I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Despite it being a major dint in my conservative credibility, I had not read 1984 until the last couple weeks. (It took me that long because class and assorted vagaries of life got in the way of reading)

Having read it now, just a few comments I wanted to make.

First and foremost, I don't think that the world predicted in the book is possible. Not because of any particular morality on the part of our governing bodies, but because the American people are unlikely to tolerate such measures. As problematic as modern public education is, and as slanted as the media is, enough people maintain enough awareness of the principles of proper governance to prevent a total hijacking of our thought. Add to that the presence of enough new-age philosophers and pseudo-intellectualists among the young left, and the notion of invalidating memory and the truth of the past is unlikely even among liberals.

That being said, there are lots of disturbing parallels. To the telescreen monitoring of everyday life, we have the recent OnStar outrage. To the daily regimen of exercise and health, we have the assorted mandates of restaurant service concerning salt and the like, as well as Obamacare. To the Ministry of Love, we have people interrogated so long that they confess to crimes they did not commit, as well as Guantanamo. To the Ministry of Plenty, we have a redefinition of unemployment to match promised rates under Obama. To the Ministry of Peace, we have two apparently unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the newer conflicts in Libya and company. To the Ministry of Truth we have a liberal media entirely willing to prevaricate, disseminate and obfuscate until finding the truth becomes nigh impossible. Even the thought police can be seen in glimmers from recent DHS publications about right wing extremism.

Societally, the parallels are less cut and dried, but there nonetheless. Looking at 'Great' Britain especially, we see a culture that has given up on the notion of personal freedom and responsibility. In the US too, many people are choosing to be dependent on the beneficence of the government. For all the apparent malfeasances of the federal government, the outrage of the general populace stays low, and the problems run relatively uncontested. People are encouraged to turn in their fellows without evidences, even within their own families. The broken minded sheep that comprise Oceanic society don't exist persay in our world, but doublethink is not a particularly foreign concept.

Despite the year 1984 having come and gone without any such drastic changes, the fundamental messages and concerns of the book stay valid. Nothing in modern society or government matches the particular horror of the situation described, but the parallels are there, enough so to be concerning. We are still at the point where idealogical shifts are possible on a compressed timeline, and avoiding these issues is quite possible. It will require some degree of active work.

In lighter topics, I should hopefully be able to borrow a camera tomorrow and get some photos of the reef for your enjoyment. Considering also that the next book on my 'must read' list is Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, my next book post should be somewhat lighter.

1 comment:

  1. Everything takes longer. 1984 has come and gone, but I still think we are on the slippery slope to something resembling the book. Think of what a Founding Father would make of gun laws, the dept. of education, Obamacare, etc. How big a jump is it from demanding nutrition labels on food (check) to outlawing food (trans fats, check) to prescribed exercise & diet? Yes, some people will always struggle against such, but the Soviets and Pol Pot had a solution for those folks.


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