So, there has been a lot of interest in George Orwell’s classic book, 1984, lately. First written in 1948, the book is back on top of the Amazon best-seller list, with tens of thousands of new copies being printed in the first few months of 2017 alone. Some people are re-reading the book and others, like myself and my book club, are reading it for the first time.
And, I have to tell you, it really is terrifying. There are definitely some parallels between Orwell’s party and the current administration. For example, when you compare Orwell’s term “doublethink” with the current administrations term “alternative facts.” Both require a firm, almost fanatical belief in something while also understanding that that something it is not true. Like I said, terrifying.
What scared me most though was not necessarily the Orwellian aspects of our current political climate, but the fact that I can easily see how we go from today to the future described in the book. It does not seem at all far-fetched that we would end up in never-ending war, just for the sake of being at war. (Or, perhaps we already are?). Nor does it seem far-fetched to have a “Party” that would be propped up by those who only understand “when to cheer and when to boo.”
As Orwell describes it:
“In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.”
This already exists here in America. There are absolutely base supporters of some politicians for whom the above is already true. And, if it we continue down this path, it will only get worse. Two generations and no one will remember what truth is. And then we all end up in coveralls, drinking gin for breakfast and trying to convince ourselves not to believe what we see, but what we’re told.
So, um, yeah, read the book. It’s scary, but it’s probably necessary. Unless, of course, you like gin and lies, then by all means continue as you are.