As you can see, I'm not leading with a quote from the book this time (there will be more of that in subsequent posts). I went to bed much later that I had planned last night because I couldn't stop reading the last part of 1984
until I had finished it. When I closed the book, it left me with a very disquieted feeling.
As Winston's torture continued, O'Brien made it very clear that Big Brother and the Party could not be defeated or overthrown. With every ploy or strategy that Winston offered, O'Brien showed how it would not and could not work. In the end, no matter how he fought this eventuality, the only avenue left for our protagonist was to succumb.
While many would say that Orwell's book is one of fantasy, we're not so far away from this point today.
Over the last decade or so, the United States has started one imperialistic war after another and, while many oppose these acts of wanton aggression, we are powerless to stop them. No amount of lobbying or protests has even so much as slowed the machine down. Does anyone doubt that Syria, Iran or who knows where else will be next?
The straitjacket of the police state grows tighter around our necks each day. On the one hand, we are losing any semblance of a right to privacy. The state can intercept phone calls, text messages and letters. The state can film us for any reason they see fit. They can infiltrate our groups and associations, even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing or criminal acts. They can look over every library book we check out and, in this computerized age, they can even get a list of every almost every item we purchase and they can plumb the depths of our medical/mental history.
On the other hand, we can't find out what the state is up to because more and more information is being cloaked in "state secrets." It is becoming harder and harder to turn our cameras on the government -- citizens are being threatened, beaten, arrested and their cameras/cell phones smashed for trying to document abuse at the hands of the state.
Our judicial system has declared over and over again that the corporation is a person -- a precursor to the perpetual Party -- and this "person" is bestowed with far more rights than the rest of us combined. This "person" can injure, maim and kill us, yet not be held personally
responsible. If we withhold something that the corporate person declares is rightfully theirs, the full force of the state comes down on our necks!
What is the most alarming to me about the vision of 1984
is that we are on the road toward making Orwell's fantasy a reality. It is a very undramatic process. It happens little by little -- the increments are so small that we aren't even aware of them.
One day -- in the not so distant future -- a generation will awaken to the fact the process is complete. Big Brother and the Party will be in total control. Of course, they will have different designations, but the bloodline will be the same.
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.