Nineteen eighty-four

Nineteen eighty-four probably one of the best known book of the twentieth century. Everybody knows the sentence: ‘Big brother is watching you’. Even one of the most controversial programs on TV based there name on that sentence: ‘Big brother’.

George Orwell talks about a regime in his book that controls the whole community, he describes how he thinks the world will be in 1984. He had such bad thoughts about what the world would turn into, because he lived in a time where the totalitarian regime had many followers. The fascism, the communism and of course there was Adolf Hitler with his party the national-socialism. He wanted to warn the world for those bad regimes. The book is based on the communistic regime of the Soviet Union. The government controls people’s whole lives, for example they control how people think. The Ministry of Truth can for example say that two plus two makes five. They can change the whole history like it never happened or like it was always just like that.

Now as we live in two thousand and ten we can say (happily) that it didn’t happen, but still some people nowadays say that we really live under an undemocratic communistic regime and that we just don’t realise it. For example we have the first undemocratic chosen president of the European Union (Van Rompuy, the old prime minister of Belgium). There are camera surveillances everywhere. Like the graffiti artist Banksy draw: one nation under CCTV. With this statement he meant that everywhere in the nation were camera surveillances and that you don’t have privacy anymore.

Another example that we live in a communistic regime is the program Iwatch. In the YouTube video the program gets explained.

The people in the video are actually asking- people to spy on other people to see if they’re not doing something suspicious. In the Soviet Union it was quiet common, that people ‘betray’ each other and now they want to do the same thing in the United States… In Holland we have something that is almost similar to the program it’s called ‘de buurtwachter’ (translated, the neighbourhood watcher). ‘De buurtwachter’ is a program where a person goes on the street at night and alarms the police if he sees something suspicious. You now even have a phone line that you can call if someone did something that’s forbidden, ‘meld misdaad anoniem’ (report crime anonymous). So it starts to look like we really live under a regime where the government wants to controls everything like in the Soviet Union.

In the book the Ministry of Peace deals with making war, he Ministry of Truth deals with falsification of history, if they say two plus two makes five than that’s true. The Ministry of Plenty takes care of the medicines and they hold the live expectations low and the Ministry of Love controls the totalitarian regime. In Holland, of course, we don’t have that, but what we do have that is also disturbing is that the government has al lot of possibilities to now everything, maybe too much, about us. We have, I think, a lot of disturbing things that threats our privacy. Here we have the electronic child file, the electronic patient file, the right of the police to tap the phone calls of everyone, the government can collect all the information about us so that they really know everything about us.

In the book Orwell had some, at first sight, ’weird’ statements:
War is peace: if a nation is in war with another country and the government is able to direct their people’s anger towards the other country. It is less likely that people who disagree with the government are going to attempt to overthrow the government in a time of war, than in a time of peace and the dissatisfied persons have no one other to blame but the government. So, War Is Peace.
Freedom is slavery: how can someone build a bridge, a building, or anything large by himself? One person can’t build these things without help. So the freedom of one person weakens the individual, because it is impossible for just one man to make such big things. So if someone wants to make something big he needs other persons to do help him. To be part of a big group you have to suppress your own will and personal freedom. Otherwise you won’t achieve anything. So the only true freedom a person has is the freedom to be part of a larger group. That’s why freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength: If the population doesn’t know that anything more can exist, that they are being lied to, or that change is possible, they aren’t going to care. If a government can manage to keep their people so ignorant that they don’t question what they are told, no weaknesses within what the government says will ever be found.
So the government changes good things into bad things and bad things into good thing, this is another example of how the government tries to manipulate their people!

To come back to the story about how we now live under a communist regime, I know it’s not all that bad now as I say it is, but still you can’t deny the facts!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Nineteen eighty-four

  1. Bram van der Kruk

    Dear Dior,

    Your post is a nice attempt to dissect the themes in 1984 and apply them to today’s politics, technological and cultural progress. It is however rather ambitious to tackle all this in an 800 word post, therefore it seems a bit rushed at times.

    But your English is at the required level, some mistakes left in here and there (there/their/the communism/communism etc.) and some rusty sentences. On the whole a job well done though.

    Mark 7,5

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