Sunday, August 21, 2011

1984 - Ignorance Is Strength

In many ways, I can agree with this slogan without too much equivocation! Though knowledge is something placed on a pedestal in our society, it's not always everything it's cracked up to be.

Being in the know often means understanding that, with each decision, there will be winners and losers. For the immoral or unethical person, these considerations can be characterized as trivial, at best. However, for the moral and ethical person, trying to work out who will win and who will lose can lead to indecision or, at least, a protracted period of time before a final decision is reached.

In other words, great knowledge demands great compassion and the truly compassionate person often wrestles with the potential impact of both certain and uncertain probabilities. It could be said that great knowledge often inhibits us from making bold and decisive moves. In the eyes of many, we come off as weak because we refuse to forge ahead to toss cavalierly the inevitable losers over the nearest bridge.

Those individuals who move through this life on the basis of emotion and/or prejudice aren't constrained by this notion of right v. wrong or winners v. losers. They merely react to circumstances and situations based on their feelings. Consequently, many behave like a bull in a china shop!

Their ignorance allows them to stride forward boldly and unencumbered. Some people in our society view this as a sign of strength.

This series of posts based on George Orwell's novel, 1984, will be rather avant-garde. My focus will not be to explain Orwell's premises or what HE meant -- it is more about what his prose stirs in me., often in relation to the way I view the world today. Some of my observations may fall in line with Orwell's intent, but others will go off in a wholly different direction. To read my intro to this series, go here.

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