Skip to comments.Orwell's time-tested warnings
Posted on 06/21/2009 3:26:45 AM PDT by MartinaMisc
NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR opens with one of the most famous first lines in modern English literature - the vaguely unnerving It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. The line it ends with is even more famous, and considerably more sinister: He loved Big Brother.
George Orwells brilliant, bitter novel turns 60 this month, but after all these years it has lost none of its nightmarish chill. Its hero is the decidedly unheroic Winston Smith, a weak and wistful man who lives in the totalitarian police state of Oceania, which is ruled by the Party - personified in Big Brother, whose menacing image is everywhere - and in which the Thought Police ruthlessly suppress any hint of dissent. The Party enforces its will through constant surveillance, relentless propaganda, and the annihilation of anyone who rebels against its authority, even if only in private thoughts or conversation. Winston engages in such thought-crimes, first by secretly recording his hatred of Big Brother in a diary, then through a love affair with a young woman called Julia. Eventually he is arrested, interrogated, tortured, broken.
Nineteen Eighty-Four was Orwells warning of what unchecked state power can become - a warning informed by the horrors of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, with their contempt for human life and conscience, their cult of personality, their unremitting cruelty and deceit. I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive, but I believe . . . that something resembling it could arrive, Orwell wrote after the book was published. I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
I’m actually about halfway through re-reading it at this very time.
(From the telescreen in front of you)...you sir are engaging in thoughtcrime against Obama ... do not move stay where you are... the sound you hear are officers of minluv on the stairs.
Ironic that Obama supporters ran an ad mocking Hillary as potentially a “Big Brother”.
What amazes me is - that since 1988- when Ronaldo Maximus was still POTUS - we’ve come to OBAMA ! One generation . The future looks bleak , to say the least . I don’t see things getting anything but WORSE , until Christ returns .
HAHAHA, thoughtcrime, facecrime, speechcrime all in response to Obama’s duckspeak. I just fear the time when we will become unpersons. I forgot how absolutely creepy this book is. I read it when I was in junior high so some of it, I’m sure, was lost on me.
On a lighter note, Happy Father's Day to all fellow FReeper dads.
“Orwell himself was a committed socialist, and he insisted that Nineteen Eighty-Four should not be taken as an attack on socialism or the left wing. And, in truth, though the ruling ideology in the book is named Ingsoc (English Socialism in Oceanias language of Newspeak), the Partys aims have nothing to do with collectivizing wealth or any other socialist prescription.”
INTERESTING that the articles author should try to point this out. Socialism by itself and in a perfect world would be great. Many are quick to point out that the Early Church is a model of socialism. Karl Marx himself once a christian merely removed the concept of god from the early christian church model and replaced it with the state.
But the world is never perfect and mankind is never completely altruistic. A ‘committed socialist’ has not yet learned this lesson. They still hope for the day when mankind will abandon the human condition, adopt a universal altruistic nature, and proceed to build a beautiful utopian dream.
But if Orwell is such a genius to have written this landmark literary piece, then how could he have ignored the obvious parallel between the totalitarianism of thought required to implement his ‘committed socialist’ paradise, and the totalitarianism of thought that’s embodied in his literary work.
Perhaps the author is trying to make the point that Orwells ‘committed socialist’ totalitarianism is the altruistic kind, and not the kind that only exists to pursue the increase of it’s own power. “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake, Winston is told by OBrien, the Party official who interrogates him. “
So why is it that Orwell being such a ‘committed socialist’ then doesnt have the required grey matter to account for the human condition?
Jeremiah 17:1 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
I am guessing that the role of Emmanuel Goldstein was played by GW Bush.
An interesting point, and not one I had heard, although I am quite certain it must be true. I've often thought, and occasionally said, that socialism is a kind of perverted, over the top form of Christianity, only without God.
Talk about ironic. This quote could be applied to anything printed in the NYT in the last 40 years.
In the end, Winston Smith also came to like rats as well as Big Brother.
Hardly. I've read 1984 twice and I didn't remember this. Seeing it now, I cannot recall having heard/seen it quoted in other contexts. Jacoby needs to read some more.
"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."
"Who is John Galt?"
It does look that way don't it.One relies on the goodness and authority of God,the other on the goodness and authority of man.
So in a back-handed sort of way all those academics who salivate over socialism are actually agreeing that christianity is good,they just don't want He who knows all men meddling in it.
Books like this are marvelous extra-Biblical prophecy. Another is “Philip Drew” by Edward Mandell House. In it, he plays out the plan for world government, now being executed by the Illuminati, CFR, NWO, New Age, central banks and International Communism.
“Brave New World” is another. (Aldous Huxley)
“So why is it that Orwell being such a committed socialist then doesnt have the required grey matter to account for the human condition?”
Jeremiah 17:1 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Right you are. Man cannot be altruistic for long unless and until he is born again and takes on God’s nature. The nature of man is that of Adam and all it knows is how to sin, no matter how much he wishes he could do well.
Romans, Chapters 7 and 8 capture and lay out these thoughts beautifully.
LOL. Ipso facto, it is not one of the most famous first lines in modern Engllish literature.
All twelve spies worked from the same data set. Ten saw certain doom. Two saw further opportunities for God to demonstrate His power, goodness, and faithfulness.
There are, in this country, at this moment, millions of Christian young people who were not "rendered unto Caesar," who were not raised to view Caesar as the ultimate power, the ultimate arbiter of the universe. God would have spared Sodom for ten righteous folks. He obviously has a future for this nation, since He is raising up a redemptive remnant among us.
Will we be ready if Islam was suddenly discredited? Folks, learning Turkish, Farsi, or Arabic is a long lead-time project. Let's get started! As Caleb and Joshua said, "These people are bread for us! Their defense is departed! The LORD is faithful!"
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