The following is an excerpt. (r. a. note)
ActivistPost.com By Jon Miltimore Thurs., Mar. 28, 2019
What impressed me reading 1984 today was Orwell’s grasp of the philosophy behind Big Brother, or, rather, its lack of philosophy (beyond Nihilism). Truth, we see, does not exist in Oceania, the totalitarian nation-state that serves as the setting of 1984.
The absence of truth is shown at various times in various ways, but it most famously is depicted when Winston Smith, the book’s protagonist, reflects that it’s only a matter of time before the Party would insist that two plus two makes five.
“It was inevitable that they should make the claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it,” Smith tells us. “Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”
It’s not just that Big Brother is hostile to truth, logic, or facts (though it is). It’s that truth, logic, and facts will at certain times inevitably conflict with its sole goal: control.
This brings us to a second observation about Oceania. It’s a land steeped in politics. It’s force-fed to people. They consume it, whether they wish to or not. It is pumped out of telescreens day and night. It comes from indoctrinated children and neighbors. Some of the people reciting the Party’s cliches believe it, others may not. But there is no escaping the Party’s dogmas.
At no point in the novel is this more thoroughly demonstrated than when Winston Smith reveals that even sex was polluted by politics.
We see in 1984 a world in which politics has consumed life’s most intimate actions. I wouldn’t compare the United States to 1984. But I believe parallels exist.
Politics, few today would deny, saturates most aspects of our lives. It’s in our school systems and colleges. Football games, blockbuster films, and America’s churches. This was not always the case, and the development is not a healthy one.
And then there is the matter of truth. Last year the Rand Corporation published a report. It essentially said our civilization is suffering from a strange condition: Truth Decay.
“We are living in an era when sanity is controversial and insanity is just another viewpoint,” the economist Thomas Sowell recently stated.
Few Americans today would deny, I think, that truth is under assault. It’s one of the few ideas on which Left and Right can agree. The disagreement arises over who are the greater transgressors of truth.
This is not a trivial matter. As FEE president Lawrence Reed recently observed, truth and freedom are inseparable.
“The first casualty on the slippery slope to tyranny is the truth,” wrote Reed. “If you wish to live in freedom, you must first commit yourself to truth in all things.”
Full article here: https://www.activistpost.com/2019/03/two-ways-our-world-resembles-1984.html