The Arrival of Orwell’s Worst Nightmare

Orwellian

The “black art of political newspeak” was used to describe a Republican Party consultant in the early 2000s. Big Brother surveillance laws were unveiled around the same time by Snowden. And then the Chinese thought police became real only a few years ago as the government conjured ways to mimic The Minority Report’s premise; and doublethink is no longer a conjured word from one author’s imagination.

George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four is widely accepted, not for being the biggest seller of all time but for being the most influential. Time and again his pages have been quoted by many a journalist, author and scriptwriter. And for good reason: Life has imitated art.

Nineteen Eighty-Four was a satire on Stalinism for the most part—Big Brother’s black-moustachio’d all powerful appearance, and the Trotsky figure that leads to a split in the Party are all there—but ironically, today’s world witnesses Capitalism and Democracy as having embraced its underbelly with open arms.

The brilliant piece about Communism has turned on itself in real life. No longer is it a popular piece of entertainment but a functional handbook for the life ahead of us in Western society.

Contemplate the Ministry of Truth’s ‘newspeak and ‘doublethink’  for a moment . . . since Trump’s inauguration, the fake news agenda has accelerated. With no attempts to conceal anything but the facts, the official language of Orwell’s Oceania is threatening to break against our shores in tsunami-like torment.

Orwell’s description of the media establishment contained in The Ministry of Truth was also described as:

“ . . . an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete . . . three hundred metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”

Our civil wars are the government’s peace. Our slavery is the government’s freedom. Our ignorance is the government’s strength. Sound familiar?

Winston Smith, 1984’s protagonist, explains how doublethink and The Ministry of Truth works:

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them; to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy; to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.”

The character continues…

“That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”

 History, near and far, large and small, serves to remind us of humanity’s pitfalls; we have no privileges to rewrite crucial facts.

The fake news versus real news (and by whose measure?); the corporate media versus alternative media . . .these are all signs of a bigger picture.

Laziness versus critical thinking. Do you really want to be told what to think?

Democrat versus Republican. Have you really fallen for that old line?

What happens to us when The Ministry of Love is constructed? What then?


 This article (The Arrival of Orwell’s Worst Nightmare) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Aral Bereux and DNewsHQ.


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