The other night I was tooling around on YouTube and I came across a 1956 British adaptation of George Orwell's masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four. As I watched it -- like when I read the book two years ago -- it didn't seem like a work of fiction. It seemed more like a modern case of Nostradamus! While our world isn't as antiseptic as the fictional Oceania, it is not difficult at all to find many eerie parallels.
Two years ago -- August 2011 -- I wrote a series of posts about how many of the themes in Orwell's work could be found in today's modern world. With the advent of revelations about the breadth and depth of spying by the US and British governments (along with several allies), it seems fitting to draw your attention to these parallels again. So, over the next several days, this book will provide the fodder for my mid-morning and evening posts.
In my view, we stand at the precipice of heading down the road toward the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four. We already see many of the themes of the book evident in the world today. The powers that be are instituting these changes gradually, so that they imperceptibly become new norms and, once they have been accepted as commonplace, they institute the next set of draconian measures. By this method, we are gradually finding ourselves ensnared in a trap that will only be fully understood once it is far too late to escape from.
If we do not want our children and our children's children to live in a world like Oceania, it is incumbent that we wake up to the stones being laid now. If in our apathy we allow the roadbed to be plotted out, it will become the sole highway that they will travel on. They will rue the day when we stood by and allowed our own "Inner Party" to transform this world into the beginnings of the Nineteen Eighty-Four they find themselves forced to live under.