Down today gathering dark clouds, read again of Ninety eighty four it shows how the brilliant George Orwell was wrong to think that people must be tortured in order to be conquered. Half of America (which is still emotionally locked in, depressed and disillusioned) wouldn’t have it any other way.
The country of Ninety eighty four it is difficult in a way that 2022 can understand. The people of Orwell’s future want to be controlled. They have come to love it. Freedom of choice makes them feel safe. People agree to be monitored, and their media scrutinized. He thinks about all of this with a sense of inevitability – the only way to be safe if he thinks at all. All the spy shots in their homes and the spy shots in their lives are great, really. The language itself is changed not only to prevent disagreement but to make it impossible.
In Ninety eighty four, the government controls and edits all media, sending past events that are no longer politically correct down the memory hole. Today, we have media that does this for us. We can no longer read a newspaper or watch a movie and expect every aspect of it to be true. Americans enjoy fake news. To take just one example, the truth is that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. It’s all made up, double thinking embellished with “more” crap like pee tape so it wouldn’t make a B-movie script. Michael Cohen did not go to Prague. The FBI lied to get a FISA warrant to spy on Trump’s associates. Yet many Americans still believe it is all true, and look for media that sticks to the fringes of the story. 2+2 can equal 5, if you believe it does.
To take another example, Hunter Biden benefited financially by selling his father’s position. He made millions from China and Ukraine selling influence. However, the media, with the support of nearly half of the American public, moved to drop the issue and shift it to the 2020 election. Once it was pushed under the water, the issue never came back in time, and may not even be in the 2024 race.
When I Google Hunter’s name I get refreshing stories about his battles and various habits. Most Americans accept manual control. They don’t want another embarrassing rule. They want censorship to stop this. The government should not police; In America, journalists want to suspend some journalists’ First Amendment rights based on the opinion that things are going without information.
Orwell’s Two Minutes of Hate was when people were told to show hatred for the enemies of the government, whether it was justified or not. Brett Kavanaugh’s rallies were the most popular form of this, using a combination of victims and the media, politicians, and the MSM to whip the group. Social media, especially Twitter, does the same: we love Andrew Cuomo as a Trump critic until he’s told we hate him as a bully. Did Dr. Is Fauci a good guy or a bad guy this week? Your family is also important to take action when your white allies are told to “Tell your family and loved ones that you will not visit them or answer their phones until they do something to help black lives.”
In Ninety eighty four, criticizing the Party was a grave sin, punishable by loss of position, loss of job, and loss of self (control). Even America so far does not include the torture section (in Newspeak, more inquiry) for Ninety eighty four-block spelling, all other tools are working. The doctrine of the party is replaced by the sin of criticizing the opposite and is condemned as bigotry. Entire industries – education, media, entertainment – are regulated by the issuance of two badges including the positive anti-discrimination one. Much of the media we consume, and what our children learn in school, is filtered, judged, and scrutinized by a group of thinkers.
If you want to keep your job in those fields and more, you need to embrace Big Diverse Brother, and many are happy to do so. Those who stop being loved by the Party in 1984 to be “no people,” to end with all evidence of their existence destroyed. In 2022, they were replaced. Organizations do not punish dissenters so they want disagreements to be less difficult.
Orwell saw the need to have a Ministry of Truth to establish control over the public when everything was ridiculous like calling Covid-19 “the Chinese flu” was racist and the number of articles falling too high. Make fear the problem and energy defenders become the answer. The message worked: you have to give up things to be with safe people. If you don’t, you are selfish; you have sinned against your neighbors.
When Orwell wrote Ninety eighty four, they could not see any other group more powerful than the government, supported by the secret police and the army. He couldn’t imagine the world with his dog companion running around, social media, checking what we read and providing tools to prevent it. He did not foresee the end of global capitalism, a few people with almost all the money that would buy the laws and social changes they wanted.
Instead of accepting this reality and pushing back, progressive Americans are happy about it. They roll like dogs in the mud thinking that although the government will not investigate Dr. Seuss, the organization can. They revel in feigned ignorance that such scrutiny isn’t just surveillance because, at this point, only things they don’t like are being scrutinized. They enjoy pretending it doesn’t matter if it’s being done by a secret society.
In 2022 America, we don’t just accept reviews, we want more because it makes shopping easier. We spend thousands of dollars to buy and install 24/7 devices on our person that track our location, record our messages, and learn and analyze our personal habits from our favorite porn to our fashion choices, all so that Amazon can make sales for us. Tracking us was first marketed as a way to protect us from criminals who didn’t come, then to document our interactions to protect us from the long-simmering Covid-19 crisis. We want Big Brother to know where we have been so that he can warn us not to associate with “sick” people there. Vaccination passports to write and reward those who follow? Yes, please, if it means we can go to the football game.
We love analytics technology when it helps build the “right” people. We compare how cell phones are used to put people on the spot during the riots at the Capitol, and face recognition against images taken from social media, with the help of their loved ones hacking, to make arrests. There is also a self-generated version of facial recognition techniques used to help ID criminals. His aim was to put people in prison if possible, but many loyalists seemed to be satisfied if they got someone out of a job.
As a boy, I went to Soviet Eastern Europe. I lived in China and Taiwan under the dictatorship. I talked to people who survived the Cultural Revolution and people who were persecuted during the years of Seoul’s rule. I’m older now, and I know when I’ve seen something before. Orwellian? Orwell was a sports fan.