As a writer and a reader, I often find that fictional imitates real life as something one could think is unimaginable to imageable to our world. In addition to loving books, I also love film which is where many films created are taken from books. One book I surprising have never read until now is 1984 or Nineteen Eight four by George Orwell.
I have only just begun reading the book and have already watched the film with the late great actor John Hurt and Richard Burton. The film gets incredible close to the book so far, I know many of you will probably tell me about the inconsistencies if any. But like I said I have only just begun the book.
What is so incredible about this book so far is the incredible frightening resemblance to the times we live in today. Now mind you I live in the United States and the year is 2020. Our country on the verge of snapping in two as right and left are at hateful odds, its Democrats VS. Republicans, The Haves and Have Not’s. Many will say that my comparison is preposterous and there is no comparison as we live in democracy not a authoritative state, but we are not far off if you look at things and where they are headed.
The Age of Trump
We are in the age of Trump and for many of you that’s perfectly fine, as Biden will bring destruction to the world and U.S. which I find laughable. I am an intelligent man with an MBA in business, years in business from education to finance to Software I am no dope. I am smart enough to know that history can repeat itself with those in power who will allow it.
We the people the citizens are really at the mercy of those who run the country as we have to go along with whatever changes are made which includes are freedoms or lack of freedoms. Right not it may seem like everything is normal in a sense but everyone is on edge , but hate has amplified in our nation to new levels.
I truly believe that hate always existed in our country, but now people are free to hate and display that hate even so more than, gone is the civility of our world and country. Many are happy to have to be civil and the pleasantry’s of being kind to others, caring for others and loving our fellow man.
One of the most stand alone parts of 1984 is something I came across last night which is:
“In the old days (it ran), before the glorious Revolution, London was not the beautiful city that we know today. It was a dark, dirty, miserable place where hardly anybody had enough to eat and where hundreds and thousands of poor people had no boots on their feet and not even a roof to sleep under. Children no older than you had to work twelve hours a day for cruel masters who flogged them with whips if they worked too slowly and fed them on nothing but stale breadcrusts and water.
But in among all this terrible poverty there were just a few great big beautiful houses that were lived in by rich men who had as many as thirty servants to look after them. These rich men were called capitalists. They were fat, ugly men with wicked faces, like the one in the picture on the opposite page. You can see that he is dressed in a long black coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. This was the uniform of the capitalists, and no one else was allowed to wear it. The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death. When any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as ‘Sir’. The chief of all the capitalists was called the King, and –”
If you focus on the passage in bold, we live in a capitalist country and like today the capitalist own everything and everyone else was their slave. Now you and I work for the man may think well I am no slave, but in reality, we are slaves. We rely heavily on organizations to pay us for our labor but ultimately, they have the control. Many capitalists own the land, the factories and all the money. We live in a time of greed, wall street, lobbyist and nothing happens in the world without money.
Who Really Control’s Society?
As you know we have no shortage of billionaires and millionaires and many more are born each day in the land of opportunity. Now some of reading this may say well they deserve their wealth who am I to tell them they can’t be rich and wealthy. How does another billionaire affect us you say well just someone else owning the world and doing everything in their power to swift the balance of power from the small guy like you and me to know, rigging the rules for their benefit.
If you think that the rich don’t rig the system for them you are sadly mistaken as many of them pay little or no taxes, but the argument is well they provide thousands of jobs with companies like Amazon and Walmart, making slaves of their worker to depend on them knowing they will Never have the power of someone like Jeff Bezos.
Now mind you Jeff Bezos is an intelligent man and used his talents to get where he is today but he had lots of financial help such as his parents and venture capitals making him the riches man in the world and getting richer each day.
So once again what does that have to do with Orwell and where we are headed. There are those who will continue to create a class system as in the book which includes the upper class inner party, the middle class outer party and lower class Proles who make up 85 percent of the population and represent the working class. As the government , the party control the population with four ministries: The ministry of Peace, Ministry of Plenty, Ministry of Love, Ministry of Truth.
