Tuesday, January 1, 2008

1984 vs. 2008

1. Big Brother is watching you - This really needs no elaboration, given the fact that we have “sh@t-canned” the Fourth Amendment for all intents and purposes. Big Brother (Homeland Security, NSA,CIA,DIA,FBI, etc) no longer need a warrant for almost any type of surveillance, if there is a “perceived” need.

2. The Perpetual War
- In Orwell,s 1984, the world has three major states, and are always at a constant state of war. This war has many parallels to the current War on Terror. The war in 1984 became the bedrock of the world’s economy. Government ministries were organized to fight the war, and use propaganda methods to “color” the truth to serve the state’s need to “reinforce” the war effort. Orwell used a term called “doublethink”, which I will let Orwell’s own words explain the definition;

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth”

Doublethink was “reality control” by the state to re-write history to serve its purposes. This is spin doctoring, plain and simple. This task was accomplished by by “newspeak”, a version of the English language that assisted in the “spin” process. Hallmarks of this process are a) the removal of all shades of meaning from the language, such as stating things in black or white terms , for example, “…you are either against the terrorist, or you are with them”. b) The use of “political correctness”, though euphemisms like “collateral damage”, instead of civilians bombed and killed, or use of terms such as framing one group in a positive way, so that the other side of the position is automatically perceived as negative. An example of this would be where someone was “pro-life, where the natural other side of the position is “assumed” to be “pro-death”, or “pro-choice” vs. “anti-choice”. c) The total overuse of abbreviations and acronyms where the acronyms become words themselves, such as NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), or better yet USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001). The Patriot Act was also designed to strengthen and protect the borders of The United States and to make improvements in intelligence gathering, in which the record has been dismal, compared to the industrial strength snooping brought on by the act. People associate the Patriot Act with only increased surveillance, but this act also brought us the Frankenstein arm of Big Brother known as the Department of Homeland Security and its total rearrangement of our government after 2001. So, in the case of an acronym…’what’s in a name…indeed”!

3. Societal Decline and Those Who Benefit - Society in Orwell’s 1984 was organized as to have virtually no middle class. THe following graphic depicts the societal organization of Orwell’s “fictional” world:

Societal Organization in Orwell’s 1984

As one can see, the government (Big Brother) and a very elite group of citizens known as the “Inner Party” controlled the operation of society. The Outer party, which carried out the decrees and directives of Big Brother and The Inner Party. The main part of society was The Proles. . Their functions were simple: work and breed. They did not care much about anything else than taking care of home and family, quarreling with neighbors, watching some films and football, drinking beer, and above all buying the lottery tickets. They were not required to express their support to the Party. They were only required to show primitive patriotism. The Party created special meaningless songs, novels, even pornography for the proles.

Our society is “eaten up” with their devotion to sports, following “wanna be” celebrity lifestyles, consuming ALL things Hollywood and the “big score” of instant wealth. The middle class is eroding in this country and we are moving towards a societal structure not unlike that of Orwell’s fictional (or prophetic) world. Combine this with the “dumbing down of America”, and Orwell’s world in 1984 is fast becoming our world.

So, each time a little more or our freedom and liberties are taken away…just pop a top, plop on the couch and watch a DVD. Big Brother and The Decider know what is best for ALL of us!