Orwell

Orwell's warning worse than he dreamed

George Orwell, a prescient writer for his time, predicted the traits of totalitarian societies that we see today. In his classic book 1984, depicting a future dystopia 35 years from when he wrote it. Orwell conveyed two essentials principles which I took away. Orwell understood that all totalitarian regimes have a deep resentment for history and for the memory of the masses. Despots hate the past because it gives the citizenry a back door to a better future and a possibility to resist the future oppression. The protagonist, Winston Smith, works at the ministry of Truth. Winston is responsible for replacing old facts and figures with updated statistics to erase all sense of error from the state. Winston also witnesses the creation of false history when his country, Oceania, swaps enemies and allies that they had supposedly been at conflict with for years.

Orwell also wrote how all tyrannies turn language into a vehicle to service their agenda. This is known as doublespeak in 1984. When language in coopted by the elites, the people can easily internalize their own incarceration of the mind. This leaves the citizenry impotent because they never acquire the ability to speak truth to power. When language itself is subverted by the elites, an informed public ceases to exist. The only language that is left is speech promoting the obedience to Big Brother, Orwell's symbolism of an unquestionable state authority.

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