Like government each ministry has a purpose to keep control over the people, ultimately Big brother Is the one who watches all except the proles but everyone else they are pretty much under control. We do have a form of big brother watching us, listening to us each day and if you think what you write online and in social media posts is not watched or recorded you are dead wrong as companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter willfully sell our information to the government.
Yes we live in free country for now but for how long, this has really been on my mind for a while now and after watching and reading 1984 we are closer than ever to one day falling under one rule which in my opinion we are not out of reach of someone like Trump.
How the Media Rules Our Age
If we truly lived in the age of 1984 I would never be able to write this, Gestapo type men would be kicking down my door and taking me a way to reprogram me or worse yet kill me and incinerate my body. What is incredibly interesting is the amount of Hate for Media in our day in age and I understand why. I know the media is far from perfect, they lie, distort information to benefit their viewers on TV and on print, they are money driven and must do anything to stay in the game.
I will not call the media the enemy of the people because there are bad actors in all professions, we live in a world of profits, capitalism and greed. To stay in the game of life one must do what it takes to keep the customers coming and although most organizations are in a sense honest they are not out of reach to ripping off the public if they had to. When it comes to the media they rely heavily of viewership, ratings and endorsements and if they don’t have that they go out of business.
I make every attempt to not watch CNN , Faux News, MSN, or any major media because deep down they all lie, its not right VS left news many times its lets spin our opinions as truth and fact and its NOT. There are factual news media who tell it straight but in all honestly I choose to try to do my own research when finding out facts on the issues. Social Media is another form of media of verges on the edge of propaganda spinning lies to get more likes and RT’s.
Our Attempt at Rewriting History
What is interesting to what is going on today and in 1984 is how the Ministry of Truth rewrites history all the time so that no one ever knows what the real history is. This is what Winston Smith does as an editor of revising historical records to concord the past to the contemporary party line.
We as society have a real problem will history because many times our history is not pleasant , but whose history is as we make attempts to erase the horrible things our country has done such as allowing slavery, eliminating native Americans and removing them from their land, add in racism, wars and so much more that many wish to erase like it didn’t exist so a new narrative can be written in its place.
I often think of how history books are written today, what has been removed and kept as I have truly been out of grade school for decades now I can only imagine what is taught today in schools. I find no problem is learning about the horrors of what our country has done, but I also know we have done good too but lets stop try to erase history, but if you think about it any way we are similar to 1984.
As I continue to read the book I will surely reflect more on our differences of the book and today in our society and where we are headed. Again if I lived in 1984 I surely couldn’t even have a blog, have social media or anything that lets me think and express my thoughts. In 1984 there is only one thought the loyalty to the party nothing else and if I am not loyal I am once again reprogrammed or killed.
Imagine all those who try to speak today in our country and world who are eliminated because their voice doesn’t want to be heard by heads of states and governments, its not out of place that we one day become a country that will eliminate peoples voices of thought because there is truth to it.
As you can see I have thought seriously about this, I hope you think about it too as we begin to go into new eras of those who will try to quiet us who have thoughts.
Many who read this post may not find this far reaching, thinking that we can never mimic such a fictional world as 1984 , but in reality countries do exist such as this, who make it a point to control the narrative, control information, try to quiet whose who think differently. Although we may not try to assassinate those we disagree with like others countries have shown to do like Saudi Arabia , Russia and even China.
The Attack on The Free Press
In addition many of those countries prevent free press , something that if things continue to go we could one day lose free press. But you say no Joseph its in the constitution we will never lose that, well I will say that we can lose it because when governments stop following their founders original intent and start making up the rules as they go along or discarding laws and rules than it’s very plausible to get rid of those freedoms.
Yes if that was to happen there would be literal turmoil in our country even more so of what is happening now such as more protests, which is our constitutional right, but where there is NO constitutional right is looting and rioting, I condone those actions and only take attention away from those who truly are trying to get a message out about injustice.
Just in today’s climate with protestors which again I agree are allowed to protest peacefully, but when looters and rioters come out and destroy property, fight with authorities, kill people in the name of justice, complete anarchy. When situations like this happen states and the federal government then feel the need to take action which can be extreme at times, no one should ever have to die to protest yet we see it happening.
