September 11, 1984
Orwell, 9/11 and Homeland Security
Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
Read "1984" on-line
some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible
to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to
mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually
that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs
which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government
of Oceania itself, 'just to keep people frightened'. This was an
idea that had literally never occurred to him."
- George Orwell, 1984
Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.
"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
"Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness."
NEIL POSTMAN, 'AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH' -
Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people willcome to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture. . . As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
- Neil Postman comparing Brave New World and 1984
8 February 2013 Last updated at 18:56 ET Share this pageEmailPrint
1984: George Orwell's road to dystopia
Why Bush/Cheney 1984?