesources.com:

In October 1947 Eric Blair, known today by his pen name George Orwell, wrote a letter to the co-owner of the Secker & Warburg publishing house. In that letter, Orwell noted that he was in the “last lap” of the rough draft of a novel, describing it as “a most dreadful mess.” 

Orwell had sequestered himself on the Scottish island of Jura in order to finish the novel. He completed it the following year, having transformed his “most dreadful mess” into “1984,” one of the 20th century’s most important novels. Published in 1949, the novel turns 70 this year. The anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the novel’s significance and its most valuable but sometimes overlooked lesson.

The main lesson of “1984” is not “Persistent Surveillance is Bad” or “Authoritarian Governments Are Dangerous.” These are true statements, but not the most important message. “1984” is at its core a novel about language; how it can be used by governments to subjugate and obfuscate and by citizens to resist oppression.

Orwell was a master of the English language and his legacy lives on through some of the words he created. Even those who haven’t read “1984” know some of its “Newspeak.” “1984” provides English speakers with a vocabulary to discuss surveillance, police states and authoritarianism, which includes terms such as “Big Brother,” “Thought Police,” “Unperson” and “Doublethink,” to name a few.

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Why Orwell Is Superior to Huxley, by Colin Liddell

Much of what was supposedly unique about Brave New World is found in 1984. From Colin Liddell at unz.com:

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One of the frequent comparisons that comes up in the Dissident Right is who was more correct or prescient, Orwell or Huxley.

In fact, as the only truly oppressed intellectual group, the Dissident Right are the only ones in a position to offer a valid opinion on this, as no other group of intellectuals suffers deplatforming, doxxing, and dismissal from jobs as much as we do. In the present day, it is only the Dissident Right that exists in the ‘tyrannical space’ explored in those two dystopian classics.

But, despite this, this debate exists not only on the Dissident Right but further afield. Believe it or not, even Left-wingers and Liberals debate this question, as if they too are under the heel of the oppressor’s jackboot. In fact, they feel so oppressed that some of them are even driven to discuss it in the pages of the New York Times at the despotically high rate of pay which that no doubt involves.

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Ten Ways the Democratic Northern Hemisphere Nations Became the Orwellian West, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

If we’re not already in Oceania, we’ll get there soon. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

In his book, “1984”, George Orwell envisioned a future crushed by the iron grip of a collectivist oligarchy. The narrative told of the INGSOC Party which maintained power through a system of surveillance and brutality designed to monitor and control every aspect of society.  From the time of the book’s release in 1949, any ensuing vision of a dark dystopia depicting variations of jackboots stomping on human faces, forever, has been referenced as being “Orwellian”.  This is because Orwell’s narrative illustrated various disturbing and unjust conceptualizations of control, crime, and punishment.

For example, “Newspeak” represented the language of mind control, whereas “crimethink”, “thoughtcrime”, and “crimeface” manifested as transgressions against the state.  Guilty citizens were captured by the “Thought Police”, and the ultimate punishment consisted of“vaporization”; which eliminated every last vestige of a person’s existence.

In the horrifying world of 1984, the nation of Oceania was divided into three concentric groups:  The Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proles, or proletariat.  The Proles constituted 85% of the population and lived in extreme privation.  The Inner Party represented the elite powerbrokers who led lives of comprehensive luxury compared to the minions in the Outer Party.

But in the real world of today, it is the globalist billionaires who own multiple mansions, fly private jets and ride in eight-cylinder limousines to climate-change conferences where policies are decreed to lower the carbon footprint of the proletariat.  It is the wealthy elite of the westernized nations who have sacrificed individual freedom upon the altar of Collectivism as political correctness has stifled free speech and enslaved citizens drown under oceans of debt.

At the same time, megalithic multi-national corporations like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, have become the eyes and ears of Big Brother; always watching and ever listening.

Indeed, Orwell was near prophetic in describing the proliferation of listening devices in both public and private settings as well as “telescreens”, which simultaneously broadcast propaganda while relaying live video feeds back to the Party watchers.  And just as free will and individuality were sacrificed to the extreme demands of Collectivism in the fictional nation of Oceania, so do the globalists and corporate oligarchs of the twenty-first-century desire a new world government fused together by technology and the circular, magnetic dynamism of the hive-mind.

To continue reading: Ten Ways the Democratic Northern Hemisphere Nations Became the Orwellian West

Watching You, from The Burning Platform

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/04/21/watching-you/