Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in Nineteen Forty-Nine.
It was not written about America but to expose how a Westerner believed life was like in the Soviet Union of that era.
It was not written about the future but was set in the future to expose a current reality just as Star Trek was also set in the future but was about The Cold War too. The Cold War is over now.
Book sales go up during any controversy as in the recent case of Paula Deen's books.
- During the financial crisis sales of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957) went up.
- After Glenn Beck;s ranting sales of Friedrich Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom (1944) went up.
- in 1996 the Daily Telegraph published, "To some, it was as if Winston Smith had willingly cooperated with the Thought Police in 1984," after it was revealed George Orwell himself snitched out "Communists" to the British Foreign Office.
- In 1959 the Soviet Union propaganda claimed America was already living in 1984 even as the book was outlawed there.
- East Germany who also made the book illegal claimed 1984 was about American "multinational firms".
- The New Yorker magazine characterized our government similarly.
- Sarah Palin has labeled Washington D.C. as seeming "Orwellian".
- Al-Jazeera questioned if Obama was "going beyond Orwellian."
- Liberals during the Bush-era claimed American fascism.
- Tea Party has claimed Obama is a clone of Castro.
Indeed, 1984 is a book not only about surveillance but also the full-spectrum dominance of Stalinist totalitarianism, from the government-directed corruption of language (“WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”) to absolute control of information and historical inquiry. Such states exist, like the truly Orwellian slave state of North Korea, where all apartments are fitted with radios offering a single government station and no off switch, but they bear little resemblance to contemporary America.
In his 1941 essay “England Your England,” Orwell took pains to highlight this distinction. While identifying the United Kingdom’s numerous “barbarities and anachronisms”—and even declaring the country not a “genuine democracy”—he argued that these defects meant that ideas like “democracy is ‘just the same as’ or ‘just as bad as’ totalitarianism” were colossally wrong, employing fallacious “arguments [that] boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread.”
Sorry, We're Not Living in Orwell's "1984"
Below is an abstract from Northwestern University's The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology which reveals how our government's upgraded security and intelligence efforts are only the result of society's upgraded privacy. A balance is maintained. We are not living in 1984.
over the past one hundred and fifty years, new technologies have for the most part enhanced our privacy, and many of the invasive surveillance technologies that the government now uses are simply a response to this enhanced level of privacy--that is, an attempt to return to the former balance between individual privacy and law enforcement needs.
The Article first examines the ways in which new technology has enhanced our privacy, and then examines the effect of new technology on government surveillance, dividing surveillance technologies into three categories: those that allow government agents to do what was previously impossible; those that allow government agents to conduct traditional methods of surveillance more efficiently; and those that the government has developed in response to privacy-enhancing technologies. The Article then reviews the current statutory and constitutional law regarding surveillance technology in light of these categories, and critically examines that law--and the balance or imbalance that it creates between the two competing goals of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.
Why 2007 Is Not Like 1984
Edited by The world needs you, 09 July 2013 - 12:57 PM.