In some sense, we are an Orwellian Society

nineteen-eighty-four-1211494_640George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four was published in 1949. The novel talks about official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history. In the novel, all of this happens in another realm. Orwell seems to be prescient about today’s society. Our realm is being constantly monitored by either the government or Google or many others.  Our movies like Divergent and Hunger Games show constant surveillance and official deception, and our politicians are relentlessly manipulating language and using propaganda to mislead people.

In Orwell’s novel, all citizens of Oceania are monitored by cameras and we, by Google. The company knows the brand of our computers, shows a picture of the cars that are parked in our driveways and tells us what we should be searching based on the ONE word that we type.

London, representative of Oceania, the closely monitored city in Orwell’s novel, is considered the most spied-on city in the world with its omnipresent surveillance cameras.  North Korea’s patriotic indoctrination camps, considerable media control and strict monitoring of its citizens’ activities are unbelievable examples of regime control in the contemporary world.  The Big Brother phrase introduced in Orwell’s novel is blown out of proportion by some countries in which the leaders seek power solely for their own sake.

Someone once noted that we will either master words or be mastered by those who do. Political manipulation of language is another Orwellian concept that has been mastered. “War is peace” is a slogan drilled into the citizens of Oceania to make them feel that being in a constant state of war is being in peace.  Nineteen Eighty Four could just be the inspiration for our lined up preemptive attacks on other countries.  1984-war-is-peace

An important example of language manipulation in our own country is this:  Believing in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is a mark of backwardness, while favoring legalization of same-sex marriage is a mark of broadmindedness.

Misinformation, denial of truth and misleading propaganda are deep subjects with universal archetypes in today’s somewhat Orwellian world.

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