The Prescience of George Orwell

   Political writers frequently reference George Orwell and his dystopian novel 1984 (published in 1949) – and because the references are typically brief and general, it may be profitable to look at a more detailed comparison of 1984 to what is happening today.   

   In the book, the country of Oceania was ruled by “The Party,” personified by Big Brother, the only permitted deity.   Oceania was perpetually at war, alternatively against Eurasia (with Eastasia as an ally) or against Eastasia (with Eurasia as an ally).   When, for example, a war with Eurasia suddenly switched to a war with Eastasia, all previous history was destroyed and a new history written.  In effect, the endless war with alternating foes and allies, plus the rewrite of the past, created a perpetual present. 

   Whether the enemy of the moment was Eurasia or Eastasia, The Party identified the arch-villain behind everything “evil” as one Emmanuel Goldstein, “the Enemy of the People,” whose face was projected on large telescreens everywhere for the daily “Two Minute Hate.”  (Did Donald Trump get his two minutes a day?)

   Also, in Oceania homes and public places hung large posters depicting Big Brother, captioned BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.   And he was watching, because there were hidden cameras and m ...

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