I will not say the police involved is perfect, they obliviously have a job to do to perfect the citizens of our towns and states, but some police can take it too far because deep down they feel empowered that nothing will touch them, that is what happens when law and order go out the window and giving so much power to police. Now I understand we need police to protect us from the bad people, but we don’t need police to mimic criminals in the name of justice taking a vigilante approach, that is what is making society made.
So again sorry got off topic, going back to 1984 there can be scary differences to how society was once civil, ruled by law and order and slowly became ruled of one man or a group of men or women. In our case corporations rule the working class which would make most of us proles who are the worker bees making up 85% of society.
U.S Government Vs. Orwellian Government
Within our society we have structure of a government in our case of the United States we have three branches the Legislative, judicial and executive. Most of us know this is out we separate powers building a system of checks and balances, something that has appeared to have gone away with this current presidency. Although many will say well the president of the United States has authority to make choices on how he or she chooses use that power and in my opinion that is a flat out NO.
The presidency doesn’t not give that person unlimited powers to misuse those branches regardless if they don’t like the rules. That is one of the big issues when leaders break those rules and no one stops them, when in reality most of us who break the rules are penalized , put in jail or go to prison why is the presidency any different, it isn’t.
The sad fact is that congress is very powerful as well it should be, but they there to protect the citizens of the countries from harm including an authoritative president or leaders but when they choose to not do anything because of loyalty to a person we all fail as a country and more harm is done to our republic.
In comparison to 1984, there are what are called Ministries similar to our branches. In the book there are four ministries which include:
The Ministry of Love
The Ministry of love serves as the interior ministry. It enforces loyalty to Big Brother through fear, through security and repression, as well as brainwashing. In the book this ministry has no windows and is surrounded by barb wire entanglements, steel doors, hidden machine gun nests and guards armed with “jointed Truncheons”.
The interior lights are never turned off, it is considered the most powerful ministry, controlling the will of the population. The thought police are part of this ministry. This ministry is misnamed since it is largely responsible for the practice of misery, fear, suffering and torture. In a sense, however the name is apt, since its ultimate purpose is to instill love of Big Brother, the only form of love allowed.
Each of these Ministries or Branches serve a purpose I found quite interesting and if you have never read 1984 I would high recommend to see the incredible prophetic vision Orwell had in 1949 when he wrote this book.
The Ministry of Peace
The Ministry of Peace serves as the war ministry and is in charge of the armed forces, mostly navy and army. The primary principle in this ministry is the principle of perpetual war, using all surplus resources, keeping most citizens in lives in constant hardship, preventing society from learning enough to comprehend the true nature of society.
Perpetual warfare also helps preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. What this means is the balance of the country rests in the war, which is in charge of fighting the war, making sure to never tip the scales.
Again the ministry of peace if opposite of its name, since its main objective is in charge of maintaining a state of war. Perpetual war is what keeps the peace and the balance of power in the world, and since the other major powers also use warfare as a means to maintain the status quo.
The Ministry of Plenty
The Ministry of Plenty is in control of Command Economy which is considered an economic system which the government controls and regulates production, distribution, prices and etc. This ministry oversees the rationing of food, supplies and goods. The central theme of Oceania’s idea that the poor, ignorant populace is easier to rule over than a wealthy, well informed one. Telescreens often make reports on how Big Brother has been able to increase economic production, even when production has actually gone down.
Once again this ministry is misnamed, doing the opposite and is responsible for perpetual poverty, scarcity and financial shortages. However, the name is also apt because, along with the ministry of Truth, The Ministry of Plenty’s other purpose is to convince the populace that they are living in state of perpetual prosperity. In addition this department is in charge of the state lotteries, very popular among proles who buy tickets in hope to win big prizes, which is a vast hope as the big prizes in fact are not awarded at all.
Ministry of Truth
The Ministry of Truth is the ministry of Propaganda. Responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events. This ministry spreads a new language amongst the populace called Newspeak, which, for example “Truth” is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants.
The Ministry of Truth is involved with the news media, entertainment, the fine arts and educational books. Its purpose is to rewrite history to change the facts to fit Party doctrine for propaganda effect. For example, if Big Brother makes a prediction that is wrong, the employees in the Ministry of Truth correct the record to make it accurate.
Looking at these ministries one would think well yeah these are perfectly plausible to a country who wishes to control its people, taking away ones way to learn the truth instead providing the truth they want society to know and if society chooses not to embrace their truth they can brainwash them.
Are we not in a state of brainwash ourselves in our country believing that one party for example Democrats Vs. Republicans and how Republicans preach that they are the only party that can bring peace to the country, smearing the Democrats as being socialist and against Law and Order, and against this and that, but ultimately have shown they are ones who wish to keep control and try to bend the will of the people by controlling what society can and can not do like voting.
One can say well everyone in the US if eligible has a right to vote and yes that is true, but suppression does exist as states run mainly by republicans try to make it more difficult for some to vote especially in minority populated parts of the country doing everything in their power to stay in power.
I know of you may feel I just making up conspiracy theories about our rights but in truth the reason why its not a bigger issue is because we have really our own Ministry of Truth which is the Media who attempts to control the narrative of what they want the people to know about, this is where it gets to Orwellian with our reliance on Media to get what we need and why its so dangerous to take all the media as truth, in truth everyone has an angle right.
Although I live in the United States, the land of Free, nothing is free , there is a cost to it and in our know right we have our own Big Brother watching us use those resources to say in the future well group X used this amount of resources versus Group XY and so we should take way Group X resources and control them.
Such as control which groups can be in power keeping poverty a perpetual part of world and country when we have the resources to solve homelessness for example, but again every state and local government has that power to decide who we can help and not help.
But once again the control is in corporate America as they really choose what society will be provided , what wages they decide to be appropriate to keep certain groups just having enough to barely make it relying on the government for other resources like welfare keeping those classes in place.
Ultimately I think in 1984 its about the classes of people and keeping it organized so that certain classes will rule everyone else, because once you let the proles rule society will truly only start be fair in sense for everyone, we don’t live in fair society of world, as it repeated in 1984 “War is Peace” Freedom is Slavery” and Ignorance is Strength” these government slogans.
War is peace is best examined as the government believing the people must believe that war is peace meaning one must tolerate the horrors of war. The idea is that one must make terrible sacrifices in order to have a peaceful nation.
Freedom is Slavery on the other hand is meant to represent the message that the party imparts to the community that anyone who becomes independent of society’s control is bound to be unsuccessful. A society that is based on free will result in chaos and the development of society.
Lastly Ignorance if Strength is meant for the citizens to subvert their will and their awareness to accept the contradictions the government puts forth. They are expected to bury the truth and accept irrationality such as in demonstrated in these three statements.
Ignorance is therefore strength as it is the willing ignorance of the people who ignore obvious contradictions. It is this ignorance that maintains the power of the government and the seeming coherence of the society. Its through this ignorance that people can find the strength and live in a totalitarian society where the government oppresses them even while communicating to them how fortunate they are.
How many times do we in society hear our government how great we all have compared to other countries; how much we are provided and what they are doing for us. In some sense government has an obligation to help its citizens, not necessary to be rich and wealthy but to survive.
Governments know the power they have to help their citizens like provide healthcare, food and shelter but in the U.S. will they ever truly do that probably not because that would resemble socialism which our country is clearly again in principle but in a sense we still bail out corporations and agriculture in forms of financial help, so socialism is still part of our fabric whether we see it or not.
The point I am try to making is the many similarities and possibilities of where society is headed and how ultimately we have our form of Big Brother , government watching us, listening to us and even corporation who have taken it upon themselves to watch us like Google, Amazon and Apple, but that’s ok because they are multi billion dollar companies that we know we need here.
I am not against capitalist or capitalism its what makes our country great with the ability to have wealthy and a life of freedom, but eventually our freedoms will come at a cost because of control, control is something someone always wants such as government. The question is when control will more be allowed in our lives and what are we going to do about it before turning into the era of Orwellian government control, its not far off.
I appreciate you listening to my deep thoughts on the matter and I know as I read further into the book more enlightenments will take place and I am looking forward to it, but I recommend you read the book, watch the film and see those comparisons.